5 YEARS FROM THE DAY I FIRST PRESSED "PUBLISH"

5 years ago I launched my blog. I was a complete novice and I've come a long way. Blogging gives me a voice, opens my world, and connects me to thousands of people - such a joy.

5 YEARS - WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?

Exactly 5 years ago, on November 30th, 2014 I published my very first blog post. I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing, I wasn't one of those clever blogging souls who'd researched everything, done courses, joined Facebook groups, and who knew exactly what they wanted their blogging journey to be all about. NOOOOO - I just closed my eyes and jumped (well - closed my eyes and hit the Publish button) and the rest is now history.

I thought I'd share 5 wonderful things about blogging to celebrate 5 years of still being here and still loving where this whole adventure has taken me.

1. THERE'S A LOT MORE TO IT THAN I REALIZED

I had no idea what blogging entailed when I started. I thought you just typed your thoughts on a blank page and sent it out into the ether. Then I figured I should add a picture or two and Google/Pinterest etc were great resources....until someone told me about copyright and what happens if you "steal" someone else's images. That meant I had to find a way of creating my own images, quotes and pins. Thank goodness for Canva and Pixabay and other resources that I discovered along the way, and thank goodness I found out in the early days and not when I had thousands of images to remove!

I then discovered that all the stuff I wrote was based on an HTML background (not pixie dust and internet magic) and I needed to learn a bit about coding (good grief!), I found out there were link parties and Facebook groups, and that I was supposed to share my posts on social media. Then there was formatting, templates, privacy legislation, GDPR regulations, sponsored post rules, and sooooo much more. My brain is still figuring stuff out 5 years down the track, but I certainly feel much more computer literate than I would have been without my blog.

2. I'VE MADE SOME FABULOUS FRIENDSHIPS

When I started blogging I thought it'd be just me and my screen because nobody would find my little blog in the big wide world of Google. I didn't tell my family or my friends because I thought it would be a flash in the pan thing and I'd lose interest. And that was how it played out for the first few months - just me and my words and a deep, quiet void. Then.....someone found me, and then more people found me, and I found them, and my blogging world opened up. I discovered there were Midlife bloggers all over the world; I "met" women in the US, in Canada, in the UK, in Australia, in France, in Russia.... just about everywhere. They were all so positive, writing about their lives in different ways, but all thriving and enjoying every little bit of their 50's and 60's.

Meeting some of the Aussie bloggers IRL

The absolute best thing about having a "tribe" is that they cheer you on. They totally "get" the whole blogging addiction. They leave thoughtful comments, they share their stories, they remind me that I'm not alone and that my ups and downs are common to us all. As I've gotten to know them, I reciprocate and cheer for them too. Two years ago, Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond - (who I refer to as my BBB "best blogging buddy") and I started a link party on Wednesdays to harness some of this positive energy. Midlife Share the Love (#MLSTL) has been going strong ever since and brings us both a lot of joy as we encourage others to keep sharing their lives and their journeys.


3. IT'S BEEN PROACTIVE AND POSITIVE

Blogging has made me appreciate Midlife in ways that I'd never have embraced otherwise. Writing about all the positives of being in my 50's seemed to reinforce how special this time of life can be. When I started I was worried about being invisible, but I've come to realize I still have so much to offer and people see us if we're willing to open ourselves up. I thought changing jobs would be impossible and discovered it wasn't, then I found myself in early retirement and discovered I loved that too.

It's taught me that taking a positive mindset, writing about the silver linings, being open to encouragement and being cheered on - all these things make my real life off-line so much better and I appreciate all I've been blessed with. I rarely dwell on the downside, because there's so many great things to look at instead - my life is full and blessed beyond measure - how wonderful is that? 

4. MOST NON-BLOGGERS JUST DON'T "GET" IT

When you get caught up in the world of blogging you assume everyone else understands why you love it. What I discovered is that most of my real life friends have no idea why I'd want to share my life online. Most don't read my blog (thank you to those who do - I love you!!) and my family (besides my Mum) are basically completely uninterested. I was so surprised at the lack of curiosity and engagement that I even wrote a post a while back on "What to say to a Friend who Blogs" in case they needed a hint or two!

