Let’s start with a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to us! This is a very special post that is very dear to me. Today, is exactly a year to when I got the keys for my first house AND it marks my 1st year as an Homes Blogger too. And boy-oh-boy has this been an up-and-down year. In this post, I want to share with you 6 key things I discovered about myself (and my blog) the past 12 months. Next week, I’m sharing what I learnt in my first year as a home owner (more drama to come!)
#1 Give a little more….take a little less
I started out as a total novice to blogs. I had limited know-how on how to write on-line. How to get people like yourselves to read my posts, or how to use social media. The past year has been like an intense degree on how to create my own graphics, chatting to other bloggers on-line, tweeting, attending Pinterest workshops and finally ‘getting’ Instagram. After a year of posting, planning and plotting I’ve become prone to what is known as ‘Blogger’s Burn Out’ – where as a new blogger you say ‘Yes!’ to too many opportunities which may (or may not) be relevant to where I want this blog to go. Tied in with this is the need to enter awards to drive more traffic to my blog. My first promise to you, is to stop asking for help – in the past year, I have been nominated for 3 awards – which involved asking you (repeatedly) to vote for me, promoting the competitions and spending less time on actually writing about what I love best – my home. From now on – no more asking, I want to give back to you. That is better than any bit of metal on my shelf for me!
#2 Living in the Moment
I’m prone to over-organising and planning-out everything in both my life and home, and now on the blog. I’ve been trying to posts at least twice a week, and write these posts in advance – so that if I get a rush of styling work, there was always content on my blog. Good idea, you’d think? Humm…I found when I read these posts back, they sound old and stale to me. From now on, I want to start my own mantra #WeLoveThisMoment where I try my best to post as and when I can on my latest home projects. This may mean you get a run of posts but if I go away on holiday, there might be a small gap (sorry). I’m hoping this will make me feel more relevant to you – and me.
#3 Find my voice
I’ve struggled over the past year to work out what to cover here. Do I want to talk about my job? My home’s renovations? What I’m shopping for? My dog? My personal life? Or all of these things? None of these things? After 15 years writing for magazines, you’d think I would have got the hang of writing. But I’ve found it so different being my own editor – trying to find features that inspire me (and you in turn). Each month you can see how I work – I start obessing about the latest thing I want for my home; shop shop shop until I can find that thing; squeeze in a huge work project; get thing fitted/painted/made; then I go do dog walk/festival/yoga…..after a lot of reflection, I’ve decided I want to capture the three topics on a monthly basis:
Obessing About….[sorry, I’ve not shown this side of me yet – but I might as well share my shopping knowledge – this month is it lighting for my living room]
Home Makeovers….[big or small- there is always something I am up-cycling or planning for my house. It makes me so happy to be busy nesting]
Interior Styling…[tips and tricks I have gleamed from my job, as well as the latest news from press shows, events and shoots. This way we can all be ahead of the pack]
#4 Have a Tidy
My social media has been getting in a right old pickle. I’ve been posting the same things to Facebook and Twitter, and then posting personal snaps on Instagram (you might not love my dog as much as me). Pinterest has been a merge of ideas. What a mess. Not now I’ve had a huge declutter and it felt brilliant.
Facebook – here you are going to get all my little makeover projects before they appear on my blog. This is the perfect way for me to show you what I’m up to on a daily/weekend basis. I love hearing your feedback and advice on here on what I’m doing as I’m doing it.
Twitter – this is for chatting, and I love chatting! This is where I want to talk to you and learn from companies about their latest products. I love twitter so give me a little follow.
Pinterest – This is where you’ll see all my ideas buzzing group together – from the latest interior trends, as well as tons and ton of ideas on how to decorate your home room by room, and by colour. It’s my lush spot to hang out. I had about 7.5k pins last time I looked – insane but I love them ALL.
Instagram – I’ve deleted all my holiday photos (oopse!) – and instead, I’ve started my own tag #wlhlustlist where I highlight a great company or product that I would love to have in my own home – and I think that you will love too. Think of it as a homes fix in your lunch house mixed with a bit of shopping and ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’. What do you think?
YouTube – I’m aiming to do lots more mini vlogs on here. Smaller projects, how-to’s as well as guided tours of my home. That reminds me, I need to do a home tour for my first year here soon.
I hope this will give you a good reason to visit each one and get something different from each one. Something nice and fresh each time.
#5 Put The Love In
I’ve decided to only write about products that I have seen in the flesh and that I really rate, or items that I really want in my house (otherwise really, what is the point). I want to write about companies that I know are great and do great work, and then share that love. I want this place to be an honest space where you trust me when I say I love this lamp/candle/tap/flooring because I really do – rather than I was paid to say so. I’m going working with companies that I rate – like the beautiful people at Bathroom Takeaway who provided my bathroom, or the team at Real Homes magazine who host my monthly blog posts, or the amazing underfloor heating from WarmUp or my new back door by Kat. I want you to love these things as much as me.
#6 Be Original
Where possible I want to use images that I have taken myself, or have created myself (I’m still getting my head around photoshop but I’m getting there.) Since the Summer, I have been taking photos myself – and now, I’m saving up to buy a fancy camera and I’m dying to take lots more photos myself – as well as more videos (the shaky hand-held type!). In the meantime, you have to hold with me while I get my head around all the settings. All the shots on this post are mine from my iphone! I will get there.
There are the six HUGE lessons I have discovered. Have you found them helpful? I think you’ll start to see a small shift in my blog as I try to stick to them (please remind me!) I want to be better and brilliant so you have more reasons to come here and enjoy this space with me. To think over a year ago, I’d hardly knew what a blog was – never mind, see how far my own would go. I found my first year of blogging intense, exciting and draining at times. I can not wait to venture into my second year with you guys, and discover even more about myself and my home.
Are you ready for the journey? Please come back for my next stage of this post – ‘What a year in my first home taught me’, posted next week.
Until then. And Big Love.