In my series of interviews with bloggers, I spoke to journalist turned blogger Nicole. I hope you enjoy her story and visit her blog.
Why did you start to blog?
Before I became a SAHM, I was a journalist with a lifestyle newspaper. So writing has always been a huge part of my life. When my son turned two and started part-time nursery, I found some free time and decided to get back to doing what I loved – writing.
I had written for all mediums before from newspapers to magazines to websites, but I had never blogged. And blogging seemed the best avenue to pursue writing around being a full-time mum. And so my second baby – Tales from Mamaville – was born in Jan 2016!
How did you feel when you started blogging?
Extremely excited and completely clueless! I was glad to get back to writing, excited to be starting my very own blog but quite clueless about it all. Thank God for google in the beginning, and then as I found my feet in the blogging world, the blogging community helped me hugely.
How do you feel about blogging today?
I wouldn’t know what to do with my time if I didn’t have my blog! It has consumed me, but in a lovely way. I am forever chasing deadlines and making mental notes about posts, always on my phone catching up on social media, and staying up late to get blogmin done – and it’s exhausting doing it around being a full-time mum – but I love it. It’s given me a new sense of purpose, and I like referring to myself as a blogger and not just a SAHM.
What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?
It would have to be the fact that I self-learnt everything I know about blogging and literally started from scratch! I did a lot of research before hitting publish on my first post, tried out themes, thought long and hard about my blog name etc etc. And even though I still have loads more to learn, I’m proud of the fact that words like SEO and DA don’t frighten me as much. And I’m so much more confident with tech!!!
What is the most exciting event you have attended as a blogger?
I’m attending my first-ever blogging conference this year (booked my ticket already) and I can’t wait to meet so many bloggers who I interact with online and of course learn so much about different aspects of blogging.
Do you monetize your blog and, if so, how?
I recently started to do so – another mini blogging achievement for me! It’s nice to be able to earn a little income while doing something I love and can do while being a SAHM. I do reviews, sponsored posts, link insertions and social media advertising.
What do you find most challenging about blogging?
Finding enough time to do it all. There is SO MUCH to do from planning posts to writing them, finding or clicking suitable images, SEO-ing the text and images, pinning the posts, promoting them, scheduling future promotions. Then there are deadlines to meet for paid opportunities and emails to send to PRs and brands. And the blogmin is another day’s work – fixing broken links, updating plugins… blogging is a 24/7 job. There is no off switch.
What surprised you most about blogging?
The fact that it is so time-consuming and that promoting your content is so crucial to your blog, especially if you want to monetize it. If you just write and sit tight, nobody will know you or your blog exist!
How do you balance blogging and family life?
I’m still figuring that one out haha. I try and sneak in blog work whenever I can during the day (like catch up on social media or reply to emails on my phone while cooking or waiting for the kettle to boil), but most of my blog work is when my son is at nursery or late at night.
What would lead to you giving up blogging?
I don’t know if I could not blog now. I’m addicted haha. I might slow down when we plan and have baby number 2 or when other responsibilities come calling, but I think I am too much in love with it to give it up completely.
What is your top tip for a new or inexperienced blogger?
Be yourself and write for yourself first – let your personality and own writing style shine through your blog. Promotion is key but content is king.
For more tips, here’s a post I recently penned…
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’d like to add that the blogging community is absolutely FANTASTIC. Bloggers are so helpful and sweet, even to the newbies, and if you ever have a question about anything blog-related, just ask on a blogging group or social media and boom, you’ve got your answer! I have made so many blog buddies online who I hope to meet in real life soon.
If you would like to share your blogger story, please do get in touch.