I am reflecting on my personal growth as a blogger and influencer. I find myself in a completely new period in my life after the sad breakdown of my marriage when my husband decided he did not wish to return to the UK with myself and our children. I have had to learn to stand on my own two feet after 23 years with the same person. I have returned from a mad adventure overseas. My children have either left home or are making plans to do so in the not too distant future. These major life changes inevitably make me look back at my life and times. Around 13 years of those involve blogging which scarily means a quarter of my life has involved the blogosphere.
My personal growth as a blogger
I never intended to be a blogger. When I was at university, blogging was unheard of so I couldn’t plan a career in it. I just wanted to help people who were struggling in some way. If I could also kick ass along the way and challenge authority, so much the better. I discovered blogging when my late mum suggested I should write “even if it’s just a diary!” Aware that my young daughter would scribble over any pretty notebook I might write in, I searched online to see how you could put your writing online. That was the first time I discovered there was a strange new word “blog.” I managed to set up a basic blog and then struggled what to write in my first post. It was rubbish but I had made a start.
First few years as a blogger
I blogged anonymously as I was in the grips of post-natal depression and had no confidence in myself at the time. Blogging became my sanctuary on the days when the drudgery of bringing up 3 very small children made me despair. Even if I was anonymous, blogging gave me a feeling that I still had an identity and actually did exist. Every comment meant the absolute world to me back then. Eventually, I sent a tweet asking if there were any blogging networks. Someone told me that BritMums existed and that is how I started to connect with other bloggers online. I am so pleased I did as some very generous bloggers carried me through the torment of my mum’s terminal illness and death. It was a revelation that you could get to know people really well who you had never met in the real world.
Coming out as a blogger
I was soon taking part in Twitter parties and blog hops. People wanted to know who I was and to see my picture. As I finally emerged from the horrors of loss and depression, I felt able to reveal who I was in real life. I found putting a photograph of myself on my blog was not so scary after all even though it had taken me years to get to that point. It wasn’t too long after that people found a saucy picture of me on my blog as I tried to do my own Calendar Girls moment. That brought me to the attention of BritMums who offered me a role as their Social Media Manager and Charities Champion. I could not believe that I had gone from isolated and depressed mum to part of blogging glitterati. So many bloggers have great stories to tell about their journeys and I recently read a wonderful story of an influencer over on Intellifluence.
The joys of blogging
One of the amazing joys of blogging is the wonderful community spirit. It is not as strong as it once was now so much money is involved in the industry but it is still there. It is great to attend blogging events to network with peers, to meet brands and to take on roles such as meeting and greeting or facilitating workshops. I have met celebrities along the way such as Katie Piper, Ruby Wax, Katy Hill and Caprice! You discover that we are all the same really. We are beautiful people inside and out with our own challenges and insecurities just doing the best we can. The key is to keep on keeping on through good times and bad.
My personal growth as an influencer today
I have done many courses in the past couple of years making the most of a weird new isolation and lockdowns. I am passionate about digital marketing tactics to drive profits for businesses. In my new chapter, I have set up a business so that I can offer copywriting, social media consultancy and blogging services. I will also be offering personal development courses to women. I have a Facebook group, Caring to Share Bloggers, where I encourage bloggers to share opportunities and tips. If anyone would like to join the group please do get in touch. I have just won top prize in Get Blogged’s Affiliate Challenge. I used to come first a lot at school and it is heartening to think I am back to the top spot after all the traumas of the past. Methinks my late mum would be proud of me and also that she started me on this wonderful journey in the first place.