10 lessons I learnt after one year blogging

This is my blog post #100 after one year blogging. I can’t believe I have been able to share with all of you a hundred of our family stories, our ups and downs, our nonsense and our achievements. Our family blog is a bit older than one year actually. It was born back in June 2013 when we just first shared with you that we were moving to Manchester,UK.

But it has been a full year of really being committed to blog regularly since April 2016. I was still on maternity leave, embracing every moment I could spend with my baby boy. Blogging has helped me to reflect, actually to ponder on many things. So whether you’re giving it a thought and you’re not sure if you should start a blog or you’re an experienced blogger who would like to look back on time, this blog post may be able to help you remember a few lessons.  If you don’t have anything to do with the blogging community but you enjoy reading our stories I hope this post will also help you in some way.

So without further a do.

Lesson #1 Blogging is much more than writing

Even if you don’t plan to monetise your blog and earn money from it, or even if you want to keep it quiet, blogging requires much more than just writing a blog post in front of your computer. Unless you don’t care at all if someone out there reads you or you’re keeping it private as a personal journal or just to be shown to a few selected family and friends, then blogging needs more hours than the ones you invest on having an idea and putting it into words.  You need to promote it on social media, be part of the blogging community, get involve, read other blogs, comment on them, create content for all your other social media channels. Look after the aesthetic of your site, the speed, and other technical issues. Create good quality pictures and/or videos. And the list could go on and on…but hey! I don’t want to discourage you with just my first lesson learnt, so please, keep reading…

Lesson #2 I want to be ME

one-year-blogging-2

In the beginning of the journey you look for other bloggers, check what they write about, how they tell the story, what type of pictures they take…but after that stage of “stalking” others you realise there is no better version of yourself than being true to your own essence, to that something that makes you be YOU. Depending on the lenses you’re looking at me you might see I’m a regular ordinary woman in her 30’s but you might also find something that you can feel related too; it might be my background, my family, or any treats of my personality that I share with you on every post, whatever that may be it has kept us connected through this family blog. And because of that, I need to be ME. I want to be ME. I love how others write and tell their stories, their wittiness, their lovely pictures, but they’re not me. And after one year blogging I’ve realised that I feel much better when I’m true to myself than trying to copy somebody else.

Lesson #3 I won’t LIKE you just because you LIKED me

Written like that sounds quite mean actually, but within the blogging and social media scene there’s a “dodgy game” of “likes for likes”. So you can find out there many opportunities to join threads, posts, etc. where you will receive as many likes as you give. I tried it in the beginning and part of me felt like I was cheating… I understand people that do it, they’ve got their own good reasons, but I don’t like to play that game to be fair. I want you to LIKE me because you really do and not because you’ve got to. For me, that’s true love, isn’t?! I guess you can say I’m a bit old fashioned and romantic…haha

Lesson #4 Numbers are just NUMBERS

If you want to work with brands and companies some of them might ask you for your stats, your domain authority (none ever did to me so far) but I’ve heard they do. After one year blogging I have learnt to not be obsessed by the figures. I had a great date out when my DA was 1 and recently had a lovely event too now that my DA is 20. Have I changed? Has my family suddenly become better than it used to be when no one read our blog? NOT AT ALL. For me, success doesn’t depend on numbers, for me it depends on the “collateral beauty” ( did you watch that lovely movie with Will Smith by the way?) anyway, what I mean by that is that for me success is learning that someone felt better because of something we shared, it means touching other people’s lives through our stories.

Lesson #5 Inspiration doesn’t come unless i set up my priorities right

one-year-blogging-3

For me, my main priorities in life are my family, my God, and then my other main responsibilities that kept us alive, whether it be temporally, such as work or spiritually, such as church responsibilities. I have noticed throughout this year that if I mess up with any of them, but most importantly with the first two, then my mind just gets lost and confused and seems impossible to organise my time and look after our family blog. You may not be religious at all, but what I’m trying to say with this is that as much as blogging might be important to you, decide your priorities first and stick to them, and things will run much smoother than you think. It works for me.

