When I first started blogging, I had no idea that people would actually comment on my posts.  I certainly did not expect to find like minds or to make new friends.  For those who don’t know, I just started blogging as my Mum sat up into the early hours fuelled by whisky telling me that I had always wanted to be a writer and it was about time I started.  She issued the now infamous words “Even if you just keep a diary” and that is how my blogging journey began.

It was many months later that I discovered blogging networks existed and even longer before a public relations company approached me about reviewing a product.

I had no clue on all the bells and whistles technology of blogging and I still have a lot to learn.

That is is the background to my blogging.  Three years later I find myself nominated in several categories of the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Awards.  Not only that but I have made the shortlist for the ourstanding, inspire and change categories.

When bloggers are nominated for awards, it is lovely but also makes their life a bit challenging for a while.  Should they mention that votes are welcome and if so, where and how often?  Should they keep a dignified silence or does that suggest they don’t care including about the people who bothered to back them?  Bloggers are individuals and some will need an ego-stroke of a nomination or a vote more than others for all sorts of reasons.   Some bloggers want to monetise their blogs and think that an award will help with that. It is all a bit complicated.

Then bloggers being bloggers and women being women, little controversies start emerging.

So here is what I think just in case any of the people who read my blog are interested in  my view.

You should vote for me in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards if you want to do so and also have the time to do so.  I won’t lose sleep if nobody votes for me but equally really appreciate anybody who bothers to do so.

I did not nominate myself and I won’t be voting for myself.  I don’t criticise anyone who takes a different approach.  This is just what I decided to do this year.

I won’t tell you which categories I would ideally like you to vote me for as it is up to you.  My personal view is that I do not deserve to win one category at all, that another it depends on how you judge such things and the other I can see reasons why people would think I fit in that but can also see that other blogs in that category are equally worthy.  As I write that, I realise that others would have different opinions on each of those.  We are individuals.

I am not the best blogger.  I am not particularly high up the rankings.  My blog serves me first and foremost and then I try to help others because having an audience, I feel I should do some good with that.

Inevitably, where there are shortlists, sometimes you love two or more blogs on the list but can only vote for one.  That is really challenging.  Personally, when I did my nominations, it took me hours and hours and you just had to leave out some blogs you really wanted to vote for.  That is the nature of the beast.

Bloggers are individuals.  They take individual approaches to what they blog about, to who they share their blog with, to networking, to reviews and events and to monetising their blogs.  You can expect bloggers, therefore, to take individual approaches when they hear news of awards.

I have always thought prizes and awards are a good thing in all arenas for driving up quality and recognising effort.  The Brilliance in Blogging Awards gets people talking about blogging which has to be a very good thing.  They also demonstrate the diversity of parent blogging today and that gives folks new ideas too.

And those are my last words on the subject of nominating and voting on the #bibs.

Does blogging help you feel less alone and isolated?

Does Blogging Make You Feel Less Alone

In my series of interviews with bloggers, I look at the different motivations for blogging and how blogging can help women. Today, Chantelle from Mama Mummy Mum ls us how blogging can help you feel less alone.

Why did you start to blog?

I started my blog as a way of writing down memories. It was never started as a way to earn money, I didn’t even expect anyone to read it really, I guess it was more like an open diary more than anything. My posts were mere sentences long and at the time I didn’t even know about uploading photos, layout or any sort of technical stuff.

How did you feel when you started blogging?

When I started my blog because I guess I felt lonely really. As a stay at home mum I lacked any adult company apart from my husband and writing things down helped ease that feeling somehow.

What is your blog about?

My blog is down as parenting and lifestyle but it is a right old mix of anything I want to talk about but mainly it’s about books, fitness and my kids. The way I see it, it’s my blog so I shall put on there what I want, I’m still not out there to please anyone, I’m not fussed about how many people read each post but if someone gets pleasure from them, or feels like they’ve gained a little bit of help then that’s a nice added bonus.

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

Now that’s a tough question. I’m not a ‘professional’ blogger, I haven’t got an abundance of readers and I’ve not gained any big contracts with major companies. I guess my biggest achievement is my little linky Read With Me, I’ve gained a good bunch of bloggers who without fail link up, comment and share the love. Shows in a small way what the blogging community has to offer.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

As I said in the previous question what I enjoy most about blogging is actually the bloggers themselves. Social media is a huge part of my life now, especially the other bloggers who are on there, I feel less lonely knowing there is always someone around to talk to, to offer advice, the blogging community is generally a very welcoming one and offers more than just the blog posts that they put out into the world.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Writers block. Blogging has become rather addictive and I don’t like leaving my blog empty, I prefer having a regular stream of posts going up but this is sometimes hard when nothing is really happening in your life and you feel like you have very little to actually talk about.

