Monday, 28 November 2016

My year as a Blogger

So on the 7 December last year I put up my first ever post. I honestly didn't know what I was doing, how it would go and if anyone, apart from my sisters and daughter, would read it.

Earlier in 2015 I'd discovered You Tube and spent many happy hours watching, not cats dancing, but make up tutorials (which have taught me so much), what fashion people had bought, where people had gone on holiday and what they'd been liking or not liking over the previous months. I started calling the You Tubers I subscribed to "my mates" and would use sentences like "well my mates really recommend this primer.." etc

I had hit a bit of a down time in my personal life. Not depression as such but I'd just hit a point where I felt "is this it?". I had spent the past four years re-building my life as a single mum, completely decorating a whole house, building a lot of flat pack and being a mum to a teenage daughter, as well as changing jobs twice! And then all of a sudden, just like that, everything was sorted. I had nothing to do. My daughter had suddenly and without warning matured in to a woman, and an independent one at that. She was off driving about in her new car and living her life as I wanted her to and as she should. But I felt I had nothing. I felt like I was looking down in to a deep, pretty dark, hole.

And then my sister said "why don't you start a You Tube channel". And whilst I didn't think this was for me, I did say "I could start a blog?". A few weeks went by and then one weekend when I was feeling particularly bored, I thought I'd start investigating further. And so I spent the whole weekend googling and watching You Tube videos and That Age Style was born.

Setting up a blog itself is quite straight forward but as I'm a visual person I wasn't happy with the layout and so bought a blog template from a company called Pipdig (who are really helpful). You have to remember I'm in my mid 40's and didn't grow up in this digital age so everything to me is very foreign at first and it probably takes me three times as long to understand something than everyone else. And there is a lot to understand - HTML, coding, self hosted or not, SEO, statistics, scheduling, linking... the list goes on but it is all so worth it.

I don't want to be all over dramatic and say blogging saved me but I can say blogging is the best hobby I've ever had (and I've had a few). I love the creative outlet it gives me. I love the blogging community. Every single person from the community that I have had any interaction with, either online or face to face has been so friendly and kind. 

Events
Early on I started hearing about blogging events and I wanted in. My first event was specifically aimed at 30+ bloggers which actually couldn't have been a better intro for me into events. Spurred on by this I have now been to a couple more events and they have all been interesting and fun.
Reallyree.com
You might have heard of Really Ree and already be reading her blog and I am lucky enough to be one of the contributors for Reallyree.com I've been writing for them since April and I hope I will continue to do so for a long time yet. During the Summer I was able to attend a few PR events on behalf of Reallyree, which was not only really exciting but meant I was able to meet other bloggers that I admire and have followed for a while now.
Blogging takes quite a bit of organising and it is like having a part time job in the evenings and weekends, on top of a full time job but I'm really organised so that's no problem for me. I myself don't schedule or even plan posts that far in advance because I like to write about current things or things that I'm excited about right now.

What has surprised me is how well the few personal blogs I have posted about have been received. My post At risk of redundancy-as a Mum is still my most popular post and I am very proud of it. Although I still can't read it without crying! 
So on 7 December 2015 I told myself I would give this blogging lark a year, to see how it goes and because I signed up for a year when I bought my website domain! So will I carry on? Damn right I will (so much so that I've gone for auto-renewal on the domain!). As long as you all continue to read and like what I write about, I will.

I want to say to everyone, all of you out there, who has ever taken the time to comment on any of my posts, like or comment on an Instagram I've put up, like or re-tweet a Twitter post  - thank you. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You have restored my faith. You will never know what your support and kindness means to me.

It wasn't blogging that saved me, it was all of you wonderful people.

xx






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10 comments

  1. I am the proudest daughter ever xxxxx

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    1. Not as proud as I have always been of you. I love you. Xxxx

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  2. What a heartwarming post on this cold dark winters night. Love it. X

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  3. Smiling away lying in my bed...love reading all your posts and looking at your pics...I admire you and will even forgive the fact that I've definitely spent more money on things I don't really need but things I love and you've made my bathroom cabinet much more interesting too...look forward to the next year's posts! :-D

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  4. I love your blog and am so pleased you started it and are carrying on, I don't think there are enough bloggers like us who are older and it's nice to read a blog when the writer is a similar age and we have things in common, keep up the good work lovely lady, you're fab!!! Lots of love xx

    Zoe ♥ MammafulZo

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    1. Thanks Zoe. Your comments and support are what make it worthwhile. I love your blog too and yes us maturer bloggers are mixing things up I think.
      Julie xx

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  5. Wow this is such a familiar story! Apart from the single Mother part you & I have been living a parallel life Hahaha. Thanks for sharing & Happy Blogaversary Gorgeous!

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    1. Oh thanks so much Michelle. I love your blog and style pics and it's women like yourself that made me feel I could give it a go.
      Julie xx

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