An interview with Jen Dixon, author of My Mummy’s Pennies, a parenting and money-saving blog. She spoke to us about the mix of content that makes up her blog, what puts her off working with PRs and speaking at a blogging conference for the first time this year.
Why should people read your blog? If you have shopaholic tendencies but don’t want go into the red then My Mummy’s Pennies is the blog for you. Follow my ramblings as a penny pinching Mummy of two living ‘Up North’ and juggling family, working life and blogging. I review products that fit in to my family’s eco-friendly lifestyle, share quick and easy vegetarian recipes, write about fun family days out on a budget as well as give my readers the benefit of my keen eye for a bargain.
What makes your blog different? Although my blog is focused around saving money it’s not all about reusing your tea bags and darning socks. I blog about making the most of what you can afford and enjoying some luxuries without breaking the bank. As a family we love the outdoors and I like to remind my readers of the fun that can be had with their children without spending lots of money! I also let my blog overflow into social media and have created and developed active and engaging money saving communities on both Facebook and Twitter over the last few years.
What’s your favourite blog and why? My favourite blog changes almost every week! I love to read blogs that are quite different to mine and as a bit of an amateur photographer I favour those that are quite image focused. At the moment I can be found scrolling the pages of www.tinnedtomatoes.com on a daily basis trying to decide what to make for dinner!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog? I would say go for it, but choose a subject you’re passionate about. If like me you love to share your opinions then it can be an ideal platform. A blog can bring some amazing opportunities for your family but I wouldn’t recommend starting one just for that reason as it can be a lot of work and become like a second job or even another child. The blogosphere is an amazing community and you will make some amazing friends on your blogging journey.
How does a good PR work with you? A good PR does their research, a few minutes reading my blog or social media channels with tell you that I’m a vegetarian with two children living in Manchester. An approach that shows a PR has taken time to find out a few facts about me is always going to get me to read through the end and reply. I recently received an invitation to an event where the PR had taken the time to list some local vegetarian restaurants I may have liked to visit while I was in Birmingham, It showed they had taken the time to see me as a person and not just another name on their spreadsheet!
What do PRs do that’s bad? I’m not very receptive to the generic approach. I have a name, I quite like it and I make sure it’s easily found. So when I get emails starting with ‘Dear Mummy Blogger’ I’m not going to rush to respond. When a PR emails en masse they lose the personal touch and and it can really put me off working with them.
What was your blogging highlight of 2013? My blogging highlights in 2013 included getting to the final of the Savoo’s UK Smartest Shopper contest and being voted as number 21 in the Circle of Moms Top 25 European Mom blogs. As well as being sponsored to attend a number of blogging conferences including Mumsnet Blogfest where I was able to meet inspirational speakers including MP Stella Creasy.
What will be big in your blogosphere in the coming months? I will be speaking at a blogging conference for the first time. It’s a really big step for me but I’m very excited and just a little bit nervous at the prospect of sharing my social media expertise with fellow bloggers.