My First Time…Blogmas!

Illustration by Monty Vern
By Katie Burrows

When the lovely team behind TBC asked me to take part in their “My First Time” collaboration, I was delighted! Such an open topic can lead to so many ideas, and so I sat down at the laptop to get this over to them. A new page was opened, the perfect programme was found on Netflix, and then I sat. And stared. And typed a word. Then deleted it. My mind was completely blank. Writer’s block had kicked in. Not the best when you’re on a schedule!

Allowing a few days to pass, I found myself jotting down notes on what I could talk about. My first time driving? My first time taking part in Blogmas? The first time I sat down to blog in general? That one sounded good… But was it too obvious? My indecision was causing a long delay in working on the post, and I began to stress a little about getting words on a page to send over on time for the fantastic Monty to illustrate my writings. As I started to write about my first time pressing publish on a blog post, my mind turned to my first time publishing my own book.

As with most of the world, Northern Ireland have been in and out of lockdowns more than Harry Potter put his friends in danger by not following rules in the last year. Back in Lockdown 1, possibly the best lockdown, I sat down and penned my own blogging ebook before publishing it on Gumroad. The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Blogmas was born!

In case you don’t know me, I should explain. I am somewhat of a Christmas fan. It’s funny – ask me about Christmas and Blogmas and I could talk for hours. Ask me to guest post, and suddenly every word in the English language evades me! TBC know me from my lifestyle blog – Life With Ktkinnes – where, for the last 5 years, I have taken part in the December blogging challenge that is Blogmas. As we were just saying, lockdowns in 2020 saw me spending more time finding things that bring me joy. And in November, I decided to launch my second blog – Christmas With Katie – specifically for all my Christmas content! But I’m getting side-tracked here, away from the tale of my first time self-publishing a Christmas blogging challenge guide.

What is Blogmas?

Blogmas is the December blogging challenge that takes over my thoughts from probably February/March every year. In fact, I think last year I started looking at my Blogmas plan back in April. What else was I meant to do when furloughed and stuck in the house all day every day? Naturally, in my usual oversharing way, I began tweeting about my progress, and found myself being asked that annual question of “What is Blogmas?” or “Do you have to post daily?”.  Most of these questions were followed by shock and horror that yes, there are people who publish daily in December, as well as follow through on promoting each post fully. I started to write a blog post about it all to try and answer some questions, however when the post reached 4,000 words and I was still in the introduction stage, I realised this needed moved to something bigger. And so, The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Blogmas was born!

Illustration by Monty Vern

I realise I haven’t yet actually explained what Blogmas is, sorry! Blogmas is a December posting challenge that a lot of bloggers participate in every year. There are 3 different ways to join in (The 12 Days of Blogmas, Advent Style, and Daily December), and which option you choose is entirely up to you – something discussed my in ebook.

The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Blogmas

As someone who has completed 5 years of Blogmas, and is planning her sixth consecutive year, I started to look for the perfect Blogmas planner to help me be organised for the festive season. I scoured Etsy, Pinterest and Gumroad before realising there was a gap in the market. As such, my Ultimate Guide to a Successful Blogmas was born. From “What is Blogmas”, to the different styles and means of going about this blogging challenge, I cover content ideas and title suggestions – there are over 120 ideas inside the cover of my ebook! As well as talking you through the planning and scheduling stages, I have included tips on increasing the SEO of each post, and how and where to promote after clicking publish. Finally, my pride and joy, is the planner! The planner included in my Ultimate Guide to a Successful Blogmas is the one I use every month when planning my posts. Even better, I created my ebook with the intention that the reader can print off the planners, the checklists, the tracking pages, and keep them close at hand throughout them planning their own successful Blogmas.

In fact, I’ve added a special discount code for just you readers – get your hands on a copy today by using code “myfirsttime” for 50% discount!

Working on my first ever ebook was both exciting and exhausting. But I had a lot of help from some extremely supportive bloggers. The process was simple enough, and there are many guides and templates online for creating your own ebook now! I stayed clear of them, and instead read what other people were creating. Taking my own knowledge and experience, trying out techniques from fellow bloggers, and figuring out what worked best for me, my ebook was gradually taking form. I did ask a few fellow bloggers to read through it and share their honest thoughts with me. From working certain things to changing my colour scheme, the final product became a reality. I eventually uploaded it to Gumroad, and my excitement when I got my first sale email was unreal! It was so exhilarating, I actually self-published a collection of short stories for the Christmas period too! I told you I love Christmas…

Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and as such Blogmas has become such an integral part to Christmas that I couldn’t imagine the festive season without it.  Plus, it’s never too early to start planning for Blogmas. Regardless of whether you’re a Blogmas Novice or you’re an old hat at it by now, The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Blogmas takes you through the process of preparing for your perfect Blogmas season on your blog. Get your hands on a copy today by clicking on this link, and I look forward to sharing your Blogmas journey with you!

Notes on Author & Illustrator

Katie is so proactive as a blogger. Her blog is packed with something for every occasion and for everyone. We highly recommend following Katie on all her socials; twitter, instagram and of course her blogs!

All illustrations provided throughout #MyFirstTime are original, bespoke works of Monty Vern. Monty has also
created “My First Time…Behind the Scenes” – a companion series to #MyFirstTime. In this exclusive series Monty allows us to take a walk through his mind when creating images for #MyFirstTime. A collaboration in every sense, when you get a glimpse into the inner workings of a creatives mind! Keep up with the whole series by following T.B.C and Monty Vern.

6 thoughts on “My First Time…Blogmas!

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