|Me and Cameron at Beatrix Potter World this summer|
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Of course. I have an 11 month old baby boy called Cameron. I have just finished my Event Management degree at Uni and am planning on starting up my own business next year, after a break to have some time with Cameron. In the meantime, in my spare time I write both my personal blog (the one you are reading), and a newer 'business' blog which I use to post inspiration ideas and mood boards for weddings and events. I also run three Facebook pages, one for this blog, one for my business blog, and a third for mums and mums-to-be to chat about all things to do with mummyhood. I am currently single, and have been since I was 7 weeks pregnant, but am finally happy being single- so much less hassle in the long run!
2. How you first got involved in with blogging?
I had seen a couple of people I knew via Facebook blogging, most notably Jade from Jade by the Sea, and thought it would be a great way to relax after Uni work and being a mummy in the day, so I started up the blog, never expecting it to be as popular as it is now!
3. What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?
I don't limit myself to just one topic, so I find it less challenging than some might. I just write about whatever I want to, whatever I feel like at the time. I try to ask readers what they want to read about from time to time to make sure I am not putting my readers off at all with what I post, but the general feedback is always good. I think maybe the most challenging aspect of not having a specific topic is probably that I find it hard to explain what my blog is about, unlike those who write a fashion or a beauty blog.
4. Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working on your blog?
I haven't 'met' anyone in person from blogging... but I feel like I know a few girls a lot better through reguarly reading their blogs, and chatting on Facebook and via email.They are Rachel from Life of a Sweetaholic, Charlotte from Confessions of a Smalltown Girl and Charlotte from The Only Exception. I also already had plans to meet Louise from You'll Live to Dance Another Day, before she started blogging.
5. How would (someone) describe your blogging style?
Honest, funny, creative and inspirational were some of the answers I got when I asked this question.
6. What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
I am a single mum to my baby son and I try and do a lot of fun things with him in the days, and blog mainly at night or when he is having a nap. I also like to go shopping, but rarely do these days as I have little money. I also work on plans for my business, and gain experience of wedding and event planning through my business blog and Facebook page.
7 .Are you a full time blogger? How did you get into blogging and why?
I wouldn't classify myself as a full time blogger as I don't do it as a 'job'. Although I do usually blog everyday, it is often only one or two posts and these can be short posts such as the daily challenges. I blog for pleasure, not for profit.
8. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
As I have said, it is not something I would consider to be a business, but I do network using Facebook and Twitter to allow my readers and followers to see updates from the Blog and enable people who have not seen my Blog before, to find it and follow if they wish. I think having a Facebook page is a great idea, as it means you don't find yourself constantly spamming, but just linking to the Blog for those who want to see it.
9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog?
It comes naturally to me. If you force it, it shows in the post. I will admit that once or twice I have sat thinking for awhile of what to write, but in the end have left it and just written the next day when something came into my head. I find inspiration from daily life. I will sometimes be drifting off to sleep and think of some great ideas, so will note them down on my phone and then write them when I next get a chance. I often write about what I have been doing that day, for example, if I have been shopping, or worn an outfit I thought looked nice, or if I have eaten something particuarly yummy I will write about it.
10. What would you prioritize? Content? Traffic? Readers?
I rarely check up on my traffic to be honest. When I do, it amazes me how many people actually visit the page and where in the world they are from. My readers are from all over the globe and I love that people in other countries are interested in what I have to write about! I do take notice of followers, but not in an obsessive way. If I reach a new milestone I usually celebrate with a giveaway, but more important to me is the content, keeping the blog fresh and interesting and updating it as often as I can. Not all readers decide to publically follow me, so I don't worry too much about the numbers. As long as those who do read my blog enjoy it, nothing else really matters.
11. What’s the best thing a blogger can give to her readers?
I think the most important thing a blogger can give is honesty. If you are yourself, it shows, and I find that people like reading honesty. Some blogs are not honest and this comes across in the writing. If a blogger is clearly being fake on their blog, it does put me off and stop me from reading on.
12. A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. Are you?
I have come across people who are only blogging for the free stuff and the chance to gain profit from the blog. I am not one of these people. I would rather blog about what I want, and what means something to me, than to blog purely for companies, and have a blog that comes across as just another press release. I don't gain anything from writing my blog, other than receiving positive feedback from fellow bloggers, and readers of the blog.
