What I've learnt from my first six months blogging

By 9/29/2015

I've been blogging for around six months now and wow has that gone fast! I had to take a hiatus when Isla decided to put me into hospital at 31 weeks trying to come out far too early; luckily they managed to stop the labor and she held out another 7 weeks.

Since coming back into blogging after Isla was born I've been looking back at my old posts and blog design and I can't believe how much everything has changed in such a short time.

So here are some of the key things I have learnt since I started blogging; I hope that anyone else just starting out like me finds these points helpful.

I am not the Queen of social media

Before I started to blog, I'd only really used my personal Facebook and I rarely posted on my Instagram; I signed up to everything I possibly could in an attempt to network but I've realised with a 4 month old baby it's nearly impossible to keep up with pinterest, instagram, twitter, facebook, bloglovin' and the countless other options. I couldn't find the time to put into all of them what I wanted to. Now I've settled for being active on just two or three social media sites I've found I'm able to connect and post often and it's much more enjoyable.

Social media means being social

To begin with, I would post and get no reaction and get a strop on. No-one would tweet me, no-one was following me. It's a bit of a confidence dropped to start with but then I read a really great post (I'll link it if I find it again!) talking about comment karma and it hit me that not many people in the real world will talk to you if you stay silent! I've learnt that to get interactions sometimes you have to put in the effort; tweet someone, like something they have posted, leave a nice comment on their blog post and they are likely to return the favour and you can make some great friends along the way.

Keep the design simple

I have changed my blog design at least 4 times in the past 6 months. I've had excessive widgets, excessive font changes and crowded headers. I realise now that a lot of my styles and choices made the blog seem cluttered and unappealing; I would yearn for the simplistic and sweet style that other people had but even when I changed it, it still didn't seem me. I stopped lusting after fancy designs and learnt some simple CSS and now I have a clean and clear design that I am happy with and will probably keep for a long time.

Speak in my own voice

When I read blog posts I really enjoy feeling as though the writer is speaking directly to me through their text; it is more of a narrative or story. I've always tried to ensure that my writing voice is accessible and entertaining. I don't want to sound like Wikipedia or like I am over complicating something unnecessarily to sound smart. If I'm overthinking what I'm writing it's more likely to sound forced and if I was really enjoying talking about something out loud it would flow, so why shouldn't it flow in text form?

Don't get hung up on numbers

With all the sites and stats and follower counts it is really easy to get hung up on the numbers. I do join in with some ranking sites but I'm quite far down and honestly that doesn't bother me. It did to begin with; if I dropped rank even though I thought I'd had a great week or month I'd get really downhearted but it doesn't mean I'm rubbish at what I do. I might not be the highest rank or have the most followers but I really enjoy what I am doing and I love the people I do follow and who follow me even if there aren't many of them.

I may not be professional or award winning or followed by thousands, but I am so proud of my little corner of the internet. I've been given opportunities and met some wonderful people (albeit only online so far!) and it's such an amazing outlet.

Do you have any tips or advice for people new to blogging like me?

Thanks for reading

Steph xo

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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  1. Sounds like you've had a fab first six months! You've got a great approach to it - do it for the love, not the stats; you have to get involved in the community (what you put in is what you get out); and simple designs and layouts are best. Not sure I can add anything...just keep going and don't be afraid to try new things. If it doesn't work out, you don't have to do it again! xx #brilliantblogposts

    1. It's really been great and I am so glad I decided to do it! I love writing and it's such a good hobby to have. I still get excited when I get new followers and hit new records for my views but it definitely isn't the most important thing to me. You're right- some of my first posts were crap and I really do think it's a massive learning curve to see what works for me and doesn't :) xx

  2. loved reading this - i've only been blogging for 2 months now and it feels like everyday i'm realising something new! #brilliantblogposts

  3. I'm fairly new to blogging and really enjoy having it as a hobby too for now. I'm not very good on the social media side yet but am trying to comment on more posts. I prefer 'cleaner' looking blogs as I find them easier to navigate. #brilliantblogposts