50 first posts

Last week I sailed past a blogging milestone that I had intended to make a bit of a song and dance about – I wrote my 50th post.

Since I started this blog in February, I’ve been astounded at how blogging has become such a huge part of my life – reading blogs, commenting on blogs, writing this blog, late night chats online with friends I’ve met through blogging, going on blind dates with bloggy pals, it’s opened up a whole new world. I’m super grateful for that.

As I think about the words I’ve typed here, which must number into the thousands (brevity isn’t my strong suit) I know I’ve written some blog posts that I’m super proud of, like this one, and some that I though, geez Annette, you could have done better than that. I won’t link to those ones!

The interesting thing is that although I followed a few blogs before I started this one, I didn’t realise just how loudly the internet is pulsating with blogs, about every topic under the sun. Seriously – Google design blog or fashion blog or cat blog or GoT blog or trainspotting blog or whatever-you-can-think-of blog, and I bet you’ll find results. If you don’t, there’s an untapped blog niche for you to conquer.

To wit – everywhere you turn now, successful bloggers are running blogging courses, offering sure-fire tips and tricks to creating engaging blogs, and writing e-books and hosting seminars on the subject. While some people are busy running from street corner to street corner crying ‘blogging is dead’, it seems to me that plenty of people are clamouring to create their very own patch of green on the internet. This is mine.

This blog was created thanks to an online course. It was brilliant – challenging, informative, encouraging, challenging, empowering and astounding value for money, better than I could have ever anticipated. For that, I will always be more grateful than I can articulate to Pip Lincolne, from the heart of my bottom.

But no matter how many ace courses you do – I’ve done three this year, and have registered for a fourth – I believe that there’s something unteachable, an X-factor, at the core of all the blogs that you’ve got bookmarked.

And without charging you a cent, here’s what I think the secret to great blogging is – a great blog is all about the person at the keyboard.

Your favourite blogs may feature beautiful photographs, or have the most stunning blog design, or a social media presence that seems to know no limits (without ever being obnoxious). You may even see your fave bloggers on the telly – hello BabyMac and Woogsworld, who turn up, entertainingly, on The Daily Edition every week.

Perhaps you’ve heard about fabulous Aussie blogger Nikki Parkinson’s new book Unlock Your Style which started as a series on her fashion blog Styling You. I’m a huge fan of Nikki’s, and I’m hoping to meet her at the Melbourne launch of the book. She’s been super encouraging to me as I’ve started this venture, that’s just who she is.

Writing 50 posts, then 100, then 200, celebrating 2 years, 5 years, a decade in blogging isn’t about whether your blog is self-hosted or not, or about your killer photography skills (unless you’re a pro with a photography blog), it is about who you are. People will see through all the pretty stuff, the design, the technical wizardry, eventually. I think people actually want to see through that suff, lovely as it is – because blogging is about connection.

Any fool with a laptop can start a blog – they can download, and tweak, pretty pictures from Flickr or regurgitate recipes from the likes of Martha Stewart. And if that’s what people are into, great – more power to them.

The blogs I’m interested in, that I return to week in and week out, that I comment on and share, are blogs by people who I feel a connection with. They’re the kind of people you’d gravitate to at a party, or want to invite over for coffee. Blogging allows you to do that, without having to change out of your pjs!

What I want from I Give You The Verbs is what I see in blogs like the ones I’ve mentioned here, and others I haven’t name-checked – not TV spots and book deals, though you never know where this thing will lead… No, what I truly want is to connect with people, people like YOU – to write in a way that not only makes you chuckle occasionally, but in a way that makes you want to be part of this community – to comment, to chat, to engage with other readers. If I’m just writing for myself, this thing won’t last.

I think I can sum it up best by sharing a homework exercise from my second run at Pip’s blogging course. The exercise was to create a podcast – scary stuff – just to introduce ourselves to each other and say a little about our hopes for the course and our new blogs. As I listen back to it now, aside from wondering if that’s how I really sound, I hear my manifesto for IGYTV.

You can listen to that here.

So, after 50 posts, what do I know now that I didn’t know then? It’s pretty simple really. I love being a blogger.  And I really do want you to read and love my blog. We start out writing for ourselves, and I always want to have a platform for expression, but when I write now, I am thinking about you.

