There are first times for everything, I guess, and a year ago today I wrote my very first blog post. I'd been an avid blog reader, lurker and follower for a few years before taking the plunge and starting my own and I'm so glad I did. I'm not sure that anyone, other than my family or close friends, read that first post or many of those that followed, but the process of thinking, writing and recording my thoughts is an enjoyable and strangely therapeutic one. Now my blog is a year old today I thought I'd share with you what I've learned about blogging (probably a short post then!)
If you want someone to read something think carefully about how to draw them in. I rest my case with this post's title - 'The First Time' - which might just make someone curious enough to read on!
I chose Little House in The Borders as a nod to, yes you've guessed it, Little House on the Prairie. That whole series of books are favourites of mine and my childhood daydreams and imaginary games often had me as Laura Ingalls, bravely exploring the frontier of our back garden. Consequently, I've found that many of my regular readers tend to like them too. I'm drawn to funny blog names often suggesting an honest appraisal of family life hence Hello Wall, 3 Children and It and Slugs on the Refrigerator are regular reads.
I always feel that if someone has taken the time to read and comment on one of my posts that I should do the same. Receiving a lovely comment really makes my day and I like to read comments on other blogs too. I've found that if I like what a commenter has to say then I'll often like their blog too.
Linkys are fun and I've discovered so many other lovely blogs that I have to discipline myself to how much time I spend online. I'm not much of a crafter or a cook but I am a great admirer of those who create such beautiful and delicious things. Haggiz and The One Handed Cook are frequently visited and Rusty Duck makes me determined to untangle our wilderness of a garden.
Blogging is an Enriching Experience
I haven't learnt very much at all about the technical side of blogging. I have yet to work out how to add a button for Instagram or Pinterest (other guilty pleasures of mine). I also have no real knowledge of how to increase readership; my followers are few and once I've discounted the spam robots my statistics make for dismal reading!
What I have learned though is something just as valuable to me and that's the fact that blogging makes you truly thankful for what you have. Sometimes my posts are more of a rant, sometimes about trivial things I find amusing, but very often, I blog about things I want to cherish and remember. Blogging has a way of making you mindful and reflective about the good things in your real world. Whilst it's easy to look at other shinier blogs with images of a seemingly perfect family and imagine that your life somehow falls short, I feel certain that there are less salubrious aspects that are simply hidden on these blogs and not shared with the online audience. There may be things I would like to change about my life but a quick scan through previous posts and images reveals the many things I hold dear and wouldn't change, not for a minute.