Hip Hip Hooray My Blog is 1 Today!

Exactly 365 days ago, I became the mother of a new baby – my blog.  As with any new baby, it’s been an emotional ride and we’ve been through various stages together: not having a clue what we’re doing; teething problems; feelings of inadequacy and attempting to correct bad habits.  But here we are 1 year in, 74,000 page views later, 185 posts under our belt and a grand total of 3000 comments!  If you were one of those readers or commenters, please count yourself as appreciated :)
Blogging is something which I had never before considered as a legitimate ‘hobby’ – surely it’s just someone tinkering around with a few ideas and hitting ‘publish’? How wrong I was! This ‘hobby’ ticks all the right boxes for me:
  • It satisfies my craving for a creative outlet (something which I believe is in all of us)
  • I can get all of the words out I want, without fear of interruption (where else can you do that?!)
  • It encourages instant feedback and communication with the outside world (perfect for social interaction junkies like me!)
I have also learnt an enormous amount this year, not only about blogging but also about myself.  I therefore thought it would be a worthwhile exercise, on my 1 year anniversary, to put into words just exactly what I’ve learnt:

Blogging is addictive 

Anyone who already blogs will know this to be true. If you don’t blog and are thinking about it – beware!  For the first few weeks it consumed my every waking thought, in fact sometimes even my non-waking ones!  I have learnt (the hard way) to find a pattern to my blogging, one which fits into my everyday life and doesn’t interfere too much with the rest of my world:  I usually only blog 3 times a week and I write quick notes on my phone every time an idea comes into my head, that way they are recorded and not swimming around, consuming my thoughts.


There are some awesome blogs out there
 

Initially, I was a little awe-struck by some of the blogs I found: Dorky Mum expertly uses her blog to campaign for charities such as Save the Children (amongst others);  the auspicious Team Honk were invited out to Ghana with Comic Relief to blog and highlight the achievements of the last ten years and Mich at Mummy from the Heart took a trip to Belarus with Operation Christmas Child to follow their journey and report back to the rest of us via her superb blog. 
Then there are those who use their blog as an outlet for sharing the difficulties of life: Manic Mum who is bringing up her 4 children alone, after her husband’s head injury (resulting in brain damage) at a rugby match; The Boy’s Behaviour who shares her adoption story and most recently, Edspire who tragically lost her baby to SIDS earlier this year.
Of course there are also my favourite bloggers who I can relate to (Mum of Three World, Everyone Else is Normal, Hello Wall and many more!), others I read for the fun-factor (The 40 Year Old Domestic Goddess, Adventures of an Unfit Mother, Ramblings of a Formerly Rock n Roll Mum) and those with immense writing skills who I admire hugely (Not Different but Interesting, Older Mum in a Muddle, Mummy Plum and All at Sea).
Disclaimer: if I haven’t included you, it doesn’t mean I don’t love your blog, it just means I have a terrible memory!


There’s room for everyone

Off the back of the point above, I would also like to highlight that the blogging world is vast. Don’t ever think that your blog isn’t ‘good enough’ – I’m amazed that anyone even reads mine, but they do! If I had fallen prey to the inadequacy I felt during the first few months, I would have  given up on      something which has brought me so much pleasure and I hope, helps or at least amuses others.


Blogging is time consuming

This is an understatement of epic proportions! Blogging isn’t just about writing content and publishing it (well, if you’re naturally driven like me, it isn’t), there is endless amounts of plugging on social media, sharing via blogging networks, reading and commenting on other blogs and trying to keep up to date with the latest techie stuff (told you I’m no good at it!).  All of this takes research and countless hours of trial and error ‘tweaking’….exhausting!


Blogging can be an opening to new opportunities
 

Since starting my blog I have been invited to guest post on other blogs, write an article for ivillage, have my words published in a book, been included in Tots 100’s Best Blogs of 2012 and have appeared on Mumsnet Blogger’s front page as ‘blog of the day’.  I have also been asked to publish sponsored posts and review some great products. As you can imagine this has all been very exciting but I have learnt that there is danger in saying ‘yes’ to everything.  The initial aim of my blog was to practice my writing skills and use it as a platform for more writing opportunities – this I am beginning to see happen.  I now understand that there is no need to gorge yourself silly on everything that is offered.


I still have so much to learn
 

I just think I’m getting somewhere and then someone throws in a curve ball such as Google+! I’m not the most technical being in the world but I’m trying…..and still learning.


Real life is important

It really is very easy to become so absorbed in blogging that everything else takes a back seat.  I must admit that I have taken my eye off most things at some point or another, due to the blog – the housework being the worst hit!  This hobby has the ability to suck you in so much that before you know it, the clock says 3pm and yet again, it’s time to pick up the kids.  I am a sociable being so although the virtual interaction is good, it’s also important that I still meet up and have regular face to face conversations with my friends and family.


