Two Years of Blogging – Where Am I Now

Two Years of Blogging – Where Am I Now

Well, here we are, I have been writing my blog for two years. I promise you, that comes as a huge surprise to me if I am honest. I have the attention span of a gnat so tend to flit about and not really stick to much hobby wise. But, my blog has become so much more to me than a hobby. I thought I would share with you where I am at now, after two years of blogging, what Im planning and a few little things I have learnt over the past twelve months. Blogging has been a steep learning curve for me. I knew NOTHING about anything technical. I have literally taught myself everything via youtube and google! It has been incredibly frustrating at times, but I am so proud that I got there. There are still a few little things that I need to iron out, but on the whole its doing what I need it to do. I do feel like my blog is evolving, and I feel like it is about to go through some changes. Mainly because things that are important to me are evolving. My life is different now than it was two years ago when I began my blogging journey. Let me try to explain all.

Then and Now

So, my blog was actually started in June 2016, but I think I published about three posts in the entire 6 months left until the end of 2016. I was still working 60 hour weeks in my clinic then, and time was always a struggle. I had the desire and passion to write, but no time. I didn’t really get into any kind of regularity with publishing posts until January 2017, when I closed my business. So, I like to think that my blog is like The Queen. I have two birthdays. June and January. Two reasons for cake????

When I started my blog, I wanted to share my love of make up and skincare, in fact, all beauty products! Iv always been a product junkie and me and my friends would always excitedly share our latest finds over drinks. I wanted my blog to be like that. Sharing my product finds with you as I would my mates, although, despite it perhaps seeming so at times, I am not drinking or drunk when I type……… I still have this passion for products, and I still want to share all my finds with you. That will not change. I have always bought a lot of products, I will continue to fuel my obsession, so you will probably always find my product finds are shared with you.

I do however, feel that my entire head space is different from what it was 2 years ago. As many of you know, we were given a huge shock last July when my husband was very suddenly taken very unwell. I haven’t shared too many of the details, but the long and the short of it is he had a collapsed bowel and stomach, ad he nearly died in hospital, due to complications with his surgery. It was the scariest month in our lives. Just as he was let out of hospital and recovering from that awful time, we got hit with the news that he had grade 4 cancer. This is what had caused the collapsed bowel. Again, Im not dwelling on all that, but Im hoping that it will help you understand that, needless to say, it has massively changed my perception on what is important in life. It has changed how I want to live my life. Both of us feel we have been given a second chance to live our lives together for a reason and we are determined not to waste it! We want to collect memories and experiences, not “things”. So, you will be seeing a lot more travel posts on my blog. My husband does a job that means he gets a lot of time off. Every 6 weeks he gets a break in his working pattern of at least a week, sometimes two weeks, so we plan on trying to take off for a few days in these breaks. I plan on sharing travel tales, hotel reviews and anything interesting we find while on our jollies. I hope you like this idea! My job is very flexible, Nik gets his work breaks, our boys have left full time education. It feels like all the planets have aligned for us, and the world is literally our oyster! We are not however, lottery winners (in terms of money, we defo are in terms of life) so some of these breaks will be on a budget, so I hope you find that useful too! I cant wait to share my travels with you. Maybe I will call these posts Kerry Life and Travels haha!

I will be trying to streamline the blog a little. I will still have an eclectic mix of subjects, but Im going to try to group them better. For example, anything that I share about adventures in London will now be under “London Life”. So my afternoon tea series, restaurants we have enjoyed, days out that are a little different etc, will now be found under that heading. Im just trying to make it so there are not so many headings and its all easier to navigate!

What Iv realised and learnt

My blog has become so much to me. One of the main things is how it has increased my confidence due to the fact that it pushes me to step out of my comfort zone and go to events etc, often on my own. This has been the greatest gift as just over 2 years ago something happened in my life that completely wrecked my confidence and self worth. Blogging really has helped me re-build that as I have met such supportive and wonderful people. I will always be so grateful to it for that. It has connected me with some fabulous other bloggers that I now consider my friends. It has been my place to vent sometimes, (even if I don’t then press publish on those posts). It has been a way to open discussion about topics I am passionate about. It has at times been my saviour in the darker times of Niks illness. It has taught this old dog many new tricks! I love it. I love writing it and I love the way Im supported. Im so very grateful xxx

Leading on from that point, I actually really enjoy going to events now! I look forward to them. If you have been around on this blog of mine for a while you would know what a huge step that is for me! Amongst my favourite ones were the Next one I went to in London, and the Visit Essex press day tour I was taken on. Both such amazing experiences. I would urge anyone, whatever it is, to not talk yourself out of going to something if you feel awkward going on your own. I did this so much and missed out. there are often people in the same boat and I have never failed to have a good time. Pull your big girl pants up and go. You’ve got this xx

I stay away from the negative. You will never see me get involved in any drama on social media or anything like that. If I dont like something, I just scroll past. I try to keep my blog, my social media and my mind positive and upbeat. Yes, life is shit at times, but I try to look on the brighter side. Not always easy, but if I am feeling a little overwhelmed, I tend to stay off social media and have fun with my friends/family. I dont like to invite negative into my life.

