Smelly Socks & Garden Peas in the sand
Writing

Second blogiversary

OK, I need to confess. We went away on holiday and I took a break from the blog, when I got back I got my head all mixed up and didn’t post the things I meant to when I intended. With our getaway at the forefront of my mind, I published our little diary first and forgot all about the blogiversary that had just passed. Oh well.

I started writing with the purpose of emptying my head of all the things that I find difficult to say to “real” people.

Last year, on my first blogiversary, I reflected on the posts I had written so far and the sense of community that I had found during that first year. This year, I feel much the same.

The Round Up

Last summer, I experienced that first morsel of normality – a return to the hairdressers – and at once felt vain and very lucky. I also took some time to reflect on what I’d learned myself from the experience of the boys home learning. We managed to have a semblance of a holiday, which was a real treat after waiting so long to see our parents.

As the kids returned to school, I started to find juggling work, house stuff, school and all the other parts of life overwhelming at times – especially when it was one of those days. Nevertheless, I carried on with my annual gin and jam production. I pondered the guilt of refusing an invitation for a friend’s birthday, because COVID.

In October, I started a series on Lessons in Loss. This is something I’m really very proud of, some wonderful people have contributed and shared their sometimes raw, sometimes humorous, and always relatable experiences of all sorts of loss and grief and survival. Thank you everyone who’s shared something, I’d always welcome any further posts if you’d like to share anything.

Another big thing happened in October, I was approached by Photowall to write a review in exchange for a free product. I totally love my canvas and even himself was impressed that blogging was reaping a reward.

I shared a whole bunch of Christmas posts (while avoiding the commitment of blogmas), including a collaboration of recipes. But, come January, I didn’t feel I had much to say about baby boy2’s second birthday. We were in the throes of home learning again, and there were just so many things I didn’t have time for. I did have time to run every day in January though, and gradually increased my distance, confirming that I really do have the running bug. By late spring the boys were back at school and I managed to find time for a bath. As things opened up and I managed to get my first dose of the vaccine (Pfizer for me), I realised that it’s time to get back out there and socialise again.

The greatest, proudest achievement (if you can call it that) over the last year has been other bloggers asking me to write for their sites. I’ve been totally honoured to contribute some bits and pieces to a group of wonderful collaborators.

The Stats and Stuff

At the end of June 2020, despite previous protestations, I created a Facebook page for this blog. I suspect I’m far from exploiting it to its full potential, but the follower count is at just over 400.

Then in September I was tempted into Pinterest – I have no idea what I’m doing there, it doesn’t drive much traffic but people seem to be at least seeing my pins.

Since last June, I’ve tried to get into a bit more of a routine with posting. I was previously just writing and posting the same day whenever something occurred to me. In September I switched to posting every third day, this has required a bit more organisation and planning which is both easier and harder at the same time. I’m just in the process of another change, to post on Tuesdays and Fridays only. Having taken a break a couple of times, I realised just how my time, effort, and focus I’ve been spending on posting, planning, and promoting and I’d like to get some of that time back for me and for my family. That said, I do miss the stream of consciousness posts that I started off with, I’d like to get back to those so I’m going to be more flexible with my planning too – who cares if that means my notebook is full of scorings out and arrows as I move posts between dates.

Over the Christmas holiday I switched to a paid WordPress domain. There was an immediate spike in views and then it settled back down to “normal” (whatever that is). However, my DA was about 17 on the free domain but has dropped back down to nothing for the personal one. It’ll get there again I assume, but don’t particularly care. I’m never going to have a huge DA because my blog isn’t in any sort of niche, I don’t use keyword optimisation in my writing and don’t put any effort into search engine optimization. You lovely readers have dropped by from over 100 countries, just wow!

On the Twitter front, I’ve just peeped over the 2000 mark – it might dip back down again as it fluctuates a fair bit.

Thank You

Much more important than all my ramblings, is the lovely, kind, supportive mass of folks I’ve come into contact with. So far, no one’s said an unkind word in response to anything I’ve written. More than that I feel like I’ve found a community where honesty is supported and unjudged.

