Shortly after giving birth to Baby Lighty last year, Mrs Lighty had the hair brained idea of starting a blog. How difficult could it be, juggling new motherhood and what has now become my second baby, my blog?! And so, in my sleep deprived state of anxiety, a year ago today, I resurrected the blog that I’d registered with WordPress 4 and a bit years previously.
In many ways, my blog is exactly like a baby; it’s something which needs to be constantly maintained, thought about, promoted and generally loved (well ok, maybe Baby Lighty doesn’t need to be promoted, I haven’t quite reached pushy-mother status just yet!). And even though I’d dabbled with my travel blog for years and therefore knew that blogging could be hard work, and despite the demands of a newborn, I wasn’t put off, and set my blog up I did.
All Things Spliced was born (again), a blog site I’d initially created with the intention of writing about newly married life (hence the girly name despite Baby Lighty being a boy: “Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of!” …just in case you were wondering!), but this time I set off with the intention of writing about new motherhood. With my very first post I tentatively started out, and then I slowly garnered a growing confidence due to the positive feedback of my readers.
And so, having not long celebrated Baby Lighty’s first birthday, here we are now, celebrating my first blogiversary! My first bloggy birthday! My very first year of being a genuine mummy blogger that people are actually reading! And that’s the amazing part, that thanks to you lovely lot, it seems that people are actually vaguely interested in what I have to write about. Who would’ve thought it, eh?!
In so many ways, I still have a crazy amount to learn about the world of blogging; I really, really need to work on my blog’s design and I’m starting to think about the holy grail of blogging – going self-hosted – and that’s just the start of my grand plan. But a big part of me also feels that I’ve come so far in this past year. This post, therefore, is a bit of motivational blogivism for all of those new mummy bloggers out there. Here are five things I’ve learnt in the past year of blogging:
- Not Everyone will Agree with you, but that’s OK
A life lesson as well as a blogging side product, I learnt very early on that if you’re working with a brand, not everyone will agree with your review of said brand. It’s ingrained in me to want to please everyone, and when I felt like I’d disappointed some of my readers with a review that not everyone agreed with me on, it upset me more than I thought possible (not to mention sent my anxiety spiralling out of control!). Luckily, I’ve generally had very lovely comments on my posts which have spurred me to carry on blogging and has built my confidence to continue working with brands. Not everyone will agree with you, but that’s ok.
2. HTML and other slightly Geeky things!
Ok, so I probably can’t add HTML knowledge to my CV just yet, but who would’ve thought that technophobe Mrs Lighty would suddenly be editing parts of my blog on the code page rather than the visual page? That I’d have to learn about follow and no follow links and how to create them? That I’d know what a text widget was?! Certainly not Mrs Lighty herself, that’s for sure!!
3. Your Friends and Family will feel the need to add a Disclaimer to most Conversations once you start Blogging
This disclaimer normally goes along the lines of “I read your blog sometimes but not all the time…”. It’s ok, you don’t have to, I’m not the Bloggy Police! Even Mr Lighty doesn’t read all of my posts, and if my own husband doesn’t, I can’t expect everyone else to!!
4. You will Never get over the ‘Cringe Factor’
I originally started this blog for me and Baby Lighty. In the first few weeks (OK, months) I was crippled with new mummy anxiety. Sometimes I would spontaneously burst into tears because I was so worried about something happening to this little tiny person I had created and loved so much. I’m sure I drove my mummy friends mad with my questions and concerns (sorry about that if you’re reading this and were one of them!). Starting up my blog was therefore my way of chronicling that time with a hope of looking back and seeing how far I had come, and maybe creating a treasure trove of memories for Baby Lighty to look back on along the way. I never really intended it to become public. But then one day I told my Facebook baby group about it, and they were really positive about what I’d written so far. So then I found the courage to tell my NCT friends. They were the first of my ‘real life’ friends that I told, and they have continued to support me on my blogging journey ever since, which I’ll always be grateful for. And then one day, I got brave over a cuppa during naptime and told the world (aka Facebook). And that’s when it really all began. But, a year on from blogging, that doesn’t mean that the cringe factor has stopped; it still very much feels like I’m handing my diary over to everyone to read the minute I hit publish. I’m sure I still blush a little whenever anyone says, “oh I read your blog on such-and-such…”. But only just a little.
5. Your Blog will take over your Life (but you’ll Secretly Love it)
I have found myself exclaiming on certain occasions over the past year “This blog has taken over my life! It’s taken over my life!”. I even have an address stamp now which advises recipients that ‘The Lighty Family’, rather than our real name, has sent them post! But ultimately blogging has bought me opportunities beyond what I could ever have imagined were possible, as well as helping me to forge very many lovely bloggy friendships with the wonderful tribe of mummy bloggers out there. A highlight from the past year was being nominated for the MADS, and I even put my blog address on my CV when I applied for my current job! And for all of these opportunities that have come my way via the blog, I’ll always be grateful.
So here’s to my very first year as a mummy blogger! Happy birthday and much gluten free cake, All Things Spliced! xxx