7 Lessons I’ve Learnt From 3 Years Of Blogging

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156 weeks and 4 days.

1096 hours.

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!

Win A Months Supply Of Asda Little Angels Nappies!

Win A Copy Of The Building Boy and Magnificent Creatures From Faber & Faber!

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52 Comments

  1. November 20, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    Ahh thank you so much for the mention, that’s so sweet of you, and happy blogging birthday to you!! Three years is amazing although you are wrong when you say there is nothing you are particularly great at. You are an amazing blogger! Your posts are beautiful and honest and interesting, and I have always admired you and your blog, I think it’s good that you have never pigeonholed yourself into a niche, sometimes I think it’s far better to simply write about the things you love at that time in your life. What you blog about today might not be the same thing you blog about five years from now, or even this time next year, but your passion for writing is what makes you stand out from other bloggers and you should be so proud of yourself and all you have achieved. xxx
    five little doves recently posted…Mr Tumble’s Christmas Party Album Giveaway!My Profile

  2. November 21, 2016 / 6:40 am

    Wow, 3 years is a huge achievement. I really nodded along to a lot of what you said. Esp the bit about your voice. The britmums talk really stayed with me and now I feel like mumbling is a bit wishy washy and maybe I need to find some real issues to discuss… but until then it’s the everyday stuff i need to get off my chest!
    #marvmondays

  3. November 21, 2016 / 6:46 am

    3 Years is massive! I’ve been at it for 3 months and sometimes I think “I’ve ran out of things to say!” I hope to be where you are in 3 years!

    Well Done

    #marvmondays
    donna recently posted…Toilet Roll Tube Craft HousesMy Profile

  4. November 21, 2016 / 6:53 am

    Agree on all esp how difficult it is to find your tribe. #marvmondays

  5. November 21, 2016 / 6:56 am

    I think I am still finding and honing my voice too, and really I only ‘found’ the blogging community this year, so I’m still finding my tribe. I care about stats in the same way, it’s great to see the progression and I push myself to see more but I don’t obsess about it or let it be the reason why I like to blog. #MarvMondays
    Kat recently posted…Dream & Sparkle Linky #3My Profile

  6. November 21, 2016 / 7:41 am

    Congratulations, three years is huge. Blogging can certainly take over your life at times and a break can be needed. I’ve only been blogging for five months but since returning to work back in late September I felt I needed a mini break and find a better schedule. I am not bored of blogging but I couldn’t keep up the schedule I had on maternity leave when I returned to work.

    You are half way to the big six year anniversary, I hope it brings just as much excitement as your first three years #MarvMondays
    Charlotte recently posted…Exmoor Zoo – Family TripMy Profile

  7. November 21, 2016 / 9:01 am

    Very inspirational post. I can relate with all that you’ve written and it fills me with hope that it’s OK to feel like I feel, that I’m in for a long run and that things cannot work over night. I am still finding my tribe, and have to formate all of my wishes and ideas and thoughts to plan I can then make it come to life!
    #MarvMondays

  8. November 21, 2016 / 10:58 am

    Happy blogging birthday! Here’s to many more years. I’m very glad I have found your blog, it’s lovely.

    #MarvMondays
    Charlotte | Baking Betsy recently posted…Living Arrows 143My Profile

  9. November 21, 2016 / 11:01 am

    Happy 3 years birthday! 🙂 I feel I’m very similar to your way of thinking with the need to find a niche but have a bit of all of it without one really standing out. I’d love to be funny in every post or great at making videos but the reality is I’m not always or even at all funny and my voice sounds awful on video so I’m a bit stuck on who I really am as a blogger. I hope in three years I’ll be half as successful as yourself 🙂 #MarvMondays
    Amie recently posted…Parent & Toddler Parking SpacesMy Profile

  10. November 21, 2016 / 11:38 am

    I found your blog this year and I love it, you should be very proud of yourself lovely. I’m a year in with mine and still with a lot to learn! #marvmondays
    Natalie recently posted…All done..My Profile

