Today marks a year since I uploaded my first post to Fraser’s Fun House and I can hand on heart say it has flown past. It’s crazy to think how far my little corner of the internet has come in just 12 short months and the volume of knowledge I have gained along the way is tremendous. I recently posted about why I started blogging, but what I failed to include in that post is that when I initially set it up I had no idea how to create or design my site and it took me around 6 months to work out what I was doing and I’m still learning now!
To mark my blog anniversary, I thought it only fitting to share a some of the lessons I have learnt from my experience of running a blog for a whole year (I still can’t believe it’s been a year!)
It’s All Mine
It sounds pretty obvious to say but having been writing for The Socialite UK for so long it took me a while to get my head around the fact that Fraser’s Fun House is my space and I could fill it with anything my heart desired. It’s a trap I think many bloggers fall into and it’s one I always make sure to remind myself, don’t write what you think people want to hear as it’s just not going to be authentic. Be yourself and write about things that you have a real passion for and it will be evident when people read your content.
This is one of the most difficult lessons I have learnt over the past year as it’s something that is a built-in part of our nature, however comparing yourself to others is a road to nowhere. Fact: we are all different so making any kind of comparison is simply a waste of time.
I have found myself comparing my blog and content many times over the months and inevitably it’s ended with me feeling awful about myself before realising those whom I am comparing myself with are simply at a different stage in their blogging journey. I’ve made a pact with myself to refrain from any comparison and be proud of what I’ve achieved. So far, so good and it’s given me a much more positive outlook.
It’s Hard Work
Perceptions seems to be that running a blog is child’s play and we simply sit down bang out a post in 30 minutes and get on with our day. Sadly, this isn’t the case and blogging is a full-time job, then some! There is so much more to blogging than the content itself and it takes hours and hours of work to produce the finished piece that visitors read. I currently only publish posts 3 times a week and I take my hat off to those that post daily, year-round, you are my heroes! Previously when writing for another blog I was simply tasked with creating content and didn’t see the behind the scenes work, so when I started this blog it was pretty overwhelming and took some getting used to. Blogging is an all-consuming force in my life, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Organisation Is Key
It’s apt to follow up hard work with the key to ultimate success; organisation. I’m super organised in my day-to-day life so it goes without saying that I have transferred that to blogging. Without my planning and lists it’s not an exaggeration to say that my blog just wouldn’t exist. I have had to hone my organisation skills even more to keep myself on track and ensure everything is completed on time. Thank goodness for my Monica Geller traits or everything would be one great big mess!
Ask For Help
One thing I hadn’t bargained for when I started my blog was the wonderful online community I discovered. The blogging community is simply amazing and filled to the brim with friendly supportive people. There have been times where I have struggled to find the answer to something – usually a technical question! – and initially I was reluctant to ask for help. However, once I realised my fellow bloggers were happy to assist I’ll now happily ask for help rather than struggle alone getting more and more frustrated. The great thing about blogging is that any issue you come across a fellow blogger is bound to have faced it and discovered the answer beforehand. Massive shout out to everyone that has helped me along the way – especially when the questions have been silly!
Find A Balance
A year ago when I started this blog I admit I became completely immersed in it. I spent every spare second planning, writing and fiddling with my site which lead to other areas of my life suffering, namely my family time. This probably continued for around 6 months until I realised something needed to change or I would be heading towards a burnout as I just couldn’t keep all the balls in the air. I took a step back and had a short amount of time away from the blog to take stock and prioritise what needed to be done – yes you guessed it, more lists!
On my return I had a clearer vision of how to split my time more effectively and achieve the balance I so desperately needed. That’s thankfully been made even easier now Leo has headed off to big school and as I work early in the morning it leaves my days free to blog meaning my evenings can be spent with the family. I also try where possible to leave my weekends free but depending on what needs to be completed this isn’t always possible. It took me a while to realise it and actually get something in place but ensuring you get that balance is vital for you, your family and in my case my mental health.
Don’t Doubt It
Self-doubt is by far my biggest enemy when it comes to blogging and it’s something I need to work to defeat on a daily basis. I go through phases where if I let the little person on my shoulder win I would jack blogging in completely as my own head battles with self-doubt about my content. When I feel like this thankfully my friends and family are a fantastic support, they are my biggest cheerleaders. I also need to remind myself how far I have some in such a short space of time and that surely if my blog was really that bad no one would be taking the time to read it. I think this is something most bloggers suffer with, so I know I’m not alone! I’m just going to continue consistently creating content and ‘try’ to have a little more confidence in my ability!
I could go on forever about what I have learnt in the last year but worry not I’ll leave it there for now! Blogging has certainly changed my life for the better and it’s been pivotal in pulling me from a dark place when the only way I could envisage was down. I’m excited to see what the next year has in store for my corner of the internet and I’d like to thank everyone who has read, liked and commented over the past year it really means an awful lot to me.
To round this rather lengthy post off I thought it only apt to share my three favourite blog posts from the last year:
RaverTots Review: Big Raves For Little People – This event was amazing
Cumbrian Christmas – Hayes Garden World! – This trip was Christmas heaven for me!
Review: FriendsFest 2018 – Dream collab, what more can I say!