Why should people read your blog?
Because, hopefully, it will make them smile! If they’re parents, chances are they’ll be nodding their heads in agreement; even if they’re not I think they’d still find the anecdotes amusing. Plus, there are plenty of lifestyle, fashion and beauty posts to keep them interested. My blog isn’t just about kids, because I’m not just about my kids.
In my blogosphere everyone is talking about blog disclosure and paid links. The most recent Google Penguin updates have resulted in some bloggers losing their Page Rank, which has been a wake-up call to the community. There has been a lot of talk about when to use Do-Follow and No-Follow links. Many bloggers weren’t fully aware of their legal responsibilities to disclose any kind of paid or recompensed post, but they’re wising up very quickly. Bloggers, on the whole, want to be seen to be operating with absolute integrity.
What’s your favourite blog and why?
It’s hard to pick just one; there are elements of many different blogs that I love. One of my very favourites is the Sticky Fingers blog. I love the way journalist and blogger Tara Cain gives such poignancy to simple family moments. As a journalist too, I understand that it’s harder to write less than more. If you can say in a few short, elegant paragraphs what takes other people an entire page, that’s real talent.
How often do you aim to post?
I try for every other day, at least. First and foremost, it’s because I have a lot I want to blog about (more topics than time, in fact). Secondly, because I want my visitors to always find something fresh and interesting to read.
How do you feel about guest posts?
I don’t accept third-party posts. It’s my blog, my stories, my family. It just wouldn’t look or feel right to have someone else writing on it.
How does a good PR work with you?
By building a relationship. I don’t expect people to know everything about my blog; that would be arrogant. But it’s always nice when they take the time to find out my name, and work out my children’s ages (I make it pretty easy for them – it’s all laid out in my ‘About Me’ box).
Email, rather than phone. It’s much easier to juggle emails around children, work, the school run, etc.
Be original. These days we get a lot of pitches. Make sure yours is unique enough to stand out.
Appreciate the time I’m spending posting about their product or event. Every hour I spend blogging is time I could be spending on my paid freelance work, or with my children. It does have a value. And our Reach is not to be sniffed at: established bloggers get anything from 10,000 – 50,000 page views per month; that’s more than many print magazines. Plus, we’re leading the pack with our use of social media – Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
What do PRs do that’s bad?
There are A LOT of PR fails (sorry guys!). So many, in fact, I’ve started advising companies on how to approach bloggers without making any of these blunders. Bloggers aren’t necessarily journalists (the majority aren’t) so not all of them have thick media industry skins. Innocent mistakes can cause offence, and news of a bad pitch can travel fast. The blogging community communicates constantly via social media – fantastic if they’re raving about you, not so good if they’re ranting.