We launched our site almost exactly one year ago today. It has been one hell of a trip around the sun with a lot of highlights and lowlights. We learned a few lessons and made a few changes. As we prepare for our next year as travel bloggers we wanted to slow down and take a minute to reflect on all the people who helped us get to this point and give some advice to other people thinking of taking a similar journey.
Our Favorite posts
Over the last 365 days we have had the opportunity to do a lot of cool stuff and meet a ton of great people along the way. Here are our top 3 favorite posts.
- The Tallest Drinks in Seattle - This post was so fun to research and write. It meant we went to all the best views in the city and drank delicious drinks. I probably wouldn't have made it a point to get dinner at the top of the Space Needle, but it ended up being one of my favorite experiences to date all thanks to doing blog research for Rain or Shine.
- Film Photobooths Around Seattle - I really love this post because it represents me finding new things I love through the blog. Sarah is a big photobooth person and knew about a ton of spots in Seattle where you could get "old-fashioned" film photo strips. She shared that love with me and now that I know about all of them I love revisiting them with different friends and collecting the authentic black and white strips!
- Top 5 Cocktails in Pike Place Market - This was one of our first posts and I remember thinking if I got a group of people together we could easily spend an evening in Pike Place Market trying cocktails at all the different bars. Six or seven bars and 5 hours later we were all drunk and having the best night of our lives. The group that went out that night still reminisces about how naive we were, but how much fun we had.
- All of the Meet the Makers - One of the highlights for me has been getting to meet new people and see what they are "making." I always learn so much about their craft (and usually get a sample or two). It's inspiring to see people following their passions and spending their time creating things we can enjoy. We have a bunch more Meet the Makers in the works, and we can't wait to share them.
- Moore Coffee - I love finding wacky things in the city, and I love coffee. Combining the two was a total win for me! It's energizing to explore new spaces, get a mid-day treat, and have it be fun to boot. And anytime you can turn something ordinary into something special it will be something I can get behind.
- Long Beach - I live to travel. It is my favorite thing to do. And while I do spend a lot of time traveling internationally and around the states, there is so much to see and do right in our own backyard. Long Beach is a sleepy little beach town, but I had such a good time exploring that area, trying the local restaurants, and riding bikes. I can't wait to seek out more of these little towns in our area whether they are beach front or in the mountains.
- Getting into Instagram takeovers. Pike Place Market approached us in September last year and asked us to takeover their Instagram account for a weekend to show people around The Market, Rain or Shine style. This was crazy fun, got us a lot of new exposure, and gave us the idea to start reaching out to other businesses to do the same thing for them.
- Partnering up with ParentMap. A friend connected us with this local magazine and they have since started publishing our content. Not only do we get paid, but they force us to explore and write content we might not have normally thought about.
- Figuring out what works. Neither of us were "tech people" before we started this blog. Since then we have both learned a lot about coding, design, creative writing, and photography. It's been great to broaden our skill sets and see the blog transform as we do.
1. You can't do it alone.
Without the help of many many people this blog wouldn't exist. Don't be afraid to ask for help and know that your friends always have your back. To name a few: Amy Dickson, our amazing wine writer who contributes top notch content and helps us discover new things in the city. Tristan Plank and Eric Durr, our pro-bono design team who help us navigate the wonderful world of colors and arranging information. Michi Broman, our mentor and cheerleader who told us that we were smart and creative enough to do this. Piper Hackett and Chris Ruiz for all their typos and grammar catches while copyediting. And last but not least, our moms, for always being our first likes on Facebook.
2. Time management is key (and hard).
Having full time jobs and running a blog, while also having time for your family, friends, and yourself is harder than some might imagine. We have definitely found that a content calendar and sharing the workload equally helps us stay sane and happy.
3. Building something from nothing is incredibly rewarding (and hard).
To say we are proud of what we have going here would be an understatement. We love exploring the city and always finding new ways to share our experiences with our readers in a fun way. Both of us love the outlet the blog gives us to flex our creative muscles.
4. No one can tell you how to do it.
You just have to trust yourself, communicate, and take it a day at a time. We have read all the blog posts on how to make a million dollars in one month blogging or which platforms work the best for bloggers. At the end of the day we took some of the advice we got, but we left a lot of it behind too. Only you can know what will work for your life. Being flexible and easy going will keep everyone a lot happier and you will create something that is authentic to who you are.
5. Seattle is an amazing city, full of amazing people, and we love getting to know every nook and cranny of this place.
This blog keeps us active, excited, and young. We are constantly trying new restaurants, new activities, and spontaneously walking down new streets just to see what might be at the other end. The people we have met in the last year are all incredible and truly make our city a better place. Some of them have become our friends and all of them have been added to our lives. How freaking lucky are we? We really couldn't possibly live in a better place!
Cheers and thank you to all of you who have helped make this blog possible. Here is to another 365 days of exploration! - Kristina and Sarah