My First Year In The Blogging World

Wow, what a year!

September marks one whole year since I hit publish on my first ever blog post, how crazy is that. In a way it feels like I’ve been doing ‘this’ forever but then again where has the time gone, I’m doing what I love and I love every minute of what I’m doing. It’s been a journey of incredible highs and terrible lows, hard work, long days and even longer nights. It’s been a journey of persistence, overcoming barrier after barrier, most of which have been my own personal challenges. At a time where finding my feet as a mother, a working mother and a writer, I’ve also had to find where I belong, where’s my space in the blogosphere. It’s been hard, so very hard but so very worth it.

So what exactly do I do? In a nutshell I write and I post about products and experiences that I love, buy into or support. I share with my little community (I say little when actually its pretty huge and very overwhelming when I think how much support you guys give, it’s incredible)!  I work with brands and businesses that I love.

IMG_9703Now I’m no pro, I actually find it pretty bizarre that people come to me for advice on blogging however I do get asked a lot so I thought it’s only right that I share my thoughts on how my first year has been, a real account of my first year in the blogging world.

So lets start with the best bits.

img_7302.jpgWhy Blog?

Simply, I blog to inspire. My audience more often than not are parents or parents be or people who generally love family life. I share my life, which regardless of the pretty edits is no where near perfect but I share to inspire others. I blog because I care about others and because its important to share. From high street bargains to anxiety disorders, if I’m feeling it, thinking it, questioning it then someone out there is doing exactly that. I blog to connect, learn, grow, encourage and help. I loved the idea of blogging in the past. Fashion, travel, home interiors, before motherhood I didn’t have the confidence, I mean who on earth would read what I have to say. Then I became a Mother and something changed, perhaps it was a desire to spend more time as a family, personally I feel I was gifted with an inner confidence, that motherly instinct when something just feels right. Perhaps no one will read, or care but I’ve shared so in a way I’ve done my bit, I feel like in a way I’ve helped and throughout that first year of motherhood we need all the help we can get!

So what do I love most about it?

Spending time with my baby wins it for me. For those familiar with the blog, you’ll know most of what I do involves my little one. I’ve said it a million times over, this time is precious, its time that I feel thankful for everyday. ‘Working’ with my little one, from travelling to snuggle days at home, it’s a dream come true.

And the Perks

I’ll not name drop but it’s pretty exciting opening your inbox to a brand or business proposal especially when you’re a huge fan of the brand itself. Working with much loved brands, having those eeeek moments and creating dream partnerships is definitely a top perk. I’m very selective in who I work with which in the first year has been difficult to balance. If I believe in a brand then that will shine through in the work I put in, I stick by that. It’s undoubtably flattering  when a brand approach with a proposal, but if it’s not right for me or my audience then absolutely no, whats the point! It’s also not all about ticking off a brand name, of course its nice to add to the media pack but more importantly it’s the relationship building that becomes the rewarding part. The people, the connections, the relationships, I’ve made some amazing friendships throughout the hard work, that’s the real perk.

Sounds dreamy, right? The thing is, it most definitely is when it’s going well but I’ve also spent days, weeks, a hell of a long time battling my way through the past year. For someone who isn’t very confident at putting myself out there, jeez that’s been tough. The online world is demanding. People want more of this and less of that, keeping up is challenging, staying ahead of the game is real hard going. I remember wishing for an online mentor, like when you’re offered that dream job but then the first day rolls round and you have no idea what you’re doing. No training course, no online tutorial, (well there is but who has time for that)! For me it’s been learn as I go, trial and error (although you absolute will be penalised for those errors).

