Happy Birthday CWC! {Part 3}

Happy Birthday Country Wife Chronicles! Feature Image

Country Wife Chronicles celebrates country roads, less is more, and a wildfire marriage.

I hope that you have found a connection here at CWC. That you have been able to find your likeness in the Country Wife.

Maybe we share the same joys and simple pleasures of living the country life. Perhaps you are a fellow fire wife seeking out another soul who just “gets it.” Maybe you relish the quiet solitude of a still country morning. Or maybe you just follow along because you have a personal relationship to me and you don’t mind getting a new recipe now and again.

Whatever the reason, wherever the connection, thank you for joining me in this journey. My cup runneth over with gratitude…

In this celebration of one year of writing here on CWC we’ve been taking some time to explore our roots.

Last week, we delved a bit deeper into the launch story of Country Wife Chronicles. I shared with you how an accidental issue officially launched the site and how I was basically forced to just sit back and trust God’s plan for CWC.

The week before that, we talked about some of the original inspiration behind the creation of what has become CWC. I’ve been inspired over the years in the world of blogging, this is true.

And I’ve also learned a thing or two.

CWC Instagram Shot of Logo in Barnwood Frame

Lessons Learned

For any blog aficionados that may be reading this, I’m sure you’ll be able to relate. For anyone that might be considering stepping into the blogosphere, you may want to take notes.

Today, I want to share with you my top 5 lessons learned over the past year of blogging.

  1. 1) Bloggin’ Ain’t About the Money: The number one lesson learned this past year…you don’t get rich in your first year of blogging. In fact, I’ll be honest; I haven’t earned a penny this past year. I have had expenses, though. Not a lot, because I am a DIYer, but still a net loss for the past two years since starting this journey. Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and I knew that going in. It takes time to build content and grow a following. And then you have to market and figure out how to even bring in an income. Career blogging is much more than an online journal for your thoughts. It is a lot of work and it takes time. And the payout, if ever there is one, will be delayed.
  2. 2) Staying True to Myself: There have been moments of doubt in which I read another blogger’s take on a topic and I thought, “I wish I wrote more like her.” Maybe I thought she was funnier than me, or her writing just flowed better than mine does. But forcing myself to write like someone else is near impossible. I don’t work that way. I write how I talk, but I don’t talk like anyone else. I talk like me. So, me is what you get here at Country Wife Chronicles.
  3. 3) Content, Then Marketing: I’ve been struggling to find the balance over the past year, especially between producing quality content for the blog and the time needed to properly market my blog posts. And what I’ve learned is that, for me, quality content will trump marketing every time. And yes, my lack of marketing may very well be why I’m not making any money off this site yet, but I would much rather be proud of the content I’m putting out there for y’all to read than market the heck out of mediocre blog posts. My hope is that, one day, the marketing bit will catch up.
  4. 4) Network, Network, Network: I’ve learned that getting acquainted with other bloggers can do you some major favors. But I’ll admit, networking is a bit of a weakness of mine. I don’t give it as much time I should, though I have felt the positive affects of being connected in the blogging world. My most popular post over this past year was “Planning Ahead Series {Part 2}: Meal Planning Basics” which I fully credit to the fact that Crystal Paine, over at Money Saving Mom, pitched this post on her social networks for me! I was incredibly honored to get noticed by Crystal’s team and my blog activity definitely benefited from that one, singular networking moment. Networking, however uncomfortable it may be for me, is definitely worth the effort and something I’m looking to improve in 2018.
  5. 5) This is Way More Work Than I Anticipated: Whew, blogging. I knew there was a lot that went into blogging before I got started, but I also didn’t anticipate it being this much work. It is a one-woman show at the moment and I feel it. Every aspect of crafting CWC into a business is on my plate, no one else’s. In time, perhaps, I’ll be able to develop a team to help me out, but for now it’s just me. And it is a lot of work. ‘Nuff said.

The Country Wife’s Favorite Blogs

Besides sharing my top five lessons learned with you today, I also want to give a shout out to some of my favorite bloggers. There are plenty of blogs out there these days, but over the past few years I keep coming back to the same ones for inspiration, motivation, and sometimes just a kick in the butt to get to work on my own writing.

These are a few of my favorite bloggers…if you love CWC, you may just love one of them, too!

