Today is my 10 Year Blogaversary!

Home Builder with The Flooring Girl

Yes, 10 years ago today, I came to ActiveRain and decided to start a blog.  It was July 4th weekend and my business needed some help. 


It was tacky to call customers over July 4th weekend, so I learned how to blog.  Well sort of. I really had no clue what I was doing. I wrote my 1st blog post on July 3rd. And, it was awful.


Originally, I came to ActiveRain to meet and network w/ real estate agents.  And, that was helpful. I eventually met several in my area and some became very good friends, and we even helped each other out by sharing marketing tips and referring clients/customers.


But later that weekend, I stumbled on a little acronym.  It was SEO.  At the time I didn't even know what it stood for let alone how to do it.


When I realized the potential, I read and learned all that I could about the topic.  I came across tons of articles from Bob Stewart , Brad Andersohn and Katerina Gasset  (and some others that are no longer here.


I read and read, and implemented, and rinse and repeat.  A couple of months later, I met some guy named  J. Philip Faranda in person (because we live in the same county and he was a speaker at a local Rebar camp.  He said I was like a sponge...and that I soaked it all in...but then unlike most, I actually executed against it.


A year later, I started my own wordpress site at  I was still learning SEO and kept learning more and more. And, I experimented and adapted.


Soon enough, and a lot of this started around the 6 month mark, I really started to get a lot of appointments for my flooring business thanks to ActiveRain and my blog. At the time, it was 3 appointments per week.


As I learned more and gained more traffic...and than turned it into better more targeted traffic, that became 5 appointments a week.  And, then soon 5 very good appointments per week as we had to screen people out.  Yes, we got too many leads.  I guess that's a good problem to have.


Because I knew SEO, my website got a lot of traffic - maybe 100,000-150,000 pageviews a month. And, no I did not blog every day.  (Well at the beginning I did...until I really mastered SEO).  Then, it was once a week...and then just once a month.  It's more about quality over quantity.

Years later, I found myself in a huge mess.  Due to a legal agreement, I can't disclose the details.


But, I found myself 238,000 in debt, without a means of income (as I had a 2 year non compete clause that I signed many years ago) and living in a high cost of living area.  I had to pivot big time and restart my career.

All that I had was my blog and my brain.

Thanks to all the skills I learned here on ActiveRain, my SEO knowledge and learning that some people were able to make money from their blog, I decided to try that.


I knew it would take a while, so I took on 2 part-time jobs while learning how to grow and monetize my blog.


Thankfully it worked.

Here I am 3.5 years later.  Thanks to SEO (and Pinterest), my blog now gets over 600,000 pageviews/month. And, for the last 16 months, I've been earning over $20,000 net profit per month on my blog.

I'm almost out of debt....that $238,000 of debt is now down to a bit under $7,800.  And, later this month when all the payments and transfer come through, that will all be gone, too!

It all started here.  Yes, I've had to pivot during this Pandemic March, then again in April, some more in May and even last month.  But, it looks like I've done it!!

Thanks to ActiveRain, I've learned how to blog, how to do SEO, how to improve my marketing and how to pivot, even when it seems like all is lost.

Thank you Bob Stewart for always being there. And, thank you to my whole ActiveRain family. There are too many of you to name, and I can't tag you all. I think you know who you are.   And, I am so thankful for the phone calls, messages and emails  I never could have done it without your love and support!


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


A big congratulations to you.  We started early in 2009, but posted and did not comment all that often.  A

Jul 03, 2020 03:45 PM #1
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Thanks so much, Alexandra. Yes you've been here a bit longer than I have. 

Jul 03, 2020 03:51 PM #2
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Debbie - 2020 is also my ten-year blogaversary and you have definitely made a positive mark in ActiveRain and I am glad that I "met" you for adding to my knowledge of many things as well as insight into topics which were not previously on my "radar".  Congratulations on the anniversary and here's to continued success.  

Jul 03, 2020 04:06 PM #3
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Thanks Michael Jacobs Yes, I remember we started around the same time.  So glad I met you, too.

Jul 03, 2020 04:45 PM #4
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Debbie Gartner much has happen since 2010.  It was 2011 in August that you got me in.  I followed your lead.  Have not deviated much since then.What a difference 10 years makea

Jul 03, 2020 04:55 PM #5
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

And I've watched you through a lot of that ride, if not most.  We found each other a long time ago through posts and conversations.  It's been very nice to know you and follow you.

Jul 04, 2020 02:41 AM #6
Linda Piper
Planatek Financial, Inc. - Ventura, CA

Congratulations Debbie!  You've hit an incredibly challenging milestone!  

Jul 04, 2020 07:45 AM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Debbie- congratulations on your Anniversary. You have been a wonderful contributor to this community, and not just with your information on flooring but with your very helpful posts on SEO.  

Jul 04, 2020 12:09 PM #8
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Grant - Yes, I'm so glad, and you've done so well.

Jay - Yes, you have been one of my first buddies. I'm so glad as I've learned so much from you

Jul 04, 2020 01:56 PM #9
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I've been impressed with you for years - we talked about two years ago when you helped me with some SEO. I also get your mailings and can see why you've been so successful. 

I've thought about monetizing my blog but can't figure out a why to make that happen with real estate. I guess I should be a "sponge" too!

Jul 09, 2020 07:57 AM #10
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Debbie Gartner

The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers
Are you ready for new flooring?
Spam prevention

Additional Information