A Life and Travel Blog for the over 30's

My Blogging Year Round Up

December 11, 2018

Well, what a year! I think 2018 will be for me, the year that brought with it so much change, but so much peace, satisfaction and realisation. I feel I have changed, so I suppose its only natural my blog will change with me. I thought I would share with you my little blog reflection. The things I have learnt this year, the goals I have for next year, and the highs and lows that this blogging year has brought with it. My Blogging year round up
I have been blogging for two and a half years now, and I can honestly say that I LOVE it. I think this year, I really feel like I have found my way, found my voice and completly wiggled into my space. When my blog started, I did a lot of beauty posts, as that was familiar to me. In my day job I talk skincare and make up all day, so it felt like comfy shoes to step into. I still have a huge passion for skincare and make up, but, as I have expressed on my blog before, I began to feel incredibly uncomfortable in my role Id found myself in, adding to the crazy consummerism that is forced down our throats. I want to share amazing finds, like I would with my friends, but I didnt want my blog to become a sales platform, I didnt want to be constantly encouraging people to buy more things, and yet I kinda was! I wanted to find some balance.

So whats changed?

Towards the end of last year, as I have said before, I made the decision to only accept “gifted” items, if it was something that I truly, 100% thought brought value to my readers, and not just emptied their pockets. If you do beauty blogging, you would know that it can get silly with what you get offered. No one needs that many products! This sits better with me. I feel no obligation or pressure, and it feels better.  I have accepted the grand total of three gifted items this year. Everything else that has been featured on my blog has been bought with my own money, because I had researched it, and decided that it was worthy of my cash (and blog mention)

Now, Im not knocking anyone for taking gifted items, this is just my personal feelings, (and Charlotte Tilbury, if your looking for an old face to put your make up on, call me), but for me, I feel much happier with the balance, and true to myself. It feels much more organic for me  and my style of blogging. Im not saying I will never do a collaboration again, I 100% will, but I just don’t want to be wasteful if that makes sense? Iv got to feel passionate about something. Everyone just finds their way eh?

a round up of my blogging year
Feeling so much happier this year

I also made the decision, after worrying about it for ages,  that I would not feature so much beauty, and when I do it will only be cruelty free. There are a million beauty bloggers out there doing product reviews probably far better than I could, and in truth, I stopped enjoying writing those sort of posts. I get beyond frustrated with beauty bloggers telling me this week that this product “is amazing” but next week its another. Or worse still, they are trying two different products at the same time, claiming one has changed their skin this week, but next week it will be the other. Unfortunately, my day job means I know far too much about skin, so know what twaddle they spout. It grinds my gears. I dont want to be involved in that. I have also made a huge move over to only spending my money with brands that have an ethical, cruelty free, and sustainable stance, so have recently started to introduce that aspect of beauty to you. Not because I am going to condem you all to hell if you chose to buy from non cruelty free brands, but because some people don’t even realise that they are. Its a pure sharing of information, nothing more, nothing less.

Another change you will have seen on the blog is that I am far more travel focused now. I really feel passionatley about people living the fullest life they can, as lets face it, everything can change in just a split second! I hope to encourage and inspire people to make memories, at home or away,  rather than buying more “stuff”  Nik and I have always travelled, both as a couple, and with our boys, but last year temporarily clipped our wings with Nik’s illness. As soon as he recovered, we were off and I have loved sharing the travel side of our lives with you. I love even more that people tell me I inspired them to visit somewhere, or in one case, actually get on a plane for the first time in 20 years. That made my blooming year! I have lots of travel planned for 2019, so look forward to continuing to share those tales with you.

a round up of my blogging year
A love of travel

A summary of the bad times;

There has not really been a lot of bad. The main one was when I felt like I had a stalker. I spoke about it on the blog (Why imitation is not the sincerest form of flatter) after I found someone copying part of my blog post, and duplicating my “voice” on Instagram. It was weird, creepy and a little unsettling. For a short while, it made me not want to share my thoughts. I was totally creeped out and a bit shaken. Thankfully I got my head round it, saw it for what it was and now just feel sorry for them.

The only other thing I dont like about blogging is Instagram. Not so much the app itself, but what it creates. The keep up with the Jones’s mentality. The replication of what people see as an “instagram life”. The way normal, level headed people lose their mind over numbers, followers etc. I really dislike that. I stepped away from it. It felt so negative. I try not to invite negative into my life.

