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My first ever blog post was published on 3rd April 2010 and was a pretty useless piece of 'content'. In almost 7 years it has still only amassed 655 views. In a time before Pinterest, I used to browse the web and save tonnes of photos of things I thought were cute or pretty to my little laptop hard drive. When my hard drive got full, I decided to upload all of the photos I had saved onto this very blog! I did it for myself, and I never thought anyone would ever see these uploads of lots of cakes and pretty houses. I just wanted a place for myself to store all of the photos I found from anywhere and everywhere.
These kind of photo posts continued for months and months before I actually wrote something. In fact, I didn't actually start writing anything 'properly' until over a year later. If you fancy a giggle, you can check out my first ever OOTD post! It's awful, but sometimes it's nice to look back and see how far I've come and how things in my life and the blogging world in general has changed.
When I started blogging I never thought anyone would ever find let alone read my blog. I think when I started I caught the blogging craze just at its peak when loads of blogs suddenly popped up and everyone was commenting on everyone else's posts, and we all shared other blogs 'buttons' on our sidebars. Ahh, those were the days! Overtime, some bloggers have stopped completely, others have continued, and of course now there's new bloggers too!
So I just wanted to do a little post about what blogging means to me...
Remember when you were always told not to meet strangers off the internet? Well I think pretty much everyone these days does that now! But I'm not talking about creepy Tinder dates, I'm talking about meeting other bloggers from online who become 'real life friends'. It's cheesy AF, but one of the best things to come from blogging is meeting other bloggers. To be honest, I'm quite antisocial in general so I don't often go to events etc to meet other bloggers.
But back in 2012 I went along to a fashion event in Birmingham that a few other bloggers were invited to, and I met Terri and Tereza (and I believe Charl too!) for the very first time. Since then, we've met up regularly and I spend many a weekend drunk in Stoke. Hurray for internet friends!
Blogging can lead to jobs
Back in January I did a post for the new year about plans I had for 2017 and one of the things I wanted to achieve was finding a new job. Well.. less than a week after writing that blog post I was offered not one, but two jobs in SEO/Digital Marketing! And without my blog that would not have happened and I would be working in a call centre or something forever.
I decided it was time for a change at the beginning of the year and applied for a few jobs and had a couple of interviews. In all of the interviews I've been to since starting my blog, it has been a talking point and something I can speak openly and confidently about. Nothing is worse than when an interviewer asks 'what are your hobbies or interests' and the only thing you can think of is 'I like going out with my mates and shopping'.
I remember when I graduated uni my first job was working for a lady who ran a cake business. The job was just doing admin and the social media pages, but she gave me the job straight away after seeing my blog. She said she could tell from my blog that she liked my personality and she thought I was right for the job just from that.
You can dress blogging up as much or as little as you like, but it shows that you have literacy skills, good communication, you can network with others, and you can do magic things with a computer. Blogging is hard work, and if you put your blog on your CV it's a talking point and something to be proud of because it shows you are determined to do something a bit different, and you are proactive in your spare time.
So next Monday I start my very first job in the digital marketing world as a SEO Executive! It's a fairly junior role as I've never done anything like this before, but I am so excited to learn new things which I am genuinely interested in and hopefully can apply to my own blog!
And of course... the freebies!
I don't just mean the free lipsticks that get sent out to every blogger in the UK. Don't get me wrong, these types of things are great and work wonders for the brand. But my favourite collaborations are with brands that I would buy even if it wasn't free such as Soap & Glory, Sass & Belle, Joules and smaller independent companies. I love being able to work with such a wide range of brands ranging from my old favourites to discovering and falling in love with new brands too!
Blogging has brought my lots of opportunities over the years and I've been lucky enough to review some amazing hotels, restaurants, clothes and all sorts of random things. I even went on a press trip to Belgium with Ford to test drive their new Fiesta, and I also received laser eye surgery which I could never have done if it wasn't for my blog! So if anyone ever says blogging isn't worth the time.. they're definitely wrong.
Blogging is extremely tough work and requires a lot of dedication, time, and perseverance. I'm by no means a 'big blogger' and I sometimes do fall out of love with blogging. Sometimes I am lazy, and sometimes I get writers block.
I don't have a fancy camera, and I'm still using one I bought for £50 from Tesco in 2012. I plan on working a lot harder at blogging this year (maybe I'll buy a new camera too..) and I really want to start producing good quality content more frequently. It's tiring, but overall I love blogging and I love my blog!