I know it’s early days, but still… blogging rules!
I had spent a few weeks casually reading about what blogging involves, how to set up a website, why I should self-host rather than use a free option. Even before I had started it was occupying my thoughts in a very positive way.
My brain has an annoying habit of saving up all its worrying for bed time. I can spend all evening relaxing and chilling out, but as soon as I want to go to bed, it wakes up and won’t shut up. My typical bedtime routine involves getting ready for bed, and then lying in bed for the best part of an hour trying and failing to stop thinking about work. Fun!
Since starting to look at blogging, my pre-sleep thinking has started to involve yarn and my website. I relax in bed rather than feel the stress build up. When I woke up one Sunday morning I didn’t want to lie in – I wanted to set up this site and get going.
Once I had the site actually up and running the excitement started to build. It seemed impossible, but now there was a website that the world can see that I had built (admittedly with a lot of help from articles I found on Pinterest and a few YouTube tutorials).
But still, I had created another thing where previously there was nothing.
Time for a list…
1. It’s made my mental space a happier place.
No longer do I spend my after work hours thinking about work. This was the most obvious and fastest change. Once I had made the decision to set up Chasing Yarn it was immediately filling up my head.
As I have a limited amount of capacity for thought, the blog shifted spreadsheets and emails out of my immediate awareness. That can only be a good thing.
2. I’ve had to learn some new skills
Google really is a marvel. As is YouTube. I’m really proud of myself for what I have managed to learn in a short space of time, but my technical information came primarily from those sources.
I’ve learned about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), using social media for maximum effect, what plugins I need to install first, how to use various widgets… The list goes on and on.
I am by no means an expert in any of these areas, but I now read articles about those areas and can understand them. Now I also know what areas I want to focus on next. I may still be stumbling around, but I’m not quite as blind to the world of websites as I was before I first clicked Publish.
3. It’s another outlet for my creativity
Playing with fonts on Canva to create posts for Instagram and Pinterest. Writing and editing posts for the blog itself. Choosing colours and designs. All new outlets and areas for creativity.
Setting up this blog has not only allowed me to find another way to enjoy my new-found creativity in the world of yarn. It is also in and of itself a creative activity. One that I am very much enjoying.
You should try it too.
Until you go for it you won’t know exactly what effects you might see from a blog. Maybe it will give you a clear focus to make a change in your life. Perhaps you’ll make new friends. Or regain confidence as you learn new things.
I encourage you to try it. It honestly took me less than an hour to set up the web domain, get logged in and add a blog post that I had drafted the day before. A few hours on and I had downloaded a theme, added a menu, and produced something that looked like a live website rather than just the wordpress ‘hello world’ template.
Now, I spend quite a bit of time at work thinking about my blog, most of my lunch break checking out articles to improve it, and more than anything else, there is the satisfaction at knowing I managed to do it. On my own.
It really wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.
I don’t have any specialist training on this, I just spent a bit of time on the internet reading about it. I tried a few things out, and then changed them if they didn’t work.
And some things definitely didn’t work…
One immediate example was not checking straight away how things appeared on tablets and mobiles. I had seen articles emphasising how important it was to have an image of yourself somewhere so people could see that you are in fact a person. In my rush to do this I uploaded a picture which was too many pixels wide/tall. Way, way too many.
A few days later I was looking at the site on my tablet and was suddenly confronted with a MASSIVE picture of my face completely taking up the entire screen. Not what I had intended. So, off to Google I went and found out how to solve the problem. I’m a blogging novice without a doubt, but I am a novice who is keen to learn.
Give it a go.
If you are thinking about it, I encourage you to take the plunge. If you aren’t sure, try typing out some ideas for blog posts. Perhaps write on or two out in full. See if you enjoy it. What your blogging ‘voice’ is like. There are lots of other elements to setting a blog up, but more than anything else you need to enjoy creating content. If you do, start investigating domains, hosting, and just get going.
It’s only a few weeks in and the enjoyment I have already had makes it so worth it.