  11. November 21, 2016 / 11:51 am

    Congratulations on reaching 3 years! I can relate to so much on this post lovely, it’s been a comfort to read. For example, I sometimes take a few weeks put because of various reasons such as lack of motivation, writers block, lack of confidence… life in general! Then I give myself a hard time for it but you’re right, it’s OK to step back and I too come back full of fight and all fired up more than ever to do a good job! The stats side of things I need to pay attention to in order to understand the direction my blog is taking etc but I do find it can affect me negatively and knock my confidence if say I haven’t been engaging readers well or a Vlog hasn’t any views after I took the courage and effort to film and post it. But, my OH said that if you physically stood the handful of people in front of you have taken the time to read/watch your content, even if it was just one person it is better than standing alone in front of nobody. I remember that every time I have a wobble of confidence and it really helps. Am still finding my tribe but lately I feel closer than ever and your blog features in that so thank you! Keep up your amazing work xoxo #marvmondays

  12. November 21, 2016 / 12:44 pm

    It’s ok to care about the stats – I know I certainly do. I’m an engineer, I get my kicks out of seeing a graph and tracking patterns to make improvements. It’s the way I work! #marvmondays
    OddHogg recently posted…bakerdays Letterbox Cake – Review + GiveawayMy Profile

  13. November 21, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I love the honesty and reflectiveness (is that a word?!) of this post. I find it encouraging that, at 3 years, you feel you’re only just discovering your tribe, because I don’t have mine yet and, like you say, it makes me feel a bit like an outsider. You have given me hope!

    I also love that you have stuck to your principles and only promoted things that you honestly believe in. That is something I am determined to do too. Happy 3rd Birthday! #MarvMondays
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Am I A Bad Person For Being A Stay At Home Mum?My Profile

  14. November 21, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    Great tips and I love your blog! I know what you mean about finding what you’re good at. I long to be a funny blogger or a stylish ‘arty’ blogger. But I’m neither of those things so until I work out my specialism then I’ll just keep wittering about what I do! Keep up all your hardwork. You’ve definitely got a loyal audience who enjoys hearing what you have to say x #MarvMondays
    Angela Watling recently posted…30 Days Blogging – Day 10: my top 5 pet peevesMy Profile

  15. November 21, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    I love this. It feels wonderful to hear that these are normal things for bloggers. Thank you

  16. November 21, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    I’m a big encouraged and a bit discouraged by your post. I’m less than a year in and its a bit scary to see a more experienced blogger still not perfecting the art of blogging, but at the same time I’m excited because I know that I’m not alone and that I really have more to explore with this blogging thing! Thanks so much for posting this. You have given me a framework of what to look at on my own blog! #MarvMondays
    Patty Gordon recently posted…#fandayfriday link party 6My Profile

  17. November 21, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    Happy 3rd blogging birthday 🙂

    I know everyone goes on about finding your blogging niche but for what it’s worth I think a lottle bit of this and a little bit of that is perfectly fine. It makes your blog a bit more versatile. Personally I just write whatever ramblings are on the forefront of my mind at the time.
    Janine (Unhinged Mummy) recently posted…Feeling FestiveMy Profile

  18. November 21, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    What a lovely little post. You seem to have come a long way in three years and you are so right. It is a slow burner but I think that is such a good thing. It means that the real bloggers – the ones who are in it for the love of writing and not for the ‘quick buck’ will always stick around. And after all that’s what real blogging should be about. I feel I’ve learnt so much from all of you over the last few months and it’s a pleasure to come back each week and read what you’ve been up to. Here’s to the next three years! Congratulations! #marvmondays
    Jaki recently posted…10 Songs That Make Me HappyMy Profile

  19. November 21, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    Sounds like it’s been a lovely three years, and can so relate to some of your lessons learned. Here’s to 2017 bringing you even more joy + success 🙂
    Nicola recently posted…Five Reasons to Love AutumnMy Profile

  20. November 21, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    Happy 3rd blogging birthday. Wow, 3 years is amazing. Your blog is fab. I’ve only been going about 3 months and your blog is definitely an inspiration for where I hope my blog may be further down the line. The tips are fab too.
    #MarvMondays
    Sam recently posted…It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…  My Profile

  21. November 21, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    Its good to hear that blogging is a slow burner. I’ve only been blogging 6 weeks and sometimes feel like I have to get everything done and be perfect all at once. Its nice to hear that I can take my time and grow my blog and hone my craft organically.
    #MarvMondays
    Catherine recently posted…Christmas Gifts for MamasMy Profile

