Monday, 17 August 2015

Why I'm so glad that I started my blog

I love my little blog. I've been writing Jennifer's Little World for over four years now and it takes up a fair amount of my time, but I'm so glad that I started it.

The entire reason that I started blogging was as a way to record our memories and to share them with other members of the family. Now when I look back I'm so grateful for those early posts. Mia was just 6 weeks old when I started the blog, and now she's almost ready to start school. It's wonderful to be able to look back on those difficult, yet rewarding, early years with two young children. I can reflect upon when the children were just getting to know each other, remember the fun that we've always had making and icing biscuits, and bring back little moments that would otherwise be forgotten, like this post about the things that Harry learned at nursery.

Baby on a cushion
Mia on the weekend that I started this blog!

Over time of course the blog has evolved, and I love sharing some of the crafts and activities that we get up to. I also know that there are many crafts that we simply wouldn't have done if it weren't for the blog. In particular I love being a Bostik Blogger, and receiving a fantastic box of crafting goodies each month, coming up with crafty ideas to share based around what is inside.

I find challenges a great way to keep myself motivated, as well as helping to retain a little bit of 'me' instead of just being 'Mummy'. Through the blog I've taken part in many. There is the Day Zero Project, and I had a lot of fun taking part in the Great Bloggers Bake Off, where for ten weeks I managed to bake something new each week. I also joined in with the #pinaddicts challenge for several months, where I made projects inspired by those I'd seen on Pinterest.

Talking of Pinterest, without a doubt it is because of the blog that I'm such an avid user. In fact it was a huge inspiration to me when I discovered so many wonderful bloggers out there that were already sharing their crafts and ideas. I was chosen as a featured pinner last year which was amazing for my follower count, and my use of Pinterest led to being asked to speak at BritMums Live 2015 and the chance to contribute to the BritMums Pinterest boards, both awesome opportunities.

Speaking at BritMums was something that took me way out of my comfort zone, as was when I was part of the team that climbed Snowdon for Comic Relief as part of Team Honk. At the time I'd not been to any blogging conferences and I didn't know any other bloggers in person, it was a huge thing for introverted me to commit to spending a couple of days away with people I'd never met! I was so glad that I did it though, it was brilliant and such an achievement for us all.

Bloggers climbing Snowdon

I love making lists and planning, and so writing the blog allows me to indulge my organised side. Whether it's brainstorming ideas for blog posts, making lists of things that need to be done, creating spreadsheets to keep track of posts that I've written (yes, really!) it all helps to keep my mind active. It's a bit like being at work, with the added challenge of having to fit it all in around the demands of small people, but I enjoy it all.

I won't deny that it's nice to receive review products. I won't call them freebies, because it takes a lot of time to photograph and write up a review post. But to be honest I enjoy writing the posts, so it doesn't feel at all like work. I pick and choose the things that we review on this blog and I don't go for the highest value items. Instead I'm happy to review low value bits and pieces if I feel that they are offering a fun challenge or experience for the children. For example, the children both love using the bug hunting kit that we received a couple of years ago, and recently we had a lot of fun making some space food, both little things that we wouldn't have done if it weren't for my blog.

I might never become a "pro-blogger", but I do manage to make a small amount of money from my blog which helps us to afford a few extras while I'm a stay at home Mum. I've also been lucky enough to receive press tickets to various events and attractions which have saved us some money and given us some fun experiences.

But finally, one of the huge and unexpected rewards for starting my blog has been the community that I've discovered. Not only the lovely people that I have met in person after attending several different blogging conferences, but also the online support. I've found that people are much more honest online about their struggles with babies and young children, and I've had lots of sympathy when I've moaned on Twitter about little ones that won't go to sleep, and won't stay asleep once they are in bed!

Britmums speaker badge and itinerary

It might sound a bit soppy to say it, but starting this blog definitely did change my life for the better. If you are thinking of starting a blog I'd wholeheartedly recommend it!

11 comments:

  1. Totally agree with this - I also find it helps keep my mind active when I'm just around small people. And I love it too x

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    1. Thank you, it's definitely great to have something else to think about when dealing with the demands of little ones, and being able to carve out something just for yourself.

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  2. I love reading blogging posts like these and it's so interesting to read about why you started blogging and the opportunities that have arisen. The blogging community is so strong, it's great to be part of it :) x
    Our Seaside Baby

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    1. It is a great community, definitely something that I never expected when I started and thought that I was writing just for my Mum!

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  3. Amen to all of that! What a wonderful community it really is :)

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  4. This is lovely I must've followed your blog for years now but I've enjoyed it so much it doesn't feel like years! I think you've done amazing with your bit of space on the web. I remember meeting you at snowdon I bet you're quite a bit different from then after all your brilliant confidence building achievements! X

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    1. Thank you :) Snowdon seems a long time ago now, it was the first time that I ever met any other bloggers at all and I can't believe I had the confidence to do it! I don't know if I'm much different, I'm still terrified at BritMums even though this year I was able to look around and recognise quite a few people.

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  5. Love this Jennifer, I can totally relate. My life has chnaged since blogging too. Mich x

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    1. Thank you! It's amazing what a difference it can make, I'm actually quite proud of myself and all the other bloggers!

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  6. Lovely post. I also started my blog my blog as way to keep a "record" of our home ed projects and now I just enjoy sharing ideas of what we have been up too.

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