Blogging Adventures // Three Months

My blog has survived three months of life.

Or, rather, you have survived three months of my ramblings.

That's quite a feat!

If you've followed from the beginning, you'll know I was unsure about whether I was doing the right thing.

Who would read it? Why would they be interested in what I have to say?

But read it, they did.

Carly Sharples

And I am very grateful for that.

It's quite the learning curve, this blogging malarkey. Most of the hard work happens behind the scenes - brainstorming, drafting, editing, photography - not to mention the new skills learnt along the way. Then when you finally hit 'publish', there is no guarantee that there will be an audience waiting with baited breath for your next chapter, eagerly clicking on the link to devour your latest words. 

I guess you could apply the 80/20 rule to successful blogging. 80% of your time should be spent marketing and promoting your posts, which you have spent 20% of your time creating. Whether it is due to imposter syndrome, or just general CBA, I've got the ratio the other way round and spend most of my time creating content and relatively little attention is paid to the 'selling' of it. 

Que sera, sera.

I'm happy with that, though. I don't want to go down the route of these blogging pyramid schemes, where they entice you into paying for super tricks like "SET UP YOUR BLOG AND EARN A FULL-TIME PASSIVE INCOME IN JUST 7 DAYS!", or whatever. I think well thought out, well-written and consistent posts (alongside good SEO) will do the trick just fine. Engaging with the people who take the time to read, comment or pop you an email. Gentle reminders on social media that there is new content to read, without ramming it down people's throats at every opportunity. Building trust, respect and authority. I've not encountered an ounce of negativity and have felt welcomed into a new community of like-minded people.

With that in mind, I am very proud of how far this little space has come in such a short space of time. I've been invited to pitch directly to the editors of national magazines on a variety of topics {still on the to-do/must-do list!} and I was featured as Mumsnet's blog of the day just a couple of weeks in. I've since been included in an Arts and Culture roundup on Britmums.

I stated in my 2018 goals that I would like to earn an income from my writing this year, but I want this to be on my terms. This goal relates to not just this here blog but my freelance writing, too. I'm in the fortunate position where I am already offered paid work on the blog from my writing just three months in. I have turned most down so far as I don't want this to be a place where I sell my soul by stealth. I was very flattered to be approached by Debenhams to work on their upcoming Valentines Day campaign and this is the first collaboration I have accepted. It is a brand in keeping with my ethos and we genuinely do shop there as a family. More to the point, they are not asking me to sell them to you. I am in control of the content I produce and how I choose to promote them.

If I lose sight of this and you start to see posts with "THE BEST FOOD FOR YOUR DOG" {I don't own a dog} or "10 TIPS TO TAME YOUR CURLS" {I have poker-straight hair with not even a hint of a kink}, then feel free to give me a slap, yeah?

Carly Sharples

On a more serious note, I'm chuffed that my work on mental health has been well-received. I've had many messages of support as a result, and I was approached by a national mental health charity to explore ways in which we may be able to work together. I didn't think I would touch upon MH issues when I was starting out as I thought this wouldn't make for great reading. Nobody likes a "woe is me" post, do they? And there are always others out there less fortunate, as in any aspect of life. The posts I have written, however, are actually my most popular and this gives me encouragement to share my story more in the future.

So - over to you! I would love to know what you think of my journey so far. What posts have you enjoyed reading the most? What would you like to see more of? What interests you? Why do you read what I have written? 

Please do help a mama out and leave a comment below, or drop me an email, or DM on Twitter or Instagram.

Cheers to three months down and here's to the next three!

Carly xo