Year One, Overall Lesson Learned: Everybody is making this shit up as they go along, there is no right or wrong way to do this. 

I started this blog on Blogger, I don’t know why. I must have typed ‘free blog’ into Google and that was the top result (obvs it is). So I clicked and created an account and email address. I didn’t have a blog title in mind at first, its very hard to make that decision. You can go back and edit posts and titles and pictures but you can’t change the name of your blog once you’ve defined it. I wanted Confessions Of A Working Mummy  but that was already taken – well it was a year ago – I just googled it now and can’t come up with a site. What the fuck? I could be a mega-star by now with that blog name! Anyway, I opted to change the word ‘confession’ for another adjective and ‘Mummy’ for another derivative.

I turned back to trusty Google ‘another word for confession’ please.

Acknowledgments Of A Working Mum

Revelations Of An Employed Mama

Disclosures Of An Employed Parent

They’re all pretty shit really.

I obviously felt I had a lot to confess. Plus I was now a bona fide Mum. The two go naturally hand in hand… right?

In the end I settled for Admissions Of A Working Mother, which was fine. I mean it does what it says on the tin but Jesus – its long isn’t it? What a mouthful. There’s no going back now though.

Admissions of a Working Mother
If you remember this, you’ve been with me from the beginning – I salute you!

Here’s the link to my first ever post, cringe cringe cringe. Doesn’t sound like me does it? And look at the crap placements of the photos haha! I could go in and change this but I’m not going to, it makes me kinda happy !

Anyway, a year later here we are, and that is that.

I was going to write a history about what I’ve done on and with this blog over the last year but I just can’t be bothered – I mean you don’t really want to read that crap do you? So I’m just going to tell you the five most important things I’ve learned in my first year of blogging and if you are a newbie and wondering how to proceed I hope they help you.

WordPress Is The Sexiest Thing Ever

I started with Blogger and its a great way to find your feet but be-jeez its archaic and frustrating. I wasted so much time faffing around with their templates and could never quite get the look I wanted. WordPress is easy and slick as fuck, it will make you look like an Internet genius when all you’ve really done is pick some colours and added a few widgets.

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Work For Free At First

Look if you want to “monetize your blog” (I hate that phrase – its banded about all over the shop – like its a bad thing to want to do – its the best thing to want to do – you don’t need to be embarrassed about this) you have to build up a bit of portfolio to demonstrate you can actually do it. The best way to do this is to work for free, which sounds sucky I know – people completely underestimate how much hard work and time go into a review or a sponsored post. And the emails, oh all the emails back and forth! A blogger never gets anything for ‘FREE’ thank you very much, it can take literally days if you are giving it your all with fancy photos and logos and sparkling wit. But remember, you are playing the long game here not the short one. So, yeah at first review that product or tweet about it for free. Build up a relationship with companies and brands, teach yourself how to communicate with them, teach yourself how to write engaging reviews. Think of it as a training course, a crash course in business and advertising.

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Link With Linkys Until It Hurts

Do not underestimate the power of the linky. Linky’s gain you four things:

1. Comments, site visits and potentially regular readers

2. Relationships with other bloggers

3. Inspiration from other bloggers

4. Back links

Try lots of them out in your first year, see which ones you fit with best, which ones ‘help’ you most and which ones give you the kind of content you like to read.

Here are the best ones I’ve discovered this year:

Stay Classy Mama   FabFridayPost   PoCoLo   Effit Friday

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Social Media Is Your Trumpet

Pre-blog I only really used Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook, because everyone has Facebook – I loved it when it first came about – there’s loads of hideous photos there of me in my early twenties. But if you have a Blog you also need a Facebook Page  to promote your blog posts – plus people can like and share your page with their friends which is good news for you.

Instagram I’ve always loved, not that I’m a photographer in anyway but I’ve had it for about four years and just had it as my own personal photo type diary with originally 5 or 6 friends following me. I use it best on a Friday night when I’m on my third glass of wine and I feel like being my terribly drunk hilarious self.

