Big news. Well, big news over here anyway. Somehow I managed to tick over to the 400 blog post mark. Which I feel is quite an achievement since most of this year I have been struggling with blogging.
I heard recently (maybe via Mrs Woog or Maxabella?) that blogging is 20% writing and 80% marketing.
The marketing is the hard bit.
My lovely community seem to know when to give encouragement, comment or send me some social media love.
And here I am, 400 posts young.
When I first came across blogs, over 3 years ago, I was searching for parenting advice.
I was nesting and getting ready for our third baby boy to arrive that year.
I would end up having 3 boys in 4 years. My ovaries are feeling woozy just thinking about it.
One of the first blogs I found down the rabbit hole was Nicole’s Planning with Kids blog. Her practical advice about organisation and life with a large family had me hooked.
I found Nikki from fashion blog Styling You not long after that and a whole new world opened up to me.
At the same time in real life, I was getting itchy feet. I knew it would be a while before I could go back to work as a midwife, my body was exhausted, but my mind was in overdrive. I wanted to start a business of some kind, just for me.
I ended up starting my blog in August 2012 with the hope of starting an online store of sorts later down the track.
But that didn’t happen. Blogging did.
I started writing. And kept writing. Most of it wasn’t what you would call amazing. Not even average. But it became a habit.
It has been a long road for me. I have struggled with finding my writing voice. I don’t have any design, craft or fashion experience to write about. I don’t write about my kids for privacy reasons. I have no interest in quitting sugar. Or joining the raw food movement. I am a stay at home mum amongst a sea of talented women who blog so much more eloquently about family life than I ever could.
The comparison trap has taken over me, many times.
The energy required to be a good blogger is often is my downfall. A strong presence on social media, commenting on blogs every day, writing original posts. Being able to balance real life and blogging time is still a struggle for me. I haven’t mastered it yet.
I know this seems to be a Debbie Downer post but it is not. I will get there, I promise.
So what have I learnt over 400 posts and 2.5 years?
The main thing I learnt over the last 400 blog posts is that you should stick with you. Block out the noise. Only then will you find your blogging voice. Forget about what the others are doing. It is almost like you have to switch off or block out everything around you before you write.
Your blog has a mind of its own and will take you places you never dreamed. Your words will resonate with many people or at least one.
When I went to Problogger last year, Nikki from Styling You mentioned she felt her blog was like a dinner party in her house.
What would you feed them? What would you talk about with your guests?
What do you have in common with them? How can you help them?
This piece of advice has stuck with me the most out of all. When we talk about blogging, everyone raves about numbers and statistics etc. But when you invite people over for your own dinner party in real life how many people do you invite over?
10, 20, 30, 5 people? Exactly. Any more than a small crowd and it then becomes a rave party and the police are called to calm everyone down.
I know many bigger bloggers need the rave party if they have income based upon their blog numbers. I get that. But I am an introvert at heart. Too many people in a crowd overwhelms me, makes me feel insignificant and I feel like a number not a person.
I would prefer to have an amazing conversation over wine and food amongst friends, instead of lining up for an hour at the rave party portable loos. Often the flimsy plastic door doesn’t lock properly, I am subjected to reading shitty ” f” word poetry written on the back of the loo door in black texta and everyone calling it art. At least use a glitter pen and correct spelling. The “f” word is only 4 letters long. Get it right.
Obviously I am off on a tangent but back to what I was saying.
Stay true to you. And give back to your community.
I am not a fan of the blogger blog roll because I lurk, follow, read and comment on many, many blogs. It doesn’t seem fair to name just a small few.
But today I will. Today my lovely dinner guests will receive a fantastic list of blogs to read to challenge your thinking, learn something new, connect with someone who is going through what you are experiencing or simply need a laugh.
Change the world, one word at a time.
Blogs that require you to practice your pelvic floor exercises before you visit for a laugh
If you want to improve your writing (without selling your partner’s prized midlife crisis purchase at Cash Convertors for the course cost)
Pretty stuff to look at and eat. Warning: may include carbs, sugar and Pinterest perfect photography
Learn how to use your fancy pants camera when you have panicked as you flicked from auto to manual
Carla Coulson (Carla Loves Photography), Click it up a Notch and Click, Love, Grow are great for newbies and Kylie Purtell shares her photography skills off as she is working her way through a professional photography course.
If you are into developing a creative business or blog into a global empire
My crafty and design friends who I met via Pip Lincolne/Meet Me at Mike’s Blog with Pip course will be mentioned in a future post.
Fashion bloggers who can look great in drop-crutch soft pants, the boho look and give natural camera ready selfies.
Redcliffe Style, Kimba Likes, Style Curvy, Styling You, Style on V, Vicki The Fashionable Mum, Beach Style Mum, Sonia Styling, Suger Coat It, Style and Shenanigans, Mama Stylista, Lifestyle Fifty, Middle Aged Mama.
Bloggers who blog because they can. So they do.
Maxabella Loves, Life Love Hiccups, The Plumbette, Teapots and Tractors, With Some Grace, Essentially Jess, Mummy Wife Me, Mystery Case, Smaggle, She who Rambles, Keeping up with the Holsbys, My Little Drummer Boys, My Little Sunshine House, RaeHilhorst Clairey Hewitt, This Parenting Life, 5 Degrees of Chaos, Not Another Slippery Dip, Veggie Mama, Move Fuel Love, Operation Move, Iron mum Karla
Cheers big ears to 400 blog posts.
If I haven’t mentioned you (I am truly sorry) or even if I did,
leave your own most favourite blog post or blog FB page in the comment section below.
(Can be your blog, a friend’s or another blogger’s words of art)
Thanks for joining my dinner party.