Lesson #6 Don’t take things “too” personal

Whether it be you were pitching to a company, trying to be selected for something, or you received an unfortunate comment by someone, remember there is a screen between you two. And the same way trolls use it to make you feel horrible you can use it the other way around and help you feel better. Brush negativism off your shoulder, shut your computer down and remember that you have an amazing family that loves you. You’re not less worthy because you weren’t selected as “blogger of the year”. I have been quite lucky to come across friendly people and readers that support and like our stories  but I have also encountered a few occasions where my words were mistaken and I felt judged and criticised. What did I do? Block, smile and move on. I can completely agree to disagree with someone, don’t take me wrong, but nobody needs to have people around that only want to bring you down.

Lesson #7 I will get happy with the success of other bloggers

What? That blogger is younger than me and is already doing that campaign?! What?? She’s writing about the same topic but seems to have much more visits than me!! WHY!! Seriously…all those questions take you NOWHERE, or well…let me tell you, they’ve taken me to sit down on my couch all grumpy and disappointed with myself, thinking, is it all worth it at the end? IT IS. If you remember your WHY, your main reason to start blogging. Then you can see others with the right eyes and understand that even those who might seem similar to you are unique in their own way, just as you are. People say it all the time, but it’s so true, comparing yourself to others will take you nowhere, it won’t let you move forward, because instead of looking forward, you are looking to the sides.

Lesson #8 Have fun! It’s a family blog not your tax self-assessment!

Unless you are an accountant and that’s like Christmas to you…This is a family blog, a place where I talk to you about my family, our adventures, our children development, our feelings and thoughts on parenting and family life. During this first year blogging I’ve had a few times when I was so focused on blogging about my family that I forgot how much fun it is to have a laugh with them and not take any pictures at all, because, hey! I need you to see it too! you know… Sitting with them to watch a movie, fall asleep with the children and hold them tight to you and don’t wake up to do other things. Our family blog is meant for us to have fun as a family, to remember, look back on time and laugh at our ordinary experiences. Find the right balance that works for you but never forget why you started all this.

Lesson #9 Take a step back when you need to

I promise you the world won’t end because you haven’t posted anything for one week. Ok, ok, it’s true the world is kinda going to an end with all the wars, crisis and political situations, but trust me if I say that if you can’t blog as frequent as you wanted to it will be fine. Take a step back, recalculate, you might want to do things a bit different, so you can still enjoy this blogging experience. I had to do that, and yes…sorry but not sorry, I don’t post as regular as I wanted to, but after being back to work for a few months things started to pile up and I needed to focus on my main priorities. I don’t want to stop sharing our stories, it is therapeutic, it is rewarding in many senses and it is a wonderful opportunity for our family memories, but I had to pull over, think about where I was going to and find the right balance for myself and my family again.

Lesson #10 I have many other lessons to learn yet

I don’t feel the newbie I felt the first few months, with all the “awkwardness” of talking to whoever else is reading this, wondering if actually any one was reading it at all or if it is was just me talking to myself. But, I have so many lessons to learn yet: for example, I know I need to not underestimate myself or my blog and say no to unreasonable approaches for some collaborations. I want to improve my photography and video edition skills, cause you know, for how long am I going to take advantage of hubby?!… I need to learn more about other social media platforms, other technical issues… But see, one step at a time, blogging is a journey not a destination.

via GIPHY

I could go on and on with the lessons I’ve learnt after one year blogging, but let’s stick to 10, ten is a good number, don’t you think? If you have followed us, read some of our stories, comment on our social media or by any other way our paths have come across during this year, we say THANK YOU to you from the bottom of our hearts! This has been a great experience so far and we very much look forward to the next ordinary moments that will turn into extraordinary memories!

 

A new Facebook group for parent bloggers who write in Spanish

**This post has been written thinking on the Spanish speaking community of bloggers but feel more than welcome to read its translation into English:

With the new year I have rolled up my sleeves, organise myself and my time and finally decided to create a Facebook group for mums and dads bloggers who write in Spanish. 

This is the thing, when I started getting more involve with blogging, back in April last year, I came across several groups for bloggers who write in English. Living in UK and since my blog is bilingual I decided to join a few. You learn by experience, and must admit I enjoyed some more than others, but in their majority, all of them helped me somehow. One in particular, UK Parent Bloggers  created by Donna from What the Red Head said, was let’s say, my inspiration, to shape my idea of creating a community of fellow parent bloggers who speak Spanish.

facebook group-cover

https://www.facebook.com/groups/mamasypapasbloguerosespanol/

A group where we could all ask freely our doubts and queries regarding blogging, family life -motherhood, fatherhood, raising children- sharing opportunities to work with brands, or even posting threads, every once in a while, where we can follow one another.

