Four years ago on the 14th of January, I sat in front of a computer as I am doing now and wrote my first blog post. That single act has transformed my life in more ways than I can imagine. Blogging for me is a creative outlet, a huge blessing and my way of dying empty. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share via the world wide web.
This blogging journey has also taught me a number of lessons. Lessons I would love to share with you today. So buckle up, grab a cup of tea, coffee, juice or something and let's look back at 4 years together.
1. Start with Your Why
Your Why is the most important thing that will keep you going in any journey, whether blogging or otherwise. To me, this blog is my way of making a difference in the world using the talents God has blessed me with. I know my words, my recipes, my stories all make a difference. And I'm determined to tell as many stories as I need to tell so many more people will be transformed by them.
One of my greatest fears is dying without using the talents God blessed me with. And this blog has been the perfect outlet for me to use some of those talents. Look, my why keeps me going. Let me say it again: my why keeps me going.
It keeps me going when the demands of life, mommyhood and all keep me busy and I feel like I can't even find the time to create content. My why keeps me going. Because I have discovered that without this blog, I will still have a very busy life. How I find the time to blog still remains a sort of miracle to me. But you know what spurs me to do it? The fact that I know heaven is happy with me doing this. The fact that I know everything I put on here makes a positive difference. This keeps me going.
2. Start Where You Are
One of the things that helped me so much is that I started where I was, with what I had and grew from there. Armed with a tiny laptop, living with my brother-in-law with 4 kids under my care, starting a blog seemed like the most unusual thing to do in the February of 2014. But guess what, I put pen on paper... or rather I put my fingers on my keyboard. I am veeery happy with how that turned out.
I knew next to nothing about blogging when I started but starting helped me grow. When I started sharing recipes, I used my cellphone to take pictures of the food - very ugly pictures I must say. I eventually learnt that I need to take good pictures and had to invest in learning about that and buying equipment. But I probably wouldn't have learned all that without just starting. So just start and allow yourself to grow.
Also, I didn't want to start making YouTube videos because I didn't like my kitchen one bit! If only I had a better kitchen, I said, I would start making videos. When I made this comment to Mr N, he said, "start with what you have". So we started making videos in my non-ideal small kitchen. And guess what? That small kitchen has produced 10,000 subscribers almost 2 years after we started making videos. If I hadn't started, I would not have a single subscriber right now.
So friend, just start where you are. But don't remain there. Allow yourself to grow. We have changed shooting equipment from cell phone to point and shoot, to DSLR, to a camcorder, to a better DSLR. So start where you are but allow yourself to grow.
Learning is one of those things you must keep doing if you want to grow. I have learnt so much since I started my blog and for this I am grateful. I have learned things I never even knew existed. Things like SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Food Photography, etc. I have learned to edit photos and videos. I have learned a little of the technical side of managing a website. I have learned about social media marketing. I have learned to edit pictures and videos. I have learned to test recipes. I have learned so much and I am still learning every day.
So grow. Get books and resources to help you grow. Listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos. Never stop growing, never stop improving. One thing I like about content creation is the fact that there is always something new to learn and tweak. It's an intriguing journey of growth.
4. DON'T COMPARE
Comparing is one of the biggest thieves of joy and I've learned not to compare my blog to others. Everyone's journey in life is different so it robs me when I compare my journey to others.
As a mom, it is unfair to me to compare my blog to that of other bloggers who have no kids and devote more time to blogging. So do not compare. Work as hard as you can and grow as much as you can but do not rob yourself by comparing. Be yourself, stay in your lane and enjoy your journey.
I have learned so much in these years of blogging but these are the lessons that stand out to me. Hope they make a difference in your life. Here's to another awesome year of blogging! Thank you, friends, for being here!