1st Year Blogiversary + 25 Wonderful Things that Happened This Year
‘A year from now, you will wish you had started today.’
There is nothing more true than this quote by Karen Lamb. It’s been fueling my fire for the past year.
I always had the dream of becoming a published author. At this point, my dream is half fulfilled, since I am a published academic author. (I have several scientific papers published in some rather high calibre journals.) But my ultimate dream is to write books on health, wellness, and achieving your highest goals in life. I find it very exciting to help people reclaim their health and manifest a life that they love. There is nothing more empowering than watching someone else succeed — I just love it!
To become a published author now a days is a whole different ball game than it was years ago. Now, aspiring authors need to have a platform first; they need to have an audience already in place before a publisher will consider their work. But how do you create a platform?
Well…a year ago I was listening to a discussion between Danielle Laporte and Linda Sivertsen, the authors of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. I learned that you can build a platform by building an online community through a website. By sharing my story of how I reclaimed my health after an 8-year battle with Lyme Disease, I can gather a tribe of like minded people who are on the same path as me — a community and audience of people that I hope to share my book with in the future.
I heard from Danielle and Linda that my dream was possible, I just needed to take action. And, so, here we are today, celebrating this one year blogiversary. And, I’m so grateful that I started because I got to meet you. The readers that follow this blog are my greatest gift. This year has been so healing, exciting, and surprising; here’s why…
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, than you would know that I’m in the final recovery stage from Lyme Disease. Back in 2006 I was bitten by a very small insect, called a tick, and I contracted a serious, systemic bacterial infection called Lyme Disease. It took over my body and my life. I lost the ability to function on my own. I went from being a fiercely independent girl, who loved to travel the world, to house-bound. It took 5-years to receive a diagnosis — specialist after specialist was just baffled by my illness. Eventually, I lost the ability to work.
I finally received a clear diagnosis through a blood test, in 2011, and at that point, I started to travel to the United States from Canada to see my Lyme specialist (Canadian doctors are not allowed to treat Lyme Disease — that’s a whole different, mind-blowing story).
The 8-year process of recovery has been difficult; but it’s happening. And, over the course of the last 8-years I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned an incredible amount of information that people need to know. I’ve learned that you as an individual can take hold of your health and life, and you can transform it. All you need to do is to take action; be willing to experiment; be willing to fail. But, ultimately, be willing to try something new. You can come back from the darkest of places; you just need to say, “YES, I’m willing to try”.
At one time or another, many of us will be faced with a chronic illness, and all of us deserves to reclaim our health and to live a life that we love.
I don’t want to give-up on any of my dreams. I want to share my story. I want to inspire people to fight for strength and health, and to create a life that they truly love. I want to help people to succeed in transforming their life, on their own terms, and from their own heart.
Too many of us are waiting around for someone else to help us, when, in essence, we can just help yourself! Through diet transformation, you can build a foundation for recovering your energy and vitality. You have the power to change your life. You don’t have to wait for anyone else to do it for you.
And, so, I decided to launch AlisonSmith.com: a website to share my story and to connect with other fabulous people on the same path to reclaiming health, just like me. But before I could do that, a major hurdle was in my way…
I really wanted the domain name AlisonSmith.com; I wanted to use my own name instead of a business name because I had an intuitive sense that the mission of my website would evolve over time, and a website name might become outdated.
I quickly discovered, however, that AlisonSmith.com was owned by a man who lived in Louisianna — in fact, he had owned the domain name for about 15 years. Apparently, there are business people, called domainers, that buy-up as main dot com domain names as possible, in hopes that one day they will be contacted by someone who wants that domain name and is willing to pay thousands of dollars for it.
I didn’t have thousands of dollars to shell out for AlisonSmith.com. In fact, I didn’t have dime in my bank account. At first, I thought I was at a dead end.
A few days passed, and I found myself getting angrier and angrier that I couldn’t simply buy AlisonSmith.com. I felt like my name was being held hostage. I started to patrol the Whois.com information about the domain name — I found out who owned it. I decided to send the owner a friendly email — but he didn’t respond. I tried to call him — but, he wouldn’t answer my messages. I faxed him — but, that did work, either. It seemed that I would never get my domain name. And, that made me crazy!
I decided to put the domain name on my digital vision board (I like to create my vision boards on my computer, that way I can use any picture from anywhere on the internet, instead of flipping through magazine after magazine for the right image).
I stared at the domain name on my vision board, daily. I looked at the Whois.com status of the domain name, daily, as well. I made a decision to manifest the ownership of the name into my life. And, two months later, this is what happened…
After 15 years of ownership, for no apparent reason, the original owner of AlisonSmith.com decided to set the name free. For some unknown reason, he decided not to renew his ownership of the domain name. The domain name was scheduled to go to auction.
