Two years today I started my journey as a blogger, and published my very first post! WHAAAAT! Two whole years! If you fancy a little re-cap, here’s how that post looked…..
When I first started this blog, it was actually because I had closed the TLWP handmade clothing shop, but didn’t want to lose the small following that had grown, In those last months, I enjoyed writing about and photographing those wears, more than actually making them, and so I figured I’d just blog about sewing instead.
A lot has changed in these past two years, I still do blog about sewing – every now and again- but really, it turns out my passion is interiors and food, DIY-ing, making, photographing and then writing all about it, throw in a bit of family life and we’ve ended up here.
I love where the blog stands now, I love the mix of subjects that I really am passionate about, I love that with every new post my knowledge on blogging just grows. I’d love to say I have a plan, that I know exactly where I want to go with it all in the next year or so, but the truth is… I just don’t. Of course I’d love to blog full time, to be paid for my efforts, but realistically, I know I still have a lot to learn before I get anywhere near ‘proffessional’ status. And truthfully, I love that I’m under no pressure by anyone with my content. Sponsored posts every now and again are cool to get, but I like just going at my own pace.
So having said all that, blog plans for the next 12 months: Work harder on my photography, work harder on producing engaging/informative content, face my fear of being in photos.
I think they are good blogging goals to have, even if they are a bit general.
I’ve been asked a few times over these past few months about ‘how to blog’ its not something that can be answered too easily. In simple terms, you find a subject you’re passionate about, set up your blog and you post about it. In less simple terms you spend a month trying to think of a name, a further fortnight trying to get to grips with the technical side of setting up a blog, you change your mind on themes and layouts at least sixty times before settling on something thats ‘alright’ because you JUST. CANT. DEAL. with this sort of decision making. Before sitting at the blank page of your first post for a few hours, wondering what the hell to write. – Or was that just me?!
Fear not though, If you can just get past that initial though of ‘No one cares what I have to say’ or ‘This is way more hassle than its worth’ I’m sure you’ll agree it is such a rewarding experience.
I’ve complied a lovely list of beginners tips though, if you are trying to push yourself into the world of blogging.
- Dont freak out if you cant figure out how to use your chosen blogging platform in 24hours. I use WordPress, I hosted my shop on an enfold site, so it just made sense to stick with it for blogging. Because of this, I knew the basics. It has however taken me the past two years to be comfortable with the rest of it. You’ll get a guide to help you with setting up, and from there you simply personalise and post. everything else can be googled, or questioned on the many ‘bloggers’ Facebook groups. So don’t freak out!
- Don’t get lost in personalisation. Free templates are cracking!! Keep it simple, and build over time. There’ no point in spending three weeks pouring your creativity solely into how your page looks, when odds are in three days time, you’ll probably want to change it all anyway. Concentrate on your content first, let the visual style of your page build gradually.
- Picmonkey is a cheap and easy way to make a blog header (logo). I highly recommend paying monthly for the deluxe version. I think its only about £3 a month, but if you’re blogging regularly, it really is worth it. You can also use it for gentle photo editing and all that fancy writing you see on post promo pics.
- Photography matters! SO much. I understand not everyone is blessed with the ability to go out and spend a fortune on a dslr, or has the pro knowledge to create flawless blog photography. However, you can counteract maybe not having the best quality camera/phone by really making an effort with your styling. No matter what you blog about, you’ll need photos. Clean the lens (smudged camera phone pictures really are a pet peeve of mine!) rest your phone on something and set the timer (if you fancy a more styled selfie- though I am not the person to be taking advice from about selfies!) Rest your arm on something steady and find a lovely sunlit part of the house if you want a bright, shake free dessert shot. Making all these little simple steps to improve will really surprise you.
- Social media matters! The day you set up your blog, set up an Insta/Facebook/twitter account for it too. Even if you’ve nothing on the blog yet. Around 60% of my views come from my Instagram – which is understandable considering how much of my life I spend on there! Social media will bring the majority of your readers. weather you get 10 hits a day or 1,000 most of them will come from one of those three sites, depending on where you put the most effort.
- And finally, this one comes from a pro blogger friend of mine Clare over from Maybush studio, when I asked her (11 years of bloggers) knowledge on the matter, she told me simply “Pick a name for your blog that is versatile. Initially I picked a blog name that was about my location, but then we kept moving so I had to change it 3 times! I only settled on my current name 4 years ago. I’ve also changed what I blog about a lot in a decade so I’m glad I now have a url that is flexible!” Fantastic advice!
Although, on that note I should probably give an explanation on mine…. I would if I could, I just remember thinking it sounded right, I liked it. And now, its been with me so long – baring in mind I ran the shop under the same name for 18months prior- I just cant change it. Literally. I’ve tried, but nothing seems right, this is just the name of my space forever now.
So, on that note. I’m going to congratulate myself for being on here for the past two years, be grateful that -for some unknown reason- I actually have visitors who come to read my ramblings, which in itself gives me the confidence to carry on. And I’m going to go plan my projects for next weeks.
Thanks for a great two years!
The little woman pretends.