Monday, 3 November 2014

Exactly one year ago today, I sat down with the intention of creating an online diary where I could write to my heart's content. Knowing my track history with beginning new social media platforms, I hardly thought it would last a week, no mind an entire year. Over the last 356 days, this small slice of the internet has come to mean the absolute world to me. It's a place where I can say and do whatever I want - it's a place where I can be 100% myself. 123 posts later (that number continues to shock me! Read my 100 posts celebration here), I have learnt a great deal about the blogosphere, and so I thought I'd share some of my wisdom with you lovely people!

Photography -
Before beginning a blog, I had never ventured into the world of photography. Don't get me wrong, I loved Instagram just as much then as I do now (cheeky plug, follow me here!), but not a lot of thought went into lighting, angles, and focus. Thank the lord that my Dad had a spare camera at hand, allowing me to progress and gain key skills. Even now, I would never say that I'm a good photographer - my pride comes through editing. As long my photos are reasonable, editing can transform a photo from monotonous to dazzling. Although many bloggers will edit using photoshop, personally I just use picmonkey, and the iPhone app 'after light'.

Writing -
If I could only live by one blogging rule, it would be this one: never begin a post with the word 'I'. Other bloggers certainly do it, and it's never too big of a deal, but it represents sloppy writing to me. In all honesty, I try to minimise the amount of sentences that begin with 'I' in general. As much as this blog is a space for me, it's also a space for you, and so my writing needs to be as engaging as possible - and how can that be achieved when the first word of my post is 'I'?

Engagement -
Leading straight on from writing, I've realised just how important it is to engage with my readers. After all, you're the reason for my existence. Encouraging others to contribute, simply by asking a select few questions throughout or at the end of your post, makes all the difference.

Self-promotion -
A year ago, promoting my blog to anybody beyond my best friends and family terrified me to my very core. Who would care about a little website about my life? As time progressed, I became more and more open to the idea. Back in April, I wrote this post declaring my love for my late dog, Otto, and decided that it was time to share my creation to the world - and I received an incredible amount of feedback and appreciation! It was overwhelming how many people actually cared, and from then on things changed. Without self-promotion, however annoying it can sometimes be, my blog would not be where it is today. I have even created my own Facebook page (here) so that anybody can choose to see when I upload new blog posts, as well as the videos that I was uploading during Vlogtober (see videos here!)

My blogging journey began 365 days ago, and it has become a main focus in my life. It has kept me motivated, it has kept me positive, and it has kept me active. All I can hope is that a part of this blog, no matter how small, has meant something to you. As I mentioned, without you, there would be no point to what I am doing, and so a massive thank you is in order! Feel free to leave any blogging tips that you've picked up in the comments below - all advice is muchly appreciated!