Hello, my lovelies. Celebrate Flora’s Musings 8th Birthday and my 2nd Blogiversary being self-hosted. I’m running my first ever GiveAway too! *Cue the disco ball, glitter and cake*
I don’t usually post anything special for the blog’s birthday but it was two years today that I took the plunge and moved Flora’s Musings from wordpress.com to be a self-hosted blog on wordpress.org. 🎈🎉🎈 As I’m now paying for it, I’m keeping a closer eye on my stats and wanted to celebrate my independence.
So today two things will happen, I’m going to share eight ways blogging has changed my life. AND I’m hosting my very first International GiveAway that will run all through May.
But first, some blog stats…
- Total posts: 1,341
- Total comments: 2,146
- Total views: 17,862
- Best day (views): 31st May 2021 with a daily tally of 131.
- Total visitors: 10,146
Obviously, 2022 stats are still in the making, but I can’t believe it’s eight years since I published my first post! A month later, I posted my very first book review. A fabulous collection of short stories by Scottish indie author, William Meikle. 😘
Since becoming self-hosted, the likes and comments on my posts have blossomed. 💚 I love the interactions with other bloggers and it gives me a wonderful sense of community every time one of you likes or comments on my reviews, discussions, lists, or wrap-up posts. Thank you.
My content and writing style may have changed over the last eight years but my reasons for blogging have remained pretty consistent. So, why do I blog and how did I get started?
Why Do I Blog & How Did Flora’s Musings Begin?
Twitter was my first foray into social media, later adding a Tumblr account. I wanted to share my thoughts and inspirations with a wider audience than my family and friends. These platforms were perfect: they allowed me to express my individuality. Later, I created a blog so that I could have a central space online, linking both Twitter and Tumblr to my site.
Flora’s Musings slowly evolved into a book blog.
As every blogger knows, owning and running a blog is like being a gardener. It needs constant attention, love and time. Plus, you’re always learning new things and skills to help your blog grow and blossom.
So, How Has Blogging Changed My Life?
As this is Flora’s Musings 8th Birthday I’m going to give you eight ways that my life has altered because of blogging, which also includes a couple of ways being self-hosted has affected things.
I’ve made some amazing friends through the book community.
Before I started blogging, there were only a handful of people who I knew read as actively as I did. However, now I’ve got loads of fabulous bookish friends. (Looking at you Lucy @EBook Obsessed, Mikky @Nocturnal Predators Reviews and Kimberly @Caffeinated Reviewer.) If it wasn’t for the amazing people in the book community, I don’t think I’d have continued for as long as I have, or still enjoying it as much, so I have you all to thank for that!
I never run out of book recommendations
Being part of the bookish community, I’m always finding amazing recommendations for books to read! Whether it’s through trusted recommendations, word of mouth or generally just hearing the hype about a new book or author, I’ve always got something to read. The wonderful Dave @The_WriteReads has got me reading outside of my comfort zone a number of times. Thank you!
I’ve met, interviewed and made friends with some of my favourite authors
I’ve interviewed some of my favourite authors and have even met some of them in person! It’s a nerve-wracking experience seeing your favourite authors in real life. But they’re all incredibly lovely, down to earth and super talented and appreciative as well. Dianne Duvall, Montana Ash, Maria Vale, T.S. Joyce, Jeri Westerson and Amelia Hutchins spring to mind.
Going self-hosted was scary but ultimately freeing
I love blogging and Flora’s Musings has been a part of my life for a long time. It’s scary to move away from the safety of wordpress.com. However, as my blog grew so did my aspirations for it. I wanted to be able to add more functions to my posts. I needed access to plugins! Plugins are the main advantage of moving away from the WordPress hosting server. They’re all free – I’m like a kid in a sweet shop! I can download one, like Weather Effect or one of the many form builders, try it out and if I don’t like it, or it doesn’t perform as I was expecting or hoping, I can just delete it. Easy!
I’ve learnt some useful skills… including basic coding and SEO
Did you know that blogging is a useful skill to put on your resume? It is. It demonstrates that you have the skill to write engaging content for an audience, stick to timelines, create a content calendar, edit, photograph and plan out new graphics, show off your web design and creativity… see, the list is endless. I’ve taught myself some basic coding since starting Flora’s Musings, my knowledge about what helps blogs to run smoothly is growing and I’m picking up valuable SEO tips too! Lol!
Receiving free books, eBooks and audiobooks (and in advance of publication sometimes)
I honestly feel so, so lucky that this is even possible. Receiving ARCs (Advanced Reader Copy) or ALCs (Advanced Listener Copy) for free, and even before they are released to the general public, is such an amazing book blogging perk. Evelina @ Avalinahs Books wrote a fabulous post that really helped me in my early days – When Should I Start Requesting ARCs? Thank you, Evelina. I followed her advice and the rest, as they say, is history.
I’m part of an amazing community of readers around the world (including you)!
Flora’s Musings wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of you all. And to be honest, I wouldn’t be the same without your support either. So THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who’s been a part of my blogging journey over the past 8 years – reader, blogger, publisher, author, supporter, organisation, etc. I feel so, so lucky to be part of the bookish community and I’ve been honoured with the continuous support that you’ve offered me. I honestly couldn’t imagine not being part of the bookish community – it’s such an integral part of my life now.
I’m humbled by the support I’ve received from so many of you. Especially in the last couple of years, since becoming self-hosted. I can’t believe how many of you there are now! I interact with some of you regularly, and others may just be casual readers of Flora’s Musings. However, all of you are much appreciated. I may not have as many followers as some, but in my opinion, I have the best!
Again, thank you, everyone, for following and supporting me. You’ve made my eight years of blogging a truly wonderful experience! I’m really excited to see how Flora’s Musings evolves in the future!
Thanks for celebrating my 8th birthday and 2nd self-hosted blogiversary with me. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Bye for now,