Why Setting Up A Blog Was The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done

why-setting-up-a-blog-was-the-best-thing-ive-ever-done

 

So, I’ve been lacking a fair bit on the blog front recently (which I seem to say a lot in the opening of many posts!) However, I can’t promise that my content is going to increase as of yet as I just don’t have the time or in fact the hardcore motivation to post as much as I should. Soz about that. I’ve been trying so hard over these past couple of months to really push myself to make my blog into a real business I could make money from and let me tell you, it’s difficult. It takes a lot of hard work but maybe one day I’ll get there. For now, I want to carry on enjoying it as a hobby until I can grow my readership.

My blog has honestly been one of the best things I have ever started. I have always loved writing and English was one of the few subjects I excelled at at school. Looking back I should have probably concentrated more in Maths and Science but hey, who needs Pythagoras or refraction?

Short stories

From about the age of 10, I used to write loads of short stories with no punctuation and dodgy spellings and proudly present them to my mum to read. In fact, I’m pretty sure I would read them to her. There were tales of girls who worked at stables and rode their horses round the countryside, mysterious tales of orphans on the run or young girls who dreamed of being singers. I loved them and thought every extract I wrote was a masterpiece. I never finished any of them though. I now come to realise, everything I wrote was a part of some hyper reality that I played out in my head and wanted so desperately to happen in real life. Some of them were quite intense for a 10 year old to write too.

I remember getting my first A* for a piece I wrote at school. It was about bullying and I incorporated some real life examples, research and what I’d come to realise would be something I inject into all my writing; emotion. My teacher loved it and I was thrilled. I’d worked so hard to create something relatable and it had worked. It was then that I finally felt my writing was good enough and people might enjoy what I have to say. This was probably before blogs were even heard of. 2010 to be exact.

Fanfiction

It was around this time that I stumbled upon Fan Fiction. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept; they are short stories (mostly found on the internet) based upon popular characters and series from TV, films, games and comics. It’s often thought as incredibly cringey to par take in but this was my first foray into online writing and I loved it! There was an online forum where I could interact with fellow writers and post chapter upon chapter to my heart’s content. Unfortunately, there is a darker side to Fan Fiction and I often innocently clicked on stories that had some very strange content. Remember, these are characters that you recognise from popular media being portrayed by someone else. There was often a lot of sexual content, which wasn’t filtered, character hate and just plain weird story lines. I made friends with a few users though and had long chats about our favourite characters and we supported each other’s writing.

Blogger

I set my first blog up on blogger in about 2013. It was called Inside Cut and I posted film and music reviews. Looking back on them makes me cringe. They weren’t great. They were rushed and lacked detail or insight. A couple were half decent but my blog traffic was next to nothing. I don’t think I even posted them to Facebook as I was too afraid of what people would think.

University

I first started blogging properly when I left for University in the autumn of 2014. I set up The Trials and Triumphs of a Uni Student to log my journey through Uni. I remember my first post getting 120 views and being so overwhelmed. I tried so hard to keep it up throughout Uni but behind the enthusiastic posts was an exhausted, scared, young girl who was struggling to keep up. I then began to date a guy at Uni and this made me start to think about writing about relationships. Relationships were a huge part of Uni and I thought maybe this could be my niche. So, I created yet another blog called The Totally Ridiculous Guide to Relationships. My first post was a huge hit. You can read it here. It felt so good to finally start writing about what I was going through and so many people came up to me, commenting on how good my writing was or how funny my posts were.

Obviously, when you write about your relationship, you have to be careful about what you write if your partner reads it and I sometimes went a bit far with my descriptions and ramblings. I was getting more traffic than ever though and having so much inspiration along the way.

WordPress

I then discovered WordPress. Blogging was still not a huge thing and hadn’t exploded like it has now. I had three blogs and really enjoyed writing them all but found it hard to keep them going. So, I created The World According to Kerrie and merged all of my blogs into one. It took a while to transfer everything over but once I did, I was so happy with my new blog. I carried on blogging whilst at Uni and started doing a few advice posts. They seemed to go down well but I soon realised blogging was the only thing getting me through Uni so I left.

Making sense of the world

My writing improved a significant amount over the next year. I found my voice which was a mixture of humour, self deprecation and positive advice giving. I really got into writing lists about relationships and life as a twenties girl. I was in my element and posting about four times a week. I also wrote a long post about leaving Uni which I was so nervous about posting. I had no idea what people would think of me and how I’d failed but I quickly realised that I had so much support behind me. So many people commented and viewed my post. I hadn’t failed, I was only just beginning.

I then got into a new relationship and this fuelled more posts. I got really deep into my feelings and how far I’d come since leaving Uni. I dove deep into what was happening in my personal life during the past few months and felt like all my friends were right there with me.

Changing blog design

I was made redundant about a month ago and turned to the one place that never let me down; my blog. I wrote and wrote about how hellish the recruitment process was and how hard it is to find a job. It helped me make sense of my feelings and situation. During my period of unemployment, I gave my blog a huge make over. I bought my own domain name, changed blog host and had someone set up a new blog design for me. I  bought a new laptop, tried out some new posts, increased my social media following, improved my photography/ blog graphics and read and read others blogs for inspiration.

It filled the days (in between looking for jobs of course!) and now I have a temporary job. It does mean less time spent on my blog but I still try to make time for it because I’ve loved writing content for years and hope it will be something I utilise for years to come

It’s been a hell of a journey and it’s definitely not over yet. So stay tuned for more great content from me!

2 Comments

  1. Naomi Edge
    28/11/16 / 3:48 pm

    I love this sort of post! Also loving your new blog design 🙂 Well done! x

    • kerriecarter
      Author
      29/11/16 / 6:50 pm

      Aw thank you! Glad to hear you liked it 🙂 I actually really enjoyed writing it so may try to do similar ones in the future.

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