  22. November 21, 2016 / 6:18 pm

    As someone very much at the beginning of my journey this is an interesting post to read. I am still learning every single day and there are moments when I think that the whole blogging thing at my age is ludicrous but then I find myself drawn back to it again Thanks for sharing your insights. #MarvMondays
    Jo – MotherofTeenagers recently posted…Whale Watching in MontereyMy Profile

  23. November 21, 2016 / 7:39 pm

    Congratulations on reaching 3 years. Thank you for sharing what you have learnt. I know I found it useful #marvmondays

  24. November 21, 2016 / 8:04 pm

    #marvmondays if the stats went would you still blog? I wonder if you reasons for blogging have altered? Thought provoking post, enjoy the journey. I agree I need to write like my lungs need air
    Fridge says recently posted…The little things x2My Profile

  25. November 21, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    Congratulations on the blog birthday!! Particularly liked the fact that you’ve stuck true to your values in terms of reviews, as a new blogger it’s inspiring! #marvmondays x
    Devon Mama recently posted…Is That Bullying?My Profile

  26. November 21, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    Congratulations on your third blogging anniversary! Well done for staying true to you. I love reading your blog and will continue to do so as long as you keep writing #MarvMondays
    Stacie recently posted…Easy DIY Scrabble Tile ArtMy Profile

  27. November 21, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    I’m a 3 yearer too! Although I never really think much about it to be honest and over the last few months I have found it hard to keep up with things due to working, family etc etc. I do like to keep a track of stats but try not to get too bogged down by them. Great post and thanks for hosting #marvmondays
    Helen Gandy recently posted…Freya, Bras for Bigger Boobs!My Profile

  28. November 21, 2016 / 9:09 pm

    Happy 3rd blogging birthday! I’ve followed you for about 10 months now, ever since I started linking up to #MarvMondays and have always loved reading your posts (and watching your Instagram stories). I totally get where you are coming from about being average but not good about one thing. I have also felt like I am a jack of all trades, master of none. Sometimes I like this but sometimes I just want to be good at something. Good luck with the next three years and I can’t wait to read about your journey. X
    Jo from Organised Jo recently posted…10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Working Mum’sMy Profile

    • November 21, 2016 / 9:26 pm

      Thanks Jo, thats exactly how I feel! Sometimes I think its a good thing and other times I think not so much. I also feel like if there was something I was going to be good at I would have found it by now surely?! Perhaps we’re supposed to be good at all things, master of none 😉 Thanks for following me, 10 months is a long time! I love Marv Mondays for that reason though, because I’ve found lots of lovely bloggers like you that write posts that often ispire me 🙂 x

    • November 21, 2016 / 9:18 pm

      Thanks lovely 🙂 I cant believe how quickly time has flown!

  29. November 21, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    What a great post! I love the things you have learnt over the 3 years – it’s always good to hear from bloggers who have been doing it longer than I have (which isn’t hard as I’ve been blogging for about 5 minutes) and learning from you guys about the important stuff. I really loved your take on finding your tribe! #marvmondays
    Cherry – The Newby Tribe recently posted…Wonderful Winter At Waddesdon ManorMy Profile

  30. November 22, 2016 / 8:58 am

    Every day is a school day, so keep it up and I’m sure you’ll realise lots more things for the next 3! Well done #MarvMondays

  31. November 22, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Well done! You’ve come a long way and there have even been tweaks and changes to your blog since I started reading. I like the look and feel of it. Please tell me you learn to write posts more quickly with time. That’s my biggest frustration, not stats, but how long everything takes. It’s the perfectionist in me! Here’s to further success! #MarvMOndays
    Jane Taylor recently posted…Living Danishly at Søstrene Grene, Nottingham.My Profile

  32. November 22, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    Hey well done you, three years is so amazing! Happy blogg-anniversary!

    I’m a newbie, still finding my blogging feet so to speak and my voice. I guess it’s a creative journey there is no end point. I’m completely rubbish at the stats, I’m all about the words. And You Tube, vlogging wow that petrifies me. But hey I’ll get there eventually.

