I remember the day I created My Blurred World as if it was yesterday. The excitement I felt, the anticipation, the urge to share my experiences and passions with other like-minded people online but also the fear of the unknown as I didn’t know what to expect.
When I first hit that publish button on April 4th 2015 I had no particular goals or aspirations for my blog, it wasn’t something I ever thought that would develop into anything special.
It was purely a corner of the blogosphere for me to escape to, a place where I could write about my life and interests without the feeling of instant judgement by others. My only goal was to create a platform where other people could join and share their experiences, realise that they were not alone. I wanted to help and educate others by noting my experience of living with sight loss and to my disbelief, that’s exactly what’s happened.
So much has changed since I published my very first post and today, as I’ve made a few changes to my blog, I thought I’d share the story of the evolution of My Blurred World and what you can expect to see here in the future.
Where it all began
As I said, I started this blog of mine back in 2015 with just an idea and an urge to share my story with the world in the hope of educating others and providing some help/support and motivation to those who might happen to stumble upon my little corner of the internet.
I published on a weekly basis although I’m not quite sure how I managed it as I was studying in my first year of sixth form at the time but I still ensured that I had a new post to go up because as I’ve mentioned in some previous posts, blogging was my escape at this time, a place for me to write about my life and passions, somewhere for me to feel safe and relieve all the feelings that were building up inside of me. Writing always helped and it still does.
As I started to publish more content and gain a small following, I started to connect with other bloggers and started making new friends which was such a special feeling to me as I felt quite lonely at the time of creating my blog so it was nice to be able to communicate with others who shared an interest of mine and to also find fellow blind/VI people who I could talk to about my experiences living with sight loss. I didn’t expect to be able to gain such close friendships through creating my own blog but it’s definitely one of the best things about this whole blogging journey.
Gaining a following
I never set out to gain a following when creating this blog, of course I wanted to reach out to people and share my story/experiences but I never focused too much on the numbers as I don’t believe it’s the most important thing.
However, gaining a readership and having a supporting network is such a special feeling. I never imagined that so many people would read my content never mind find it interesting and continue to read new posts of mine.
As I said, I didn’t really focus on stats or my number of followers to begin with, I didn’t put much effort in to promote my posts because it wasn’t my priority and wasn’t what I found to be important. I was just happy to write my thoughts and feelings and have my own platform where I was able to do those things, someone else reading them was just a bonus to me and still is.
I focus so much more on promoting my posts nowadays than I did when I first created this blog. I don’t do so for the numbers, I do it so it allows me to potentially raise some awareness of vision impairment and hopefully educate others by noting my experiences.
Never did I imagine that my writing would gain the attention of over a thousand people. I reached this milestone on the 30th of September this year, you can read my reflection post here.
A turning point
If you’ve ever read any of my older content then you’ll notice that I never used to say my name in posts. I was always skeptical about revealing who I was online as I wanted my blog to be my own personal space, somewhere that no one that I knew in my day-to-day life could find me but as my confidence in my content and writing grew I decided to tell the world who I really am and dedicated a post to this in September 2016. I count this to be a turning point in my blogging journey, you might be wondering why, what’s so special about starting to write my name in posts? Well, it instantly made my blog more personal to me. And yes, it did mean that people who I know offline would find my blog and start reading it but I’ve become to be proud of that. I’ve received such amazing support from those people and I’m so grateful and thankful for it. I soon realised that my blog is nothing to be ashamed of and I’m now proud to share it with those in my life offline.
Making a change
When I first created my blog I didn’t necessarily put much thought into the design of my blog, the photography, style of writing etc. I know that these are all things bloggers should think about when writing and creating content but at the time I was just happy in writing my thoughts on a page and publishing it without thinking about any of those things. Writing was all that mattered to me.
As time went on and I became more enthusiastic about my blog, I realised it was time to make some changes, put more thought into my content so that it was something that was hopefully more appealing to new readers that would stumble upon it. I changed my design/layout and started adding photos to my posts in order for them to break up my essay style writing (I tend to write a lot as you can gather).
I was hosted on WordPress.com for over two years and I couldn’t fault the platform, I found it accessible and I was able to make all the changes I desired at the time I felt like I needed to. As I said, I’ve been a blogger for over two years now, two years, seven months to be precise and I felt it was time to make a change.
Going self-hosted and managing my own site has been something I’ve wanted for such a long time now. I wanted my blog to have a slightly more professional tone, more of an editorial feel and something I could customise to be everything I’ve ever wanted when it comes to my web space. I’ve been researching the idea of self-hosted blogging for months and it’s took up a LOT of time and research but I finally bit the bullet and just went for it earlier this week and I’m so incredibly happy that I did. My blog now has a design which I’m proud of, there’s still a few changes I want to make but I’m so much happier with my blog now compared to before. Let me know what you think of this new design, are you a fan?
Making the move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org was very daunting for me especially as a vision impaired person as I was unsure of how accessible the process would be etc but I was able to do it with the support of my host SiteGround and the WordPress team. If you would like me to write a post dedicated to my experience of going self-hosted then just let me know as I don’t want to go into too much detail about that in today’s post.
As time has passed by I’ve become increasingly enthusiastic in creating new content for my blog. I’ve learned to be proud of this little corner of the internet that I have. I’ve had people from all around the world view my blog, have received an incredible source of support and have gained such a supportive readership which I’m so grateful for.
Writing this blog has given me so much opportunities and has given me the chance to meet and engage with amazing people. So much has changed since I created My Blurred World and I wanted to write today’s post to capture those changes.
It might not seem like a big deal to some people but I am so proud that my blog is now self-hosted and that I’ve been able to create my own small web space.
Let’s see what the future holds for My Blurred World.
Are you a blogger? Let me know how your blog has evolved during your time blogging. I would love to hear from you.