When I began writing this blog I hadn’t really thought too much about it’s future.
My head was full of the tiny people that I was carrying inside my belly. Day-dreams of my future as a mama; after such a long time of longing and patiently waiting. The destiny of my blog held no place in my thoughts.
It was simply a way to record my feelings. A cathartic channel, if you will.
The first post was so positive. So full of hope and expectation but about impending parenthood — I certainly didn’t pause to contemplate the journey that my online diary may take me on. But roll forward three years and it’s still here. And not only just ‘still here’ but it’s more of a part of our lives that I’d ever thought possible.
A creative outlet, a source of income and the best record of our lives — a virtual memory box — for my tiny sons, that I could possibly wish for.
So what has changed over the last 12 months?
Well, last year, I was still writing on a free WordPress platform. In January, this year, I took the decision to go self hosted. Something I wish I’d done a little sooner; I haven’t regretted that decision for a single second. For any blogger, deliberating on the merits of self hosted over the free option, I’d say go for it! My hosts at IFDNRG are fabulous. They’re a small outfit — based in the UK — and there’s always someone at the end of the phone, if I need it.
I have met a fantastic and supportive group of fellow bloggers. New friends offline — as well as online — who offer support and advice; and give blogging a real sense of community and purpose. In the first year I was blogging, it felt like a very solitary pastime. I rarely received comments on my posts and was a lone voice in the wilderness. This year — I made a conscious effort to get involved more. Comment on others’ blogs, participate more. And the difference it’s made, to the way I feel about blogging, is immeasurable.
I’ve also attended a few blogging events. The first was Blog Camp, in Birmingham, in April. Followed by Britmums; a conference on a much, much larger scale, which was held in June. Mingling with like-minded folk — learning about the industry I’ve found myself in — and meeting my online friends in real life was something that — if you’d told me last year, that I’d be putting myself out there and walking into a room full of virtual strangers — I would definitely not have believed it.
But that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Who’d have thought it? Not me, that’s for sure!!
In the last 12 months, my blog has been nominated for three awards, made the finals for the MADS (down to the last six in my category, out of thousands) — which I attended in September — and incredibly has just won best interior blog in this year’s Blogging Edge blogging awards.
When I write it all down, it makes my head spin!!
I made the decision, after my blog’s second birthday, to take it a little bit more seriously. This little online diary is part of my life now. I love recording the boys’ milestones, family days out, sharing lovely things that I’ve found. This year I’ve started to add more of what I like — interiors and fashion — plus this is such a fab platform to share my crafty makes and DIY exploits.
I’ve no idea where the next year will take us. But suffice to say, the last few months have been full of extraordinary opportunities and amazing adventures.
Happy birthday little blog! Here’s to you — and the next 12 months.