less fuss, The No Brainer Blog

the ship has not sailed

I started reading blogs in 2005.  At the time, the landscape consisted of Xanga, LiveJournal, and the like.  The blogs I read were personal blogs, mostly like a “Dear Diary” sort of thing.

In 2006, it became apparent to me that blogs were going to be big.  The first blog I followed that was cultivating a particular presence online was Posie Gets Cozy–a craft blog where I first saw someone photographing, creating, and writing in a particular personal style.  She was writing for her readers rather than for herself.  I mostly followed the early craft bloggers, these are the bloggers that got book deals and were early adopters of Etsy.  I felt like I’d already missed the boat–there were too many bloggers and there wasn’t room for my voice.

In 2007 and 2008, a lot of the current “big names” I read now began writing.  The Nester, Simple Mom, The Inspired Room–they all started around this time.  Mind you, I had been reading blogs for ages at this point.  But, I still didn’t create my own.  In Tsh’s podcast with Darren Rowse of ProBlogger (listen to that webinar, it’s excellent!), she mentions that she thinks 07-08 was a good/big year to start a blog.  I think it would be easy to think the ship has already sailed if you didn’t start then.

But, alas, Tiny Twig Goes Out on a Limb did not originate until January 2010.  It didn’t exist in it’s current iteration until October 2011, when I did a complete redesign and rebrand.

So take heart.  The ship has not sailed.  It is not too late for you.  There is still room for your voice.  There is still time for you to do big things.  Pull your seat up to the table, join the conversation, ask to be heard.  I’ll listen.

When did you start reading blogs?  What were the first ones your remember finding?

All of the posts in the series can be found here.

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  • Reply Carrie @ 20-Something Homemaker August 2, 2012 at 5:45 am

    I started reading back in 2005 when my best friend’s 17-yr-old brother died in a car accident. He wrote a blog. Of course we all flocked to it once we knew, and learned that he was an incredible writer and deep thinker (to this day the blog still encourages me).

    I started really reading blogs when I happened upon Jasmine Star’s back in 2007. I fell in love and couldn’t get enough from that point on!

  • Reply michelle @ this little light August 2, 2012 at 7:53 am

    I don’t remember how I came across Nester, but I loved her space on the web from the start. She and Sarah over at Clover Lane are the two I’ve read religiously since 2009.

    Reading posts from my favs {like you, too, Twig!} is like getting your favorite magazine in the mail EVERY DAY! A thing of joy.

  • Reply Audrey August 2, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I definitely had a livejournal back in the day. It was the first real “forum” that I remember where I could basically say whatever I wanted. Basically I was in high school, so all I did was rant.

    Having just deleted my blog (to give me some privacy as my life is changing dramatically), I am wondering if I ever will blog again and what that will look like. Seems a little late in the game to start over now, but maybe just maybe it’s not.

    In the time being, I need to reevaluate what message I want to send out there. In recent months, it’s gotten really unclear.

  • Reply Stacey August 2, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I started reading blogs in 2008 when we shut off our cable. I was looking for design ideas and stumbled upon Nester’s place and from their bounced all over the bloggy world. She is such a gatherer….

    I started my own blog in 2009 about 2 months before my 4th daughter was born.

    love it. blogger 4-ever.

  • Reply Amanda August 2, 2012 at 8:33 am

    This is an important post because I think a lot of us probably feel like we missed our chance. I started reading blogs in 2007/2008. The first blog I remember reading was C. Beth Blog ( I soon found Nothing But Bonfires ( and Marta Writes ( Now I read so many more!

    I started my blog a year ago on Aug. 7. Sometimes I wonder what the point is, but I enjoy it, so I’ll keep blogging!

  • Reply Stephanie August 2, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I started blogging in 2007 but honestly still feel like a newbie. I struggle to find my voice. To be consistent. I want to have some success at it, and yes by success I mean I want to make a little money. Even if it is only enough for a night out with my girlfriends once in a while. I want to feel like a have a audience that I connect with. I want to go to conferences and meet people in person that I have only seen online. But I struggle to do the things I need to do to reach these goals.

