It’s the parent bloggers’ monthly highlight. Or lowlight (is that even a word?). The mysterious publication of the Tots 100 rankings. For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, it’s basically a chart of parent blogs. There are about 5,000 people signed up. Every month there are people celebrating and people getting upset wondering why they’ve slipped down and others reassuring them their blog is great and it doesn’t make sense…
As with anything blog or social media related, I was late to the party. I first signed up almost a year after I’d started blogging. There were 3,600 blogs on the list and I came in at 904, which I was very pleased with. It put me in the top 25%. I never thought I’d make the top 500, that would be too awesome to even contemplate.
Well I made it to 515 in November last year and 417 in December. I literally couldn’t believe I could reach those dizzy heights – especially as the number of blogs on the list was growing all the time.
The day the December results came out, I was lunching with my blogging friend (and guru, she knows SO MUCH MORE about blogging and social networking than me) Stressy Mummy. We were discussing stats. She was being a little cagey, trying to protect me from The Truth. That my stats weren’t that good. She didn’t want me to feel inadequate because she’s a good friend. But I needed to know. Just how many views a day was she getting?
Five hundred a day. FIVE HUNDRED???? She had got a 1,000 a couple of times. At the time I was averaging something in the region of 150-200 a day. Stressy Mummy had assured me that a pure parenting blog (no reviews, no craft, no recipes) would get in the region of 100-150 views a day. Well that was me. Pure parenting. No reviews, no craft, no recipes. I’d gone as far as I was going to get.
As we ate our lunch, the December Tots 100 rankings came through. Stressy Mummy had made it to 101! Her highest ever. I was so pleased for her, she absolutely deserved it. I was pleased with my 417 too. Not bad for someone who has no idea about search engine optimisation, who uses crap photos and doesn’t dare touch the design of her blog for fear of the whole thing imploding.
That very day, I got my highest ever views – 250.
From there it grew and grew and grew. The views went up and the all-important Tots 100 rank went up too.
But in my head I was like an anorexic looking in the mirror. I didn’t see the big overall page views, I just saw the fact that the post I published today had only had 70 views. Today. Never mind that in a few days that would be so much higher.
Getting to 190 in the Tots 100 in February was a big milestone. Inside the top 200! This is where all the amazing product reviews come flooding in… And invites to events… Oh wait, I’ve got some spam email in bad English asking me to promote beach bodies. Sigh.
This is the point where my husband started to take notice. ‘So what are you going to do? How are you going to get to the top 100?’
I’m never going to get to the top 100, I just don’t KNOW ENOUGH. I don’t know how to get people to read my blog, I don’t know how to make it pop up on Google.
So I did what I always did. I worked hard. I wrote a lot. I linked a lot. I read and commented a lot. I supported other bloggers and they supported me. Not because I wanted to make it to the top 100, but just because I enjoy writing and enjoy people reading what I write.
Oh, and I became a finalist in schooldays category of the MAD Blog Awards At that point my monthly page views were fluctuating between 7,500 and 8,500. From there they grew almost daily. They are now well over 13,000 a month. Today will probably be the day I hit 14,000. Do the maths. I’ve hit that unheard of 500 page views in a month. A couple of times I’ve even hit 600.
This month everything changed at Tots100. They were going to be measuring in different ways. People were nervous. They were going to use Klout. What WAS Klout even?! I thought I’d better have a look. It was depressing. My score was 10. TEN! My mother in law’s was 11. People I know who don’t tweet or blog were in the mid 20s. So I sorted it out – Twitter, blog, Instagram, Facebook. Pretty soon my score was 63. Which it turns out is a pretty good score. I got there in the nick of time.
And today my little blog, with its design which has never been updated and its crappy photos made it into the ACTUAL Tots100. Yes, I am number 100.
I got there through sheer hard work. But I also got there because people read what I write. I write a lot, but people still keep coming back and reading. And for that I am very grateful. Thank you all for your support. I really appreciate it. X