Well here I am, still sitting on my bed in a small house in London three years later, writing a post for Being Ashleigh.
I don't quite know why I started blogging. Thinking about it now, I was so young and it was a big risk to put so much of my life on the internet. If you go way, way back, my blog started off as a beauty blog. Let's just take five minutes out of our day to have a right giggle about this. I know nothing about beauty!
Straight away from day one, I shared my blog with the world. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Word of mouth. You name it, I did it. There was no 'secret blogging so no real life people could find out about it'. I simply wrote, published and shared. In a way, I could have been judged straight away and I have no doubt there were some people (maybe even still!) who thought I was a right saddo with little friends who sat at home writing a blog. However, it's not just a blog. It's one of two of my biggest passions and my income. It makes me so proud and happy to say that. Not everyone can make a sturdy living out of something they love, can they? A 9-5 office job does not appeal to me - although I am not knocking that kinda job at all. I am just lucky enough to say my hobby is more than just a part time hobby.
Blogging is a journey with highs and lows. It's the most exciting and fantastic thing I have ever decided to do but it is pretty scary too. When I first started blogging, I had no idea if anyone was reading what I had to say. However, if you're going to do something and want it to be successful, you need to stick to it! So 10 hits a day soon turned into 70, then 150 and so on. Now, three years later I am incredibly happy and lucky to say my blog has been visited nearly a million times with the most readers trending in the UK, USA, Germany and China. Hello!!
So how has my blog grown since 20th July 2013? I didn't do a post about my blog's second birthday last year and I wish I had so I could see how far it has come. However, I am just so happy that I have stuck to it. I've published almost 500 posts in three years which is just bizarre!
I've hit many brick walls over the past year, especially when I lost my domain last year. I lost 1000 followers so it seemed as if I was back to square one and no one was reading my blog again. However, I then remembered that it's a blog and a blog is a online document type diary. It's just a bonus if anyone reads what you have to say. I decided to carry on and my readership is slowly getting back there - although I am pretty sure the original 1000 Bloglovin followers I had probably think I deleted my blog. Nope, I am still here!
I have been to some really amazing events the past year and from that have made so many new friends. It's great to meet people who understand you whilst having a passion for blogging and social media too. I have grown incredibly close to Charlotte Clothier who is someone I consider a really good friend of mine. There are still so many bloggers I haven't yet met so I hope by this time next year I have :-) Work wise, I have worked with so many fantastic brands: In Love With Fashion, ASOS and New Look to name just a few. I am working on an exciting project too with Very.co.uk at the moment too, which will all be revealed soon!
I honestly just feel really happy and content with the opportunities blogging has given me. It's the one passion, besides photography, that I can natter on for hours about. My family are now beginning to understand what it's all about, although I don't think my nan will ever understand why I take so many photos of myself wearing different clothes! The general support I get from family, friends and all my readers for putting my life out there is so strong and very much appreciated. It honestly means so much.
I can't wait to see what another of year blogging opens up for me. I have hopes to make my content even better! A huge thank you to every reader, comment, email and tweet from you guys. It makes blogging that little more special when you know people are relatively interested in what you have to say and it drives you to want to make your blog bigger and better. So, thank you! X