I can’t quite believe that it’s been a year since I started this blogging journey.
The 1st of January 2019 saw us ‘press the button’ and make the blog live, not knowing if it was going to go anywhere or even if anybody was going to read it. Blogging was something that I’d never delved into before, and actually, it was something that I didn’t even know anything about!
As a little throwback, you can have a look at the first post I ever published here. I’m in the process of going back and updating my old posts, and it’s really interesting to see how things have improved throughout the year.
So why did I start a blog anyway?
Let’s start with a little back story.
2018 was the year that my little boy was born, and I spent much of that year as a new Mum in a haze of not really knowing what I was doing but hoping that what I was doing was right.
During nap times and 3 am night feeds, I quickly found solace in online communities. As well as the online forums I visited, I also discovered blogs for the first time, and took great comfort in knowing that I wasn’t alone. I soaked up every bit of information I could. I laughed along with the happy stories and shed tears with the sad ones.
I loved reading the normal Mum stories and seeing that, actually, I wasn’t weird and I didn’t have a weird baby. Everyone experiences sleepless nights, teething, colic and the fear of going back to work. It wasn’t just me.
Around the end of 2018, I was starting to feel more myself, and still reading blogs, I was inspired to give it a go myself. I’d learnt a LOT in my first year as a Mum, and I wanted to share my stories and advice with other people who were just beginning their journey into motherhood.
After a lot of going backwards and forwards, and lots of pushing from Aeron to actually set up the blog, we finally went live.
I didn’t really have a plan or a direction, I just knew that I wanted to write!
I honestly had no idea about blogging when I first started. I’d write a post, put it on the blog and then get to work on the next one. My Mum and Dad were really the only people reading it, but because I was so excited to be writing, I didn’t care.
What have I learnt?
It feels like I’ve learnt more in the past year than I ever have before! There is definitely a lot of work involved in blogging, and the more you do it, the more you learn. Some days I feel like I’m at school again, but to me, it’s all worth it and I’ve really enjoyed the journey so far.
The main thing I’ve learnt is how to build a website! When I first got into web design in college it was all HTML based, so using WordPress is a bit of a change to that. It’s been a huge learning curve, and sometimes I wish I had an IT department I could ring up to help me out! But it’s fun to learn a new skill and be able to put my mind to something new.
I never really used social media before I started blogging, but now I’m starting to love it. I use Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook mostly, and while it does take some getting used to, I’m having fun with it. I’ve met some great people and I’ve found the blogging community to be so supportive.
A big thing I’ve learnt is that website visitors don’t just turn up (unless you’re REALLY good at SEO)
Before I started blogging, I never realised the amount of work that went into a website before. Even if you are amazing at SEO and get lots of organic visitors a month, it still helps to do some promotion and get yourself out there.
It also helps to talk to people. One thing I’ve noticed from the blogs that I read myself is that engaging with people makes a difference. If a blogger responds to comments and talks to their followers on social media, it makes you feel connected to them as a reader.
There are a couple of blogs that I’ve just stopped reading because they don’t engage – which is why I try my best to respond to everything myself.
I’ve always loved writing, and it’s always been my passion, but I feel like it’s only since I’ve started writing for the blog that I’ve really learned how to write.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been going back through my old posts, updating them and making them more SEO friendly, and it’s given me an insight into how much my writing has improved.
You need a LOT of self motivation and discipline when you’re a blogger.
When you own a blog, you don’t have somebody standing over you telling you what to do and when to do it. You don’t have somebody giving you deadlines and chasing you when the work needs to be done.
It’s all up to you.
I think every blogger has days where they just don’t feel like writing, can’t face going on Twitter or get so frustrated with the technical bits that they want to give up. It’s hard to do everything yourself, especially when you’re tired, or having a down day, but that’s what makes blogging so fun.
It’s your platform and your space, and you have the creative freedom to do whatever you want with it.
I’ve honestly had so much fun this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the second year of blogging takes me. The blog is my main focus, but there are a few other areas that I want to branch into as well.
I’ve always wanted to write a book, ever since I was little, and it’s something that I’m working on at the moment. I have so many ideas and I’m hoping to get one finished this year. If you want to sign up for my newsletter, I’ll be sending out updates on the book, and giving away free copies to subscribers when it’s finished.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve opened up an Etsy shop, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve only got 2 things in there at the moment, but soon it’s going to be full of pretty printables, wall art, and a few other little goodies. Check it out ♥
I’ve been thinking about setting up a Patreon for a while, and I’ve decided to go for it this year. I’ve set up a profile and I’m working on the finishing touches at the moment. My aim is to create a community of like-minded people and help people out with their life worries.
I posted a short story I’d written for Christmas last year, and it inspired me to write more. It was the first one I’d ever written, and I really enjoyed writing it.
Let me know what you think and if short stories are something you’d read. I’d love to set up a section specifically for fiction somewhere on the blog.
♥ ♥ ♥
So that was my first year of blogging, and what a journey it’s been! I feel very motivated and ready to get stuck in this year. I’m excited about the above projects and future plans, and I can’t wait to share them all with you.
Thank you to everybody that reads my blog xx
♥ If you liked this post, why not give it a share below ♥