5 Years Time

I chose this title because I love the cute Noah & The Whale song (because who doesn't love a ukulele?) but it's also next week it's been five years since I started blogging.

My first blog! I'm still so proud of all the work I put into this place.

I've learned a lot in those five years, here's some of the great blogging lessons that time and typing has taught me.

2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014

Write what you know

My first blog was about food & fitness, two subjects that I'm still passionate about now but not to the level that I could solely write on those topics every week. The good thing about starting to write is that once you've found your footing and your voice you suddenly realise what you want to say. By 3 years in, I was ready to finish writing that blog and move on to pastures new, and I did, you are reading it. I learned I could write about so many different things and I figured I should have a go at doing so. Switching to a lifestyle blog was one of the best things I did for my writing because it kept me writing, opened up new topics and made me think more about what I was doing with my little space on the internet. I also know lots of little bits about many topics and this makes for good chatter. Is it good reading? I'll let you decide that, I hope so, but I love writing it and that's what counts.

Be realistic with your time

I post articles once a week and that is sufficient. They're often wordy, have often had two drafts and three edits and contain photos. Writing a post like that is not something I can knock out in an hour after work, I like to take my time and enjoy when I write. Could I post more? Probably, if I really tried, but why should I? I'm a firm advocate for quality not quantity. If you can get posts out several times a week which look great and have good content then good for you, but it's not something I can manage. As Amy Poehler has taught us, the manta is 'Good for you. Not for me.' This is not a one size fits all situation. 

(But do me a favour and justify your text, will you? I've spent years encouraging various administrators to always align text with margins on documents so it looks prettier. It's a one-click trick and your content will look better for it - I promise. Oh, be consistent and use the same font throughout too, otherwise you really give away your 'copy and paste' antics.)

Don't feel pressured to be something you're not

Applies in the Real World and in the Blog World. I spent a lot of the last year on my previous blog writing for other people; be that sponsored posts, reviews or things that I was paid to write. Not that there's anything wrong with blogging like this (it's a great way to make some extra income and plenty of blogs I read do these kind of posts and the majority are good reads) but it wasn't for me. When I start getting paid for something, all the fun gets taken out of it. It goes from a passionate hobby to a job I'm obliged to do. Once I'm sending out invoices, all the magic is lost. 

I know a lot of people who get hung up on blog views, comments and stats. Again, important if you're monetising but to me it's totally pointless. At the end of the day I don't write this blog for anyone but myself. I'm grateful when people do read my work (especially when it's not just members of my direct family) but I don't mind if there's no comments. I'm cool with that. Rarely am I asking a question or provoking a discussion, I feel this is just my little place on the internet to chat away, practice my craft and show you some stuff that I like to do in my free time. Active participation is not a necessity but I do like it when people tweet me with comments (and even occasionally praise - hurrah!) about my work. I am eternally grateful. Thank you for reading. I'll  be here at the same time next week. 

Pay it forward

If it wasn't for some great bloggers out there I would never have started by blog back in 2010. Their content and enthusiasm is solely responsible for me even attempting to publish my stuff online and (even without them knowing it) they've been great mentors to me. Thank you to Laura, Sheryl and Jo, without you three amazing ladies tapping on your keyboards, I might never have bothered to do the same. You inspired me (and countless others, for sure). I'd also like to give a nod to everyone over at XO Jane; if I ever get anything published by them I will consider myself a raging success as their content and writers are exceptional; I love spending my weekend mornings with a coffee and my iPad catching up on what their writers have done this week. 

If someone inspires you, tell them. If someone comes to you with a blog idea, talk to them about it. If someone cannot get their Google Analytics to bloody work, help them. Community spirit is so rich in the blogging world and I love being a part of it. As far as I'm concerned, the more words we have out there to read, then the better the universe will be. I encourage anyone who wants to have a go at writing to do so. You might love it, you might hate it, but give it a try. 

Next week I'll be another year older too (yes, I started blogging on my birthday) and I know I've changed a lot in the last five years, as much as my writing has. We're both older and wiser ... but still really pretty ;)

Thank you for reading, thank you for writing, thank you for tweeting me and thank you for sitting opposite me in real life and let me rant at you about all the things I'm passionate about. You all feed my creativity with all these things and I couldn't do half of this without you.

Here's to another five years! :)
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home

1 comment:

  1. Has it been that long already! Wow! Keep on bloggin chicken. Love the writing style and its always got a bit of a happy smile in it for good measure.