    • Reply Stephanie August 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

      And there I go pressing enter to fast :P

      I don’t remember the first blog I read or when. But some of my favourites are Kelle at Enjoying the Small Things, Tracy at Sellabitmum, Tanis at The Attack Of the Redneck Mommy, Kristin at What She Said and Casey at Moosh in Indy. There are many more but if I listed them all this would be a very long comment!

  • Reply Jennifer August 2, 2012 at 9:04 am

    During the 2008-2009 academic year, I read blogs on teaching college writing and working in writing centers; and I contributed to our Supplemental (Writing) Instruction blog as part of my grad asst duties – writing exciting & utterly profound posts like “Where to begin the Research Process” & “The Differences among Revising, Editing, & Proofreading” – truly “keep you on the edge of your seat” content! I didn’t actually discover lifestyle blogs, mom blogs, craft blogs, and the like until last summer when I found some homeschooling blogs while scouring the internet for activities to keep my 3 yr old engaged while he was on break from preschool. I was immediately hooked, but quickly experienced a bit of overwhelm. I just started a blog – although I have yet to find the confidence to remove the privacy settings – this past winter, and I have been posting periodically over the past several months.
    Many thanks for this series; it is really inspiring me to spend more time with my blog.

  • Reply caroline starr rose August 2, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I started reading blogs in 2007 and started blogging in 2009, over in the book / children’s literature world. It’s amazing to me how many parallel circles of influence exist at once.

  • Reply Nicole J August 2, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I began reading blogs in 2009/2010 when I was trying to figure out how to paint a dresser. I honestly didn’t know that there was such a community/world out there until then. After I finished up my first DIY project, I started up my own blog. It has transformed and grown so much since then, and I hope that it continues to grow in the future too!

  • Reply Kimber-Leigh August 2, 2012 at 9:28 am

    i started reading blogs in late 2006. i think the first one was ali edward’s scrapbooking blog. i started writing ~new every morning~ in early 2007, mainly as a place to share creative projects, but it morphed into more of a mommy blog, as family & IRL friends began to read…and i discussed my kids & homeschool & recipes more and more. i’m currently thinking & planning to fine-tune it and regain focus, as my desire and love of writing has been recently rekindled. i want it to be something More. your blog series has come at a perfect time! thank you!

  • Reply Christina August 2, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I can’t even remember when I started reading blogs but I think there’s always new one’s popping up that are amazing! It’s easy to compare yourself to other’s but don’t do it! You are an original is something I always say to myself :)

  • Reply Dara Shultz August 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I started reading blogs around 2005 or so, but they were created by friends of mine. They were all a variation of the “Dear Diary” thing, and I fell in love with the medium. I’ve always journaled, so this was another outlet. I started and quit over the years, but finally decided to make a go of blogging this year. I can’t thank you enough for saying the ship has not sailed. Some days, I do feel like that is the case. There are so many amazing blogs out there–sometimes I wonder if all the good stuff has been said. Then, I remember that there’s no one else who has MY voice and experiences. I’m ready to do the hard work of giving people a reason to spend their precious time at my site. Thank you again for this series, Hayley!

  • Reply katy. August 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I first started reading blogs right after I got married. They were mainly food blogs(I really didn’t know this huge world of blogging existed) and I got hooked! It started with Eat, Live, Run. I started food blogging in October of 2009 and have been at my current blog since January of last year.

    It’s so easy to feel like we’ve missed the boat, especially when success still hasn’t come after years of blogging, but you see others who skyrocket their readership in a matter of months. It can be discouraging! I blog for me, but if hardly anyone is commenting and your readership stays stagnant, it can be tough. Love this series! Looking forward to more. :)

  • Reply Danielle August 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    The first blog I ever read was The Small Things Blog. I loved it so much, I started checking out other blogs. I then began my own blog about two months ago. I am still trying to figure things out, but enjoying the experience! It allows me to share my passions. Love your blog! Thanks for sharing!

    Danielle @

  • Reply Erica August 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm


    I just HAD to answer this. The first blog I ever read was YOURS. Up until that time I hadn’t really thought too much about them or sought them out.
    I don’t even know what year it was…. 12-18 months ago? but I can tell you what happened.

