One year of blogging: what you didn’t know
My oh my. I honestly have no clue how this year has flown by, right before my very eyes. ‘the Mama Manual’ blog will be one year old in just two days time!
On this very special occasion, I’d like to share a few thoughts and facts about what’s been happening behind the scenes.
So, here goes…
Blogging is something I’ve wanted to do for years
In fact, I had previously started another blog back in 2010. To be exact, I bought the domain name, set up the blog, and started blogging without making it public.
This other blog I started but never launched was called ‘Heels Please’.
As you can guess from the name, it was a fashion blog. Like most ladies, I love a good shopping spree and the odd designer bag, enjoy wearing clothes that make me feel good, and am forever updating my closet with the latest pieces.
I very quickly learnt that loving something, no matter how hard, did not mean you could blog about it. ‘Heels Please’ quickly fizzled out as I lost interest and found it extremely hard to keep up with posting original content every single week.
I repeated this same exercise with the Mama Manual blog before making it live, just to make sure I was passionate enough about the project not to run out of ideas or lose interest.
Surely enough, it thrived.
I’ve never had writers block
Yep. You heard that right. Not to show off or anything (although I am pretty chuffed, I must admit!), but this did not happen to me one single time.
I discovered that when you are passionate to the point of living and breathing the subject of your choice, you can go on and on for hours without running out of things to say.
Writing is a small fraction of what’s involved
Blogging is so much more than just writing. On the contrary, writing is the lesser part of it. I spend MUCH more time maintaining the blog, social media channels, marketing it so people get to know about it, shooting and editing photos, and taking care of all the techy things from the backend then I actually do writing.
Hey, I’m not complaining. I adore doing each and every little thing that makes the Mama Manual what it is. Otherwise, I would not have been celebrating one year of blogging, that’s for sure!
I’ve been truly practising what I preach
My time was already pretty much taken up as it was before I started this journey. Two kids, a husband, a house to manage, a career, my sanity, and all the little bits and pieces every mum has to handle.
Add writing a book, blogging, managing social media channels, and studying (yes – I’ve recently become a digital marketing student!) to the mix, and suddenly busy becomes BUSY.
Yet, I was not about to a) drive myself crazy, b) forget about my self-care (or my sleep!) or c) take shortcuts where I did not want to.
It was a challenge, but I honed my time management skills to make space for this new baby of mine. I still make time for myself, and those around me, my house is still looking pretty decent, we still eat well; and I am still very much present.
Note how the first thing I said was ‘I still make time for myself’. Sadly, that is very often the first thing we trade off as mums.
I make it a point not to. Throughout this journey, I have become so much more aware of the importance of self-care, that I strive to respect my sanity, my rest, my pleasures and the grace to accept that above all I am human.
Just like the next person, I have my days. Somedays I am sad, tired, frustrated or angry. It might be for no particular reason at all.
Even though I work extremely hard to keep all the balls in the air, I have also grown to learn to love myself to the point that I know when it’s time to drop the balls and take care of myself.
And that is the way it should be.
the Mama Manual has become my side hustle
I consider myself to be extremely lucky to have found my calling.
I spent a few years of my life wondering what it was that I was meant to do that would make me feel excited, happy and fulfilled. It might sound cheesy, but the saying ‘Do what you love and you will never work another day in your life’ is spot on!
I am a very honest person, and I say this matter of factly.
Yes, blogging and social media activities can generate income. In my case, it helps me market and sell my book, and it also goes hand in hand with influencer marketing on social media, which is very much a thing nowadays. Many people mentioning brands on social media are making money from it.
This is not a bad thing. On the contrary, as long as one is being sincere about it, and being 100% genuine in what they are putting out there, why not?
Rest assured that I have turned down brands and companies that I feel are not aligned with my message, my voice or my values. I have never, and will never, endorse a brand I wouldn’t consider using in my day to day. All the brands I work with are brands I LOVE and believe in. My voice was real, is real and will remain real no matter what happens.
Know this: first and foremost, I owe my loyalty to you. I am very much aware of the responsibility I have as someone who is followed by hundreds of amazing mamas, without whom I would have never arrived here in the first place.
To put you fully in the picture, the intention of this blog and social media channels was never to monetise. It was (and still is!) a passion project, which has grown exponentially and in ways I could have never imagined.
2019 will be big
Let’s just say I’ve journaled all about my big goals and dreams for this year. There are a lot of exciting things in store which you will hear about pretty soon. Stay tuned!
Happy Friday supermamas!