Blogging story 10 years in – Kate on thin ice

My personal blogging story began 10 years ago. I am going to reflect back on how it changed for me over the years and to share my lessons in the hope they might inspire some new bloggers because we need to hear women’s voices loud and clear.

Blogging Story

The blogs that never got a single comment

When I first started blogging, I was in a mess. I did not know what I was doing. I just knew I was miserable, had no idea how to juggle 3 children with anything approaching aplomb and I hated having somehow ended up being a nobody. So I would start a blog, rant about household and parenting disasters and then give up a few days or weeks later.

The anonymous blog

I blogged anonymously for a few years with a blog called Giggling at it all. My mother could see I was suffering from post-natal depression. One morning when she was celebrating Christmas at our house, fuelled by whisky, she told me in a way that she should be obeyed, that I should start writing. She did not say it was for therapy but I think that is what was behind her advice. She knew I had always wanted to write and I think she felt it would give me a sense of identity. Within a few weeks, she announced that she was terminally ill with cancer. Now let me tell you when you covet statistics, let it be known  that these are often got through blogging openly and honestly about horrendous times and loss. Be careful what you wish for is my advice when it comes to statistics! Ditto awards for being inspirational – the come with a price tag!

I had no ideas about the bells and whistles of the tech side of blogging and did not know that blogging networks existed. If you are at this point in your blogging journey, know that it is OK to not know anything and that this will be looked back on as one of your most joyous times of blogging. Once you know about stats, review opportunities and monetisation, you can never blog quite as freely again, My blog at this time did not even have photographs on it as I am very much the wordsmith.

The lovely thing was that people started to want to know who was behind the blog so I felt I had to come out. I posted a photo of myself thinking everyone would comment on my ugliness but our greatest fears rarely happen.

Kate on thin ice

Kate on thin ice was born in 2011 when I was having issues with Blogger that I could not be bothered to work out and ever one was raving about WordPress so I made the switch.  By  now I knew about blogging networks, linkies and awards. I set up my own linky going by the name of Groovy Mums. People came to this as if by magic and it touched a real nerve with people who were a little lost perhaps due to confidence issues, depression, relationship breakdown or just the stuff that shows up when we become mums. I loved hosting Groovy Mums and have always felt I gained more from it than the beautiful women taking  part. I learned that women are not always as they seem and may not be revealing the very real personal torments they are going through. I learned to take risks and we got Groovy Mums trending on Twitter when I hosted a Twitter party. Of course I was clueless or I would have collaborated with a brand and made some money out of all this. However, I made what money can never buy in terms of heartfelt friends that are with me to this day.

Blogging events

Blogging events were totally outside my comfort zone as it meant meeting people in real life. Offline I am shy and introverted often found in the loo or trying to disappear into a wall. I actually volunteered to speak at BritMums Live as I knew that was the only way I would not bottle it completely as I had done the year before. As for the speaking, well I was never invited to do it again so I will leave you to draw your own conclusions. I have now attended a handful of blogging conferences and facilitated at BritMums Live usually to be found working out if my underwear will stay up and keep everything in place.

My blogging story was emotional

It was not planned but my blog covered emotions right from the start partly because I was so immobilised by post-natal depression and partly through the sense of loss before and after my mum’s passing. I found out people seemed to find it helpful when I told the truth warts and all so I shared my memories of childhood, my adoption, my martial issues, my parenting troubles and my grief when my Dad passed away.

America

I had always joked with my husband about the fact that some bloggers had gone on VIP trips to Orlando. I knew I did not have the profile for that type of thing so it was easy just to use it as an example to where blogging might take you as my husband saw my blogging just as a hobby. Never ever write yourself or your blog off! In 2013 just when my son was really struggling to come to terms with my Dad’s death and was having troubles in school, we were invited on a press trip to Orlando. I said yes because my friend Polly told me I would not have hesitated to go when I was 21 and because my Dad would have said “Go because they would not have invited you if they did not want you there!” which was always his advice when I was invited to parties and trying to convince myself that everybody hated me. I was out of my depth with proper journalists and bloggers when we got to Florida with my cheap camera and lack of notebook. I will be forever grateful to Jen, Kirstie, Sally and Kelly who were so lovely with us. That is another lesson – if you tell other bloggers how you feel they will do everything they can to help with a couple of exceptions and we don’t talk about them because they have their own issues going on.

Reviews

It was years before someone offered me a review and I did not know they existed so did not ask for any. Our first review was a toy hamster that chatted away. There must be some deep meaning in that! Lovely things followed and I particularly remember a Christmas hamper from Marco Pierre White partly because we were skint at the time and it made our Christmas special.

Working for BritMums

It was probably in 2012 when I started working on the charity round-up for BritMums that my profile went up but along with that came the idea that I had more confidence that I did. I moved on to being social media manager before the amazing Aby took over to show how it is really done. I  have said it a few times but Susanna and Jen at BritMums changed my life in such a positive way even if they still don’t quite understand my Yorkshire accent.

What next in my blogging story?

I have found my niche which was staring me in the face all the time. I asked what I was all about and my husband said “supporting women obviously.” It was a light bulb moment and my focus from now on as the blog covers self-care, parenting and the troublesome challenges like debt, housing, employment and family stuff that can hit any of us at any time. I will be offering free advice on the stuff women struggle with so if you have a problem/issue you would like me to tackle let me know via my “Contact Me” page. You can also subscribe to my blog to access freebies of the useful variety throughout the year.

I believe in myself more than I ever did and will proactively seek out exciting opportunities. I always was far braver than I made out. I just needed to feel it for myself and the reasons for my insecurity are pretty clear seeing as I spent the first year of my life in a convent waiting for adoptive parents to show up. When they did they were superb and my blogging will always be my mum’s legacy and what a lovely one it is too.