    I saw a prayer request on facebook. From a friend of a friend. (You know how that goes)…and your little baby boy was struggling in the early stages of life. You posted as much as you could about his progress which I rallied for (Yay) and said prayers for over here on this side of the country.

    So as I watched your family progress, I began to take a look around and see what was going on in the background. That is how I branched out and then found The Happy Housewife, The Nester, byAimeeSki, and a bunch of other wonderful writers. Now I’m addicted to reading.
    I blame you.

    And yes I struggle to find my voice on my blog. I am having a hard time building a business, working my regular 12-hr nightly job, fighting the fatigue of Lupus and staying positive through the whole thing. I figure I have nothing better to do so why not carry on.! =)


  • Reply Mrs Amber Apple August 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I started reading blogs in 2006, but I don’t remember a specific blog. I thought I had missed the ship as well, then I realised that blogging looked like too much fun to pass up the chance!

  • Reply Darcy @ Message in a Mason Jar August 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I started reading some dear friends’ blog in 2005. I knew a few other people blogging then, including my cousin who is such a thoughtful writer. Reading her little insights in everyday life, literature, gardening, prayer, etc., was inspiring.

    I started blogging in 2006, but I didn’t think much about giving it a wide reach at that point. I guess I was kind of shy about it not even thinking that anyone but close friends and family would want to read. Later, I took a two year hiatus for getting through a crazy time in motherhood, but I kept reading and reading…craft blogs and inspirational blogs.

    Last fall, I had words burning a hole in the pockets of my soul, so I prayed a bunch and bounced ideas off of some wonderful people and Message in a Mason Jar came to be. Blogging in community and knowing people are reading/interacting with the words make a GREAT incentive for a writer to keep on keeping on.

  • Reply Nancy August 2, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I think I started reading blogs back in 2005. Started out reading Lisa Whelchel’s after I read one of her books. Then she wasn’t able to write for a while so she referred her readers over to the blog of a friend of hers (Sara @ In the Midst of It). I also stumbled upon Pioneer Woman’s blog waaaay back when she was having Name that Photo contests and giving away pieces of her clothing as prizes. She’d have about 50 people enter the contests in the beginning…now they’re in the tens of thousands! No blog myself, but I’m addicted to reading them!

  • Reply Donna @ HeyDonna August 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Some of the first blogs I read as Kelly’s Korner back in 2006 I think. I don’t even know how I stumbled upon her site but once I did I quickly found Nester, simple mom… etc.

    I started blogging back in 2007. My blog has completely changed since, changing sites (twice) and I feel like I’m just now finding my ‘bloggy voice’.

    Hey, Donna was created so that I could just be me online. The community of bloggers that I have around me are a blessing. The readers who come back to visit make me smile. I’m learning that it’s about building community, it takes work, and for me it takes discipline. I’m not a natural writer. My sister corrects my grammar all day long! But I love to talk, so blogging is a great outlet!

    I was just at a blogging event last weekend and Joy (from Joy the Baker) said it so clearly “It’s not filling up [the Internet] there is room for everyone!“ Just a reminder that there are still readers looking for someone to relate to. The blogger quota for the Internet has not been filled. It never will.

  • Reply Jennifer Campbell August 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    The Simple Mom blogs were the first ones I read regularly. Then yours. They are the only ones I continue to read. <3

  • Reply Moriah August 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    I didn’t even know that the wonderful world of blogging existed until 2010 when my husband told me he wanted to start his own blog. I was pregnant with Josiah and had joined that online preggo network called The Bump. I accidentally stumbled upon “mommy blogs” and was then introduced to this awesome community of women. I started my blog in March 2010 and it’s been a really fun ride! I’m not sure I’ve quite found my own voice just yet, but it’s been a really neat journey so far.

