I have been writing my blog for three years and one month, and this year something changed that I still find difficult to get my head around. It has gone from what was purely a hobby, into a small, but relatively profitable business. I have to admit that even in my wildest dreams I never expected to earning a penny from my blog let alone some of the fantastic opportunities that I have received because of my blog this year.
This year when it started, I didn’t really have any goals or ambitions for my blog, which in all honesty was the same as any other year, just go with flow and see what happens.
I was encouraged towards the end of 2016, and I started to get more opportunities from big brands. Although not being the most confident person in my own abilities, I convinced myself it would all end. It didn’t all end, in fact it started to get better and more and more big brands started to approach me to collaborate.
The year started off well as I have said a number of big brands started to approach me which amazed me, I never thought it would happen. Everything was going well, I was featured by a number of fantastic blogs and websites. I achieved the front page of mumsnet on a couple of occasions in the first half of the year. This was very satisfying, to be noticed by such a reputable organisation.
In May I attended my first ever blogging conference which was BlogOn in Manchester and to say I was nervous was an understatement, but I got over my nerves, and met lots of lovely people who have become firm friends and I met up with them again in September at BlogOn Xmas. It’s the best blogging conference around as it’s friendly and very laid back. I already have my ticket for May 2018.
About halfway through the year I was approached by DaddiLife to contribute to some videos and this has developed into a fantastic relationship, who I have now worked with on many occasions. This was a huge honour to be asked by Han and his fantastic website, and I’m really looking forward to 2018.
Looking back over the year it all changed for me in June. The highly respected organisation Vuelio released their Top 10 Dad Bloggers for 2017, and to my total disbelief I came in at number two. In under three years I was rated at number two for dad bloggers in the UK. I know lists don’t mean a lot to a lot of bloggers but for me, I have always strived to be in these lists. My excitement at reading this was enormous. I don’t think I calmed down for about an hour. The feeling of achievement was, well very difficult to put into words. Hard work and hopefully writing good content was paying off.
I have made a number of appearances on the radio, which again is something that I never imagined in my wildest dreams happening. What I love about the radio is it can be a nice distraction from blogging.
Then one morning in July I was getting the girls ready for school when I read a tweet to say I had been shortlisted for a parenting award, with blogosphere magazine. That was a huge shock! I had never been nominated before let alone shortlisted. I went to my first awards night, sadly I did not win, but the winner was very well deserved, and to be shortlisted was a huge achievement.
In the summer I was approached by John Adams who writes Dad Blog Uk. John is my benchmark of the blogging world when I started three years ago. His was one of first blogs I came across, and I always thought if I could get anywhere near the quality of his blog, I would be doing well. So when he asked me to guest post for him, you could have blown me over. I quickly said yes before he changed his mind, haha! Seriously this was a huge honour to write a post for John.
As summer progressed I continued to have more offers from brands and it was very humbling to think large brands considered me an influencer, worth working with. This is something I still find difficult to understand.
During the year I have not failed to be out of the top 10 of the Rise Leader Board, in fact I have been number one on many occasions. Which I feel is quite an achievement.
One of the things that has always eluded me was the Tots 100 index. I never seemed to climb up the chart, but that has now changed this year as I am ranked 118, and my highest ranking was 101. I was also voted number 3 Dad blogger in the UK by Tots 100 for 2017.
Easily the biggest surprise of the year for me was in October when Vuelio announced their Top 10 Parent bloggers for 2017. I only went and made the list at number 8, I was truly stunned and when I looked at the other nine in the list. OMG! I’m ranked with some absolutely awesome amazing bloggers, very hard for me to take in, but wow! What a great feeling.
I have this year also been lucky enough to be featured on the monthly Brit Mums ‘Dad round-ups’ and also the Tweens, teens and beyond round-up.
I actually can’t think of any moments that my blog hasn’t been on a high during the year. What I have learnt is all the hard work which I put in the first 18 months, and still working very hard if not harder, than before has paid off.
The blogging community is one of the nicest communities I have ever come across, and this year has been amazing to meet so many people in person, at different events I have attended.
The biggest part of blogging for me this year has been to be recognised for all my hard work, and I actually think if I can do this anybody can. This year has been a rollercoaster of a ride.
What does 2018 have in store for me? If I’m honest I have no idea, but one thing I don’t do is set targets or things I want to achieve, because if I don’t achieve it, it would be a huge let-down so I just go with the flow and see what happens.
My blog has given me my voice after years of staying quiet usually to keep the peace and avoid confrontation. Finally I have a vehicle in my blog to voice my opinion.
Finally I would thank all the people that read my ramblings and taking the time to comment on my blog posts. It is hugely appreciated. I would also like to thank my wife,Emily, who blogs at Twin Mummy and Daddy, without whom I would never have been able to achieve half of what I have this year, l love you.
It’s been a good year.