“He’s making a list, and checking it twice…”
I’ve been thinking about what I truly would love for Christmas. It’s easy to get things for the kids, and my wife just pointed out a piece of jewellery that she’s got her eye on, but seeing that I have everything that I could ever really want living under my roof, what could I wish for on my Christmas wish list?
As a blogger it was something that I felt I had to write about because I like to write about those things that get stuck in my head and are constantly making me think about it. Writing these thoughts down becomes some sort of release. Once it’s out there on the Interwebs, hopefully it is out of my head, and when the comments from the readers come in on my blog’s Facebook page or on my blog itself, then getting this feedback often helps me release these thoughts even more.
But sadly, that’s the thing; I don’t always get comments when I really could do with the feedback. One thing that I think many readers of blogs think (my hypothesis only, I haven’t conducted a study) is that us bloggers must think that our opinion not only matters, but we are always right. As opinionated as I am, and even though I believe I produce a good argument when delivering an opinion piece, that couldn’t be further from the truth. And I know I’m not alone. I put my opinion forward hoping that it will either be peer reviewed to “prove” that I am right, or my thoughts discussed and sometimes rejected and argued against with further hypotheses and theories presented to me.
My Why Do So Many Young Girls Prefer Frozen’s Elsa Over Anna? article which I wrote back in September has had some of the best responses a blogger can ask for and I truly appreciate those who took the time to write. There are those agreeing with some of my points and rejecting others, some coming up with alternative hypotheses to turn my points into a stronger argument, and some that have come up with ideas of their own, possibly things I missed out on. There are some long responses which I love – never think you are writing too much when what you are writing makes so much sense. I don’t go in for the TL:DR attitude – and there are some shorter responses making only one point, but a point that this discussion really shouldn’t do without.
And then it hit me, all I really want for Christmas is things to do with my blog, and I’m sure my fellow bloggers can relate. So with that in mind I present (no pun intended with that heteronym) my list of things that all mum and dad bloggers want for Christmas…
1. More comments and feedback on my blog.
I really don’t have to go into further detail on this because I pretty much explained it in my preamble.
2. More comments on, likes of and shares of my blog’s Facebook page status updates and links.
As I wrote in my post 5 Tricks to Engage Your Facebook Friends and Followers, again from September this year, Facebook is limiting the reach of public Facebook pages unless there is engagement. Sometimes when I write a funny post I get a few likes and then the reach increases and then a few more likes come in but if I had more likes, comments and even shares then my reach would be greater.
I guess I could always resort to using those techniques that I mentioned in that post, even the ones that I think are a little unscrupulous, or maybe I could use some of the techniques that I wrote about in my post The 5 Things All Successful Mummy Bloggers and Mumpreneurs Do On Facebook from June. Because bacon. Right?
3. More followers on my blog’s Facebook page.
Of course more followers leads to more engagement right? Maybe, maybe not. As the amount of followers increase the percentage of those engaging can drop especially when you have people follow but then not engage. And Facebook’s algorithms know this and penalise you accordingly by limiting your reach once again. So if you do follow my page, a little engagement now and then would be great, and if you share an update on your own personal page, maybe it will entice one of your friends to follow my page. Click here to follow me if you don’t already.
4. More followers on my blog’s Twitter account
Twitter is a different kettle of fish to Facebook. Well it is to most people I know who have a Twitter account. Twitter is less about getting people to read your blog or visit your website unless you’re a celebrity or a news site. Twitter is more of a “make a witty comment in less than 140 characters” type of tool. Even though my posts, like this one, automatically get shared with a link on Twitter as soon as I press publish, I don’t get that many people visiting my blog because of Twitter. Facebook, heaps of clicks from there, Twitter, no so much. Click here to follow me on Twitter if you don’t already.
But I like to make funny comments on Twitter as do many of my contemporaries which leads me to…
5. Having a funny tweet published on Huffington Post Parents’ weekly “Funniest Parenting Tweet” article.
I have included a link so you can check out some of the funniest tweets from parents on Huffington Post. This link will take you to the page where you can select the archived articles. Some of my favourite Mum and Dad Bloggers feature often in these articles and one day I hope that I get one published because, come on, when I tweet a funny story about my kids, it’s comedy gold, isn’t it?
“Daddy, I need you to hold my hand while I do a poo…” – Master 3, 26th September 2014 (Yep, he said that).
