Today marks seven years on from publishing my very first blog post. Yes, I did start my blog on April Fool’s Day and, honestly, I didn’t give starting a blog very much thought. It’s something I just did one evening. And then I wrote again the following day and any day after that where I had something to say and before long I had an established blog, people read it and somehow it became my job. But why did I start blogging in the first place?
Whenever I’m interviewed and asked why I started blogging I always say that I started blogging to document our weaning journey with LP, that there wasn’t much information about baby led weaning around back then and I thought it would be nice to share our experiences with others. And that was definitely the focus of my blog in the first year or so. But I know that wasn’t really why I started blogging.
I started blogging when LP was about 7 months old. My husband worked shifts and I spent a lot of time in those first months by myself. I had a best friend with a baby the same age and we met up a couple of times a week and spoke every day as well as a handful of other friends I saw occasionally. Aside from that I didn’t have the human contact I used to have before maternity leave kicked in.
I was lonely and I had a lot of time on my hands. I found solace in Twitter and spoke to other new mums and parents of babies and in that online world I easily found friends, people in the same situation as me and so many of them are still in my life today.
But through Twitter I discovered bloggers. People writing about all sorts of things and one evening I thought I could do the same. I could write about stuff. I had no idea what that stuff would be – as a new mum at home on maternity leave doesn’t usually have many big adventures to write about. But I thought I’d give it a go and if nothing else it would be cathartic, it would pass time and it might open up my life even more to other people, growing my social circle and giving me more people to chat to as the long days of maternity leave clicked by.
From writing those first posts the weeks and months flew by and it was only when Little Man was born, and I was on maternity leave again, with a baby who woke at 6am every day, that I actually decided to take blogging seriously.
Over time my social following grew, every day I added a post to my blog – sometimes multiple times a day – and I threw everything I had into that space online. It was around six months after Little Man was born that I was first paid for something blog related and even then I had no idea blogging could be my job. I hoped it would give us pocket money and ease the financial pressure that many young families face but I never expected anything more than that from blogging.
Three years on from that first paid post I gave in my notice at the day job I had gone back to two and a half years earlier. Somehow in two and a half years the blog had gone from a pocket money hobby to a legitimate career choice for me.
The last seven years have changed my life. I have gone from being a lonely new mum on maternity leave with too much time on her hands to someone who never has enough time, someone with a life so full. I am surrounded by great people both online and off and I am ever so thankful every day that I wrote that first post all those years ago.
Blogging isn’t the quick win and the easy money and freebies that many see it as. It’s hard work, it’s relentless and I never fully switch off. But, like with anything, you get out of blogging exactly what you put in and I really feel like every hour I have spent on the blog, every late night and every early morning has been worth it to get to this point.
So if you are thinking of starting a blog or if you have a blog already and are looking for motivation – just write. Write things people will want to read, publish them, shout about them on social media and, most importantly, take the time to chat to other people on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… join the community, join the conversation and make friends. From there anything is possible.