I don’t know how it’s possible, but I think this is going to be the hardest yet easiest post I have ever written.
When I started blogging in 2004, I could have never predicted how it would change the course of my life forever.
And yes it literally did change my life. I’m not exaggerating.
Back then I was a 28-year-old Assistant Professor at a community college teaching web development and multimedia. Pregnant with my first child and living a few hours from all my family, I started blogging to share stories of the baby. I used my site as an example in classes. I built my own blogging platform. I took photos and experimented with different technologies.
It was just a fun little project to keep my web development skills sharp. That’s all.
After the baby came I started sharing my Weigh Watchers progress and after a month or so I decided to make a separate page for my weigh-ins.
Roni’s Weight Watchen (aka Roni’s Weigh) page was born.
That page grew into its very own blog where I shared my thoughts on weight loss. I wrote about things that inspired me, shared my progress and started posting recipes.
Recipe sharing and cooking, in general, became a passion, and I decided to start a spin-off blog just for my food adventures.
GreenLiteBites was born.
I was having so much fun and spending so much time on GreenLiteBites I used to joke it was my “second child.”
Blogging became a complete creative outlet for me, and it was helping me achieve weight loss and life goals I never thought possible. It worked so well I decided to host a community so others could use the medium to reach their own goals.
BlogToLose was born.
Traffic to my sites grew and grew over the years, and I realized I had a budding business on my hands. Blogging was really booming, so I decided to get a bunch of us “healthy living bloggers” together in a conference of sorts.
FitBloggin’ was born.
Around this time I left my faculty position. Having a full-time job, a toddler and my own business, I was drowning. It was a hard decision to make for sure, but it also felt right.
All I could do was trust my gut.
The next few years were an adventure, to say the least. Hosting FitBloggin’ became a full-time job. I was traveling more. Having fun with recipe development, posting about my running adventures and working with amazing companies like The Laughing Cow, POM Wonderful, and Quaker. One of my recipes landed me on a Good Morning America segment, and my story was covered on Inside Edition when some weight loss company stole my before and after photos. I was even featured in a Wired article about blogging and running apps!
Then it happened, a fellow blogger and I landed a book deal. We wrote What You Can When You Can and had a blast recording a weekly podcast.
Looking back, it all feels like a dream. A dream that happened a long time ago, a very, very long time ago.
In 2015, I was burning out from the stress of hosting the conference, finding sponsors, writing a book, and wearing every hat entrepreneurs need to wear to make a living — accountant, network administrator, designer, developer, moderator, account manager, writer, photographer, etc., etc., etc.
I sold the conference to a third party, decided to consolidate my sites down to just RoniNoone.com, and started to look for a traditional full-time position.
I felt blessed to be able to work for myself, but I was craving the stability of a job and missing the camaraderie of co-workers.
Going back to work was an adjustment! Actually, just figuring out how to build my resume and explain seven years of blogging as a business was hard enough. It took me over a year and about 50 applications to find a job, and I started it February of this year.
That particular job ended up not being a good match. I was miserable. Staying stagnant when unhappy is not my strong suit, so I started job hunting again.
Within a month I ended up with two interviews and two job offers to choose from — funny how having a job seemed to help find a job.
Anyway, my gut told me which one to take, and I listened to it again. I’ve been working at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University as an Instructional Technologist for about two months now.
Returning to Academia felt like coming home. The atmosphere of a college campus, the faculty, the students, it’s all so refreshing. I look forward to coming to work every day. It’s a great match for my skill-set and personality.
Also, I’m working with a few clients on the weekends, maintaining their website and helping with social media. These are projects I started while looking for full-time work and I like that I still have a part-time business to call my own. It satisfies my independent inner entrepreneur.
So now I find myself with a full-time job, side work and, of course, as Mom to two growing boys, and wife to The Husband with whom I love spending time.
Life is awesomely busy. Just the way I like it.
And blogging has come full circle for me. I again look to blogging as a way to update people I care about, share things I love and explore new technologies.
There’s only one problem. I have 12 years of blogging content to maintain, social channels for all my sites that need managing, hosting fees that need paying and an email subscription list that is draining my business’s bank account.
See, when you once blogged to make a living but aren’t any longer, the online properties you supported with your work become a burden, not only a time burden but a financial one.
This past week I decided to unpublish the Facebook accounts I once used to promote the blogs. I posted one last goodbye message and then shut them down. I’m not going to lie; I felt a sense of relief, not sadness. Those who commented expressed their disappointment but understood my decision.
The next step in relieving myself of my blog burden is to shut down my archived sites. I can no longer justify the yearly hosting costs to maintain 12 years content. As much as I love visiting my old sites and linking to recipes and old posts, it’s just no longer financially feasible to keep them active.
Today I exported all the content I could to archive it. I signed up for affordable shared hosting, and I will be maintaining a new, simple blog there under the domain RoniNoone.com.
I’m giving myself a clean slate.
What will I blog about? Anything I want.
When will I blog? Whenever I’m inspired.
Blogging is in my blood for sure, but in this day of social media, I find blogging happens in other forms all the time. I will continue to share photos and stories on Instagram (@RoniNoone) and update my personal FaceBook account (RoniNoone). I’m having fun with @PunnyOfficeBored, and I want to blog creatively again, not feel like it’s something I need to manage or make money doing.
If you get my posts delivered to your inbox, this will be the last one you receive. I will be closing my MailChimp account after it gets delivered. I will leave the blogs up until my new space is live and this will be the first thing I post there as a sort of about/history page.
It’s a little sad that I’m moving on but at the same time I’m excited to start yet another chapter in my life.
Thank you for all the memories and helping me do things I never thought possible. With your help, I lost 70lbs, learned how to cook healthy food, started running, completed two marathons, eight half marathons, seven Tough Mudders, countless 5ks, tried and fell in love with CrossFit, blogged my way to a better body image, traveled more, and made amazing friends.
I’m not crying.
(You guys know me too well.)
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.