Katy reflects on her first year as a blogger.
One year ago I bought a domain and wrote my very first post. If I am totally honest I didn’t have a clue how blogging worked, what was involved and how much I would fall in love with everything about it. A friend had told me I should start a blog and so I did, without much thought at all!
I have always had a clear idea of what I wanted my blog to be. It was going to be a place to help other people- whether that be in life, though motherhood or something else. I knew I wanted to be someone people could turn to for support and advice, I just didn’t know exactly how to go about getting to that point.
I started off with a very basic header, a cartoon version of myself and a basic text overlay. I was actually pretty chuffed with myself at the time – the first stamp of personality, something that was mine.
I’m not sure how long it is was before I fell in love with blogging, but it didn’t take that long. Having my own space to tweak headers, make badges and write my own coding soon became an addiction, which took up every spare minute of my day. I hadn’t thought about taking it further but I definitely wanted to work with brands.
By September of 2014 I had realised that one of the best ways to get noticed is to be self hosted – brands like it when you aren’t accountable to anyone else but yourself. To do this and keep my domain I had to move over to WordPress, which with hindsight was possibly the best decision I have ever made!
The turning point for me was Christmas 2014, brands sent my family the most amazing products and in return for reviews. I know people don’t like to think of these things as ‘free’ as you do have to work very hard but for me, a couple of hours work to see the joy on my daughters’ faces when they open the best presents ever, makes it all worth while- not like working at all.
I wrote my goals for 2015 and decided that through hard work and positive thinking this year would be my year. My attitude to blogging has most definitely shifted, I no longer think of it as a hobby – this is my business, my job and I work very hard at it. The moment I started believing in myself the more other people believed in me too- including brands.
My header as you see it now, I am so pleased with it and must thank my fellow editor Aby, You Baby Me Mummy for helping me with the finishing touches.
I want you to know that with hard work and determination you can turn your dreams into a reality. I am so grateful for every opportunity that I have been given and want to share 5 ways that blogging has changed my life:
1. CONFIDENCE I have always been shy, never wanting to put myself out there for fear of criticism. Blogging has made me believe in myself, knowing that I have touched someone’s life with my words, and in some cases made a real difference, is just an amazing feeling! I have attended various blogging events and faked confidence until I have finally believed in myself!
2. PURPOSE Now I am not saying I didn’t have a purpose before, of course I did, I am a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend. However, I had lost my way in life and felt as though I was doing nothing every day. I had a newborn baby and it seemed that my life was nothing more than dirty nappies and never ending washing! Blogging has given me direction and a new outlook on life!
2. OPPORTUNITIES Blogging has given my family opportunities that we would otherwise never have been able to have. This summer we will be taking our girls on their very first holiday abroad, something that simply wouldn’t have been possible without my blog. One of my proudest moments was becoming a Britax Mumbassador and being gifted the most gorgeous pushchair, something we could never have afforded ourselves. The other was seeing my work published on The Huffington Post, a dream for so many writers out there.
4. FRIENDS Like everyone I have friends, but the blogging community has welcomed me with open arms and I have met the most wonderful inspirational people who make me want to be a better person every day. I cannot mention them all, but you know who you are, you are all wonderful. I know I can rely on them for support no matter what my mood and I am forever grateful.
5. INSPIRATION Before I started my blog I had never read a single blog post. I have now read thousands and thousands of posts and each one has made me want to be a better person.
My first blogging year has been more fantastic than I could have ever imagined and I know that the next one is going to be incredible!
I want to thank every single person who has supported me during my first year. My husband, Mr F for putting up with my long working hours, my girls for being my inspiration every day and to all of you – without readers my blog would be nothing. Every comment I receive means so much and everyone had always been so kind. I write for myself but I mostly write for you, my aims have never faltered – I still want to be someone people can turn to for support and advice and I now know how to make that possible – i just need to believe.