I’ve missed that type of group in my own language and finally I thought that since I hadn’t been able to find one till now and/or nobody had created one, then somebody needed to take the first step, don’t you think? So here we are! One of my small blogging goals for this year achieved. Now it’s only a matter of growing it so we can all enjoy it! 😀

Join the party!

Petite Pudding
family-youtube

Behind the scenes…introducing our YouTube Channel

Well, we have finally had the courage of introducing our YouTube Channel! Since we started blogging again back in April this year that has always been in the back of my head but I wasn’t really sure how to do it, why or even when.

I’ve been blogging continuously now for 8 months. Sharing our first post, after the relaunch, was kinda scary cause I didn’t know if people would read it, if they would understand it, or if some how they would relate to it. What I did know is that I felt I needed to share our great miracle of being 4 after 2 years of secondary infertility. I thought that it could give someone the hope I searched for when I was in my darkest moments. With that same approach we are showing ourselves to the world in YouTube.

We want everyone to have a sneak into a portion of our family life

so you can laugh with us, cry with us or just give your children something good to watch on their iPads while you do other things. We want adults and children to be able to relate to us and get the positives of our adventures. We are far from perfect, and remember we are showing you an edited version of our lives, but still, we are also genuine.

One of my main fears was to not look like the “ideal mummy”

where she’s wearing a perfect make-up, perfect straight hair and no overweight! 10 years ago that could be the case, you know if you’ve known me before I’m not lying on that ;). But the truth is that the “me” of today is tired most of the time, barely wears any make-up and is struggling to lose the extra pounds. However, regardless of all that, that is still me, and is worth sharing our experiences with you on the camera if that helps any one.

familia-event

Another of my fears was to show my kids in Youtube.

We are quite sensible in terms of internet safety, but we have been blogging publicly for a while; and being cautious enough I think you can vlog without risking them more than you would by being on social media on your daily life. If at any time, we get a bit paranoid on that you will just not hear about us anymore cause we will have shut down everything online and gone up to the countryside to live in peace with the cows and sheep, as simple as that! haha 😀

So here we are, a Spanish-Brazilian family living in UK

embracing the good and the not so good moments of life. What can you find on our YouTube channel? Our days out, travels, recipes, and above all our daily life, as ordinary or extraordinary as it can be! Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, right?

Hope you enjoy it and subscribe to our channel!
We will be posting a new video every Monday at 7pm (UK time)

Looking forward to seeing you there! xx

 

ethannevelyn
blogging jealousy

Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s blog

Although this is not family related it is blogging related but since the other day Sam told me my family blog seems like another child in our home we are talking about the same thing then… 😛

Blogger jealousy…have you ever look at somebody else’s blog and thought to yourself: mmm, how do they make it look so good?? I’m sure we’re talking about similar life experiences, in terms of parenting! but how come do they have thousands of followers and so many comments and mine is left in the corner like the kid that nobody wants to play with?

Oh well, I relaunched my blog 6 months ago when I had the urge to share with everyone our life changing experience of giving birth in the water and since then discovered my new passion for blogging. This new hobby has given me the opportunity to grow my social media skills, my photography skills and even my writing, not only in English but also in Spanish, as this is a multilingual family blog.

water birth

Giving birth in the water to our second child 🙂

Along the way though I had my ups and downs and in the aim of learning more and being more engaged with the blogging community I read other parenting blogs too. It was hard not to fall in the “comparing myself to others wagon”. Something that you should never do if you want to keep growing. The way I see it is like the horse that needs to wear those blinders to keep himself focus and go straight, listening to its owner’s directions. If you look to the sides, you lose the point where you were heading to. So the first rule to not covet your neighbour’s blog is

Don’t look to the side

Now, I need to clarify this point. Don’t look to other bloggers to see what they’ve got and you don’t to make you feel bad. Look at others with the spirit of wanting to learn and apply to your own blog what you think will work for you. I, for example, have come to like a lot  some blogs, ones for the way they tell their stories, other ones for their aesthetic, other ones because of how engaging and friendly are online… they all teach me good lessons, and yes, at some point I was jealous but I got rid of those feelings and started to enjoy myself much more.

