My blog birthday: What I did (and didn’t) achieve in a year of blogging….

The years of my children’s lives are flying by, as everyone said they would. None more so than my third baby, www.mummuddlingthrough.com. So, from one cliche to the next, this post is to wish my blog a happy first birthday.

It was a year ago today that an idea morphed into a reality, and I tentatively stepped into the unknown world of blogging.

image

I really have learnt so much more than I could have anticipated – about technology, about friendship, about parenting and about the inexplicable obsession that is creating and nurturing a blog.

It’s not all sunshine and roses though. If I’m totally honest there are goals I didn’t achieve. I mean, it took me forever to work out how to get those sodding Nuffnang advertising codes embedded in the html of wordpress, only to face the facts that no one seemed to want to place an ad on my site. Yep, bummer.

Tots100? Tots500? I once came close, at 578…not such a catchy number. I have long since then got back up in the seven hundreds…My sidebar badge remains sad and blank. I’ve stopped looking at my ranking each month in hope.

My imaginary blog award acceptance speech stayed where it belonged…in my imagination.

Parent blogger club ranking? That’s on an ever declining direction.

Huffington post? Don’t be daft…

My Klout score is 62. What that means is anyone’s guess. I still can’t work out how to give a K+.

As for Google Analytics, I still can’t even get beyond the log in. Honestly,  I kid you not. If anyone can help me with that please do in comments below.

But, in all of these things I have fallen foul of the biggest no no of blogging – comparing yourself to others.

Lowered stats and rankings are a reflection of the blog-life balance I did achieve at some point during that 12 months of blogging. The die hard approach to the blog I started the year with was certainly not sustainable for me, so I’ll take the lack of world domination in return for a happy day to day existence with my family and friends – not blogging at every single opportunity.

image

Although I did not win any awards, the kind words about my presence in the blogging arena around nomination time were enough to spur me on. It made me see my words have touched people, and maybe it’s not all about the glory of winning after all. And, how does an anonymous blogger deal with photographs of award acceptance anyway? Rocking a Sia wig? Refusing to be pictured, Mariah Carey Diva stylee?

Although at times I have questioned its limiting effect, I am proud I have stuck by my guns of what feels right to me. I remain anonymous on my blog. I do not have a facebook page. This makes me different, but will not hold me back in what I deem to be success.

Whilst I have dabbled in Google plus, and pinterest, I still don’t really ‘get’ their impact on the blog. Yet I have fallen wholeheartedly in love with Instagram, and reignited a passion for creating funny, beautiful and ‘just plain old day to day’ images. It has allowed me to let you into the visual element of me and my life, whilst retaining that all important anonymity I believe in for myself and my children.

And then, there’s Twitter. A unique world in which you can tell an author you loved their book, share an article  you loved, stalk a celebrity, lose hours of your life. Yet all in a somewhat more appealing, ‘target audience vibe’ than the ‘mainstream’ feel of facebook (where your great Aunt, work colleagues and old school friends will know all about your drunken status update at the click of a button). A year of blogging saw my twitter followers grow from 0 to 7000ish. That’s about 6880 more than my personal twitter account. How or why…I’m still trying to work that one out. But, I enjoy the freedom I feel to make the odd bit of Mumsy-banter amongst fellow members of my demographic, without fear of being pushed off the cliff of social acceptance (as I may on my actual Twitter account – the one with 20 followers).

I have created an online community for Mums like me through the #coolmumclub, which has been hard work but has created a tight knight gang and a Thursday buzz – it’s made me feel I have generated something special. In an uncanny similarity to Motherhood , being a Linky host has turned out to be the hardest but best best job of my blog life. I couldn’t have done it without the kindred spirit that is Talya aka Motherhood the Real Deal. My Sister from another mister – who knew you could form such a bond without ever meeting. (Update, we have now met and she’s even better in real life!).

I have used that platform to showcase the bloggers that inspire me through #coolmumclub: Meet the members, make me smile and teach me new things through their words. It gave me so much satisfaction to watch them connect with new audiences and be showered with praise through my network. It’s a little gift back to you, from me.

I even attended a conference, just two days ago in fact, and it was epic. Those blog names on the screen turned out to be one cool bunch of girls in real life too. But more on that another time.