Twitter is the social media resource that will bring the most traffic to your blog. It is also the best way to chit chat with other bloggers. Real quick tips: schedule tweets of your blog posts using Hootsuite / don’t schedule them every five minutes – people will get bored of you going on about yourself / use relevant hashtags /  include images in tweets they grab people’s attention / engage with other people.

Pinterest I have little time for, I’m not going to lie. I have an account, I pin occasionally – its just not for me. HOWEVER if you are a lifestyle/ cookery type blogger Pinterest is a freaking mahoosive outlet for you and you should be pinning like a blue-arsed fly trapped in a bottle.

Also use IFFIT, its fucking amazing.

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Be Brave, Make Inappropriate Advances

I do this frequently, I get more tumble weed blowing in the wind then I do responses but I DO GET SOME RESPONSES! Which I have and do now regularly receive work from. Email a brand/store you love asking who there PR company is – email a PR company and ask what brands they work with. Why not? What have you got to lose? Also don’t be boring when you do this – these people get these kind of emails everyday – be funny/ be interesting – stand out – don’t hide – they don’t know you are there if you don’t tell them!

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You can also check out  Blogging 101: How Not To Be A Dick if you fancy some more blogging advice from someone who is not very successful and has no idea what they are doing.

Blogging 101: Year One

25 thoughts on “Blogging 101: Year One

  • August 5, 2016 at 8:20 am
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    *thumbs up* great advice and well done to you on everything you’ve achieved in a year *high fives*

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  • August 5, 2016 at 5:30 pm
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    Great post! And you are so right! I haven’t a clue what the hell I’m doing, but I like to write, meet other bloggers, read, and watch my baby therapeutic site grow. Thanks for telling it like it is! #stayclassymama

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  • August 6, 2016 at 6:53 pm
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    Haha! Great post, valuable information mixed with wit and swear words, I like that 😀

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  • August 7, 2016 at 9:59 am
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    Fab hun and I’ll be honest I really like admissions of a working mother as a title. You stand out to me!

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  • August 18, 2016 at 2:06 pm
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    I love this, I am a newb (less than 1 month!) and I found you via joining my first link party #stayclassymama. I have had days over this past month where i’ve been tearing my hair out trying to make sure i’ve pinned, tweeted, shared and optimised my posts till my eyes bleed. Reading the line:
    ‘Year One, Overall Lesson Learned: Everybody is making this shit up as they go along, there is no right or wrong way to do this. ‘
    Has just taken a massive weight off my shoulders! I think I can let myself relax a little now 🙂

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  • September 8, 2016 at 6:55 am
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    Really good advice, well put. Thank you. And congrats on your first year. I’ve got to get off blogger… Ironically, I use WordPress for work. #Stayclassymama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 7:15 am
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    Well done and thanks for sharing your tips! #stayclassymama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 8:08 am
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    Great advice and all given in your honest, straight to the point way which cuts out all the crap. You’ve achieved so much in a year, I feel like I’ve just plodded along really with no real ambition, or maybe just no energy to motivate myself! I’m hoping with two in school and one in nursery that the youngest will comply with allowing me an hour a day to get some blogging done! #stayclassymama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 9:08 am
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    Your first paragraph describes me exactly! I’m currently stuck with Blogger and, after seeing all the real pro-looking blogs out there with WordPress, I am really regretting it. Looks like I’m going to have to move over to WordPress. Thanks for all the advice, I’ll definitely be following it. #Stayclassymama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 9:35 am
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    Thank you for sharing this – love your advice. I agree about linkys – it’s how I’ve really engaged with the blogging community. I didn’t know about fabfridayposts effitfriday or pocolo so thank you for that tip – will check them out for sure! Also. I love you advice about being brave – I did that this week and approached The Unmumsy Mum to interview her for a post and she only went and said yes!!! #StayClassyMama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 10:07 am
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    Some great tips! There are some things in here I know I need to do and some new ones I hadn’t yet thought of. Thanks and love your first post, I think the photos are….fine! #stayclassymama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 11:19 am
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    Great tips! I’m totally with you on WordPress vs Blogger – I had an old blog on Blogger, but WordPress is so much slicker. I can usually spot a Blogger blog a mile away.

