Something really cool happened to me a couple of weeks ago – my daft little website was named Family Blog of the Year by The Activity People.
I’ve been in two minds about writing this post because I’m not really one to blow my own trumpet and part of me was a bit embarrassed about winning the award.
I really only started blogging to keep a record of all the cool stuff we’ve been doing with Sonny since he was born, and if I’m honest I never even expected anyone to read it – never mind to actually get some recognition for doing a decent job.
I had no idea what I was doing when I started The Outdoor Dad last year. I bought a domain name, picked a free WordPress template, found a web hosting service, then sat down to start writing a few posts, and was pleased to discover that I actually enjoyed it.
I’ve worked in the media for over a decade so I do a lot of writing (whether I like it or not), but I’ve never done writing like this before where I’m totally free to sit down and just ramble on about whatever I want. Totally free of any rules or responsibilities. And I love it!
I’ve learned a lot as I’ve gone on about boring things like SEO, Alt Text and keywords, and I’ve tried as hard as possible with the limited time I have to keep improving the way the blog looks and feels. But ultimately the thing that’s really helped me keep improving it is the subject matter – my crazy, happy little boy.
I didn’t really know if I’d have enough content to blog regularly as the The Outdoor Dad when I got started, because if I’m honest I had no idea what to expect from being a dad. As a totally ignorant non-parent I always thought kids were quite boring, but just trying to keep up with Sonny as he grows and changes has been one of the biggest learning experiences of my life.
Every day is different. I can’t believe a year ago he couldn’t even crawl or stand up straight. Now I watch him strutting around town, clambering on climbing frames, high fiving the kids on our street, chasing the dog around the garden – and even kissing girls!
I don’t have time to write about even a fraction of the amazing experiences we share together, but I’m proud of the fact that Sonny already loves being outside and is an incredibly active and happy little boy, and that in some small way I’ve been able to record and document the first 17 months of this amazing little dude’s life.
I recently discovered my blog has been visited 180,000 times in the past year, which blew my mind. And when I got the email to say I’d won this award I have to admit that as well as feeling embarrassed, I was pretty proud of myself.
I’m sure Sonny will keep providing the inspiration and content for me to keep writing and taking photos, and hopefully he’ll let me get enough sleep that I’m not too tired to keep doing it.
So thanks to The Activity People for the award and I hope the next 12 months will see www.theoutdoordad.co.uk get even better!