Ha, when I first started this blog, three years ago, I would have never even dreamt that Mama’s Haven would one day come to be classed as one of the top mummy and inspirational blogs in the UK!
Then this month, a number of things happened.
For starters, I realised that my ultimate dream of living off my blog has become reality! I did not make the amount I need to live off in cash but I did make it in review products and partially, remuneration! A great point to be at and definitely, a big reason to get out of bed each morning, knowing that my work will bring in satisfaction and rewards!
October 2015 has also been the month that saw Mama’s Haven chosen as one of the top 5 parenting blogs in the UK by the Blogging Edge community (by the way, voting is still open until tomorrow and does take literally one second, do stop by and give us a loving vote, please!) which has been a huge honour and the confidence boost.
And last, but definitely not least on my achievement list this month, is that fact that Rebateszone published their own top 50 mummy blogger in the UK list and infographic, declaring Mama’s Haven to be in the second place, following closely the absolute legend (and friend!) that Vicki Psarias is!
As I said, I would have never dared giving blogging advice before any of this happened but just incase you are wondering, here are the things that make Mama’s Haven a success (well, they say it, not me!):
I have watched Alex, who has been self-employed the whole length of our marriage, deal with clients and I have learned so much from him, in terms of how to deal with PRs, publishers and my readership.
I always respect deadlines, I do my very best to deliver the quality the clients request and I am ALWAYS courteous in my communication, to everyone I come in contact with.
This has lead to several great things and plenty of opportunities over the years. Repeat business, word of mouth and great working relationships are some of them.
2. Good quality content AND pictures
I always strive to deliver the best possible piece of writing, no matter how mundane or ordinary the review product is or how tired I may feel, given the fact that most of my blogging is done very early in the morning or late at night.
I have followed and admired many fantastic photography blogs over the years (Annie’s photographic progression at Mammausaurus/Fable and Folk has been a huge source of inspiration as has the verve and good-humour at Captured by Lucy, along with the fabulous photography tips) and my photography has improved as a consequence.
3. Organic growth
Good things take time to grow. I have never rushed into anything and I have always known that, if the effort and dedication go into it, the results will come, in their due course.
The only thing that kept me going, at the worst of times, whether with my blog or in life in general, has been a trust in myself and my talents.
I know I can write well. I know I can deliver a post within deadlines. I know I have something to say and give to others.
These are the three things that resonate in my head clearly and loudly, every single time doubt creeps up.
I have also chosen to remove myself from external quantifying lists, like Tots100, for example, as I did not find the aleatory ranking criteria comprehensible nor justifying the anxiety over falling two places(or 100!!!) it was creating in my life on a monthly basis.
I am confident enough in myself now to know what my blog is worth, without having to rely on stressful monthly external assessments and rankings.
This may not seem to go hand in hand with the above, but it actually ties in perfectly with knowing your worth.
I NEVER take any review or blogging opportunity for granted and am always very grateful for work.
I never forget that, even if my blog is doing well, it has started as the ramblings of a stay at home mum whose sole readership was her hubby and a handful of friends :-).
Everything that has come out of my blog, all the amazing opportunities, public recognition and friendships I have formed in the bloggosphere over the years are all a BONUS, not something I deserve or feel entitled to have.
Amazing privileges? Yes.
6. Have fun!
I can honestly say that I have fun every single time I write professionally on my blog. I do also personal blog posts and those are a different kettle of fish and act more like therapy than enjoyment but all my product review posts have given me great joy to write and I think people can definitely feel the happy vibes!
Hope you have found this blog post inspiring. If you are a beginner blogger, hope it gives you the courage to carry on. If you are one of my frequent readers, hope you are rejoicing with me over the last achievements. If you are contemplating starting a blog, hope it has given you the encouragement you needed to get going!
What other advice would you add to the list, professional bloggers? I am honestly interested in your opinion!