Despite no other area of my life being particularly straight forward or successful, I’d say my blogging journey is something I can be proud of. Which is a huge thing for me to say because in general, nothing I ever do is good enough and I spend my entire life comparing myself to other people. But we’ll save that for another post. I can’t take credit for this post idea, someone else suggested it to me months ago and I’ve only just got around to writing it but I can’t remember for the life of me who it was (if it was you, please shout!) I’ve felt a little intimidated with the prospect of writing about my blogging journey. I’m sure I’ll miss something out but I’ll do my best.
I started my blog in April / May of 2013 and my first ever post was a book review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. That review makes me cringe reading it back but as first posts go, it’s could be worse! I created my blog when I was in a pretty dark and uncomfortable place in my life; I was in the midst of severe daily anxiety which was ruining my life. I had just quit my college course and placement where I was training to become a teaching assistant because I quickly realised it wasn’t for me, the environment was horrible and it was sending my anxiety round the twist. £700 down the drain, brilliant.
I started Jenny in Neverland as a book blog. Books were the only thing I wanted to talk about and Lindsay from Book Boodle helped me set it up, after I emailed her and said I’d love to start a blog (Lindsay, I’m eternally grateful, thank you!) So that was that, I had my little blog and I started reviewing books I was reading. I didn’t know where on Earth these things called “followers” came from but my heart soared every time I saw I had a new view, a new like or a new follower.
Progression was super duper slow for me because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. Literally, not a f***ing Scooby Doo. I had Twitter and was slowly meeting other book bloggers but in general, I was a bit lost. Just writing my reviews because I enjoyed it and not thinking too much into it. I would go days or weeks without looking at my blog which seems ridiculous now, considering I do this every day!
I had a few lengthy blogging breaks along the way; one in around September 2014 or 2015. I can’t remember for the life of me why now but I think I stopped blogging for around a month or two. I also started my book touring business around two years after I started my blog. It was my blog and book blogging which allowed me to do that so again, something else I’ll always be grateful to blogging for, despite no longer pursuing that now.
I only really started taking blogging seriously by about mid 2015. I started offering small advertising packages and received my first content placement payment on 24th August 2015 and my first sponsored post payment (according to my tax records) in May 2016 which was a post I did for Quorn! I wasn’t aware that I’ve only really been doing sponsored posts for just over 2 years until I looked at my records!
So for the past two years I’ve really started to take blogging super seriously and build a business and a living out of it. At the time of writing, I’ve recently had my best month for blog income in July, closely followed by June and April this year (May was a write off because my phone broke and I couldn’t do anything for weeks). I’m working harder than ever and although some ventures didn’t work out, like my touring business, it’s given me a whole lot more time to focus on blogging, which is something I love with all my heart.
Blogging was just a “thing” for the first 3 and a half years for me. Not something I took seriously or paid much attention to. It was just a place for me to write my thoughts on books I liked. But I started enjoying it more when I branched out into other nichés and as you’ll know now, I write about pretty much anything that takes my fancy! Proof that you absolutely do not need a niché if you don’t want one!
I’ve been self-employed with my blog for years due to small amounts of money I made through advertising but I finally feel like it’s my job. And a proper job at that. I earn more money a month now that I did in my last job which although was part-time, still feels like a huge achievement for me. I’m recently hit 7,000 blog followers, I’ve hit 10 thousand Twitter followers this year (WHAT) and I get around 13-16 thousand blog views a month. Which I’ve worked my absolute arse off over the last few years to achieve.
Where do I hope to go from here?
Obviously I hope to improve and increase my income. My ultimate goal is to regularly receive a full-time income from my blog; I’m not asking for loads like I am not that person but at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with being motivated by money and wanting to work hard to get there. Which is what I do and will do until I reach that goal. I’m also currently working on some services for bloggers which I’m really passionate about and hoping I can launch really soon! All I really want though is to continue enjoying blogging to the level I do now; and that’s amazing when you can say you enjoy your job that much!
I want to continue to stay motivated and inspired and produce content which I feel good writing and which helps other bloggers too. Those are always my favorite types of posts to write. I want to be that person that new bloggers or just anyone who needs advice can feel they can come to without judgement. I certainly don’t know everything and I will always want to learn and grow in this industry. For me, that’s what makes it so exciting. But above all else, I’m so incredibly grateful for all the support over these years. Thank you.