The second rule is linked to the first one…Don’t judge others

This story will help you understand it:

“There was a little girl that lived up in a mountain in a very small, old house. From there she could see another house up in the other hill. Its windows were always shining like gold. She wanted to live in that house. She thought it was beautiful, not like hers. One day she decided to get a bit closer. She walked up to the other house. When she got there, to her surprise, the house was abandoned, not well looked-after, it had nothing to do with what she expected to find…however, from that house she could see her own home, its windows were shining like gold.” (excerpt from General Conference Women Session)

woman

See? the grass grows always greener on the other side, or that’s what it looks like, right? Behind those perfect Instagram accounts, those lovely pictures of smiley children, behind that “perfect blog”, there’s an imperfect person with an imperfect life that we don’t know of.

The third and last rule,  stay true to yourself.

sunset

I always remind this to myself. Hopefully it will help you too. It doesn’t matter what brands like, what your audience likes, you are not writing to “please” everyone. Your blog, as jokingly my husband said, it’s like another child, unique, especial, you want it to be its best to its own pace, to its own way. This is not a race to get followers, everyone is the winner if we become our very best. For me, blogging has more to do with sharing my family experiences in the aim to find people along the way that will be able to enjoy them, feel somehow related and grow with us. Don’t be like anybody else, just be you, and the companies that will want to work with you, or the readers that will engage with you is because they like you just the way you are.. (yes, I remembered Bruno Mars’ song as I wrote that bit.. LOL)

Blogger jealousy? Life jealousy? at the end it’s all the same, nothing good comes from “coveting” or “envying” others. Share with us your thoughts! We’re looking forward to reading them. 🙂

What’s new on The Family Treasure?

Our dear family, friends and readers who like to follow our blog, don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about it but we have a good excuse for this absence, we have been back in Barcelona for a few weeks enjoying the sunshine, the family, the food, so many things we will share with you very soon. (btw, when I say “soon” I mean in September, when I have some time again to sit down and write a proper post) 😉

holidays

In the meantime, guess what?! our social media is growing little by little and we can proudly say that our stories are reaching over 300 people in each of the networks we participate in. So yes, here are our stats:

Twitter: 326 followers

Instagram: 301 followers

Facebook Page: 266 Likes

We are also on Google + and YouTube but haven’t worked with those ones too much yet. 🙂

Anyway, thank you everyone who’s decided to subscribe to our blog and get our stories on your inbox! Also a big thank you to every person who stops by and comments and also to those ones that don’t but still enjoy the reading, hopefully! 🙂

We are excited for the experiences ahead of us: J’s first day of school, me going back to work, my random thoughts of life, and so many other stories we would like to share with you. Hope you continue to enjoy them!

Alert: the storm has ruined my schedule

Dear all,

Due to last night storm in our area we are without Internet at home for a couple of days. I will try to publish at least today’s blogpost as usual but it might take a while. 

let’s remember there was a time when the sky looked like this in manchester (lol)


I do hope everything will get back to normal for next week. Don’t miss our next Happy Monday post! We will share with you our fun adventure in Chester 🙂 

Thank you for following our family stories! 😘

You know you’re an introvert blogger when…

You get nervous AND excited with your first comment from a completely stranger.

giphy (4)

You join a LINKY and feel like you’ve just crashed a party and everyone is looking at you thinking “who is this newbie?!

giphy (3)

You have a DRAFT post saved for ages cause you’re just not too sure of showing it to the WORLD!

giphy (2)

You comment on someone else’s post and feel like “Hi, I was just stopping by and..”

giphy (1)

And last but not least, you get a FOLLOWER and think “YEAH!” and then “Wait?! I don’t know that person AT ALL, is he/she stalking me??!”

giphy

 

OK, you got me there, am I an introvert blogger? Maybe! Sometimes! and it might be because I’m just starting in this blogging world and all these freaking outs just vanish away in the future, but who knows! have you ever felt like that? or am I alone here?! haha

ethannevelyn

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Mummascribbles

ethannevelyn


The Family Treasure is growing…

Dear followers, family and friends,

Just wanted to drop a quick post to let you know what we’re up to lately. We are super excited with the idea to invest more time on our family blog and reach out to you in different ways. So please, bear with us, since we are learning along the way and sometimes you may see some strange posts with codes, just forget about them! it’s us trying to add some assets to our blog.

In the meantime, let us inform you of new ways to follow our adventures:

You can Like our Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/thefamilytreasure/

and  Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/costatuesta/about

thank-you-1

Thank you for taking some of your time to share this journey with us!

The Costas 🙂