It’s been a long road
I never felt like this moment was never going to happen; I made the vow to get through one year of blogging. It has not been an easy journey and there have been many times when I have wanted to stop but I am so glad that I finally got to this milestone of my blog being one year old. If I was to give advice to any new blogger it would definitely be to set yourself the challenge to blog for a whole year as I feel you get a complete picture on whether it’s right for you.
I have learnt a lot
I thought with this post that I would share all the things I’ve learnt over this year of blogging not only about blogging self but what I’ve learnt about myself in the process. I feel like this past year has been a journey of self-discovery and my blog has played a major role in that. I started my blog with no experience of blogging as something to fill the void created by boredom. I was at the point where I had learnt a good deal about makeup and had the desire to share my knowledge with others. This was in the hope of showing, that with practice and knowledge, anyone can slay with their makeup. The main reason I started this blog was to help others and banish some of the elitism that can surround the beauty community and often put people off from participating.
Through writing here in my own small patch of the internet I have realised that I have much to offer; a strong voice who believes that all people are equal and should feel comfortable to share their ‘true self’ without fear of judgement. I have also learnt that I have strong opinions when it comes to our society and I have strong views on the rise of consumerism. I have also learnt to manage my time in a more productive way and discovered that I am capable, even at thirty-seven years old, to learn new skills and knowledge.
Writing this blog has also given me confidence in my own abilities, it has encouraged me to voice my opinion and speak my mind in my own sassy manner. This blog has unleashed a ‘writing monster’ upon the world. I wrote a full play soon after starting my blog which was a massive achievement. I wrote it because our school needed something to do for the years production and after catching the writing bug, I volunteered myself. I can say with pride that I have written something of merit which provided the pupils I teach a means to show their own creative talent as actors.
My blog has also helped my well being and given me a better perspective on things within my life and the world surrounding me. I often joke that blogging is my own form of therapy that helps me navigate my own chaotic, overthinking brain and help me be an ‘adult’ without going crazy. It is often hard to keep up with how quick my brain can go into overload but somehow blogging has helped with that.
Blogging has also given me a creative outlet that has let me express myself in ways that I feel I have not been able to before then. It may be insignificant that I am talking about makeup but I have found that blogging about beauty and lifestyle has made me think about society in general. Creating and maintaining Life With Mrs T has forced me to plan my time in an effective manner; fitting it in with my family and with a full-time job. Blogging has helped me realise that I am in control of my life and I can make a difference through my actions.
What advice do I have
Blogging is a lot more than just writing
When I say this, I am well aware that writing is the main facet of blogging, but I did not realise that how many other things I had to factor in as well. The actual writing part is only a small percent of the work I do on my blog; from sourcing and taking my own photos, networking with other bloggers and on social media to proofing my work. The work that goes on behind the scenes is nothing like I expected and it takes an immense amount of motivation and commitment to keep things going. Due to the amount of commitment needed, there have been many times I have thought about ending the blog but I am proud that I have kept blogging throughout the year.
Be prepared to learn
It is safe to say that YouTube has been my friend this year and I have had to learn a great deal. I started a year ago knowing nothing and I have had to learn along the way. Through my journey I have learnt many new things; photo composition, lighting and editing, SEO, social media networking and promotion, algorithms as well as improving my actual writing. I have recently discovered Udemy who have many free courses where you can learn about many different aspects of blogging.
Planning and research is essential
Good planning is such an integral component of blogging. At first, I would just write whatever I felt like with no plan of what I was doing. I learned that if I planned my content and what I wanted to say it made it easier to write and gave me a structure. When I plan I think of appropriate sections or points I want to make and then write according to that. Sometimes as I am writing, my perspective will change and therefore the sections are altered. It is also important to plan for things like photos, link building and the use of keywords to draw people to your content.
I also believe that research on your topic is essential, with knowledge there is power. I feel that if you research your topic from every angle then you can get a balanced picture. When I say research I do not necessarily mean searching Wikipedia, although I do often check the internet for facts and history. Research can come from friends or fellow bloggers, I am always looking through Facebook makeup groups to see various opinions and viewpoints on beauty as well as sourcing opinions from my friends.
I would recommend deciding on a posting schedule and sticking to it as consistency is a good trait to have in a blog. If you post in an inconsistent manner you run the risk of people forgetting about your blog. I post on a Wednesday and Sunday at present. At one point I could only post once a week but I made sure I posted every Sunday to keep consistency. If you are thinking of starting a blog maybe try writing some posts in advance so that, should life get in the way, you can still be posting in a consistent fashion. I write currently a month in advance and this has helped maintain my consistent posting without being onerous.
Social media is another important tool for a blogger to use. The majority of my blogging time is spent promoting my content and getting people to visit my blog. I have found that scheduling apps such as Hootsuite brilliant; they help me schedule my posts all in one sitting which is much more productive.
This is an absolute must in my opinion and something that is often missed by newer bloggers. When I first started I had a few friends that would message me and alert me to errors in my writing. Everyone makes mistakes and they can be numerous if you write at a breakneck speed like I do. I also find that when I am reading articles or blogs that, if it has many errors or is not clear, then I tend to not finish reading it. You would not expect a book or newspaper to be littered with mistakes so I only see it as logical that blogs follow the same expectations, after all, it is a published piece of writing.
I find it hard to proofread by just reading over what I have written as I tend to miss things if I do that. The solution to this I have found is to use various proofreading sites in order to proof my work. At present, I use Grammarly and Edit Minion but I have also used Hemingway as well. I use them all for different reasons and I feel like they have helped my writing style greatly.
The future of Mrs T
So, what does the future hold for Life With Mrs T? The answer to that is unclear; I hope to keep going as long as I am enjoying what I am doing. However long I blog for, whether it is for ten more months or ten more years; I will be proud of what I have achieved. Blogging has inspired me, encouraged me and helped me become a better version of myself and I hope it has helped others along its journey.
What posts would you like to see me write for Life With Mrs T; I would love to hear what you think, are there any topics you would like me to write about next?
Ciao for now beauties xx