Hello you, I hope you’re having a lovely Sunday relaxing and finding a little time for you. I wanted to reserve this spot in our editorial calendar to write from my heart, today, as my thoughts flowed in the moment. I’ve had a super lazy day so far, pottering about the house, and sat watching movies with my little. We’d usually be out and about on a Sunday walking and exploring the outdoors, but sometimes you just need of nothingness to recalibrate mind and body and set you ready for the week ahead. And so, in one of those rare and blissful ‘pinch me’ moments, I have a little time for me today and I want to spend a little while of this catching up with you.
This week, on Thursday to be exact, A Life Loved turned six months old. With this little milestone in mind, and, it beginning to feel like we’re emerging out of our ‘beta-testing’ period, our team, which comprises myself and my fellow editors Kate and Camilla (who also happens to be my sister) got together to start some serious planning and strategising for A Life Loved. We wanted to spend some time reflecting on our purpose, our achievements so far and our plans for the future.
It’s been a fascinating few months as we’ve sought to fulfil our purpose of creating a space that feels safe and kind and publish articles that remind us we are all human and doing our very best – subject matter that inspires our every day as well as our longer term plans for our lives and homes. This will be our 211th post since we launched on 10th December and in that time, we’ve provided a voice to many, covering topics as fashionably frivolous as beautiful woven hand bags and beauty tips to more deeply meaningful content like IVF and trying for a baby – or maybe not, because not everyone wants to have children.
Some of those features that have left the biggest impact have been the most moving; Rebecca sharing her story of losing her much wanted, beloved baby girl to stillbirth, Kate opening up about surviving domestic abuse and coercive control, Minty sharing how she discovered, while planning her wedding, that she had multiple sclerosis at the age of 26, Nova talking from her heart about diversity and white privilege, Nina sharing her own personal experiences of disability and inequality and this group of wonderful women who, along with myself, shared their births stories.
We’ve explored activity and exercise, meditation and self care, we’ve followed a single mum travelling around the world with her 9 year old daughter, heard how one woman took the biggest leap of career faith, followed renovators and house builders and so, so much more. In reflecting on all 211 pieces published so far, I have realised what an incredible platform we are creating here – one that encourages those feeling vulnerable to want to share their story of the benefit of others. This humbles me in a way I can’t truly articulate.
We shared 7 fictional stories over 7 days as part of national short storytelling week and we’ve explored all kinds of parenting and family issues in detail. Gwen’s features will make you smile and Lauren’s posts will have you in fits of giggles. Learn more about the many writers whose opinions we’ve shared here.
We’re still finding our groove with a posting routine but have decided that it would be super helpful for you to know when we’re going to be sharing certain content, because we appreciate that not everyone wants to read parenting related features, or those posts that talk about being self employed perhaps), that we’re going to adhere to the following routine from now on;
- Monday – Healthy Life (activity and exercise, health and wellbeing, self love and personal improvement)
- Tuesday – Anything and everything
- Wednesday – Family (family, relationships, fertility, trying for a baby, marriage, parenting)
- Thursday – Home Life (entertaining, home and gardens, interiors, renovations, recipes)
- Friday – Stylish Life (fashion and beauty)
- Saturday – Enjoyable Life (holidays, hobbies, movies, music, stories, arts and culture)
- Sunday – Real Life (life stories, points of view and the environment)
Incidentally, our six main categories listed above (Health, Family, Home, Stylish, Enjoyable and Real Life) reflect the navigation system on our blog. You’ll also find a temporary search facility at the bottom of our pages – we’re introducing a swanky new and super smart search facility soon to A Life Loved.
We’re also going to be utilising Instagram much more than we have been, sharing content exclusively on our favourite social media platform every week, and encouraging our followers to participate in a series of shared hashtags with the intention of having a little fun and creating community and conversation. And, we’re looking forward to making ourselves a little more accessible too – we don’t always want to be hidden behind the screen 🙂
Life stories are at the heart of A Live Loved – we understand the need to find connection with others in our busy lives and that the Internet can be a wonderful source of community and friendship. We have some incredible stories to share with you in the coming weeks and months. We’ve listened closely to your feedback too and will be sharing shorter more light hearted features that can be digested more easily during lunch breaks and when you might not have the time to sit an devour a 10 minute + post. We’ll be exploring more interior design and cooking and entertaining and making and doing and everything in between.
Talking of ‘life stories’, I’ve struggled with pigeon-holing A Life Loved into the ‘lifestyle’ category. With no offence meant at all, so much of what I see when I delve into the lifestyle genre looks the same. But do I need to stick a label on who we are? Perhaps only to help explain to those new to our site, our purpose, and what we’re about. And in that case, the term ‘life stories’ blog has felt a little more relevant of late 🙂 We’re a life-loving, life-embracing and life affirming platform – that, I do know. And that’s all that really matters.
At the beginning of this post, I referred to our achievements. In quantitive terms, if anyone is counting numbers, we’re all thrilled that A Life Loved is averaging 20,000 page hits this every month with on average 4,000 monthly unique visitors. In the six months since we launched, we’ve notched up 115,000 page hits and attracted over 31,000 unique visitors. These figures surpass all our expectations statistics wise, and whilst numbers are important, it isn’t the numbers that thrill us. Achievements, for us, are hearing back from our readers, be it through a private message, email or closed Facebook group comment. When we hear back directly from the people we’re here to inspire and support, this means everything. The fact that there are so many real life meet ups with people making friends in our closed Facebook groups is incredible!
I wanted to close by saying, we’ve been quieter on the blog this week, only 4 features compared to our usual minimum of 7. But I’m a firm believer that every once in a while, you need to take a step back, to gain some fresh perspective and reinvigorate your approach – to put yourself in a different environment and soak in all the inspiration around you. I emerged form Devon this week with a full heart (and belly – Kate is an AMAZING cook) and a head full of ideas and excitement for this lovely site of ours.
If you are interested in chatting with us about contributing content to A Life Loved, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would absolutely love to hear from you, whatever it’s about. Nothing is too taboo and everything is important in our eyes. We look forward to hearing from you.
So, happy six month birthday to us. And here’s to the future of a little corner of the interwebs that really cares.
Enjoy the rest of your Sundays lovely ones.
Main image is the sweet little spot outside Kate’s cottage where we ate breakfast this week