My first blog post for Mummyofthesuburbs was three months ago, so what have I learnt in this short period of time and how do I feel now about blogging now?
I am sure many bloggers will say there are certainly highs and lows. For me there have definitely been more highs than anything else. Of course there have been times when I have doubted myself and wondered why on earth I decided to do this? Is anyone really going to read any of my posts? I have logged into my WordPress account numerous times a day to see if my visitor count has gone up. Sometimes it hadn’t and then other times like when I posted my review Top Ten Tips for Keeping an Organised Diary I have been really surprised how many people have read my post.
I think confidence is what holds back a lot of people in blogging. So many times I have questioned my abilities? I have felt like a fraud and have sat there looking at all the other blogs out there wondering how I am ever going to be anything like them? Then I had a break through, I decided that I am just as good as anyone else. OK, I don’t have any sort of qualification in writing or journalism, but I am a Mother, I work as a Registered Nurse, I have travelled the world and I have lived on this planet for forty years.
So here are my tips for the complete novice
- Research everything – make sure your understand from the start what makes your site appear professional. Get the right template for your blog and make sure it has the capabilities to be flexible. I made the mistake of choosing a really simplistic design, which looked great but I couldn’t adapt it. I kept it for a while and then when I couldn’t have a side bar, or social media buttons I decided to go back to one of the free options that WordPress offer.
- Get help from friends and family – It sounds obvious, but I bet there are lots of people you already know who could help with your blog in some way? For example I managed to get an invite to a bloggers event just by asking around people I knew.
- Read and read more – any free moment I get, I will be reading other people’s blogs and looking at their various social media streams. I’m always asking myself what do I like or dislike about their blog? What can I learn from what they are doing?
- Put yourself out there – living in London does help, as this is where numerous blogging events happening. My initial dilemma was how do I get invited to anything? This is where I had to start digging a bit deeper. My first discovery was when I was browsing the magazine shelves of WHSmith (not really something I do a lot, as I many read online these days) but I came across the bloggers magazine Blogosphere. From this I found that they run events and meet up for bloggers and I brought tickets for their Christmas Fair. I am also attending Mumsnet Blogfest 2016, I know there are ways to get sponsored tickets for these type of events, however as I still new to blogging this time I was happy to pay. I know that the networking opportunities I will get are well worth it.
- Don’t give up – at the start I sometimes thought how will I ever get any recognition for what I am doing? I have tried lots of various ways to get brands and companies to take an interest in my blog. From writing emails asking if I could review their products? To contacting them or mentioning them on Twitter or Instagram. Iv’e had plenty of knock backs where a brand has politely told me that I do not have a big enough following or readership for them to be interested at the moment. I have been pleasantly surprised too, because some brands have been happy to re-tweet my posts and some have still been interested in me or pointed me in the right direction.
I know lots of bloggers write posts about what they wish they had known when they started out, but for me I am happy to accept that this is my learning journey. At this stage of my blogging career I am not going to know that much. I am just taking it for what it is. Now nothing is going to stop me, I love blogging it has given me a new purpose in my life and surely that is what it is all about!