Happy Birthday to Me…

Cake

My blog is two years old today. 

I know, the present’s in the post, right? 

There have been moments during the past two years that haven’t been amazing.

Moments that made me sad, parts that made me worried, parts that made me guilty or angry or freaked out – and sometimes just plain old depressed. But when I look back at Sally in July 2010 and  where I am now…

Wow.

Blogging really can change your life, kids.

This blog has completely changed the way I earn a living, for starters  – 90% of my income today comes through blogging, in one form or another. That’s a huge thing after 12 years of earning a crust in journalism.

Blogging can bring you new friends. It can make you a better writer. It can even change the way you parent – clarifying some choices and prompting you to look at others with a fresh perspective.

If you’re lucky, once you find your feet, blogging brings amazing new opportunities into your life. Yes, you can review washing powder or clothes or whatever, but more than that, blogging allows you to travel to new places, gain new experiences and meet new people. Whether it’s cooking with Annabel Karmel, getting a sneak preview of a new rollercoaster or sipping water on the roof of a Land Rover in the middle of the desert. 

It’s been quite a ride.

And now that I am OFFICIALLY a blogging elder (or Overlord, take your pick) I shall share with you, my readers, my great blogging wisdom. Feel free to leave tearful thank you messages in the comments.

 

  • Don’t use your high school crush’s full name on your blog. Ever. It will only end with you revisiting the humiliation of him not realising you even exist.
  • One day someone will offer you free stuff. If the free stuff doesn’t immediately make you think, “ooh, cool” then turn it down. Seriously. Don’t even accept it thinking, “Oh, I’ll sell it on eBay afterwards.” You’ll be struggling for days to try and find something entertaining to say about it, you’ll give up and publish some crap or other, and every time you look at that post for the next year, you’ll feel dirty – and not in the good way.
  • You can love someone’s blog and you can hate someone’s blog. But until you’ve met them and had an actual conversation, try to hold off on making a judgement on them as a person. I’ve hated blogs and then met the authors – who almost all turned out to be beyond lovely. Or at least not completely evil. 
  • Some days you won’t know what to write on your blog. So don’t write anything. You’re not the sun – the universe doesn't end if you take a day off. Take several days, in fact. Let your readers miss you a bit. They’ll be more grateful when you do return to share something funny you did while you weren’t hovering over the keyboard trying to think of 10 funny things your kid said this week.
  • If you want to make a living blogging then you’re never going to do it if people can’t pick your blog out of a line-up. The best possible way to make your blog unique is to write in your own, unique, authentic voice – write about what makes you laugh, use the words you’d use with your friends, choose pictures that mean something to you. Don’t worry about the technical or design stuff too much – that’ll come with time (or at least that’s what I’m still telling myself)
  • Reply to your comments. It’s just good manners.
  • Sometimes you read something on the Internet and think, “That’s about me” and then you get all upset and you cry and you want to delete your blog.  Here’s a tip. When you find yourself thinking, “That’s about me” try also thinking, “Or one of the other 6 billion people on earth.” Realistically? It’s probably not about you. So don't waste your precious time and energy being upset about it. And even if it is about you, it just means someone on the Internet doesn’t have the courage to actually have a conversation with you. Who cares what THOSE people think?  
  • You can read the above tip, know in your heart of hearts that it’s true but still want to cry when someone is mean to you. That’s okay. But give yourself a day to be upset, then pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get on with it. Nobody likes a cry baby. 
  • Never spend more than 10 minutes writing a post. It's a law of blogging that the post you write in between tying your shoes, in five seconds flat, will get the biggest reaction and the most comments. 
  • When in doubt, everyone loves pictures of puppies. 

 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

30 Comments

  1. 13th July 2011 / 10:21 am

    Happy Blog Birthday! Looking forward to many more…. And thank you for Tots100, the ranking is a little bit of raspberry sauce on my ice-cream.

  2. susie
    13th July 2011 / 12:40 pm

    Happy blogvesary.
    I so agree with what you have to say-although there are very few posts I cn write in 10 minutes (except my dishwasher ruining my knife post).
    And I remember that blog crush post. LOL at that one.
    Hope you are having a great holiday.
    (When are you going to add subscribe to comment option? Please)

  3. 13th July 2011 / 1:21 pm

    *sings* Happy Blog Birthday to you. I’m a bit of a lurker on your blog – think I’ve only commented a couple of times (sorry) but as it’s your birthday here I am! 😉
    Oh and very wise words oh Blogging Overlord!

