Thursday 16 February 2012

Things I wish I had known at the Beginning by Multiple Mummy (New Bloggers Fortnight)

If you are here looking for Reasons to be Cheerful, then head over to Seasider in the City and link up there, for this week the lovely Clare is the host.  Cheers Mich x

We have a fellow twin mummy on the blog today. Kerry from Multiple Mummy has just had her first bloggerversary and has really established a lovely blog full of family fun and honest tales of being a stay at home mum. Make sure you stop by and visit her if she is a new blogger to you. Here is what she says about herself -

A family obsessed lady who turns the big 30 in April. Mummy to a three year old boy Noah and two year old twins Little Madam and Chilled Out Boy and I blog at Multiple Mummy which has just celebrated it's 1st birthday. I am currently a stay at home due to childcare costs (please don't get me on my soap box) and am a Science Teacher by Trade (I also co-write Science Sparks) a job I love with a passion and hope to return to one day. Blogging has become my new addiction, and has kept my sanity. I am a chocoholic, a twitteroholic and a babyoholic and hope to have more! I am also a total geek! I used to be geek chic, but the chic bit has fallen off since having children! I'm a real people person and love a chat so please come and say hello.

We all start blogging for different reasons. For me, I stumbled into it, and then found it to be my release from the carnage that can be two-year-old twins and a three-year-old little boy. I never comprehended how much I would learn and how addictive it would become. I never began to imagine the passion that would grow and the love I would have for it.

I have been blogging now for 1 year (my blogaversary was the 31st January) and I have come to understand a lot of things over that year, including the so called blogging rules which I think Dorky Mum sums up perfectly, but there are some practical things that I really wish I had known in the beginning that would have helped and my blog kick off to a flying start:

Join things and take Part

There are a lot of places to sign up to, that will give you more information, hints and tips for blogging, but will additional help enhance your network of ‘friends’ and I promise you this, as strange as it seems, some people will become true friends and you will get opportunity to meet them.

Things to join or know about are BritMums, Tots100, Netmums parent blogger network, parent blogger network group on facebook and Love all blogs. It has taken me all year to find and join them, and I am constantly stumbling upon things on other blogs that I don’t have, or have not seen, so really take a look around of other blogs.

Link ups are a great way to read new blogs and also to help give you inspiration for those moments of writers block. Some popular ones are The Gallery; Saturday is Caption day and Reasons to be Cheerful. Plus I have just started one called Family Frolics (thought I would sneak that in) and they are all worth a look at. Again I did not start doing this until nearly two months in, and it is all helpful in the beginning to get yourself known a bit. Don’t feel you have to do them all, and they should never be a chore, but if you like that week’s theme and it fits in with your blog, then link up!

As a new blogger, you are lucky as you are so looked after and well supported nowadays. There is the Love All Blogs site which showcases posts every week and BritMums has created a feature for new blogs so getting yourself seen is much easier. Do take advantage of this.

Facebook page

I waited ages (well 10 months in fact) until I finally made a Facebook page and wish I had done this sooner. In some ways I can get more conversation flowing on there than on twitter and you can get a lot of traffic via Facebook.

It is funny because Mich from Mummy from the Heart said I had a successful Facebook page and she asked me what I did to make that happen. I am not really sure. I think I treat it like my personal page and add bits to my wall about my day, share photo’s and link my Instagram to it sometimes, and if I start to write a tweet that might generate discussion, I transfer it to Facebook first as that links to twitter anyway, and so I get chatter from both aspect.

I make the effort to reply on Facebook to those who commented on my posts and definitely some of my readers are greater Facebook users than Twitter.

I created a welcome page on my Facebook, which I think helped and if you look at the page you can make one for free to by clicking the link at the bottom.

When I went to Cybermummy last year one of the sessions made out that your page should be like a business and you should only post on there a maximum of three times a week. I have not found this to be the case. Readers (who are normal people) read us because they can relate to us, and so want that connection. We are not trying to sell them anything; we are just sharing our thoughts. I think Facebook and twitter make us real.

So for example last week when I just commented I was excited that ‘Call the midwife’ was on, I got lots of responses from people who were watching it to!

My view is…chat.

Share the love

Ensure you have share buttons on your blog as a widget so that people can tweet or stumble or G+ your blog and get in the habit of doing this to other people’s blog posts you enjoy! Additionally ensure you have a ‘subscribe by email’ widget is my other tip especially as GFC is being phased out.

Also if you really enjoyed someone’s post share it on your social network sites. They then may return the favour later on. Having a blog roll or blog love page is also a great way to share who you are reading.

If you want comments (which we all love if we are truly honest) then you need to comment as well! Bloggers tend to be very loyal and if they notice someone is commenting regularly they will head over to that blog and return the favour and you may find you end up with a new follower.

Time and schedule

Remember you do your blog for fun so try not to let it take over you life (this is easier said than done with the addiction part of it) but do try to find some sort of balance, or at least after six months work out what you want from it and where you want it to go. That way you know what is a realistic amount of time to spend. One thing that took me ages to realise was that I could schedule my posts and so before this I was staying up late or getting up early to publish when actually there is a function that does it for you. Great if you know you are going away and want to prepare something in advance.
So there we have it, my list of things to make blogging life easier! However linking back to Dorky Mum’s first post, these are only suggestions and guidelines as to what I have personally found useful and are by no means a set of rules. I hope you find them useful too. Please to take a moment to stop by and take a peak at my blog. I love getting to know new people and I am friendly soul so please can and chat to me!

MM  x

Many thanks Kerry, since I have renewed my interest in Facebook in the last 4 days and taken on board your tip to use it as I would my own page the people chatting about my blog page has risen by about 700%! I call that a result.

I have a lovely post for you tomorrow, one I can really relate to.  It is written by Clare from Seasider in the City and she shares why you can be a success at blogging but not be everyone's best friend.

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