That’s why, above all else, I want every post to have a little bit of that magic power I mentioned in the podcast, magic to brighten your day, remind you that you ARE special, and creative and talented, and to cheer you on as you take on life’s challenges, celebrate life’s joys, plod through the never-ending laundry, and get your own TV spots and book deals. You’re my people, I’m cheering for you!

Don’t stop believing.

To the next 50!

Annette x

41 thoughts on “50 first posts

  1. You are a gifted writer (and speller) and it’s lovely seeing you on this journey of discovery. I’m on one too and so far it has taken me to places I didn’t expect. It is both more fun and harder than I thought too. Congrats on your first 53 posts and here’s to many more!


    • Vanessa your encouragement means so much. I can’t tell you. Thank you xx
      I love this adventure we’re on.

      You’d think the spelling alone would mean job offers would be flooding in!!


    • You’ve lead the way for me Nikki – as one of the most engaging, connected, authentic bloggers out there.

      Can’t wait to meet you, and get my copy of your book signed!!


  2. You have such a way with words ! I am reflecting on why I am starting to blog and so much of what you have written makes sense to me. Thanks for sharing Annette.


    • Emily, as someone just a short way down the path, I offer you this – just be yourself, write what moves you, write from your heart and your readers will find and embrace you. It’s so exciting!!


  3. Sincere and abundant congratulations, Annette.
    You are so right- its all about the person at the keyboard. It’s about CONNECTION.
    It’s about YOU!

    When I received an iPad just over two years ago for my 50th birthday, I was not grateful at all. I was resentful that this technology was being imposed on me when I was more than satisfied with my faithful books from the local library and my newspapers. (Yes there are people like me out here!) Then I discovered the Internet and blogs.
    I quickly subscribed and then unsubscribed to over 50 blogs.

    Then a few months ago I stumbled across ‘I Give You The Verbs’. Now I follow four blogs, and yours I cherish.

    I was shocked to read in this post that you had only been blogging since February.
    I guess I don’t even consider you a ‘blogger’. To me, you are a writer, an author. And you write in unfolding increments, akin to chapters in a book.

    You have made yourself vulnerable and given us, your readers, the gift of knowing the real you, raw and laid bare. The blog post you linked to that you are especially proud of, is so powerful to me because it came from the pit of disempowerment you were feeling at that time.

    The few times that I have commented on your posts, I have felt a visceral reaction afterwards. Almost a feeling of shame, that I have revealed too much. I can’t begin to comprehend how it is for you.

    Through your blog I have discovered a brave and wondrous woman. It does feel like we have a connection, that I ‘know’ you, Annette, and I feel honoured to do so.


    • Oh Tanya, I’m almost speechless at your kind words.
      Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m thrilled to be one of the few blogs you read. Thrilled!
      Wow, I’m SO encouraged by the amazing people who take the time to not only read my blog, but to comment, and join the conversation.
      Thank you. I’m a library lover too – we can have both!!


  4. Beautiful Annette! Congratulations on your 50th post! Keep on writing, I’ll be back for more. Have spent the last hour reading your blog, and if it wasn’t for a tea party at miss littlies childcare, I would still be reading. Deffinitely coming back for more reads! 🙂


  5. Fist pump! Nettie you are a star and I love this post. I am going to be sending some people I know over to this post. It articulates exactly what must be said more often. And it does it better than I have seen anywhere else. I know a couple of newer newbies than me who would get a lot out of this! Dying Schmying. 🙂 Congrats on your first fifty!


    • Hey Rebecca, I’m certainly enjoying it, but I don’t write every day. That’s one of the things I don’t do to a schedule – maybe I will at some stage, but for now I just try and write a couple of good posts a week. Glad to have you on board the Verbs Train!


  6. That’s it Annette! You nailed it right there .. It’s all about the connections. Since starting the BWP course I realised that’s what was missing with my blog. I was writing for me rather than my readers. Oh what a difference that makes. Huge congrats on 50 and here’s to many more. xx


    • Deb, it is all about that isn’t it? How lucky are we that BWP gave us a place to forge connections as we wade out into this blogging thing. Cheers!


