Since last week I have been blogging for 3 months, gosh that has gone quickly! My blog went live on the 6th January 2016, and my experience of blogging has totally exceeded my expectations. From what started as just an idea whilst on one of my many walks in the park, has now turned into a part time job alongside looking after a little one.
Here’s some of my blogging stats:
- 38 blog posts published including this one.
- 2116 total views, 662 visitors (this is low and needs a lot of improvement).
- 521 comments, I try to reply to all comments, so I have had about 260 comments.
- 1,779 Twitter followers at the time of writing this post (13th April 2016, 8.41pm)
I kind of dived straight into blogging, firstly by setting up my blog in WordPress, then writing my first post and setting up my Twitter account. I then hit publish, started promoting it on Twitter and following other bloggers. Maybe I did this the wrong way round, and should have started my Twitter account first before publishing my first post, to build up my followers (I don’t think it has done me much harm launching them both at the same time). At the time of pressing publish I had no idea what a Linky was, or really what I wanted out of my blog. I only knew that I wanted a platform where I could keep a diary of life with my little one.
In my first 3 months of blogging, here’s what I have learnt:
There are so many lovely fellow parenting bloggers who are more than happy to help if you have a blogging question or need some blogging support. I really enjoy interacting on Twitter, and love it when I receive a comment on one of my blog posts (don’t we all). Here’s what I’ve learnt about the parenting blogger community:
- It is all about sharing the blogging love. I love getting a comment on my blog posts, knowing that someone has taken the time to read and comment on my blog.
- If you read a blog post you love, give it a retweet on Twitter, Your fellow bloggers will love you for this.
- Don’t be afraid to ask other bloggers for advice, they are such a friendly bunch and more than happy to help.
- At first my stats were really low, and they still are, but it isn’t always about stats, it’s about doing something you enjoy and engaging with a fab community.
- I have joined #tribalchat set up by Katie @mummyintutu who holds a blog chat every Tuesday at 8pm for an hour, I’m also part of her DM group chat on Twitter which is great for bouncing blog ideas around, asking questions or just for moral support.
I did a little research (by little, I mean hardly anything) before setting up my blog on what platform to use – WordPress or Blogger. I decided to use WordPress, generally because Google told me that WordPress was slightly better and easier to use. I’m using a free plan at the moment, and still not 100% up to speed with its functionality, but I have a few learnings.
- The widget sidebar menu is where most functionality lives, here badges, your Twitter feed, latest comments, and follow links can be added. There are so many add-ons in the sidebar it is worth spending time having a play round.
- I should have added the WordPress Follow Me button and Email Subscribe button when my blog went live, I didn’t realise that this was missing until a few weeks ago and since adding this I have seen my followers increase.
- I’m amazed that the platform is fairly low tech, I expected it to require some more HTML input than it does. Thankfully, it is straightforward to use, even for a Digital Project Manager like myself who has never used WordPress before (I still have a lot to learn).
- I still need to learn how to use the Menu functionality, I want to add more Sub Headers, but every time I try to update it, through tired eyes, it never works. I’m sure I’m missing something really obvious.
I love using Twitter, I find it such a valuable tool for chatting to other bloggers, promoting your posts and linked up posts, sharing other blogger’s posts, and retweeting blog posts. I really enjoyed reading Becky @ Cuddle Fairy Twitter Etiquette blog post, and since then I’ve been trying to stick to some key rules:
- If I have commented on a blog post, I will retweet their Twitter post, or share their blog post on Twitter.
- I retweet a Twitter post if I am mentioned, and always reply, even if it’s just a thank you.
- I try to like all Twitter posts where I am mentioned.
In my first week of blogging, I stumbled across fellow bloggers on Twitter linking up their posts. My first thought was what the hell is a Linky? I quickly did some research and realised that a Linky is fab way of sharing your blog post, reading other blog posts and getting to know other bloggers. My key learnings with Linkys are:
- Join them (once you’ve figured out how they work).
- There are so many Linky’s, I try to join at most 5 – 6 a week (no more – even that sounds a lot) there is nothing worse than having a Linky backlog with loads of blog posts to comment on and share on Twitter.
- My favourite Linkys are:
- #KCACOLS run by Franca from http://www.amomentwithfranca.com/ @withfranca
- #BloggerClubUK run by Becky from http://www.cuddlefairy.com/ @cuddlefairy and Clare from https://mudpiefridays.com/ @mudpiefridays
- #BigPinkLink run by Louise from http://pinkpearbear.com/ @pinkpearbear and Lucy from http://thismumslife.com/ @thismumslife
- #PickNMix run by Stevie from http://www.acornishmum.com/ @stevie_couch and Eilidh @mummyandmonkeys http://mummyandmonkeys.com/
- #MarvMondays run by Emily from http://mypetitcanard.co.uk/ @mypetitcanard and Kaye from http://helloarchie.blue/@helloarchie_
Parenting Blogging Sites
There are great sites to register your blog to see how you rank in the blogger league, these are Tots100 and Parent Blogger Leaderboard. Every month an algorithm is run on your site based on number of visits, which calculates where you feature in the blogging league.
I have learnt a great deal since starting blogging, I really didn’t have any idea what I would be letting myself in for when I started blogging. I love it, it is strangely addictive. Sometimes it can feel quite overwhelming with blog posts to write and publish, Linky’s to join, Twitter chat to be involved in, but I tell myself that my blog is always there, it can be as busy or quiet as I want it to be. It’s great that I can fit it around my little one, but it’s not a priority – my little one, my husband and house all come first.
I see the next steps for my blog being to go self hosted, hopefully set up a Linky, see increased traffic numbers, go to Britmums, write some product reviews, update the look of my blog and include more imagery, and hopefully continue blogging as much as I currently am when I return to work.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, I would love to hear what you have learnt from blogging.
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday