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

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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

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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.

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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!

 

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.

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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)

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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.

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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. 🙂

You know you’re an introvert blogger when…

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

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

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

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

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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??!”

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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

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Why I love being a mummy blogger

It’s been almost a month since I started blogging again on the Family Treasure. It was back on 2013 when we moved to UK from Barcelona that I decided to share our family experiences on a blog. In the beginning it was hard to decide which language I would use, since, as you can probably tell, English is not my mother tongue, and most of all I wanted to involve both of our families, my husband’s, who are Portuguese speaking and my side, who are Spanish speaking. That is why you see on the menu the Spanish Version of my blog, which is basically a replica of the English one.

Almost a month ago, after experiencing the water birth of our second child and enjoying maternity leave I decided it was the perfect time to go back to writing and creating entertaining, and if possible, useful and uplifting content.  This time, I wanted to be more consistent, more committed and more open to other networks as well. I don’t know how many followers you’re supposed to have or how many views or posts you need to reach in order to call yourself a “mummy blogger“, but I like to think I am one because I am a MUMMY and I blog about it! 🙂

So here just 5 of the main reasons why I’m loving it so much so far:

1 Our families love it!

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Yes, they are our most faithful and encouraging followers. For them, all the posts we write are perfect and wonderful, so well written, so inspiring! haha and with such a Fan Club, you cannot stop doing it. Being away from them is difficult enough so if there is something that can bring us all together and get them involved with our ups and downs of living abroad we will take advantage of that.

2 Makes me have some “me time”

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This is a bit of a selfish reason, but the truth is that since I have started blogging more frequently I can enjoy some time to reflect on our family, on our adventures and experiences. I’ve always liked writing, it was a main tool on my career and now I can create my own content without the pressure of a client pushing you to a deadline or the challenges of running your own business. I have to admit though, that since being so involved in other social networks, I’m learning how to find the right balance as well, because it would be quite ironic to invest so much time in front of the computer or the mobile phone telling you how wonderful my family is while my children and husband are begging me to actually spend some time with them, don’t you think? 😉

3 It’s becoming a learning path

Little by little I’m starting to realise that blogging is not a piece of cake. It’s time consuming and you’ve got to learn how to create and edit good images, footage if you do videos as well, how to organise your editorial calendar, how many times you will post, what you will talk about, which other social networks you will use, what their analytics reports mean…but you know what, I’m loving it! It can be frustrating some times, but it’s pushing me to the limits. For me, it is rewarding when I put into practise things that I learn and I see the positive outcome of them. It has become the perfect hobby for this break and I wish I can continue doing it when I go back to work. And who knows, maybe one day I could even collaborate with brands and other bloggers getting our stories out there!

4 Connecting with minds-alike

It is nice to read and see other mummy or daddy bloggers, and how they love the same thing that I treasure the most, the family. It is comforting to read some posts about motherhood challenges and how they deal with them or feel that you’re not alone on a rough day after looking after your little ones. When I receive a comment, a follow, a like, from them or any other of our friends just makes me realise that no matter how far we are from home or how often we see each other you are not alone on this journey towards happiness.

5 Sharing the gospel, and if necessary, using words.

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As a Latter-Day Saints family we strive our best to emulate Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. Thus said, we don’t like to be “preachy”, we’d rather let you have a look into our lives and see how we cope with challenges or how we have a blast, how we fail and fall and how we stand up again, cause for us that is what the gospel is all about. It shows you the why, when, what and how to achieve happiness regardless of the circumstances. It works for us! and if any time you get curious about our beliefs you’re more than welcome to ask. We love sharing our ideas from a respectful and heartfelt point of view, and vice versa, learning from yours would be a pleasure.

Not that the main reasons why I love being a mummy blogger narrow down to just 5 but join us in our adventures and together we can discover many more.

I would love to learn what other hobbies help you in your parenting daily lives, so please, don’t be shy and leave a comment. 🙂