A summary of the good times;

I feel there has genuinely been so many! Truly. My blog at times, has kept me sane. Throughout the darkest times of Nik’s cancer it was my escape and my light relief.  It has become so much to me. I do still occassionaly question what the hell I spend so much time and energy on it for, and I know my friends think Im bonkers, but then I just know I love it. Thats enough isnt it?

a round up of my blogging year
love what you do

If I were picking just some of the highlights, the biggest one has been the people I have met and friendships I have made. I feel a genuine love and warmth towards some of these lovely bloggers that I now consider my friends. That, the connecting of souls, is a beautiful thing. Also, getting invited on a press trip to Portugal this year was a pinch me moment. I was overwhelmed. Id then say reading the heartfelt comments and messages I get when one of my posts has moved someone, or resonated with them. I have been in tears many times over these messages etc. It is amazing and lifts me up. Lastly, being able to share some of the fab events I have gone to, with the people I love. Its so nice to share the opportunity with them. Oh, and I also got to work with two big  travel brands this year on paid work, and that felt amazing! Not the money, but the fact that the brands approached me, both brands that I have always used and loved, and wanted to pay me for my work. It felt so good

What have I learnt;

Ohhh so much! This year I really tried to up my game on understanding how the technical side of my blog works. I have learnt about SEO. I understand my google analytics figures. I know where my traffic comes from. I have learnt that its ok to stop writing about something if you no longer enjoy it. When I wanted to stop doing so many product reviews, I really worried. I knew I had an audience for my beauty posts, and felt bad. Yes, I did probably lose some of that audience, but my audience has increased by 400% this year, so it wasn’t the end of the world. I survived it.I also learnt to be less harsh on myself. Not to second guess myself. Nope, I don’t have a blogging schedule, yes I can be a little controversial, and yes you can guarantee that I have an opinion and don’t shy away from expressing it. But I am ok with all of this. I wont dull myself down. What you see is what you get, but, I guarantee you this;  I will always act with kindness, you will occasionally hear me swear and I will talk about cake. A lot.

a round up of my blogging yera

My goals for my blog;

This is a strange one for me, as in truth, I genuinely dont know what I want from my blog. I have always said that I dont want it to become my job, (I dont want the pressure, I just want to enjoy it) but I also know how good it felt to get paid for a few things this year. It was great that my blog paid for its own hosting etc this year. So maybe I do like the idea a little. Im a see what happens kind of gal! I do however, 100% know that I want to continue to encourage people to be present, spend time with those they love, seek moments and adventure, and bloody enjoy life.

I did really enjoy working with the two travel brands this year, and one of them has contacted me about working with them again next year, so that is exciting. I like the idea of working with travel brands, and may have something coming up soon, so perhaps that is an area I will explore and take on more from. I would also love to collaborate with a few ethical beauty brands or eco friendly brands, as I feel so strongly about spreading the word. I love our little planet, I want to help look after it.

a round up of my blogging year
Id love to work with some ethical brands next year

I think another goal is to keep increasing my audience. I would be lying if I said that I didnt want what I wrote on this blog to be read. I do a lot of writing, and some of it is never for the blog, its just a cathartic and personal thing, so what I do publish on the blog I want to share. I love the discussions we have on there, I love how you can have a moment with someone through words, and I just love just exploring words! So yes, a goal would be to see my traffic continue to grow.

For my final goal, I would love to up my photography game. I am not a natural photographer, and would love to learn more. I love beautiful imagery, so would love to understand how I can create it. Im not saying I will ever be able to mind, I just want the knowledge to be able to try.

So, thats it from me. My blogging year in one brief summary post! I have loved blogging this year. Really loved it.  I feel so comfortabe with what I write about and where I am. It feels like my blog is me in a nutshell. The topics I cover are all passions of mine, and that feels good.

I would love to hear from you what your blogging year has looked like. Any highs? Any lows? Do you have any goals for your blog? As ever, I love to hear what you think xx

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18 responses to “My Blogging Year Round Up”

  1. Love this post Kerry and you know I’m a fan of you and your blog! Always so inspiring and great reads. I love the direction you’ve taken with it, I love your chatty posts and loving that you’re doing more travel too! Chuffed that your blog is doing so well, well done lovely lady ♥

    My blog is still on the go-slow after so many years haha but I have to keep telling myself it’s not a race and my goal for my blog is just to try to be more consistent and remember to put that camera in my bag!!

