I’m trying to vary the style of my Sunday Seven from week to week, but I have to admit that I’m finding it IMPOSSIBLE to figure out who to share when! I just want to share EVERYONE AT ONCE I love them so much!!! I’ve posted farmhouse vibes, eclectic and cool and today… badass. My friend Sarah from Ugly Duckling House is a one-woman machine. Whether renovating her Atlanta house with her own two butt-kicking hands or, ahem, designing my website, this woman can do it all.
Question 1: Why did you start blogging?
To stop repeating myself. Ha! No really, I was in a whirlwind life lesson of what it was like to own my first home, and all of the crazy things I was experiencing made for some pretty nutty stories (renovating a house that has been allowed to fall into disrepair can be really, really gross). It was only a matter of time before I forgot which friend I told which story to, and one of them gave me a gentle nudge to just start keeping them updated with a blog. I was already following a bunch of DIY blogs at the time, so it seemed like a natural step to start one of my own. That was over six years ago.
Question 2: What has been your proudest moment as a blogger?
Being taken seriously. It was more subtle for me than a defining moment, but the environment of blogging has really changed since I first began. It used to be a really weird and nerdy thing to have a blog. You also had to work really hard to convince everyone around you that what you did was “work” (in my case, a side job) or that it even took TIME to do (and granted, some may never see it that way). But at a certain point, I felt like I didn’t need to fight against those notions anymore; a far larger percentage of people became more accepting of this whole “online brand” thing. It also helped that blog conferences allowed me to meet and collaborate with people I admired (and okay, spazz out in front of). My grad school peers and professors respected me as an entrepreneur with legitimate skills and insights (for marketing, for social media, for analytics, etc.) rather than a diarist. And to top it all off, I was still really, really enjoying the writing and connecting with my readers. As a result, I grew more confident. It may sound lame to admit that my own self-esteem for what I was doing was influenced by how others did or didn’t respect it, but once the market started changing, I suddenly felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders — a sense that I’d somehow hit the jackpot of doing something I loved and not having to work so hard at convincing people I was worth their time.
Question 3: What is the hardest thing about blogging?
Okay, cheesy answer: right now, it’s my schedule! Blog growth means more demands for your time, and you have to re-learn how to balance each new step (especially new social media platforms or when the older ones change). I also run a side business designing blogs for other people. But there’s also a need for self-care beyond the online demands — I blog about my life, and deciding what is or is not part of my blog can be an interesting dynamic (job? family? love?). For example, I am at a pivotal moment where I am working really hard and it’s paying off, but I’ve been single for almost the entire time since I started (basically, most of my late twenties and early thirties). It’s like each new year has a new challenge to throw at me, and 2016 decided that my love life is now something I need to find time for. When I least expected, of course. =)
Question 4: What is one thing you wish you’d known early on with your blog?
Blog names are always going to be weird, even when you think you’ve got a good one. I am often called ‘the Ugly girl’ when people acknowledge a familiarity with my blog’s name in person. The joke was clearly on me! And putting paint on my face for my profile photo meant that even blog friends who have been following online for a long time will struggle to recognize me in person — as though I walk around every day with paint on my face. It’s usually just in my hair.
Question 5: What’s one fun fact about you?
I am obsessed with craft beer and usually have one after every completed project. I don’t know if that really qualifies as a fun fact, but it sure is fun for me!
Question 6: What’s your favorite post (and why)?
It depends. If you’re talking about a post I’ve enjoyed re-reading, it’s definitely my saga of how I fought (and won) against a squirrel trying to live rent-free in my attic (warning: strong language). If we’re talking a decorating project, it’s the whole process of remodeling my kitchen. I love this space so, so much.
Question 7: What are your blog goals for the future?
More efficiency, writing a few ebooks, and creating more video tutorials for my YouTube channel. Some exciting stuff is in the works, but I can’t talk about it yet!
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You name it, Sarah can do it. There doesn’t seem to be a project around the house that she won’t take on with gusto. But the best part of her blog, in my opinion, is the honest personal humor and flare that she incorporates in every post. Lots of her posts are just about life or observations or experiences that she’s had as a kick ass woman in her 20s and 30s. Grab a craft beer and get ready to snort… The Ugly Duckling House will have those suds coming out your nose. Guarantee.