  4. Nikki
    13th July 2011 / 6:30 pm

    Well Sally – happy birthday blogette but really, honestly and truthfully – could you not have spent a few more minutes finding a birthday cake with two candles on it – for your second birthday. Tut tut- that’s what a 10 min blog post gets you :-))))))
    That was a joke by the way – please don’t cry – don’t – it’s not your fault…honest…PMSL
    Nikki x

  5. 13th July 2011 / 7:09 pm

    Thankyou so much for using my full title 😉

  6. 13th July 2011 / 7:09 pm

    Pah, I’m on holiday. This is the best I could do in the time available.

  7. 13th July 2011 / 7:12 pm

    Right, it’s not why I blog but it certainly makes it that bit more interesting.

  8. 13th July 2011 / 7:32 pm

    Happy blog birthday!! sounds like its been an amazing 2 years! Heres hoping the next two are even more fantastic!

  9. 13th July 2011 / 7:41 pm

    Wow, Happy Blog Birthday-great tips and really enjoying your blog. Here’s to many more years!

  10. 13th July 2011 / 7:55 pm

    Many congratulations!!! Brilliant top tips and now I know where I ahve been going wrong all these years…I need more pictures of puppies….all I have to do is persaude t’hubbie that I can have yet another dog and all will be well (we have four plus one staying for two weeks, I take two in on Monday’s and Thursdays for a day of creche oh and I have one ancient cat)… he’s bound to say yes then isn’t he!!!???

  11. 13th July 2011 / 8:15 pm

    This is about me.
    Or probably one of six billion other people on earth.
    So my question is: Why is it not about me?
    Happy Blog Birthday. Sipping water on the roof of a Land Rover in the desert – there simply is nothing better.
    PS You need a second candle on your cake. Flea could have told you that!

  12. 13th July 2011 / 8:18 pm

    Happy brilliant blog day… It was ours this past week too.. and I wanted to say gotta love your list, well your blog come to think of it!!!, Can’t wait to read many many more authentic posts dotted with puppies in between!!!! Happy Blogging to you and your clever little Flea!!!

  13. susie@newdaynewlesson
    13th July 2011 / 9:42 pm

    Hangs head in shame…YES

  14. 13th July 2011 / 10:03 pm

    Well, I think it’s just a matter of ticking a box – let me investigate.

  15. 13th July 2011 / 10:04 pm

    Oh, I hope so – it’s been a wonderful experience, all things considered.

  16. 13th July 2011 / 10:04 pm

    Thanks, and thankyou for saying you enjoy it!

  17. 13th July 2011 / 10:04 pm

    You don’t need to own a puppy. Just use a stock photo of a puppy as, like, a metaphor, or something.

  18. 13th July 2011 / 10:06 pm

    It’s not about you, Rosie, because everything on the Internet is in fact, ALL ABOUT ME.
    Re pictures – I am not a details person.

  19. 13th July 2011 / 10:10 pm

    Happy blog birthday! 2 years?? Is that all? I thought you’d been blogging for much longer. Some great tips there too, thanks for sharing.

  20. 13th July 2011 / 10:14 pm

    Happy blog birthday. Let’s hope that this is only the 2nd year of many. I am new to your blog but love your view of things. X

  21. 13th July 2011 / 10:17 pm

    Do you know, I wrote you a brilliantly funny and witty comment, and then my Internet time credit ran out and my iPad ate it. Probably because I spent more than 10 minutes writing it.
    So, happy blog-birthday!

  22. 13th July 2011 / 10:23 pm

    Wow. I appreciate you using your precious Internet Time Credit on my paltry ramblings, in that case!

  23. 13th July 2011 / 10:24 pm

    I did blog for 5 years elsewhere but yet, this blog launched exactly 2 years ago. Time flies, but it’s amazing how fast a blog can grow, and what it can do in that time, isn’t it?

  24. 13th July 2011 / 10:28 pm

    Is this post about me?
    Happy blog birthday lovely lady

  25. 14th July 2011 / 8:05 am

    Puppies? Puppies!
    *smacks forehead with palm*
    Why did I not know this before?
    *begins stalking small canines with camera*
    Happy Blog Birthday. My how you’ve grown! (if that doesn’t sound too much like something a creepy uncle says…)

  26. 14th July 2011 / 11:01 am

    Happy Belated BlogBirthday! I’ve been following you a while but didn’t say (naughty) because it’s simply brilliant so I was at a loss how to (sad)! So thank you for giving me this opportunity to tell you that. I don’t have pictures on mine, rarely write about my child, nor will I ever I think despite loving other peoples for the very reason they do so. I look forward to reading you reach your third birthday! Enjoy the ride!

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