Jo Middleton is the multi-award-winning influencer behind the UK’s biggest parenting blog Slummy Single Mummy. Jo has been writing about family life since 2009 and is also now an expert in social media, marketing and copywriting. Slummy Single Mummy is the number one blog in the Top 10 UK Parenting Blogs, and we caught up with Jo to discuss the importance of not comparing, her advice for new bloggers and working with brands.
How would you describe your blog?
That’s a tricky one, because it has changed a lot over the years as my kids have grown up. I think in a way that’s the beauty of ‘parenting’ as a theme though – pretty much anything can fall under that umbrella if you try hard enough! I like to think my blog doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s just a bit of light entertainment – like a friendly chat with a friend.
Why did you start your blog?
I actually started it as a way to promote the freelance journalism and copywriting I was doing, way back before brands had really started engaging with bloggers meaningfully, so I never imagined it would evolve into my main source of income.
What’s the best thing about being a parent?
Wow, that’s a big question?? Aside from the unconditional love, joy of seeing your kids grow etc?? Probably that you get to watch Disney films at the cinema and go to theme parks and eat Big Macs and pretend it’s all just because you have to.
What advice would you give new parents?
I think just do your best. Accept that at some point in the future they are going to blame you for ruining their lives in some way – it’s how parenting works – so just do your best from day to day and don’t compare your child to others.
What advice would you give new bloggers?
This is such a tough one, because I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to come into the market place now with so much competition. I think I’d say firstly to just go for it – don’t spend too much time over-thinking things, as you can always grow and develop as you go along. Secondly though I’d say you have to be prepared to work hard and be professional at all times. You can’t expect big brand partnerships to fall into your lap from day one – it takes a while to build up a readership and a reputation. Also, a bit like parenting, don’t compare your blog to other blogs. Comparison really IS the thief of joy.
What makes your blog successful?
I like to think that I have a very consistent, approachable tone of voice, that makes it easy to read and makes people feel like they want to come back and read it again. Commercially, I think honesty is a big part of my success, and professionalism. I always do everything on time, I try to make even the dullest subject interesting – all that stuff that brands love!
How do you like to work with PRs?
I’m pretty open to any kind of approach as long as it’s well researched, friendly and honest. I’m not saying I end up working with everyone who gets in touch, but I try to read most things. I like it best when I’m given plenty of rein creatively, but with clear goals too – I want the brand to be able to measure whether or not they’ve got what they want from working with me, so they come back!
What’s one of your favourite collaborations?
Thinking long term, I really loved working with Bailey of Bristol, who make motorhomes. For a couple of summers they leant us a motorhome so that we could go off on adventures around the UK and Ireland – what’s not to love about that??
What one thing should PRs know about you?
I am NOT interested in reviewing potty training apps. Yes I have children, but they are 15 and 22.
What other blogs do you read?
I have to admit that when I’m not working I prefer to be away from screens if I possibly can, so although I dabble, I’m much more of an old fashioned magazine or book kind of girl.
Jo Middleton and Slummy Single Mummy feature on the market-leading Vuelio Influencer Database along with thousands of other bloggers, influencers and journalists.