10 things I’ve learnt in a year of blogging

Ohhhhh…happy birthday to me! Well January may be looking bleak but I am going to poo poo the greyness with a celebration because woo hoo! my blog is now officially a year old. You lovely blog you. Yes we’ve had some highs, some lows and everything in between but I have learnt so much from every step on this journey, and so here’s a little blogging wisdom, from me…to you. Not as good as a birthday cupcake, but better than a poke in the eye!

1. Keep it real

Blogging is about connecting you, your thoughts, opinions, emotions, personality and wit with your readers. I have found that my best blogging moments have been when I have pretty much just plugged my brain into my keyboard, and let the rest work its magic. Don’t overthink, don’t overanalyse, and don’t try to be anybody else apart from who or what you are…because that, afterall, is why your readers are reading!

2. Be daring

OK by that I don’t mean to post a nudie of yourself only, but you and I know both know there are a lot of blogs out there whose content is entirely interchangeable. If you have something rude, contraversial or irreverent to write about, stop stalling and do it! What’s the worst that could happen? Nobody is going to come round and beat you over the head with a club. If in doubt, my fail safe rule, like with everything else in this life is simply, sleep on it.

3. Keep notes

Being a mum means I basically have a memory of a goldfish. In between the times when I am being nagged or whinged at to death, or have a rare moment in the shower to have a blog post golden lightbulb moment, I make sure that I try and write it down within 10 minutes of having it otherwise I know I’ll be scratching my head wondering what on earth that great idea I had earlier was. Remember, inspiration comes at all times and from everywhere, so your iPhone notes app is your blogging best friend.

4. Find your blogging buddies

Somewhere within your first year, you have these amazing moments when you find other bloggers who are made of the same cloth of you. You will totally “get” each other, and although at first only a virtual comradeship, they start to blossom into more. I have even found two blog wives through my first year of blogging – controversial, but loving you both equally Mum Muddling Through and Absolutely Prabulous. Β And to all blogging buddies reading this, can I say I am beyond excited about meeting you in the real world at Brit Mums live!

5. Take blog breaks

I remember so clearly, the first school holiday that passed – it was like looking out into a forest of tumbleweed. Twitter? Dead. Stats. Plummeting. I wondered why I was bothering to tend to my blog when nobody was around to read it. I realised that probably everyone else was some kind of unofficial blogging break during this times, and that I should, and would do, the very same.

Apart from that, blogging is a constant treadmill and in order to stay fresh rather than feeling like a sweaty watermelon, we do need to get off it sometimes. It also made me realise that most weekends should still be exactly that in blogging too otherwise you can really get quite sick of the sight of each other.

6. Stats DO matter, but not to the point of obsession

I have to admit, I am a recovering stats addict. I obsessed over them when I first started blogging, wondering why nobody was reading (hey, don’t we all). I obsessed over them as they were growing, elated to watch them doing so. I obsessed when they dipped, wondering where on earth I had possibly gone wrong. And then I obsessed over them again, when they were into a new found cycle. Now they have stabilized, as has my recovery from my addiction.

I guess you have to go through all of this to know that, having a working knowledge of your stats is useful, but obsessing over them only rots your soul and crushes your mojo. But I know I’ll never really truly be able to kick the habit.

7. Don’t compare

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. As I always tell my two and half year old daughter, don’t worry about what that person over there is doing, you just do your own thing.

After a year of blogging, while I certainly admire and find other bloggers inspirational, I can pretty much say hand on heart, that if you start obsessing over what other people are going, and that they are a better blogger than you, then it’s going to do your blogging mojo no favour. Put your blinkers on and ride as fast as you can to the sunset cowboy!

8. Be smart about social media

Social media is as important as remembering to wipe after a number two in this blogging world. It is basically the loud speaker of your content. Without using social media to your benefit, your content simply goes to waste. Nobody can find you.

It also helps you get in front of like-minded people, build your online presence and make yourself known to brands and marketing people, if you’re so inclined. It might be a pain in the proverbial, but a very necessary one at that. You can read more on that in my blog post about increasing your traffic here.

9. If you think it’s dull, it probably is

Let’s face it, sometimes you’ll have great ideas, and sometimes they’ll be cack. Sometimes you’ll be approached to write about things that excite you, and other times it will be so dull you’ll want to cry into your coffee. Use your inner compass and trust your instincts. If you’re bored thinking about it, it’s going to be even more boring writing about it, and your readers by the end will be dead and buried of boredom.

