Harriet Shearsmith is the author of Toby & Roo, a Top 10 UK Parenting Blog. Harriet is mother to two boys and a girl and uses her blog to document their adventures and her parental experiences. We caught up with Harriet to talk being a good parent, working hard to be a blogger and developing good relationships with PRs.
How would you describe your blog?
I describe my blog as a parenting and lifestyle blog aimed at sharing the wins and woes of parenting. I’m a chronic oversharer, so I tend to share everything on there – from family moments to parental trials!
Why did you start your blog?
I fell in love with a well-known blog called Babyccino Kids and I felt inspired by what they were doing. I wanted to share my own finds and parental experiences. I also wanted to stay at home with my children and this seemed like a really cool way to do that!
What’s the best thing about being a parent?
That’s a tough one. There is so much I love about being a parent – from the proud moments to the loving cuddles in the wee hours. I think there are so many moments that are special and it’s not really one thing that defines parenthood as being great.
What advice would you give new parents?
Trust yourself and try to drown out the noise of everyone else’s opinion. You also aren’t a bad parent if some days you really regret having kids or wish you could take it all back – that’s normal for a lot of people!
What advice would you give new bloggers?
Don’t expect anything to come over night. It is something that you need to be prepared to WORK at. Blogging is work – it’s hard work, if you’re doing it correctly.
What makes your blog successful?
Dedication I think and treating this like a job, even before it was. I try to write from the heart but from the other side I try to deliver the very best I can for clients and treat them with professionalism. I want to go that extra mile – be great for my clients and my readers. After all, without the readers, there are no clients – without the clients, there is probably no job!
How do you like to work with PRs?
In the last year or so I have built wonderful relationships with PRs – I really like to feel a personality behind my screen. We’re both in jobs where a lot of our time is spent on a computer and, especially as a blogger, it’s awesome to create a relationship with a PR. I want to make their middle-man style job as fun and easy as possible and I want them to at the very least have looked at my name and the blog to know if their campaign will work for me.
I also love big campaigns where, ok there is a brief, but I can feel confident enough to go back to the PR and say ‘Hey, I had this idea, it fits loosely with the brief but do you like this idea instead’. Honestly and truthfulness (on both sides of course) are intensely important to me.
What’s one of your favourite collaborations?
I work a lot with Birds Eye and I have worked with two agencies with them now – Inkling and Reci.pe – and both have been a delight to work with. From the creative I’ve been given to the way that I know I can bounce ideas off the really awesome people that work at those agencies… even down to the lovely feedback from the brand themselves. I keep working with them because I truly believe their products are fab and I really enjoy their campaigns. They really encouraged me to get into video content and I have loved doing that!
What one thing should PRs know about you?
Honestly – I’m a normal person. I’m so passionate about our industry and I don’t work with clients that I don’t think are great, but I’m also keenly aware that I’m not performing open heart surgery so I don’t have any pretention or illusions of grandeur. Essentially I want the very best for my readers and followers, but I also want to deliver the best for the brand. I try to reply to every email and if I don’t think that I am the blogger for you or you have the brand for me I will say, but I’m always delighted to make that contact because you never know who will come along next time.
What other blogs do you read?
Oh gosh, I’m a dreadful blogger in that I don’t really get time to read too many different blogs! I rather love Hannah from Hi Baby Blog and some of Kerry from All About a Mini Norris’s posts bring me to tears.
Harriet and Toby & Roo feature on the leading Vuelio Influencer Database along with thousands of other bloggers, influencers and journalists.