A Look Back at My First Year of Blogging
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been an entire year since I started blogging. I “launched” this blog almost exactly a year ago – with only a few posts, and absolutely no idea what I was doing.
I’ve learned a lot since then. Today, I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned with you, and take a look back at some of the highlights from my first year of blogging.
Lessons Learned in My First Year of Blogging
1. There is so much to learn
When I started blogging I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’d been reading blogs for ages, but had no concept of the work that went on behind the scenes.
There’s so much more to blogging than meets the eye. These days, not only do you need to learn how to build a website, write compelling content, and create eye-catching graphics, you need to master multiple social media platforms. Social media plays a HUGE role in the success of your blog – creating fantastic content doesn’t get you very far if nobody is reading.
I’ve learned a lot in the past year, but the more I learn, the more I realize I’m only scratching the surface. Time is my most limited resource, and I’ve had to accept the fact that I can’t master everything at once. More on that below.
2. You need to know your limits
When I started this blog, I dove in headfirst. I devoted all of my free time to blogging, often to the detriment of other things in my life (hobbies, downtime, spending time with my husband and kids, etc.). I was on maternity leave at the time, so I had more flexibility in my schedule, and could often squeeze in blogging time during the day.
Once I went back to work, I quickly realized that I couldn’t continue at my previous pace. On work days, my only time to blog is after the kids are in bed, and there are many other things I should be doing with that time.
This means I’ve had to resign myself to taking things slower than I’m naturally inclined to. While I’m not going to win any awards for being an overnight success, the slow and steady approach makes this sustainable for me. Keeping a healthy balance in my life (and my sanity intact!) is important.
3. You’ll learn a lot about yourself
Putting yourself out there on the internet teaches you a lot about yourself. It’s highlighted some of my strengths and weaknesses. It’s made me a stronger writer, and given me the confidence to stand by my opinions. It’s also taught me that my skin isn’t nearly as thick as I like to pretend it is.
Blogging has solidified my love/hate relationship with social media. I love the sense of community it can create, but dislike the idea of living my entire life through social media. I decided early on that I didn’t want to share identifiable pictures of my kids, which made Instagram in particular a struggle for me. Twitter fit well with my sense of humour, but it’s only in the past couple of months that I’ve felt like I was finding my place on Instagram and Facebook. If you appreciate a good parenting meme, make sure you’re following me!
Top 10 Blog Posts
Now, just for fun, my top 10 blog posts from my first year:
1.The Reality of Being a Working Mom. This was my first Scary Mommy article and the article that really launched this blog. It’s still my most popular post today.
2. First Child versus Second Child: How Parenting Changes. For every parent who has been forced to relax their standards with each child!
3. From One Child to Two: 6 Tips to Ease the Transition. This one is chock-full of practical tips to help your toddler adjust to the arrival of a new baby.
4. Must-Have Baby Items: 0-6 Months. A mammoth post outlining everything you need (and what you can skip) for baby’s first six months.
5. 37 Father’s Day Gift Ideas. This one went viral in August and I couldn’t figure out why – turns out Father’s Day in Australia is the beginning of September!
6. 16 Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers. Outdoor space is at a premium at our house, so if it made this list, it’s a well-used and well-loved toy.
7. Starting Childcare: Tips to Make it Easier. Starting your child in daycare for the first time is SO hard, and when I was going through it I found it very difficult to find practical tips. This article aims to fill that gap.
8. 19 Best Toys for One-Year-Olds. I wrote this right after my youngest turned one. She’s almost two now, and most of the toys on this list are still big hits.
9. Childproofing: 6 Hidden Dangers You Might Have Missed. These are the less-common dangers that aren’t in most childproofing articles, but were big issues with my kids.
10. Nobody Told Me. 21 things that you truly can’t understand until you become a parent.
My First Year In Blogging, by the Numbers
Finally, for all of you numbers people, these will give you some insight into everything that happened behind the scenes this first year:
- 85 posts published (including this one)
- Approximately 45,000 pageviews
- 520 hours spent (ballpark – I didn’t keep track)
- $0.01 = approximately net hourly wage
- 2 times I seriously considered giving up
- 3,160 Twitter followers
- 2,230 tweets
- 1,000 Instagram followers
- 88 Instagram posts
- 0 Instagram stories (I have to work on this!)
- 1,400 Facebook followers
- 1,055 Pinterest followers
- 8,780 pins
Phew – it’s been a whirlwind! Thank you to each of you who have visited my blog, left comments, shared my posts, and connected with me on social media – your support means more than you know!