13. What’s your take on sponsored reviews?
I am not against them, I have done a couple of reviews for companies in the past where they have sent their products to me and I have tested them and written my honest opinions on the blog. But I don't seek out companies. I did this at the start but found it was definitely not for me. If a company chooses to contact me I am pleased to have been thought of and will happily review the item(s), but I will not go looking for this anymore. I also stopped asking companies to hold competitions with my Blog when I realised a lot of people were only reading the blog for the giveaways, and this was not something I wanted. I hold my own giveaways when I reach milestone followers, or when I have something I want to celebrate with my readers.
14. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
I have two favourite blogs that I read without fail, and these are Life of a Sweetaholic and Confessions of a Smalltown girl. I think Rachel who writes Life of... is an amazing girl and so bubbly and friendly and this really comes across in her blog. Charlotte is someone I really find inspirational as she has come through so much in her life so far and is still such a positive and sunny person. Her blog is absolutely stunning as well and I love all of her posts!
15. If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
I always say the same thing if someone says they are interested in blogging and have I any tips, and this is just to go for it! If you think about it too much, it will never happen. A lot of people think they won't have the time to keep up a blog, but if you enjoy writing and getting your thoughts out there then you will find the time. Even with a young baby and Uni course I managed to start up and maintain the blog and it was because I wanted to do it, and found it enjoyable to do. Don't force anything. What will be, will be etc. I would say that a Facebook page is an excellent networking tool, and to get the blog out there initially by posting links on your Facebook wall to get friends and family reading it. Also, make it as personalised as you can, think a nice background of something that means something to you or matches what the blog is about, and a clear but pretty font, a nice header perhaps with pictures, and lots of photos in your posts to make them more interesting and colourful. It is your blog, enjoy yourself with it!
16. Do you avoid posting controversy on your blog because you have none to post, or you’re afraid someone might disagree with you?
I don't avoid it, I just write what I want. The recent riots across the UK have caused debates but I posted something about them as it was something that was upsetting me and causing me stress. I also write posts on what annoys me. I don't mean to offend anyone, but I like to be honest and have a good rant from time to time.
17. Do you ever add personality into your posts (ex: smiley faces, jokes, etc.)?
I try and always be very open and honest with my posts, but find that adding smiley faces can be a little tacky so tend to avoid it. I also find that jokes can come across in different ways than originally intended over blogs so I stick to casual sarcasm instead (see, it is difficult to joke via a blog!!).
18. Are you being as personal as you can with your readers (picture of yourself, small bio, etc.)?
I am always as personal as I can be. I like to think my readers can get to know me a bit through the blog.
19. Do you make the title of my posts clear so the reader understands what the article is about before jumping to the content?
I write the title before the post about 99% of the time, which apparently isn't the wisest idea and can lead to rambling... but that is half the fun of writing so I will continue. Generally I like to make the title of the post relate to what the content is in some way, whether it is a direct link or something more abstract such as a film quote or a popular saying depends on how I am feeling when I write it...
20. What do you think when a post you put less effort into gets a bigger response than a post you put more effort into?
I don't really mind. I appreciate all comments and feedback on all posts, whether long or short. If I don't get any written feedback for a post I have taken time on I am not too bothered as I often have people who read and don't comment. I often have feedback through Facebook either of my personal page or the blog page as well as via comments on the posts.
21. Does it bother you to see someone younger than you have a more successful blog?
It doesn't bother me in the slightest. A lot of people younger than me, or even those the same age, have a lot more time on their hands without a baby etc so have more time to put into blogging. Even if this is not the case, age doesn't really make much of a difference, some young people I know have a far less jaded opinion of things which often makes a much simpler and more cheerful read!
22. Is it worth replying to comments on your blog knowing that most of your replies will never be responded to or even read again?
I always try to reply to comments on my Blog, especially when they are questions themselves as that person has taken the time and effort to write the comment and I appreciate all feedback.
23. Do you think your blog will still exist next month? 2 months? 3?
I don't see any reason why it would not. I have so far been blogging for 8 months, and have no plans to stop. I have always loved writing and this is a great way to be able to write about whatever I want to, whenever I want to, to people who want to listen! It is a great hobby and something I would encourage anyone to try their hand at. I have been able to blog for a national Magazine through writing my Blog, and have worked with top brand names along the way. I love blogging!