Boy, do I feel like a newbie? [021]

21 posts in and 10 weeks later, and boy, do I feel like a newbie?

It’s a good job that I love learning, as I think I might have just underestimated this blogging gig a little!feel like a newbie

Seeing that the time of year when everyone asks you what your New Year’s resolutions are is nearly upon us, this week felt like a good time to stop and think about what I’ve been doing with my blog and where it’s heading to…

Leaving work

I gave my notice at my job in July, and when I did people obviously assumed that I was moving onto another job: “So where are you moving to?”

While they were expecting me to hit them with the name of a big, fancy company, I’d say (gloating): “Nowhere. I’m taking a break”.

I was a bit smug, I must admit.

Taking a break. How blissful.

But The Universe was listening (you should always be careful with your words).

And so a break I took. In fact, my leg took one.

But that’s another story entirely.

Starting my blog

So thanks to (!) my leg breaking and causing an earlier-than-planned departure from my office job, I was able to set up my blog sooner than I thought. Hurray!

And there’s me being smug again.

With The Husband’s input I had already decided on a name and a logo, and after months of reading blog posts to try and work out how you even go about actually starting a blog, I bought a domain name and decided on a hosting company and package. All. By. Myself.

Super impressed at that point that I made all these decisions without bugging him!

And then I actually got the website going too!

Amazing.

I published some content, and created a Facebook page.

Granted that the website could have looked a thousand times better, but I figured I needed some time to work out what I wanted my blog to look like, and I didn’t want to rush that decision, so the new look only came last week (and I love it!)

Me and the blogosphere

But, going back to how and when it all started, it’s fair to say I was the only reading my posts for about a month. I see that a lot of bloggers report their mum being the only one reading and commenting on their posts when they first started out. Well, I don’t even have my mum reading and commenting, as she doesn’t even speak English and doesn’t quite grasp the whole idea of a blog anyway! (I love her lots though).

It’s only when I joined a couple of groups on Facebook about a month in that the doors of the blogging world really opened for me.

And BANG! (No, luckily, I didn’t smash my head on a bus window again). The BANG was the realisation that that I had been very naïve in thinking that the biggest bit was actually done!

It was like everyone was speaking a different language… DA, Linkys, SEO traffic lights, daily traffic, post views…

I didn’t even have Twitter or Instagram accounts! And Bloglovin’, StumbleUpon and SocialOomph still sound like they might be things from a far-away, exotic land (although I now am on Bloglovin’ – yeay!)

My to-do list exploded

So, soon enough, my to-do list filled up. And the best thing about it is that once I cross something off, I find out about something else that more established bloggers do, and that I feel I must try out as well!

The goal-post is always moving, and I’m chasing a to-do list which probably won’t ever get fully ticked off. So it’s really easy to get discouraged sometimes and feel a bit of blog envy for the amazing established bloggers out there that have been going for a few years. Equally, I also feel that same envy for the ones who started around the same time as me or not long before me, and yet seem to have achieved so much more!

Why am I even doing this?

But… I have to stop and look at my own achievements and really be grateful for what I have learnt in a short space of time.

I have LOTS to learn, and that’s part of the excitement of the journey ahead. I’d probably lose interest if I didn’t feel challenged.

This blog has the potential to change my life (yes, a bit of an exaggeration, but in a way, it’s true). I re-discovered the love of writing in the last couple of years and started this blog as ‘an outlet’ but also wit the aim to ‘find my voice’. It’s only through practice and trial and error and doing things (i.e. writing) that I will find what my style is and what I really want to write about.

I’ve already had some lovely comments – people have used words and phrases like ‘powerful’, ‘emotional’, ‘inspirational’, ‘eye-opening’, ‘beautifully written’, ‘from the heart’ to describe some of my posts, and to be honest, I cannot ask for much more.

Yes, I do want my writing (if not my blog alone) to create a small monthly income for me, and my plan is to achieve that in the next couple of years. I do see bloggers achieving this a lot quicker, but I also realise they put in a lot more work and hours than I do. My bi-weekly posting schedule may seem laughable when other bloggers post daily, if not twice a day! But, it’s what is right for me at this point in time (seeing I can only work when my youngest naps!), and this feels like what I need to really focus on.

