In my series of interviews with bloggers, I spoke to journalist turned blogger Nicole. I hope you enjoy her story and visit her blog.

Journalist

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…

https://talesfrommamaville.com/post-on-blogging/

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.

Blog: https://talesfrommamaville.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MamavilleTales

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MamavilleTales/

If you would like to share your blogger story, please do get in touch.

ethannevelyn.com
Mummies Waiting

How do you make the move from nervous to confident blogger. In my series of interviews with female bloggers, Cath from BattleMum describes her journey.

Confident Blogger

Why did you start to blog?

I began my blog as a sort of online diary when our son was 10 months old. I had kept paper diaries throughout my pregnancy but a long and slow recovery after his birth meant I never kept my writing up. Fast forward 10 months and I felt it was time to start documenting our lives together and BattleMum was born.

How did you feel when you started blogging?

I was nervous if I’m honest. I didn’t think anyone would read my blog and in the early days I felt like a fraud, like no one was interested in what I had to say. I had no idea what I wanted to get out of it and had no idea where it was going to go, or what the point of my writing was. To say I was completely unsure about what I was doing would be an understatement.

How do you feel about blogging today?

I feel a lot more confident and know, now I have found my niche, that I have useful things to say that will be helpful to people. I am happier now that I have a few years under my belt and am happy to help fellow bloggers where I can. I feel experienced enough to speak out when newer bloggers are running into problems and need help. I also know that the articles I am writing and publishing on my blog are of a much better quality than in those early days too.

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

My proudest achievement has to be that I’ve stuck with it for over three years. In the early days when I really didn’t know what I was doing, there came several times when I thought “what’s the point?”. However, I carried on and with time more people started reading my posts, commenting and sharing them and it boosted my morale. My blog is now over three years old, and while it hasn’t got the huge statistics other bloggers who have been at it for as long as me, I still get readers and their comments mean the world to me. I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long!

What is the most exciting event you have attended as a blogger?

I attended BlogON in September 2016 and I had a blast. I met some lovely bloggers there, made contact with brands I went onto work with and came away with a refreshed feel about my blog. BlogOn renewed my love for the blogging community and everything around it as a whole and I’d love to attend again.

Do you monetize your blog and if so, how?

This is something I’d love to do but haven’t had much luck with. Although I’ve managed to drill down and focus on one niche for the last six months, I haven’t had anything of real value in terms of money come my way. And to be honest, I can’t see it happening for me. Whether it is just too tough a niche to monetise, or whether my readers just aren’t interested in the links I have, I don’t know. But I’ll keep trying for now.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Fitting it all in. People looking in from the outside think blogging is simply writing some words, sticking a picture in and pressing publish. But there is so much more that goes on when it comes to blogging. A blog post needs nice graphics for both social sharing and Pinterest. The pictures have to fit the post and look good at the same time. And after you’ve hit the publish button it doesn’t end there. There’s the promotion of your blog posts, engaging with your readers and followers, and networking to build up your presence. So, the biggest challenge I find is fitting it all in around day-to-day family life.

What surprised you most about blogging?

There have been a few things that have surprised me about blogging. The first thing is the work involved to even get a blog post published, and looking good, as I’ve discussed. How I used to fit in blogging while working a full-time job I’ll never know. The second thing is the friends and contacts you can make. I’ve met some amazing people through blogging. Also, the opportunities that came come your way as a result of your hard work.
But there are also some not so nice things to blogging which surprised me. The jealousy that some people feel towards other bloggers who they think might be doing better than them, or are getting more brand opportunities than they are, is something that shocked me. I’ve seen this more evident in the Irish blogging community, possibly because it is smaller overall than the UK community (I’m Irish myself). There can be a lack of support for fellow bloggers and it often comes down to jealousy and it’s something that has both shocked and saddened me.

How do you balance blogging and family life?

