Looking back on seven years of blogging + link up

August 26, 2018

Looking back on seven years of blogging

Thursday was the seventh anniversary of publishing my first blog post…how things have changed! Well, actually some things have remained constant – namely my love of fashion – but others have changed beyond recognition. When I started blogging I was completely clueless when it came to technology. While I have still have lots to learn, I’ve managed to get my head around aspects of blogging that once completely baffled me. What began as infrequent posts featuring quick outfit snaps taken on my phone has become more like a job. But I mean that in a good way!

Looking back on seven years of blogging there are things I wish I’d done differently, but it’s all a learning process.

I find the end of Summer/beginning of Autumn the ideal time to re-evaluate and look ahead to new goals. Having a blog anniversary coincide with the changing of the seasons is fortuitous in that respect.Β Looking back on seven years of blogging there are things I wish I’d done differently, but it’s all a learning process. Everyone learns the most valuable stuff “on the job”, whatever that job is. Blogging is no different. One thing I do know is that other bloggers are the best source of information, and the blogging community is like an extended family. If you have a question, put it out there on social media and the help comes flooding in. The support from other bloggers is amazing!

Things I wish I’d done differently

There aren’t too many things I wish I’d done differently, but the main one is regarding web hosting. When I started out I chose Typepad for as my blog’s platform because I didn’t realise you could have a vanity URL with Blogger. It soon dawned on me that I was basically paying for something I could get for free with Blogger, and moving to self-hosted seemed like an immense challange. Actually it wasn’t; when I finally got my act together and took blogging more seriously I just got on with it. I bought a template from Pipdig, who were incredibly helpful and made the whole process easy. Afterwards I was kicking myself for not doing it sooner!

When I was forced to take a career break (due to my new job not being compatible with childcare) it galvanised me into focusing more on blogging.

In my defence though, we’d had a tumultuous 18 months of living apart, starting new jobs and relocating to a different part of the country. During that time Pete was living at his mum’s and working in Manchester while I was back in Nottingham with Isobel, so I had no photographer. Using the timer function on the camera and a makeshift tripod (I don’t recommend!) became my only option! When I was forced to take a career break (due to my new job not being compatible with childcare) it galvanised me into focusing more on blogging. I decided at that point that the time was right to take it up a level…and that meant getting my head around social media.

At the start, I was just basically talking to myself. I would write a post, hit publish and nobody read it apart from me and my husband. I just didn’t feel comfortable promoting myself on social media…and to be honest, I didn’t really know how to anyway. Learning all about hashtags, Twitter chats, blog hops, link ups – it was all a mystery to me. The first link up I participated in was Jess’s Turning Heads Tuesday, and I’m sure that was the breakthrough I needed in becoming part of the 40+ blogging community. I may have been in my late 30s when I started blogging, but it was only when I hit my 40s that I felt like a “proper blogger”. Life begins at 40 and all that.

What does the future hold?

Staying on top of the developments in social media is a big part of being a blogger. I work in TV and it’s both exciting, and a little alarming, at how quickly social media platforms are encroaching on the territory of traditional forms of media. Have we reached peak saturation? Will people still be watching TV in 10 years time, or will everyone be glued to their phones watching beauty tutorials/toy openings/cats doing funny things? This topic dominates many conversations among my colleagues. Will YouTube (or something similar) kill off TV? Will blogging be replaced by vlogging? One thing’s for sure, you have to be ready and willing to adapt.

It only takes one high profile influencer to be caught out being dishonest for the whole community to be tainted.

The marketing power that bloggers/influencers have now is being recognised by companies. The challenge for us all – collectively – is to stay honest and transparent. It only takes one high profile influencer to be caught out being dishonest for the whole community to be tainted. One thing I always keep in mind is that the trust of your followers is everything. It takes time to build up but can be destroyed in one bad decision. Honesty is always the best policy, even if it means posting a less-than-glowing review of a product.

Plans for the immediate future

I have a big list of things to do, but in order to achieve those I need to manage my time better. Shooting more than one outfit in a day, batch editing photos, scheduling time to reply to comments and participate in link ups will help me get back on track. I’ve been struggling to do half of what I need to do lately, so better time management is essential…if you have any tips please send them my way! When the new school year starts I’ll have fewer interruptions so that will help.

