To Blog Or Not To Blog: My First Blog

I recently stumbled upon Jen Carrington's website via Biz Time with Asia via Ten Best Podcasts For Women In Their Twenties on Pinterest (this is exactly the kind of rabbit hole I find myself down alllll too often, anyone else!?), and it was the trigger for the first inclination I've ever had to write down my thoughts and put them out into the world. Having worked in several marketing roles over the last few years and done loads of research into SEO, I am aware that "content is king" and that if you want your business to get found online, you basically have to have a blog on your website. But I also feel like we shouldn't all just start filling the internet with meaningless words just because other bloggers tell us to. That and the fact that I live in fear of being judged by the whole world (because of course the WHOLE WORLD will be eagerly awaiting my blogging debut...) sophie-carefull-brand-photography

Anyway, Jen seemed like a stand up gal and my kind of blogger; she's down to earth and writes in a really clear, helpful and not-at-all-patronising tone that's refreshing when so much of what I've been reading lately around being a creative entrepreneur has been written by overzealous Americans, which can get a bit overwhelming. I also immediately identified with Jen because she's a fellow introvert, yay! I love reading about other introverts who are doing amazing things and running successful businesses. It's just very reassuring to know that you don't have to be a natural social butterfly to do well in business, and it's great to pick up tips on how to do so as well! The way Jen speaks about blogging made me see it in a whole different light (a way less scary one) so I thought I may as well give it a go, because really, what IS the worst that could happen? Actually, it could be getting arrested by the grammar police for extreme overuse of brackets, but I'm OK with that.

I'll definitely keep reading Jen's blog and I'll listen to the podcast again too, it was a very candid chat (partly because Asia has been one of Jen's coaching clients for a year, but I got the impression most of the episodes would be pretty laid-back) and I loved how readily they all shared their insights not only into the title topic of content creation but also just into being a young female entrepreneur and the challenges that can come with that. Ever since handing in my notice at my job late last year, I've been avidly seeking out books and podcasts on this topic*, firstly because I just want to soak up all the knowledge and experience of the #girlbosses who've gone before me, but also, something I've learnt more recently is that solidarity is worth its weight in gold when you're going it alone.

After forcing myself (did I mention I'm an introvert?) to attend practically every networking event I can find in Bristol over the last couple of months, I've realised there's a huge number of women here who are also doing their own thing and a lot of them are going through the exact same stuff as me. I really value being able to talk about the trials and tribulations of self-employment with other people who have been there too and I think having a network of supportive- and very inspiring- friends is crucial to all of our individual successes. I am so lucky to live in Bristol in 2017 when the wealth of resources available to young and new business owners is unprecedented, added to the fact that Bristolians are so kind and open and ever-willing to help a girl out! I think I may have to dedicate a whole post to that actually, I keep catching myself sounding like I work for the tourist board, telling everyone I know that they just HAVE to come here! I'd like to write about some of the wonderful women I've met lately too, so that might be next. Who knows where this new cyber adventure will take me...

*A few I can recommend are: