As of today, I’ve been blogging for 14 years.
That’s right, my blog is not only a teenager but well and truly entering the ‘difficult’ years.
Which fits. It’s a lot surlier and harder to get started now than it was when I wrote my first post on 22 January 2010.
It’s also changed a lot since those early days.
My first post was all about how my move to the country had resulted in a lot more cooking in my life. Young children, fewer takeaway choices, and there I was, living in the Pink Fibro on the south coast. You can read it here – I keep it on this website because purely because of its place in my blogging history.
Speaking of blogging history, I haven’t written a blogoversary post like this for a few years. Not since my 10 Favourite Posts From 10 Years Of Blogging post.
As a contrast, you can read about the 12 things I learned in my first year of blogging here.
Anyway, basic crux is that I’m a bit overdue one of these.
The two key things I’ve learned in 14 years of blogging
The first thing I realised when I sat down to write this post is how much my blogging style has changed over the years.
In the early days, I just blurted it all out, no subheads, no spacing, a dodgy image and pressed send.
But along the way I learned that subheads are essential for reading on the internet. And most of us just want to be able to skim the text and find what we want.
So I’ve broken all of my thoughts about this momentous occasion down into two key points for you, dropped in some keywords (yes, I learned about SEO along the way as well) and have whipped up a tidy social image because Canva came along and changed my life.
Fourteen years is a long time. I’m glad I learnt a few tricks along the way.
But of all the things I’ve learned, there are two key secrets.
Consistency is key
I’ve always said that that one of the best things about blogging is the recording of your own history – your thoughts, your voice, your influences, your life at any given time.
In the earliest days of this blog, I wrote every single day and when I read back some of those posts now (they’re not all here anymore) I can see Book Boy and Book Boy Jr as they were at two or five or seven or nine.
I am reminded of tiny moments in our lives that would be forever lost without the discipline of blogging.
For it is about discipline. It’s about observation and training yourself to spot ideas and finding your writing voice – but most of all it’s about the discipline of putting words on a page (screen though it may be) and creating a writing habit.
Today, my blog is much more focused on my author life.
I share my writing knowledge, I share my love of children’s books and reading, I bring together lists of books to help others discover Australian authors and literature, I offer those same authors a space to write their own thoughts and promote their own books.
My blog is different, but it’s still here.
As writers turn to platforms like Substack and Medium or look for places to share their words, I return here, time and time again.
Yes, video content has taken over, yes, things are ever-changing, but I am lucky to receive hundreds and hundreds of visitors every day to this website, drawn by the deep well of words in my thousands of posts.
I’ve used different social media platforms to help spread the word about my blog over the years, but, as we all know, they come and go – while my words remain.
Community is everything
As my focus has shifted from freelance writing to writing novels, from hands-on parenting of small children to being the rock lighthouse that older kids need, from a podcast for writers to a podcast that supports those encouraging young readers (and writers), I come back here to my home on the internet.
And to the people who are here with me.
From the beginning, I have been lucky enough to have had the support of an engaged and enthusiastic community of readers, who have cheered on the publication of my nine novels, as well as the two non-fiction books that have been launched on this blog.
I thank each and every one of you, whether you’ve been here right from the start or you started reading today.
I’m not showing up every day in this space like I once did.
But I’m still showing up.
Are you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. My latest novel THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE is out now. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.
If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast and sign up for the Your Kid’s Next Read newsletter.
Are you a writer? Find out more about my online writing courses here.
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Or check out So You Want To Be A Writer (the book), where my co-author Valerie Khoo and I have distilled the best tips from hundreds of author and industry expert interviews. Find out more and buy it here.
There’s a lot, I know, but then, 14 years is a long time.