Blogging – what i’ve learnt

blogschool

One day just over 3 months ago i was feeling a bit meh.  I felt i needed a little project, i know i though i will start a blog!

So i did. And here is what i have learnt…

1. It’s very, very time consuming.
I really didn’t have a proper understanding of just how much time i would be devoting to blogging before i started. I spend a hell of a lot of time just reading other blogs, then there is writing my own posts, replying to comments, fannying about with my blog layout etc etc. Add twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest and G+ to the mix and you could easily be working a full time job.

2. Stats and the Tots 100 are not the be all and end all.
There really is a popularity contest going on. Judging by reactions on twitter some people are seriously obsessed with their rankings and page views. Me? I’m just happy that i have any any visitors at all, the fact that people take the time to read what i write and post comments blows me away and developing a regular reader base is the icing on the cake.

3. I’m not really interested in doing reviews or PR*.
As my blog has grown in size i have had a few approaches, i have nothing against anyone who does reviews but it’s not for me.  I just don’t have the motivation to spend time fudging together posts in return for packet of halloween hob nobs or pineapple scented bum wipes. *I reserve the right to modify my above option should i be approached to review a 5* family holiday to the bahama’s.

4. It’s hard to predict what post’s get the best reactions.
I would love to report that my most popular post was something incredibly deep, funny or well written but it’s actually this.  If you type ‘postman pat cake’ into Google you will find i am in the number one spot and as such i receive a fair bit of traffic from desperate parents of pre-schoolers with incredibly annoying birthday cake requests. WOHOOOOOOO my blogging work here is done!

Other than that i find it’s the posts that are a little controversial, humorous or personal that tend to get the most views and comments.

5, There are some very talented and lovely people out there.
As i’ve already mentioned i read a lot of blogs, It would be impossible to name everyone but there are a handful that i adore for a whole manor of reasons – stunning photography, funny stories, great writing, all round loveliness! When i see posts pop up by these guys i like to grab a cup of coffee or mug of gin (depending on the time of day) and sit down for a good read! So check out Katie at Mummy Daddy Me, Dean at Little Steps, Carie at Space for the Butterflies, Rachel at Three Years & Home, Jess at Along Came Cherry, Spencer at @adadcalledspen, Wally Mummy at Just a Normal Mummy and Helen at Actually Mummy.

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50 thoughts on “Blogging – what i’ve learnt

  1. jojoka1963

    I could repeat all of what you have said (I won’t of course) and agree with you on every count.
    You of course have a fab blog and do not need the help from writing reviews or doing PR (I agree that maybe a little work could be done for the sake of jetting off to sunnier climes).
    x

    Reply
  2. 3yearsandhome

    I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for just three months. I could’ve sworn it was longer. Thanks for the shout out. You’ve fast become one of my favourite reads too. I often nod along to your posts. On the whole I agree with all your points. My most read post is about a weird Swiss Christmas tradition, it gets a ton of hits. Very bizarre. I do the odd review if I really like something or am curious about trying something new. This is going to make me sound like a really cruel mum but my reason for turning down a lot is because I don’t want my boys to have so many toys. Is that awful? The thought of something new turning up every week fills my minimalist brain with horror :-) I have been sent some really nice things though which I’m hugely appreciative of.

    And now you’re well immersed in the world of blogging, you have to come to BritMums. Have you thought about it? It would be great to meet you.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Ahh Thanks Rachel – i’ve surprised myself with how much i’ve been enjoying blogging! I hadn’t even thought of BritMums, it’s funny i still don’t actually see myself as a proper blogger. I will look into though as would be great to meet you too!
      p.s totally agree about the toys thing. we have way too much already just with a baby and a three year old – terrifies me what it will be like when they are older. I’m being a mean mum and asking for clothes for Christmas :)

      Reply
  3. Emma

    I so agree with all of your points- its sooooo time consuming and I’ve a love/ hate relationship with it all sometimes. I’m crap at the PR side myself and the review side of it all isn’t for me either. Love your blog and can’t believe you’ve only be going three months- it’s so witty and honest. Keep ‘er lit! Emx

    Reply
  4. cariemay

    Well I’m terribly terribly flattered to be included in such auspicious company (and maybe blushing a little); thank you very much :)

    I’ll admit I can get a little stat happy from time to time. I’m trying not to get all competitive with myself but when I went self hosted in May and comments etc dropped through the floor the stats were a nice little reminder that someone was reading other than my Dad!

    But yes yes and more yes to the time suck and the randomness of most popular posts – mine is about a quilt. It’s a very nice quilt but still just a quilt; personally I thought the children were the more impressive creation!

