I know I have said it a lot but this week is my blog birthday week. So I've got a post lined up everyday from Monday to Friday to celebrate. Today's post is a rather special one. It's why I started blogging, why I stuck at it and where I want it to take me and everything in between. Including my first blog layout, which is pretty embarrassing! So I hope you enjoy.
I started this blog on Monday the 16th January 2012. I was at uni and felt I needed a creative outlet. I wasn't enjoying uni at all. I was studying photography, I had tutors that I didn't particular like, I traveled 3 hours in a round trip. It was tough. I was reading a lot of fashion and beauty blogs like LLYMLRS and VIPXO and I wanted to do what they did. Sharing fashion and beauty. So that's what I did. I plucked up the courage a wrote this rather cringe worthy first post. (Please don't laugh too much). My blog header looked a little something like this.
Eeek. But it was great fun and I enjoyed writing about fashion and beauty. That year I somehow blagged my way to getting hold of London Fashion Week tickets. Me. I had around 75 page views a day (if that). I of course lapped up the opportunity and it was the most incredible experience. I met the wonderful Lauren and met Laura again who I met through working with Witch Skincare. I achieved a lot in my first year.
Towards the end of 2012 I started to slowly bring in recipes, it started with this post. I was inspired by Poires Au Chocolat and What Katie Ate. Food, baking and cooking has always been a passion of mine. Some of my earliest memories are spent with my Mum in the kitchen. I owe that lady an awful lot, because without her teaching me how to bake and letting me mess up the kitchen every Sunday I wouldn't be sitting her creating recipes for top name brands. Thank you Mum!
To be honest with you the rest of my blogging experience until 2015 was pretty much the same, other than the header changes you can see above. I wrote posts and updated my blog but I never felt like it was going anywhere. I didn't give up on it because I enjoyed writing. I was told at college that my writing lets me down and I thought do you know what Nigel (that was my tutors name) you were wrong. Really bloody wrong. Because people were in enjoying the content I was creating and enjoying my writing. I stopped writing for a while when I moved house and then I stopped for a bit after having my first miscarriage. I did write about it at the time in the hopes that it would help people. I've since taken it down as it's all a jumble of words, but writing really helped me. My blog has seen me through an awful lot. I had another miscarriage in the summer of 2014, I didn't write about it that time but I carried on posting. Blogging is a form of therapy, it really is.
Then 2015 came along. One of my happiest years ever. I found out I was pregnant in the January and it all went okay! Edith "stuck", although we didn't know she was Edith then. I used my blog to document my pregnancy as a reminder. I do still look back on all my updates now. If we are lucky enough to have another baby I will definitely be blogging about that baby too. It's so nice to look back on. I started maternity leave in July and I worked on my blog all summer. In August I received my highest amount of monthly page views ever. That's when it hit me. Maybe I could do this blogging thing properly. Maybe I could make a little bit of money. Of course after having Edith things went a touch quiet babies and blogging is a hard balancing act. But slowly I got into a routine and started regular blogging again.
We got married in February 2016 and I blogged about it over the summer, read the posts here, here and here. May 2016 I was due to go back to work after my 9 month maternity leave had finished. I couldn't do it. I did one keep in touch day and knew it wasn't for me. I was supposed to do another but I cried all morning and cancelled going in. I couldn't leave Edith and I couldn't go back to a job that I didn't enjoy anymore. If I was going to leave her it had to be for something I wanted to do. Luckily we were in a situation where my husband could support us, without the need for my money.
That's when I started my business. Photography has always been a passion and I finally took it seriously. Of course as I was at home *most* of the time blogging worked perfectly alongside and it knows contributes towards my monthly earnings too.
I never thought that I would be in this position. I mean I don't make millions (yet, haha) but it's enough to contribute and live a pretty decent life.
And that's the story of my blog It's really moved with me. It's grown up as I have grown and it's followed me for the most important 5 years of my life where I make "proper adult" decisions.
Blogging has taught me that you can do what you want to if you put enough work into it. Blogging has taught me to document my life so I can share it with others and myself. It's been the only consistent thing in my life other than my family, friends and husband. I owe a lot to this little space on the internet and I owe a lot to you for reading this.
Here's to another 5 years and taking this blog even further.
(Gah, it's made me a bit emotional!)
Here's some stats/facts for you:
My most popular blog post - Nutella Cheesecake Recipe
My favourite blog post - Edith's Birth Story
My top 5 mot popular countries: U.K, U.S.A, Israel, Germany, Russia.
49% of people view my blog with Windows.
34% use Chrome web browser.
Facebook is my biggest referrer.
My most searched keywords are "maybelline bb cream review".
Little Paper Swans is after my now husband who used to make me origami cranes. I had them hanging up in my bedroom and that's what I decided to call my blog. I still love my blog name.
Happy 5 years Little Paper Swans!