6 lessons from my 1st year as a homes blogger

6 lessons from my 1st year as a homes bloggerLet’s start with a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to us! This is a very special post that is very dear to me. Today, is exactly a year to when I got the keys for my first house AND it marks my 1st year as an Homes Blogger too. And boy-oh-boy has this been an up-and-down year. In this post, I want to share with you 6 key things I discovered about myself (and my blog) the past 12 months. Next week, I’m sharing what I learnt in my first year as a home owner (more drama to come!)

6 lessons from my 1st year as a homes blogger

#1 Give a little more….take a little less

I started out as a total novice to blogs. I had limited know-how on how to write on-line. How to get people like yourselves to read my posts, or how to use social media. The past year has been like an intense degree on how to create my own graphics, chatting to other bloggers on-line, tweeting, attending Pinterest workshops and finally ‘getting’ Instagram.  After a year of posting, planning and plotting I’ve become prone to what is known as ‘Blogger’s Burn Out’ – where as a new blogger you say ‘Yes!’ to too many opportunities which may (or may not) be relevant to where I want this blog to go. Tied in with this is the need to enter awards to drive more traffic to my blog.  My first promise to you, is to stop asking for help – in the past year, I have been nominated for 3 awards – which involved asking you (repeatedly) to vote for me, promoting the competitions and spending less time on actually writing about what I love best – my home. From now on – no more asking, I want to give back to you. That is better than any bit of metal on my shelf for me!

6 lessons from my 1st year as a homes blogger#2 Living in the Moment

I’m prone to over-organising and planning-out everything in both my life and home, and now on the blog. I’ve been trying to posts at least twice a week, and write these posts in advance – so that if I get a rush of styling work, there was always content on my blog. Good idea, you’d think? Humm…I found when I read these posts back, they sound old and stale to me. From now on, I want to start my own mantra #WeLoveThisMoment where I try my best to post as and when I can on my latest home projects. This may mean you get a run of posts but if I go away on holiday, there might be a small gap (sorry). I’m hoping this will make me feel more relevant to you – and me.

6 lessons from my 1st year as a homes blogger#3 Find my voice

I’ve struggled over the past year to work out what to cover here. Do I want to talk about my job? My home’s renovations? What I’m shopping for? My dog? My personal life? Or all of these things? None of these things? After 15 years writing for magazines, you’d think I would have got the hang of writing. But I’ve found it so different being my own editor – trying to find features that inspire me (and you in turn). Each month you can see how I work – I start obessing about the latest thing I want for my home; shop shop shop until I can find that thing; squeeze in a huge work project; get thing fitted/painted/made; then I go do dog walk/festival/yoga…..after a lot of reflection, I’ve decided I want to capture the three topics on a monthly basis:

Obessing About….[sorry, I’ve not shown this side of me yet – but I might as well share my shopping knowledge – this month is it lighting for my living room]

Home Makeovers….[big or small- there is always something I am up-cycling or planning for my house. It makes me so happy to be busy nesting]

Interior Styling…[tips and tricks I have gleamed from my job, as well as the latest news from press shows, events and shoots. This way we can all be ahead of the pack]

6 lessons from my 1st year as a homes blogger#4 Have a Tidy

My social media has been getting in a right old pickle. I’ve been posting the same things to Facebook and Twitter, and then posting personal snaps on Instagram (you might not love my dog as much as me). Pinterest has been a merge of ideas. What a mess. Not now I’ve had a huge declutter and it felt brilliant.

Facebook – here you are going to get all my little makeover projects before they appear on my blog. This is the perfect way for me to show you what I’m up to on a daily/weekend basis. I love hearing your feedback and advice on here on what I’m doing as I’m doing it.

Twitter – this is for chatting, and I love chatting! This is where I want to talk to you and learn from companies about their latest products. I love twitter so give me a little follow.

Pinterest – This is where you’ll see all my ideas buzzing group together – from the latest interior trends, as well as tons and ton of ideas on how to decorate your home room by room, and by colour. It’s my lush spot to hang out. I had about 7.5k pins last time I looked – insane but I love them ALL.

Instagram – I’ve deleted all my holiday photos (oopse!) – and instead, I’ve started my own tag #wlhlustlist where I highlight a great company or product that I would love to have in my own home – and I think that you will love too. Think of it as a homes fix in your lunch house mixed with a bit of shopping and ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’. What do you think?

