Last week marked the first anniversary of "Blogs Of A Shopaholic" and it really got me looking back on this time last year and how I felt about starting a blog.
It was a massive step for me to publish that first post. I can remember it consumed my every thought..."shall I do it?"...."I really would like to give it a try"...."no, I can't do it"...until I eventually realised if I don't do it, what example would I be setting for my boys? I constantly tell them they can do or be whatever they want to do or be, that if there is something they want to do, then just do it, so I did it, to show them that you shouldn't worry what people may think or that you may get a bit embarrassed about something, just do it! And I'm so glad I did. If you haven't seen the very first post on Blogs Of A Shopaholic I shall link it here.
The question I read on a lot of blogs is "what have I learned"? I actually think I've learned a hell of a lot. The first would have to be how I completely underestimated how much work would be involved in posting blogs regularly. My aim when I first started was to post regularly (weekly) and on the same day. Did I fail? Massively!! And I still am to this day but I definitely don't get as stressed about it as I did last year. I really beat myself up if I didn't post when I wanted to but family life sometimes means that just can't happen. I'm much more relaxed about it now but posting regularly is definitely something I want to keep aiming for. Writing the content is the easy part....it's the.....
....photos!!! Oh how I dread photos and everything that goes along with inserting them into posts! It doesn't take me too long to take them but then I need to edit them (crop, straighten if needed etc) and then save them back onto my phone. Then I have to crank up the old laptop and connect my phone to load the photos onto the computer to then load them into my blog page. My laptop is pretty slow and temperamental so this proves to be pretty testing for me as I have no patience when it comes to waiting for technology! Again, this is something I'm getting better at doing and I've found a few little tweaks that make it a quicker process.
Staying on the photos theme and I've learned that you don't need a super expensive blog camera (yet) to take good quality photos. I recently upgraded my phone and the camera is amazing and takes great pictures. I still think I would like a good camera one day but definitely for now, a new laptop would take precedence over a camera.
Lastly, get into social media. I was never a fan of Instagram and Twitter - I just didn't get it. I had always been on Facebook and shared photos etc privately with friends so I didn't get what Instagram was all about and don't get me started on Twitter! But as soon as I wrote my first post, I set up a public Instagram and Twitter account and started reading up on Insta-etiquette! This made for lengthy reading....gosh there's just so much to think about.....the right hashtags to use, how many hashtags you are allowed, to theme or not-to theme...why are people unfollowing me!! I became obsessed and can remember the last thing I did at night was check Instagram and it was the first thing I did in the morning! As soon as I realised that surely this isn't supposed to be so stressful it all become so much easier. Now I post when I feel I have something interesting to post to my followers, change the hashtags about a bit and most importantly, have fun with it. My Insta-account doesn't have a theme (hands up to all those accounts that manage it as I just couldn't commit to that) and it's all a bit of a mismatch but I started with zero followers this time last year and I'm very nearly at 700 followers which is completely beyond any expectations I had. Below are a few of my recent Instagram posts:
I have decided to take on an extra challenge too and am cracking out my old beading and jewellery-making supplies. Long before I had children, making my own jewellery was my favourite hobby and I've really been inspired by all the lovely jewellery that's around and can't wait to get started. So you heard it here first...."It's Time To Start Something New....Again"!
Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, liked or shared any of my posts and for all the support and follows I have through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Bloglovin. I honestly appreciate every single one of them.
Love Katherine xxx
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*All pictures and opinions are entirely my own. All products featured on my blog have been purchased by myself unless otherwise stated*