I have never been one to stress over numbers of followers, but like all of us that write, I would like my posts to be read! I would love to tell you that I have sussed out how to build a following on Instagram, but I havent! Sorry! All I know is that Iv noticed that if you dont spend a huge, inordinate amount of time on there, then its incredibly hard to grow. Well, I have better things to do than spend every day on social media, so I accept that my growth will be at a snails pace, but Im ok with that as I prefer to live life than spend it on an app! If you would like to see the results from an Instagram experiment I did, you can read them in this post My Instagram Experiment – What i learnt I cant really give you any tips on social media other than dont let it get to you. Take it in its basic form….its not real life, its apps on a phone. Post what YOU like, be genuine, have integrity. If doing that makes your growth slower, so be it. At least you wont feel demented with it haha!

notebooks, tea, and planning

I now understand a little about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and things. Yep. Me. The old fossil. I understand these things a little! I have yet to find the time to make my way back through all of my published posts to make them SEO friendly, but its on my to do list! If you have a plug in like Yoast, use it! Let it do the hard work for you to make your posts SEO friendly. It will help you be discovered on google. I love that I have quite a few non-bloggers that read my posts as well as fellow bloggers, and I know some of them found me via google. It is something I will be doing over the next month or so, so if anyone wants my very limited knowledge on the subject, feel free to message me.

I finally understand the importance of Google Analytics, and how it can really help you identify where your traffic comes from and the inner workings of your blog. I work through my analytics report at the end of every month and it has really helped me get a picture of it. If you dont have this installed on your blog, get it! Its a fabulous tool. Leah at Devoted to Pink wrote a great post on understanding your analytics, I have linked to it here for you.

I consider myself very lucky to have worked with a few brands in my short little blog journey. I never wanted my blog to be a sales platform, and I still dont and I truly only ever accept products to review on the blog if they interest me. I have turned down more than I have accepted as some just dont sit with my ethos or its not a product I would go and buy. I am incredibly protective of my integrity, and hope that comes across. I have never approached a brand, but do get excited when a brand that I love emails me. Its exciting! I am also very honest with the brand though and tell them that I will be very honest in my review, good or bad!

So in conclusion

Blogging. My life saver at times, my source of information, my beautiful distraction.

I will be changing it up a little over here, but hopefully, to make it more interesting! The blog is called Kerry Life and Loves, so it will always reflect what I love. Even though I am in my 40’s I am still growing and evolving as life has a way of throwing in a few plot twists! Im ok with this. I like change. I like to see where life takes me. I hope you are happy to roll on the waves with me! You will probably never find a blogging schedule as such, Im not that organised but I hope that you think I post with some kind of regularity. I love my blog, I love the blogging community and I love the people that I have met along the way. I am aways so grateful to the support shown and you sharing your opinions on my posts etc. You are bloody lovely!

So, I would love to hear what posts you enjoy on this little space on the internet of mine. Anything you would like me to write about more? Any topics you would like to see me introduce? What do you yourself love about blogging. What have you learnt in your blogging journey? I would love to know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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33 Comments

  1. June 10, 2018 / 11:33 am

    Such a brilliant, honest and inspirational post Kerry and thank you for sharing. I knew Nik had health issues but wasn’t sure what they were. It seemed wrong to ask as it seemed intrusive and me being a nosy cow! I love your blog as its not just about one thing. I’m not sure if I would have kept reading it if it were just about beauty products. You’d only have to look at my meagre collection to know why! Carry on being upbeat and positive. Negativity drags everyone down. I live with a cup half empty husband and it drives me mad! I can’t wait to hear about your travels and everything else. Your world is your oyster and it’s there to be enjoyed! I take inspiration from your blog to mine, but of course I’d never copy! I just wish I could get my head around the techy stuff and take good photos. I definitely need to meet up with other bloggers for tips, advice and of course, friendship. xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 10, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      Ohhh thank you so much for this wonderful comment. You have made me so happy! Its difficult with things like what happened with Nik as in lots of ways, I am very private, but also, I dont want to ever depress anyone! I know for many, reading blogs and things is peoples escape, they dont want to read about my troubles! Having said that, I felt I wanted to explain to the gorgeous people that read my blog, why I have a new mindset etc. Please please please, if there is ANYTHING I can help you with in your blog, message me. If I can help, I will. I am more than willing to try anyway haha! You write fabulously, and I always enjoy popping over to your blog. I think we have a very similar humour xxx. Thank you so much for reading and honestly, if you think I can help with anything please dont feel you cant message xxxx