On the other hand I must say that I have been occasionally surprised and gratified when a friend comments on something of mine they've read, or they share a story from their lives that was triggered by one of my posts. I really do love it when my online life and my real life meet - it makes it all the more special.

5. THERE'S NO END IN SIGHT

When I started blogging I thought that it would be something that would last for a few months - I'd write down the thoughts that were whizzing around in my head and I'd run out of steam. At the time I'd been recovering from my marriage almost imploding, I was ready to leave my boring job, my kids had left home, and my life was quite unsettled and uncertain. I felt like the best of life was gone and it was downhill from there on. Over the hill, washed up, and fairly pointless/purposeless. 

Blogging wasn't a magic bullet, but it was an outlet. It let me put some of those thoughts into a more coherent form and to work my way through it all. Choosing "Cresting the Hill" as my blog's name was a starting point - it was saying that I'm not over the hill, I'm reaching the pinnacle, life's good and there's more to come - it will get easier....and it has; and it's thanks to the many, many people who've read my words, left encouraging comments, sent me emails about their life stories, and generally shared life's path with me, that I'm still here 5 years later.

over the hill quote - Ellen Degeneres
quote via GrowingBolder.com

THE RESULT OF 5 YEARS OF BLOGGING

Just to give you an idea of how amazing this journey has been:

Posts written: 900
Comments received: 23,000+ (wow!)
Views in total: 740,000+
MLSTL parties: 95
Joy and Gratitude from me: 1,000% +

THANK YOU!! 

Thank you to every single person who has stopped by and been a part of Cresting the Hill - I hope you'll keep coming back. I'd love you to subscribe to getting my posts in your email (thank you to those who already do!) To subscribe you just put your name and email address in the little boxes in my sidebar. I am beyond grateful that I discovered blogging, five years has sped past and I really hope there'll be many more years to come. 

RELATED POSTS


5 years ago I launched my blog. I was a complete novice and I've come a long way. Blogging gives me a voice, opens my world, and connects me to thousands of people - such a joy.
5 years ago I launched my blog. I was a complete novice and I've come a long way. Blogging gives me a voice, opens my world, and connects me to thousands of people - such a joy.

To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar and I'd love you to share this post by clicking on a share button before you go xx
This post was shared at some of these great link parties
Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive

42 comments

  1. Congrats Leanne on five years! I know I haven't been following you for that long but I am glad I am now. I agree with everything you've said. Here's to many more blogging years!

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. Thanks Janet - one of the loveliest facets of blogging has been meeting so many wonderful women (like yourself) who have inspired me to be happy, content, more confident, and to embrace Midlife with positivity - what more could I ask for?

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  2. Congratulations on your blogiversary Leanne. I really enjoyed reading your blogging reflections. I was interested to read that your family show know interest in your blog. Well neither do mine. And I thought they would be the only family that would do that. Perhaps my family are normal after all. Looking forward to following you for many more years to come

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    1. Hi Jennifer - from what I've heard, most bloggers' families don't "get" the whole blogging and putting your life online thing. I'm not sure why those who blog love it and those who don't aren't even remotely interested. I think I'm a curious enough person that I'd want to know what my friend or family member was writing about - maybe we bloggers are the exceptions to the rule???

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  3. Congratulations at hitting year #5 on your blog! I'm at year #4 and still enjoy blogging so much. Like you, I don't have lots of family or friends who follow my blog but I have met so many wonderful "blog friends" along the way! I love your upbeat approach to life and aging and it continues to give me inspiration. Thank you!!

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    1. Hi Debbie - congrats on #4 years - I bet you're as amazed as I am that we're still blogging and still loving it. We must be a weird mob of people who love sharing our thoughts and our lives with each other - but I love that weirdness because it's made my 50's soooo much better! Thanks for your lovely words xx

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  4. Hi, Leanne - Congratulations on your five years of blogging. I willl hit my fourth blogging anniversary this January 1.
    Your reflections on blogging all resonated quite deeply with me. I love how bloggers share their stories and cheer each other on. That's my favourite part of all!