    I’m still not monetizing my blog, but that’s a personal choice – though I have to admit a little extra income would be nice, especially since nursery fees are f***ing expensive. #stayclassymama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 1:13 pm
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    Good advice. It’s nice to hear that somebody else hasn’t fully dived into the Pinterest world yet. I claimed my name, but haven’t done a single thing on there otherwise #stayclassy

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  • September 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm
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    What a round-up! I’m impressed. And also feeling old. I started on Blogger in 2008, before I was even on Facebook. Whoops, gotta go. My dinosaur is waiting for me to ride him outside. 🙂 #stayclassymama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 6:48 pm
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    Wow–love this advice and have bookmarked this article. We need all the help we can get! : )
    #StayClassyMama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 7:02 pm
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    Hahaha I’m laughing my arse about the pinterest comment. Where I need to improve too! #stayclassymama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 8:43 pm
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    Thanks for sharing this advice. I’m reassured by the bit about working for free. I’m very new and just starting to get a few review requests from people that want to give me just about nothing in return, but I’m agreeing to do it for the experience and “social capital”. And yes, WordPress is sexy as hell. #stayclassymama

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  • September 8, 2016 at 8:45 pm
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    You are fucking hilarious. I love love LOVE reading your stuff. I feel like we have a really similar style… which is a really narcissitic thing to say but it’s good to love yourself, right?! heheh! This is great…i need to do the change from Blogger. It’s totes pants but i am fucking lazy. and a bit intimidated by the enormity of the task. Anyway loved this tips! yey! #StayClassyMama

    ps I changed my blog name a gatrillion times. And it’s STILL shit. But it’s better than “A Hefty Helicopter and the mini copters”. No joke. That was one of the names. I know. I can’t even.

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  • September 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm
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    I have a travel blog and am constantly asked why I’m not on Pinterest. Just got on Instagram…I’m just not committed enough 😉 #Stayclassy

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  • September 9, 2016 at 8:48 am
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    Hey, you forgot #chucklemums as an amazing linky ;D You should add this one it really made me laugh. What is IFFIT? This is the second time this week I’ve heard that – any blogposts on it? 🙂 #stayclassymama

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  • September 9, 2016 at 10:49 am
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    You’ve done so much in a year! You should be really proud. My blog will be 5 next January. I wish I had of put more effort in in the beginning. It’s only now that I’m taking it seriously and earning money from it.

    Oh and I think I’m making the move to WordPress!

    #StayClassyMama

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  • September 9, 2016 at 5:04 pm
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    Thank you Sarah! I have NO idea what I am doing. I’m pretty sure I end up tweeting about posts every 5 minutes, and then not at all for days. I am not in love with Twitter. The pity of my fellow bloggers is mucho appreciado. Love this – much needed advice! #stayclassymama

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  • September 9, 2016 at 8:31 pm
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    Oooh great post I am hitting my year blog birthday and have written a similar post – but not as funny! #atayclassymama

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  • September 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm
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    Another great post. I love also agree that wordpress is pretty sexy and before I started my blog I used social media even less than you. The only thing I had was facebook and I never updated my status! #stayclassymama

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  • September 12, 2016 at 11:21 am
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    I’ve read a few things about blogger vs WordPress and am very pleased I plumped for WordPress from the off!! Still so much to learn though! Plugins?! Widgets??!! Love your inappropriate advances advice!! Great stuff!! Thanks muchly! #stayclassymama

    Reply

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