      • June 15, 2018 / 3:53 pm

        Hi Kerry, I’ve been meaning to reply for the last couple of days, but then it kept going completely out of my head. I blame the menopause and an under active thyroid for my rubbish memory. Thank god for post-it notes is all I can say! I’ll definitely shout when I need your superior blogging knowledge. Thank you sooo much for offering to help this rather hopeless blogger at all things techy. It’s really, really appreciated. xxxx

        • kerrylifeandloves
          Author
          June 15, 2018 / 4:45 pm

          Im not promising I can as I am far from an expert, but you have my promise that I will try lol xxxx

  2. June 10, 2018 / 11:35 am

    Oops, forgot to ask. Did you make those amazing cupcakes??? xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 10, 2018 / 4:33 pm

      If I said yes I would be telling a big fat fib…….Sadly, baking is most certainly not something I am good at! I do however, go into the bakers and buy well haha! xxx

  3. June 10, 2018 / 12:58 pm

    I honestly love everything you write about, and I’m looking forward to seeing more posts about traveling.. Seeing you and the hubby just enjoy life and experience things, it will be fun! x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 10, 2018 / 4:35 pm

      Ahhh Lise thank you so much! Thats means so much to me xxx I really hope it is fun for people, and perhaps gives a little inspo of places to go. I will be picking your brain in the future, your beautiful country is very much on our to be visited list! Thank you for reading xxxxx

  4. Jean
    June 10, 2018 / 4:33 pm

    Once again Kerry another interesting post, I love reading your blog always very interesting and informative plus I like reading about your beauty finds, takes the leg work out for us. I cannot wait to read all about your travels, what you get up to and your recommendations

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 10, 2018 / 4:37 pm

      Thank you so much Jean, I am so happy that you enjoy the mix! Im really hoping to get stuck in with the travel posts, and cater to all budgets. Its crazy how life can make you see things so much clearer! Thank you for reading xxx

  5. June 10, 2018 / 7:54 pm

    Fabulous! ❤️ I agree with staying away from negative people and situations. I really liked your Instagram experiment post. Looking forward to reading your travel blogs. xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 10, 2018 / 8:33 pm

      Thank you so much! I like to be around positive energies and stay away from situations that make my energy sag. Thats always a tell tale sign for me if my energy drops around someone. Thank you for reading, I cat wait to get stuck in with the travels! xx

  6. June 10, 2018 / 9:27 pm

    I can not wait to read your travel posts – like you my illness/condition made me realise that time is not promised to anyone. And like you going to all the places that I have always put off until I am older. It is funny how you look at life at times like this !

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 11, 2018 / 5:14 am

      Oh you are so right! It totally changes how the world looks. All the things that you put so much empathises on, just pale into insignificance don’t they. Its a wake up call for sure. I will follow along on your travels too, and wish you all the very best. Thank you so much for reading xxxx

  7. June 10, 2018 / 9:33 pm

    I love how you have such sound attitude about your blog and social media. No negativity and no hunting for numbers and all that. I’m looking forward to see your travel posts!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 11, 2018 / 5:16 am

      Thank you so much Susanne. I have seen people drive themselves mad with chasing figures, and I vowed to never get like that. I want this to be a happy pass time, not a stress or task! I am so excited about sharing some travel posts. I am a little geeky though so prepare for lots of nerdy info hahaha! Thank you so much for reading xxxx

  8. Tracey
    June 11, 2018 / 8:28 am

    Hi Kerry
    I love reading your blog and look forward to each new post. I really like the never knowing what you are going to be talking about next feeling. Even though I don’t know you in real life, you make me feel as if I have found a friend. I knew you had been through a terrible time with your husbands illness, but I didn’t realise how awful it has actually been for you all. Can’t believe how you have stayed so positive. When you said you feel that you’ve been given a second chance to live your lives together I couldn’t stop the tears. I am one of your non blogger followers, who hasn’t got a clue about social media, and even though I rarely post any comments, I will be following your future adventures. Best wishes to you and your family. Love Tracey x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 11, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      Ohhhh Tracey, I think I have got something in my eye………..Wow, thank you so much for this wonderful comment. You have made me emotional. It really means so much. Im so glad you feel that way, as that is how I genuinely feel about all my readers. Its so difficult with things like Nik’s illness as I am pretty private about things with my friends/family, plus I didnt want to depress anyone with my woes! However, I really wanted to give my lovely readers a little insight into why and where my head is at now. I think I keep as positive as I can by just trying to always believe that there are better days ahead. Nik lost his Mum to cancer a year before he was diagnosed, so we are well aware how truly lucky we are. We cant take that for granted. Thank you so much for sticking with me, I am so honoured and grateful. Thank you xxxxxx

  9. June 11, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    YAY congrats Kerry! So so glad I found your blog, it’s one of my favourites now and I love reading every post you write! It’s crazy to see how far you can come in 2 years. When I first started my blog I barely posted as well. Just so exciting! Definitely need to read that google analytics post because i totally don’t understand it hahaa xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 11, 2018 / 7:23 pm

      Ohh thats so kind Grace, thank you so much. I really appreciate you sticking with me xx I think when we start, we feel a little bit shy too don’t we haha. Yes definitely read it, once you understand google analytics you will love how you understand your blog a bit more. If I can help at all, give me a shout xxx

      • June 11, 2018 / 10:14 pm

        Thank you Kerry! Will give it a read and hopefully will help, i’m so clueless with these things! Look forward to reading all your future posts xxx

  10. June 11, 2018 / 7:43 pm

    Awh I felt so proud of you reading this. I thought that paragraph about you and Nik was absolutely beautiful, and your boys are so lucky to have you as parents. I haven’t met you in real life yet but I’m sure you’d be a wonderful friend (already are), and this post only confirms that! You keep it real on your blog, and that’s one of my favourite things about it. I love how you put together everything you love, much like I do – from your passion for skincare to discussing topics that bother you. It’s just such a refreshing change from the usual blog posts you see people writing over and over. I can’t wait to read about your travels with your family and I’m here for the long run, no matter what you decide to do with your blog! xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 8:10 am

      Ohhh you. You have made me an emotional wreck. you are too kind. Thank you. You are a very cherished member of my blogging family and I am lucky to have you xxx I suppose the long and the short of it, we can only write passionately about things we are passionate about eh! Otherwise there is no authenticity. As we as people grow and evolve, those of us that have the freedom to write what we like on our blogs because its not our job, can evolve our blogs too. Thats the beauty! Thank you so much for your support, and for being my friend xxxxxxx

  11. June 12, 2018 / 5:27 pm

    I’m so glad that you discovered blogging. I love reading your posts, but agree we live in the here and now, and not just online, so go and make some wonderful memories with your husband too – and tell us about them afterwards of course! XX

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 12, 2018 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you so much Kirsty. I feel so humbled by your compliment. I cant imagine ever not blogging, but I know it will evolve as i do I suppose! Thank you so much for all your support xxx

  12. June 13, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    Congratulations on reaching 2 years. I’m so glad this is something you stuck at, as you do it so well! I love that you write about a mix of things, bringing in that little bit of your personal life to. I look forward to hearing about your travels. Life is for living! One of my favourite quotes – ‘Forever is composed of nows’.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 13, 2018 / 9:39 pm

      Ohhh Gemma that is a fantastic saying, i love it! Thank you so much for the lovely compliment. I just cant imagine not blogging now can you? Im so honoured that you have stuck with me, you are very much appreciated xxxx

      • June 17, 2018 / 10:22 am

        I know, I honestly have no idea what I did with my time before I started blogging!

        The quote is by Emily Dickinson and I love it!

        • kerrylifeandloves
          Author
          June 17, 2018 / 8:27 pm

          I know! Im sure we had a lot more free time haha! xxx

  13. June 14, 2018 / 6:15 am

    Fantastic Kerry. So many bloggers will have given up by now. I see them appear and leave just as quickly. I didn’t even know how to send an email when I started my blog,that’s one of the reasons I decided to give it a go and learn PC skills. Trust me, you are going to go a long way here! I love your blog and your no frills and down to earth personality. I hope we cross paths someday at an event or something and I’m here to see your journey ripen.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 14, 2018 / 8:11 am

      Ohhh Laurie thank you so much! Thats such a lovely thing to hear! The technical side has been challenging, `i certainly know that haha! I love writing my blog, but I especially love the connections that have come with it. We WILL get together, we will make it happen. Thank you so much for your lovely words xxxx

  14. June 18, 2018 / 4:33 am

    As a newbie blogger I absolutely love reading about other people’s adventures and journeys on their blogs! It’s so inspiring and wonderful to find bloggers that stick to who they are and what they love throughout their blogging career, and who don’t change when their follower count does. Sending you good vibes!

    Nati x | http://www.lifeaftercoffeeblog.com | @NAfterCoffee

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      June 18, 2018 / 8:35 am

      Thank you so much for visiting Nati, and your lovely comment. I think if you write about what you love, you never run out of ideas lol. I wish you lots of fun on your own blogging journey, its such a great community and so supportive. I will pop over for a read xx

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