What Four Years Of Blogging Has Taught Me

I don’t usually write these sort of posts, but I feel like I should mark the occasion, last week I celebrated four years of blogging. It feels like such a HUGE achievement.

I remember in my early days looking at those bloggers that had been about for 2 or 3 years and thinking wow. And now here I am 4 years later and into my second year of working full-time from home on my blog. Yet it all feels so fresh and new. I always feel excited for what adventures will come my way on a Monday morning. Every week feels exciting a fresh and I never have a sense of dread on a Sunday night.

Extraordinary Chaos Family, Travel , Clafting and Lifestyle blog www.extraordinarychaos.com

But what have I learnt in my four years in this crazy blogging bubble?

Be true to yourself

Blogging is tough, and you can’t live a charade. We all blog for different reasons, and all share different content. Share your likes and loves, I don’t share things I don’t like, that is my choice it’s my space. But be honest, and authentic what ever you are talking about. In my case if I don’t like it I wont talk about it.

Setting up a blog is not easy.

Establishing a blog takes time and commitment, I forgot how hard it was until we started working on Cruising With Kids.  Getting your voice heard is hard, some days it is like shouting in the wind. The only way to be truly heard is by using your own voice. But if you want to succeed you have to put the hours in, be committed and determined.

Work on your photography

One of the first things I did when I started to get established was to take a photography course, and it was the best thing I ever did. For me photos stand out, I am a visual person. Its something I have to work at all the time. But it’s a passion I never thought I would develop, but one of my favourite parts of my job.

setting up a blog? www.extraordianrychaos.com

Blog Birthday www.extraordinarychoas.com

Always over-deliver on all posts

Not everyone will agree with me on this one, but every post that goes on to my blog is a reflection of me, I want to be happy when I press publish whether it is sponsored or not. And I want to look back on my work with fondness. I made many mistakes in the early days, but watched, listened and learnt how to create content that makes me happy.

Network, network, network

Find your people, go to events and support each other. Blogging is a reflection of the real world, we can’t all get on, and we aren’t all alike. But there is also a lot of common ground. In the same vein, don’t get caught up in behind the scenes politics, who can be bothered with that?  Drama makes me roll my eyes; it is something I steer well clear of.

Never compare yourself

Comparison never did anybody any good, we are unique, that is what is wonderful about each and everyone one us. Yes, there will be opps we don’t get that we think we are perfect for, but what about the wonderful opportunities we do get? Every now and them I read a comment, someone comparing, or even worse being mean about them not getting an opportunity or winning a prize, it makes me sad. Why do it, would you want those things saying about you?

Be strict and have nights when you don’t work

It is so easy to potter when you work from home. But be firm, have nights when you don’t touch your laptop or phone. It’s so hard but we all need downtime. Yes, its wonderful to be able to do the school run and be there to spend time without kids after school, I would say its one of he biggest perks of the job. BUT you must have downtime too.

Don’t take yourself to seriously

Be professional, always!  But I am sharing my opinion, that’s all. Some may agree, some may not. I used to hate sharing my photo, but you know what that’s me? You have to learn to love you, for you.

Overlooking the Black Forest Germanya fun week, extraordinarychaos.com

I am thicker skinned than I thought 

You have to be being self-employed, not everyone will like you. And if they don’t that is their problem not yours. What is the point of taking on other people’s negativity? And you know what? There are plenty of lovely people out there to counteract the negative Nancy’s.

And if you say no to work because it doesn’t fit, mean no! Don’t be talked into taking on work you don’t believe in, it will show. Talk about brands you love and would recommend.

Learn about social media and SEO

It’s all a pain but its essential, its how we drive our content, there is a lot to learn, it can be boring but don’t put your head in the sand.

I was naive when I started out, thinking it was a shiny wonderful world. And mostly it is, but a shiny wonderful world that takes a lot of grit, determination and hard work to succeed in. The best tip I can give is enjoy the ride and don’t second guess yourself constantly.

 

 

 

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31 Comments

  1. 6th March 2018 / 11:57 am

    Go you! Congrats on the 4 years of blogging…
    Great advice…I used to be terrible at comparing myself to others and I used to get myself really down about it but now I just do my own thing my way and I’m happy.

    • SarahJChristie 6th March 2018 / 8:47 pm

      Ah thanks so much Kim and yes the worse thing you can do is compare, doing your own thing is the way forward isnt it? It makes me much happier doing that x

  2. 6th March 2018 / 7:32 pm

    Great post and yes, so true. You’re right, it is so important to stick to your own reasons for blogging and focus on your own content. You’re doing great and wow what a fab four years you’ve had. Jess xx

    • SarahJChristie 6th March 2018 / 8:48 pm

      Ah thanks so much Jess and so are you, what a great four years we have had, I just love what I do and thats the best thing ever x

  3. 6th March 2018 / 9:25 pm

    Great post Sarah, and I think the key message is being true to yourself and what you enjoy. I lost sight of that and it took all the enjoyment out of blogging for me and has made me have a real re-think about what I loved about blogging in the beginning and what I hope to get back. Happy 4th birthday xx

    • SarahJChristie 6th March 2018 / 9:39 pm

      Ah thanks Jo I hope you do get it back, you can do the lovely lady x

    • SarahJChristie 8th March 2018 / 9:34 pm

      Ah Jo I so hope you do get your mojo back, like you say its remembering why you did it in the first place x

  4. 6th March 2018 / 10:11 pm

    Such a good read Sarah. Blogging is definitely one of those things you pick up as you go a long. I look back at some of my early posts (most of the first three years!) and cringe. I always over deliver too but I find putting the blog down in the evenings really difficult unless I’m forced. I do feel fresher when I finally return though!