On the subject of kids, I know Isobel would love to do more “mummy and me” outfit posts (like this one). She’s now nine and is very into fashion so we will make this a regular feature. I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s actually wearing my clothes! Becoming a mum was what prompted me to start blogging in the first place, so it seems only right that she’s a part of it now.

Learning when to say no…and yes…

Replying to emails seems to take up more time than ever recently, particularly the ones from people who basically want something for nothing. I’m sure you all get them too…you don’t reply immediately so they bombard you with passive-agressive follow up emails pushing their “amazing” offer of a poor quality infographic (in return for a follow link of course), or $5 for a blog post. Yeah, they really bug me. I’m starting to be more direct with these chancers and let them know I wasn’t born yesterday…this is a blog for mature women after all so they should know that!

Learning to say no is one thing, but having the courage to say yes to opportunities – even when they push me way out of my comfort zone – is something I’m getting better at. Taking a ride in the Seabreacher was something I’d never have done if it wasn’t for this blog, and it was a blast! Remember the bucket list I shared? Well for my birthday Pete bought me a race track experience (after reading the post, so drop those hints ladies!). I can’t wait to burn some rubber in a Lamborghini!

One thing that I’m determined to do in the next couple of months is a design tweak and rebranding. As well as being a TV director and vision mixer my husband also does graphic design, so I need to pin him down (so to speak) to help me with this. I’d love to do it all myself but, you know, why have a dog and bark yourself? πŸ˜‰

Looking back on seven years of blogging

Going to the 3040 Blogger Meet Up still stands out as one of the highlights of my whole blogging career…even now I smile when I think about that day πŸ™‚

I’m sure you’ll all agree that one of the best (if not THE best) things about blogging is meeting up with other bloggers IRL. Going to the 3040 Blogger Meet Up still stands out as one of the highlights of my whole blogging career (if that’s the right word). I got to meet up with so many fabulous bloggers who I’d been following for years…even now I smile when I think about that day πŸ™‚Β  So, when an email offering early bird tickets for the Blogosphere Festival landed in my inbox I didn’t hesitate in buying one. It’s in Marylebone, London on December 1st, so if you’re going too let me know and we can meet up!

Long term goals

Producing good quality YouTube content is top of my long term goals (I’ve said it here now so I have to do it, right?). Working in TV I don’t really have an excuse not to, other than time constraints (which goes back to scheduling my time more effectively). I’d like to include this in my immediate plans but I have to be realistic. The plan is to set up a space in the wooden cabin at the end of my garden to use as a set; I just have to move the bikes, old toys and spiders lurking in every corner!

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

In terms of content I feel it’s inevitable that I will gradually steer the blog towards ethical fashion and beauty. Since becoming vegan last year I’ve continued to question my choices when it comes to what I buy and consume. This doesn’t stop at food; as I’ve discovered, there’s so much more to veganism than simply not consuming animal products. But it’s an ongoing process, one of perpetual learning and refinement. I always keep in mind the Maya Angelou quote “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” There’s a difference between not knowing and not wanting to know. As long as we are prepared to learn and change our patterns of consumption we can all make a positive change.

So that kind of sums up the last seven years of blogging…I wonder what the next seven years holds! How has blogging changed your life? Do pop back tomorrow for the Style Not Age August post!

 


 

This is where I link up!

Share:

34 responses to “Looking back on seven years of blogging + link up”

  1. Laurie says:

    Congratulations Emma! You have done so well. I’ve just started a youtube channel, we can be newbies together!
    Laurie xx

  2. Emma, this is such a great post! It really is amazing how much we learn just by jumping right in and figuring it out on our own. Of course, the help and support from other bloggers is always welcomed and what an amazing community it is! Happy Anniversary to you, my friend! Cheers to 7 years and hopefully you will continue on with Style Splash for many more years to come! It has been such a pleasure getting to know you.

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    • Emma Peach says:

      Thank you so much Shelbee! It really is an amazing community and I’m so glad to be part of it…getting to know wonderful, kind and inspiring people like you is the best thing about being a blogger!

  3. Nancy says:

    Well that was an interesting post! Loved to read it. For me the best thing about blogging is to meet other bloggers. I’m meeting two British bloggers in Brighton in two weeks! I think that is so very exciting!

