Today I’ve officially been blogging and vlogging for 6 months! I previously posted this, in error, a month ago. That’s right, my kids have me so sleep deprived that I can’t even count to 6. The shame! I had written ‘I can’t believe it’s gone so fast’, of course not, I had cut a month off it! Shame!! Ive now updated the article with my actual 6 month stats. Please don’t judge me, I’ve not had a full nights sleep since some time in 2011. Quite frankly, it’s a miracle I’m not dead yet.
I’m very much still a newbie. I’ve learnt so much these past 6 months but it’s still a steep learning curve. There is so much I want to do and so many ideas I have for posts that I haven’t yet had time to do.
What I’ve loved about blogging
- Opportunities – Whether it’s through a company inviting us or just us deciding to get out and do more exciting things than we normally do (instead of slobbing out at home) for blog posts or vlogs. A prime example was when we were invited to the Grainger Market by the French Oven. It was somewhere we always used to just walk past and when we went for the blog we fell in love with the changes that have been made there lately. Other places we’ve headed to for the blog or to vlog are Washington Wetlands, Beamish, Bill Quay Farm, Big Vintage Fest, Saltwell Park and Scandi-rave-ia.
- Reviews – I love doing reviews and getting to go to events. My biggest blogger perk so far was being invited to review Mineral House Spa at the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle. Being invited to menu launch parties at Cabana, River Beat and Hawthorns restaurants were also personal highlights – delicious food and lots of fun getting to know the other bloggers. I loved my first ever bloggers post of Charlotte Keating luxury Nursingwear to review, and watching Arlo’s face as he opened my second bloggers post of a Clever Bees Club box that I was sent to review.
- Cathartic posts – I’m a hugely extroverted person. Often I just need to get something off my chest and I feel better. I’ve found some of my more personal blog posts really cathartic. Especially; how the patriarchy ruins sex, #primaryschoolplaces rant, stop telling me about your great sleepers, childcare sucks and tips for not throttling your partner when you have a family stomach bug. Sometimes writing gives you time to reflect and pause for thought when time is moving at a rapid pace and you need to take stock. I felt that way with she’s not a baby anymore. Other times it’s just great for capturing moments like my baby’s first birthday and HBAC birth story.
- The supportive blogging community – I love how supportive other bloggers are, especially considering that we are all kind of in competition with each other. The vast majority of other bloggers I’ve encountered are incredibly patient, helpful and supportive of newbie bloggers like me. In particular the other North East bloggers, true to North East form, are especially friendly. I owe Samantha from North East Family Fun a fair few drinks for all the help she’s given me in the past 6 months, along with Helena from Babyfoote, Karen from Monkey Feet and Nelly from Nelly’s Cupcakes. Thanks for having my back guys!
- Time consuming – unless you are a blogger I don’t think you realise how much time blogging takes. I spend more time blogging than for my ‘real’ job for sure. When you see us get ‘free’ stuff actually we’ve worked our arses off liaising, photographing, writing, posting, promoting. I had no idea before I started blogging that actually writing the posts would not be the bulk of my work but that admininistration, networking and promotion would. I now just don’t have time to get to the gym, every spare moment is spent working on the blog (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!).
- Blogging with little kids – they give me lots of content but I find it hard to produce the quality I would like with them so dependent on me. I have a 4 and 1 year old. If they are at nursery it’s because I am working in my ‘real’ job. Lena still doesn’t sleep independently AT ALL and neither sleep through the night. If the kids are asleep, it’s on me. Most my blogging is done on my phone while I pace around the living room with Lena asleep on me in the baby carrier. At night they both bed share so when they are asleep, I’m asleep or I won’t survive the sleep deprivation. This means I get zero laptop time as my 1 year old just shrieks to get at it to bat the shit out of it whenever I try to work on it. I would really benefit from more laptop time! As I write this post Lena is climbing on me and trying to make me drink some water and Arlo is asking for help with a jig-saw so its hard to produce the kind of writing you would like and that you are proud of under those conditions!
- Cost – at the moment it’s an expensive hobby where I’ve put in a lot more than I’ve made. I’m hoping this corrects itself at some point soon!
- Self doubt – when you hear about how well some other bloggers are doing it’s hard not to compare yourself negatively, and you’ve no idea what stage they are in their journey to even make a reasonable comparison. I cringe a lot and worry people will think I’m a conceited arsehole if I share stuff too much. I’m worried this article will both seem ‘braggy’ and simultaneously like I’ve not achieved much for 6 months! I get embarrassed when I vlog in public. I’m learning as I go and my mistakes are very public! If you want to blog/vlog though you really need to have a thick skin so I’ve just got to shake that shit off!
What I’ve achieved
I am proud of the progress I’ve made in 6 months. The things I’m most proud of are:
- Klout score 64
- DA 19
- Over 97,000 video views on YouTube (although we added a few of our good scoring videos a year ago, we started weekly family vlogging 5 months ago) with 118 subscribers
- Getting our first paid YouTube jobs
- Broke my first 1000 followers on Twitter
- I was proud to be included in the Tots 100 round up of new bloggers you should be reading right now.
- Being featured in other bloggers lives by Newcastle Family Life.
- Being nominated for the MAD blog awards.
- Guest posting for the Birth and Baby network (Mother’s Day top ten, 6 ways parenting a sick kid is the worst and letter to my 6 month old).
Next steps for nomipalony
I LOVE blogging and want to build the blog further. I have a big to do list of stuff I want to do but never seem to find the time to. Some of the stuff on my enormous list is:
- Im currently having a logo designed and once it’s ready I have a new blog design ready to go live.
- I need to learn how to use my DSLR and start editing all my photos.
- I need to start scheduling more – I’ve only just joined buffer.
- Once Lena is a little less dependent on my boobs, then I want to get to some of the blogging and vlogging conferences to meet other bloggers and learn more about the industry.
- I need to spend more time reading other blogs, watching other vlogs and networking.
- I want to get my first sponsored blog post to recoup some of the expenditure we’ve made so far!
- I need to grow my social media networks further, if you like what I write then please share my pages with your friends!
- Generally, I need to keep at what I’ve been doing, develop my style and voice further and get more confident when it comes to blogging, and especially vlogging.
Thanks to all of you for supporting me these past 6 months, it means so much to us and I hope you stick around the next 6 months to see what we can do together!
If you’ve not already, please sign up to my social media channels (buttons below) – I’d love to get to know you guys better!