Friday, 14 July 2017

Blog anniversary - My blog over the last year

Tomorrow will mark six years of the Jennifer's Little World blog. I never expected it to last this long, and I never expected it to develop as it has. I began when Mia was just six weeks old as a way to share photographs and news about the children, and of course I still share plenty about the things that we get up to. But it has also changed into a place where I can talk about my own interests, share my crafts, and muse about the things that are going around my head.

Jennifer's Little World blog header

A few of my favourite blog posts from the last year

A big crafty project last year was my Sky Blanket, and it was a great feeling to put together the post about my completed crochet Sky Blanket. I put a lot of work into the blanket and I'm really proud of it!

Another craft that I really enjoyed was our summer holiday scrapbook. This project was a collaboration with Fellowes, that I met at BritMums last summer. I was thrilled to receive some fantastic products and we regularly leaf through the scrapbook that we made together, it was a really fun summer craft for us all.

As a family we've spent a lot of the last year playing Pokemon Go, which features on the blog from time time, and particularly in my post about playing Pokemon Go at Center Parcs. In fact Center Parcs has featured heavily on the blog over the last few years - I should be on commission!

A blog post that I wrote about hangriness in the family definitely struck a chord with a lot of people, and writing it all down helped me to work out what was going on with Mia's behaviour and come up with ways to try and lessen the impact.

Working my YouTube channel

At the very end of November I was introduced to the idea of Vlogmas, and I immediately jumped straight in, creating a new video every day in the run up to Christmas. You can read about it here and find links to all my videos - Taking part in Vlogmas 2016. It wasn't easy, and it was a lot of work, but it really spurred me on to improve my vlogging. I gave myself a challenge at the beginning of January to publish 52 videos over the year. It's a tough challenge and I've only managed 19 so far so I'm falling behind, but I'm really proud of all the videos that I've made and I love making them. You can find my YouTube channel here if you fancy a watch!

Introducing blogging to the family

I recently encouraged the children to set up their own blogs. I thought it would be fun for them and help them with their literacy. You can see their blogs here - Harry's Blog and Mia's Blog - and I think they are very sweet! Over the summer I'm hoping that they will do some more work on them, and they have also started YouTube channels to share their Minecraft videos.

Posting less often, and less review content

I try to keep my posting schedule to around three to four posts a week. This is quite a change, as for most of the last six years I've been posting nearly every day. The reason that it has reduced is because I've become far more picky about the reviews that I take on. I no longer review low value items unless I really want the product. This has meant that my page views have dropped, but I hope that it's improved the quality of the posts on my blog. I do sponsored posts although I'm quite picky about them - but I'm afraid that I need to make a little bit of money somehow! I do share a lot of useful information on my blog for free, so I hope that makes up for it!

Our Instagram community

I had been looking for a place to share my latest crafty blog posts. Nicola at Me You and Magoo and I set up a monthly linky but it was becoming too much work so we switched it to Instagram where it works very well. Each month we change the hashtag, so it's currently #craftingismytherapy_july and over the last couple of months it has really picked up - we have loads of crafters sharing their images with us and it's great to see so many beautiful projects. Do take a look next time you are over there!


The current issue with my blog

A big problem that is currently facing my blog has been caused by Photobucket. I have been hosting all of my images on Photobucket for several years now, and I pay for a yearly subscription that allows enough bandwidth for my blog. A couple of weeks ago, Photobucket changed their terms of service with no warning, and they now no longer allow third party linking of images unless you upgrade to a higher package (around £310 for the year). I've not been affected yet fortunately, but my subscription is due for renewal in August and I suspect that is when I'll hit problems.

I can't afford to spend that much on image hosting so I'm going to need to find an alternative. That then means that I will have to go back through well over 1000 blog posts and re-upload and re-link the images. So please bear with me if you see any broken image links on older posts, I will get to it all eventually but especially with the summer holidays it is going to take a lot of time! I had assumed that because I was paying for the Photobucket service it would be a good long term solution, so there's a lesson there not to rely too heavily on other providers! Whatever happens, like many others I'm definitely not going to be using Photobucket for any longer than necessary.

The future for the blog

I often struggle with defining a niche for my blog. My two main topics are craft and travel, alongside a bit of general parenting. Quite varied topics! I don't have the time or inclination to set up different themed blogs, so it's all going to stay here. Perhaps it can all be grouped under the heading of a 'lifestyle blog'!

I'd like to increase my posting frequency, but I want to be careful to make sure that I'm posting quality posts rather than filler posts. I'd also like to work on some more brand collaborations, particularly with crafty brands. I'm sure there are lots of fab new craft products out there that I could showcase! Of course travel collaborations would be nice too, but I'm not the only one with that idea and the blogging world is ever more competitive!

Whether you are a new reader or you've been around for a while I'd like to thank you for listening to my ramblings, and I'd love to hear back from you with what you enjoy or don't enjoy about my blog!

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your blog's anniversary!I found this a really interesting read, thanks for sharing. I love reading about how people have grown their blogs in their own way.

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad that you liked it!

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  2. Congratulations on your six year blogoversary! I'm just a few days behind you. Six years is an incredibly long time - especially when it's your daughter's entire lifetime!
    It's interesting to read how your blog has developed and that you're doing less reviews. I'm not a fan of too many reviews on a blog, I'd much rather read real-life stuff. Here's to the next six years!

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    1. Thank you! It is a long time isn't it, I never thought it would keep going this far! I like reading real life stuff too (just like your blog!)

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  3. Congrats on the 6 years! That's fantastic!
    That is so cool that your children are blogging too...My teen is wanting to start one over the summer. Eek!
    That is so rubbish about Photobucket. I hope you sort everything out eventually x

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    1. Thank you! I hope that your teen enjoys setting up a blog, I think it's a great thing for kids (as long as they are supervised of course!), really fun for them and fab for something creative to do

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