  4. Congratulations Emma. Nice to read about your blooging. Wonderful post. πŸ™‚

  5. Edwige says:

    WOW! What a journey1 Happy blog anniversary, hun!

    Edwige | http://www.hypnozglam.com

  6. Happy Blogaversary! I’ve been doing my current blog for only 2Β½ years but I’ve learned a few things – like, it’s never too late to learn new things (and blogging is the epitome of having to learn new things!)…if you don’t like seeing yourself in pictures, TAKE MORE PICTURES, you’ll get over it (!) and nothing ventured, nothing gained. Things I didn’t think I was “good enough for,” when I gave them a try, I found…I could do!

    Here’s to seven more years for Style Splash…and a new YouTube era!

    xoxo Bettye
    https://fashionschlub.com

    • Emma Peach says:

      Thank you Bettye! It really is a steep learning curve isn’t it? I felt really awkward in front of the camera at first, and I was really shy about telling anyone I was a blogger in case they made fun of me. Now, most of my colleagues know I blog and they ask me for advice about social media. Perseverance definitely pays off!

  7. Well done Emma. This is all so interesting. Lovely and thought provoking post. I started YouTube in June. It’s time consuming I have to say

    https://www.muttonstyle.com

  8. Congratulations. Seven years! Well done. I loved to see your cute and pretty daughter in her black and white checks.
    Like you said that 30 40 bloggers meet-up was terrific. Wouldn’t have minded another one.
    Keep up the good work Emma.
    Greetje

  9. Julie Caron says:

    Thanks for posting this. Since I’m pretty new to blogging, it’s really helpful hearing about what the journey has been like for other bloggers.

  10. Darlene says:

    Emma, I really appreciate hearing about your journey. I’m coming up on two years and the first six months I had NO idea what I was doing. But ignorance is bliss, as there is SO much to learn and do! I’m afraid I may have come to the blogging party a bit late, and you are right that the whole social media vehicle changes constantly. I do think vlogging is next if not here already. I keep thinking about getting onboard but fear is holding me back!! Lol! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Emma Peach says:

      Thanks Darlene. I keep seeing articles about the end of blogging but I think people like to see photos and read at their own pace. I have to be in the mood to watch vlogs and IG stories. My daughter is asking to start her own YouTube channel and she’s only 9! I don’t think my husband could tolerate sharing the house with two vloggers…he would never see us!

  11. Morning Emma! Great read, I enjoyed learning about your blogging story. Many parts reflect my own experiences, when I started it was basically only my dear husband reading mine too. You’ve come a long way and I can’t wait to see whats more to come xx

    • Emma Peach says:

      Thanks Maria! Sometimes I think it’s best to fly under the radar at the start, just until you feel more comfortable with it and have overcome teething troubles. Some of my early photos were truly awful!

  12. Sasha says:

    Congrats, Emma! What a fab achievement! Here’s to the next seven! πŸ˜‰ XXX

  13. amy says:

    Happy Blogaversary!!

  14. jacqui says:

    Love the post, well done for 7 years!!! You’ve done so well, I can dream about this being me one day. Oh and i’d love a blogger meet-up! It really sounds and looks like fun. Hope someone arranges another – soon! Jacqui Mummabstylish

  15. Sharon says:

    Congratulations! What an achievement ,.. 7 years! It’s such an ever changing landscape isn’t it? I loved your Seabreacher post .. that looked like a blast.

    Here’s to your next 7 years xo

  16. Lovely blog post Emma and so inspiring that you’ve come so far in that time. I have signed up for Blogosphere just so I can meet up with you again! Missed the early bird tickets but hopefully I will be there. xx

  17. Suzy Turner says:

    Congratulations Emma! It’s amazing how the time flies isn’t it? I’ve been blogging for over ten years now and I still can’t quite believe it. It seems like yesterday when I first began.
    Hopefully one of these days, we’ll get to meet up too. It’s a bummer the blogosphere festival is early December and not the middle of the month otherwise I’d be there in the UK and could go πŸ™
    Hugs
    Suzy xx
    http://www.suzyturner.com

    • Emma Peach says:

      Thanks Suzy! Wow, ten years is a fantastic achievement! What a shame you’ll just miss out on Blogosphere, it would’ve been lovely to meet up with you. It was held in mid December last year, but maybe they thought that was too close to Christmas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.