The brands I have collaborated with have given me a few perks – days out with my family, goodies for the kids, a little spending money for me, an unemployed Mum. We started off low key with cleaning products, but big names such as Mamas & Papas, The Gro Company, Velux, and Disney have stunned me with their will to work with little old me.

I have also supported Mums who are fighting to get new businesses off the ground, by giving them a little promotion free of charge and with my best wishes. I also spoke out about issues I felt strongly about – The Syrian Refugee Crisis,  Healthy EatingCancer Survivor Awareness .

I hope I haven’t sold out. My blogging strategy has kept me on the straight and narrow, so that I don’t feel my blog is overrun by advertising. Mondays are reserved for an ‘all me’ post which I have learnt to focus on promoting through linkies when I can. And, in the words of the wonderful Trista from Domesticated Momster, I have let go of the linky guilt. In all honesty, I have found some days it distracts from the writing, and the comments you receive back (or don’t as the case may be) don’t feel good value in an exchange for an evening of your life. It happens.

Through my blog profits (of which I won’t be running off into early retirement anytime soon) I have supported three main charities close to my heart this year: Sands, Orphans for Orphans and Hemsley Conservation Centre. That’s something I’m quietly proud of.

image

My content has varied, it’s a pretty random combination of Parenty, Blogging and Interiors- but it’s consistently been what’s on my mind as a real life Mum. We’ve gone through some stuff together – the sleep deprivation, the battles of feeding the kids. I’ve written some really, really rubbish posts. And then, there were one or two which seemed to go down a storm. Recreating those gems is clearly the winning formula, but as a busy Mum of two, the magic just isn’t always there. It’s a sad fact. But, until the Blog days are over, I’ll keep churning them out and letting you lot judge for yourself.

And there is the stuff you lot gave me. Ideas, inspiration, a huge credit card bill (just kidding) as I rushed off to buy the latest stuff you had reviewed and raved about.

You helped me with rainy day activities for the kids. I found some incredible hair styling products (Motherhood the real Deal). First birthday present ideas (Mummy and monkeys). Valentines day gifts on a budget. A perfect holiday destination (Kiddieholidays). A fairy blogson (beauty baby & me). A fairy door (Another Mum in London). You moved me(Absolutely Prabulous). You became my team mate (Motherhood The Real Deal). I found Friendship (Single Mum Speaks, New Mummy Blog). We bonded over virtual fishfinger playdates and with wine (Gumdrops and the bear). You filled me with hope (Little Hearts Big Love). I watched your blogs grow and succeed and I felt a excited about how far you have come (Mum in Brum). You educated me in this strange world of social media and blog etiquette (Cuddle Fairy). You provided me with  a sense of camaraderie (Life Love & Dirty Dishes). A replacement for the work banter that I have missed. Thank you.

And yet, it seems there is always more around every corner.

I think it’s fair to say that what I gained in my year of blogging far exceeds my failures. After all, success is only a measure of your own aspirations. I aspired to enjoy a year or so raising my children, whilst dabbling in a bit of blogging; We did it.

x MMT

 

Share Button
(Visited 200 times, 1 visits today)

39 thoughts on “My blog birthday: What I did (and didn’t) achieve in a year of blogging….

  1. Mrs Lighty Reply

    Ah this is fab!! And you have achieved a hell of a lot more in your first year than I have (my equivalent post is coming up in a few weeks time if you want to compare and feel better about your blog!! ). I thought you’d been blogging for a lot longer than a year, and that in itself is a huge success in my eyes. Happy bloggy burthday, MMT! Xxx

    1. MMT Reply

      Thanks Nicola…It’s really gone by in a flash. Look forward to reading your post soon! xxx

  2. Mrs Lighty Reply

    *birthday rather, I appear to have been on the bloggy beer!! Xxx

  3. @fitttrain Reply

    Happy 1st Blog Birthday!! Reading this I am excited for you and your developing blog baby, and inspired! I am only dipping my toe in the blogging pond and have no idea what I am doing or if I am doing it right…. but looking back at your first year you never know. Maybe I will accomplish a quarter of what you have, and that would be amazing!
    Thanks for sharing your ups and downs xx

    1. MMT Reply

      Ah thanks Jess! It’s too easy to look at the negatives, I can’t believe how quick the year has gone and how much I have earnt along the way. xx

  4. Kim Carberry Reply

    I think you have done amazingly well in your first year! Congrats! Here’s to many more years x