There is power in community

This is one of the things that surprised me the most during my first year of blogging.  On a personal level, I have experienced support, free techie advice and oodles of encouragement.  But for those who have really needed a community around them, people who have been through some terrible life traumas, they have experienced community at it’s very best. To anyone who says that online friends aren’t real ones, I’ve witnessed plenty of bloggers come alongside others in their hour of need in the most remarkable ways – truly inspiring.


Not everyone will understand

Only a small percentage of my readers are ‘real-life’ friends and family – something I never expected.  I wrongly assumed, when first starting out, that only people who know and love me would read.  In practice, it’s more or less the opposite!  I suppose this makes sense – people who aren’t bloggers will not necessarily understand or support this new-found love. As with any hobby, if it’s not your ‘thing’ then it will perhaps be an enigma to you (fishing springs to mind!).  It’s only right therefore, that I thank my long-suffering family, particularly the OH who has encouraged and supported me, despite not really ‘getting it’ – for him it’s probably been a long year!

And so to the next year – what’s in store? I am brimming with ideas to involve my children and perhaps even include ‘It’ a little bit more.  Please stay tuned for more honest portrayals of family life with 3 children and 1 crazy dog….

But for now – thanks for reading! x

Silent Sunday 14-4-13
Storms and Rainbows (aka Life with Tweens!) #magicmoments

59 Comments

  1. congratulations on your blogiversary! And what a superb blog it is too! Thank you for the mention, am honoured to be in such lovely company too xxx

    Reply
    • Thanks Sonya! x

      Reply
    • Thank you. And your blog is one that I thoroughly enjoy too :)

      Reply
  2. Congrat’s Suzanne,
    I’m always fishing for new blogs to browse,
    & after only 12-months, you’ve really taken to this thing like a fish to water.
    Cheers, ic

    Reply
    • Thank you for taking the time to read and for commenting, I appreciate that.

      Reply
  3. Congratulations! A great post for a great blog!

    Thanks for my mention….very honoured xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Sarah and you are very welcome x

      Reply
  4. Congratulations and a very uplifting post for a blogging newbie here :-)x

    Reply
    • Thank you. Will pop over to your blog now :)

      Reply
  5. Happy Birthday Blog! Thank you for the mention, you write beautifully and its lovely to be listed alongside some of my favourite bloggers. Here’s to your next year! xx

    Reply
    • Thank you Helen, you’re most welcome x

      Reply
  6. Congrats on the blog birthday! I can’t believe it’s only been a year, looking forward to the next 12 months! xx

    Reply
  7. Happy blogoversary! You’ve achieved so much in a year, because your blog is fabulous! Here’s to the next year! Thank you very much for the mention and look forward to seeing you at Britmums. X

    Reply
  8. Happy Blog Birthday! x

    Reply
  9. Happy birthday to you and your blog. Thankyou for the mention. Keep up the brilliant posts.

    Lots of love
    Me xxx

    Reply
  10. Happy first birthday to your lovely blog!
    Smiled at the Google+ bit, I’m a techy/new stuff disaster area – quite sure you’re way better than me! x

    Reply
    • Hmm, I’m definitely a slow learner, it’s a total minefield to me!

      Reply
  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. congratulations! and a really interesting read that I can easily relate to as a ‘newbie’!

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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. Happy blogoversary! And thanks so much for the mention x

    Reply
  15. Happy Birthday to your baby, a huge milestone. I think the first years is quite hard, trying to find where you belong, we all belong somewhere, finding blogs and bloggers you can really empathise with and having the believe in yourself that you are as worthy as the next person. Look forward to the next year with you.

    Reply
    • Thanks you Elaine. It has certainly had its ups and downs but I’m feeling a little more ‘settled’ now :)

      Reply
  16. Well done on reaching that first year, always a great achievement. Blogging is very addictive. I’ve been at it over 6 years and I’m still addicted!

    CJ x

    Reply
    • 6 years?! Wow, I wonder if I’ll stick it out that long. If I do, I’m not sure that I will reach your dizzy heights of blogging stardom! Thanks for commenting x

      Reply
  17. Happy birthday! What a great round-up. I’m glad I’m not the only one that finds it addictive!

    Reply
    • Ha ha! That addiction only worsens too…need to find the right balance I guess :)

      Reply
  18. I’ve not actually seen your blog before, but congratulations! You’re right, it is addictive, though you’ve done very well to be so committed. Me, I’m a little lax :)

    Happy bloggyday and well done on writing such an excellent post to mark it!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much! Where’ve you been?! ;)

      Reply
  19. Big congrats, S! You’ve done an amazing job in 12 mths. Its been great getting to know you through this. I’ll be celebrating my first bday too soon, though i can see how all the extra effort you’ve put in on plugging your blog and reading loads of other blogs has paid off – I need to take note if i’m serious about this whole thing. You’re right too, its so addictive, and I love it too! Enjoy, and maybe buy OH a stash of his favourite beer as a thank u for all his long-suffering support! PS Thx for the mention!

    Reply
    • It’s hard work but does take commitment, one that I know not everyone has the time or capacity for. You should dig in though, you have a natural talent for blogging writing. x

      Reply
  20. Congratulations on your blog birthday. Sorry I’m a bit late, been out all day and just doing some late night tweets before bedtime.
    I love your blog and looking forward to another year of fabulous posts.
    Charlie x

    Reply
    • Thanks Charlie for your encouragement and for the fantastic opportunity to contribute to your book :) x

      Reply
  21. Woo hoo happy birthday I think a pawty is called for!! I look forward to the next year

    Reply
  22. yay happy blogversary! I love your blog I just wish I had more time to come over here and comment so you know I am reading! anyway you have done amazing in your first year and I bet the next year will hold even bigger and better things for your blog!

    Reply
    • No need to always comment Sarah, I know you’re a ‘supporter’ and I feel exactly the same about yours!

      Reply
  23. I can’t believe a year has already passed! You have a great talent for writing and I am very proud of you! Keep up the good work – who knows what opportunities will open up for you x JW

    Reply
    • Thank you babe x x

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  24. Happy blogiversary! Lovely blog and very true words! I think it is cause for celebration that your husband commented! Mine still just grunts when I mention anything about blogging. He sees it as an excuse for me to spend more time on social media which he hates! x

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    • If he’s honest, I think that my husband finds it a bit of ‘competition’ and the whole social media annoying at times too. Are you going to Britmums?

      Reply
  25. I second the sentiments of JW (THE MAN!) Also very proud of you – Happy Blogibirthday. When you were at college you used to write us long letters which I still have (remember snailmail?) It was when I got to know the real you. Mum xx

    Reply
    • Really? Isn’t it funny what you do and don’t remember. I definitely remember writing from France but not from college – I would be interested to read one day x

      Reply
  26. Congratulations! I am a newbie (just 6 days old!) and found your post really helpful and encouraging :-) Jo x

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    • Thank you so much, I’m really pleased I was able to help someone. Am off to check out your blog now :)

      Reply
  27. Happy Birthday! I feel like I’m going cold turkey at the mo as the laptop is still in for repair! Def an addiction x

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    • Oh gosh, that would be a real struggle for me – are you resorting to mobile?!

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  28. Congratulations! Great blog and lots more links to follow! Bee x

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    • I hope you enjoy them as much as me :)

      Reply
  29. I always enjoy reading your blog. Many congratulations on your first blogday! And thank you so much for the mention (very touched.) xx

    Reply
    • Thank you MP, you’re very welcome x

      Reply
  30. Happy Birthday – imagine where you willo be from one year again today?

    Reply
  31. Happy 1st Blogiversary, I was nodding my head at so many of the things you said. Blogging is definitely a crazy but fun ride and it does take time to hit the right balance for yourself x

    Reply
  32. Well done and congratulations on reaching your one year mark – it’s a really big one I think as a blogger and really mirrors your commitment to your blog. It’s been lovely reading you – you are so supportive and encouraging. Very much looking forward to what’s in store in year two! Ps – thank you so much for the mention – I’m honoured. X

    Reply
  33. Hey there! Here from that Friday blog hop! Just wanted to let you know I’m following you via Bloglovin’! I also liked your Facebook page and am following your other social networks! I hope you’ll visit me :o) You can find me here:

    Blog url
    http://www.croppedstories.blogspot.com

    Facebook
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cropped-Stories/615495055132216

    Twitter
    https://twitter.com/croppedstories

    Google+
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/102758509830977850235/posts

    Bloglovin’
    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3718883

    Pinterest
    http://pinterest.com/croppedstories/

    Reply
  34. Happy Bloggerversary Suzanne, you have done great things in a year and by the sounds of it, learnt many lessons. Thanks for the mention. Mich x

    Reply
  35. Happy belated bloggy birthday – I’m behind on my commenting bit on your tips.
    I think you got them all there perfectly – your blog is fantastic and you’re doing a super job xxx

    Reply
  36. Happy Bloggerversary Suzanne, I had no idea your blog was so young! Here’s to the next 12 months! x

    Reply

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