Why start a Blog?
My eldest was 6 months old when I had the idea to start a blog.
The crazy early months of non-stop feeding and little sleep had calmed down. Our daughter liked to nap and sometimes for up to 3 hours each afternoon. I suddenly found myself with 'me' time!
I'd always been fascinated with starting a blog but what the hell would I write about? And surely that's what other people did, not me? What could I bring to the table?
It was an online blogging class that got things started for me. I signed up to a course on Creative Live called How to Build a Successful Creative Blog by April Bowles Olin. It was a real game-changer for me.
The class gave me the confidence to dive right in to the blogging world and start a blog page on my already up and running website. I instantly warmed to April's teaching style. It was clear she had put SO much work into the course. Most of all she asked the question 'Well, why shouldn't you blog?'
Learning online was the perfect fit for me. I could watch a segment from the class at lunchtimes, learning slowly as the days went by.
There were a few things that I hadn't really appreciated about blogging at this stage - mainly the planning. There's firstly the brainstorming of ideas, then writing posts, planning when they go live, sourcing or taking pictures yourself and, in order to get people reading your blog, a social media plan.
For me personally, starting a blog was the creative outlet I needed. I also wanted to keep my website current while I was on maternity leave.
A few posts in and I started to view it as more of a journal - a place to share hobbies, photography, life with my husband and girls, books I love etc.
I often turn to other blogs myself.
A few months back I was considering signing up to an online photography class. It wasn't cheap and I really wanted to hear first hand if it was worth the money. Luckily someone who had taken the course had written a blog post about it. I then got in touch with them over Instagram and quizzed her before I did ultimately sign up.
I know some people take the view that blogging is perhaps self-indulgent; they don't really get the point of it and the word 'blogger' instantly makes some people cringe.
For me it’s all about sharing - sharing thoughts, ideas, making connections and showing your creations. The title of a book by writer Austin Kleon sums it up - 'Show Your Work' (read this, it's wonderful)
A few other great resources I have found along the way are two blogging magazines - Blogosphere (British) and Artful Blogging (American). They are packed full of inspiring stories about bloggers, why they started and what it has led to for them. I always reach for these if I am feeling like I need a little boost.
The Blogtacular podcast is also chock full of great advice and interviews. You can find it here.
If you're thinking about starting a blog - my advice? Just go for it. Don't care what others might think. Set up a Wordpress account. Start a free Squarespace trial. Decide how often you want to blog and plan your next 2 months’ worth of posts. You don't have to write them all upfront - just have ideas in mind.
70+ posts down the line and I still feel very much like a newbie - I am learning all the time. Most of all though, I really enjoy it; it makes me happy.
Blogging has led to wonderful connections and made me push myself into being braver, achieving more and appreciating the everyday. I'm glad I made the move.