156 weeks and 4 days.
As of today, I have been blogging for three whole years.
Something that I never even contemplated when I started My Petit Canard with my very first post in the middle of the night during a long and lonely night feed back in 2013. I have learnt so many things over the last three years that I have been blogging. About myself as a mother and parent, as a person and of course as a blogger. I have been on, and still am on a journey that has given me as much as it has taken to stay on it.
Last year I shared 10 things I’d learnt from blogging for two years and this year I wanted to share the seven biggest lessons I’ve learnt:
#1.I STILL NEED TO FIND MY VOICE
I have a voice, but I’m still figuring out what I want to say. I talk about parenting. I talk about the things I’ve learnt about raising children and the things that we do and enjoy as a family. It’s all very nice, and I wonder sometimes whether my blog lacks substance because there isn’t any real depth to what I talk about. In some ways and in some moments I care about that fact because it makes me feel like less of a writer, and in others I don’t because I talk about and write about the things that matter to me. But I still feel after three years of blogging like I need to find and hone my voice.
#2. BLOGGING IS A LONG GAME
Blogging is a slow burner if you’re serious about it, and that’s ok. Looking around me in the blogging and You Tube world, six seems to be the magic number. Six years before some of the biggest parenting bloggers and more mainstream You Tubers really came into the fore. So by those accounts im half way into what has already been an exciting journey, but could potentially be an even bigger one. In the first few years I was keen to build my blog and my followers to go with it, and whilst building those things are still important, I’ve realised over the past year that when it comes to blogging, slow, steady and consistent is much more important. I would much rather a loyal engaged audience of 100, to a disengaged, superficial audience of 1000, metaphorically speaking.
#3. AUTHENTICTY AND INTEGRITY ARE IMPORTANT TO ME
I’m not willing to compromise myself or my blog for a quick buck which is one of my core values that I love. My integrity is one of the most important things to me and I’m pleased that over the past three years that I have been blogging I have managed to stay true to why I started blogging. Honesty and authenticity is important to me. I’ve always wanted my readers to know that they will never find a review or post on my blog for something that I don’t believe in, wouldn’t use, buy or love myself and its nice to look back and still be able to say that
#4. I’VE FOUND MY TRIBE
I finally feel like im finding my tribe. For the last three years I’ve lost count the number of times I have read posts about finding your tribe. Finding your tribe is pretty much on par with finding your voice and not far behind it is finding your niche. All three of these things have been things that have felt pretty elusive to me and I’ve always considered my blog as a bit of an outlier when it comes to these things. But, I’ve come to realise over the past few months that finding your tribe doesn’t necessarily mean finding a ready to go group of bloggers that are your blogging spirit sisters, although it may do for some. For me I’ve realised that finding my tribe is about finding other bloggers that I gravitate towards, that are my go to people when I want to chat, bounce ideas off or ask a silly question and others are like blogging spirit sisters. For me my tribe is a virtual group of friends that I click with on different levels and about different things, much like my in real life friends that I click with on different levels and about different things. Just the realisation of this has brought me so much happiness this year.
#5. IT’S OK TO TAKE A BREAK
My blog brings me so much joy. The need to write, for me is almost like the need to breathe. But there are sometimes days and sometimes weeks where I don’t and wont want to blog and that is ok. It doesn’t mean that I’ve lost my passion, it doesn’t mean that im bored of blogging. It just means that I need a break, I need to switch off and I need to check out, and that’s ok. Because I will always eventually come back to it more fired up than when I left it.
#6. I CARE ABOUT THE STATS
I care about the stats. I do. It feels like such a terrible thing to admit but I do. Not to the extent that its what drives me to blog, but as a categorical type A person, I need to be able to see and measure progress day on day, week on week, month on month and year on year. I know that this tells me nothing about the quality of my writing or of my content because these measurements are all relative, but what it does tell me is that people are reading my blog which on one level tells me that I am moving in the right direction. Because at the end of the day there are two things that I want to do. Write good content and attract readers that want to read it.
#7. IM STILL DISCOVERING WHAT I’M GOOD AT
I still don’t know what my USP is or what my niche is. I don’t know what im good at and I definitely don’t know what makes my blog unique from all the other thousands of blogs out there. Some people are amazing at taking photos. People like my lovely friend Kaye from Hello Archie, whereas some people are amazing at making videos like the super talented Katie from Mummy Daddy Me. Others are hilariously funny like the wonderful Prabs from Absolutely Prabulous or endearingly honest like the lovely Laura from Five Little Doves or ridiculously clued up and helpful like Holly from A Branch of Holly. But I just seem to do a bit of this and a bit of that, there isn’t anything that I am particularly great at. It feels like when I was at school and I was always kind of average, which in all honesty I don’t want to be. I really crave the need to find what it is im good at and what it is that draws people to my blog. I think the discovery of this over the next year, or two or three will define the next evolution of My Petit Canard and that is rather an exciting thought.
Thank you to those of you that have been on this journey with me over these last three years. It is an amazing feeling to know that so many people are actually reading what you write and coming back. Whether you have just recently discovered My Petit Canard, or whether you’ve been reading the blog for much longer, I hope you will continue to stay with me on this exciting journey of discovery over the next few weeks, months and hopefully years!
To celebrate I have two lovely birthday giveaways for you with Asda’s Little Angels who we’ve recently discovered and love, and Faber and Faber who make some of the most beautiful books around. You can win a months supply of Little Angels nappies or two lovely books, or both if you’re very lucky! All you need to do to win, is enter the Gleam competitions below. Good luck!