It’s really hard to believe that this time last year, there was no Lady Janey, not even as a twinkle in someone’s eye. However since launching the blog at the end of May, I don’t think I can now imagine life without it.
There there have been days when I could have cheerfully thrown in the towel. It’s too difficult, can’t do it, am not good enough, too much to learn, no time to do anything. However I have stuck at it and so far I’m still hanging there, albeit sometimes just by a tiny determined thread or two.
So it’s time to say a big New Year thank you to a lot of people for their help with getting the Lady Janey blog off the ground and for their continued support especially in my very early Blogzilla days.
People often ask why I started to write a blog. In all honesty, it’s something I should have done ages ago but for some reason, it only came about this year. I’ve been huffing and puffing for years about dire customer service and after listening to one humorous tale after another, a friend of mine finally turned around to me and said, “Jane, this is so funny, you should really write a blog”, so I did.
Then came the complicated bit: setting up the blog. I may be able to competently use a computer but setting up a website, that was a whole new ball game. My first port of call was the lovely Kelly Eroglu of reducedgrub who has been my blogging inspiration since day one. Coffee and chats complete, I was ready to get started. However it wasn’t long before I lost the will to live with WordPress. Time to seek professional assistance!
First though to decide on a logo pic. Thank you at this point to my very supportive – and patient- husband who took at least 350 photos and I chose the very first one to base the logo on! Of course, fabulous hair and nails were of the highest importance in the creation of the Lady Janey image so I must thank the lovely Laura and Caz for their help with this.
The search was then on for some help building the site. This was hard work as many price- plans and packages were way out of my reach. I finally found Andrew at Magpie Image who was quick to reply to my initial enquiry, very transparent about the service he offers, had excellent online reviews and backed up everything he promised in writing before the deal was agreed. However I was so skeptical; my questions were endless and my nerves were shot but then the website went live and it is an excellent job.
What a shame I spent so much time worrying but that’s what comes of years of being let down by companies. I’m eternally suspicious! If it sounds too good to be true, then it no doubt is.
So with blog finally up and running, off I went and it’s been a fabulous year. Attending the BlogOn conference in Manchester in May provided the opportunity to meet lots of other bloggers and it was a really exciting insight into the blogging world. I learnt so much in just one day!
Since then I’ve joined lots of fabulously supportive facebook groups such as the Mamaprenuer Revolution hosted by the blogging guru that is Aby Moore of youbabymemummy, who was a speaker at the conference. In addition, the Blogging your way to Riches group, set up by the authors of the book of the same name, Emma Bradley and Lynn James, is another group I am so happy to be a part of. The book itself is a definite must buy if you are considering starting a blog!
Locally, I’ve been lucky enough to get involved with my local blogging groups Cotswolds bloggers and Gloucestershire bloggers so many thanks to Lucy, Claire and Joy for all the opportunities and support. I’m also a very proud member of the UK Moneybloggers group and particularly enjoyed taking part in their Reverse Advent Calendar campaign this year.
One of the highlights this year was appearing on BBC Gloucestershire radio, chatting with Kate Justice about life and blog. I never thought in a million years I would enjoy it but it was one of the best things I have ever done. So much so that when I have more time, I’ll apply to volunteer for our local hospital radio. After years of living with MS and the first class care I’ve received from our hard working NHS, it will be nice to be able to give just a little bit back.
Following my radio debut, the local press interviewed me about my blog and the best places to go to in Gloucestershire for excellent customer service. There are also other exciting collaborations in the pipeline for next year so watch this space for more info as it comes.
Finally I couldn’t end this without mentioning the fact that thanks to the blog, I am now a guest author for Which?Conversation. This was such a fantastic opportunity and a real confidence booster in terms of how I feel about the quality of my writing. Hopefully I’ll be able to submit more convos next year!
So here is a summary of my top 7 favourite posts this year. I hope you liked them too! What was your favourite?
http://ladyjaney.co.uk/tip-or-service-charge/ This was one of the very first posts I wrote and to this day, one of my golden oldie favourites.
http://ladyjaney.co.uk/silence-not-golden/ This post about the British Airways IT fiasco during May half term was my most successful article to date.
http://ladyjaney.co.uk/gin-dependance-day-at-the-ox-cheltenham/ One of my best nights out in Cheltenham; both the customer service, and the gin, were amazing!
http://ladyjaney.co.uk/cold-calling-makes-blood-boil/ If there’s one thing I am determined to achieve in the writing of my blog, it’s to stamp our rogue traders and cold callers.
http://ladyjaney.co.uk/reverse-advent-calendar-campaign/ I loved taking part in this and it will be a definite new Christmas tradition in the Lady Janey household from now on!
http://ladyjaney.co.uk/coming-soon-the-ivy-cheltenham/ I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the opportunity to find out more about the opening of the new Ivy brasserie in Cheltenham. It was music to my customer service tuned ears!
http://ladyjaney.co.uk/the-christmas-tag-what-i-love-about-christmas/ It really surprised me how much I enjoyed writing this post. Really makes you think about what Christmas means to you.
I’ve also been very lucky this year to have the opportunity to guest post on some other amazing blogs so here they are again with my thanks to Debbie, Jen and Kelly.
Thank you again for supporting Lady Janey this year! 2018 looks like it will be very exciting indeed!
Happy New Year! x