    1. MMT Reply

      Thank you Kim! x

  5. New Mummy Blog Reply

    Happy Blog Birthday! You’ve really done so well and as you say #coolmumclub is just fab, we all love it and come back week after week and miss it when you’re off. I think blogging is about the friendships and support, because lets face it we do sometimes write posts and then the comments provide some reassurance and answers to our questions. It was fab to meet you at the weekend, and thank you for the mention. X

    1. MMT Reply

      Ah thanks lovely!! Loved meeting you too!! So glad you came, was a day to remember… Xx

  6. […] My blog birthday – what I did (and didn’t achieve) in a year of blogging  […]... motherhoodtherealdeal.com/parenthood/welcome-coolmumclub-week-31
  7. Louise Reply

    I think you’ve done amazingly well in your first year and managing to stay true to yourself and to what feels right for you is the most important lesson any of us can learn with blogging. It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed, to start comparing, to let it take over our lives but you always seem to be great at getting the balance right. I’m quite impressed by all the opportunities that you’ve had come your way over this last year and 7000+ Twitter followers is amazing! It was so lovely to finally get to meet you in person last weekend. Thank you so much for the lovely mention too and a huge happy birthday to your “third baby” – looking forward to seeing where the next year takes you x #coolmumclub

  8. Mummy Muckups (Anna) Reply

    Super honest; totally get it. But can I just say, I cannot believe you have only been around a year. Yay you!! You are FLYING!!! Bugger the scores or comparisons or whatever. #coolmumclub

  9. Back With A Bump Reply

    I love your honesty in this post. I have yet to tackle the technicalities of blogging. I don’t get Stumble Upon or Klout and wouldn’t get into Tots 5000! Its easy to get hung up on linkys and stats! #coolmumclub

  10. Mrs Lighty Reply

    Just popping back from #coolmumclub…I still think you’ve achieved much more than me, ha!! Xxx

  11. Single Mum Speaks Reply

    This almost made me tear up a little! What a lovely post on what you’ve achieved (and I got a sneaky mention too-all the braps!) Also a great reminder that we all have to choose our own path and not just do something because other people are, whether that’s Facebook, HuffPo, linkies or whatever. Happy blog birthday, and I’m lifting a metaphorical glass of bubbles to many more to come! Oh, and to friendship! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      And to Topshop jumpsuits! xxx

  12. Nat Reply

    What a fantastic look back! A great year of blogging, many more to come I’m sure

  13. Jordanne Lee Reply

    Happy 1st Blog Birthday! I would never have imagined you were only blogging for a year! You have achieved so much, well done! You should be beaming with pride for yourself mamma! #coolmumclub

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  14. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Yay happy blog birthday my blogging & #coolmumclub BFF – you know I always got your back. Thanks for the mention my sister from another mister! xxxx

  15. ljdove23 Reply

    Wow I can’t believe it has only been a year! You have achieved so much, you should be so proud of yourself! Happy 1st birthday to you! #coolmumclub

  16. reimerandruby Reply

    Happy blog birthday! my blog is also a year old this month. Initially I was so keen on statistics as well but I got frustrated… now, I just kept on writing what comes to my mind without even checking my statistics as I don’t want to compare myself with other bloggers. I believe each of us is unique and has our own style and idea of writing, and to me, that in itself is an achievement and is something we should all be proud of. #coolmumclub

  17. Helen Reply

    Wow, what a beautiful post. Happy bloggiversary, you made it! It was SO lovely to meet you in the flesh – minus a giant Sia wig! Sorry it took me about a year to work it all out. You are so intriguingly anonymous you should really just be a ‘symbol’. You’ve achieved so much and what I think your real strength is – you’re a bloody nice gal and it comes through all you do. That coupled with your lack of B.S. = winning.
    One day that fish-finger and wine playdate will be for real. xxx
    PS> I’m with you on some of the tech stuff!