    Thanks for the lessons – much appreciated.
    Tooting Mama recently posted…Taken with Tours, travels through the Loire Valley, FranceMy Profile

  33. November 23, 2016 / 6:52 am

    This is such a great post. I’m only four months in and often worry about trying to find my voice and a tribe but reading that such a successful blogger still feels this way makes me realise that I need to go easy on myself and just enjoy it. Glad you’ve realised you do have a tribe after all, and congratulations on 3 years x
    #MarvMondays
    Alana – Burnished Chaos recently posted…Words To Live By #8: Stop OverthinkingMy Profile

  34. November 23, 2016 / 11:56 am

    Congratulation Emily. I found your blog this year and its really awesome. All the points are so genuine.
    Of course, I too find some days hard to write but that’s ok and I don’t push myself hard.
    I do not do reviews but yes, whenever I will, I will try to maintain my voice and integrity. After all, it makes your blog stand out.
    upasna recently posted…Creativity is as important as LiteracyMy Profile

  35. November 23, 2016 / 4:05 pm

    Happy third blog birthday lovely! You’ve made perfect sense with your points here and I totally agree with you. I feel like I’ve always had my niche, but I left #Blogfest desperately trying to work out where my voice is!! It’s reassuring to know that you think the same sometimes as I hold you in high regard as a blogger that firmly has found her voice! Here’s to your next three years – I look forward to reading so much more! xx #MarvMondays
    Rhyming With Wine recently posted…Bedtime (A Rhyming Slur) – Guest Post by A Reluctant MummyMy Profile

  36. November 23, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    Happy blogiversary. I didn’t realise you’d been blogging for 3 years that is a great achievement. I resonate with a number of things you say here in particular no: 7. Some may think I’m good at creativity but everyone’s got creativity in them right? #MarvMondays
    Helena recently posted…Review: Stampin’Up! UK ‘Oh Happy Day Card kit’My Profile

  37. November 24, 2016 / 2:21 am

    Congrats that is so awesome! I think it is not so much we have to find our voice, just that our voices changes and grows with our views and changes in our world. I think it’s your authenticity that keeps everyone loving your blog, being yourself is such a beautiful thing and when you share that people are going to love you for it. #MarvMondays
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…“hang on a minute, I need help” . . and I am not apologising for thatMy Profile

  38. November 24, 2016 / 12:02 pm

    Well done on three years of dedidcation and creativity! I’ve only recently started blogging and reading other blogs but yours is one of the ones I keep coming back to! Here’s to another 3 ! #MarvMondays
    ShinnersandtheBrood recently posted…The Truth about Teachers & GiftsMy Profile

  39. November 24, 2016 / 7:23 pm

    There some fab tips here, and well done for blogging for 3 years, I’m impressed and inspired by you. I care about stats as well, and I’m checking them every day, even though I know the views will be low, but the get really excited when I managed to get into triple figures. Claire x #MarvMondays
    The Pramshed recently posted…Center Parcs Sherwood Forest: Our family adventureMy Profile

  40. November 25, 2016 / 12:29 pm

    Woo for 3 years! I love reading your posts, so although you might not think you have a ‘voice’ as such, I definitely love your writing style 🙂 x #MarvMondays
    Chelsea recently posted…Present Ideas from Wicked UncleMy Profile

  41. November 26, 2016 / 2:12 am

    Happy blog birthday. Three years is fab. I love your blog lovely lady. It is beautiful. And all your posts are great. I don’t think you should worry about the fact that you feel you don’t write deep posts. You write posts that reflect who you are and that is why I love your blog. I am so thrilled that we have got to know each other more this year as we were able to share our pregnancies. Keep on writing and producing your beautiful blog posts. And thanks for hosting #MarvMondays. Hugs Lucy xxxx
    Mrs H recently posted…Being aliveMy Profile

  42. November 27, 2016 / 9:10 pm

    Happy blog birthday, 3 years is epic! I have loved watching your blog evolve over this year. As creatives, I think we probably always readjust and enhance as a natural process. So glad to find someone who positively thinks their stats are important to them. Thank you for sharing with the #dreamteam. xx
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…#HappyLittleButtons November Round UpMy Profile

  43. November 27, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Ahhh yes! I care about stats too. I feel disappointed when I don’t achieve a certain number of page views a day. And constantly feel bad for not getting blog work done.

    And I need to learn about taking a break. That’s something I’m not good at either.

    Congratulations on 3 years of blogging!

    #MarvMondays

    (I’m so sorry this comment is late! I will be better next week I promise haha!)

  44. Deborah Mackenzie
    December 4, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    Congrats on your blog. They are such hard work at times but you have done great

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