Monday, 29 May 2017

Blogging: Three Years On

Blogging: Three Years On blogger blog UK  beauty lifestyle mental health illness wellbeing help support depression OCD anxiety panic attacks

Just a little side note before I get started. This post isn't strictly about mental health although I am going to go through the highs and the lows of my blogging journey so far which includes mental health.

I've been blogging three years! Three years can you believe that? Like if my blog were a child then it would be walking, talking and probably being a right pain in the bum by now. My blog has come on leaps and bounds over the last three years, more so in the last six months. There have been highs and lows. There's been changes in direction and a whole lot of content written.

It's so strange to think that such a large fragment of my life is documented online, for everyone to see and read? Isn't that kind of scary? I don't know about you, but that freaks me out. On this day, three years ago I decided to start a blog, and I'm still doing it three years later. I'm amazed at myself how I've kept going for so long, the time as flown by. I thought we would pause time today ( metaphorically speaking) and take a trip down good old memory lane to reflect on my blogging journey so far.


2014: 

I started my blog on this day three years ago. I can't really remember why, to be honest with you but it's safe to say that most of the posts I did that year were pretty awful. Looking back I cringe at how poorly they are written, the typos and poor photography. I think my first blog post was a June wish list (honestly though what thrilling content) I wrote just over 70 posts that year. Mostly about beauty or lifestyle things, most of which I had no interest in but did because they were popular at the time so I followed the crowd.

2015: 

In the summer I finished my GCSE's and got my first DSLR camera as a reward. This is when I think my blog really started to make its mark in the blogosphere. I remember my first post which got over 1000 views and I thought I was internet famous or something. Aside from better photography, I was also taking more time to interact and make friends in the blogging community, share my posts more and produce shareable content which I enjoyed writing. I think this really showed on my blog this year. I mainly did list posts and lifestyle content, but I also dabbled in photography for a while which the readers found helpful. 

Blogging: Three Years On mental health blogger UK wellbeing depression anxiety OCD panic attacks

2016:

Okay, so this is the year where when things started to go downhill a bit. When I say a bit, I mean a complete nose dive. So, college wasn't going great. I wasn't enjoying the course I was on, the people at my placement weren't very nice nor were the people in my class. It's safe to say childcare wasn't my thing. At Easter time, things become too much. Stress and anxiety became too overwhelming, and I began to really struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder.

My blog got off to a good start, I started a #SpeakUp series where I let others guest post on my blog to share their experiences and advice on important issues and topics including mental health. At the time I was mainly writing lifestyle content. I was paying more attention to my photographs, and this was showing in my traffic figures. However, it wasn't till June 24th on the day I was diagnosed with OCD thus started my journey into mental health blogging.

It was a weird day, that was. I remember feeling depressed and scared because I didn't know what to expect next. I spilt all my thoughts into a blog post, trying to make sense of a very surreal day. After that post had gone down really well, I started to do more mental health related posts amongst lifestyle content. It wasn't until this year I finally made the switch to blog about mental health.

2017:

2017, by far has been the most exciting year for my blog so far. Firstly, I went to my first ever blogger meet up in Southampton where I met so many lovely fellow mental health bloggers. These are some of the kindest people I know. I can't wait to have a reunion this summer. 

Another equally exciting thing to happen this year was that we finally said goodbye to Thrifty vintage fashion. As fashion was no longer my thing, I felt like I had massively outgrown my blog name. So I went for it, I changed my name and bought my own domain. To go with that, I bought a fancy blog design and more recently a handmade header from Jemma. And so A Beautiful Chaos was born. 

I know not everything is about numbers however my following and readership as grown astronomically this year, we surpassed 200k views which is amazing, with an average of 500-1500 people reading everything I write and 16k average views a month, I finally feel like my hard work is paying off. 

I also set up a mental health awareness Etsy shop selling stickers called Beautiful Minds injunction with my Beautiful Minds Magazine which I'm currently working on the pilot issue of. Alongside a team of 30+ writers and artists, we aim to provide an online publication which educates, smashes the stigma and supports those struggling with their mental health. This is still a work in progress, but it's getting there.

I've had so many opportunities this year already to work with some pretty amazing brands including the Co-op, motivational tattoos and so many talented authors. I've also been privileged enough to write for various mental health charities including OCD Action, Mind, Time to change and disability charity Scope. Alongside all of this, I also dedicate my time to working with mental health charities including student Minds and OCD Youth.

2017 has been a rollercoaster of a year so far from the lowest of lows to out of this world highs but guess what? This is only just the beginning. I have so many more exciting things planned for this year and beyond which I can't wait to share with you.

As always, I'm going to end this post with the cheesy I couldn't do it without you paragraph. But seriously I couldn't do it without you. All the opportunities I have received have been as a result of you guys reading and supporting my blog and the work I do. I am eternally grateful for every comment, tweet or message I receive. It fills me with joy and brings a smile to my face to know I've helped so many. 

Thank you for reading, as always X 

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5 comments

  1. Awww, this was so nice to read!! I was completely engrossed with every word on the page. It was lovely to hear about your achievements and the milestones of your blog. I'm glad that your hard work is paying off, 2017 is going to be very exciting for you and I hope you ride the lows and come out on top.

    Thank you for spreading awareness for mental illnesses, it's such a great thing that you do, I hope you're proud of yourself :)

    Chloe @ https://girllgonerogue.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. Yay! This was amazing to read :) Congratulations on everything you have achieved! 😊

    Nikki O.
    herdaringthoughts.blogspot.com

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  3. Aw this was so lovely to read, Nicole! I think everyone's journeys, whether it's blog related or not, can go up and down. It's part of life. But I've loved reading your blog and applaud you for everything you do within the blogging and mental health community. You're honestly doing amazing despite everything you have going on personally! Congrats on 3 years xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

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  4. Wow, what a journey you've had in such a short time! You've done really well this year, and we're not even halfway through. I'm super exciting to see what the future has in store for you and your blog ☺️

    http://www.thesmalladventurer.blogspot.com.au/

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  5. Congratulations on 3 years of blogging Nicole! I enjoy reading every single post you put out there and I admire everything you're doing in regards to mental health <3 super excited to see what comes of Beautiful Minds!! xxx
    http://www.samanthafrances.co.uk

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