As I approach my 5 year blogging anniversary I have to say I am truly proud of what I have achieved and if I’m totally honest that’s mainly thanks to the last part of 2014. Previously I was happy enough but as a blogger your stats could always be better, your photography could be improved upon.. I’d love more time to really sit down and write rather than dash off quick reviews as and when I have a minute, you’re always striving to be better so you can never be truly happy with what you have. My audience grew slowly and I ‘found my voice’ (read: decided to just be myself rather than what I thought said audience would prefer) but I found it difficult to pin point a real success. I’m lucky that my blog is relatively lucrative, enough so that I am able to stay home with my son 3 days out of 5 but I wasn’t sure if blogging had a shelf life, whether I’d be able to do this forever or I’d have to go back to work full time. I could never quite relax and believe that this was a viable long term career.
Toward the end of the year I was approached by an ‘agent’ – I use quotation marks because I find the whole idea hugely pretentious and really awkward to talk about but for the benefit of those in a similar position or those considering branching out it seems worth mentioning. In a few short months she’s brought me work outside of my blog/YouTube channel and given me hope that I could transfer some of these online rambling skills to something new. She’s absolutely lovely and I’m so pleased to have her as blogging is a one man show and it’s easy to get comfortable in your little online space and not want to pursue anything new. You need someone who will push you to do things you may not feel totally comfortable doing and working for yourself that’s something you really miss. She’s going to push me!So that was a great development and a week after meeting with her I rocked up at the Cosmo Blog Awards in ripped jeans and converse only to WIN Best Established Beauty Blog. In a million years I never thought I’d win (hence the comfy get up – I had a very late train to catch and didn’t think it mattered what I wore in a room full of strangers since I wouldn’t be photographed) but I did and much as it may be a total con created by the magazine companies to drive online traffic to THEM I really don’t care. For whatever reason someone picked MY blog to win and I could not have been happier (or more SHOCKED) on the night.. and even now. I am so grateful for those of you who nominated/voted for me, it was an amazing experience I will never forget. I would love to think this will last forever but in the back of my mind I know I will likely move on to something else in the future.. hopefully another form of this but who knows, regardless I will always have that award as a memento of these years I spent talking to you.
I started a new project with Emma called Style On Toast. It started as a blog AND YouTube channel but we decided that given our personal online workload weekly videos were going to be easier to keep up with. The channel is a place for us to be creative, chat about things we don’t feel fit on our other channels and just have some fun. We have had a real laugh with it so far and are hoping to continue in to the New Year. My second channel, Diary Of A Spendaholic grew too, that was a channel I created around a year ago to chronicle my overspending and non-budget beauty items as well as outfits/style related videos. Funnily enough my only New Years resolution is to better manage my money so you may be hearing more about that over on that channel very soon. I’m not in financial trouble or anything (no, really Mum) but I should really start saving some cash rather than spending every penny I have.. self employed tax is a b*tch and APPARENTLY I ‘should be preparing for it all year’ (Yes, Dad!) *snore*
My blog/YouTube resolutions are pretty simple, I stretched myself a little too thin last year and I’d rather put out a little less but up the quality across all channels. I want to have time to write insanely long posts like this alongside my quick nail polish write ups and I want to improve my photography – I know I already mentioned that but it’s currently top of my to do list. I have a snazzy new camera I will be posting about soon and if that can’t inspire me to up my game nothing will. I want to do more research and bring you more information rather than just my personal opinions.. the list is endless. One thing I did notice in the past year is that my audience has changed, not massively but since I decided to just be myself rather than a super polished, sparkly, happy monster (there are enough of those, I’ve decided. Plus all that smiling gives you wrinkles) my demographic aged around 10 years. I’m not the oldest blogger but I’m certainly not the youngest, I’ll be turning 29 next month and with 2 marriages (one still going strong but I hear third times a charm – joke, joke!) and 2 children under my belt I have some life experience that seems to be attracting an older (by which I mean 25+) crowd and I couldn’t be happier. If you’re 13 and reading this don’t feel I’m alienating you.. we could definitely get a cup of coffee and talk about The Sims 4 (which is STILL not out for Mac might I add *enraged*) but there have been so many times I have felt too old for this and seeing my audience age WITH me is encouraging.I could go on forever but I’m certain I’ve either lost you by now or you’ve skipped a few paragraphs and are joining me again for the end. 2014 was awesome, it’s left me feeling energised and excited for the year ahead and your support only makes me want to be better. We English folk find it tough to take a compliment and if someone (usually my Mum) tells me I’ve done something great I will shrug it off like it’s nothing so don’t think this post was an easy one to write. I am much more comfortable telling you I’m unhappy than the opposite but that’s no way to live. If someone thinks something you’re doing is good you should be proud of it, own it, you did that, it’s awesome! Be happy! I’m so happy with the little piece of internet I have and for all of you who read/watch. We should all do more of what makes us happy and I think that’s a great little positive thought to take in to 2015! Not everyone will always like what you’re doing but as long as you do, keep doing it!