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    1. Hi Donna - thanks so much for being one of my biggest cheerleaders and for all the encouragement and support you've given to our blogging community over your (nearly) 4 years online. I love that you're still going strong and growing and cheering us all along the way xx

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  5. Congratulations on your 5 year blogversary, dear Leanne! You're doing such a wonderful job, keep it up!
    Love Ellen's quote. Aren't snacks the best motivator? You have deserved yourself a delicious one :-)
    So glad I met you along your journey!

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    1. Hi Tamara - thanks for the good wishes and yes, I'm so pleased we met each other through the AtoZ - so many blog posts and such a great outcome x

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  6. Leanne, your blog has been better than a self-help book for me, and I think you have a real gift for writing. Congratulations on 5 years of blogging, and thank you for always giving us something inspiring to look forward to.

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    1. Hi Christina - it's always so good to hear that my writing connected with someone because it means I'm not on this journey alone! I think we're both rocking Midlife and I love reading about how you're doing it so far from home x

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  7. Congratulations Leanne, and here's to the next 5 years!

    hugs,

    Deb

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    1. Thanks so much Deb - I love how your blogging is an ode to recovery and celebration - I'm hoping mine is too xx

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  8. Huge congrats Leanne, you've summed it all up perfectly (as usual)! I love reading your thoughts and sharing your journey and I love being in your tribe :) Here's to continuing on..... Thanks for your friendship and support xx

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    1. Hi Deb - the biggest (by far) blessing of this whole blogging thing has been finding my tribe of women who cheer me on. I love you all and I don't know what I'd have done without my blogging friends over the last few years xx

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  9. Leanne - you are so right about IRL friends. Although a couple have surprised me and have read my blog occasionally. Congrats on hitting the 5-year mark as well!! Woo-hoo!!!

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    1. I'm always blown away when one of my IRL friends says they read my blog Pat - it's such a rare few but lovely when it happens. I'm glad you have a few too x

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  10. I just commented to Denyse that it's nearly a year since our catch-up in Brisbane. I've not had any others so must make sure I make an effort to meet up with other online friends and bloggers IRL as well.

    I've got three long term best friends and I know only one of them reads my blogs. Some other friends do from time to time but not often. They really don't get it. (But then I have some vague old school friends / friends of my mother's who comment - not on the blog - about how much they've enjoyed something, and it makes it feel worth it!)

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    1. Hi Deb - Yes, Feb has flown by and seems even faster because all the work fall-out happened for me a couple of weeks later. I wonder sometimes if the trip away gave me enough of a boost to finally not take the crap anymore - who knows?? It was such a great chance to connect with you all and I'm so glad we made it over (it's a long way!)

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  11. Well done, BBB and one of the best things was that we became firm friends. My 5 year bloggiversary is in January and whilst I've had to put it on the backburner for the moment, I do believe blogging gets into your blood. I agree with all you have said and I think #MLSTL has been successful because we have created a link up that is different and for a specific niche. Here's to another 5 years! Congratulations, my friend. xx

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    1. Hi BBB - I'm soooo pleased we met and connected (it's like something just clicked wasn't it?) and I think our blogging has developed on very similar paths - along with the highs and lows! I'm looking forward to seeing where next year takes us - each time I say to Ross that this will be my last year, and then another one sneaks in and I'm off again!

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  12. Leann,

    Huge congrats!! You're still growing because I just found you and love reading your posts!

    I just started a new blog yet had one years ago for about 4-5 years and I absolutely loved the camaraderie in the community! I'm hoping to get that again this 2nd go around. :-)

    ~Allison

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    1. Hi Allison - I'm so glad you enjoy my blog - I love it when women from all over the age spectrum find something in each others writing to connect with and enjoy. Good luck with the 2nd attempt - that's a lot braver than me - I've never had the courage to begin again!

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  13. Congratulations! I was the same as you, I had no idea what I was doing but learnt along the way.

