I want to share my blogging journey with you …. and it has been quite a journey.
I created my blog in March 2007 when I still didn’t really know what a blog was, and knew no-one in real life who blogged. In fact a probaly blogged for SEVERAL YEARS before anyone in “the real world” (apart from my husband) actually knew I had a blog. When I did start telling others, most asked “what’s a blog?” and just “why would you want to do that?”!!!
Here is one of my first ever blog posts (way back when my blog was on blogspot)
Since those days, social media has grown beyond recognition, and with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, there are many more ways to connect and share you thoughts and images. As a result, how I blog, and the interactions with readers of my blog, has changed dramatically too. I can share my blog posts online, and am much more likely to get a Facebook comment on a blog post, than someone actually writing a comment in the Comment Box at the end of the blog post.
What I blog about has also changed …. almost beyond recognition.
I created my blog initally to share my digital scrapbooking creations with other digi-scrapbookers as I was part of a Creative Team for some American digital scrapbook designers. I would share a wee bit of family life stuff too, the kids were much smaller, less camera shy. The vast majority of my blog readers/audience were Americans, Canadians and Australians, and they were most interested in the local Nothern Ireland life stuff – recipes, St Patricks Day, visiting the Giants Causeway etc.
Bloggers in the real world
I met some lovely online bloggers and some of them I am still in regular contact with. A few have met up with here, and a few I met up with on trips to US. I have attended a couple of blog conferences in London, and even one in Atlanta which coincided with a trade mission (I know – me – on a trade mission – with my jewellery – with our local council!).
As the kids grew, my interest in Photography grew, and although I spent less time doing Digital Scrapbooking, I started taking LOTS more photos and bought a DSLR.
When I had my first iPhone that really changed things as it was so much easier to capture, edit and share my images on my blog.
I started taking a photo a day in 2013.
I made the traumatic move from blogger/blogspot to WordPress (self hosted) which wasn’t entirely smooth, and if you are thinking of starting blogging, my advice would be go straight to WordPress, bit of a learning curve, but better that trying to move later – trust me, I know!)
My blog has also gone through several makeovers, and I now quite enjoy tweaking the colours, layout and font – it is like repainting a room in your home and moving the furniture around! Here are a few previous blog headers (the words/images at the top of the blog)
My blog received less and less love from me as I grew my audience on Instagram, but I finally worked out how to automatically post my daily Instagram photos as posts on WordPress – so my blog has new content daily, even if it is identical to my Instagram feed.
Occasionally I will blog a little more of the backstory behind the photograph on my blog and add some additional tags and categories to help anyone visiting to find posts that would be relevent.
The majority of visitors to my blog (the traffic in geek-speak) comes mostly from Pinterest – recipes, home decor and how-to posts being the most popular. The post I wrote about the ideas I had incorporated into my daughter’s 18th birthday party has now been repinned so many times that is quite mind blowing!
Click here to see the pin or visit the post by clicking the image below
Blogging through the years
My blog has taken me through the toddler and primary school years, 3 kids doing the transfer test at aged 11, moving to high school, proms, surgery, my mother’s devestating stroke, the early tentative steps into jewellery making back in 2009, which is grown into my main business and I now have a website, blog and online store over at www.janmarydesigns.com
So my blog has been my faithful companion and it has been lovely to read back over events and milestones I have recorded here, even if no-one else ever reads or comments, that doesn’t really matter. My blog is a creative outlet (either through words or photography) and I tell my kids when I am old and forgetful I can re-read it to remind me of what happened in my life!
A few stats for you – since March 2007
I have posted 2,699 posts! (this will make it 2700)
There have been 8956 comments
There has been 15,508 media images uploaded (mostly photographs)
So ….. do you blog, or have you thought about blogging?
I have been asked to teach an evening class in getting started in blogging which will hopefully be this Autumn 2017 in the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn.
I am also part of the creative community that is Makelight and the focus is on blogging this month, so I plan to give my blog a wee bit more care and attention!
Would LOVE you to comment if you have made it to the bottom of the post – maybe tell me how you found my blog, what sort of blog topics interest you, or just some random fact about yourself!