Writing 100 blog posts is something I didn’t think I’d get to as quickly as I did. The moment I found out people had careers out of writing blogs I knew it was something I wanted to pursue. I often had no idea on the ins and outs of blog management, but I just knew one day it was a goal I would strive for.
I’ve written and started at least 4, maybe 5 blogs, prior to this one. I would get all excited about it each time. I had a design, would make a logo and colour scheme – I would give up an entire weekend designing an editorial calendar and writing about popular topics in that niche to make sure I could hit the ground running.
None of those blogs were successful.
None of those blogs kept my interest.
None of those blogs were me.
When I started writing the blog for Life on Milo’s Farm it was like a lightbulb moment, like you see in the movies. It just made sense.
Getting to the lightbulb moment
I had been running my own personal Instagram page for ages as I didn’t like other social media formats. And my followers were usually people I knew – my friends, people from the gym, people in my community, family and family friends. There was no engagement – a few likes here or there but mostly people would comment some snide, negative crap about something.
I didn’t feel I could ever express myself because this person or that person would take offence or say I was being inappropriate or “do you really think that?”. Like one of my cousins, who told me I was “too much” when I made a comment about the toilet paper fiasco during the height of early Covid. I mentioned how worst case scenario if people who WERE NOT PREPARED and who were the ones FREAKING OUT, well, if they ran out of toilet paper they could always just jump in the shower and wash off, no big deal.
According to her that was inappropriate.
Why? Because you and your friends and the people you associate with are too uppity and stuck up to realise when SHTF and you have no other alternative there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing what you have to?
For her it was abhorrent that I even suggested that washing oneself off in the shower if you ran out of toilet paper was completely normal, as if a shower wasn’t just a gigantic bidet in the grand scheme of things. For me it was abhorrent that she was so stupid and brainwashed by society for thinking it wasn’t appropriate. We hit a natural impasse.
Not only did I just stop communicating with her but I stopped using that personal profile. Because it hit me full force how much more different I was than the people I was associating with. It didn’t matter if it was friends and family, I didn’t fit.
In fact, I didn’t fit with any of these people for a long time – but I kept holding onto those relationships out of obligation, something I should’ve dealt with much earlier.
Making the Life on Milo’s Farm profile
That feeling of not fitting in is something I am very used to. Before I knew what an introvert was, I felt it deeply in my soul. I can remember from as early as Grade 1, that whenever we were required to do group work with other students, I would deliberately wait for everyone else to group up so I would be forced to work alone.
I remember at that age thinking, “why do I have to group up with people who won’t do any work and who’ll just take the credit for work I do?” I loathed group work, loathed public speaking, and could spend an entire lunchtime in the library. I was a popular kid and had ‘lots of friends’ but only because social convention said I was abnormal if I didn’t.
When I finally read the description of an introverted person as a teenager, it was like I finally read something that explained me so succinctly.
One of the reasons I moved onto a new profile was because I wanted to post what I wanted to post and not have someone from my current following complain about it.
If I wanted to post pictures of my horse, I didn’t want to have an entirely separate profile for it (even though I do, just because!) One of my so called friends once said to me, ” I don’t want to see about your chickens and eggs all the time” and I thought, I don’t want to see about your fitness goals or your kids all the time but I still support you.
Surprise surprise, that person now has chickens and eggs and has moved to off-grid living, and when they speak about their transition it’s like they discovered it….
It bothered me that the things I actually enjoyed, my animals, my homestead, cooking, baking, going horse riding, having a garden, going shooting, etc, were things the majority of people I was associating with actually didn’t even like. I had nobody like-minded to share things with.
I can’t even remember how I started the profile to be honest, but I did. And I started transitioning to using that more and more. Now I use it as my main social media and I have worked really hard on getting it this far.
Defining myself as a homesteader
So I started the profile, and started posting the things I actually did in real life. Working in the garden, doing chores, tending to my animals, making projects with my husband, etc, etc. And more and more people became interested, and more and more people asked questions, and more and more people liked and followed.
That’s when that light bulb moment came. I realised that the things I liked, spent a lot of time thinking about and learning about, was homesteading, and self-sufficiency, and self-reliance, and traditional skills.
I realised that this was me. This was my niche. This was what I spent so much time on.
I’m a shooter. I don’t speak to people other than a select few who are also shooters, about shooting. And I would attest that probably 98% of people I know don’t know I’m a licensed firearm owner. Why? Because in Australia there’s this perception that nobody owns guns and its an ‘American’ thing. Yes there is, and yes we do. And I enjoy it.
