In my first month of blogging* I’ve learnt:
1. Blogging is addictive. I’m constantly thinking of new ideas for blog posts and jotting them down on my phone. Every one of T’s nap times plus every evening until way after I should have gone to bed are spent blogging. I need more hours in the day!
2. There’s a million other people doing the same thing. I knew there were a lot of Mummy (and Daddy) bloggers out there, but I didn’t realise quite how many. It can be a bad thing because it makes it so hard to get your little blog noticed, but on the other hand, it means there is a fabulous community of like-minded people out there, many of whom are extremely talented and welcoming to newbies.
3. It’s more than just writing. I’d say I spend as much time reading other blogs as I do writing my own (I’m not sure if I’ve got the balance right yet). In the past month I’ve read blogs that have made me laugh, made me cry, made me think. I’ve seen some truly stunning photography and learnt so much about blogging. Reading so many amazing blogs is daunting and inspiring at the same time.
4. Blogging is giving me more confidence and self-esteem. Before I started blogging I was a ‘lurker’ on online forums. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in what I had to say so never said anything. Since I’ve started blogging I’ve had some truly wonderful comments which have given my low self-esteem such a boost. The best one was one from a non-blogger who had googled self-settling and stumbled across my blog. It was so amazing to know that something I’d written made a difference to someone’s life.
5. I love photography, but I’m not very good at it. Since reading about manual photography over at Snowing Indoors, I’ve been using manual mode on my camera. I’m always so proud that, although the pictures aren’t particularly good, they aren’t completely sh*t either. It feels like such an achievement that I’ve chosen the shutter speed, aperture and ISO and you can actually see a picture at the end of it!
6. It’s the only way T will get a baby book. This is the main reason I started this blog. I wanted to record the moments in T’s life, the little things, that would otherwise be forgotten. I have a beautiful scrapbook that I will one day fill with pictures and stories, but I just never seem to have the time or inclination at the moment. But knowing that people are sat at home repeatedly clicking refresh on my blog, anxiously awaiting the next post, gives me the impetus to actually write something, to document our lives before the memory is gone.
7. I’m not ready for people I know to read my blog. Instagram, the bast*rd, shared one of my pictures to my personal Facebook timeline. It also apparently invited my Facebook friends to follow me on Instagram! Fortunately, although I have a link to my Instragram from the blog, there are no backlinks and therefore no way of my Instagram followers finding the blog (I hope). The only person ‘in real life’ who knows about this blog at the moment is S. It’s strange because what I write feels so personal, like a diary, so I don’t want people I know reading it, yet not only am I happy for internet strangers to read it, I actively encourage it!
8. You need to be social media savvy. See point 7. Before starting the blog, I was on Facebook and that was it. I’m now have a blog page on Facebook and am active to varying degrees on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. I think I still have a lot to learn about what the different platforms can bring to my blog. I always appreciate new followers, there are links to my social media accounts in the sidebar and at the bottom of the post (hint, hint!)
9. I don’t have a niche. So far I’ve blogged mainly about day to day stuff with T but I’ve also written sleep advice, reviews, funny stuff, serious stuff, breastfeeding, my job as a chemo nurse and run a competition. I’m not really sure where my blog fits in or if there’s anything unique about it.
10. I still need to find my voice. Following on from my last point, I’m not sure I have a ‘voice’ yet. I feel like I write differently depending on what I’m writing about. I’m not really sure if that’s what I’m supposed to do or if I should have a more consistent style; I guess this is something that will develop over time and with practice.
So that’s my ramblings about being a newbie blogger. In my second month of blogging I really want to improve my photography and use of social media. Hopefully, my ‘voice’ will come with time and I’ll find my niche. In the meantime I’m just going to carry on writing about things that interest me and hopefully other people will enjoy reading about them.
*The more observant among you will notice I actually started blogging in June, but I only went ‘public’ with it and started trying to get people to read it from July!