10 years of blogging

Ten years ago, on 1st August 2011, I was reading my friend’s blog, when I realised I could just click a couple of things to create my own. And that was it. I spent a minute or two thinking of a name and my blog was born.

It was something I’d been vaguely thinking of doing for a while, as I was the first of my friends to have kids. I was always full of anecdotes and funny stories and even some advice. A couple of my friends had said I should share these, but I had no idea how to start a blog. But on that day, I did it on a complete whim and I genuinely don’t know if I would ever have started blogging if I hadn’t started then.

My kids were 10, 7 and 5 at the time, which made them quite ‘old’ in terms of blog kids. Most blogs were about babies and toddlers. At first, I shared the funny questions they asked, then I ran out of questions, so I started blogging about things that happened to us.

At first, I shared my blogposts on my personal Facebook page and a lot of my friends loved reading it. I had no idea how to get it out further into the big wide world. It was at least six months before I discovered networks like Britmums and Tots100. I joined Twitter and picked up a few more readers. I also discovered a whole world of other parent bloggers, some of whom became good friends and are still good friends to this day.

In those days, blogging mainly was just people’s anecdotes about life. It was a simpler time and in many ways I’m stuck in that simpler time and happy to be stuck there.

I loved writing my blog and I loved reading other people’s blogs. I would write at any time and just publish straightaway. I didn’t stack up draft posts and schedule them for a certain day or time. In fact, it took me a year to learn how to schedule posts! My photos were crap (yes, worse than they are now) or non-existent, but I didn’t mind. I was all about the writing and the anecdotes.

After about a year of blogging, I discovered linkies. For the non-bloggers, these are where you link your blogposts to someone else’s blog. Sometimes there is a subject for the linky and sometimes they are general. For a couple of years, I joined in with a lot of linkies. I dreamed that people reading my post on the linky would love it so much they would become regular readers of all my posts. And also share my blog with their massive social media followings. But what actually happened is I would spend two hours reading and commenting on other people’s blogs – often on subjects I wasn’t interested in and  with horrendous grammar – and I would get two or three views in return.

I really wanted to be a successful blogger. To me, success was just having lots of people read and enjoy my blog. It had nothing to do with money. I was so excited the day I first got 100 views in a day. Needless to say, I never reached those heights of success I dreamed of. To be honest, I didn’t know how to get there and still don’t. I’m not sure that people were that interested in reading about slightly older kids, especially when I didn’t include recognisable photos of the kids (this was a commitment I made from the start and I stuck with it).

But I know that there is a handful of people that loved my blog then and still love it now and that means far more to me than my early dreams of ‘success’.

Making money and ‘free stuff’ (yes, I know, it’s not ‘free’, you have to work for it) was always a big thing among bloggers and is now more than ever. It feels like very few people blog just for the love of it. Many people make a living from blogging and a lot of blogs are full of reviews and sponsored posts. I went through a phase of doing reviews in the brief time that my blog was popular, but I never felt that comfortable with it. You will probably see a couple of paid posts on my blog a year. It’s good money and I would be a fool to turn it down as my own freelance work can be unpredictable, but it’s never something I’ve wanted to do a lot of. Which is a good job, because I’m not exactly in demand!

In that brief period of popularity, I even made it to the finals of the MAD Blog awards – in both 2013 and 2014. The first time, I literally couldn’t believe it. It felt like the greatest achievement ever. I also made the shortlist for an award at the BiBs blogging awards (there were 10 shortlisted and five finalists) in 2014 and 2015. I didn’t win anything and I haven’t made any finals since!

Ten years on from my first blogpost, I’ve changed, my family has changed, my blog has changed (a bit) and blogging in general has changed (a lot).

I’m 47 now. The kids are 20, 17 and 15 – hardly kids at all. I don’t write about them in nearly as much detail as I used to. Their lives are their lives, not funny anecdotes for me to share. I used to blog pretty much every day, but blog a lot less than I used to now. I usually write only one ‘proper’ post a week, which are as often about my own life and running as they are about the kids. I’ve still got a lot to say, it’s just not all about the kids any more. I still do one linky – a photo on a Sunday, which either sums up my week or is the best photo I’ve taken all week. I also do a book review every week.

When I wrote that first post 10 years ago, I would never have dreamed that I would still be writing today. But I’m rather glad that I am!

Blogging, Blogger, Blog, Macbook Air

 

 

 

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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12 Comments

  1. Can’t believe it has been 10 years, you deserve an award for keeping it going so long ! Having been there since the start all I can say is, its been a fun journey…. and you should get more free stuff 😉

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much for sticking with for so long!
      Free stuff would be nice, but I don’t fit the mould for that.

      Post a Reply
  2. Congratulations! 10 years is amazing and it sounds like you have learned lots.
    I used to struggle with schedule posts too. I am glad I learned how to do that and I joined in with all of the linkies too, commenting on them all only to get one or two comments back. Now I only have a few that I join in with.
    I love your blog because it is about older kids. It gives me an idea what to expect with my two. x

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much, what a lovely thing to say!
      I’ve learned a lot, but there’s still a lot I haven’t learned and realise I never will! It’s definitely a good idea to leave the linkies behind. They were so much work for very little return. x

      Post a Reply
  3. Happy blogoversary. I have always loved your blog and I think because your kids are a little older than mine it gave me a better insight on what has to come rather than where I’d been. I love that blogging has brought us together and for me that;s the best thing about blogging. Well done on all those memories recorded and I’ve always been in awe of your running and your proofreading as I am so bad at my own lol. Lots of love xxx

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you! What a lovely thing to say. It is amazing how blogging has brought us together. The friendships definitely are an amazing thing about blogging. x

      Post a Reply
  4. I think I discovered you on Twitter, sometime relatively recently during the last 2 years and I love your blog. My kids are much younger than yours so you give great insight on what’s to come. I also love your running posts, you remind me what I can achieve – I’m in awe of your parkrun times! Massive congratulations on 10 years, please keep doing what you’re doing. X

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much, what a lovely thing to say, I really appreciate it.
      I’ve definitely achieved more in running since my kids have been older, so I’m sure you can do it too. x

      Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much, that is such a lovely thing to say.

      Post a Reply
  5. My ten year blogaversary is September and it seems like a lifetime ago since we started now and you are right, so many things have changed since then. You should be really proud of your blog, you have always been consistent and true to yourself and you have done really well with it. I wonder if we will still be doing this in another 10 years.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much, that is a lovely thing to say! I’m glad that I’ve stayed true to myself, even if it meant not really fitting in (and not getting the free stuff!). I think I probably still will be doing it in 10 years. I might even be writing about my grandchildren!
      Congratulations to you too. I love your blog, as it is honest and very well written (unlike all those linky posts I used to read!).

      Post a Reply

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