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      You are welcome, i adore reading about your little family! Many of the blogs i like most have children similar ages so are going through many of the same stages etc. It’s really nice.
      Here’s to quilts and postman pat cakes ;)

      Reply
  5. Dean B

    Thanks so much for mentioning me Katie. I really enjoy reading your blog too, that’s why I was really surprised to learn that you haven’t been blogging long! Your blogger’s voice sounds like an “oldie/expert”, if you know what I mean ;) x

    Reply
  6. Laura

    I feel exactly the same about blogging. I started it as a way to document all he things I get up to with T but the more you read on twitter the more you think “shit I should be doing this and that.” It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people are doing then I thought, do you know what, yeah other people might get shit loads of free stuff and go to events but I’m happier spending time at home, with my husband and baby when the other people will be say with their heads in laptops missing out on chilling out! Haha. It’s so difficult to keep up when you have a full time too so I’ve decided not to bother, blog when I can and enjoy my spare time doing what I want to do rather than worrying about my blog stats :)

    P.S I’ve been able to go public again, yay!

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Oh i’m so glad Laura! That’s great – i’m crap at checking in at stuff not in my Bloglovin feed!
      Agree with everything you say, you sound like you have a really healthy approach :)

      Reply
  7. suzanne3childrenandit

    Lovely post and I cannot believe that you’ve only been going 3 months! Honestly, all that tweaking and stuff gets easier (and quicker) but it is still incredibly time consuming. 3 months in I was also sure I would never to sponsored or review posts but then i got offered something I really wanted to try and hey presto, I’m in the game! I limit it though, to things I know my children (or readers) would really like, that’s the decisions I made. Well done on a fabulous start to blogging!

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thanks Suzanne :) i think if you do reviews of interesting new stuff then it’s fine it’s just sometimes the products and posts are so dull i wonder why people actually bother! Your blog is fab though and i don’t think i have ever even noticed a review on its so you obviously have a good balance x

      Reply
  8. Thao

    I love me a good blog (yours included obviously)! I happen to mainly read American blogs on parenting, cooking and design so it’s nice to read a British voice. Can imagine it’s a lot of work blogging, I can barely keep on top of my personal emails and texts!

    Reply
  9. Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    I can’t believe you’ve not been blogging for 3 months, your blog is fab and I love reading your posts. I find that sometimes I get loads of comments on the posts that I wasn’t expecting anyone to read and I totally know what you mean about finding it incredible anyone is interested in reading, I still can’t believe people read my blog! You are also right about it taking up so much time, I struggle to find the time to do all the stuff involved with it at the moment but some how I manage because it keeps me sane, and earns me money meaning I don’t have to get an actual job. Thanks so much for the mention xx

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin Post author

      Thanks Jess and you are so welcome for the mention, i love your blog and the reviews you do are all good/useful ones! Great that you make money meaning you don’t have to work :) x

      Reply
  10. happyeverafterbride

    The one on PR I’d wholeheartedly agree on. some great observations here I must say. I mostly enjoy blogging for the secret world that I now share outside my own real life. And I’ll stay for wherever it takes me…

    Reply
  11. Notmyyearoff

    This is brilliant. I used to be obsessed with my rank and then one day I kind of got past it and now I can go weeks without looking at my stats. I love blogging though, a lot. :)

    Reply
  12. BakedPotato Mummy

    Love this post. I’m pretty new to this blogging thing too and I agree with all these points. I think I’m going to give up on ranking anyway ;)
    This is the first time I’ve ready your blog and I must say, I love it. I love your writing style xx

    Reply
  13. mummydaddyme

    I am reading your posts all behind as I am catching up on my Blog Lovin reader. I completely agree with everything you have written- stats most definitely aren’t the be all and end all, I also only do a few reviews as I don’t want to review bum wipes either, and it is also VERY time consuming! And thank you so much for the lovely mention. x

    Reply
  14. sarahmo3w

    Great post. You’ve learned an awful lot in three months! Think it took me over a year to pick up what you’ve picked up :)

    Reply
  15. Siobhan from EveryoneElseisNormal

    I couldn’t have put it better myself – 100% agree with you on all of those. And i’ve only been at this thing 18 mths. Beware the desire to start competing though….always remind yourself you’re blogging and stick to it (unless you get offered that holiday in Bahamas….which isn’t too far fetched as Royal Carribbean Cruises are regularly looking for Chief Bloggers!) PS Love the green, very calming….PPS Found you via Suzanne’s Friday Favourites round up.

    Reply
  16. Pingback: 2013 Year In Review Q&A | Hurrah For Gin

  17. Pingback: Blogging – what i’ve learnt

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