Books and the internet are full of advice about you having to find your audience, your niche, solving problems, give valuable information etc. And it’s all great (and obviously true). Maybe I will get there, but for now, I’m really happy to for people to be able to relate, to stop and think, to feel like I’ve touched a chord and to feel like we’re all different and travelling a different path, but at the end of the day to really all feel like ‘we’re all in it together’.

So, watch this space. Right now, I do feel like a newbie, but my New Year’s resolution is to carry on finding out about all the good things that are going to make my blog better and me a better blogger, but in the process, I still want to have fun, ‘be me’ and hopefully never lose the love for writing.

Thank you!

And last but not least, I wanted to take a couple of minutes to thank all the lovely bloggers who have helped me in this journey so far.

So a massive THANK YOU to:

  • Franca, for taking the time to literally talk me through how you link up to a Linky and for hosting the amazing #KCACOLS.
  • Sian and Hayley for hosting #SundayBest – I’ve also learnt lots about blogging thanks to Hayley!
  • Becky, Clare and Debbie for hosting #BloggerClubUK and always taking the time to comment on and share my posts.
  • Trista for hosing #Momsterslink and featuring my post in her latest linky.
  • Hayley for giving me a chance to talk about what mindfulness means to me
  • Kris for including me in her blogger outreach series.
  • Fiona for inviting me to talk about my experience as a working mum returning to work
  • Donna, Mark and Susan for all the tips and advice!
  • Aby for all the tips on blogging that I find on her website and for including me in the November BritMums Newbie round-up.
  • Laura and Amy for never failing to make me a little emotional with their writing!
  • Everyone else who has given my social media accounts some love, taken the time to answer questions over on the UK Parent Bloggers group and to comment on my posts!

Much love to you all!

Cuddle Fairy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

22 Comments

  1. 7th December 2016 / 4:19 pm

    This whole blogging thing in definitely a learning adventure! I am still trying to get followers, page views, and everything else REALLY going, while also keeping up with content and not neglecting my family! I think it may be an uphill battle! #BloggerClubUK

    • Sara
      7th December 2016 / 11:20 pm

      Ah ha! I’m glad it’s not just me Brandi! And you’re so right about the ‘neglecting my family’ bit. It can all take over a little bit, can it? And seeing that I started this blog as a way to slow down with my life and look after myself more (so I can be more relaxed with the kids), I’ll better let it not take over my life too much! 😉

  2. 9th December 2016 / 12:22 pm

    I wish you all the very best. I was the same when I started and have recently found about 60 posts with zero comments on as I thought everyone in the world would see them instantly. I still only do Twitter now and FB when I remember. Given up on the others and can’t even remember how to lose the buttons from my sidebar.
    Commenting takes hours and tweeting let alone doing the very thing its all about, writing (in my case drawing) a blog post. Don’t get laden down with too much as you won.t have a social/family life. I go to the point where my DH had to ban mobiles from the dinner table. I really can’t imagine how he knew it was on my lap under the tablecloth. It’s the least unhealthy of all addictions, but make no mistake it can easily become one and turn a poor blogger into a finger swiping workaholic.
    If I can offer any advice at all, reschedule tweets with a platform like Social Oomph or Hootsuite. Perhaps pay an experienced person for a one to one tutorial for an hour or two. Even though you might know alot already, it helps your sense of what needs doing or not doing a bit more. There are plenty of us bloggers out there to help. Look on Abbie’s site for really good tutorials at You Baby me Mummy. Also Alice at The Fairy Blogmother is excellent on technical stuff.
    Good luck and enjoy! Jo x
    #BloggerClub

    • Sara
      9th December 2016 / 3:11 pm

      Thank you SO SO much for all your advice Jo! I have just recently started using Social Oomph, and it takes ages too! But, it made the difference between me never posting and me posting regularly, so it’s totally worth it! I’ve seen some posts from Aby and You Baby Me Mummy but hadn’t discovered The Fairy Blogmother yet! You are totally right – I often feel addicted to my phone! I banned them from the dinner table myself as I thought I’d ban them for the kids (they want to watch YouTube) and therefore it’d only be fair to set a good example. But I think I’m addicted to it otherwise!!! I checked out your drawings – they’re fab! So unique – I love your style! Thank you for all your help and offer to help – really really appreciate it! 🙂 x