I try to do as much as I can these days while my son is in kindergarten, but it doesn’t always work out that way. The guts of my blog work is done during the day but I will freely admit I can still be glued to my phone in the evenings catching up on blog threads on Facebook and responding to comments on Instagram. However, I don’t blog at the weekend and keep my social media to a minimum so that we can enjoy family time. I also take this stance while we are on holiday, possibly only posting a picture to Instagram now and then. But it’s a constant struggle.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

If I lost my passion for it, or it became more of a trial to write than an enjoyment, then I’d give up. There is no point in continuing with something you no longer enjoy. It would become something to do for the sake of it and, I believe, it would become apparent in the posts being published.

What is your top tip for a new or inexperienced blogger?

If I could only give one tip, aside from going self-hosted as soon as possible, is to take your time, write good quality content at your own pace and try to get your head around SEO for posts you want to rank for on Google. I had no idea about this when I first started and am only now feeling like I know what I am doing for those types of posts which I want Google to rank me for. I am having to go back to old posts, particularly ones that give me organic Google traffic, to ensure they have better SEO. I think once you do it for a few posts it’s much easier to do for future posts going forward. It can be a scary term for someone starting out, but it really isn’t that bad.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Blogging has been a great way to find a little piece of the Internet all for me. What started out as parenting blog has now transformed into a family travel and lifestyle blog and I’m so much happier writing in this space than I ever was before. Writing about travelling gets my fingers typing furiously on the keyboard and they are the posts that come much easier to me. I enjoy sharing our travels with others, and hope that I can inspire other families to get travelling wherever their budgets allow. I know many people fear travelling with their kids, especially while they are young, but I hope I can encourage them to take that leap of faith by showing them what we’ve managed to do with our son since he was a few months old.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/battlemum
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBattleMum

Huge thanks to BattleMum for sharing her story and if you would like to share your blogging journey with me, please do get in touch.

Are you a nervous or confident blogger?

Saving the planet by blogging might sound like quite an ambitious aim but if everyone does their bit, blogging can change the world for the better in so many ways. Today, I interview Lauren from Inspire Create Educate about how she is helping ordinary folk to work out how they can contribute to a better world for us and for future generations.

Saving The Planet

I met Lauren initially about two weeks after the loss of my lovely Dad. She was so friendly and made me feel at ease at a very challenging time. Over the years I have realised how very intelligent she is and it does not surprise me that she is one of the bloggers who is changing the world for real one baby step at a time. I am better off for having Lauren in my life.

Why did you start to blog?

I started blogging out of a desire to encourage more people to think about our planet. I think sometimes the message could be put across better. People shut down if the message reads as preachy, so I thought I’d try and deliver something that was more realistic to us normal people.

How did you feel when you started blogging?

Quite nervous! I’d blogged before on and off but not for a few years. So much has changed since I closed my last blog in 2014.

How do you feel about blogging today?

I’m still pretty nervous! It’s more of an ongoing, nervous excitement. I feel I achieved a lot since I launched in May 2017 and this year I know I’m going to achieve a whole lot more.

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

Being asked to speak at a green festival in the summer, and being recommended by the then deputy leader of Wales Green Party.

What is the most exciting event you have attended as a blogger?

It has to be BritMums Live 2017. It took on a completely different format this year compared to the older ones I went to.

Do you monetize your blog and, if so, how?

I do! Mostly offering VA work and the occasional sponsored post. I also use affiliate marketing (not great income but I did earn a Halloween bonus from Etsy) and scout for relevant media opportunities.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Putting myself out there on social media consistently. Even though I have a weekly Facebook live show, I still struggle with fraud syndrome. I take a minute to bury it and get on with my day, but it’s still always there in the background.

What surprised you most about blogging?

How much has changed in a short space of time, and how little our work is valued by others. Not just people I know in real life (“You mean you actually get paid for writing? Anybody can write!”) but people who want space on our blogs without paying fairly for it. Graphic designers will get paid. The PRs themselves will get paid. Bloggers are often expected to work for free, or very little.

How do you balance blogging and family life?

My daughter, who is home educated, gets on with her work throughout the day while I get on with mine. We chat, and I help when needed. My sons are still in infants and I stop working in time to get them from school every day. I would say I carry on in the evening when they’re asleep, but to be honest I’m too knackered to do anything that requires much thought after 9pm! Sometimes I work a few hours over the weekend, while they’re on the games consoles, but that’s kept to a minimum. The children all know what I do and pretend to understand it! My fiance is supportive, and we usually keep our evenings for each other. When we do feel like working in the evenings, we work alongside each other. He’s self-employed too so there’s always admin for him to do.

I switch days and hours around to suit whatever we’ve got going on (school plays, dates, home ed events) and make up the hours elsewhere when I can. I also try to work ahead when I can in case of illness or other obstacles. I love what I do – blogging has given me the freedom to be there for my family and earn at the same time!

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

I don’t think anything would… even if the money stopped being there, I would still want to get my voice out there. Everything that’s on my blog is there to help people be happier, healthier and greener; and the need for that isn’t going to go away if I stop being paid. I would have to make changes to how the blog was run if I needed to get a job, but I would definitely still be doing it.

I genuinely can’t think of anything, other than the internet going down forever. I’ll always have something to say and will always want to help. If the ‘net goes down… I’ll print a magazine!

What is your top tip for a new or inexperienced blogger?

Learning from other people’s mistakes will give you a great start. There are loads of blogging courses out there run by real bloggers who have been there. However, there is a danger of procrastinating by learning. If you find you’re not putting any of the new information into practice, it’s time to stop learning and start doing!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I run a weekly mindfulness show on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/theincrediblog) and would love it if you tuned in. Every week we love the good moments, mind the bad and look forward to our future together; having an extra mindfulness task to bring you through the week. It’s called The Little Happy Journal Live, and it’s every Monday at 11am.

If you blog is involved in saving the planet or making the world a better place, I would love to hear your story and share it on my blog.

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Twin Mummy and Daddy
Mummies Waiting

It’s the start of a brand New Year so all the talk in the media and on social networks is about resolutions and life change. For many that can feel a little overwhelming and yet more pressure when women are already juggling so much.

One of the big problems with New Year resolutions is that they can be over-ambitious and end up being just another excuse to beat ourselves up emotionally for not doing well enough.

New Year

Best Boot Forward is different because you set your own agenda about what you want to achieve or change about your life. You may or may not fit into the common aims to lose weight, to give up smoking and so on. When I first started changing my life for the better, walking once around the block was a huge challenge as I struggled with post-natal depression. Similarly, you may have really enormous goals such as changing career, becoming a student or starting/ending a relationship.and as Rome was not built in one day, you need to break it down into baby steps.
So all we ask this week is that you find a quiet5 minutes (often a challenge in itself!) and really reflect on one area that you would like to change for the better this year.

So you can share with us in a blog post or on our Facebook group the following:

1. What would you like to change?
2. How do you feel this change will enhance your life?
3. Who can support you as you make a positive change?
4. What is the first baby step you can take to move towards your goal?

As we embark on our Best Boot Forward journeys, our hopes and dreams may change. Our lives will throw curve-balls too because most of us go through great ups and devastating downs along the way. What we can promise is that Best Boot Forward will stick with you every step of the way offering our insights, challenges and support.

Oh and as a final bit of fun, why not show us your favourite pair of boots either ones you own already or ones you would like to.

#BESTBOOTFORWARD LINKY RULES:

1. Add a backlink to this post using #bestbootforward and fear not, our badge is coming soon!

2. Please comment on this post and the one from Chloe at Indigo Wilderness and at least one other. Obviously the more you comment, the better and it is a super way to get to know other people and to interest them in your blog.

