Three years ago (yesterday) as a young, excited bride-to-be, I started my very first blog. It was really just meant as a platform for me to obsess over my wedding but it very quickly grew. One rebrand, one shut down and one entirely new launch and new market later, I’m still standing (or sitting… and typing…) but how have things changed in three years? And what have I learned on my blogging journey?
The beginning – all images in this post by Emma Lucy Photography
Inspiring is better than moaning
I’ll admit that when I started my first blog, I wrote pieces I’d never dream of writing today. It’s a rookie mistake, to see others car-crash blogging and assume that’s the way the playing field lies. Three years of blogging have taught me to take my problems and think about how they can be used to support or inspire others, rather than seeking sympathy or complaining for the sake of complaining.
I needed to grow a thick skin
When I first started blogging, a nasty or bitchy comment could leave me in tears, obsessing for days. A bit of your regular trolling could reduce me to an anxious wreck. While it’s not nice to read horrible stuff about yourself on the Internet, now I have a little more perspective. Ignore, block or delete have replaced read, reply and panic.
I’ve also extricated myself entirely from blogging politics and gossip. If I don’t like someone, it’s not like I go to work with them every day or have to see them – I simply don’t follow or interact with them. I follow people who are positive, inspiring, entertaining or all of the above. I try my best to form happy, healthy relationships with my peers and I just don’t do drama!
People aren’t all that scary
I used to get very nervous, intimidated, even starstruck meeting bigger bloggers, magazine editors, journalists and more famous suppliers, even celebrities. Three years of blogging has taught me that people are just people. Yes, they’re people who have achieved incredible things, yes, they are people to admire, but they’re still human beings like you and me. They aren’t exempt from insecurities, worries, anger, irrationality, even jealousy – they’re just people.
I also used to be very socially anxious, and while large crowds still don’t do it for me, I’m better at holding my own in a social setting having run my own business and learned some rudimentary people skills!
You have to put in the hours
Hard work, hard work, hard work. When I started blogging, I couldn’t take a photo that wasn’t blurry. I had zero followers on Twitter, I was approving all those awful spam blog comments thinking they were genuine – basically I was clueless.
And yes, I still think I have a long way to go, but that’s what I *should* think. Not because I should be beating myself up every day, but because I should be constantly working to be the best I can possibly be at what I do.
I’m not afraid to reinvent myself
I started out as a wedding blogger. I thought that was what I would always want to do, but as it turns out, after I lost my dad I started to feel like I had a lot more to say about the world. I started an entirely new blog, losing the Facebook following I’d built up over years and the instant traffic I was enjoying every day. I built it back up from scratch and I don’t regret it for a moment. I had to reinvent myself because weddings wasn’t what I was about anymore – and blogging is all about YOU the blogger relating your world view to inspire the reader. Who could I inspire with my lack of enthusiasm? Now I don’t say anything unless I want to say it – and it’s very liberating.
Blogging has enriched my life
I know how to do so many creative things that I never would have dreamed of trying before. I have hundreds of new, amazing friends and a positive, supportive, creative community around me. I’ve had incredible career opportunities and it’s even made my relationships better as the articles I write force me to reflect and analyse everything. In short, without blogging I don’t know where I would be.
Thank you all for reading, new readers, those who have been there since that bored June evening in 2011 and everyone in between. You guys make it all worth it!