Today is my nine-year blogging anniversary. I’m a veteran in the blogging world and this is how I’ve seen it change over those nine years.
When I started this blog I chose the Typepad platform and informed everyone that I had some peace and quiet that day with my first ever post. It got two comments, which is more than I get on some of my more recent, much better written posts. But more about that a bit later.
I was happy with Typepad for a time but I wanted to tweak my templates more than Typepad would allow me on the plan I was on. WordPress seemed to be the blogging platform of choice even then, so I made the move.
It was a lot harder to install WordPress then than it is now. I had to use FTP to transfer files and updating WordPress was a bit of a nightmare, not the one click wonder we enjoy now.
For two years I maintained my blog using a DIALUP connection. I can’t believe I held out that long to get broadband. I’m about to move from ADSL to cable internet. I can’t remember my first download quota when I moved to broadband but I’m not on 30Gb per month. Previously I thought 5Gb was a lot.
I hadn’t heard of an RSS reader then. I merely linked to my favourite blogs on my blog and visited them faithfully nearly every day to see if they’d updated. When I did start using RSS to collect my blog reading all in one place, I also used it to create a blogroll. That is already one for the archives as it’s no longer supported, and Google Reader is being turned off on 1 July 2013.
Social media as we know it today was a few years away yet so I was able to concentrate more on blogging without getting sidetracked by checking my Tweets or Facebook newsfeed.
Social media also, for me, and I suspect many others, meant that the community within the blog platform itself has largely dwindled unless you’re a popular blogger I think. The amount of comments I now receive has diminished even as the stats show that I am getting more visitors.
Of course, social media, is another mechanism for getting visitors to this blog, and when I use it to publicise something then I do get some drop-ins. Some comments might be made via Twitter and not this blog however.
When I started blogging my son was two years old. He’s nearly twelve now and I don’t write as much about him anymore. Mummy, or mommy, blogging wasn’t even a term then thank goodness. Even when it did get introduced, I never considered myself a mummy blogger.
There’s still some stories I share but they are much more general. They’re all in my parenting category.
Brands working with blogs
Blogging has changed a lot in the last nine years. Advertising on blogs hadn’t yet really begun that I was aware of, and brands working with bloggers was a mere twinkle in someone’s eye. People used to do top 50 or top 100 lists of bloggers and I made the Australian top 100 bloggers list which helped put on the PR radar.
In 2008 I was offered a mobile phone to trial. It was my first foray into product reviews. I could have kept the phone but decided not to as my Nokia was doing fine for the moment, so I decided to give it away.
I don’t do that many giveaways for a few reasons. The main one is that I don’t get that many offers for giveaways and don’t actively seek these opportunities. I think the brands working with bloggers thing has some way to go. I do switch off from reading blog posts from different bloggers that are offering the same giveaway unless it’s something I particularly want to win, then I’ve got a good chance of winning with multiple entries. I’ve recently won a couple of things.
I do know that my Lego reviews are still visited regularly so brands shouldn’t discount the long-term effect of blogs writing about their products and they shouldn’t discount blogs that don’t have as many page views as larger blogs, ie me.
I’ve been running ads on my blog for a few years now and barely make enough to cover the hosting costs of the site. I think a better way of making money via a website is to offer some sort of service or product. I haven’t done this but plenty has been written about it elsewhere.
When I started blogging nine years ago I didn’t yet have a digital camera, my blog posts were all words, like my spinach and bean pasties one.
Back in 2007 I upgraded my mobile phone to a Nokia phone. It was a forced change because the phone network was shutting down CDMA. It would be another three years before I got my first smartphone and started my first photo project.
Now, all my posts include at least one photo. This helps with sharing content on social media like Pinterest and Facebook which are both quite visual. But because I take a lot of photos I may as well share them.
I put the photos I want to use on Flickr, and share them here that way.
Last year I had my first photography exhibition. Don’t know if I’ll ever have another one but it was definitely a learning experience, and despite the anxiety it caused, I’m really happy I did it.
I’ve gone through a few point and shoot digital cameras and a few years ago bought a digital SLR which I still have. Although many of the photos I use here are taken with my phone as that’s the camera I have on me at nearly all times.
Where to from here?
I don’t have any plans to stop blogging. I enjoy the creative outlet, and unless I come up with some business plan to take it to the next level, then I think I will continue along my winding path. I see how the blogging ‘scene’ has really taken off first in the northern hemisphere and more recently here and I’m a bit like the tortoise in the race. The hares have taken off and racing ahead while I plod along slowly behind enjoying the scenery. But I don’t care if I win the race or not. I blog for the love of it.
But who doesn’t also love to be loved? Please leave me a comment. Tell me about your blogging experience – loves and/or hates. Or you just might want to ask me something – anything? I know a shit load about blogging and the technical stuff which you might not know from reading this blog, but I’ve never had anyone help me with the technical stuff here because I’ve always done it myself.