3. Link a maximum of 1 post per week.

4. The linky is open for a week so there is plenty of time to link up.

5. Tag myself @kateonthinice and Chloe at @IndigoChlo on Twitter for a Retweet with #Bestbootforward

As mothers, finding the balance in life can be extremely tough. We often have to choose between career and kids, and at some point have to make the difficult decision whether we should go back to work and have our kids looked after by someone else, or stay off and take care of them ourselves. While there really is no wrong answer, it can leave you feeling like any decision you make is the wrong one. However these days we have the ability to work from home, which can be the perfect option for a parent. There’s no travel to work and it can be fit around our other duties. We get to work the times that suit us, while building up something we’ve created ourselves and can be proud of. And blogging is the perfect choice, here are just a few of the reasons why.

Career

 

 

From this source

 

You Get to Work For Yourself

When you set up a blog you have the opportunity to earn money, which means you are essentially running your own business. If you’re fed up of having a boss breathe down your neck, annoying or bitchy colleagues spoiling your day or a long commute- working for yourself is the perfect option. Working for yourself is incredibly satisfying, you get to pour your creative energy and efforts into something that benefits you, instead of spending your life earning lots of money for a big corporation.

 

It’s Inexpensive To Get Started

Unlike lots of other home businesses, blogging requires very little to get started. The main thing you need is a laptop or computer, which chances are you own already. Other costs include website design (although there are lots of great free templates online and ones you can buy cheaply from Etsy) and a domain. But these can be purchased relatively cheaply, and there’s plenty of help and advice online if you’re unsure where to start- check out a domain forum for example. Sites like Pexels and Pixabay offer fantastic free, beautiful stock images, plus most smartphones these days can take excellent pictures in the right lighting. You could always use what you have and build from there, you don’t need to invest in lots of stock or materials or marketing advice to get started like you would with other types of home businesses. Get active on social media, join blogging groups and read advice for how to get your name out there without spending much. Blogging is generally an inexpensive hobby and a business you can start without a lot of money.

 

It’s Flexible

Whether you want to go it full time, part time or you just see blogging as a hobby that can earn you some extra money- blogging is flexible. While sponsors will have deadlines, it’s up to you what kind of work and how much you take on so you can truly work it around your lifestyle. If you have young kids, work part time or have other commitments meaning a regular job would be difficult, blogging is ideal as you call the shots. You could work more some weeks if you need the money and less on others. You could combine it with freelance writing or other types of work to ensure you’re making enough money. The great thing about blogging is you can take it anywhere with you. If you and your family go travelling, you could simply bring your laptop and do a little bit of work while you’re away. If you move house, move abroad, move for better schools or anywhere else life takes you, your job goes wherever you do. This means you’re not tied down to one place and it gives you a lot of freedom in the rest of your life.

 

There’s a Social Aspect

The great thing about blogging is it can help you to meet like minded people. Unlike regular workplaces which generally are full of a mixture of people that wouldn’t necessarily choose to be friends, when you meet people through blogging you already share a common interest. As a parent, socialising can be difficult and it’s easy to feel isolated- so being able to meet people in this way is incredibly useful. Bloggers often hold meet up and events that you and the family are able to go along to and meet people in person too. It could be anything from casual drinks and dinners to concerts or formal events with competitions, brand demonstrations and much more. You can be as involved or uninvolved in the social side of things as you want, but it’s nice to have that available, particularly as a busy parent when it’s something many of us can struggle with.

 

It Helps You to Improve Your Skills

Just because we’re adults with children of our own doesn’t mean we should stop learning. Staying curious with a thirst for knowledge and motivation to improve our skills makes us happier and sets a good example for our children as well. Blogging will of course improve your reading, writing and vocabulary, but it can also help you learn coding and html, design, photography, photo editing, social media networking and more. These are all things that look great on your CV and are transferable skills, whether you make a career change or set up another business later down the line they’re things that will come in useful.

 

 

from this source

 

It can take some time for a blog to get established and for you to reach the stage where sponsors want to work with you. But if you start off as a hobby, know that there is the opportunity to make good money from it later down the line and it could be the perfect career move for you as a busy parent. Make your blog the best it can be, keep putting out regular content and network with others. In time, sponsors will contact you for regular paid opportunities.

Cuddle Fairy