Well, Happy Birthday to me… or rather my blog, which I’m proud to say is one whole year old today!!
If you’d asked me a year ago, when I published my very first post, if I thought I would last the first year, I’d have been very unsure of my answer – I was embarking on something totally new and of which I can honestly say I knew very little (ha, still the case!), yet it has been one of the best personal decisions I have made. Blogging has become such a big part of my life and I never tire of it because I’m talking about what I really love and feel passionate about, but I also started the blog as a way to invest time in myself and focus on my own interests, which as a mum of three, is a real luxury!
So what challenges have I faced along the way? Well, like many other bloggers out there I would like an extra hour in the day – to keep the blog up to date and full of fresh content and to help avoid that late night writing!! This alone is the biggest challenge I have faced in the past year; that niggling guilty feeling when you haven’t posted in a while because of life’s other commitments and the pressure you place upon yourself to provide new content and ideas for your readers. Which leads me onto another thing – “The Readers” – who actually reads my teeny tiny blog? And what do they really think of it? I know my blog is very much in its infancy and has a very long way to go, but I have taken advice from some big-time bloggers out there and have learned just to get on with it and not let that little doubting voice at the back of my mind speak up – after all, if we all stopped to listen to it, we’d never do anything remotely scary, would we?
On that thought, I would say that blogging has made me a braver person in a lot of ways. Having given up a full time career a few years ago to be at home for my three children, I find myself more often than not questioning myself and my decisions when it comes to doing something for myself. Bloggers have to self promote all the time in order to have any sort of meaningful online presence, but that doesn’t always sit comfortably with me. I am a pretty confident person when I’m in my comfort zone (aren’t we all?), but take me out of that cosy corner and … oh no, I want to go right back in!
On the positive side, the past year has been full of fantastic opportunities for me directly as a result of the Dekko Bird blog, from writing a monthly feature for a local magazine and providing content for an Irish home improvements web site (find me at YourHome.ie), to being approached for product reviews and sponsored posts. This is all great fun and a huge learning curve for me, but one that I hope to continue to work on and improve as best I can.
The other great thing about being a blogger is meeting other brilliant bloggers out there who I can learn so much from, be it their awesome photography, creative writing or imaginative ideas. Being from Belfast, I am also very proud to be a tiny part of the Northern Irish blogging community; we have so much talent here in Northern Ireland and it’s amazing and inspiring to be able to promote our wee country, at the same time hopefully showcasing some fantastic local talent.
Ok, I have blethered on (NI term for droning on!!) for long enough and if I don’t stop soon it’ll be my second anniversary, so I’d just like to finish by saying to those of you who have only recently discovered Dekko Bird, it’s lovely to meet you and to anyone else who reads the blog, a massive thank you, I’m honestly very chuffed you take the time out to visit once in a while. Please do feel free to drop me an email with any ideas you have for content you want to see more of on the blog, or if you want to chat about working together. For now though, here is a round up of some of my most popular posts from the past year which some of you may not have come across yet, so please stay awhile and have a look around!
Here’s to another year of fun and new finds!