Watch this space – the next 10 years are going to change the world or at least one mum’s life that needs a little support.

Happy Anniversary Kate on thin ice – you did not slip as many times during your blogging story as you thought you would and you are a writer just like you always wanted.

Blogging Story 10 Years In

If you would like to share your personal blogging story please leave a comment or you could feature your story on my blog and let others now what blogging means to you.

 

 

 

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25 Comments

  1. Twicemicrowaved tea August 21, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    This was a really good read. I can relate to a lot of things you’ve mentioned, particularly about feeling that you are a disappointment in person! I love writing because it lets me be myself, much more than I am able to be in person. You’ve got a really interesting story and I’m looking forward to reading more on your blog. #bigpinklink

  2. Candace August 21, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    I really wish you wouldn’t be so hard on yourself. You are far more confident that you think. You are an amazing woman who has achieved so much and inspired so many. I’m proud to say I know you xx

  3. Lucy August 21, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    I found this really interesting, none of us really talk about why we blog or what we have experienced with it so far. You have grown and achieved so much! I hope you know that and are proud of yourself because you really should be. Xx #bigpinklink

  4. A Wheelie Great Adventure August 21, 2017 / 10:09 pm

    Found this useful in that I’m a new blogger and I’m finding my way around the language of linkys etc… #postsfromtheheart

  5. The Tale of Mummyhood August 22, 2017 / 9:29 am

    You’ve achieved so much! It’s sounds like you’ve had and are continuing to have an incredible blogging journey! #twinklytuesday

  6. Liz Deacle August 22, 2017 / 10:15 am

    This is a wonderful post and I read it from beginning to end. Your story as a blogger is fascinating. Thanks for sharing x
    #DreamTeam

  7. Ky August 22, 2017 / 9:45 pm

    Wow that is quite the blogging journey. You have achieved a lot, and you should be proud of that. #dreamteam

  8. Michelle Twin Mum August 22, 2017 / 9:56 pm

    10 years is a long time Kate and I remember Giggling at it all, wasn’t there a window with curtains in the header picture, or was something to do with curtains your screen name? Odd it sounds but I have vague memories.

    Supporting women is definitely your niche. Mich x

  9. Siobhan August 23, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    What a great read! It’s really inspirational to read about your blogging journey – I’m only 6 months in and already having my major self-doubt days, it’s great to see that it is something you can keep going with, and growing with, and still enjoy years in! #TriumphantTales

  10. Mrs Lighty August 23, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Aww I’ve loved reading your blogging journey! I’ve nodded along to parts – the bit about honesty providing stats, and monetising the blog meaning that you’ll never write as freely – and read on in awe at others (parts like Orlando, and even finding your niche to a certain extent). Thank you so much for sharing this amazing journey with #DreamTeam and congratulations on ten years!

  11. Rebecca Beesley August 23, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    i loved reading this! You are amazing!!! You’ve always been a massive inspiration to me. x

  12. Victoria - Lylia Rose August 24, 2017 / 7:35 am

    I really enjoyed reading your story of blogging, it’s so honest and I wish you all the best 🙂 I’m so pleased you are doing your passion – writing 🙂

  13. Vicky August 24, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    It was so wonderful to read this, as we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I only set up my website at the end of last month and am on a huge learning curve. I think it is so important what you say – blogging is first and foremost about expressing yourself openly and honestly. I agree that monetising a blog can detract from this. Here is to finding the right balance! #BrilliantBlogPosts

  14. Andreea August 25, 2017 / 7:26 am

    Lovely story and happy anniversary! I think we can all relate to the troubles of first starting the blog, finding our niche and discovering the opportunities. Hope the next 10 years will make your Mum proud, she left a great legacy. Love <3

  15. Becky Willoughby August 25, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Wow those are all amazing reasons to be cheerful! I do hope I can meet you in real life soon as you are a wonderful woman – save us a bed at your new French home!

  16. Rabbit Ideas August 25, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    A great post- just goes to show that all of us are different and can use blogging for different reasons. Thank you for sharing. #fortheloveofBLOG

  17. oftencalledcathy August 25, 2017 / 7:31 pm

    Ten years of blogging is such a massive achievement – I noticed your blog early on and never forgot it, because of the clever name. Wishing you many more years of successful blogging

  18. Jaki August 26, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this Kate! Your story is really inspirational. We all go on such a huge learning curve when we start these blogs. It’s so easy to jack it all in at the start when we realise just how much work is involved, but it really is a case of ‘you get out what you put in!’. Thanks for sharing your story with us 🙂 Thanks for joining us at #TriumphantTales – hope to see you again Tuesday! 🙂

  19. ohmummymia August 26, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    Wow You are awesome! 10 years?! Looks like you know everything about blogging:) #TriumphantTales

  20. five little doves August 26, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    Wow ten year – go you! I’ve been blogging for two and it feels like forever, I can’t imagine ten! It sounds like you’ve had quite a blogging journey and it was so interesting to read! Thank you for joining us at #bigpinklink

  21. kelly edwards August 27, 2017 / 10:35 am

    Absolutely loved this roundup, it’s so interesting to hear why people got into blogging and the journey they’ve been on. Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofblog x

  22. Lisa (mummascribbles) August 27, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    What a journey you have been on with your blog. It’s so great that you have found your niche and that you now know where you are headed on your next journey. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  23. Suzie October 8, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    Just to let you know that I nominated you for a Blogger’s Recognition Award 🙂 (Link in comment)

  24. Kirsty April 1, 2018 / 9:29 am

    Great post. I blogged in secret for a few years as I didn’t feel confident enough to share what I had to say so a lot of your post really resonated with me. I recently plucked up the courage to share it. I am learning so much all the time and articles like this are really helpful

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