10 things I’ve learnt in my first month of blogging

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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!

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17 thoughts on “10 things I’ve learnt in my first month of blogging

  1. Sarah HP

    Love your list. This is my first month of blogging too and you echo lots of my thought. I have soooo much to learn. I’ve signed up to Twitter is still a bit of a mystery to me. I love the look of your site do you have any design tips mine is very basic (I think mastering WordPress has been the trickiest part of my blog journey so far).
    Sarah HP recently posted…Epic bad dayMy Profile

    Reply
    • Helen Post author

      Thank you so much! I found it a really steep learning curve when I first started using WordPress, but I love it now, I find it so flexible and there’s loads of advice and support on other blogs about it too. In terms of design of my site, all I did was find a gorgeous free theme (I used Sugar and Spice) and used picmonkey.com (another free tool) to edit my pictures and add writing.

      I’ve been over to your site. Love the picture of the five of you, you all look so happy and your children are just gorgeous! It might be worth adding links to your social media accounts so people can follow you more easily (I’d like to, but couldn’t find you on Twitter!), and adding your blog to Bloglovin’ (with a link on your site). Your content is great though, loved reading your blog 🙂

      Reply
      • Sarah HP

        Thanks for the tips and lovely comments. I’m very trial and error at the moment with word press. I will definitely check out picmonkey.com. I’ve finally working out how to add social media buttons (got to love you tube tutorials!) Next on my blogging to do list is to figure out how to add a subscription button, some share buttons and check out bloglovin!

        Reply
    • Helen Post author

      I’ve got loads left to learn too, but I feel quite proud of how much I’ve learnt in my first month 🙂 Congratulations on completing your first month!

      Reply
  2. Amy @ Mr and Mrs T Plus Three

    I absolutely loved reading this, you are right there are a lot of parenting bloggers but it is so welcoming and helpful. There are also never enough hours in the day-I am stopping by at the grand hour of 1am!

    I have been blogging a while now but it took me a good 12 months to tell people in my real life about my blog! I thought in the beginning people might think, what on earth is Amy doing but now they can’t believe I’ve made it my job!

    You have done fantastically well-this is my first time here and this doesn’t look or ‘sound’ like a new blog at all and I think your voice is perfect just the way it is. Keep shining x

    Thanks for linking up to #thelist

    Reply
    • Helen Post author

      Wow, thank you so much, what a lovely comment!

      It’s good to know that you didn’t want people in real life to see your blog too (I love your blog, by the way!). I think if people I knew were reading it I would write differently, maybe think twice about including really personal stuff. And I guess looking like an idiot in front of internet strangers isn’t as bad as in front of people you actually have to see!

      Reply
  3. Helen C

    This is a great list Helen! I definitely find blogging addictive. It doesn’t feel right to have a day without blogging.

    I also don’t feel particularly comfortable with sharing my blog with people I know. I have a separate FB page for my blog for that reason. Only a few of my friends have seen my blog. Hx
    Helen C recently posted…Do I need more blog-life balance?!My Profile

    Reply
    • Helen Post author

      Haha, I know what you mean, I’ve felt so lost on the couple of days when I’ve not been able to work on my blog!

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t want people they know to read their blog. Hopefully we’ll both feel confident enough to share them soon, or just not care what people think!

      Reply
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