  7. Thank you so much… I really appreciate this.

    I find this so encouraging from a new blogger. It made me think about the connection and how you are cheering us (me) on….

    I look forward to more of your blogs and congrats reaching your 50th!


    • Hi Rachelle, thanks so much. I really think blogs can be communal, not just one person ‘talking at’ people, but a conversation where people cheer each other on. Welcome! I hope you’ll be back for more.


  8. You totally engaging your tribe with your blog. The whole post resonated with mea I recently updated my blog goals and have been really trying to connect more with my genealogy community.

    Hope you get to meet Nikki, she is great. I am fortunate to be one of her clients when she was starting out with Styling You and will be going to one of the Sunshine Coast Launches.



    • Hi Fran, small world isn’t it? I’m sure I’ll either meet Nikki at her book launch or at the blogging conference we’ll both be at soon.
      Really appreciate your comments – blogging is all about making connections, good luck with your new goals.


  9. Annette,
    What a beautiful post! Funny that you are blogging about blogging and what this post made me want to do is READ MORE! From you. ‘Cause you’re right – it’s about the connection. How a person writes, how it makes the person reading it feel. Sharing little pieces of you post by post. I have gotten away from blogging, focusing more of deeper connections with my coaching clients, but this post has ignited a little spark to blog more. Looking forward to my 50th post and celebrating my new sense of excitement in writing on the way to it!


    • Hey Michaella, I’m so glad that something sparked for you here! Yay for blogs – which is just reading (and writing) in a new way. Here’s to your 50th post!


  10. Congrats, Annette, on 50 blog posts since Feb. Holy smokes! I’ve been in a blog desert for the past 6 months. Completing a post was a mirage. It seems to come easier to some and not others and I admire your freedom with it, your truth, openness. My blog is less about my meanderings and more about tips, pointers, how-to’s, and those take time to cobble together. Too, I’ve been shy about my voice. Who will read it? Who will care? Can I write? Who do I think I am? Thank you for sharing your words and verbs. Really enjoying your writing.
    Cheers, Laurie


  11. Wow, Annette, I am very impressed with your blogging achievements. Fifty posts since February is quite an accomplishment. And there is so much truth in your writing. I think the reason I don’t get as much writing done lately is that I overthink my topics. I want to be profound and insightful, even inspirational. I want to cover great and relevant subject matter. And then I just don’t write! I need to start with the little things in life and how I get through my days. It has to start with writing for myself, while also writing for others who will resonate with what I write. But everything doesn’t need to be earth shattering. It just needs to be real.


    • Hey Susan, I can totally relate to what is holding you back, I’ve struggled with that too – my advice, to both of us, throw the monkey off your back and just write! Write about your day, just get in the flow again. I find it makes the heavier topics easier if you’ve got a bit of a flow of posting happening. Thank you so much for your encouragement!!


  12. Oh I so love this quote: …”a great blog is all about the person at the keyboard.” This is so true. And I have to tell you here and now – I love your writing style. But then again that is really what it is all about, isn’t it.


  13. Congratulations on 50 posts Annette! It’s great that you’ve been so consistent! I completely agree with you that connection is one of the things that brings us back to great blogs over and over again. I so much more enjoy reading blogs when I feel like the author is sharing little secrets with me and giving insights into their world. It makes someone relatable and also more memorable! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the blogging world – I don’t think it’s dead either!


  14. Congratulations on 50 posts!

    You are right, connecting to others is a beautiful thing and something so easy to do in this day and age! Anyone who wants a blog can get one and tell their stories!

    And I feel the magic in your posts, you do make us feel special from oodles of miles away! Isn’t it amazing? Love it!


  15. Well done! I’m like you, I’ve gotten totally addicted to blogging and the community it brings, I feel like it has improved my life… like you say, magic to brighten my day. Thank you for your words, your verbs!


  16. I’m looking and I don’t see that this went through the first time I posted it, but here goes again!:

    Congratulations on 50 posts!

    You are right, connecting to others is a beautiful thing and something so easy to do in this day and age! Anyone who wants a blog can get one and tell their stories!

    And I feel the magic in your posts, you do make us feel special from oodles of miles away! Isn’t it amazing? Love it!


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