Life As A New Blogger – A Guest Post By Samantha Smith @sam50something

I’m Samantha. I live in Yorkshire, England with my partner Jon and our four-legged friends.

#blogger #blogging
Blogger and Writer: Samantha Smith

After leaving school in the early 80’s, I lived in America for 3 years, then settled again in Yorkshire. I have two amazing boys. I have trained and worked in a variety of jobs and had a successful dog walking business for the last four years. 

My loves…my two boys, Jon, my dogs and cats, nature and life.

I feel pretty honoured to have been asked to write a guest post – Thank you, Hugh!

As a ‘Newbie’ to the world of blogging, I was a little taken aback when I received the email from Hugh. I have been following his blog for quite some time as I find his blogging tips posts very helpful. Hugh asked me, as a guest blogger, to write a post from the perspective of being new to blogging and my thoughts on this whole new world.

To begin, I have to take you back to how my blog came about. I have to be honest though, my blog, ‘Loving the fifty something’ wasn’t my first. I had originally set up a blog focussed on my Pug, Millie.

#dogs #pugs #photography

She is such a character and we can’t go out without people stopping us to give her attention, but it didn’t take me long to realise that this world is pretty saturated with Pugs. They are literally all over the internet, so after realising this and after I’d set up my blog, I became a little disheartened as I was already enjoying blogging but realised I’d made my first mistake – Jumping in with both feet without doing a little research! 

I didn’t want to give up, but I did have to take a step back and rethink my blogging experience. However, at the same time, I was also coming out of the sadness which is ‘The Empty Nest Syndrome.’ My boys had flown and the house was empty and although this happened gradually, it was strange because it seemed to hit me on one particular day when I was in their bedrooms. I have written about it (click here to read the post) so I won’t go on, but this was one of the instigating factors for me starting ‘Loving the fifty something’. 

Jon and I decided now was the time to do something which we’d wanted to do for a long time – Sell up and live on our canal barge.

#boats #transport

We were already starting to travel a little more (we also have a camper van, booked to go to Whistler, snowboarding that winter, started mountain biking) and this was around the same time as me turning fifty. I realised that I was feeling great, free, and happier than I’d felt in a long time. This is also when something else sprung to mind too – my blog

In January this year, I set up my second blog. I finally knew what I wanted it to be about – turning fifty, feeling good, positive about life, healthy and staying fit and active.

#boats #canal

Blogging has opened up a whole new world to me. I am learning new things every day and I am in touch with a whole new community of other like-minded people. I am reading about and getting to know some fabulously interesting people from all over the world.

I follow bloggers who I feel I have things in common with; travel, nature, keeping fit, photography and also bloggers who offer blogging tips. Now there’s a topic! I feel there are SO many of these out there which can be very complicated for a ‘Newbie’ such as myself, but I like the ones who are just plain helpful – like Hugh!

I can’t believe how much there is to learn. I hadn’t realised how complicated it can be. I am wanting to run before I can walk with it, but there is so much information out there it can sometimes be a little overwhelming. I am also very busy at the moment. I’ve just sold my business, and now my house, and Jon and I have just moved onto the boat. So keeping up with blogging has been difficult for me. However, I am looking forward to being able to concentrate on it when we’ve settled in.

So far I have –

  • Set my blog up, (but there is always ‘tweeking’ to be done)
  • I have linked to social media
  • I have started interacting with the blogging community
  • I am spending time reading and learning
  • I am writing and publishing posts

But I still feel there is so much more to do and learn, but I’m sure I’ll get there. 

Some of the things I’d like to learn are – 

  • Pinterest – Totally new to me! I still haven’t got to grips with how it works! Can you help?
  • How to keep up with everythingPosting; social media; interacting; research etc, etc, etc
  • Tailwind – still not sure what this is all about. Can you help?
  • Monetising
  • Building an email list

I remember being frightened to press that very first Post button. I think I’ve come on a little from that, but accept that I am still very much a ‘Newbie.’ One thing I have promised myself, something I will always do as my blog grows, is that I will try to help new bloggers. I am so appreciative when I am supported and given a little lift by the more established bloggers.

Thank you for reading this, my first guest post. It would be great if we could connect. And, thank you again, Hugh, for your support.

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70 thoughts

  1. Hi, Samantha – It is nice to meet you here. I am also a 50-something. I began blogging less than two years ago. I’ve very recently begun expanding my social media, so like you I am brand-new to Pinterest. There is a free, helpful e-course on Pinterest by Elena Peters. You can find it at https:// elenaopeters. com/ (spaces added so that Hugh’s site would not ban me for ‘spamming’). I’ve just checked out your Pinterest page and added myself as a follower. I’m off to check out your blog now.I am extremely grateful for all of the blogging help that I have been receiving along the way. If there is anything that I can do to help, please do not hesitate to give me a shout.