I also raise and grow my own food. My family rises and grows their own food. My parents still use traditional methods to smoke and cure meat for the family (them two, my sister and I and our spouses).
It is entirely normal to walk into my parents house during this time and see a butchered pig in the bathtub ready to be made on the spit.
It is entirely normal to see my mum cooking a meal using offal, because there is no waste.
It is entirely normal to eat traditional foods from their country, because this is how we eat – using the old techniques that was passed on to them through preserving food in winters in Eastern Europe.
I realised then, that I was a homesteader. I realised then, that the way I lived my life for so long, was the way most homesteaders do.
And whilst homesteading in Australia isn’t new – I don’t think the identity of a homesteader is as clearly defined as it is in North America. It seems like such a ‘new’ term being used here but the principles of what a homesteader is remains the same.
And then came the blog…
The blog didn’t happen straight away. It did start off as a free wordpress.com gig first, as I was being cautious about my enthusiasm on writing it.
Like I said earlier, I had 4 or 5 blogs prior to this one that ran out of steam after a while because I had no long term interest. I remember reading other blogs of successful bloggers and learning a lot about defining a niche and finding a niche. I always thought I’d found it, but I never did.
And this is why those other blogs fizzled out.
The reason this niche works, is its because I feel it is truly me, and allows me to express myself openly and without limitations.
So I started writing, and researching topics I wanted to discuss, and making lists of things to write about. It was easy. It was so much easier than anything I had written before. I now have 100 posts written, but I easily have another 100 post ideas listed on my word doc about things I’d like to write about.
It feels like with this blog, there is an endless amount I can write about and give perspective on and in an uniquely Australian way. I get so much joy from writing so naturally that I often find myself writing in free moments. Sometimes I just start writing, and next minute I have this great piece about something I didn’t realise I was thinking about, and other times I pick a topic I may not know a lot about and delve right into it.
And that’s the kicker. It’s the sheer fact that thoughts on homesteading and self-reliance and self-sufficiency and off-grid living and preparedness and all those other related themes are things I think about, a lot.
I think about pantry stockpiling.
I think about food security.
I think about personal safety.
I think about independence and less reliance on society.
I think about growing and raising my own food.
I think about preserving it.
I think about cooking from scratch.
I think about being prepared.
I think about all these things. I think about them more than I don’t think about them. And I didn’t realise how much I thought about them until someone asked me about them and next thing we were talking for 2 hours and I couldn’t stop.
And the same applies to writing about them. I can write about them because I live this life and I think about this life and I am living this life. It is me.
I waited until I hit the 12 month mark with the blog. there was a period when I started the Youtube channel where I didn’t blog, but that was mostly due to how busy we were at the time due to storms and damage and getting content out for the vlog.
Conversely, since I’ve been writing more I notice I’ve found less time to film, but also, it has been a particularly uneventful time as we’ve had unseasonably more rain during this period meaning many of the projects planned have had to be briefly delayed.
I have no doubt I will get into a routine soon enough, where I can vlog and blog a little more equally, but for now I feel as long as I am writing and getting things out there the better it will be for the blog.
So what is next?
I recently did a short 5 part series on Social Media for Homesteaders which had great success and definitely increased viewership on the blog. I will definitely like to do more, on different topics.
I have been focusing so much on my Instagram strategy that I have yet to define one for my blog, but I plan on doing that soon. However, I would like to do more series, start writing some ebooks, release some free content in the form of checklists and downloadables, do more media and podcasts and who knows, maybe even release one ourselves!
Life on Milo’s Farm is a brand identity for me and my husband and our lives, and so it has to work a little more cohesively. I would eventually love to be able to make money from blogging, and I don’t hesitate to say that.
For now though, I will continue to develop the brand and develop content. There’s a few big changes coming to the business side of things as we run a small soap studio off the homestead and that is going to be expanded shortly. I would like to increase my email list and get more frequent readers.
All of these are long-term goals that will come; I just need to make sure I plan for it.
With that expansion, Life on Milo’s Farm is growing and getting better. There will be more available for people to buy off the homestead, and more content to develop with the changes to business. I am excited about how this is progressing, as my ultimate goal would be to leave corporate Australia when this becomes viable enough.
I hope you enjoy the blog. If you are a reader, I appreciate you and appreciate the time you take from your life to read what I am doing and how I do it. Every click and every piece of engagment, every comment and like and love is all going towards developing the Life on Milo’s Farm brand and I truly do thank all of you for your positive feedback and the enjoyment you bring to my life.
Here’s to another 100!