Our first year of blogging: Tea with Mum turns one! Our and your favourite posts
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Our first blogiversary: Tea with Mum turns one!

Today, is our first blogiversary, or our first blogging anniversary. A year ago today, I started Tea with Mum. I really like the fact that I am blogging about losing a really strong and special woman on International Women’s Day. I didn’t plan it that way, honest!

To celebrate, I thought I would tell you a little more about my reasons for blogging and what we’ve learnt during our first year. We’ll share some statistics and my and your favourite posts. Who knows, even if you are a loyal reader, you might find a post that you haven’t seen before.

Why I waited to start

A few years ago, a friend suggested that, if I didn’t want to start a cupcake bakery, I should start a blog to share cupcake recipes. At the time, I was pregnant and three things held me back:

  1. Did I really want to blog just about cupcakes? What did I want to write about instead?
  2. I knew that it would be a lot of work and was not sure how I balance a baby, a new city, working and blogging.
  3. Over the years, I have had a habit of starting a new hobby, being really enthusiastic about it for a few months and then getting bored.  Would blogging be just another one of those hobbies?

It wasn’t until ‘One wise woman’ gave me an idea of what blogging could be for me and what I would write about that I knew that I wanted to start. My inaugural post about that decision has basically become the ‘About Tea with Mum’ page.

The learning curve

I still can’t believe that it is our first blogiversary and I am still sticking with it.

It took me a while to find my stride and I don’t really count some of my early posts as ‘posts’. I even went and deleted some that were not really relevant anymore. We had a lot to improve on (some of the early photos and titles are beyond awful!) and a lot of thinking to do once I decided this was more than a passing hobby.

I’ve done various courses and read what I could in between posting and creating graphics and baking and making things and travelling to get topics to write about. I hope you can see some improvement in 12 months – this is our first blogiversary after all.

It has been a steep learning curve and a lot of time thinking and writing. Many experts suggest that you “niche down” and only blog about one thing. By choosing not to do this, I am going against the grain. However, I can’t see my idea of a travel and recipe book coming to fruition if I niche down. Besides, our favourite posts are all over the place and not all in any one niche!

The hardest part has been finding people to subscribe to our monthly emails. We are seriously bad in that respect. Like “I don’t need both hands and both feet to count the number of subscribers” bad. If you haven’t subscribed, please do. Yes, this is almost a cry for help.

It has not all been easy, but I was not expecting it would be. Okay, maybe a little bit. I have been very grateful for the support of our loyal readers and fellow bloggers. For this, I thank you.

Demographics

On our first blogiversary, we thought we’d share some figures:

Our visitors come from 92 different countries. The top five are:

Our first blogiversary: the geographic demographics of our blog readers. Image of antique world map, Andrew Stutesman on unsplash

And if you can’t tell from the map, that’s:

  1. United States
  2. Germany
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Australia
  5. Canada

The majority of our readers are female, but we have a higher number of male readers than I expected (is that you, Dad?).

We have published 130 posts (well, we have 130 published posts on our site before our first blogiversary post), the most of which are travel posts.

We have 12 cupcake posts (and more planned) and ten posts especially for our little dinosaur aficionado. If fear there maybe a couple of other dinosaur posts disguised as normal city posts.

Although the figures are not huge compared to some other bloggers, we have 218 Facebook followers and 154 Instagram followers – though it is the platform that we are least active on by far.

Our first blogiversary and our top posts for the first year

How many of these have you read?

Our tribute to the King of rock 'n' roll: Elvis cupcakes: Banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and chocolate-dipped bacon. Delicious! Image of a cupcake in a wrapper with black stars.

The Elvis cupcakes

We’ve made a lot of cupcakes over the past year (12 different recipes! – not a bad record for our first blogiversary) and these Elvis cupcakes were the fan favourite. In fact, it is our top post overall. I bet it’s the chocolate bacon that people find so alluring.

Have you made them yet?

An IKEA Duktig kitchen hack: Miss M's Café. A two-in-one play café and play kitchen. Image of the kitchen

Miss M’s Café: an IKEA Duktig kitchen hack

This IKEA Duktig kitchen hack was a very early post and one that I have on my list of posts needing new photographs. Still, it has been extremely popular, especially in Japan. Who’d have thought it?

The café is still going strong and Miss M plays with it at least three times a week. She has made copious amounts of cupcakes, “Just like Mummy” and does not seem to be tiring of it yet. Perhaps she will make some for me for our first blogiversary. It has held up really well, too. Perhaps I will give the post an update for the first anniversary of that post?

RAWR! I'm turning four! Dinosaur birthday party for a GIRL. With ideas and freebies for a rainbow dinosaur birthday party. Image: triceratops with a party hat

A dinosaur birthday party for a girl

This post has been a recent star, especially on Pinterest. I can’t say that I am surprised. When I was looking for inspiration for Miss M’s fourth birthday, I found next to nothing targeting girls. It seems many other Mum’s are in the same boat and are turning to Pinterest for solutions. We’re glad to help other Mum’s of little (female) dinosaur aficionados.

What to pack for your trip to Europe in Summer: The ultimate guide, with an free, easy packing checklist. Image: map of Europe

What to pack for your trip to Europe

I wish I could see how many people had downloaded the free packing checklist for this post, because the post seems to be very popular. I can understand why – it was posted around the time that I was really hitting my stride and starting to work things out and feel more confident about blogging – at least the travel posts.

Thanks must go to my brother too – the unwilling security infringer whose phone cable resulted in an important post update.

A 3-day mother-daughter trip to Amsterdam: The best trip ever: Where to go and what to see and eat. Image of houses on Damrak.

The best trip ever – a mother-daughter trip to Amsterdam

This Amsterdam post was a nightmare to write from start to finish.

I think it was trying to tell me that there were too many images in the post because it kept crashing. To top it all off, it then crashed totally, losing all of the changes. My back up only had the changes from the evening before, so I lost about two-thirds of the post and had to start again.

Perhaps its popularity is down to sympathy more than the actual topic?

And yes, Miss M did declare that it was “The best trip ever.”

Save your sanity: 15 tried and tested tips to help you survive long-haul flights with toddlers and small children: Image of child in a plane looking out the plane window

15 tips for surviving long-haul flights with toddlers

This post was actually one of three on the same topic.

There must be a lot of Mums flying long-haul with their little one for the first time and looking for some tips on how to make the flight go faster. We are currently working on a free booklet on flying long-distance with small kids – make sure you subscribe to our emails to see it first!

It's ice cream time! Baileys Irish ice cream with dark chocolate chips. An adults-only treat. Image of a bowl with three scoops.

Baileys Irish ice cream

When I started our “Ice ice, Baby” series, I had no idea what I was doing. Let me tell you, it takes a lot of effort to perfect six ice cream and sorbet recipes. Then you’ve got to find someone to help eat all the ice cream to make room in the freezer for the next lots. While this Baileys Irish ice cream was not my favourite of the group, it should be no secret that spent very little time in the freezer. It seems to be a fan favourite too.

We’ll be sharing some more (fewer than six) ice cream and sorbet recipes this Summer. Make sure you keep an eye open for the posts!

Our Autumn cupcake quartet: Pumpkin spice cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting: Easy, delicious, comforting. Image of a half-eaten cupcake with a fork

Pumpkin spice cupcakes

I think this pumpkin spice cupcake recipe hit the right nerve for many people.

Sometimes, timing is everything. Pumpkin spice at the start of fall in a delicious little cupcake when all you want to do is curl up in front of the fire with a good book and a hot chocolate. Yep, definitely appealing. And the maple cream cheese frosting was just the icing on the cake – literally.

It is not my favourite cupcake in the Autumn quartet, however. I prefer the chocolate beetroot with the chocolate creme frâiche frosting.

Christmas in Germany: The best German Christmas markets: the biggest, best and most unusual. Image of giant wooden carol singers

The best German Christmas markets

Christmas is definitely my favourite time in Germany and Christmas markets are a big part of the appeal. What better excuse could I have to go to some of the local Christmas markets than I was writing a blog post about them? Exactly!

By the way, in case you missed the update: We did end up going to the Fantastic Lights Christmas Market in Dortmund last Christmas. They did indeed have dinosaurs and our little dinosaur aficionado was in love.

Our ectopic pregnancy and how I was made to feel defective. Image: shadow of a couple on the beach

Our ectopic pregnancy

Although this happened over five years ago, this post was difficult to write. Yes, we had an ectopic pregnancy, but it still smarts that I was made to feel defective because of it. I am glad I wrote about it, though.

We have a follow-up post on IVF in Germany planned, in case you are considering going down that route and want to know what is involved.

The best small towns in the north of Italy

We love the north of Italy. Many posts have been written about some of the more popular cities in the area – it is not surprising that Venice is struggling with the number of tourists that visit the city each year. Yet there are so many other smaller gems in the area. It seems that many people appreciated learning more about some of those cities too! We definitely enjoyed visiting them!

DIY environmentally-friendly wax-cloth food wraps: an easy, environmentally-friendly alternative to make with kids. Image: bagel with salad and cheese wrapped in a DIY wax cloth

Environmentally-friendly wax-cloth food wraps

These food wraps were so easy to make and have been so good to use.

Two of them fell by the wayside very quickly – one of the kindergarten staff members thought they were disposable and threw them out on day 2 of use. One of the others has been used almost every day since. That’s more than 100 days and we’re still going strong!

So close, no matter how far: Vintage travel themed wedding: 15 simple DIYs for your perfect vintage travel themed wedding day

Our vintage travel themed wedding

I loved writing this post and having an excuse to go back and look at our wedding photos. It has already been very popular, too. Hopefully, that will continue!

Blogging has not always been easy; finding a balance has been difficult at times and Peter has been the one coming up short most times. I am working on that. Still, it was wonderful to know that we survived the “accursed seventh year” (das verflixte siebte Jahr) and made it to our first blogiversary, despite the challenges that blogging has brought.

I am very lucky in that I have a wonderful partner who understands why I blog and what it does for me and supports me in my choice. Of course, he’d love it even more if I worked out a way to make some money out of it… but that is my challenge for the next year.

So what happens now?

Its our first blogiversary. We’re going to have a glass of champagne and celebrate International Women’s Day, all the great women in our lives and getting this far with Tea with Mum.

After that, who knows? We have lots of fun posts planned, lots of recipes to make and places to visit and tell you about. Lots of easy crafts to make and tell you about. Some personal stories to share.

It has been a challenge and a rather wild ride until now, and we’re not ready to give up yet.

Thank you for reading Tea with Mum!

Enjoy sign-off blue
Tea with Mum's first birthday: our first blogiversary. Reflections and favourite posts. Image of a cupcake with a candle.

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