I’ve been Blogging for 18 months now and it’s good to reflect on the blog every 6 months or so. In doing so, I hope to create a better reading experience for people but also it is a good way to focus on what I want out of blogging and Oldhouseintheshires.
The joy of blogging
I have to admit that I’m not enjoying blogging as much as I did. It could be a stage, who knows, but my life is so busy I just don’t know if I’m writing the quality posts that I would always like. With teenagers taking A’ Levels and GCSE’s, the house build going nowhere (building regs and planning is taking sodding ages!) and teaching, there is very little time for my first love, gardening, never mind blogging. Do I take a break or do I carry on as I am? No idea at this point! What do you think?
I’m finally self hosted which I did in March and I’m really pleased I did. My stats have fallen in April and will probably do in May too but that’s ok. Paid work has taken a tumble but with so much going on in my life, I don’t know if I’d fit them all in anyway. Being self hosted gives you so much more control on what you do and although it’s been a steep learning curve, I enjoy the technical side of blogging which I didn’t think I would!
I expect the reason my views have fallen recently is because I have been blogging less about parenting and more about gardening and the home. It’s been a natural shift as my children are now aged 18 and 16 . Although I work with young children, my parenting has changed. In fact, my parenting life has really changed in the last 2 years! This weekend, my daughter was at work and my son was at his girlfriends so Hubbie and I went out for lunch, pottered in the garden and walked the dog. No child was in sight! This brings me to the question of, what direction to take the blog in? The parenting and educational posts bring me readers there is no doubt about it and many of my followers want to read these types of posts however, my garden and my home are becoming more relevant in my life. Do I scrap the parenting and educational posts all together and just blog about the Old House or do I carry on with my eclectic mix?
I have been using Socialoomph for the last few months. Sceduling my Tweets has made a marked difference in engagement so this month I have also scheduled my Pins on Pinterest. This has really worked for me in getting more people interested in my blog. It is costing about £15 every 4 weeks which I’m happy to pay at this point. I hope to build my Pinterest in the next few months so do pop over and take a look at my boards! Instagram still eludes me but I have over 870 followers now. I paid for a promotion this week just to see what would happen and got over 1200 likes on the photo. It drives me nuts that I have to pay for my photo to be seen though and I don’t think I’ll do that again! Last month I paid for a promotion on Facebook too and got stupid amounts of views but this just proves that it’s all driven by money; I don’t think I will do this again but it was a good test. I’m still loving the interaction I get on Twitter and consider some people on there ‘Twitter friends!”
Does blogging make me unhealthy?
This is something that I have thinking a lot about recently. I may spend most evenings blogging or on social media. This can take up 2-3 hours and means that other hobbies are taking a backseat. In the last 18 months, I have slowly put on half a stone in weight and definately am less toned than I was. Of course, this may be because I eat more 😳 but I am definately less active that I was before. My back is also much worse than it was 18 months ago and again, this could be due to my job or gardening but I’m sure sitting on the sofa using my IPad is not helping! This has led me to be much stricter with myself and I’ve decided that instead of 3-4 posts per week, I’m going to only post 1 or 2. I think this will be more manageable in general but will also give me more time for doing other things.
The blogging world
I love that blogging is such an inclusive and friendly community. Most bloggers are a lovely bunch of people from all over the world doing their blogging thing and supporting each other. In fact, I haven’t ‘met’ any other blogger that is not nice to be honest. Blogging is a strange game sometimes though; especially in link parties. Now I love joining link parties! I try to link up a post each day and support my fellow bloggers but the weird thing is that we are actually a small community of bloggers all commenting on each other’s posts. If you think about it, if we all stopped blogging, would anyone read my posts? Of course, I’m a hobby blogger with about 6500 views a month so maybe I have fewer readers than many other bloggers have but that random thought was something that struck me in the middle of the night!
I’m happy that I started blogging and I have enjoyed the journey so far. I’ve worked hard to get my DA to 34 and am proud of Oldhouseintheshires. However, I’m feeling jaded and I think I need a break. This may be due to life stresses rather than the pressure from the blog. If I do decide to take a little break, please don’t forget me! I will be back I promise. Hopefully, there will be more to blog once the house renovations finally start. So, if I quietly disappear you know it’s not you, it’s me.
Thank you for reading.