Happy One Year Blogaversary To Me

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It’s been exactly one year and one day since I first registered this domain name—learntocodewith.me.

And one year since I published my first post. Yup, April 27th, 2014.

Feel free to read it. Or skim it.

It may not look like it from the outside…but inside, I was hurting. I was frustrated. I was mad at myself for not learning fast enough.

Ultimately, I was so unsure of myself. I thought no one would ever read that post, in fact.

Fast forward one year later, and I’ve had over 76,000 unique visitors come to my site.

over 76,000 users in one year

(Okay, the screenshot above only shows till April 25th, 2015…but you get the point. Maybe by now it’s more like, 77,000 unique users or something.)

What has happened in this last year?

Here’s what happened this last year, in quasi-chronological order. (And not all of it relates to learntocodewith.me.)

  • Learned a lot: about myself, about coding
  • Failed a lot: I don’t feel like listing it all here…but I started many things I never finished, didn’t get every opportunity I aimed to, etc.
  • Helped launch a Girl Develop It chapter in my local area
  • Volunteered at a few awesome events promoting women in tech
  • Worked as a copywriter (…for not enough money)
  • Did freelance work (web based and content creation related)
  • Met so many awesome people through this very site—thanks guys for being so awesome! :D
  • Wrote for some awesome sites like SkillcrushCourse ReportLevo League, and others
  • Got my questions featured on Ask Pat AND 1 Day BB (if you’re a Pat Flynn fan, too, please contact me right away and let’s talk all things Pat Flynn) 
  • Gained over 1,000 email subscribers
1,000 subscribers strong
  • Acquired 660+  Facebook page likes, 1,200+ Twitter followers and 2,600+ Tumblr followers
  • Got job offers
  • Turned down job offers
  • Didn’t get jobs I wanted </3
  • Got screwed out of money
  • Traveled: to Canada, across the US, and to Mexico (three separate trips)

#chichenitza #Mexico #Mayans #vacation #worldwonder

A photo posted by Laurence Bradford (@laurencebradford) on

  • Went through two site versions
  • Landed a sort of “real job”: at about.com, as their Tech Careers Expert
  • Signed up for Fancy Hands (my first time getting outside help, ever)
  • Began outsourcing work via sites like Elance… and had a few “challenges” that I got to learn from :-0
  • Hired a very part-time editor
  • Began working with designer(s)
  • Got a logo made for Learn to Code With Me…FINALLY. (If you’re reading this before May 5, 2015: you will not see the new logo on the site yet.)
  • Hired my first part time assistant
  • Got featured in a USA Today article

I failed a lot. I succeeded a lot, too.

And guess what?

I did most of this right from home or at a coffeeshop or at my coworking space.

All online.

Listen: If I can do this, You can, too

I honestly began this site with little in mind, except wanting to document my progress and help others who were struggling with teaching themselves how to code, too.

A year later, I’ve come to realize that sometimes the best things happen when you don’t think about the “risks” involved. (Which was this site when it first started: little thinking involved.)

Literally. I look back at old blog posts and scream inside.

Nevertheless, I can’t believe where I am today, and how much everything has evolved.

But you know what?

I worked really hard. I loved every second of it, sure. But I busted my butt.

  • I stayed in weekends and wrote blog posts and researched
  • I watched coding tutorials at the gym on my iPad while on the treadmill or elliptical
  • …I get back to emails on my iPad at the gym, too
  • I would wake up at 6:00AM (or earlier) just to get in some writing (I write best in the AM)
  • I oftentimes work 12+ hour days (maybe I have a problem…)

But despite what you see online, it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies.

When I first started out, I reached out to so many people:

  • Trying to interview them on my site
  • Trying to guest post on their site
  • Just to say “hi”

And you know how many said “no”? Or simply ignored me? 


(For the record: this still happens all the time. I am constantly hearing “no” or being ignored.)

Either way…the point is:  

I am not special. I am from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (Not exactly a hotbed of innovation.)

But hard work and passion pays off.

And if I can do all of this (teach myself to code, build a website that makes money, freelance, etc.)—you can, too.


Ugh, but quickly: 2 of my biggest regrets

1: I wish I took more risks

I still don’t take enough risks. I am going to change that in year two.

You may not be sure what I mean. Let me ask myself some questions…

  • Why don’t you have your own product yet?
  • Laurence: you can travel to 6+ East Asian countries alone but you can’t write a freaking ebook? You’re kidding, right?
  • Why don’t you at least have some kind of formal consulting business, with a website selling your services??? Are you mad, woman?

Why not?

Because, in one way or another, I am scared. 

I think about ____ too much. I don’t take action.

Blah, blah, blah.

I need to channel that girl a year ago who didn’t think so much and just took action…

2: I wish I hired outside help sooner

Sometimes you need to spend money to make money.

I was too frugal at first. 

Since I decided to hire some outside assistance, instead of solely rely on myself, my site has started to grow. Especially as far as my affiliate marketing sales go. 


I am so happy I got the picture and hired some extra hands.

Enough Regrets: What’s coming up for this next year?

  • I’m going to launch my newly redesigned site (very soon!)
  • Create my own product (ebook, course…TBD)
  • Continue to learn more and make AWESOME content (for LTCWM and other sites)
  • Get even more email subscribers and monthly visitors
  • Land some new consulting clients
  • …and much more!

Let’s Do This

I feel it: year two is going to be a game changer.


In the end, I have so much passion for this website. Nothing has brought so much value and meaning for me.

Of course, knowing people read the site and “listen” helps. (And gives me motivation and fuel to keep going.)

But…even if that all were to disappear…I don’t think I’d stop writing here. Because this is my home.

So, it’s time to make moves and take more risks.

I love you all so much. Thanks for being so supportive!