I can hardly believe that as I move into year eleven, here I am, still tapping away at the keyboard and hitting Publish.
In 2008, The Boy Child had just turned one year old; Max was almost two. We lived in this house. I was still a stay-at-home mum. I began Everyday Life of a Suburban SAHM as a way of keeping my family up to date with our exploits.So, in celebration of 10 years of blogging, here are 10 things about This West London Life and my blogging experience so far:
- After more than 9 years, I changed the blog’s name and switched host platforms. Neither of which I have ever regretted. I stopped being a stay-at-home-mum some years ago and am now a work-from-home-mum; the old title didn’t accurately reflect either my life or my lifestyle.
- I’ve published over 4,000 posts since that February evening in 2008. That’s roughly 400 posts per year and an average of 7.69 posts per week. In late 2018, I began an ongoing spot of Spring cleaning and, to date, have deleted over 200 posts (most were from 2008/9) and edited many more. I still have around 800 posts labelled as ‘Uncategorised’.
- There are more than 22,000 comments on This West London Life. Blog commenting has dropped off significantly with the introduction of Instagram and other social media platforms, but I still read and value every single comment and try my hardest to answer any questions or respond to feedback there.
- When I started Everyday Life of a Suburban SAHM , I wrote a blog post and that was it. Now, I also have an Instagram account where I highlight posts I think will be of particular interest. I also had a dedicated Facebook page for a while, but I deleted that in early 2017.
- My favorite part of blogging is the storytelling. I grew up in a family that excelled at oral storytelling, but very little was actually written down. I’ve wanted to change that.
- No one is more surprised than me to find I love the creativity of blogging. I write rough drafts in my Get to Work ® book, tweak the typed up versions several times and choose the most appropriate images to accompany the post. Each post is a sum of its parts and I love that process. I spent around 60-90 minutes a day thinking about or working on This West London Life, on average, and it’s never a chore. Sometimes the ‘work’ is as simple as jotting an idea down onto a post-it note.
- I love that blogging is always changing. I hear some bloggers complain about things changing, but for me, that’s what keeps it fun. I love the freedom to experiment, to try new things and receive feedback. I don’t think that This West London Life would still be here if I hadn’t learned more about the mechanics behind blogging. For example, I’ve enjoyed working out how to present a post that is pleasing to the eye and to how to present themed posts that appear regularly. I like the fact that I can, on the strength of one paid post, call myself a professional blogger.
- My biggest goal with This West London Life is to be useful. Whether that’s recommending a great book, talking about our overseas travels or sharing what it’s life to live with autism, I always want This West London Life to be useful and interesting. I know better than anyone that not every post succeeds, but it’s always my goal, and nothing means more to me than emails or comments or messages from readers telling me what they took from information I’ve shared here.
- Back in 2008, I was advised to buy the domain suburbansahm.com. I didn’t, probably because I suspected there may be a name change at some point in the future. The switch to WordPress in late 2017 did give me my own domain name as part of the package and I imagine that the name This West London Life will work for me a good few years yet.
- The most popular post – by a landslide – on my entire site is the one I wrote about Mum. I wish it wasn’t.