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My Tips

You gotta be in it for the right reasons. The truth is I live and breathe blogging. I think about it all day and pretty much all night! It’s my passion. I read a message before heading to bed last night, something along the lines of, “Hi Emma, how do I start blogging? I want to grow my account but don’t like writing and don’t have time for photography, how do I do it?” The question here is how do I become relevant, how do I get more followers on instagram, thats what I’m really being asked. If racking up likes on instagram is your jam, you are barking up the wrong tree. Channel your energy into more creative content, more posts, more hashtags and that may grow your IG account! If your serious about blogging you’ve got to love it and believe in everything that you review, read, write about. If you don’t love what you’re blogging about, no one else will.

Your vibe attracts you tribe

Surround yourself with the best type of people. I say the best because they really are. Those that encourage and support you, those that sing your praises and have your back, the kind ones who live to inspire. Unfortunately not everyone will get you or get what your trying to achieving. Shake that shit off, you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone, be confident in what your goal is and the right people will be drawn to you. My biggest support is from people I’ve never met, isn’t that crazy. I’ve had friends tell me they don’t understand why I want to blog, criticise the way I post, speak, live my life. Yet I have connections from all over the world who reach out daily to share some love, that makes me happy. Your circle should cheer the loudest, if they don’t, find a new circle.

Imitation is the biggest form of flattery, is it?

Follow accounts that inspire you, big bloggers, newbie bloggers, be inspired but don’t copy and don’t get too wrapped up in other peoples lives. The best thing about this industry is there is room for everyone, no one is you, you do the best version of you and you will find your place easily. There are people similar to you, similar lifestyles, goals, ambitions, similar vibe, but they aren’t you and you are not them! I’ve followed accounts that have slowly morphed into another and lost their own identity in a desperate attempt to be like that big account thats currently smashing it. The reality of the online world is it  has already been done before, better and bigger! Certainly don’t let that put you off but equally don’t strive to be a carbon copy of whats been!

Back to basics

Manners. Be kind. Treat everyone you meet with care. Who knows whats round the corner, that small business you snubbed may perhaps just be the next big thing. I feel honoured to be in a position to support small shops and local business, I don’t expect back what I give but thats the nature of the role. And  those “where is that from?” questions that you just can’t be bothered replying to, well those account may just unfollow, and then where would you be. Treat everyone like they mean something, in this online world they absolutely do. When I write a blog, content is priority, then comes the audience, I take time to engage, and respond to those lovely comments, connect with those who take time from their day to notice mine. Be humble and above all be kind.

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Now the truth is, it will take time. You will need to graft and give without receiving for quite some time. How long, well that truly depends on your graft but a good starter is to believe in yourself. Once growth starts to happen, the hard work really kicks in, then it all comes crashing and everything comes to a halt. There’s the tough part, picking  yourself up, remembering why you started this journey and moving forward. I write daily, network daily, step out of my comfort zone every single day. I challenge my creatively, my capability and my confidence every day in life, all whilst being a mum, running a house, working, oh and growing a tiny human but I do it because its what I love to do, its my passion.

It’s absolutely not that dreamy at all. When writing this post I took a look back, mainly through my Instagram feed to find my favourite blog worthy photos from over the year. Then it hit me. Take away the big brands, extra income, online connections. Strip it back to what makes my heart smile. This space is my online scrap book. It’s a shortcut to a moment in life. Yes posts are staged, product placement is used, content creation is apparent but in amongst those posts are real life snippets of us, my family. That truly is the best bit about it all. If I wasn’t blogging, would I have documented Alfie’s first weaning experience, his first playdate in the snow, the last time he fell asleep in my arms? Those moments would be gone, gone forever and that makes me sad. I have those tiny moments that mean the world just a click away, thats what my blog is all about, that what makes me give it my all.

On that note, its 3am on Thursday morning, I’m done! I’ll leave you with one of my favourite Pinterest quotes that I remind myself daily,

” You don’t have to move mountains. Simply fall in love with life. Be a tornado of happiness, gratitude and acceptance. you will change the world just by being a warm, kind hearted human being.” Anita Krizzan

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As always thank you for stopping by, hope to see you again soon.

Emma x

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