Today marks one whole year of blogging for me. One year since I wrote my first post about deciding to be a Stay At Home Mum. Wow that’s gone fast. As I’m not actually here to run a proper giveaway or anything to celebrate my one year blogiversary, (to be fair I only thought of it a few days before I went away), I thought I’d just rattle down a load of things that have happened over the past year. The highs and lows of one year of blogging, so to speak.
It sounds lame, but I’ve learnt a heck of a lot in terms of technology, social media, computer skills, SEO, editing skills, photography and writing. And I’m still learning. I’m still trying to figure out the best time of day to post, I’m still trying to take better photos. I’m still trying to understand why sometimes when I upload a photo to wordpress I get a funny error message that makes me want to throw my computer out of the window! And I’m still learning what all the uber successful bloggers are doing to drive thousands of readers to their blogs, earn money, and go on nice jollies. Oh and get a book deal.
This also sounds a bit lame. How can you be friends with someone you’ve never met? Well, actually, you can, if you blog. The blogging “community” (read: people who blog about a similar sort of thing to you) are fab. They are supportive, creative, generous people. If you have a question, you just ask. And someone helpful nearly always responds. And people share your stuff online, just because they too are bloggers and are fed up with Mark Zuckerburg trying to force everyone with a Facebook page to pay money to reach more than 12 people. They help each other out. It’s quite nice.
Free stuff!!! (JOKES)
Yes, the longer you go on as a blogger, you get approached by brands offering to send you stuff to review. I’m now turning down several a week, because often they are totally irrelevant to my blog. And quite frankly it takes a lot of time to review a product, take photos, edit them, write a post and promote it all over social media. If I want a box of porridge or a pack of five cards, I’ll just buy them myself. Yes, some reviews have been for brands I love and have been lovely perks and treats for my family, but people don’t realise the work that goes on behind them. If I do a review I want it to actually be 1) good, 2) useful and 3) of interest to my readers. If it’s not, then it’s not happening.
Pats on the back
I’m only human and I’m a Stay At Home Mum where the rewards for hard work often go unnoticed. So when a blog post of mine is featured by another blogger, or chosen as a Mumsnet blog of the day, it’s a good feeling. A virtual pat on the back that something you wrote wasn’t complete crap. That’s always nice.
Oh this is the worst. As most of my friends or people who have worked with me in the past will know, I actually like to do a good job in most areas of my life. I am and always have been, ambitious. So when after a few months of blogging I was overwhelmed with comparison syndrome, I very nearly gave up. What’s the point blogging, I’ll never have as many readers as x? Y clearly has more time on her hands and can write five posts a week. Z stays up till midnight every night to blog. I want to watch Eastenders instead…. I can’t cut it. I’m a failure… It took a serious talking to myself (several times) to stop beating myself up about this. Over the past few months I’ve definitely cut down on how much time I’m spending blogging. It’s just not worth the stress, or the arguments that “you’re basically working for free when you chose not to work” as my husband put it. I would love to turn my blog into a business in a few years time, but right now I have to remember that really I wanted to blog to use my brain and learn some new skills. And my priorities will always be looking after Miss Belle. (And meeting my bestie for tea and cake, obvs.)
I’ve alluded to this above, but yep, if you don’t blog you will be oblivious to how bloody time consuming it is.
The pressure to be on every platform with a billion followers. Oh please, there just isn’t enough time in the day. See above. And photos. Sodding photos. Whatever I’m doing, is it Insta worthy? I need a side on/back of head shot for the blog…. These thoughts creep in several times a day and it’s exhausting. Sometimes I just have to put my phone down and stay in the moment.
Real life worries
This is a weird one. I have real life friends and acquaintances who read my blog (or have done in the past) and there’s always that seed of doubt as I’m about to hit publish, that someone in real life will think that I’m a) a loser b) a freak or c) a bit shit. Putting your thoughts out there online invites everyone to have an opinion on you. It’s the one thing I didn’t really think about before blogging and I wish I had. I wonder if I was to start again, would I be anonymous, so I could write what I “really” feel? The truth is, I write what I’d be comfortable saying to someones face. And for me that’s honest enough. There will always be a line somewhere that I won’t cross. And I’m still trying to figure that out. See, learning!
Blogging, one year on
So, there you have my highs and lows of one year of blogging. I’m pleased I started my blog and I can’t really imagine not blogging anymore. There are, as you can tell, a fair few things about blogging that do my head in. But for some weird reason, once you blog, you’re sucked in. It’s sort of addictive.
To all those readers and friends who’ve been with me and supported me from the start (thanks Mum, thanks India), thank you for reading! And for those of you who’ve only recently found my blog, I hope you’ll stick around and see what the next year holds for us…
PS to my fellow blogger friends – this didn’t even yet the double green thumbs up in Yoast… and do you know what? I don’t even care!
I’m linking up with some of my favourite bloggers: