The obligatory blogiversary post

First birthday cake

I started this blog a year ago and I haven’t abandoned it yet.

That’s no small feat. Many blogs only last a few months before the blogger decides that they have better things to do. And I can understand why. See, blogs can be a lot of work. It’s not just about writing. It’s about social media. Linkies. Photos. Stats. It’s about being part of a community. It’s about joining conversations. It’s about putting yourself out there in a very public way.

I have abandoned blogs before. In both cases, it was because my blog and I were moving in different directions. In fact, I abandoned a blog just before I started this one. It’s still sitting there in the blogosphere like a piece of digital archaeology, a monument to my pre-baby life. I feel bad that I just discarded it sometimes, but I knew this whole motherhood thing was going to be HUGE. It needed its own space.

So here we are.

Let’s go back to the beginning.

Why did I start this blog?

Because the only way I know how to make sense of things is to write about them. It’s what I’ve always done. I kind of can’t help myself.

Because I was afraid that if I didn’t devote my spare time (not that there was much of it) during maternity leave to something other than teen dramas, my brain would become pretty useless pretty quickly.

Because, like many other mums who suddenly find themselves with the overwhelming responsibility of caring for a very small and helpless person 24/7, I was desperate for something that was just for me – something that I could grow and nurture, but only when I felt like it. Unlike a baby, it would be no big deal if I forgot to check on my blog for a week. It would still be there, ready for my attention when I was willing to give it.

What have I learned?

I’m never going to be a professional blogger.

It’s not about capability. It’s about will.

I have no desire to work with brands, join Instagram, or put any effort into growing my Twitter following. It took me nearly a year to create a Facebook page, even though it takes about five minutes to do. I don’t get Pinterest. I have no posting schedule. I know a lot about SEO but rarely use that knowledge.

I’m not really doing anything ‘right’, other than writing the way I want about the things I want to write about.

It pays to be social.

Not in the sense that interacting with people on Twitter and commenting on other people’s blogs gets more people to read your stuff (though it does), but because in puts you in touch with a community of great people. People who open you up to new ways of thinking. People who make you laugh. People who remind you that you’re not alone, which is really important, because motherhood can be really lonely. Babies are cute and all, but they’re s*** conversationalists.

(Hello, tribesters! You can find out about our lovely tribe of hilarious, smart women here.)

Be yourself.

It’s the ultimate cliché and pretty much the most obvious advice ever, but it’s something people can lose sight of.

It’s easy to look at ‘successful’ blogs and think that you need to be doing whatever they’re doing. If they’re doing is the kind of thing that you want to be doing, fine. But if it’s not, don’t force yourself to fit their mould.

Recipe posts may drive traffic to your site, but if you’re not passionate about cooking, don’t write them. Sponsored posts may earn you a bit of cash and some free swag, but if they’re not your thing, don’t do them. A peppy, upbeat tone may make you popular, but sarcasm is your thing, don’t write with lots of exclamation points!!!!!

Write when you want about whatever you want. Blogging is supposed to be fun, and if you’re trying too hard to be something you’re not, it’s going to feel like work.

What’s next?

Getting more social – maybe. I’ve toyed with the idea of experimenting with YouTube, Instagram and Google+, but uggghhh. Being social on two platforms is hard enough.

Writing less – probably. I’m back at work now, and I’m finding that the last thing I want to do after a day in front of a computer is spend more time in front of a computer.

Writing about new topics – definitely. The Popple is a toddler now and things are happening fast. She’s going to be talking soon and getting into things and generally becoming more of her own person.

I can’t wait.

Plus, when she’s having a major toddler meltdown in a very public place, I can make myself feel better by saying, “I’m totally going to write about this.”

Diary of an imperfect mum
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24 Replies to “The obligatory blogiversary post”

  1. Happy blogiversary!!!! I agree and echo a lot of what you’ve said here. I recently had the realisation that I will never be a ‘pro blogger’. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to write and make money from that, however, collaborating with brands et al sounds like too much hard work for me and was never why I started my blog. It’s my hobby and something I adore doing, but for me, not for anyone else. Here’s to another year of blogging!!! #stayclassy

  2. So nice to discover more about you. Like you I started my blog for the same kind of reasons. I think it’s great you don’t want to get into the ‘I am a successful blogger’ mould. I love your blog the way it is. Don’t change anything! Or do so if you want. It’s your blog after all 😉 #StayClassyMama

  3. Congrats on your blogging birthday! I’m the sarcastic/trying to be funny toned type of blogger though it depends on my mood- social media is hard work although I love instagram, so I’d recommend it! Pinterest- now that’s another story, apparently it’s good for blogs but it’s a mystery to me, here’s to another blogging birthday 😄 #stayclassymama

  4. Roots and Wings Parenting says: Reply

    Happy Anniversary! Thanks for writing this, it is very encouraging. Blogging can be hard sometimes as, like you, I find the other social network part of it hard work. I like your tips and it is good to be reminded why we started in the first place 🙂 x

  5. My blogiversary is in September. So many bloggers want to make money and work with brands, but I just get so anxious when thinking about contacting them. I enjoy writing because it’s therapeutic to me and gives me something to do other than kid wrangling. We all have our reasons for blogging and we should remember to stay true to why we’re doing it. Happy 1st blogiversary! #ablogginggoodtime

  6. Happy blogiversary! I agree – blogging should be fun and that’s why most of us started, it’s important to remember that. I’m still unsure about working with brands too, and am a bit nervous about approaching PR companies. Your blog is fab and I’ve always enjoyed reading it – can’t wait for more x #stayclassymama

  7. I really enjoyed reading this and was nodding along. I found it extremely refreshing: upbeat but realistic. You have your feet firmly on the ground and I really admire that. It maybe wasn’t exactly written as an ‘inspirational’ post, but interestingly, that’s what I found it to be – thank you!

  8. Happy blogiversary – you’re right, it’s no small thing keeping it going for a year. I love the idea that we’ll be able to look back on things like this, like online time capsules, and pat ourselves on the back for surviving!

    Happy to have found your blog via #StayClassyMama! x

  9. Congratulations on your blogiversary! That is so exciting and quite an accomplishment to have made it to a year. As work and family get more busy I find myself spending less time working on it and need to learn how to find a happy medium. It’s really hard to keep up with all the social media stuff. I’m trying get to work on just enjoying it and not worrying about everything else so much. Sounds like you are doing a great job. #TribalLove

  10. Happy blogaversary! I respect the way you are not concerned by the stats, etc. It can be so easy to get caught up in all that, and I for one am definitely guilty of it. I can’t stand it when people put exclamation marks on the end of every sentence, although I know I do it in my comments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully not in my posts though. You’re totally right. The best thing to do is to be yourself. #StayClassyMama

  11. Ha your last point is SOOO true…and a very helpful one to remember if something embarrassing happens. Good blog fodder! Ah lovely post with lovely tips and an interesting insight into why you blog. Congratulations on your blogiversary! #ablogginggoodtime

  12. Happy blogiversary! One year is a long time to keep on blogging, I hope you get to the second year achieving your goal set. Bring on the toddler fun #ablogginggoodtime

  13. Love the things that you’ve learned in your first year of blogging (well this blog at least!) and my reasons for not becoming a pro blogger are very similar to yours. The advice to be yourself might be cliched but it is such good advice – once you start worrying about writing to please other people, it can suck a lot of the joy out of blogging. Happy 1st blogiversary! #ablogginggoodtime

  14. Congrats on making it through the first year 🙂 it is tough blogging, but also so rewarding. I quite like dabbling in the pro side of blogging, but it definitely is a lot of hard work. Have a great second year of blogging 🙂

  15. Happy blogiversary Katie! I feel like I could have written this (although nowhere near as well) as I agree with everything you say and I also have the same lack of motivation with social media and growing my following etc. I love your blog, it’s always funny and refreshing to read and always has a special Katie/Popple tone that I adore. #stayclassymama

  16. Here, here! So easy to feel pressurised to do it all, like you I have realised I also want to have a life and so Klout can do one! 🙂 Happy Blog Birthday! X #ablogginggoodtime

  17. Happy One year Blogiversary! I love your style of writing, it suits blogging. I can’t wait to see more. I think you are quite social, but I may be biased. pro-blogger doesn’t happen over night though does it!? #pocolo

  18. Oooh happy 1st birthday, Squirmy Popple! Well done on keeping it up for so long. I’ve been blogging almost 3mth and it’s certainly tonnes more work than I ever intended! Thanks for the encouragement to write my own stuff. I know my blog isn’t funny but I’m passionate about what I do write. I sometimes think I ought to be trying to work with brands too, to show that my blog is worthwhile, but I honestly don’t want to at the moment – I like writing for me. I’m glad you do too x

  19. Happy blog birthday! Its lovely that you’ve enjoyed the “social” side to blogging – I’m 3 years in and I’m still trying to involve myself in it more, I love the writing side but Im not so good at the social media side! #pocolo

  20. Congratulations and happy bloggiversary! I think you have an amazing blog that is even more amazing because you do it for you and it is still going strong! Thanks for the tribal shout out!

    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime #triballove xx

  21. Happy blog birthday!
    You are a fab brighter, I love your humour I’m so happy we have met online! 🙂 here’s to another year! 🍾😚💛 xxx

  22. Happy 1st birthday! I’m just new to blogging and haven’t managed to do many posts (I took it up when I was about to have a newborn, but I also have a 20 year old toddler…. like I thought I’d have time on my hands…) I totally agree with you about the social media bit. I love reading other mama’s blogs and discovering new ones via an amazing Twitter community. And when you’re up at 2am, 4am, 6am feeding a newborn, it’s great to have something fun to read from a bunch of people you can relate to. Wishing you many more happy years of blogging! #stayclassymama

  23. Well done, happy blog birthday to you! I think blogging is a constant journey / education, there is always something new to try or new bloggers to interact with! You are definitely right about being yourself and not trying to emulate “pro” bloggers just because they might be successful. As long as you like writing and doing what you are doing – who cares?! Thanks for linking up – I look forward to your YEAR TWO! #stayclassymama

  24. Happy blog birthday – here’s to many more. Blogging does take time and trying to fit around family and work is possible but it’s inevitable something will give, but what the heck it’s your blog to do with what you want. On social channels I’d go with instagram, possibly YouTube but maybe not G+ if that’s any help. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo too 🙂

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