The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart. (Mencius, Chinese philosopher 372-289 BC)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

How To Survive Your First Year In Blogging

Dad Etc is one today.

Dad Etc turns one today! Wow. In some ways I am amazed that it is still going. Blogging has been a lot more difficult than I expected it to be. There have been times when I have completely lost my blogging mojo or when other events have conspired to stop me from poring over a keyboard to produce a potentially interesting post.

However, I am still at it.

12 months have passed and I am still blogging. Why?

Well, I guess that must mean I enjoy what I am doing. I love the opportunity it gives for creativity, for interaction and for a completely free hand. It is still a thrill to read a comment by somebody on something I have written or to be featured on Mumsnet - so thank you! It is fantastic to think that there are some out there who are patient enough to follow Dad Etc - thank you again.

I thought I would mark my first blogiversary by offering 5 pieces of advice for anybody considering embarking upon a blog - I am no expert but like any good teacher I like to pretend I know what I am talking about.

1. Pace yourself

When I started blogging in April 2012. I was full of ideas and snappy one liners. I could have spent hour after hour blogging. I posted 8 times in three weeks - whilst I was on holiday - only to completely run out of steam as the holiday finished and work kicked in. I only posted once in the whole of May. I wish I had known about the Schedule button back then - it has become one of my best friends.

2. Tap into Blogging Expertise

There is so much expertise out there  - and an awful lot of friendly, helpful people. Get yourself onto Mumsnet, Tots 100, Love All Blogs and Britmums (other parent friendly blogging networks are available - but these seem to be the most helpful in my experience). Sign yourself up to Twitter and start following like minded bloggers and American uber bloggers like Bruce Sallan and Annabel Candy. Post on blogs you like and don't be shy about asking for advice.

3. Build a habit

Routines are really important in blogging. Lots of bloggers post a "Silent Sunday" post, I post a Weekend Picture as often as possible. Having that routine of a definite post each week really helps because I know that most weeks I will be able to post a Weekend Picture and posting once seems to encourage me to post a second time

4. Don't Obsess

It is very easy to obsess about your blog. I often find myself sneaking a peak at my pageview count, tweaking a potential blog banner or musing over what to post in my next twitter update. Blogging can become a time consumer. I have noticed the irony of writing a blog about family life only to find myself spending time on a solitary pursuit (writing) when I could be enjoying the subject of my blog instead - so be careful!

5. Enjoy

I have come closest to giving up when blogging has become a chore - as just something else to squeeze into an already overly busy life. So, if there is one piece of advice I would give - it is to enjoy it! And if you don't enjoy it - stop! Find a routine that works for you - don't compare yourself to other bloggers - and enjoy what you do.

Have fun.

Speak Soon
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