— Modern Father Online (@mfo_dad_blog) September 26, 2014
After a warm sunny day it’s turning a little cool. 3yo “I’m cold Daddy.” Me “I’ll go get your jacket.” 3yo “NO! I just want a cuddle.” — Modern Father Online (@mfo_dad_blog) September 27, 2014
— Modern Father Online (@mfo_dad_blog) November 6, 2014
Just walked to a park that’s a little walk away from home. Halfway there the 3yo said “it’s too far Daddy. We should have gone on a plane.” — Modern Father Online (@mfo_dad_blog) November 17, 2014
FYI, you’re allowed to click on those and like or retweet them. You’ll make this boy a happy camper this Christmas. You can also follow my account by clicking on one of those embedded tweets.
6. Getting more sponsored posts.
2014 has seen me not just break even with the cost of running my blog, but I have made a little profit as I have been paid to write a few sponsored posts. I hope that this continues and grows in 2015 and attending the Dad 2.0 Summit (aka Dad 2.015) in February 2015 should see me talking to some marketing companies and advertisers as well as meeting up with many of my fellow Dad Bloggers who I have never met in person before.
7. Getting more invites to events.
Speaking of meeting fellow Dad Bloggers, I have only met one in person at an event in Sydney for the launch of a reality television show about fire-fighters which was launched back in October. My post Do You Have An Evacuation Plan? shows a photo of me and Fast Lane Dad’s Simon dressed up as fire-fighters. I also met a few Mum Bloggers at that event and have kept in touch with them. Going to the events to get free entry to fun things, gift bags to take home and sometimes getting paid to do a write up about the event are all great, don’t get me wrong, but networking and hanging out with like-minded bloggers is a bonus in itself. Well, it is to me.
8. Becoming a brand ambassador.
I have rejected a few sponsors since I started blogging. I rejected a sponsored post out of principle because I was against part of their marketing campaign to parents as they are one who exclude dads in their advertising. I mentioned them in an early post and was surprised when their marketing company contacted me and said “we love your blog and like what you write about” which clearly meant that hadn’t actually read my blog.
But for a brand that I like and use, I would love to be a brand ambassador for them. Let’s hope that 2015 sees that happen.
9. Getting more reposts, published posts and freelance writing work.
Whether it’s on Huffington Post Parents, The Good Men Project, Mamamia, Babble, iVillage, Essential Kids, Kidspot or many of the other websites that are perfect for my genre; that is, writing about being a parent and writing about kids, I hope that in 2015 there will be more of my stories published on the big name websites to promote my writing so I can get published and write freelance articles for other websites, newspapers and magazines, and also to promote my own blog.
10. More readers of my blog.
My statistics are going great guns this year with my first full twelve months of writing. Overall I have increased my readership by more than four times the amount of readers I had in my first six months of writing and in the completed months this year versus the corresponding six months last year I have seen up to six times the amount of readers per month. And here we are, only five complete days into December and according to my statistics page, I will have had twice the amount of readers after six days of December 2014 than I did for the whole month of December 2013. My daily readers for December 2014 is currently ten times that of December 2013.
I can’t get complacent though. I know the stories that are important to my regular readers. I know the stories that are read because people google the topic and find my page. Some of them are fun stories. Some of them, not so much. I don’t want to lose sight of why I am writing this blog though. I’m not going to keep writing about Disney’s Frozen just because four of my top ten stories mention that movie. Sure that brings in the readers, but it is important to me that those stories about dads trying to break down the stereotypes, dads being proactive in their children’s lives, and making marketing companies and brands accountable when they portray dads as the second rate parent or bumbling fools are the stories that also get read and shared.
I look at some of those figures and scare myself with how much my blog has grown by comparing July-December 2013 to July-December 2014 and I wonder if in 2015 I will see a fourfold increase once again. The reality of it is though, I can’t just sit back and wish to Santa that I get given the gift of more readers without giving something in return and that has to be me offering more to my audience. More helpful advice. More heart-warming stories. More reasons to laugh. More reasons to cry. More reasons to think. More reasons to engage.
I know that as a reader you have your own Christmas wish list, and when you venture onto the Interwebs (I do love that malapropism) you want to be entertained, educated, engaged and enlightened, and sometimes offered some alliteration. That is what I will offer you more of in 2015. Well, maybe not the alliteration.
So thank you for reading in 2014 and I hope you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or whatever is your preferred well wish at this time of the year.
So, what do YOU want for Christmas?