I couldn’t believe it! How did that happen?! Right at the point that I needed the name, it was set free. I could barely hold it together. I wanted the domain name so badly!
On the day of the online auction, I was ready. I was up against 5 other ‘domainers’ — none of them were named Alison Smith FYI. I made it my mission to win the name. As the minutes ticked by, the end of the auction approached. No other bids were submitted. Then all of a sudden, one minute before the auction was scheduled to end, bids flew it. The cost of the domain name started to rise and rise…but I was there, out bidding everyone. I wanted that name….that name was mine!
Needless to say, I won that auction. I won my name, and it felt sweet. I still feel the high of triumph.
On June 3rd, 2013 AlisonSmith.com was launched. And, it started such a wonderful year filled with exciting and grateful experiences. Here are my top 25 fabulous things to happen this year. Thank you for being here, and supporting me all the way. Right from the beginning, I have received the most lovely emails from people on the same path to reclaiming health, just like me. I’m grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for helping me to heal and to reach my dream.
Top 25 Best Things to Happen During the First Year of AlisonSmith.com
1. Winning AlisonSmith.com in a domain auction. The name was originally owned by a man in the U.S. for the last 15-years. I still can’t believe that I got it!
2. I won the silver medal for best Health & Wellness Blog in Canada by the Canadian Weblog Awards. Amazing honour after only being online for 6-months.
3. I launched my first coaching program, Sweet Liberation: 30-Days to Kick Sugar to the Curb to teach people how to live a sweet sugar-free life (I’ve been living sugar-free since 2011).
4. I bought a website theme, and created my website myself. I’m so thankful for YouTube tutorial videos.
5. I did a super fun photo shoot with my friend, Silvana Metallo, to create my website header and about page images. And…Silvana filmed all 17 of the Tips & Tricks Videos for my Sweet Liberation coaching program. Gushing with gratitude for Silvana!
7. I hosted the first FREE Get Your Juice On 21-Day Juicing Challenge: an annual event for juicers from all over the world. This year, we had 190 participants from 19 different countries!
8. I created a How to Start Juicing Infographic that has been shared over 8000 times. Mind blowing! Is this what it feels like to go viral? Click the link to download your own high res copy.
9. I joined Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Biz & Life Academy to learn how to create a website, community, and business. I was also featured as a guest blogger on Leonie’s website, which rocked my world!
10. My very first Heart Inspiration quote graphic went out on June 3rd, 2013. I’ve made 52 Heart Inspiration quote graphics since. Click here to see the gallery, download the images, and print them off for FREE.
11. Every Friday, I publish a Food Love recipe that is gluten-free, sugar-free, and corn-free. I love to create recipes that are vegetarian, vegan, or raw. To see all 52 recipes from this year click here.
12. I am incredibly honoured to have thousands of people subscribed to my weekly newsletter. Are you a tribe member, yet? Just click here to join.
13. I was interviewed by Chivon John and Tash Jefferies on their web-show, Hot n’ Holistic.
14. I’ve written over 20 guest blog posts for some really amazing websites.
15. Five of my subscribers joined me for a 10-Day Sugar-Free Cleanse, and they loved it!
16. I’ve met some incredible fellow bloggers like Leanne of Healthful Pursuit, Natalia of Achieve the Impossible, Amanda of The Savoury Soul, Sue of Susan Graham Guddat, The Raw Food Sisters, Dani of Positively Present, Melissa of Soul Wellness Kinesiology, Koko of Koko’s Kitchen and Arianna of Arianna’s Random Thoughts. Meeting fellow blogging women has been really wonderful.
17. Creating the blog has made me feel more connected to my life. It’s been very healing.
18. After 6-months, my website finally appeared on the first page of Google. Not an easy feat for someone with a crazy common name like Alison Smith.
19. I became a life coach client of Natalia at Achieve the Impossible. She helped me to take my website to the next level and maintain sanity.
21. I’ve received so many beautiful emails from readers — I truly appreciate all of them.
22. In October, I made my first YouTube video to welcome all of the 21-Day Juice Challengers. I also made my first Blooper Reel from my Sweet Liberation program Tips & Tricks Video series. So fun.
24. A fabulous web-designer created my e-shop, which is filled with my favorite products. Check it out.
Bonus: One of the most wonderful things that I’ve experienced this year is the incredible support from my bestfriend and blogger in crime, Susan Graham Guddat. Sue…thank you for encouraging me to create this website and for being so flippin generous. Love you, lady!
Keep on dreaming. And, keep on taking action. You won’t get to where you want to be without taking action.