Loving the Country Life at Country Wife Chronicles  

  • The Prairie Homestead: I stumbled upon Jill’s site and found an instant connection with her story. I love her down-to-earth style and especially her essential oils ideas and advice.
  • Weed ‘em & Reap: I discovered Danelle as I scoured the Internet attempting to learn all there is to know about shifting to a real food lifestyle. Her real life approach to real food, essential oils and urban farming are addictive! And she is funny, too. I’ve used and love several of her real food freebies and essential oil resources.
  • The Elliott Homestead: I find myself in a bit of envy when it comes to Shaye over at The Elliott Homestead. She currently lives the life I dream of. She homesteads, not just for a living, but also to support a healthy, real, whole foods lifestyle. One day, maybe…Savoring the Simple Life at Country Wife Chronicles
  • Live Simply : I feel like Kristin lives the life I’m striving to live for myself. She grew up eating the foods I ate as a kid but in recent years has had a total shift into real food and all natural living. I love her recipes for homemade cleaners and her free guidebooks for natural living and real food eating. Her website is chockfull of resources for living more simply and meal planning. And, can I just say, her website is stunning! #blogdesigngoals 
  • Flourishing Today: I’m not necessarily a regular peruser of Flourishing Today, but I do follow the site on social media and will click through to articles on the blog every now and again. Alisa’s writings on faith are inspirational and motivating. I can especially appreciate her topics on battling fear and anxiety. This blog uplifts and reminds me to just be still and know. 
  • The Art of Simple: Tsh at The Art of Simple is a minimalist vagabond. Her site, for many years, has shared her secrets to living life more simply. However, in 2018 it seems her blog may be changing direction to include a grander scope of ideas. She also has some amazing travels under her belt and I appreciate her simple travel tips too.

Living the Fire Life at Country Wife Chronicles

  • House of Rose + Marriage More: Mandy’s beautiful blog over at House of Rose is probably the furthest thing from a Wildland Firefighting blog. But it does talk love and family and marriage. And for me, the Fire Life is about marriage, in tough circumstances and in need of extra encouragement to flourish. In fact, if you hit up Mandy and her husband, Jeff’s, other blog, Marriage More, you get real life tips for loving with intention and challenges for making regular efforts in the name of love and marriage.
  • Unveiled Wife: Much like the Mandy’s blog above, Unveiled Wife is less about fire and more about marriage. Jennifer encourages and uplifts wives with daily blog posts, prayer, and some wonderful resources! When I’m missing Wildland Man on a detail, Unveiled Wife reminds me of how lucky I am to fulfill this role of fire wife.
  • Proverbs 31 Ministries: Proverbs 31 is all about growing in my faith as a woman. The site is mostly daily devotions, but subscribing to their social media channels keeps you encouraged. This daily dose of Christian inspiration and Biblical devotions fills me up to be the best wife I can be.

CWC Recipes Title Image

  • Minimalist Baker: Ok, remember that I’m a baker, not so much a cook, so, no surprise, my favorite recipe bloggers tend to land in the baking category. The Minimalist Baker is my go-to for quick and easy, super simple and healthy recipes. I especially find myself using Dana’s smoothie recipes often.
  • Sally’s Baking Addiction: Sally’s blog is my go-to for my not-so-healthy sweet treats inspo. Her recipes, and oh, her photos. I can fix my sugar craving just by scrolling through her latest creations on her site! I especially love her monster cookie recipe. Yum! 
  • Iowa Girl Eats: I found Kristin’s blog on one of my quests to find gluten-free recipes. Her recipes remind me of the homemade meals I ate growing up and she keeps them gluten-free! When I’m in a rut with gluten-free meal ideas I drop by Iowa Girl Eats to see what she is making for dinner!

Country Wife Chronicles blog LogoI feel like I’m leaving so many blogs out…I have a long bookmark list y’all. And you should see how many I’m following on all the social sites. Just sayin’. If you are searching for more blogs to check out just hop over to any of CWC’s social sites and see who we are following everywhere!

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Next week we are talking more favorites…this time, favorites over the past year right here on Country Wife Chronicles!

Don’t forget to drop me a comment below with any questions you might have for the Country Wife! In celebration of CWC’s blogiversary we are doing a rare Q&A for our readers! Submit your questions this week in the comments and I’ll answer them next week in Part 4 of the “Happy Birthday CWC!” series.

Wow, one year, I still can’t believe it!

Be Still & Know…

 the Country Wife signature for the Country Wife Chronicles blog 

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday CWC! {Part 3}

  1. Thank you Country Wife I think your blogs flow well, are funny, informational, inspiring, and I look forward to reading them each week! Please keep blogging! Love and God bless!

    1. …and the Country Wife Chronicles’ biggest fan award goes to…LAURA! I will keep blogging, just for you Laura! Ok, and for me, because we both know this writing is cathartic and cheaper than therapy, right? I am blessed to have you in my corner!

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