Friday, 16 October 2015

Reflections on Blogging So Far

Although I technically set up my blog a long time before, I’ve been posting consistently for exactly six months now. Woohoo. I’d been wanting to write a ‘what I love about blogging’ post anyway, so thought that this was the perfect occasion to reflect on my blogging experience so far.

Why did I set up A View from the Balcony?

So I initially set up this blog at the beginning of my placement year of uni, which was two years ago now (although it was under a different name at the time). I did actually have a blog during school and sixth-form that I posted on regularly, but it was very much an online diary, which is mega embarrassing to read back. Thankfully I’ve now set it to private, so there’s no chance of y’all stumbling across that cringe-fest.

So anyway, back to this blog. I wanted somewhere I could continue to write book and theatre reviews since I wouldn’t be writing for the student publication that I had been an editor for during second year.

However, life happened, and I only ended up posting one or two posts.

At the end of my placement I tried to get it running again and managed a few more, but I had a really busy summer and then BAM it was final year and dissertation. All the struggles.

Why did I give blogging another go?

The whole way through the dissertation process I knew that the second I finished I wanted to start posting again. I had been following more and more bloggers and becoming aware of the amazing blogging community and I was desperate to give it a proper shot.

So the dissertation was handed in, and after about a week of sleep I threw myself straight into it. And my addiction to the blogging world has been unstoppable ever since.

How has blogging changed my life?

It might sound dramatic, but it’s so true. Although I knew that regular and consistent blogging would be hard work and require a lot of dedication, I had no idea that it would take up this much time.

From planning posts, to writing them, taking (hundreds of) photos, editing said photos, scheduling tweets, taking part in blogger chats, reading other blogs and commenting/interacting with other bloggers, blogging is constantly on my mind.

Another way blogging has changed me is that I'm now a complete beauty addict. Sure I liked makeup before, but I only covered the basics and my knowledge of skincare was basically zero. Fast forward six months and my Christmas list is entirely made up of beauty products and things I've seen bloggers raving about.

What do I love about blogging?

Where do I start?! I love that it’s given me something productive to do and something to work towards since finishing university. I’m someone who thrives off being busy, so blogging suits me down to a tee.

Having just completed an English Literature with Creative Writing degree, it also gives me the chance to keep writing and not let those skills slip away.

The sense of achievement is another amazing thing about blogging. There’s just nothing like the feeling of pressing publish on a post. And it’s even better if you get some lovely comments on the post too.

But most of all, I’ve just completely fallen head over heels for the blogging community. They are such a lovely, friendly and supportive bunch and the sheer number of bloggers that there are out there is both overwhelming and super exciting.

I interact with so many new people every day, as well as building friendships with some inspiring bloggers who I now speak to on a regular basis.

What are my blogging goals?

My biggest goal is to continue posting consistently, even once I begin work. It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s a challenge I am one hundred percent committed to. I witness so many amazing bloggers post frequently alongside full-time work, so I know it’s achievable!

When I first started blogging it was just the writing that I was interested in, but I have become more and more obsessed with photography. I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, but I never put much time into it. But photography is so crucial to creating good blog content, and it’s something I’m paying more attention to with every post I write. I’d like to think that I’ve already improved a fair bit, but getting better at photography is another of my blogging goals.

Goal number three is to attend a blog event or blogger meet up. I think it would completely throw me out of my comfort zone, but it would be such an amazing experience and I am so keen to meet some of you lovely people. Keeping my eyes peeled for any future opportunites!

You may have seen that I have been trying out vlogging a little, both in America and when I went to Boardmasters Festival. So my final goal is to push this a little further. I’m going to be vlogging my upcoming travels, but I’d also like to try some sit-down videos when I get back, like monthly favourites. I’ll most likely be terrible at it, but you never know until you try, right?!

Of course I do also have stats-based goals, as everyone does, but nothing set by dates. I just like to give myself little milestones to reach, like to the next 50 Bloglovin followers or the next 100 on Twitter. I also always aim to be improving my pageviews, however steady this progress is.

Here’s to my next reflective post, which will hopefully be in another six months’ time!


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