One year ago today, a whole 365 days ago, I started my blog and clicked publish on my first post. Time has flown since that day, my blog has grown as have I and today I’d like to look back and reflect on the year that I’ve had with my little blog.
When I first started blogging I had such a confusion around what niche I fitted into. I had a bit of a conflict in my head about whether to write about what I wanted to write about or what I should be writing about. Deep down I knew I wanted to write about beauty and lifestyle but worried too much about what other people would think. At this point, only my family and friends read my blog, I valued their opinion most and I panicked thinking about what they’d think. It isn’t necessarily right to write everything with your audience in mind, it’s important to write about what you want to write about! My audience at the time was very small, I didn’t know how to widen my audience beyond my Mum, boyfriend and sister. I can barely look back to my posts at the time, they really weren’t great but at the time I absolutely loved them. My favourite first post are ‘My Desk…’ and ‘Journaling…’, my ability to write blog posts has changed completely since then so these are nothing like what I produce now but I still love to look back at my first few posts.
At this time, blogging was not a priority in my life, it wasn’t a substantial part of my life at all. I didn’t refer to myself as a blogger, it was just something that I did when I had the time spare. Now, I can’t imagine my life without blogging being my number one priority and I certainly consider myself a blogger.
As a result of my mindset about blogging, don’t get me wrong I still loved it, it was never going to work out. So, inevitably I took a break which spanned from half way through March to the beginning of May. I could not imagine spending that amount of time without blogging now, it’s such a huge part of my life. It was an unintentional break, I never said ‘I’m going to stop!!’, I just stopped posting and creating new content. In my head, I presumed it was the end of my blog and that was that. In this break, I started to feel a bit of guilt about my blog and started to develop a vision for my blog. That put my back on the blogging track.
As my life got busier with driving and college, my motivation and inspiration for my blog kickstarted and I got back into it. I got my ‘Life Update’… post out of the way to provide a bit of an explanation to my followers-although there were few they deserved to know why I’d abandoned ship for 6 weeks. I was still a bit unsure on my niche for example, I was writing posts about vinyls because I thought that’s what I should be writing. I’d like to think my writing did change after that break, I’d read lots of others blogs, magazines and books, I’d like to think doing lots of reading influenced my own writing.
When I left college I knew everything was going to change with my blog. I was going to start putting in 100%. I’m a big believer in that you get out what you put in so I knew I wasn’t going to give my all into my blog if I wanted to see any kind of improvements. I decided not to get a job during the summer because I wanted to pretend for a few months that I was a full time blogger. I wanted to develop the skills that I used for blogging by putting in as much time into it as I possibly could. I had a ball doing it over summer, my love and passion kept growing everyday.
I also created a Twitter account for my blog. I had no clue about the amazing blogging community that is on Twitter and I couldn’t imagine not using it now. I find Twitter has the best blogging community, everyone is so supportive and uplifting on there, I find it the best platform to engage with others and grow. I also want to massively shout out the amazing RT accounts on Twitter, they are so supportive, I cannot recommend tagging them in your tweets to spread the word about your posts. Also, take part in blogging chats over on Twitter, speaking to other bloggers is so important!! Also, if you see a blogger follow train-join it, grow your following and follow others! Twitter is an incredible platform for bloggers.
I also bought a planner at this time. I started to write out all of my content ideas and create a rough schedule. I think it’s important to stay on top of all of your ideas and be organised. Keep on track with your stats as well, it’s nice to be able to look back and see your growth and what to do to enable a further growth.
August was when my blog seemed to take off. I started to receive PR packages which always feels surreal. I also started to be tagged in Awards posts, I still love being tagged in them, they make my heart feel so happy. Up until August, I used to have a views goal for the day that I uploaded a post, I used to want to end the night on 20 views. During August this increased to 100, it felt surreal, it was a proper ‘pinch myself’ moment every time I uploaded a post.
During August, I received my A-Level results and turned 18. I felt like I was growing with my blog and that’s a really special feeling. It’s something that I still feel now. It’s something that I felt quite negatively when in September I started my first year at university. I really struggled with the balance of uni and blogging, it was a hard adjustment to make and I didn’t handle it well at all. My list of priorities suddenly grew and I didn’t know where to place my blog. I managed to balance everything out eventually, it’s still difficult but nothing worth having is easy.
In October, I got my first sponsored post. It was such an amazing feeling to be paid for doing something so close to my heart. It made my motivation go through the roof, I was proper proud of myself and everything that I’d achieved with my little blog. It gave me a vision for my blog that I’m still working towards today. It gave me a clearer vision for my blog and for my content.
I still go through phases with my blog. Phases of feeling unsure about what I’m writing and phases of feeling like what I’m writing is the best thing ever. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting nowhere and other times I feel like I’m going at a snails pace with it. I had a phase around October/November time when I felt like I was looking out for things to buy just to write about. My content became a bit more forced as I was looking for things to buy to write posts about.
I still feel so happy whenever I get an email from a brand or receive a PR package. I had a surreal moment towards the end of November when I received some Kat Von D makeup products in the post. It’s such an amazing feeling when something comes through the letterbox for my blog.
I ended 2017 creating content that I wanted to and that I enjoy writing. I bought my first ever camera for my blog (I have a review on it coming soon!) which made me feel so professional and like a ‘proper’ blogger. I also ended the year on 10,000 views which is insane and with 800 followers who I am so incredibly grateful for.
I haven’t had the best start to the year sadly, 2018 brought with it the flu. I literally can’t put into words how bad the flu is, it’s consumed over a week of my life that I’ll never get back. I have a vision for my blog though, I have more motivation and inspiration than ever. I can’t wait to get started on my action plan for my blog, I want 2018 to be the year I take it to the next step and continue to grow my little blog.
Here we are today. 1 whole year of my blog. Thank you so much for reading, following,liking and supporting my little blog. Your support is so special to me and is something that I am so grateful for. I can’t wait to make this next year an incredible one.
Goals for the next year blogging:
-Grow my audience across all platforms (damn you Insta!)
-Engage with my audience, especially in the comments (I love talking to you all!)
-Grow my content and develop it
-Improve my skills-writing and photography
-Be original with my content, don’t just follow trends or what others are doing!!
-Read more blogs
-Try and increase the amount of sponsored content that I produce and say yes to more opportunities
-Get my own domain!
-Put my face out there more, there is a person behind this blog!
-Continue to be myself!
-Continue to express how grateful I truly am for you all!
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