  • Reply Hayley-The Handmade Housewife August 2, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I started reading blogs in early 2008 and started my own that same year. I’ve stuck with Nester, Emily, Layla, Rhoda-Southern Hospitality, Jen-Beauty & Bedlam, Button Bird, Suzie Harris, Pink & Polka Dot, Kimba, Just A Girl, Kelly’s Korner and the list goes on. I think what initially drew me to these women were common interests in the craft/home dec world but over the years I’ve watched their writing styles grow and become more authentic. They open their homes and lives and form community with their readers. That’s what continues to draw me in :) One of my goals this year was to be better at my own blog and eventually make the switch to wordpress…eek! I’m so very much looking forward to your ebook!!

  • Reply Jen August 3, 2012 at 12:00 am

    I began reading blogs regularly in 2009-2010 when I was unemployed for a while and now I’m hooked. I’ve been considering beginning my own blog for a while now, but have wondered if there’s room for my voice. I’ve also struggled with how to get started. I haven’t even been an active participant until now. (This is my first comment on a blog!) I feel like I may finally be ready to give it a try so your series comes at a perfect time for me. I look forward to learning more.

  • Reply Heather August 3, 2012 at 1:48 am

    I totally agreed that it hasn’t sailed! Sure times are changing, but I used to be a wedding blogger back in 2008 and worked for Project Wedding and thought thats all I would do. When Style Me Pretty & Green Wedding Shoes were just babies, when there was no pinterest or linkyparties.

    I was a huge fan of Pioneer Woman and A Cup of Jo when they both werent household names, its funny because Posie gets Cozy was one the first crafty blogs that I fell in love with and when I closed my Live Journal (yep I was one them) it was her blog that really made me want to make more and show more.

    Changing focus is okay too.. your voice is there, if you have something to say. And if you have just 1 follower (even if it is your mom) you still have an audience! Go for it!

  • Reply Nadine S. August 3, 2012 at 3:45 am

    When I started, I only read my sister’s and her friends. They were all personal ones. Mine started the same way. It’s probably only been the past 10 month or so that I’ve ventured out to read other blogs.

  • Reply eileen marie August 4, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Weddingbee & YHL.

  • Reply Mandy August 7, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Love your post. Finally got around to starting my blog, and I love that it’s another creative outlet for me. Thanks for posting this!

  • Reply Ashley Urke | Domestic Fashionista August 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I LOVE this! I just had a coffee with a fellow blogger I reached out to who lives in my same city. She was sharing her frustration with starting a blog now when there is so much more pressure and competition. But as long as we have a voice…a purpose…a story to tell…there will never be too much room. This is so encouraging as I started blogging around 2008 and have seen my fellow newbie bloggers at the time soar to great success today. But it is when I am true to my voice that I can create a place to be heard. Love it.

  • Reply Deborah August 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I started reading blogs when my firstborn was a baby – 2005. The first blog that I actively followed was Rocks in my Dryer. She’s not posting anymore, and it’s too bad. Her blog was such an encouragement to me as a first time mom.

  • Reply katepickle August 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I watch some of my fellow Aussie bloggers take off and do amazing things. At times I am so envious because I can’t drop everything and go to this event, or that one… I still have small children, it is not my time, not right now. But you are so right… there is still time… there will always be time. There is room for lots of voices in this blogging world and their will be room for me to do the things I want to do when my children are bigger and it is my time…

  • Reply Julie Anne August 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I started blogging in 2004… On Xanga! It was more of a journal to update distant family (my son had just turned one and I got pregnant again shortly after that) there was definitely some ebb and flow. Now I am still trying to find my voice. I love a lot of crafty things and sharing them… Pinterest has fed that addiction, but I’m also finding an interest in writing and pursuing that avenue of blogging!

    Oh, you asked about reading blogs, not writing blogs… All the blogs I know and love now I mostly found once I joined twitter.

  • Reply Dot October 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. I’ve only just started reading blogs and recently made one myself – I’m reading mainly via following through to blogs from Pinterest. A friend inspired me by starting up her own this year. I think the first blog I read was a fashion blog called missussmartypants!
    I’m using my blog as a kind of personal accountability for growth this year, so in a way it’s more a personal blog. My city has had three major earthquakes in close succession and suddenly you are thinking “what do I want to get done in life” after the realization that the gift of time is not guaranteed.

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