I challenged myself to come up with a list of ten things that I love about blogging, and I found the exercise really satisfying and it really did make me feel better, so I thought I'd share my list here.
Ten Things I love about Blogging
Expressing my creativity and sharing my ideas - I started my blog because I wanted to share the things that I'd been doing and making, and I think that I'm even more creative because of the blog. I've worked with many brands where I've been challenged to come up with a craft using certain craft materials and I've taken part in lots of crafty challenges. I've found new craft ideas through other blogs that I've then gone on to try out myself and it's really inspired me.
Challenging myself - I've used my blog to undertake many different personal challenges, which I simply would not have done without it. For example the Patons Crochet Along which kick started a crochet addiction and really pushed me to try a craft that I'd struggled with in the past. I'm loving working on my Sky Blanket, and a couple of years ago I took part in the Great Bloggers Bake Off and attempted a different bake every week for 12 weeks, it was the regular blogging that kept me motivated!
Reading other blogs and discovering that I'm not alone - Before I started my blog I never realised that other people were blogging about their own experiences. Particularly as a new, sleep deprived Mum, it was really comforting to find people blogging about the same challenges that I was facing, and usually writing with much more honesty than the people that I spoke to in real life.
Going well outside my comfort zone - I'm definitely an introvert, and many days I'm quite happy if I don't have to leave the house. So sometimes I really need to push myself, and I'm always so glad that I did. Back in 2013 I decided on a whim that I really wanted to join the group of bloggers climbing Snowdon with Team Honk for Comic Relief and I did it - even though I'd never met any of the other people that I'd be climbing with before and the thought terrified me. I was also terrified at the thought of speaking at the BritMums Live conference last year but even though I was so nervous it was a fantastic experience.
Keeping my work related skills up to date - I've not worked in an office environment for several years now, but I know that I'll be returning to the world of 'real work' one day. In the meantime I'm still using many of the skills that I'll need - negotiation over fees for sponsored posts, working to deadlines, attention to detail, prioritising, multitasking and so on.
Indulging my love of organisation - I love making lists, and blogging provides me with so many opportunities. Ideas for posts, ideas for crafts to blog about, long lists of posts that I've written. There is also an editorial calendar to manage, seasonal crafts and activities to schedule, Pinterest boards to organise and social media followers to keep track of.
The chance to attend special events - I've been invited to many events through my blog, and even though not being London based means that I sometimes miss out, I still get very excited at the thought of going to a press launch for a product, the press night for a show, or a day out hosted by a brand like the YouTube Kids event at London Zoo and I love being able to share these opportunities with my family.
The chance to earn a bit of money - I don't earn a huge amount from my blog, but I do earn enough to consider it a small part-time job, and I am officially self-employed with my blog as the source of income. It's great because I can fit blogging and social media around the family, and it's something that I really enjoy doing and a world that I never would have otherwise discovered. There is also the potential to earn more and make it into more of a job as the children get older and I can devote more time to it.
"Freebies" - I know, I know, I shouldn't refer to blog review products as freebies. It takes a lot of time to photograph and write up review items, not to mention of course all the unpaid work that I put into my blog that puts me in a position to be offered these things. But the truth is that through my blog I've received many products and experiences that we simply wouldn't have had otherwise, we've saved a lot of money on day trips,craft supplies and toys, and because I really do love writing my blog, even the reviews, it doesn't feel like work.
Making new connections with people that I would otherwise never have encountered - Through blogging I've met so many people, both virtually and in 'real life'. I may only get to physically meet them once or twice a year, but I've made some lovely friends and we stay in touch via social media, and I never would have met them without my blog.
If you are a blogger, what would you add to the list?