YouTube – I’m aiming to do lots more mini vlogs on here. Smaller projects, how-to’s as well as guided tours of my home. That reminds me, I need to do a home tour for my first year here soon.

I hope this will give you a good reason to visit each one and get something different from each one. Something nice and fresh each time.

6 lessons from my 1st year as a homes blogger
#5 Put The Love In

I’ve decided to only write about products that I have seen in the flesh and that I really rate, or items that I really want in my house (otherwise really, what is the point).  I want to write about companies that I know are great and do great work, and then share that love. I want this place to be an honest space where you trust me when I say I love this lamp/candle/tap/flooring because I really do – rather than I was paid to say so. I’m going working with companies that I rate – like the beautiful people at Bathroom Takeaway who provided my bathroom, or the team at Real Homes magazine who host my monthly blog posts, or the amazing underfloor heating from WarmUp or my new back door by Kat. I want you to love these things as much as me.

6 lessons from my 1st year as a homes blogger#6 Be Original

Where possible I want to use images that I have taken myself, or have created myself (I’m still getting my head around photoshop but I’m getting there.) Since the Summer, I have been taking photos myself – and now, I’m saving up to buy a fancy camera and I’m dying to take lots more photos myself – as well as more videos (the shaky hand-held type!). In the meantime, you have to hold with me while I get my head around all the settings. All the shots on this post are mine from my iphone! I will get there.

There are the six HUGE lessons I have discovered. Have you found them helpful? I think you’ll start to see a small shift in my blog as I try to stick to them (please remind me!) I want to be better and brilliant so you have more reasons to come here and enjoy this space with me.   To think over a year ago, I’d hardly knew what a blog was – never mind, see how far my own would go. I found my first year of blogging intense, exciting and draining at times.  I can not wait to venture into my second year with you guys, and discover even more about myself and my home.

Are you ready for the journey? Please come back for my next stage of this post – ‘What a year in my first home taught me’, posted next week.

Until then. And Big Love.

  • Rachel - Love your focus and decisions, you sound very organised now. I definitely think it’s good to live and blog in the moment.18th February 2016 – 7:32 pmReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - I’m flattered as I think you are one of the most ‘on it’ bloggers out there. Shhh! But I’m the most disorgaised, organised person at times. It’s the help and advice from bloggers like yourself Rachel that have helped me learn these lessons. I now need help to stick to them, and not wander off-point…. Reading your blog will help me like that19th February 2016 – 7:53 amReplyCancel

  • Cate - What a learning curve, I find blogging is kinda just learning on the job! The important lesson I think is to be true to yourself, be honest and genuine, and I’ve learnt to focus on quality rather than quantity, one really researched post with beautiful photos that have taken love and time is so much better than several quick fire posts. Good luck for your second year 🙂18th February 2016 – 7:45 pmReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - Hey Cate. I spent two very long weeks (on a beach) working out exactly wanted for the blog. How I want to be heard and what message I want to send out. I’m going to take you up on your advice on less is more – less photos for posts like these and be more confident in my writing 😉 I’m so excited to see what the future is going to bring. PS I LOVE YOUR BLOG 🙂 inspiration overload19th February 2016 – 7:50 amReplyCancel