  3. 9th December 2016 / 3:25 pm

    You’ve done amazing so far Sara. I bought a domain name straight away too and am learning so much, slowly but I’m learning and it’s growing so am so excited about what 2017 my bring and hopefully one day I can leave my day job too! Lovely chatting to you earlier xx

    • Sara
      9th December 2016 / 3:37 pm

      Thank you Laura – lovely chatting to you too! I’m also excited about 2017! It’s been fun, and I hope it continues to be! And hopefully one day I can make this ‘my job’ as well 🙂 Have a great Christmas! x

  4. 9th December 2016 / 5:08 pm

    Ahh thank you so much for including me in this post!! That’s really lovely of you! I’ve only been blogging 18 months and still feel very much like a newbie in a lot of ways, plus I am still utterly clueless about Twitter! It sounds as though you have learned so much already and one of the most important things I found was discovering so many lovely and supportive people. People always speak about blogging tribes and I never really understood that until recently, but I think it’s about finding like minded people who have your corner, and I try and do that for other people too, especially those just starting out. Keep going, you are doing so well! xxx
    five little doves recently posted…Christmas gift guide for womenMy Profile

    • Sara
      10th December 2016 / 12:45 pm

      Thank you Laura – I love reading your blog, and I so love your style. Honest, personal, powerful and beautiful. You always move me (and that’s a good thing!) xx

  5. 11th December 2016 / 2:22 pm

    Your blog is great. And good for you for going self-hosting straight away, most people are a little intimidated by that. Good for you. #kcacols

    • Sara
      12th December 2016 / 11:08 am

      Thank you 🙂 In all honesty, when I read up about it beforehand, it just sounded too scary to switch over later! 😉

  6. 12th December 2016 / 12:46 am

    I can relate to lots of this – you have certainly picked up the blogging baton and run with it sister! I should be thanking you for writing that fab blog post about mindfulness for my guest series – you certainly don’t need to thank me!
    Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness recently posted…Guest series: Mindfulness and Me #3My Profile

    • Sara
      12th December 2016 / 11:14 am

      He he, thank you Hayley! It was great to be able to be part of your fab blog! xx

  7. 13th December 2016 / 11:21 pm

    It’s such a steep learning curve, I’ve been going nearly a year and still have a massive to do list, things I need to master. What’s Social oomph? I need to check this out! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday x

    • Sara
      14th December 2016 / 11:48 am

      Hi Kerry, so you’re telling me you never stop learning! 😉 Social Oomph allows you to schedule Tweets, as far as I understand. I’m not sure whether it actually does more than that!!! x

    • Sara
      14th December 2016 / 11:47 am

      Thank you Susan! I will do! 🙂 xx

  8. 14th December 2016 / 1:24 pm

    It is a journey for sure Sara. You have done brilliantly with getting started and the learning experience never goes away. There is always something new to learn. I feel like I’ve learned so much from blogging. And it is of course very time consuming. It’s always good to look back on your achievements – we can often forget to do this. #KCACOLS

    • Sara
      15th December 2016 / 10:59 am

      Thank you Nicky – I’m glad to know there’s always something new to learn! I’m quite proud of what I’ve achieved so far 🙂

  9. 16th December 2016 / 9:47 pm

    Oh bless you – it sounds like you are doing great so far. There is so much to learn though isn’t there is so much more to blogging than just emptying your thoughts onto your laptop! I’m 2 years in and still feel like there’s loads to learn! #KCACOLS
    Maria recently posted…Friday Photos #7My Profile

    • Sara
      17th December 2016 / 10:34 pm

      He he – there IS so much more to blogging than just emptying your thoughts onto your laptop! And there was me thinking it was as easy as that! 😉

  10. 16th December 2016 / 10:09 pm

    Thank you so much for mentioning me and the linky! It is so nice of you! I’m so glad you find my explanation helpful! You have done really well in this short amount of time! Blogging is not easy but we get there somehow. There are a lot of support in the blogging community which is lovely! Thank you so much for joining us every week. It is lovely to have you! Keep doing well and good luck with everything! 🙂 #kcacols
    A Moment With Franca recently posted…Learning About The Evolution of McDonald’sMy Profile

    • Sara
      17th December 2016 / 10:36 pm

      Thank YOU for your help! You guys have all be very kind, and I really do appreciate it! And I’m learning lots in the process too! 🙂 x

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