6 months of blogging. Where has the time gone? As people say, times flies when you’re having fun. If there’s one clear indicator of how much I enjoy blogging, it’s the fact I’ve done this for six months, and it only feels like three.
To say this journey surpassed all expectations would be a huge understatement. When I started this, the only thing I was sure of was that I was going to be honest about my mental health. I wanted to see who I could help along the way. I was armed with determination and enthusiasm, but I didn’t expect a miracle. It was going to take hard work to get this thing seen, so that’s what I did.
Then, I discovered I’m not bad at this whole blogging thing. My little project became my passion. What the whole process has taught me is that, when I have something I truly care about, I will go after it with everything I have.
I achieved milestones I previously believed to be a long way off. 10,000 Twitter followers. 2 million average monthly viewers on Pinterest. I received two nominations for awards.
In 6 months of blogging.
Right now, I’m picturing my face if you’d told me that just after I launched my blog. I’m sure it would have been full of delight, but also very apprehensive. It would have seemed beyond comprehension.
A few months in, I had my first affiliate sale. It wasn’t a huge amount, but it didn’t need to be. I had made something from doing what I loved. That’s when I knew: I had to keep going. Monetary gain hadn’t crossed my mind when I hit publish on my first post but now I’ve had a taste of what it’s like to earn money from something which makes me happy, I plan to pursue it.
Up to now, I haven’t made a lot of money from blogging. The figure isn’t important, however. What matters is that every penny is coming from something I thoroughly enjoy. It’s a feeling I’ve never known before. It’s incredible.
The geek inside me just loves to learn. Blogging was a steep learning curve, with a whole load of new skills to master. At first, I felt completely overwhelmed, then I rose to the challenge.
In all honesty, this is one of my favourite aspects to blogging – the fact the learning never stops. It’s probably this reason which has contributed the most to my success so far. If I’m not writing my own blog posts, I’m reading other people’s which are full of tips, tricks and advice to take things to the next level. If you’re not keen on trying to get your head around new things, you might not get it, but it gives me a thrill.
Saved the best for last. It’s now time to turn my attention to the people who helped to make it happen: you. I’m willing to give myself some of the credit because I worked my butt off. But, without you reading it, sharing it, leaving comments and giving me such a warm welcome, I would have fallen flat on my face.
I have had the opportunity to communicate with fascinating, inspiring and driven bloggers. Some of those people crossed the line from acquaintances to friends. Friends who will last a lifetime. When I think about the fact I didn’t know those people six months ago, it’s crazy. Of everything blogging has brought into my life, it’s these people I treasure the most. I’d love to name names, but I can guarantee I’ll forget someone and feel guilty forever. So, I’m hoping you know who you are.
There have been days when I’ve wanted to give up, but I think that’s a case of me getting in my own way. I have no idea what I did with all of my spare time before I had a blog. I just know I don’t want to go back to whatever it was. Every time someone compliments my blog, asks for my advice, or lets me know I’ve helped them, there’s a glow around my heart.
Despite everything, I’ve found myself questioning if this is truly where I should invest my time. There have been days when I’ve felt like it’s pointless. These feelings are natural. I learnt that in my first week of blogging. I’m glad I was armed with that knowledge. My tactic is usually to have a nap and let it pass, or remind myself of all the wonderful things this journey has made possible.
Blogging quickly became my entire life. There is so much to do! I loved every second of it, but there was a thin line between healthy and obsessive. It’s one I crossed a few times, before realising I was running myself into the ground. Trying to achieve everything actually meant I was achieving nothing.
So, I got organised, set aside time for myself and reminded myself that no matter what job people have, they have time off. I needed that, too.
While I was busy celebrating my success, there were individuals waiting in the wings to attack. People who thought I didn’t deserve what I got because I hadn’t been blogging long enough. Others who accused me of “using my mental illness to get a foot in” or abandoning my cause as soon as I got attention.
People who know me well enough will realise how utterly ridiculous that notion is. I can’t respond to this any better than my Dad did in his comment on we need to talk about the ugly side of blogging.
“People question your right to speak, your motives and the ‘accuracy’ of what you are saying. The best response to the ‘haters’ is to kick the dust from your feet (or keyboard) and move on to those who are willing to receive what is on offer.”
As for what’s next, I have a few ideas but my primary focus is that I’m hoping to continue creating content you love. I want my blog to be useful, in whatever ways you need. Most importantly, I want to keep putting smiles on faces, help people with their blogging ambitions and show people that a mental illness doesn’t mean your life has to grind to a halt. You can turn it into something positive.
Blogging is one of the most challenging things I’ve done, but also one of the most rewarding. I hope, in six months time, I still feel that way, and have plenty more bits of exciting news to share.
For now, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for making my first 6 months of blogging so amazing.