Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday MumofThree World,
Happy birthday to you.
It is precisely two years ago today that I left my kids slumped in front of the telly, went upstairs to read my friend Uley Girl’s blog, clicked on a couple of links and created my own blog on a whim.
I started my blog to share my kids’ funny questions with the world and quickly moved onto sharing pretty much everything about my kids and our lives. During the first year the blog grew very slowly, but built up a small, dedicated group of readers – mainly people I knew, particularly parents from school. Looking back, I think I wrote some pretty good posts in the first year, which very few people read.
Two years on, the question posts have pretty much dried up. The kids still ask funny questions from time to time, but not enough for regular blogposts.
Two years on, my family is still at the absolute heart of the blog. I write about what makes me happy, what makes me sad, what makes me proud and what makes me downright irritated. I write about things that make me laugh and things that make shake my head in disbelief and despair. Sometimes I even cry when I look back at my own blogposts and re-read them.
People tell me that my blog makes them laugh and cry and to me that’s what matters. I am recording my family’s precious memories and other people are sharing them with us and reacting in the same way that I would.
When my blog turned 1 last year, I’d had 12,500 page views all time. Now I get that many in a month. At a year, I’d just started to get 100 page views a day on some days and I was gobsmacked that so many people would read my ramblings. Over the last year, my blog has grown hugely – hitting 43,000 page views all time at 18 months and now it’s up to 115,000 views.
Just after my blog’s first birthday I started joining in with blogging ‘linkies’ like Silent Sunday at Cosmic Girlie The Gallery at Sticky Fingers and Saturday is Caption Day at Mammasaurus These are a great way of interacting with other bloggers. That and good old Twitter, through which I have made actual blog friends.
I started reviewing books on my blog which, to be fair, very people read. But I love books and I love talking about books, sharing my passion and recommending reads. So I do it on my blog whether or not people read it.
I also started writing about my daughter’s outfits. It has surprised me that people do read these – I assumed it would only be people with smallish girls that would read them, but lots of people seem to be interested in little girls’ outfits. One day I will even try to work out how to put these on Pinterest. One day, I’m not rushing into anything.
This was the year I went to Britmums Live and met the people I’d been ‘talking’ to for the past year and discovered they are every bit as nice and funny in real life as they are online.
A year ago, I hadn’t written any reviews or sponsored posts or received any of the freebies bloggers seem to be snowed under with. Well, I’ve done a few now, but not many. I like to review products that my family would genuinely be interested in, but nothing else. I like to think this means my blogging integrity is well and truly intact. But it also means that the opportunities just aren’t there for people who blog about tweens, unlike baby and toddler bloggers.
Talking of tweens, I started my blog two years ago to show that ‘big kids could be funny too’. But big kids can be cute, big kids can make you proud, big kids can make you worry, big kids have big issues to deal with… And I feel all of this gets rather lost in the cuteness of the babies and toddlers in the blogosphere. So I approached Britmums with an idea and they liked it – now I produce a round-up of the best blogs on teenagers and tweens every month for Britmums
One of the highlights of the year was supporting Emma aka Crazy with twins and the S2S2D blogging campaign as she underwent treatment for cancer. Who would have guessed that me tweeting the local radio about Emma would have led to a whole media circus around her, when she appeared on TV, radio and the press all over the world.
Another highlight was getting 100 word articles, adapted from my blogposts, published in
the book 100 Little Words on Parenthood by Charlie Plunkett. I have rarely been so proud of myself for anything and this was the first time I dared share with my husband and parents (none of whom like me blogging) something I had written. Because if it’s in a book, it must be good, right?
This was the year I joined Tots 100 and watched my blog gradually creep up from 907 to 700 and something, 600 and something, 500 and something… right to inside the actual top 100 For those who don’t know, Tots 100 is a chart of parent blogs. There are over 5,000 blogs on there and I have been inside the top 100, although I’m currently ranked 101.
But the biggest highlight of my year came one evening in March when I heard the surprising news that I’m a finalist in the MAD Blog Awards in the schooldays category. Nearly five months on, it still surprises me sometimes. I literally couldn’t believe that enough people would read my blog, enjoy it and take the trouble to vote for me. But I am grateful to every one of them. The finals are next month and I know what my chances of winning are. Nil. But I am just so happy to even be there and nothing can ever take away the fact that I’m a 2013 Mad Blog Awards finalist.
Thank you all for reading, commenting and voting and for making this such a brilliant year for my blog. I really appreciate you all taking the time to read and comment on my posts. Here’s to my blog’s terrible twos. I wonder what the next year will bring?