    1. MMT Reply

      Hmm what would my symbol be though?! A wine glass probably 😉 or the obvious shades emoji! Thanks for this incredibly moving comment. Moments like this are what makes it all worthwhile. Online friends… Who knew xxx

  18. charlotte Reply

    Congratulations on reaching . You have achieved so much in your first year, it’s nice to hear from someone so real about blogging and not the big timers that create a dream of blogging. Even though deep down we all wish we were like them #coolmumclub

  19. thefrenchiemummy Reply

    A great blogging journey in my opinion? Let’s forget the ranks, the stats… You achieved so much in so little time. And you seem to have remained honest with yourself. If I do as well as you in a year time, happy days!!! Thanks for having dreating #coolmumclub. Love it!
    #coolmumclub

  20. thishappenedtometoday Reply

    Wow, I really enjoyed reading this. I wonder how I will feel in a year’s time, I wonder if I will make it to a year? Thanks for sharing. And massive thanks for hosting #coolmumclub I’m sure it take heaps of time but it is much appreciated. Build a community link this is something you should be very proud of. xx

  21. Mess and merlot Reply

    “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Keep doing what makes you happy- it’s been an AWESOME years work! Xx #coolmumclub

  22. wendy Reply

    I thought you had been blogging for way longer a year!I can’t actually believe my blog is older than yours. You have achieved so much in just a year, go you!I’m so glad you decided to set up #coolmumclub it’s one of my all time favourite linkys. Good luck for year 2 🙂 xx #coolmumclub

  23. Lucy (@Lucy_at_home) Reply

    Happy Birthday! Haha! You’ve done LOADS! I have only been blogging a couple of months and the thought of doing anything close to hosting a linky or working with brands is incomprehensible to me! I think you should feel really proud – you’re obviously good at what you do. And it’s really lovely that you’ve named the other bloggers who’ve helped you along the way. But the thing I love most, is this: ” I’ll take the lack of world domination in return for a happy day to day existence with my family and friends”. #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Thanks Lucy… It took a while to realise! Xx

  24. anywaytostayathome Reply

    You have achieved so much in a year! Mainly you just started and that is a whole heap load more than a lot of people, and then you kept going when so many other blogs don’t make it passed the one year mark. Happy blogday!! #coolmumclub

  25. Mum in Brum Reply

    LOVED reading this! You’ve achieved so much within a year that you should be proud of – I really don’t know how you keep on top of #coolmumclub, but you do and we all love you for it. I nodded along to every single item on that list at the beginning – I’ve also stopped looking at rankings, have no idea about Google Analytics and frankly have given up trying to understand Klout. Well done on finding a blog-life balance, that’s something that’s really important to me too. And I’ve also realised that keeping on top of ten linkies each week is just not sustainable – so now I just do my three favourites and dabble every now and then with others. You’re posts are always entertaining and you’re a fab writer – that’s success as a blogger. Was ace to meet you btw – you were exactly as I thought you’d be xx #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Thank you Nat xxx what a lovely comment

  26. Mother of Teenagers Reply

    What a milestone that first year must be. I am still in such early stages but like you being anonymous and thus not doing facebook is a key part of my blog strategy. I have doubted it sometimes and thought how can people identify with a faceless entity but blogging is more about the voice than the face and blogs like yours with the same values, inspire me to continue on the path I set out on. Am trying not to be consumed by blogging but to enjoy writing, reading and sharing. Thanks for sharing what you have learnt and congratulations. #coolmumclub

  27. bridiebythesea Reply

    Ah this is fab! You have done so much in one year and it’s a real inspiration to me. I honestly don’t know how you linky hosts do it, but thank you for hosting #coolmumclub, it’s wonderful to finally join in. I am working through the blog-life balance at the moment too, the temptation to blog all the time is always there but as you say, it’s just not sustainable long term! Thanks again and see you next Thurs xx

  28. Something Crunchy Mummy Reply

    You have done awesome things in a year with your blog. Your linky is amazing! #coolmumclub xx

  29. crummymummy1 Reply

    Blogging is about so much more than the numbers isn’t it! Happy blogiversary #coolmumclub

  30. Silly Mummy Reply

    Happy blog birthday! I think you’ve achieved loads in a year, & I agree that having a balance is important. I have no clue on klout scores or parent leader board either, & the Tots scores seem to periodically go nuts, which is quite amusing but possibly undermines their value! #coolmumclub

  31. Hannah (tuesdayschildblog) Reply

    Woohoo Happy Blog Birthday! I’m just starting out and feel a little clueless and overwhelmed but if I achieve half of what you have in a year I’ll be chuffed. Look forward to reading more of your posts. x

Leave a Reply