Happy Blogversary to Me! Thank You's & Tips for New Bloggers.

Happy New Year one and all - hope your evening was fun whether it was spent on the sofa with chocolate or dancing the night away. I celebrated with friends, fireworks and inevitably, food.

There was much bubbly stuff consumed, with bottles being opened with a flourish by my ex-army mate using his ceremonial sword. No, that's not a euphemism. It was an actual "Sharpy McSharpknife" sword.

champagne glass

It was only when I woke this morning that I remembered it was my blogoversary. Four years ago today I first put fingers to keyboard (doesn't have the same ring as pen to paper does it?) and Madmumof7 was born.

Now. Here goes with my Oscar style speech. I'll keep it brief. You'll have to imagine the sobbing.

I really do want to thank all of you who read my blog, whether it's every single time I post or once in a blue moon. Special thanks to my actual real life friends and family members who cheer with me when I hit blogging goals -like when my DA goes up even through they have absolutely no clue what DA is, nor care. They are happy because I am happy and I love them for it.

I want to thank my blogger friends. Blimey we've had some fun haven't we? From flashmob dancing to giggling at gin-fuelled events I have really enjoyed this unexpected side to my job -new friendships.

madmumof7 River Cottage

Without bloggers my son probably wouldn't have an ASD diagnosis, I would not have had the courage to speak in front on hundreds on stage and in front of thousands of TV and radio. You have quite literally changed my life.

I was "that mad mum with 7 children" who had lost pretty much all her confidence in being anything but a mum. Now I am Madmumof7 who is proud to have given our family and friends so many awesome "money can't buy" opportunities.

My final thank you goes to the PR people who have offered those opportunities plus products and, frankly, cold hard cash. I have been lucky to have had almost 100% great experiences with the companies and people I work with. I look forward to another great year of working with them.

McDonalds Big Mac


Here ends the Oscar speech. Now for some tips for anyone thinking of starting a blog.

 I don't regret launching madmumof7  for a second but be aware it is hard work. Those of us who consider it a job work many hours often at unsociable hours. Like on New Years Day for instance when everyone else in my house is asleep. It's worth it though when you get to meet celebrities or enjoy VIP experiences.

madmumof7 and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

People often ask how we get the "free" stuff. Basically write good, engaging and accurate stuff, use nice big clear pictures and the PR people will find you. My first review was of a bag of potatoes worth £1.25 and my latest one in the pipeline is £300 worth of tech stuff. Both times they contacted me.

To keep those brands happy you have to be professional, reliable and amenable. These things and opportunities we are offered are not free - they are earned. There is an expectation that you will fulfil the brief in a reasonable timeframe. I know I am not alone in the run up to Christmas in thinking the blog was more of a chore than a hobby with mountains of deadlines and very specific job descriptions.

Savoy Hotel London

Love social media but don't abuse it. No-one wants to be spammed with your latest review every hour on the hour. Try to make time to chat, make friends, join groups. Its a great community if you treat people like you would if they were living in an actual physical community-with respect and a willingness to "agree to disagree."

I hope my tips have been helpful. I'm still a relative newby with only four years under my belt but I look forward to many more years blogging and much more fun doing it.

Warner Bros Studios, Watford, Harry Potter

chefChessington Go Ape

madmumof7 tests  Anki OVERDRIVE