A Travel and Lifestyle Blog
Although I set my blog up 20th May last year, officially, I feel like my blog turns 1 on the 12th June. That was the first time I pressed publish. It was literally a 100 word post saying hi. I was shy and nervous, felt a bit like I was on a blind date, so it was short and sweet. Its weird that first post, its like you feel so scared, yet the likelihood of anyone seeing it but your mum is pretty low! Feeling braver, I posted another on the same day about my list I had compiled as I approached my 40th birthday, (a list which I am still working my way through), you can have a read of that first “list” post here if you would like.
I do however, think that I could be like The Queen and have 2 birthdays, as I feel like my real journey with my blog started January this year when I changed my working hours, freeing up time to blog. Well, actually, if we are being really thorough, I suppose my real-real start date was 4 years ago when I started my first blog. Long story short, I made the mistake of thinking after a few months, I could just press buttons and make magical tech stuff happen. Errrr, no! The result was my blog, disappearing into cyber space somewhere and me being unable to retrieve it! I gave up.
Anyway. I digress. What has this beautiful, enlightening, inspiring little world of blogging shown and taught me so far?
What Iv learnt
First and foremost, its shown me a deeper love of writing. Iv always enjoyed writing, but my genre has usually been short stories, or poetry. I really am enjoying writing about my superficial loves, reviews and sharing short little snippets of my life. Its a relaxed, fun way of indulging my love affair with words.
The world is full of bloody lovely people. I am quite self conscious and shy by nature, (you will rarely find me in front of the camera) so putting myself forward with people is daunting. I have been so grateful to those people that were strangers, but have reached out and welcomed me with genuine warmth and friendliness, been so supportive of my posts, sent lovely emails and generally made me feel all warm and fluffy. It has meant a lot. It seems in particular, the over 30 bloggers are quick to embrace each other, including us newbies. Im so, so grateful of that, its blooming scary and lonely when you first start, like being the new girl at school!
Iv also discovered (as Iv mentioned before) a growing love of photography! This was a total shock to me as I have never shown an interest in taking pictures. I seem to be hungry to learn all the technical stuff, and have attended a couple of workshops, but putting it all into practise is a steep learning curve! I still as yet cant take a great photo, but I dont use the manual setting on my camera anymore, and am learning. Iv got to accept that it will just take time and practise. Who knew it was so involved!! I have not yet developed my own, individual “photographers eye”, but Im trying, I really want to find my own style. What I have however developed, is a massive appreciation and respect for a good photo, in particular spectacular outdoors/nature type photos and quirky/arty people pics. I just love them!
Blogging is hard work. Like many people who dream of starting a blog, I thought I’d just write a few words, find a few pictures. I never fully appreciated the time that goes into the post writing, social media updates, taking photos, editing photos, ensuring your links work etc. Blogging around a job, kids, life, is challenging, I have had to become a much better manager of my time thats for sure. Its a beautiful hobby for me though so no pressure, hats off to those that do it as a full time job.
The technical stuff is like a foreign language to me! I have never had much interest in computers, how they work, running websites etc. For my business, I had “Adam the website man” who did anything technical for me, so I never had to get involved. Well my blog has forced me to start to get an understanding. Iv been frustrated, despairing and angry when I cant get it to do the things I want it to due to lack of knowledge, but slowly, very slowly, Im learning. Thank gawd for YouTube and those beautiful bloggers who share technical knowledge. I have not even began to tackle SEO yet though, and what the hell is html, that all looks terrifying!
I hear and read people saying about how blogging has changed, they miss the good ole days, its not the same etc and I get it. The world that they knew and loved has evolved. I dont know of that previous time, only this one and I have found it to be pretty blooming fabulous. I have however been surprised a little about how some bloggers seem to want to destroy and “out” other bloggers, (I saw a nasty, uncomfortable spat on twitter recently) and maybe its my lack of understanding of all that shiz, but Im a live and let live kinda gal. I prefer to support people. Don’t worry about how green you perceive anyone else’s grass to be, just nurture, feed and grow your own. Im definitely happy to tell someone if Im loving what they do, I comment on someones blog/photo if I like it. Its nice to be nice eh!
I buy a lot of make up. I have always been a make up junkie, but as I now consider every item carefully to see if its worthy of a review, I am very aware of how much I buy. Ooops! I just bloody love it and not sure Im going to stop any time soon. Maybe I should start a self-help group? Hi, Im Kerry, Im a make up addict.
So thats it, a year in. I feel like my blog will evolve and find its place over time. I literally write about anything I like, and enjoy that at the moment, so dont really have a niche. Thats ok though, I just love writing it so thats satisfaction right there, but, having said that, the beauty side will probably always hold my heart slightly tighter. In celebration of reaching this one year milestone, I am doing a blog-a-versary giveaway, so details of that will be posted in the next day or two.
My Hopes and Goals
Everyone measures success differently. For some, its a career goal, others its all about numbers and likes, capturing the perfect photo etc. Everyone has their own agenda and thats great. For me, I had no expectations or aspirations other than to enjoy this hobby, with no pressure put on me (by me or others). I genuinely, from the bottom of my heart feel a measure of success already because I am just loving writing my blog, and some people even actually read it! Whether that is 5 people or 100 people, they are engaging and reading what I write. Thats a gorgeous feeling and Id be lying if I said it dosent make my little heart swell that people are reading my blog!
Id also love to make some blogger friends. My poor family are, in all probability, fed up of hearing about blogging, and I know for sure they are fed up of hearing me scream “why cant I bloody do it” at my laptop. Is there a “would love to meet” club for lonesome bloggers? An online blogger date app? A certain colour carnation I should be walking around with? I do have lovely email conversations with a couple of bloggers, so hopefully, we will get to meet up soon. That would be lovely. Obviously, if you want or have room for a new blogger friend, I will be the one sitting on the “friendship step,” patiently waiting…….
“Kerry, 44, would love to meet like minded blog obsessives, for excited make up chat, technical knowledge swaps and cocktails-a-plenty. Must have GSOH, be able to understand the language of Essex and have all their own teeth”
I have been contacted the grand sum of twice so far by brands. I know thats nothing, but I did get a little thrill of excitement both times. One was inviting me to write an article for a fee, (yep, real life cash). I declined this offer as I felt it wasn’t relevant really to my blog, (it was about travel with a family), and actually, referred them on to another blogger who I felt would be better suited. The second offer was from a skincare brand asking if I would like to receive some product to trial. I felt that was more my cup of tea and relevant. I would like to do more of that sort of writing, and if opportunities come my way that I feel are my thing, I will relish it. Again, whatever will be will be. I have loved reading blogs for many years, continue to love finding new ones that I enjoy, and love losing myself in the blogging world for an hour. Im happy to just do what I do, keep enjoying, and see what that brings.
Oh but obviously, above all, I am convinced that I will now become a wildlife photographer and be in Africa loads as I am definitely the only one to shoot that perfect picture of the never-before-been-seen Rhino. I have done a one day photography course after all………………
Iv linked up with Not Dressed as Lamb SaturdayShareLinkUp join in here