    • SarahJChristie 8th March 2018 / 9:35 pm

      Ha ha me to Claire, if someone had of told me what was involved before I started out I would have run for the hills, I am so glad I had no idea x

  5. 6th March 2018 / 10:16 pm

    Love this post. Happy bloggerversary. It feels like you’ve been blogging much longer than 4 years and I’m so glad I met you through it!! 🙂

    • SarahJChristie 8th March 2018 / 9:36 pm

      Ah thanks so much Tas, ha ha it does some day, others it all feels so new. I am too and so glad I found you as a friend x

  6. 7th March 2018 / 9:49 am

    Massive congrats on 4 years – here’s to the next 4 and beyond! X

    • SarahJChristie 8th March 2018 / 9:49 pm

      Ah thanks so much Rebecca yes heres to the year ahead x

  7. 8th March 2018 / 10:46 am

    Can you believe it has been fours years since we started on this crazy blogging journey of ours? We were the newbies all starting out together and now look at us ; )

    I totally agree with every signal one of these points and I have to say that I’ve come to all the same conclusions. Blogging is hard work and you need great self-discipline but boy is it worth it!!

    Happy 4th Birthday xxxx

    • SarahJChristie 8th March 2018 / 10:04 pm

      Ah thanks Heledd, I know we had no idea did we but do you remember the excitement we all had and the hours we spent chatting, I am so lucky yo have found a great group of gals who I know I can trust, I am sure that is a huge part of all of our motivation x

  8. 8th March 2018 / 9:38 pm

    I absolutely agree about not having dread on Sunday night! I love blogging and YouTube so much, the past 5 years have raced by for me! It’s definitely easy to compare oneself to others which is so unhealthy!! xx

    • SarahJChristie 8th March 2018 / 10:07 pm

      Yes I totally agree, I am quite good at not comparing there is so much to be proud of in our own camps isnt there ?

  9. 9th March 2018 / 5:09 pm

    There’s that word again SEO, I am clueless about it and am certain I am missing out on loads of traffic because of it! Did you do an online course or something? I just feel really in the dark. Otherwise I agree with all of your points, especially being authentic and making sure that every post you hit publish on is your best work. Congratulations on 4 years! xx

    • SarahJChristie 11th March 2018 / 4:58 pm

      To be honest I a no expert, i tick it changes all the time and no I just read what I can, the Moz website is great for that. Ah thank you Suzanne and you were one of the first bloggers I read and loved, but yes for me be authentic is key as I know it is for you x

  10. 10th March 2018 / 8:21 am

    Such great tips Sarah, thank you for sharing your experiences. Perfect timing – I’m just coming up to my blog’s second birthday and I’ve been feeling frustrated that I’m not further on than I am with it all. I love what I do and I work SO hard on it – I know it’ll get there and I just have to keep plugging away at it, create the opportunities I want to have and believe that I’ll get there. I love those photos with the roses by the way – so pretty!

    • SarahJChristie 11th March 2018 / 4:59 pm

      You do work so hard Chloe and it shows how much you love it, keep going my lovely you will x

  11. 11th March 2018 / 11:35 am

    Well done on four years of blogging, you have achieved so much in four years and your blog is one of my favourites. xx

    • SarahJChristie 11th March 2018 / 6:26 pm

      Aw Lindsey thank you so much what lovely thing to say, and I love your blog to lovely lady x

  12. 13th March 2018 / 9:14 pm

    Huge huge congratulations hunny. You have done so much and so well in four years and I love your blog and all that you share. Your photos are beautifully styled and you are just an amazing person. I am so glad blogging has brought us together as friends offline as much as online and I can’t wait to see what more you do in the years to come. Great tips here too. So many I need to take for myself too. hahaha #wrc

    • SarahJChristie 14th March 2018 / 8:44 pm

      Ah Jenny thank you so much and the same to you I so value your friendship and am so glad we became friends and the same to you, exciting times ahead for us x

  13. 14th March 2018 / 10:26 pm

    Wowzers Sarah! Four years is a long time. I love your blog and your photos. You have such a unique look which you should be really proud of. Here’s to hoping that Cruising with Kids is equally as successful as your blog;)

    • SarahJChristie 20th March 2018 / 8:09 pm

      Ah thanks so much Lisa I have loved every minute I feel so lucky and its brought me lovely friends like you x

  14. 15th March 2018 / 12:05 pm

    Oh Sarah I love your blog and the space you have created. 4 years is an achievement and I feel like you have carved out such a great space. And yes I agree to taking time off and having a thick skin although I still need to work on that! x

    • SarahJChristie 20th March 2018 / 8:13 pm

      Aw thanks so much Kerri-Ann I just love my little space it makes me so happy x

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