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!
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 parent.co 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!