It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I wrote my first post on a blog called Not another slippery dip. I remember the combined excitement and nervousness I felt when I pressed PUBLISH and sent my post out to the blogosphere. I say blogosphere because it’s sounds a lot more impressive than the two readers (my husband, and my sister) who were the only ones following my blog at the time!
I decided to write a blog to nourish my creative side, and to provide another layer to my life. I confess I knew nothing about blogging and what it would entail. I gave little thought to what I would write about, and I didn’t know about the “rules” required to establish a loyal following. Since then the terms ‘readership’, ‘messaging’, ‘traffic’, ‘hits’, ‘integration’, ‘widgets’ and ‘plugins’ have become part of my vernacular. I’ve learnt about Search Engine Optimization, “engagement”, Google plus, Author Sure, marketing across multiple platforms, tweeting, sharing, commenting, uploading, and, more importantly, writing.
Building an audience was slow initially. It took some time for my readership to reach double digits and I was impatient. But gradually it increased and I realised that people outside of my immediate family and friends were reading. The first time a stranger commented on a post I felt a surge of adrenalin. It felt good and I was eager for more. When I reached 100 followers I high fived myself and decided that maybe I wasn’t so terrible at blogging after all.
Blogging is a lot like parenting. It takes some time to find your feet. It is a journey that is as exciting as it is perplexing. It requires more than I can give at times. I love it. I am emotional about it. I am confused by it. I lose patience with it at times. And yet I have survived a year, and I am pausing to reflect on the year that was.
In many ways this blog is like my baby. It forms an extension of myself; a window into my heart and mind. It is revealing. At times it has been difficult, challenging and tedious, but it’s also been fun, fulfilling and exploratory. It has been a big commitment and, like parenting, it has been more work than I ever imagined. I don’t follow all the ‘rules’ of blogging. I don’t have a blogging schedule; I am still not sure what my “brand” is, and I don’t know if I have an “authentic voice”. My style doesn’t always accord with the blogging dos and don’ts. But then again, I don’t follow all the parenting guidelines either. In both passions, I think I have found a rhythm that works for me.
Parents often say the first year of their baby’s life feels long but in many ways short too. The same sentiment can be applied to blogging. And just like parenting I have questioned my abilities many times during the year. “I am no good at this,” “It’s too much work,” and, “I am too tired” are statements my husband hears on a weekly basis. But I have persisted and on this special day, I am going to say I am proud of what I have accomplished.
So, happy birthday to my baby – my blog. I have kept you alive for a WHOLE YEAR! I remember popping the champagne on Miss A’s first birthday as her father and I congratulated ourselves on keeping her alive. We had created her; we had nourished her and we had all survived. I created NASD, I have nourished it, and it has grown slowly but steadily. If it was a baby I am not sure it would win any prizes for walking before crawling but as the experts will tell you – they all grow at their own rate.
Like the birth announcement of a baby, there are those who like the numbers. Here they are for those of you who are interested:
Views: 20, 138
Sponsors: 0. But KitchenAid & Tourism QLD should call me NOW!
Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I am so happy that you are reading. Each and every comment from my readers means a great deal to me. In the blogging world it’s easy to get fixated on site stats, traffic and new followers. I don’t have huge numbers but like most things in life, quality over quantity wins out every time. I love writing and I blog to express; to connect; to capture, and to create.
What will be in store for year 2? More challenges, more twists and turns, and yep, more slippery dips! But I am ready for them.
In a virtual sense, the champagne is on me! I hope you will celebrate with me.
* Congratulations to the two winners of Not another Slippery Dip’s Birthday Giveaway. Zoe McMahon and Natasha Andrews have each won an Estela Jewellery Gift Voucher valued at $120. Please contact me with your email addresses and I will send you the gift vouchers. Happy Spending and a huge thanks to Estela.