295 weeks | Happy Birthday Little Blog! {Thoughts on blogging, social media and life in general}

Yesterday I celebrated a little milestone. Another 365 days since I began The Twinkle Diaries. Another year, celebrating my little corner of the world wide web.

Happy birthday little blog! Six years old!

Six. The Twinkle Diaries has been a fixture in my life for six years. I’ve been in permanent job roles for less time than that!

I remember so vividly when I started it. Setting up my WordPress account and writing my first post.

I felt really excited to have a virtual diary; somewhere to record how I felt. Somewhere secret — a place just for me — that no-one else knew about. I didn’t even tell my lovely boy. I just set it up, and began to write.

Hiding in Plain Sight

I always kept a diary when I was younger — of the traditional paper variety — and I was always terrified of people finding it and reading it.

If I’d thought for a second that thousands of strangers would stumble across my blog every month — that my thoughts would be on public display — I think I’d have closed it down there and then.

That might sound a bit odd. I knew that it was on a public platform but, given how many websites there are on the internet, I figured that mine would never be found. It was almost like hiding in plain sight — being invisible in a gigantic crowd. It felt safe and clandestine.

I kept it secret for so long. I wrote for over 2 years before I finally began to tell my friends and family about it.

And although I initially felt really shy about them reading my words — and looking at my pictures — by that time I was working with some amazing brands.

I’d developed a strong online presence and had made some lovely blogging friends too; who offered support and friendship and helped me to navigate my way around this new industry that I’d found myself in.

I began to feel more confident with every post and eventually, when people asked me what I did for a living, I began to say that I was a content creator.

Words and Pictures

But whilst my transition from full-time designer to full-time blogger was unplanned, these days, blogging seems to be the career of choice for many. Although I don’t know whether it’s the art of ‘blogging’ — or creating content — that interests them, so much as ‘free stuff’ or making a fast buck.

Believe me, you won’t make a fast buck. And nothing in life is ‘free’.

Most successful bloggers work incredibly hard to create their content. Photography, words, films, design, social media management — there are a myriad of things that go into creating a blog.

Granted, a blog is words and pictures when all said and done — but don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s easy.

An Everchanging Landscape

I wonder if my blog will still be here in another 6 years.

I can’t imagine life without it, to be honest. I can’t imagine writing that final post, not renewing my domain name and letting the url — and everything that makes up this website — slip away into the Aether.

But whether I’ll be blogging in the same capacity, I’m not sure.

The face of social media is changing. Brands are realising that ‘influencers’ are a more effective way of selling their products to Joe Public, than old fashioned methods; like TV and radio.

Instagram is currently the platform of choice; although I think that may change, the way things are going.

In a bid to make themselves look more popular and more attractive to brands and PRs, some Instagrammers are paying for likes or followers. Or taking part in huge comment pods or getting bots to engage on their behalf.

As a result, the landscape is inconsistent. It’s hard to tell what’s genuine and what’s been artificially inflated.

Blogging friends and I have discussed whether PRs know; or actually even care?

If the figures they’re presenting — to the brands they’re representing — look healthy then why should they mind how they came about?

That’s hypothetical, of course.

I know that some do care.

And I’m also sure that, eventually, there’s going to be a huge backlash against bad practices. The algorithm is already broken; Instagram changed it in a bid to stand up to the bots but it’s just driven influencers to use other methods to increase their engagement. It’s a mess. And the underhand tactics and follow/unfollow game-playing makes organic, natural growth and engagement very hard.

But, possible.

And although my Instagram numbers are modest, the engagement that I get is genuine. And I’m proud of that.

And I’m proud of the little space that I’ve created here too. And so grateful that I pressed publish all those years ago.

I’m grateful for the extraordinary career that I seem to have found myself with.

For the lovely people that email with questions about Dolly the caravan.

For amazing opportunities that allow me take my beloved man-cubs and the whole of their class to McDonalds for an after-school treat.

And for moments like last week, when a friend emailed to say she’d seen me on the cover of a magazine (more about that in another post!)!

I’m grateful for it all.

Here’s to you little blog. Happy 6th birthday — here’s to our next 12 months.

xx

Carrying balloons for a blog birthday

Happy Birthday Little Blog! 6 balloons for 6 years!

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

12 Comments

  1. 8th Nov 2018 / 8:16 pm

    Yay, happy blog anniversary to you!! A wonderful achievement, you should be proud. And I totally agree with you about genuine engagement, real followers and chats, it means so much x

    • 10th Nov 2018 / 4:58 pm

      Thanks so much Joc — that’s such a lovely message! Yep — if it weren’t for the lovely people on IG I’d have closed my account ages ago!! I find it SO frustrating!!! xx

  2. 12th Nov 2018 / 8:59 pm

    Ah happy Blog Anniversary I love this post, you know how I feel about all this, the insta thing is so frustrating but I have realised being true is the only way something has got to give soon. I love you blog and what you have achieved with it you are amazing and its all so well deserved my friend x

    • 13th Nov 2018 / 9:53 am

      Thanks so much my love!! And yes — I think there are a few bloggers feeling this way.

      Sadly, so many have taken to disingenuous methods, to try and beat the algorithm and inflate their numbers, that it makes those of us with genuine engagement just look a bit crap.

      I totally understand why they do it, I considered it myself at one point. But it would feel really empty to get likes and engagement from a bot or from a human that’s just clicking through and not actually reading the caption or really looking at the picture. Hopefully it will all come good in the end.

      And thank you. So happy to have met you — and proud to call you my friend xxxx

  3. Suzanne W
    20th Nov 2018 / 5:39 pm

    I started blogging 6 years ago too (not on this current blog, but my old one). Like you, I hid it too for so long! It’s amazing how much the blogging landscape has changed over the years, isn’t it? You work so hard on your ‘content’ both on here and on Instagram, you deserve to be as super successful as you are, Caro. Well done and congratulations on your 6 years. xxx

    • 21st Nov 2018 / 9:36 am

      It’s funny isn’t it? Not sure why I was so shy about it to begin with. It seemed like such a big thing!! And thanks so much Suzanne — that’s so kind of you xx

  4. 20th Nov 2018 / 9:36 pm

    Happy blog birthday! Six years is a wonderful achievement. I think the key to growth (not necessarily talking about numbers here, more personal growth) is always going to be authenticity – stay true to yourself, your values, your ‘why’ and good things will follow.

    • 21st Nov 2018 / 9:57 am

      Thanks Chloe. You’re right — certainly with regards to the blog anyway. The growth there really reflects the time and effort I’ve put in over the years. I wish I could say the same about Instagram though — the account just doesn’t grow — despite spending far too long creating content for it!! If Instagram exploded tomorrow I’d probably be cheering from the sidelines. I think it’s a victim of it’s own success and a lot of people who are authentic just get clobbered by the stupid algorithm. I’ll keep plugging away though and hope that I’m rewarded in the end :)

  5. 21st Nov 2018 / 1:31 pm

    Aww sweetie this is a lovely post and I can feel the love in your words. You keep doing what you are doing as you have created something very special x

    • 26th Nov 2018 / 9:37 am

      Thanks KA. I had no idea what I was getting into when I set it up, but I’m SO glad I did!! Means that I’ve got to know new friends — like you — and work in such a new and exciting environment. I love my blog so much!!

  6. 27th Nov 2018 / 4:53 pm

    Well done lovely, you have created such an amazing little space!

    • 1st Dec 2018 / 9:08 am

      That’s so kind of you lovely; thank you so much xx

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