Why should people read your blog?
I’ve always written the blog for me and it’s an honest account of just how tough being a parent is in the world today. With constant media pressure and other mums wading into the debate of what makes the perfect parent, I was very much set with the logic that if I was going to bring up my child I was going to do it my way. As the blog grew so did my passion for writing and it became more than just my journey of parenting, it is an outlet for digital content focused around kids and lifestyle but always written by me so that it never lost the personal touch and quirky tone of voice that my readers have come to love.
What makes your blog different?
I write about things I would like to read about or get more information from if I was browsing the web at 3am whilst nursing a sick child or battling sleep deprivation. It’s honest, it’s forthright and it’s current. When I get it wrong or mess up I’ve said so and it’s been refreshing to see other parents agree with me and offer their points of view – because let’s face it, sometimes we need to know that our child isn’t the only one playing up.
What’s your favourite blog and why?
My favourite blog has to be The New York Mom – it’s pretty similar to how I see my blog; a mum like me across the other side of the pond juggling work and her family in one of the most amazing cities. The layout of her blog is fabulous to read and navigate and she mixes her quirky tales of life, with PR news, advertorials and stories really well. It’s personal too and if you spend just 10 minutes reading a few stories you feel like you know Maria and her family.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog?
Find your niche and make sure it’s a niche you can stick with. If you’re going to join the ranks of parent bloggers be aware that while your newborn baby is fascinating to read about, once they enter their early teens it’s not quite so wonderful or scintillating to detail their every move and you may find yourself stuck for content to engage your readers.
I also cannot stress enough how important it is to be self-hosted for your own blog. It’s not difficult and there’s plenty of good hosting packages available that won’t cost the earth. Being self-hosted means you own your blog content and you have more freedom in terms of advertising on your blog than if you used third party services such as Blogger or WordPress.
How does a good PR work with you?
They are friendly and they’ve actually read my blog. I love emails from PRs when they’ve clearly taken the time to read my blog and its content and find out about the quirky things my daughter loves, the brands I love to work with and they make a real effort to engage with me on a quality campaign. Sending me emails about nappies when my daughter is five is not the way to get into my good books.
What do PRs do that’s bad?
Common mistakes that are a sure fire way to wind up any blogger include getting their name wrong, mistaking the gender of their child, offering inappropriate content to review on their website and scheduling events at random times of the day when they know that parents will be on the school run. There is also nothing worse than having PRs that try to bend the rules on things such as disclosure of sponsored and paid posts. I’ve lost count of the number of PRs who have vagrantly asked me to put two fingers up to the ASA guidelines and not declare when I’ve received product or been paid for something – most bloggers are savvier on this than 12 months ago and it can be insulting to be told how to manage your blog to avoid getting penalised by Google.
92% of UK journalists are on Twitter, how important is it to bloggers?
Very! It’s the biggest, fastest growing FREE advertising portal for you to make yourself and your blog known to the world. Not only that but it’s an amazing place to meet other likeminded bloggers from your sector, reach out to PRs and brands you want to work with and can be a great support network for when you need help with your blog. A staggering 50% of parents will buy a product after reading a review from another blogger and so to use a free network such as Twitter to push your news to a wider audience is essential if you want your blog to grow and be respected.