Blogging can be tough at times. Not necessarily physically difficult (although RSI is a risk!), more emotionally tough. You spend time writing the best article in the world, publish it and wait for your hilarious but heart-warming musings to go viral. After not receiving anything after 15 minutes, you check that your article published correctly, hit refresh repeatedly on Google Analytics, then come to the realisation that no-one wants to read your masterpiece. The life of a blogger.
In a world where the bloggers only real feedback mechanism is stats (views, unique visitors, comments, Tots 100, “Likes”, followers, Klout score etc), it is important to keep your motivation by focussing on the little wins. With that in mind, I don’t intend to sound like a boasty wanker (although I guess I will a bit), but it’s been a pretty good couple of days from a blogging perspective as I hit a couple of milestones.
Not only did I get an article featured on the front page of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network which is a first, but I also smashed my record for daily views on the blog, reached 1,000 followers on Twitter, and, most excitingly, had the opportunity to make my podcasting debut with Love All Dads.
Yes, it’s not quite achieving World Peace or being called upon to don the claret and blue of Aston Villa, but it is nice to reach some milestones to know you’re heading in the right direction. Having started my blogging journey pretty much three months to the day, it is a pretty cool feeling to tick a few things of the list that I never thought possible. Why would 1,000 people want to see what I say on Twitter for instance?!
One of the first stops when I started blogging was finding Love All Dads and realising it was a great way of meeting like-minded people whilst trying to spread my posts. This led me to their award-winning podcast featuring Lewis, John, Tom and Darren, otherwise known as @dadwhoblogs, @FloydUK @DiaryoftheDad and @Onedad3Girls. I’m sure they’d disagree as they are a reluctant bunch, but each one of them is helping to fly the UK dad blogger flag, and doing great things in the process.
To be included in their show as a guest therefore felt like a pretty big accomplishment for me. They may correct me here, but hopefully the fact that I warranted an appearance on the podcast shows that I too have something to contribute to the dad blogging community. Either that, or they were really struggling to find someone to go on the show. I’ll focus on the prior point as not to burst my bubble.
If you’ve not heard the podcast before, it is well worth a listen. The guys have just surpassed the 50 episode mark and continue to create timely, relevant, interesting and funny content on all things dad-related. I was a guest on the 51st episode and shared my experiences as a new dad, including some of the things I’d recently written about in a post detailing things I probably shouldn’t do as a dad (namely mimicking the baby crying and letting her suck my nose).
We also discussed my recent solo outing to Mumsnet’s Bumpfest 2014, and as usual on the podcast, discussed a recent news story related to fatherhood / parenting. This was the story of Mohamed El-Erian, who quit his job as chief of the world’s biggest bond business to spend more time with his daughter after she gave him a letter listing 22 milestones he had missed in her 10-years of life.
I really enjoyed appearing on the show. Not only did it give me chance to speak to other dads, which is probably a first since Baby L was born seven weeks ago, but I was also able to experience being on a different platform. I find that it is easier to write because you have more time to play with sentence structure etc, whereas once something starts to leave your mouth verbally, you have little chance of recovering the situation! I think the missus was also pretty pleased as it meant that she was shot of me for an hour…
So, what is the moral of the post? There wasn’t one when I started writing, but on reflection, it feels like it is probably something like, ‘no matter what you are doing, have goals in place and celebrate your milestones when you achieve them’. Maybe a bit wankerish, but true nonetheless!
I also wanted to write a post which included Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights’ catchphrase ‘coming in your ears’ to create a tenuous link to listening to a podcast. Milestone complete!
Have you achieved any milestones recently? How do you keep yourself sane as a blogger?