    Cheers to a ‘blogging’ good new year!

    Heather xxx : )
    http://www.suncreamandsparkles.com

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Ahhh Heather thank you for your kind words. Its hard to not really know what my overall goal is, as you dont then know what your working towards, but I know that I love writing it, so I carry on lol. I think your goal is as good as any other, so if being consistent is it, then go for it! I really appreciate your support and loveliness, thanks for reading xxx

  2. Fab blog post Kerry. Last year I wrote a blog post at the end of the year – 99 amazing things that happened to me in 2017 – and it was great to look back and see how far I had come. I’m aiming to do the same this year, but time means that I’ll probably only post 50 things! And one of them has to be meeting people like you – that’s what I’ve really loved about my blogging journey – feeling like I can share things with people who ‘get me’. You’ve done amazing this year – keep up the amazing work…long may it continue! And whatever you do, don’t give up the train station tales! lol xxxx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Ahhhh Lauretta, my bestest blogging buddy. We have had some great times this year havent we. I think its good to look back dont you, just to see where you were, and where you are now. You have made HUGE changes this year, your living the life my lovely xx That is 100% the best part about blogging, the people we meet. Have an amazing close to the year xxxx

  3. Alex Grace says:

    Well said and reflected Kerry – it definitely sounds like 2018 has been a big journey for you and ultimately a positive one. Launching my site this year has been a massive leap for me, I have learnt and am continuing to learn a lot. I’m pleased I made the leap. In 2019 I want to get out there a bit more – start putting my hand up for things if you know what I mean. I really feel thankful to have ‘met’ you this year and I look forward to following your adventures in 2019 – all the best lovely lady xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Alex I am so pleased to have met you too, you are such a positive soul. My kinda gal! Im glad you made the leap too, its a great adventure, no matter what the goal is. I think we never stop learning with it all do you? You must put your hand up more, I made myself do that and it was only scary the first couple of times. Do it! Thank you for your support, I appreciate you x

  4. I love the changes on your blog! And I particularly adore the travel posts- I’d love to see you get the opportunity to do more of those. You seem to travel the way WE travel- I can really relate to it. Thank you for this post- I do find it encouraging as I look to whip my own blog into some sort of shape in 2019. Blogging is a whole world, isn’t it?
    ~Melissa xx
    https://freshairandfalselashes.com

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Oh Melissa thank you so much for your kind words. Im so pleased you love the changes, as I d too. I am honoured that you find it encouraging, and love that you are looking to whip up your blog. Its such a fabulous little world we have found our selves in isnt it. Thank you for reading lovely lady xxx

  5. Sam says:

    This is such a lovely post Kerry – your personality shines throughout it. I think it’s great that you are sticking to what is important to you and I’m going to try and do the same next year. Here’s to a wonderful 2019! xx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Thank you so much Sam. I think that I worried far to much. I just feel so settled and happy with what I write about now. It feels like its “me” if that makes sense. I am glad that you are looking to do the same, it makes it so much more enjoyable xxxx

  6. I really love your photography! When I read that at the end, I thought that’s the first thing I have to say. But anyway, it’s been great seeing how your blog has transformed. I completely changed my blog earlier this year and stopped writing about typical fashion, beauty etc. I think change will always lose people in the short-run, but gain more overall.
    My writing career really took off this year, and that’s made my blog suffer. That and the fact that so many bloggers I started with have disappeared. – that’s my negative. But positive is feeling more confident and happy with the direction I’m taking. xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Ah thats kind of you to say, thank you. Yes I have seen lots of bloggers stop this year I suppose some fall out of love with it? Its a shame when bloggers you love give it up, but I suppose thats life. Im glad that you feel happier with your topics now, its like you fall into place isnt it. Thank you so much for reading xxx

  7. A good year for you Kerry. You are going to go far my lady I’m sure of it. It was so lovely to meet you this year and here’s to more tea/coffee together xx

    • kerrylifeandloves says:

      Awww Laurie it was so amazing to meet you too. I am so pleased. I really hope I can turn this little blog of mine into something, I am just not sure what haha! here is to many chats and catch up’s in 2019 xxxx

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