April marks my 6 month anniversary of blogging – 6 months since I first started typing out my thoughts and putting them out there for people to see. What started as a pretty private diary of things I was up to, and my musings on life, has become my own space where I’m proud to put myself out there and where I’ve managed to connect with so many other like minded people. I love blogging!
I feel I’ve learned a lot over the past 6 months and it’s been amazing to see how my blog has developed over the months – hopefully the next 6 months will bring me more things to learn!
01. If you don’t promote yourself, no-one else is going to do it for you
When I first started my blog, I thought I didn’t particularly care if no-one read it. It was quite freeing to be able to write without worrying about anyone reading it. And that continued for a while. But once you start to get a few comments coming in, a few interactions on twitter, your feelings start to change and it starts to feel great that other people are reading your stuff, and that it’s resonating with them too!
For a long time I was embarrassed to tweet my blog posts, let alone join a Linky, but here I am 6 months in, tweeting all the time, and linking up my posts with various different Linkys. It’s given me a confidence in myself that I don’t think I’ve had before – I’ve had jobs where I’ve had to push myself forward for things, but my blog is so personal to me, that it really feels like I’m putting ‘me’ out there, and that’s been really good for me at a time when I felt like I’d lost of a bit of my identity in the midst of motherhood.
02. Blogging is cathartic
I’m one of those people who tend to overthink everything, and getting my thoughts out on paper and in order is a really effective way of helping me to make sense of my thoughts (not always the easiest thing!). I can often find that something is bothering me, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, and often when I sit down to write I find that I’m able to identify the issue and work through it by writing down my thoughts. I’m quite a self-reflective and introverted person in general, so this was something of a revelation to me as I hadn’t appreciated the beneficial effects that writing can have.
03. Blogging is a creative outlet
Although I’ve always considered myself to be a creative person, my career has taken me down a less creative route. I trained as an opera singer but found myself working in the world of admin and finance as a Personal Assistant, and blogging allows me some of the creativity that I feel is often missing in a job where you work to very defined tasks that are not particularly creative. On my blog I can write about whatever I want to – I decide the content, I edit, and I decide how it looks. I’m slowly getting more into photography too, which I’ve always loved, but found very technical and difficult to understand – I’m really enjoying seeing my photos improve!
04. The parenting blogging community is fab
At first I was quite intimidated by how seriously the parenting blogging community seems to take things – rankings, scoring, running your blog as a business – but I’ve also been so surprised by how supportive most people are of other bloggers.
I’ve also been surprised at the support that has come from very different bloggers to myself – I guess I consider myself to be a fairly serious blog writer and I’m definitely not funny! But I’ve been really chuffed to find that bloggers who I find really funny have also enjoyed my posts – perhaps it’s not that surprising as I enjoy theirs! There’s room for everyone in the blogging world.
05. You don’t have to have a niche
For a long time I read that it was so important to have a niche, and without one your blog won’t be successful. I don’t really subscribe to the notion of ‘finding your niche’ – it’s the ability to write about life in general that appeals to me, to be able to encompass all of your passions and interests. I enjoy the total freedom that a personal blog gives you and although perhaps my blog is slower to develop a following than others which are more focussed, I know that this is the right thing for me.
06. Blogging has motivated me to enjoy life
I’m quite a motivated person, but I do find that I can get a bit ground down by things and find myself in a bit of a life rut. Reflecting through my writing has made me more grateful for all the wonderful things I have in life and it’s motivated me to get out there and do things – to explore my local area more, to make more trips further afield, and to enjoy my family.
07. People will unfollow you all the time – it’s not personal!
I’ve always struggled with people liking me, but writing my blog has made me realise that not everyone will like you. That people will unfollow your social media accounts all the time – mostly it’s nothing to do with anything you’ve written and more to do with the fact you’ve not followed them back, but sometimes it might be, and that’s ok! The world (and the internet) is big enough for us all!
I’ve loved all the things that blogging has brought me over the last 6 months – it’s given me a voice and a confidence that I’ve never had before. Here’s to the next 6 months and all it holds in store!
Do you blog? I’d love to know your favourite things about blogging are!