This past year I saw, through my eyes, a big change in blogging across the board. Now before we go on, as I said, the change I've seen is through my eyes, and in no way a factoid of blogging, just what I saw and the vibe picked up from others along the way.
Blogging has changed, far more people, far more monetization, and far more instances of far less-than-the -good-community-spirit that I know and love. For a time people seemed more inclined to voice their negative opinions louder than their positive ones.
When I changed my blog name in June it was a last ditch attempt to distance myself from those changes, changes that on the whole I didn't really like. I rarely wrote about parenting, my loves were the outdoors and photography, I wanted to make a break. Obviously that didn't last, and that's a story for another day.
I felt discontent, a bit like I wasn't swimming with the tide (if that makes any sense) and for the first time I truly questioned whether blogging was something I wanted to keep on with.
A new year, a new start, isn't that how it goes? Well here's my new start, my big change, the big 'what's new for 2015', the 'what's going to be big in 2015' prediction... Bugger all (no, not even You Tubes impact, that boat's sailed my friends). Naturally new people will start blogging and change will happen, like it or not, but when you think about it that can only be a good thing. Here's the key point to cling to - IT DOES NOT MATTER.
For every 50 people who have 'a plan' of how they want to grow they blog, their 'brand', there's 50 people who just like posting now and again, naturally and organically.
One of these groups of people are not better than the other, they are just different and that difference should be celebrated. The internet offers something for everyone, it's not all about the page views, it's what the person writing gets from it that counts - and what that person values.
Whether 50,000 people have visited your recipe for cheesy scones or 5 people have read the post on your families Christmas, it's what YOU get from writing it that will determine whether you continue. There's room for everyone and yes, I believe there's a whole corner dedicated to dare I say it the purists. If you look, you will find people just like you to share your corner of the community with, whatever you choose to write about. End of.
I've been following my good blogging friend Ruth's journey in choosing her Word for 2015 #unravelling2015 (it's a Susannah Conway thing), essentially it's choosing a word as your guiding light for 2015. I pondered what mine would be, would it be 'discovery', would it be 'journey' but now it's clear to me - it's roots. A tree with good roots grows strong, don't lose sight of the good people who have helped you.
It's not where you are going, it's who's with you along the way, supporting, advising, influencing that's important. The roots we make in our personal and family life help determine our path in life and I believe it's the same online.
So now seems like the perfect to me to say THANK YOU to long standing friends and influencers:
For frozen wine, hotel stays and friendship - Helen from Actually Mummy
For Smartie covered chocolate cake she may not now remember, a local blogger now gracing tv screens and major newspapers but keeping life real and fun - Helen from Knackered Mother's Wine Club
For strolling round Shorditch post-blogging conference meltdown - Vanessa from HPMCQ
She doesn't approve of my TMI moments but she is a kindred spirit nevertheless - Gemma from Hello it's Gemma
People I love and want to tie up and steal their skillz - Emma from Tales of Greenwood, Emma from Spuddler, Gemma from Gemma Garner, Elizabeth from Margot and Barbara, Sabrina from Wolves in London, Jen from Little Birdie, Sarah from Mitenska, Jodi from Practising Simplicity.
From across the pond, a kindred spirit found via blogging, Claudia from Lil Muse Lily
From Canada, a lovely friend and person who I WILL meet this year, Catherine from Always a Redhead.
Musically, the perfect evening on You Tube relived, over and over again a la Groundhog day:
I'm walking away from 2014 with my head held high and a big smile, into a bright and happy 2015 - thanks for reading x