The Birth of The Blog

Statistics show 175,000 blogs are created worldwide everyday.  That’s every two seconds…..whoa!  These numbers are already insane and constantly growing everyday and every year.  Reasons for blogging vary from person to person and in celebration of my 1 year blogiversary, I’m going to talk about how arkadian belle woods came to be.

I began my first blog in 2009 with high hopes and every intention of keeping up with it.  I’ve always enjoyed writing and I had wanted to start chronicling my life and connecting with others who shared the same interests.  Shortly after I began my blog, I fell short.  I went into whole heartedly but I also picked the worst possible time to start a blog, just over a month before our wedding.  Sure I did it on impulse too.  Needless to say my blog met its demise and even after switching platforms just to see if one worked for me better than the other, it was over.  Two years later, with a fresh perspective and new plans, arkadian belle woods was born.

The Name Game

Before I dove back into blogging head first, I decided to make plans.  I knew after my first blog that I would eventually start blogging again and how much I did enjoy it too, but before I hopped back into the blogging world I wanted to make sure that this time around I did things differently.  For me, this meant taking my time (something I’m not too familiar with).  I knew that if I really wanted to be dedicated to blogging that I needed to give myself sometime to think, write, and dream up plans before I shot into action.  I wanted to do things ‘right’.  Did I want to keep my old blog and pick up where I left off or start from scratch?  I thought long and hard about this.  While I loved my old blog mainly for name sake, I knew that in two years time so many things had changed in my life and I decided that starting from scratch would be the best thing for me.  Once I made that decision, I moved onto the name.

I spent the next 3 Months solely listing, brainstorming, and researching names/words that ultimately lead to arkadian belle woods.  I came up with hundreds (no exaggeration here) of names that I then carried around during the 3 month quest for ABW’s name.  After 3 long months of research, doodles, and thinking up designs, one day it just clicked.  Since I was approaching blogging differently this time, I also had to step out of my comfort zone.  To be sure that this was THE name, I made sure to get some feedback from outside sources.  Asking for criticism was huge (and scary) and very important when it came to nailing down the name of my new blog.  Sure, your mom will always love whatever you’re doing but I wanted to make sure that my peers could give me critical feedback on the name.  I wanted advice and suggestions and what I found in return was that everyone loved it.  I should probably mention that the people I asked were not my close friends – no I didn’t ask random strangers either.  When I was polling people for the name, I even gave up a few alternate name options and designs I had played with.  Luckily everyone gave me excellent feedback and support and that made the choice to move forward with ABW that much easier.

What’s in a name?

With so many lifestyle, DIY, shelter, and design blogs out there I wanted a name that stood out.  I wanted something original, something unique, and something memorable.  To be honest, it gets pretty boring seeing the same-ish blog names out there.  It seems that so many great blogs lack the creative edge when it comes to the name which ultimately pulls people in.  Even for my first blog, I was going for something unique but I also wanted a name that held meaning.  Most people have no idea that there is further meaning behind arkadian belle woods than just words, one of which is misspelled (on purpose of course).  While ABW is already unique on its own, I decided to take it a step further by tweaking Arcadian replacing the ‘c’ with a ‘k’ and keeping all lower case.  The definition….

Ar·ca·di·an   [ahr-key-dee-uhn]

adjective

1.of Arcadia.
2.rural, rustic, or pastoral, especially suggesting simple,innocent contentment.
Just for reference…..

Ar·ca·di·a   [ahr-key-dee-uh]

noun

1.a mountainous region of ancient Greece, traditionally known for the contented pastoral innocence of its people.
2.any real or imaginary place offering peace and simplicity.

belle

noun

1.a woman or girl admired for her beauty and charm.
2.the most beautiful, charming, or engaging woman or girl among a number: the belle of the ball.
The definition of ‘belle’ is pretty interesting because it does not necessarily fit ‘me’ though I do try to be charming and engaging as much as a girl can.  I really picked it based on southern belle, aka from the south (demographically speaking).  I don’t think I need to define woods (I hope not!).  So put it all together and it goes like this…..arkadian – the definition of Arcadian had me sold but I then chose to tweak it with the letter change from ‘c’ to ‘k’.  Arcadian already reminded me of my first dog but after the letter switch it really reminded me of her.  My dog’s name was Arkady.  She was the most beautiful and sweet yellow lab and lived to 15.  I don’t need to explain the love of a pet be it a dog or a cat.  While I did not intentionally mean to pay tribute to my beloved pet, it gives the name much more meaning than just a definition of a word.  belle – you won’t find much country bumpkin around the blog but believe me there is plenty happening in my life/house making the southern belle thing accurate minus the manners (I sort of lack those when I’m not faced with public appearances).  woods - simple enough, we live in the sticks, woods, semi-wilderness (my own exaggeration), woodland area, forest, or middle of nowhere so it only seemed fitting.