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    1. I'm amazed at what we can learn if we love something enough to push through the little snarls that come along Anne. I'm glad you found your way through too :)

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  14. Sounds like blogging has been one of the best things to happen to you. Congratulations on five years. Isn't it amazing how it introduces you to the most lovely people you may otherwise have never known. Sandra Xx :-)

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    1. Hi Sandra - blogging was such an unexpected blessing for me. I think because I assumed it would be something private and only last for a short time. The connections and encouragement and friendships I've made along the way Plus the way it's helped my life develop have all been unexpected rewards that make my heart sing x

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  15. You started your blog on my 65th birthday! Hip hip hooray for bloggy birthdays. Congratulations. Your blog is a great resource and read. Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week's optional prompt is: 49/51 Taking Stock #5 9/12/19 Hope to see you there! Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - what a lovely co-incidence that your birthday and my blog's birthday coincide! You're another one of the lovely people who I've met along the way and take such pleasure from connecting with each week x Happy Birthday xx

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  16. Congrats on 5 years of blogging, here's to many more! I totally relate to everything you say here. I sometimes throw my blogging toys out of the pram and contemplate bringing my blogging days to an end but I know I'd have a huge void in my life! Blogging gives me a purpose and like you, the biggest bonus has been the friends I've made in my computer that have become friends in real life! Love your work!

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    1. Hi Sam - I think about tossing in the towel every so often and then I wonder what I'd fill the void with too. How can something that I started so casually have come to represent such a important chunk of my life? I just hope I keep finding things to write about so I can keep hanging out with my bloggy friends and being inspired by them all - I want to be like you when I grow up! xx

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  17. Happy 5 year blogiversary Leanne! I was one of those people who knew nothing about blogging but just closed my eyes, jumped and pressed publish anyway! Like you, WOW have I learnt a lot along the way. It was 7 years for me in September. Blogging has helped me sort out my thoughts and learn a lot about myself. It's also provided a creative outlet and allowed me to meet so many likeminded people across Australia and the world! There have been exciting trips and experiences and I even got to meet you all the way from Perth. Blogging can be a lot of work for very little return but yet it gets into your blood and becomes a part of who you are. I can't imagine not blogging now. I may have little breaks here and there but I'll keep on going. Hope you do too! :-) xo #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Hi Min - I think you've said it all beautifully. The biggest fallout from blogging that I see are the bloggers who want to make money from their blogs and then don't see the restults they'd hoped for. I think if you keep it as a hobby and an outlet then the joy doesn't get lost in the process and it's a lot easier to keep writing from the heart (and that's the key for me!) Thanks for being one of the lovely blogging friends I've made in this wonderful blogging journey xx

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  18. Happy blogaversary to you!!!! So glad we've connected viat the blogiverse & you're absolutely right - non bloggers simply don't get it.

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    1. I do wonder what it is that makes bloggers 'blog' Jo. Do we have a secret gene or a weird desire to share ourselves and dissect the lives of others? I can't imagine not being interested in someone I know writing about themselves - so there must be an extra gene in me somewhere! I'm so happy we connected too xx

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  19. Congrats on your anniversary. This is my first time here but not my last. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Hi - I'm so glad you found me and I really do hope you'll come back so we can get to know each other :) x

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  20. Hi. New to your blog. Laughed when I read the part about people you know who don’t seem even curious about it. I have a bunch if those, too. It doesn’t bother me much anymore and I have to disremember that I know that when I see them. Thankfully there’s a great big world out there. Keep up the good work!

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    1. I'm glad you're here and I do hope you'll become a regular - I love making new bloggy friends (so much easier than making ones IRL these days!) And I've totally given up on IRL friends getting the whold blogging thing - it still makes me a little sad though.

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  21. Congratulations on 5 years of blogging! It is a wonderful place isn't it? I love the bit about finding your tribe. I've been blogging for 12 years now and still enjoy it even though the blogging world has changed dramatically. Here's to many more years!

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    1. Wow 12 years Sanch - you must have been about 10 when you started! I wish I'd discovered it a lot sooner - but maybe I'd have faded away by now if I'd started sooner. Each year I think I'll run out of things to write - but it hasn't happened so far!

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