I actually made it and it’s something I very rarely do but on this occasion I am patting myself on the back as I have achieved something that I have wanted to do for the longest time, as I entered the world of blogging. Big deal some people may say as the online market is already saturated with so many other bloggers out there however, I am super proud of the fact that despite all trappings of my mummy juggle and other challenges going on in my personal life, I got off my butt and actually took a leap of faith in myself and dived in head first. For me, my twelve month bloggingverasry is a pretty big deal as, people who know me best know I usually start investing my time into something new and not always finishing it. I usually get consumed with a constant flurry of new ideas distracting me in other directions. Also, considering what little IT skills I had and how social media shy I was 12 months ago, it has meant I have had to familiarise myself with WordPress, hosted and self hosted websites, SEO, algorithms, widgets and plugins and so much more, which are all things I hadn’t remotely heard of before. The time has gone by so fast I can’t believe it’s been a year already.
A Few Quick Facts about Blogging
- There are 500 million million blogs out of 1.7 billion websites on the world to date in 2019
- 80% of bloggers still do all their own work without outsourcing any tasks
- Every month, WordPress users publish about 91.8 million new posts
- Blogs increase website traffic by up to 6 times
- 77 per cent of people online read blogs
So, as a little celebration for my 12 month bloggingversary I decided to write an honest post on the main five things that I have personally learnt so far throughout my experience as a newbie blogger.
Other bloggers make blogging look easy I don’t mean this in a negative way but blogging is tough going. I have got back in tune with my creativity which is a beautiful thing however, for me the writing is the easy bit. I have so many ideas with so much to learn and vey little opportunity to implement them it can be super frustrating, along with all the technical stuff to learn and finding the time to do it all. I’ve tried setting the alarm an hour or two early to sneak downstairs in an attempt to crack on with my relentless and super fast growing to do list. But after a bad nights sleep co-sleeping with a toddler, breastfeeding, fitting in the cooking, washing, and all those other thankless domestic duties, I just can’t plan when my brain will cop-orate in learning and producing any quality work. My strategy so far has been to not expect too and remind myself that I have started this journey for the kids, Sean and I to have something beautiful to share and enjoy, and if anyone else does happen to enjoy the blog too then that’s a bonus.
There is never a perfect time to start a blog I took way too long researching how to start a blog instead of just getting on with it. As I clicked through some amazingly glossy, well written parenting blogs with loads of sponsored posts and awards for the best this and that, I was feeling less entitled to contribute to the blogging community as the fear of feeling not good enough and a growing imposter syndrome began to knock my self confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely admire and enjoy reading the work of all those bloggers with a plan and strategy but for me, I am still finding my way to my niche, I don’t want my niche to be too polished and contrived just yet. I’m sure it will happen organically as I learn from my mistakes and my achievements. It takes time to find your strengths and I did originally begin my blog as a colourful visual diary of my family life and an outlet for my sometimes, suppressed creativity. And for me thats ok, why rush this blogging thing. I try not to compare myself to others, I would rather be authentic and genuine to myself and the kids.
I am social media savvy So i’m not getting too carried away when I say this as I’ve got sooooo far to go with soooo much to learn and implement however, I don’t know why I waited so long to get on board in the world of social media. I have learnt that different platforms suit different individuals, for me its Instagram, those little squares have given me the opportunity to engage, inspire and be inspired and the positivity I have experienced has been a genuine surprise. I have had some amazing engagement and met some truly inspiring bloggers and insta friends, the community out their is real and super a supportive one. And it has been a fabulous boost to my confidence. The first time I had genuine engagement and encouraging comments from other mums and dads out there was a truly positive experience. One of the most flattering engagements I have experienced was when H&M reached out to me actually wanting to use one of MY photos on their social media, it not only gave me a real boost of confidence but also gave me the encouragement that I have the potential for success and I can do this. As Aby from You Baby Me Mummy says, ‘Know Your Worth’ Which I am learning to do. Who knows maybe I will run this thing as a business one day. I might actually start reaching out to brands that would usually intimidate me and tell them why they need me. I definitely plan to collaborate with other bloggers and make the time to meet up.
Blogging has made me a better parent I’m no way saying blogging has completely changed my parenting style or the way I raise my children however, it has reignited the fire in my belly and has allowed me to face my ambitions for the first time in a long time. Therefore, It has absolutely contributed to me having a positive influence on my kids, and here are a few reasons why… I have connected and engaged with my kids sharing things we have in common with each other that we didn’t realise we had prior to my blog. For example, Cuba, my 7 year old son is super smart with IT and has helped me on countless occasions with HTML and other techno stuff, he loves helping me out and reminding me how rubbish I am, Ha!! Kia, my 16yr old daughter has actually come to me for support with her media studies project, which definitely would not have happened prior to blogging. We also have a few collaborations planned for the future which is amazing. And Coco-Ivy, my 3yr old daughter is more than happy to strike a pose for that perfect insta post. My blogging agenda has made me more organised than I have been in a long time in order to keep my family and household ticking. Also, my kids are super proud of my lovely little blog, it’s so easy for parents like me to push our aspirations to one side without actually comprehending that those ambitions can benefit the kids too.
Organisation and Planning is everything The buzz of receiving the first lovely comments and gaining new subscribers and followers was a wonderful experience that has also inspired me to keep on blogging. So, if I want to stand out of the massive 500 million blogging community, organisation is crucial. Currently my blogging approach is still a bit random and all over the place and I am lacking in structure and continuity, no matter how many notes and to do lists I scroll in my pretty blogging jotter pads. And if my domain authority is to increase [ heads up for those who are new to blogging ] describes a websites relevance for a specific subject area ranked by search engines, assessed through automated analytical algorithms. [check me out sounding like a tech buff] it is essential to prepare and plan what, when and how often I publish a post on my website or on social media. Its easy for me to sit and write posts and take gorgeous photos of my kids but, I love this thing called blogging so much I want to dedicate more time into organising it to perfection.
So there its is, my top five things I have learnt as a newbie blogger.
I would like to send out a big and warm shout out and thank you to everyone who has taken up their time to scroll and click, send me inspiring thoughts and lovely comments and messages. I look forward to much more sharing and inspiration in the next twelve months with my copy of ‘The Million Dollar Blog’ by Natasha Cortney-Smith at the ready.
I’m not going anywhere, so I do apologise.
Watch this space,
lots of love
Dana x x x