Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it. — The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
That’s exactly how I feel about “blog birthdays” (and also the longest day, come to think of it). As spring turns into summer, somewhere in the back of my mind I remember the time I sat down at my dining room table and wrote my very first blog post, but then that thought disappears as quickly as it came and before I know it I’ve missed another anniversary. But this year I remembered and thought I would reflect a little on three whole years of blogging. Three years; thirty six months; one thousand and ninety six days.
When I say “very first blog post”, well, that’s a little bit of a lie. Certainly, my first post on this blog was published on the 11th June 2010, but I wasn’t new to the world of blogging at that time. Ever since I was around fourteen I’ve been blogging in some form or another, whether on my own domain, Livejournal, WordPress, or various forums, boards and communities. Blogging in the mid-2000s was very different to what it is today, though, and I would never have dreamed it would have evolved in the way it did. Even when I started this blog, things were completely different. When I published that first outfit post all those years ago, thoughts of PR samples, sponsored posts and blogger events never even crossed my mind. That’s not to say I didn’t have big (and unrealistic) aspirations; I hoped that within a few months I’d be living the Gala Darling dream, dressed to the nines in sequins and leaving my mark on the world, one glittery footprint at a time. But in reality I knew that wasn’t really what my blog was about, I didn’t have advice to give or knowledge to share, instead I just wanted to write about what I’d worn at the weekend and how surprisingly comfy my new shoes were. In many ways, I think this blog started as an extension of my reading of, and posting in, The Highstreet community on Livejournal. Reading about British girls my own age (both on LJ and once they started their own blogs), who shopped in the same shops as me, used the same makeup as me, and had the same interests as me, made blogging accessible in a way many of the “big” blogs at that time weren’t. In fact, I still don’t subscribe to very many American/overseas blogs or ones that only talk about designer clothes, and a fair few Highstreet girls are still on my reading list!
I suppose what I’m trying to say, in my long-winded, roundabout way, is that blogging has changed a lot over the last 3+ years, but I think it’s changing for the better. Yes, there seem to be regular Twitter dramas and no one really knows what the etiquette surrounding sponsored posts is, but that’s nothing when you think of how far we’ve all come. Isn’t it completely bizarre to think that an entire industry has grown up around us? People (and a lot of people, not just one or two) can make a living from their blogs, and being a professional blogger for established companies is a completely legitimate line of work. Hardly a day goes by where you don’t hear blogs mentioned on TV or in magazines, or even by non-blogging friends and family members. I blog because I enjoy it, but if it can bring me added benefits then that can only be a good thing. I’ll be starting the search for my first “proper” job in a month or two and I really hope my blog will be something that can help me out on that front (if for nothing else other than to add something apart from “watching TV” to the hobbies section of my CV).
I’m lucky enough to receive samples and new products to try out from time to time, and whilst I’m incredibly grateful for these and it never fails to put a smile on my face when the postie brings me yet another parcel, that’s not really what blogging is all about for me. It’s about the people. I still can’t quite believe over 1,000 of you subscribe to my blog, read my posts and leave the loveliest comments on a daily basis. Seeing the same people return to my blog year after year really makes me so happy, and I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing me “growing up” as much as I’ve enjoyed reading about your lives over the last few years. My life might not be drastically different to when I started this blog (unlike lots of you who seem to be moving countries, getting married, buying houses and having babies – like proper grown ups!), but I definitely feel like I’m a little bit older and wiser. Getting the chance to become friends with people you’d never even have crossed paths with if it weren’t for blogging is an amazing thing. When I started this blog, there were only about 4 or 5 other Scottish bloggers (that I was aware of, anyway!) but now there are hundreds of us. Our Scottish blogger gatherings are always a highlight, meeting people in real life who you already “know” is such a strange but wonderful thing and I can honestly say the ladies who I’ve met at the various meet ups in Glasgow and Edinburgh are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
I think I’ve stayed fairly true to myself throughout my years of blogging; in my first post I said I would be writing about a “mish-mash of all the things going on in my life, with posts about fashion, food, makeup, and everything inbetween” and I think that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’m so proud of my little blog and even though I still have a bit of that 2005 mentality where EVERYTHING MUST BE KEPT SECRET, I’m slowly starting to introduce my blog to more and more real-life friends and talk about it to non-bloggers. So here’s to the last three years, and hopefully another three (and lots more) to come! Thanks so much for sticking around, blogging really wouldn’t be any fun without you lot! ♥
P.S. Let me know in the comments what your favourite blog post(s) from any time during the last 3 years is (I hope there aren’t any horrors hidden in the archives!) and I’ll choose one comment randomly this time next week and send you a little present to say thanks. xx