It has been a whole year since I sat down with my tablet, on yet another lonely afternoon while Leo was sleeping away the hours, and set up this very blog. Little did I know back then where I would be in a years time. I had no idea that something that was just meant to fill the hour or two in the afternoon while Leo had his nap would become such a big part of my life.
From the moment I hit publish on my first ever post
, I caught the blogging bug. I love having a place to document Leo’s little life and all the things we do as a family. My blog has been a great way for me to seek parenting advice as well as vent and offload when Leo has been going through yet another difficult phase
or something has been getting me down
I have learnt so so much in my first year of blogging. There is a lot more to running a blog than just writing posts and I feel like I am learning new things all the time. Although my blog is now a whole year old, I still feel like a newbie sometimes. I may still feel like I am finding my feet in this busy area of the world wide web but I am enjoying being a blogger more than I could ever have imagined.
To commemorate my virtual baby Naptime Natter’s first year in the blogosphere but to also show bloggers just starting out what it is really like in the early days, here are my highs and lows from one year of blogging..
People not only reading but also commenting on my posts.
Finding a space to grow and nurture my love for writing.
Creating posts full of happy memories I can share with Leo when he is older.
Receiving supportive comments from lovely readers when I have been going through difficult times.
Having people comment on my posts saying they know exactly how I feel and thanking me for showing them they are not alone.
Never receiving a negative/hurtful comment on any of my posts (so far!).
I am passionate about women receiving honest advice and support about breastfeeding and my open letter to new breastfeeding mums
has had lots of comments and is the most read post on my blog.
Bagging my first ever sponsored post
in November and earning my first bit of cash from blogging.
Having a place to store all my family photos but also have the days out written up alongside them, never to be forgotten.
Interacting with lots of lovely bloggers on Twitter.
Discovering and reading lots of other blogs and finding out more about the wonderful people who write them.
Developing basic HTML knowledge and other techy stuff I couldn’t do before.
Being given a reason to explore and try to improve my photography skills.
Having my content shared by others on Twitter/Facebook etc.
The lows (because nothing is perfect)
Having to blog using my phone/tablet for the first 6 months of blogging as I didn’t have a laptop.
My blogger account is missing some vital bit of code so I am unable to use shareaholic, add pinnable image code or feature recommended reading at the bottom of my posts (this is so frustrating).
Struggling with low page views in the early days.
Blogger envy – it’s a real thing.
Feeling like no one really ‘got me’ for a while.
Wondering why everyone else was getting sponsored posts and I wasn’t.
Very slow growth of Twitter followers.
The never ending blog to do list.
PR companies contacting me and offering me work only to ignore me when I emailed them back.
Spending a long time on a post and it receiving no comments.
Seeing newer bloggers than me getting amazing stats/opportunities and wondering what I was doing wrong.
Having to take all my photos on my phone as my camera is broken.
Not being able to afford to go self hosted.
Being restricted by the many limitations of a blogger blog.
Feeling like I haven’t found my ‘tribe’ yet.
Reaching out for blogging help/advice on Twitter and no one replied.
Regretting my choice of blog name.
And some more highs (because you should always end on a positive note)
Being a featured blogger on pretty much all of the linkies I join in with.
Trespass asking me to review
something for them.
Putting myself out there and asking brands if they want to collaborate.
Reaching over 1000 followers on Twitter.
Co hosting one of my favourite linkies with one of my favourite bloggers.
Writing monthly Leo updates
for us to look back on as he grows.
Seeing the same people coming back and reading my new posts every week.
The moment I realised blogging is supposed to be fun and started paying less attention to my stats.
Nearly making my husband cry when he read this post
about us moving away from Swansea (he’s a tough nut to crack as well!).
Feeling like I have finally found a hobby I love and might actually be good at.
Realising I am by no means the only parent out there who finds this whole raising a child thing difficult. For every shiny advert of a mum changing her baby’s nappy with ease there is a #pblogger writing about the time their baby ran off mid change, fell off the changing table or ate it’s own poo.
The best thing about blogging is reading other parents real life stories and discovering you are not the only one who is winging it, not even close.
Plans for year 2…
* I would love to be able to find some spare cash and go self hosted, I am not sure how much longer I can keep dealing with all the problems Blogger keeps throwing at me.
* Continue to try and grow my Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest following.
* Keep reaching out to brands and hopefully get some more sponsored posts/reviews lined up.
* Rename my blog and have a bit of a blog rebrand/make over.
* If going self hosted is still not likely then invest in a Blogger theme.
* Start up a mailing list and create a weekly newsletter.
* Keep coming up with interesting content but don’t be afraid to write posts just for me as well.
* Vlog more often and try and grown my confidence as well as YouTube subscribers.
* Keep interacting and chatting to other bloggers.
* Grow some balls and go to a blogging conference.
Wow, this post turned out to be an epically long one! Well, it has been an eventful first year and I didn’t want to miss anything out.
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, share and comment on my blog over this past year. It really means so much to me that people read my posts and seem to be interested in what I have to say. I really appreciate everything you readers do for me and if it weren’t for you reading my posts I would just be a crazy person sat writing to myself, so thank you :).
Have you recently had a blog birthday too? How did you find your first year of blogging? Maybe you are new to this, how are you finding your blogging experience so far? I would love to know.
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