    Thanks, Hugh, for this introduction. And thank you for all of the support that you continue to give to both new and experienced bloggers.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Hi, I don’t mind saying , I have broken my back twice, the second time smashing it really badly , needing three operations, over a month in hospital. I had to learn to walk again. I found out who my friends were as many so called ‘friends’ just drifted away. Anyway I had a great deal of problems with pain and medication after a while I was sent to a pain clinic were I met a really clever physcologist who helped me no end. She suggested I write my feelings and pain out.. which at first I did. Now with help of the gym and a brilliant Pilates teacher I am standing as straight as a now curved spine full of Titanium and surgical cement will allow. I have lost two and a half inches but I am walking healthy and so much more happy. It has been a long journey but I am getting there. There is more on my about page. I now blog about everything, stories, poetry, challengs and the odd rant. Hope I have not bored you to sleep. So what got you blogging. 🌹

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You certainly have not bored me at all! Wow what a story. It’s sad when you feel let down by people you thought were real friends. When it happens to me I reverse it and see if maybe I let them or anyone else down, without knowing, because sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own world we forget to reach out and just say ‘Hey how are you doing?’ to the people that we should.

        My brother once moaned that no one cared that he was ill…which wasn’t even true as I always checked in on him. But what WAS highlighted by his complaining was that it was all one way traffic. When was the last time he checked in on me? I’m the ‘baby!’ There was a whole set of evidence of me saying ‘Hey how’s things? Need anything?’ But none the other way. There’s no reason that that care should be one way traffic for anyone. Anyhoo that’s just MY take on it.

        And that’s not referencing your case as I don’t know exactly what went on – it just made me think of the above because disappointing humans is a kind of theme with me lol!.. In fact just human behavior in general and why people do what they do.

        How did I get into blogging? Crumbs I’ll have to think about that! I have been blogging for a while – this isn’t my first blog – and do you know I can’t remember lol! So it clearly wasn’t as dramatic as your reason!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. We’re all on a big learning curve and my venturing into the ether came about after I’d started wriitng seriously. I’m still learning all the time. I think it’s great to have a canal boat, one of my dreams, but in the end we settled for living by the sea and a static beach hut. My empty nest moment came unexpectedly on a monday morning when I stood in our new house, husband had gone back for the last few weeks of his old job. In the space of a few days I had gone from working at Heathrow and living in a home of five people to being on my own; was I actually real or did I only exist in relation to others? The introspection didn’t last long as daughter changed her mind and came to live with us for another two years… soon made new friends and started writing…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Nice to meet you Sam and welcome to the addictive world of blogging! There is always something new to learn no matter how long you have been blogging, but it is fun doing so and there are always people to help you. As you know, Hugh often does posts that give good advice and tips, that are great for everyone, not just Newbie bloggers. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think hitting that first post button gives everyone anxiety. After all, you’re putting yourself out there and you’re not quite sure how or what you do next. But this is a great and generous community and Hugh is a prime example of that generosity.
    Here’s to many more pushes of that button..:)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. You fell on your feet finding Hugh, Samantha; he’s a great guide and the most caring blogger – just be warned his fiction is a bit, well, 18. So welcome to this little community and best of luck with your blogging

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Nice to learn about Samantha, and lovely of you Hugh to give her a platform on your special blog. I love Samantha’s zest for life – and fifty is fabulous! It seems she’s on the right path to becoming a staunch blogger, but one thing we’ll never be able to answer is – how we have the time for everything, lol. Good luck with that one, as we all know, we just keep going. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ha! I knew you already *polishes halo* …. this is such a brilliant post and so candid which I actually think is your hallmark. You will go from strength to strength now you have found your USP and I look forward to journeying alongside. As for tips … I’m pretty random and hopeless so I won’t be giving any advice except to follow the experts like Hugh and Ritu who has left a comment. And bon courage and keep having fun. It’s great to be aboard your narrow boat of life xx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Welcome, Sam, to mad but wonderful world of blogging. I agree, Hugh’s how-to posts are really helpful. I’ve still never got to grips with Pinterest, though. Part of me wants to but another part is telling I do not need another thing to become addicted to. Love your barge – looking forward to reading your posts. And, I’m sure you could introduce the occasional pug post in now and then 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Nice to meet you, Samantha. It looks like we might have a few things in common, among which running our own business, having lived on a boat for eight years (on a sailboat, not a canal boat, though, but we have friends who did this in the UK), travel, healthy living, and our love for animals, dogs in particular.

    I’m so excited for you to have sold all of your “responsibilities” and that you are able to now live in a more minimalistic way. Looking forward to all your canal boating stories!!! As for the social media stuff, I just want to warn you that a lot of this takes a big chunk of time. In my opinion, some of that time is better spent in the “real” world. 🙂

    Thanks for the introduction, Hugh!

    Liked by 3 people

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