  • Karen- Making Spaces - Maxine – what a great post. I bet it felt great to write that all down and get it all straight in your head. All makes total sense to me and comes over as both well considered and creative. Am 100% behind you. Just know that you will always have a tiny bit of you that will constantly want to improve and make changes…. and that’s fine. It’s that aspect of your personality that will make you a success. Enjoy this new chapter!!xx19th February 2016 – 9:41 amReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - Hey lovely Karen. Your blog is amazing (and new too). I find chatting to bloggers like you so helpful for keeping me on track (I expect you to tell me when I am steering off course).21st February 2016 – 9:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Nadine - I love your blog! Good luck for your second year, I’m looking forward to seeing what it holds. I find the blogs I read are either too many product reviews which are no more than adverts or feature interiors way over my budget.19th February 2016 – 11:11 amReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - Hey Nadine. That is so lovely to hear. I’m always doing up my home on an utter budget – and I love sharing my ideas for how to do it on the cheap. A lovely home shouldn’t cost the earth – and a good blog should be full of inspiring ideas (my fav ones are soooo inspiring!). Vintage furniture is a lifesaver for new home owners but there is also tons of neat tricks to spend less cash yet still have a great home. I’ll keep you posted x21st February 2016 – 9:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Hannah - wow what a list, you’ve really come far in one year, it took me a long time to work things out and still feel like I am! You’re right though, be true to yourself and find your voice. I find that I’m constantly learning stuff on this blog front. x19th February 2016 – 2:16 pmReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - Thank you Hannah. That’s a huge complement coming from you. I truly love blogging and chatting about my home – and I really think that helps. And your blog is so beautiful, if I can be half as stylish as you in a few years down the line then – yay!21st February 2016 – 9:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Emma - Great post. I too can be guilty of overplanning so I love what you say about living in the moment and blogging with feeling!

    Em x21st February 2016 – 6:08 pmReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - It’s so hard Emma to sounds and stay true. Over-planning is great when blogging gets busy but a little bit of kick back and relax never hurt anyone. Will go check out your blog now21st February 2016 – 9:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Stacey Sheppard - I bet that felt really good to write it all down Maxine. And it will be much easier to stick to. I always think that the best blogs are the ones that are written from a place of passion and where the author is genuine and true to themselves. I know so many blogging experts bang on about consistent posting schedules and trying to post as much as possible but I’ve never really paid too much attention to that. I blog when I have something to say or to share or when I have time. I find that’s better than just bashing out a post because it’s Thursday and the schedule says you must hit publish. And I bet our readers would agree. Anyway, happy blogiversary and here’s to year two!! Good luck!3rd March 2016 – 7:27 pmReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - It’s a promise to myself as much as anyone. I have so much going on with the house now, there are endless makeovers….then that will slow down to shopping and thrifting in the next few weeks. I’ve got to stop feeling the guilt if I don’t post 2 x a week. Then it will be fun for me – and I’ll produce work that reflects that. And your blog is beautiful – so this is all good advice from you x4th March 2016 – 1:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Sally Smith - Hiya, I’ve been following your blog for about 6 months and love it and have referred to it for inspiration. I’ve been planning my blog for about as long and have found it really difficult to get over the final hurdle of going live. I totally get your last post as I’m constantly overwhelmed and confused by what images to use (not a great photographer) and how to promote it. I’m a freelance interior journalist and novice stylist and I have written a few pieces for Real Homes mag. I’m a relative newbie and I’m hoping blogging will open up some more opportunities for me. I just though I’d say hi and wish you luck for your second year of blogging. Sally9th March 2016 – 11:38 amReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - That is so lovely of you Sally! I also write for Real Homes magazine. With images, I’ve been just practicing and practicing. And now i’m saving up for a decent camera as soon as I can. That and a tripod will make all the difference to your shoots. Thank you for the pots of luck10th March 2016 – 8:23 amReplyCancel

  • Philippa - What a great post and so helpful for a newbie like me! Thank you for sharing and being so open about your journey – it’s very inspiring!12th April 2016 – 5:59 pmReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - Thank you16th April 2016 – 8:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate young - Happy Birthday! And what a great post, thank you for sharing. So much to learn in the first year, I’ve been stressing over not having a schedule! Good luck for your second year. Kate X12th April 2016 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Jade Wilce - I love this post! Really fantastic and a breath of fresh air to hear that blogging is hard work and you need to put so much into it!! 🙂 also love you talking about using your own images – I see so many successful blogs that don’t have any of their own imagery which makes me rethink my whole site… But then I realise it’s not about being picture perfect but what you love! Xxx4th July 2016 – 6:36 pmReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I’m trying so hard to take my own photos as best I can of my own home. As well as creating more graphics for the blog. It’s about writing and sharing for sure. Thanks for popping by.4th July 2016 – 10:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Anita Oakley - Happy Birthday to the WeLoveHomeBlog! You have definitely found your voice and I love your pics 🙂 I look forward to reading more.25th August 2016 – 3:22 pmReplyCancel

    • WeLoveHomeBlog - Thank you Anita!30th August 2016 – 12:02 pmReplyCancel

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