On this day two years ago (or maybe yesterday, or maybe tomorrow, I can’t actually remember) I sat down in front my computer and published my first ever blog post.
The post was about whether it’s ever OK to have a phone conversation with someone on the toilet. I know – a burning question I’m sure you ask yourself daily. Yeah, well. In two years of blogging my life has changed pretty drastically. I know stuff I didn’t know before. I know people I didn’t know before. I know how to DO things I didn’t know before.
Blogging has taken me to new places, given me new experiences and opened new doors in a career I didn’t even really know existed before I crept into the vast world that is the internet.
Blogging has charted my baby’s growth into a feisty toddler and her battle to start walking. It’s taken me through family loss, new work, holidays, desperate exhaustion and mishaps with crafting. Whatever has been going on in my life off the internet, my blog has always been waiting patiently, ready for me to come back to it and do something creative.
Two years may be a tiny snip compared to other more seasoned bloggers but, personally, I don’t think you can measure a blog’s success on the time it has been around. There are some blogs I love that are less than a year old and some that have been going in the region of double figures. Two years seems like a solid time though. I’m not a baby any more. I’m a bumbling toddler.
Here’s what I’ve learned about the wonderful world of blogging in my two years here:
1) There are no limits
The only person who can put limits on what you post about is YOU. There will always be people out there trying to wield some kind of imaginary wand over the internet as they preside on their imaginary King of Blogging throne, but they don’t actually have the power to tell you what to do. As long as you don’t libel someone or break the law, you’re OK. You can write or draw or photograph about what you want. It’s YOUR blog.
2) There will always be opinions – don’t be scared of them
You can’t please all of the people all of the time. It’s just not possible. The great thing about blogging, compared to other forms of publication, is that you get an almost immediate response. You can debate stuff, agree or disagree, like a photo or not. Whatever. It’s a big wide world out there and you have a place in it.
3) Say yes and the opportunities will come
It might be a blogging conference, or a review opportunity or another blogger asking if you’d like to write a guest post for them. In the last two years I’ve said yes to lots of things and I haven’t regretted one. That’s not to say you can’t ever say no, but saying yes to things you like the look of, despite the juggle of children or weekend plans or the fact you’ve never written a review before, will likely lead to good things. It goes back to Number 1) There are no limits.
4) It pays to be nice
I think this is a life lesson generally actually. Being nice doesn’t have to mean being insincere. If you’re nice and generally considerate to people (readers, people commenting on your blog, other tweeters) you will get more back. I’ve had disagreements with people in the land of the internet before, but I’ve generally found that not running around flinging insults here and there has been in my favour. Plus, my mum reads this blog.
5) Be you
Obvious really. I don’t take the best photographs. All my pictures are taken on my phone. I read lots of blogs with beautiful images but I’m just not that blogger. I can’t do all that soft focus stuff. So I take my snaps and I write. And when I write I write in MY voice, about what I’M thinking. And that’s what makes my blog MINE. If I was writing as myself but trying to imitate the words of another blogger or columnist or whatever, that wouldn’t be authentic now, would it?
What are the things you’ve learned since you started blogging?