Preparing to Launch

Choosing when to officially ‘launch’ arkadian belle woods was interesting to say the least.  After the name, came the logo.  I’m a huge fan of graphic design and typography (if you’ve read my blog you probably know this).  I have enormous appreciation for graphic designers and the incredible talent out here but since I was just starting out, I chose to go with my attempt at logo design because I felt that until I was comfortable with keeping up with my commitment to the blog, that I should probably hold off on spending money on a custom designed logo in case my blogging slipped through the cracks again.  I spent the next few months working on the logo going through countless fonts, backgrounds, and designs.  Here are a few from the early phases of  the logo design that I’ve kept as a reminder of progression.

Sharing these images with you is a bit embarrassing but I take comfort knowing that I am not the only one out there that has or is trying to learn or create something with little or no experience.   I have a basic knowledge of how to create and utilize software from years of mandatory courses in school and general research/question asking.  I consider myself at best, intermediate and I think that might be a stretch.  I am proud of creating a logo on my own but eventually I’d like to have one custom designed to make it legit.

The pictures I shared above are just a few examples.  I had close to 75 designs I was playing with.  The very first designs were hilarious.  I wish I could tell you how I came up with the logo tree & heart but honestly, it just popped into my brain and I ran with it because I loved the idea. I also did much searching on the web to be sure that I wasn’t unknowingly ripping someone off.  I just sort of wing it when it comes to most things computer based and learn as I go and finally figured out how to get the formatting down (I think).  Practice makes perfect and I certainly didn’t nail my design on the first shot but I’ll leave the best design up to the pros because they are truly the best and have mind-blowing talent.

Name – check.  Logo – check.  It was then time to dive into picking my blog layout and deciding on what I wanted my blog to have before I moved onto my first post.  What I really wanted was a finished and ready-to-go blog before I took off with posting like the house tour, sidebar links, etc.  After a few months, I decided that the longer I waited for that day to come the more time was passing that I could have spent blogging and interacting with others.  I decided that my blog was as good as it could be right at that moment and I finally bit the bullet and launched arkadian belle woods on 8-31-12.  I’ve not regretted the decision at all.  My blog will continue to evolve as I do and will change over time with me.

1 Year Down

I still can’t believe it’s been a year since I started blogging again.  I must admit, I’m really proud of myself for not giving up and actually keeping up with my blog.  While I haven’t posted as much as I could have or even multiple times a week, I’m still proud of myself even if I only did one post on certain weeks.  I can’t say were the next year will take me but I’m really looking forward to the journey.  I want to thank everyone that has supported me, loved, inspired, nurtured, mentored, and helped to motive me over the past year.  Thank you to everyone that has read my blog.  I didn’t come back to blogging with any goals or expectations other than to enjoy blogging and with a hope to ‘meet’ and interact with a few new people.  I still cannot believe how many amazing people I’ve been lucky enough to connect with and the things that I’ve been able to achieve.  I feel so blessed and so thankful for everyone and everything that  has come into my world.  You are all AMAZING! :-)  Lots and lots of love – Lindsey

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9 thoughts on “The Birth of The Blog

  1. congrats on 1 year! I just passed my one-year marker too…crazy, right?! Love how your came about your blog name… and wow – 175,000 blogs a day?! Crazy.

  2. Delighted to hear about the thought you put into choosing a name for your blog; It’s sentimental and meaningful… And, we believe Belle suits you perfectly since you are lovely,charming, and engaging! Following your blog has added great pleasure to our life:) Looking forward to the coming year….

  3. Love your blog story, Lindsey! Happy blog-iversary… and may there be many more posts to come. I have always loved your logo and blog name so it’s fun to know how it all came to be!! Great job, girl.

  4. Hello! I just stumbled across your blog and I just had to say I love the name and your tree logo. You should do custom designs for other people! I sure could do with some help.

    • Hi Nees! Thanks so much for checking out my blog and for your sweet comment. I’m so flattered! I wish that I had half the talent that these amazing designers have! I love knowing that I can create something myself but seeing the works of people like Carly Reed (see my sidebar) totally blows my mind. She created my custom stationery for ABW and her designs were beyond words incredible. I’d love to help you …. or at least try :-) you can always e-mail me with questions etc. arkadianbellewoods@gmail.com. Again thanks so much for stopping by!
      <3 L

      • aw thanks! I am definitely going to have a look at Carly Reed. Ah to be artistic! I see people’s blogs like yourself and think ‘wow that’s amazing’ but then when I try to do anything with mine it just looks rubbish.

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