The lovely Mrs Lighty from All Things Spliced has nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. It’s a really lovely award post that aims to find out a bit more about all those blogs you love reading, and ask those old timers for some advice for newbie bloggers on all things blog related! I’m not sure I am very qualified to be dishing out advice, but I’m going to give it a go! So thank you to Nicola for the nomination! Firstly, the rules:
The Blogger Recognition Award: The Rules
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
How my blog started
Now, I have briefly written about this before, but I had the idea for the blog when I first got pregnant. I wanted somewhere to be able to document my pregnancy with Alfie, and then hopefully continue as he got older and have something to look back on. With all things baby consuming my mind, I never quite got round to actually sitting down and starting it until I was almost 41 weeks pregnant, and bored because the baby hadn’t arrived yet! But once I did, I wrote regular posts when I was stuck to the sofa feeding Alfie for hours on end, or during the night feeds when I was up every 2 hours feeding him. It certainly stopped me from spending loads of money on ebay as I had nothing better to do!!
Then the lovely Mrs Lighty mentioned the blog page on Facebook and outed me to the world! At the time it was extremely nerve wracking, but honestly was the best thing she ever did for me. If she hadn’t, I’d probably still be blogging, but I wouldn’t have half the audience I do now.
Now, I’m not sure I’m one to give advice, as I still feel like a newbie, despite doing this for almost two year now. But I have learnt a lot in those two years, so here are two bits of advice I’d like to pass on to my fellow bloggers.
When you first start blogging, you probably won’t know or care about things like stats, readers, promotion or working with brands. If you’re writing because you want to write, then that is what you will do. However, as time goes on, and you realise you want to get your posts out there and you want other people to read your stuff, then you do need to start thinking about the above. And this is when you can start to compare yourself to other bloggers. There are thousands of bloggers out there – some big, some small, some niche, some who do a bit of everything, some who blog for a hobby and some who blog for a job. It can be so hard to not compare yourself to others, especially those who started at the same time as you. You will see others who are getting collaborations with big brands, or who have hundreds of thousands of followers on twitter and instagram, or those who have gone viral from one heartfelt Facebook post. But you need to remember this can’t happen to everyone – it won’t happen to everyone. It doesn’t mean you’re not as good, it just means they’ve had their big break and you need to wait for yours. It might come, but it might not. But if you started your blog because you want to write, then just continue to do that and know that the people who do read your blog, love it and would miss you if you stopped.
I sometimes need to take my own advice on this. I have a full time job and a toddler. I can’t put as much time and effort into my blog as someone who does this for a living. It is not my job, it is my hobby. As much as I’d love to earn money from it, at the moment, I don’t have any spare energy to put my all into it. But that’s ok. I’m happy (ish) as I am at the moment. I’ve had some fab opportunities and I know there will be more on the way once I’m ready for them. I can’t look at someone else’s blog who has 20k monthly visitors, or 10k followers on instagram, or 50k followers on twitter and wonder why I’m not getting the same opportunities as them. They have worked incredibly hard to get where they want to be, and with the same time and effort I could get there to – but at this stage in my life, I don’t have that time and effort so I need to be happy with what I have. So my biggest bit of advice would be don’t compare yourself to others.
Have a blogging bestie
I don’t have a blogging tribe. I’m not very good at interacting with people online, where other people can see. Put me in a closed facebook group and I’ll tell you my deepest darkest secrets. Talk to me on twitter, where everyone can see, and I’ll probably not reply! Face to face I’m better and will probably kid you in to thinking I’m actually really confident! So I’ve struggled a bit to make connections with other bloggers – I’ve tried and had some interaction, but it’s always kind of fallen away because I’m not great at putting myself out there.
But I do have a blogging bestie. Someone I can message when I’m having a blogging crisis, someone I can bounce ideas off, someone who can read draft posts for me, someone who is honest and will tell me if something is a bit shit (although she phrases it nicer than that!). But also someone who checks on me when the blog is quiet to make sure I’m ok, or who reaches out when I’ve posted a difficult post. And in return I do the same for her. Without her, I wouldn’t have as much confidence in my blog as I do, and I really do owe her a lot. So for that, I would like to say thank you to the wonderful Mrs Lighty, and I would encourage all new bloggers to find that bestie – you don’t need to be friends with everyone, but to have one or two like-minded people who will be honest with you and support you really does help. You don’t even need to know them in “real-life” (although I’m very lucky to say I do know Mrs Lighty in real life!). Just someone who you know, without out fail, always has your back. (I really wish I had a photo to share of the two of us, but I don’t – must get one next time Mrs L!)
So, thank you to Mrs Lighty for nominating me for this award. The next part requires me to nominate other bloggers to take part, but I took so long to write this, everyone I would like to nominate has already done it! I really must look into that blogging tribe thing….but what I will do is mention my favourite blogs to read, and if any of you haven’t done a post yet, then here’s your nomination!