Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Blog Review of 2016 & Aims for 2017

Posts that bang on about how well people have done with their blog over the past few months don’t generally fill me with any great excitement. After all, every blog is different and one person’s view of success will be very different to another person’s.

But as it’s only a few days away from the new year it does seem like a sensible moment to have a look back at the past few months and have a ponder about the next few. If nothing else, hopefully it’ll give other bloggers some reassurance that not all blogs are read by thousands of people and that there are a whole load of us just writing stuff that virtually no one will read apart from their other half and their mum! So here goes…

2016 – The Year It All Began

Technically I started blogging about 14 years ago, but having had a 11 year gap in between, 2016 was the year that I became a proper blogger! It all started by writing a couple of fun stories on Facebook in an attempt to make some of my parent friends laugh. These went down fairly well and I got a bit of a buzz about other people enjoying what I wrote, so I set up a free Blogger account to write down funny things that came into my head in May!

It was really just something to do when my other half was at work (we work opposite shifts mostly) and the little one had gone to bed. I struggle to sit around doing nothing so blogging seemed like a quick and easy hobby to fill a few minutes here and there.

Blogger was easy and fun but I wanted something I could play around with a bit more so I bought a domain and went self-hosted on WordPress in July. I was pretty sure I would have got bored and given it all up by now, but six months on I’m still here typing random stuff to strangers! Fortunately now some of those strangers have become friends so it feels a little less odd now!

Has it Been a Success?

I would say it depends on how you define success. If you’re talking about popularity then no. If you’re talking about awards then no. If you’re talking about money then no. If you’re talking about critical acclaim then no. However, if you’re talking about your mum saying she laughed at one of your posts and receiving a ‘free’ watch then yes!

Proudest Moments

The Unmumsy Mum retweeted one of my posts once. Yes it was a piss take post about how badly my blog was doing but I say it still counts. I guess you could say it’s ironic that a post about how shit my blog is remains my most popular post!

To be fair I’ve had some lovely comments from people too. If it wasn’t for the comments I’d definitely have given it up by now I think! Dawn from Rhyming With Wine said she was a big fan once too. Dawn subsequently became one of my favourite people! And although I haven’t had any glittering awards I’ve won the blog of the week on Chucklemums, FartGlitter and EffitFriday a few times. They’re the real awards that count. Even if none of them technically exist any longer…

Other Blog-Adjacent Highlights

My blog itself has been as successful as a one-legged donkey at the Grand National and has a readership the size of the appaling 90s soap Eldorado. But putting that to one side my writing has appeared in a few places in the past 3 months. I was on the Huff Post a few times, which impressed a few of my friends who assumed it was a hard thing to get accepted for. I’ve also written regularly for the website in exchange for actual real-life legal tender money. Although it’s not exactly a fortune I could conceivably bath in the money I’ve made. Assuming I converted it all into 2p pieces and only wanted to cover the soles of my feet and my bum cheeks.

I’ve also managed to set up a comedy parenting website called You Have To Laugh with my blogging buddy Fran from Whinge Whinge Wine which has now been plodding along for 5 weeks. It isn’t yet rivalling the likes of Mumsnet or Netmums – or even Caravan Weekly, but to have even got it up and running in the space of 6 days was a big achievement! I’ve probably got more chance of achieving fame and fortune from training our garden fox to juggle than I have out of the website, but I’m still pleased with how it’s going!

I’ve also met lots of awesome people online and in real life and had a few conversations with the actual Nanny Plum.

Blogging Lowlights of 2016

Looking at my page view stats and assuming they must be broken as they are so low, only to find that everything is working fine. Repeatedly. On a daily basis.

Yes, stats are a tiny, tiny part of the blogging experience but some days you feel you could have your writing read by more people if you printed it out, put it in a bottle and launched it out to sea!

Goals For 2017

1. To reach the number of page views on any given day as those bloggers that post a message on a bloggers’ forum saying that they’ve had the worst day of page views EVER!

2. To keep making a few quid out of writing for other people.

3. To make a few more people laugh both on my own blog and on the website. After all, parenting can be hard work and sometimes to get through it You Have To Laugh! Yes, that was another plug.

4. To keep getting on well with the new people I’ve met through blogging and meet even more. It’s nice to talk to other people that are parents and who have a passion for writing.

If I achieve all of the above I think I’ll be doing well! I won’t be setting any targets for Twitter / Instagram / Facebook followers as in the grand scheme of things they really aren’t important to me. I’d much rather have 20 people that read my stuff and enjoyed it than 10,000 people that couldn’t give a rat’s arse!

Most importantly I want to carry on enjoying the writing side of things. If I stop enjoying that then there’s no point in carrying on!

For all of you that have popped by my little blog over the past 6 months, left a nice comment, said hello (auto DMs don’t count!) liked or shared anything I’ve written a massive thank you to each and every one of you! I haven’t written for pleasure since primary school so to have the opportunity to write things down and to have people I’ve never even met IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES read and enjoy reading it is awesome!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and that 2017 is really kind to you, your families and your own blogs!

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12 thoughts on “Blog Review of 2016 & Aims for 2017

  • They sound like pretty awesome achievements to me! I started blogging in May this year also and still have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve never heard of your website before, I shall have a look now! Happy Christmas & New Year to you x #DreamTeam

    • Thanks Kerry! Have a lovely rest of 2016 and all the best for a brill new year!

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you! You’ve just brightened this germ ridden girl’s day. Your post is fabulous, honest, serious and funny all at the same time. Feeling a bit sad I’ve only just discovered you, but really looking forward to reading more of your blog in 2017! #DreamTeam x

    • Awww what a lovely comment! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoy the rest of the week! 2017 is going to be awesome I’m sure.

  • Aww this made me smile so much, mostly because I could’ve pretty much written it myself, ha!! I like your idea of putting blog posts in a bottle and sending them out to see, I might just try that myself…I think I might then double my daily readership!! 😉 I’m sorry I haven’t come across your blog too much before, especially as Dawn is a fan, as now I’m a big fan too!! And do you know what?! I think you’re doing just fine!! Thanks so much for linking up with #DreamTeam and Merry Twixmas!! 🙂

    • Another lovely comment! It’s been a good day! Thanks so much for being so nice – best of luck to you and your blog for 2017!

    • People do love their caravans though so it’s touch and go!

  • I have actual happy tears in my eyes reading this! I was happily nodding along and giggling – being all fangirl etc etc and then read that there stealth little mention!! I did squeak I tell you!! I think you have nailed it this year, and as the proud owner of zero free watches or 2p pieces in which to bathe, or highly amusing websites filled with funny people I totally salute you! *does a one person mexican wave* Here’s to 2017 – I hope it’s a brill one for you! Dx

    • See it’s those comments that make it all worthwhile!! We’ve both achieved some cool things this year so hopefully we’ll both nail it next year! Hopefully get to meet you again in February – for longer than 5 minutes this time too 😜

  • Just keep going, don’t check the stats daily and whatever you do….don’t ever post to a forum whinging about your worst ever day in terms of visitors! Keep on blogging.

  • How did I not see your blog before now! I love how refreshingly honest your post is, and what a giggle too. I completely get the ‘is it broken?’ when it comes down to stats. But as you say, having a small group of people who enjoy your writing is far better than having a giant following where no one reads anything you write. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Thank you for joining us for the #DreamTeam, and wishing you a very Happy New Year 🙂

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