I want to thank everyone who’s read and commented on anything I’ve written. I never really thought anyone would be interested, but if I’m writing anything that resonates in the least I’m really flattered. In particular, I want to shout out to Rachel, Susan, Amber, Tom, Bill, Eddie, Tiffany, Damion, Ingrid, Emma, Sarah, Lindsay, Lisa, Eric, Brenda, Justine, the TBC folks, Michelle, Monty, Steve, Mrs S, Naomi, Graham, Caz, Maddie, Richie, Nic, Lynn, Della, Cristina, Simona and Fred, Claire (even if you’re taking a break), Jaya, Shelly, and anyone that I forgot amidst trying to write this while refereeing a literal (wooden) sword fight between the boys.

So thank you.

What’s Next

Ha who knows! My purpose in blogging hasn’t changed. It’s nice when people read, interact and seem to relate to what I write, and I do love the community that I feel part of, but views aren’t the end goal. I’m not interested in monetising my blog, there are no fancy advert widgets and I’m not an affiliate of anything (although, if approached I’ll happily exchange a freebie that is genuinely interesting to me for a review – chocolate and gin always welcome haha!).

So really, I intend to just keep doing what I’ve been doing until now – maybe a bit less promotion and fewer posts, but essentially the same. I hope that’s OK with you guys.

Love from Smell xxx

40 thoughts on “Second blogiversary”

  1. Congratulations on the blogiversary!๐ŸŽ‰ And I agree with you and Stuart Danker, on not wishing to monetize. Whatever the case, hope you will continue to write and share, as often as your heart desiresโ€”and time allows.๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy 2nd Blogiversary! ๐Ÿฅณ You’ve done so much to be proud of in the last year; it is wonderful to read.

    Congratulations on all of your accomplishments, and I’m sure there are many to come.

    I look forward to reading more of your content. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy 2nd Blogiversary smell. I love reading your posts, so honest and real. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it ๐Ÿ˜. Look forward to reading what you have to offer in the next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My first day out of the house after the first lockdown, I wore a mask over my nose on the way to the market to buy margarine, milk, and flour. I am Ugandan. We are going through the second wave. Pray for us. It is more deadly.

    Like

  5. Hi SS&GP,

    Happy 2nd Blogiversary ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the roundup and I’m glad to hear that you “intend to just keep doing what Iโ€™ve been doing” – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

    And, as a fellow ‘Blogging for fun, not profit’ blogger, I wouldn’t worry about monetisation – if you can get some income to help offset your blogging costs then all well and good, but if you can’t, so what?

    Keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on 2 years of blogging! Iโ€™m so happy I came across your blog and I enjoy reading the variety of content you put out. As a mum to a young boy, I relate to a lot of the things you mention.

    I donโ€™t blame you for posting less now though. Being a mum, having a job and having a house to run takes up a lot of time. And any fellow bloggers know how much time and effort goes into each post! You have to do what works for you and as long as you enjoy it thatโ€™s the main thing.

    Iโ€™ll always be following your blog and I look forward to future posts xx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Congratulations on two years! Itโ€™s perfectly right and good to take a break sometimes. I need to do this myself! I enjoyed your photos from Whitby, itโ€™s a place dear to my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your blog and I am so pleased to have met you through it. It is easy to get caught up in writing it and feeling you have to post at regular times. I wish so many started back when we did, when there were no influencers or half the social media channels, you were given nothing, but it was just a place to write and if someone read them it was great. Your blog is great and you do what is right for you. Huge Happy Blogoversary and lots of love xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I first thought you weren’t going to blog anymore! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
    Congratulations on your blogiversary. ๐ŸŽ‰
    It’s always a pleasure to read your posts and I hope you carry on blogging; even if it is a bit less. (I understand. It’s hard to juggle everything.)
    I’m looking forward to your future posts. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  10. High-five for not wanting to monetise our blogs! Sometimes, people reading and enjoying my posts is a reward in itself, though that does beg the question, where do I want to take my blog?

    Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Liked by 3 people

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