10. Never, ever feel obliged, but always be polite

As bloggers, we get approached to write about some pretty unfathomable subjects…and often for free (shock horror!). As ridiculous as a pitch might sound, always put a lid on it graciously, because you never know when things will come round to bite you on the butt thereafter.

Domestic Momster


  1. Fab tips! It’s so interesting how your attitude to stats has waxed and waned over time. I’ve decided not to look at mine for now, I felt like I was on that treadmill you mentioned, and I didn’t like it. I feel like it’s just the swings and roundabouts you described and when I’m ready I’ll focus on growing again. Thanks for the wisdom from someone who’s been there & done that πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Robyn! Waxing and waning is the thing that describes EVERYTHING in blogging. My stats took a big hit over the festive period & this month and I am really trying to pull them back up this month which has meant I have become unhealthily obsessed with them again – tsk tsk – I need to reread this post!!! πŸ˜›

  2. Happy blogiversary! I agree with all of these but numbers 7 and 9 particularly resonate with me. It’s so easy to first compare and then copy the style of a blogger you admire, but why struggle be a pale imitation of someone (and get depressed about it) when you could just be yourself – something no one else can ever do as well as you?

    There’s a lot to be said for trusting your instincts too. Most of us know deep down when something we’re writing is turning out to be less interesting than we had hoped but the hard bit is to take a step back and either revise it or just bin it altogether. Our egos get in the way. One of my cardinal rules when writing and editing is ‘no sacred cows’ – every line of every post has to justify its existence. I cut text or entire posts which seemed like a great idea at the time but just didn’t work in the final analysis. I’ve never known a post that hasn’t benefitted from cutting my worst 100 words – by definition, editing improves your work if you’re willing to check your ego at the door.

    • Hi Tim, thanks! Yes I agree one needs to be a good self editor I think to “succeed” as a blogger. I tend to be harsh on my own and other people’s waffle so couldn’t agree more – I am hoping now you don’t think I waffle too much haha! But above and beyond, being true to yourself is definitely the numero uno.

  3. Love this Talya…not only for my most wonderful mention (love you too ;-)) but so many great points. Particularly the ‘don’t overthink it…just press publish!’, and the taking of holidays, and basically everything else inbetween! I couldn’t have picked a better blogger to share you with either…Britmums countdown here we come! x

  4. I may have only found your blog recently but I am really loving having it in my Bloglovin. I was nodding along with this and realised you have learnt so much in a year. There really is nothing better than blogging chums and being true to yourself and your voice is just so important x

  5. Happy Birthday to your blog!!! I don’t obsess over stats either and I remember feeling kind of crappy at first when I thought no one was reading my posts but I have realized that it takes time to build a following and it takes time to really get to know this amazing community of bloggers who have also been there and done that. I have actually turned down a few potential reviews because they didn’t match with my blog or they sounded too fishy to me. These are great lesson to be learned in the blogging world! #momsterlink

  6. Happy blogday!! I agree with all of these tips. I really enjoyed my christmas bkogging break, happy in the knowledge that very few people were blogging over that period, so I wasnt missing out on anything. Since going self hosting and having everything on my laptop rather than my tablet, I have found my stats addiction is far more managable, I check it once day at most now. #Momsterlink

    • Thanks sweetie! What is it with all of us and blog stats addiction anyway? I never used to be a number person before this….x

  7. Congratulations on a fabulous year! I love this list. I’ve had a reasonably successful home-ed blog for several years but I recently felt inspired to create a new, more personal one (Laugh, Love, Learn) about our experiences dealing with overexcitabiities. Through my other blog I’ve made great friends all around the world, but I only know a couple of other bloggers here in the UK. I’m really excited about changing that over the next year and getting to know my fellow Brit mummy bloggers. πŸ™‚

    • Ooooh that sounds exciting Lucinda! I wish I knew as I literally just interviewed someone about home schooling for the blog but maybe you might like to guest blog on my #MyFiveThings series to get to know some UK bloggers? Would be a nice way of saying hi I guess? Drop me an email if you’re interested x

  8. Happy birthday! I’m always coming up with the best ever blog ideas in the middle of a shower or after getting up for the Tot in the night…then they’re gone. I think I need a note book surgically attached to my arm! I could agree more on blogging breaks, stats and being polite. Fab list! See you at Britmums πŸ™‚ X

    • Note book, note app…you need it! Because we only have a 3 second memory like a goldfish right? Excited to hang at Britmums lovely x

  9. I definitely agree with be a little daring – I went to a seminar where the Red or Dead founder was talking and he said this too – it’s good to be different #thelist

  10. My biggest tip would be constantly take pictures. i was never a pic taking guy before, but there are plenty of times now when I wish I had a picture of something from earlier. Happy bloggerversery. I would have guessed you’d been at this longer than that

    • Yeah I have to say I totally rely on stock media apart from the occasional self taken pic – is that totally cheating? Yeah I probably look older than I am – must be all those wrinkles eh?

  11. Good advice to those just starting like me. Thanks! Happy Birthday To You! My blog has been geared more towards me being the only one reading it so I am never disappointed with my stats. πŸ™‚ There is so much to learn, it’s nice to come along a simple list here and there than be overwhelmed with an overabundance.

  12. Happy blogging birthday! Agree with all these, I know the posts that have done the best for me are the ones that have almost written themselves – no overthinking, just let my fingers find the keys. You do also need to be a bit daring I think, as you say – use your voice, don’t be afraid to stand out. Oh yes re the stats, it’s easy to let them take over – but they are a guide rather than the be-all and end-all. xx #thelist

  13. All very true and great advice here! As always you hit the nail right on the head and I couldn’t agree more with finding your blogging “posse” I have truly enjoyed getting to know you and several others. Thanks for linking up with #momsterslink.

  14. It’s so difficult not to get obsessed (and in my case, usually depressed!) about stats. I’m so with you on that one! Some great tips here. I’m off to read your post about increasing social media….

    • It is so hard! But I do find it gets easier once things stabilize…took me about a year and then the Xmas hols came along and ruined everything arghhh! x

  15. Happy blog birthday! Great list of tips, I used to be a bit of a stats addict too. I try to only check them once a day now!! I am always coming up with ideas and then forgetting them by the time I get to the laptop, I need to start writing them down.xx #coolmumclub

  16. Great tips, it’s amazing how much you can learn about blogging in such a short time! Totally agree, especially with stats. I used to check mine several times a day but now probably check in once a week. It’s nice to know you’re getting a steady number of visits bit definitely not the be all and end all! #coolmumclub

  17. Happy first birthday!! I can’t believe you haven’t been blogging longer! Your blog is so professional & polished. You have accomplished so much in one year, I’m really impressed! I so agree with all of your advice. Especially about blogging buddies & not getting obsessed with numbers or comparing your blog to others. #coolmumclub x

  18. I am quite new to blogging, only started in October. At first I had no idea how to get into the blogging community and it all quite terrified me as everyone seemed to know everyone. But the more I get involved the more I realise how lovely you all are and helpful too. I’ve done guest blogs which I love doing and had some beautiful comments. I worry about having a break. If I don’t go on Twitter or blog for a day then I don’t get any views and worry it’s the end of my blog! How silly is that. I have two small children so I need to realise I can’t be doing the mum thing and the blog thing 24/7. Thank you for the helpful advice #coolmumclub

  19. Hey Lovely!

    Happy Blog Birthday! (And now I’m going to do my own bit of pointless, silly comparison… I can’t believe your blog is only a year old! I also started in Jan last year, although I suppose I only got serious with it in December. Anyway, congrats, it’s awesome!)

    Some really great points here that are so important to keep in mind, else you could end up losing your mind!

    I can’t wait to meet you either x

  20. I love the word ‘cack’!!! I’m still a little bit into checking my stats and worrying about them but hey ho, I’m sure that’ll pass. I try to do it for me as much as possible! Happy 1 year blogging x

  21. Let’s start with ‘Social media is as important as remembering to wipe after a number two’. Legend. I love that your mind did that when you plugged it in to your computer!
    Brilliant piece, brilliant blog. Awesome linky thank you x #coolmumclub

  22. Congratulations on hitting the big 1! And you’ve managed to put out a book in that time also? Impressive! Good luck with your future endeavours and thanks for hosting #coolmumclub & welcoming me so warmly.

  23. Happy birthday! Did you know you can get waterproof notepads for the shower? Seriously! Google it – you need never forget that amazing blog post idea again! (or that you need to add shampoo to your Tesco delivery) πŸ™‚ #coolmumclub

    • Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your inetlligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  24. Happy blog birthday! You have already achieved so much in your first year (including a book!) You must be so proud. Thank you for the tips and I wish you every success in your next year!
    #coolmumclub x

  25. Fantastic post, and as a relative newbie (although, I’ve just realised I’ve been going 6 months already!!) these are some fab tips, especially with regatds to keeping it real. I agonised for weeks and weeks about writing my birth story, but once I stopped thinking about it, it just flowed from me and I hardly had to edit it at all! Well done on a fab first year #coolmumsclub

  26. Happy Blog Anniversary!! I’m with you on the sleep on it rule – and I have ditched a few posts after a nights sleep! It’s hard to be totally chilled about stats when you first start out but I can see how it could get obsessive! I do definitely get a bit of a buzz when lots of people read my posts!! Sarah πŸ™‚

  27. Happy Birthday to your blog! Some great tips there. Especially the one with the writing notes and sleep on it rule!! How did you overcome your stats obsession? It’s something I feel I may need to be weaned off sharpish before I become a complete loon!

  28. Happy Blog Birthday! Great lessons and I totally agree with all of them. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

  29. Happy blog birthday and these are great lessons to have learned in your first year of blogging. Stats obsession is something I think a lot of us struggle with – I’ve now reached the point where I’m much less bothered by them but every so often I still have obsessive days. Making blogging buddies is one of the best things about blogging and it’s always good to take some time away from the blog every now and then too πŸ™‚

  30. Great advice!! As a newbie its good to know others have been through what you are feeling πŸ™‚ Fab article. Thanks x

  31. A whole year blogging! It goes so quick doesn’t it. I’ve been blogging a year next month and I still have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I don’t know how to schedule tweets and I can honestly say that I never ever look my stats. I just enjoy writing my posts and joining in with linkies. I guess it’s just a little hobby for me really but obviously it’s always a bonus when people take the time to read my posts.

    Visiting from #coolmumclub

  32. Congratulations to your first year of blogging success! I also ask myself sometimes, why am I writing if nobody is reading.. but I love blogging, it can be tiring sometimes but I love being part of this wonderful community. Lovely post! #coolmumclub

  33. Great list Talya! I am totally with you on the stats obsession – I too am a recovering addict. I was obsessed once but now I don’t care so much since they’ve stabilised quite a bit. Keeping notes is so important – I’d forget so many post ideas otherwise. Looking forward to hopefully meeting you at BML! Congrats on your first year you’ve avhieved so much xx #coolmumclub

  34. Woop woop, happy blog birthday! I love your list, and above all I agree with your words of wisdom, ‘nobody wants to feel like a sweaty watermelon’. So wise πŸ™‚

  35. Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! A huge thank you for sharing this post – am only 2 months in so am hanging on your every word. What a year you’ve had – inspirational! I am heading over to read your “how to get more traffic” – i need it and need to learn! Will let you know how I get on. Happy Friday xx

  36. These are great tips, I will be coming up to my blogging year in March. How did you get over your stats obsession mine is still very much there – lol!! I like the tip about taking time out as it does become a treadmill although I always struggle with that one too. Happy Birthday xx #TheList

  37. I think the hardest thing is to not compare yourself to others – I try not to, but it’s hard not to look at more successful blogs and wonder what you’re doing wrong! #coolmumclub

  38. Happy Blog Birthday! I can’t believe your blog is only a year old, it seems so… professional and accomplished and established! I’m only 5 months in so some of these tips are super useful, thank you! I’m already all over the notes section of my iPhone. If I lose that my blog’s over! Great post, thanks for hosting the ever cool #coolmumclub

  39. Happy blog birthday!! Some excellent tips, as always! With regards to boring tour readers, what do you do when you’ve got a good idea but you can’t get it down on paper as you imagine it to be?? That seems to be a problem I come up against quite often and I’m never sure whether to just give up on it! Interested to hear your thoughts. #coolmumclub

  40. Congratulations on your year! Great tips! I have so much packed into my iphone notes app! I took a break over Christmas as I wanted to enjoy Christmas & I realised that, as you say, there wasn’t going to be anyone reading or anyone else doing much if I did keep working so why bother! It was nice to have a break. #coolmumclub

  41. Great advice! Thanks so much, what a great read. I would be lost with out my ‘notes’ app on my phone. Though sometimes I go back to my notes and have NO idea what they mean! Becky x #coolmumclub

  42. I love how you describe number 8… lol! Number 9 is how I write my blog, I love reading entertaining posts. Whether it’s full of information, makes me cry or makes me laugh so hard I need a Tena… You’ve hit the nail on the head… if we read our own posts and they’re boring, then they probably are. Happy blog birthday!

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