What surprised you most about blogging?

What surprised me the most was how addictive it can be. I’ve been blogging since September 2011 and even when I’ve said I’m going to take a break from it all, I quickly find myself writing again.

How do you collaborate or work in partnership with other bloggers?

I’ve never really collaborated with other bloggers as such. I’ve contributed guest posts and vice versa when holidays have been taken and I always link up with certain linkies such as My Sunday Photo and Little Loves and I’m always happy to retweet posts that I think deserve more coverage. I think bloggers work more as a team than we realise when it comes to reading and promoting each others blogs.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

See I thought I would give up this year as work commitments, doing a teaching assistant course and obviously home life has become rather hectic but I still find time, (even if it is early hours of the morning), to get on with some blogging, I get a feeling of guilt almost when I’m not doing it so I’m not sure anything would make me quit.

Why should I read your blog?

I don’t think you should read my blog, I’d be happy if you did but I don’t think my blog stands out as anything special, not with the amount of blogs there are out there right now.

What are the aims of your blog?

My aims for my blog, just to keep it going, to continue to share my thoughts and ideas and hope that it helps in some way. It’s going to be great to look back on in years to come, I already enjoy looking back at old photographs of the kids, it’s a great memory saver.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Funny that, I share things all the time on my blog and now I’m coming up blank. I guess I’d just like to say thank you to the bloggers and the readers as they’ve all made me feel less alone at times and that is a feeling that I think a lot of people appreciate.

How does blogging help you and would you like to share your story with me?

 

 

rack of lamb

Pink Pear Bear

What is the profile of a blogger? Are bloggers a diverse bunch or all the same? In my series of interviews with female lifestyle and parenting bloggers, I discover the wide range of women who find meaning through blogging. Huge thanks to Louise for sharing her views on blogging.

Profile OF A Blogger

Why did you start to blog?

I’ve always loved to write, as I child I was forever writing stories and I even did a journalism course after uni but then my children came along and I barely had time to wash my hair never mind writing.

Then one day I read a blog about parenting and thought ‘I could do that’ and so I did, and I thought I would be read straight away, then reality hit and I realised how much hard work blogging really is. After a good year of slogging away, the opps finally started coming and now it’s my job!

How did you feel when you started blogging?

Honestly, disappointed! I had genuinely been under the illusion that ‘write and they shall read it’! But then excited as things started to grow on social media. And it also makes me happy.

What is your blog about?

My blog is about my life. There is a lot about parenting as that is something I spend most of my time doing, and then there is also a lot of things we enjoy. We’re really outdoorsy and so there are a lot of days out, stories about our camper van trips and crafts too, I like to do lots of them!

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

I recently got a column in my local paper based on my blog. That was a real high point for me, seeing my words in print.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I’m not actually sure. I really enjoy the buzz of getting an exciting opportunity or reaching a new goal on social media but mainly I love it when I get a comment from someone saying that something I’ve written has helped them or that they can relate. It’s lovely to connect to people.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Having the time to keep up with all the different social media channels and write. It’s hard to balance it all with motherhood too.

What surprised you most about blogging?

How much work it really is! Seriously! It’s a full time job for sure. 🙂

How do you collaborate or work in partnership with other bloggers?

I have some really fab blogging buddies and we pass details to PRs etc. I also run a link up with friends.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

Oh that’s so tough. If my husband or children really hated me doing it I’d have to have a good think.

Why should I read your blog?

Because it would make me really happy! But apart from that, because I hope that you would enjoy it.

What are the aims of your blog?

That’s quite a tough one to answer! It’s mainly to share mny own experiences and to let others know that it’s ok to not be ok, to wing it, to eat Coco Pops for dinner every night for a week occasionally! I’ve also written about my PND journey in the help it might help others and I also share our experiences of days out and reviews of things we have loved. Another aim is to build a career for myself that I can do around the children.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Well, I do have a few social media links if anyone fancied following me on any of them. There’s different content across all of them, but a running theme is generally outdoors with the family, chatter, unicorns, rainbows and lots and lots of cake!

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pinkpearbear/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/pinkpearbear

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/PinkPearBear/

Me, Being Mummy

I was delighted when inspirational blogger Donna agreed to my interview request. I am sure you will be fascinated by what Donna has to say.

inspirational blogger

Why did you start to blog?

I started to blog when my daughter was seven months old to document her weaning journey. We did baby led weaning and there wasn’t a huge amount of information about it at the time so I thought it could be useful to other people about to start weaning their babies.

How did you feel when you started blogging?

It was just like I was jumping into a new hobby. I didn’t tell anyone about the blog or really promote it so it was often just like I was talking to myself but I loved having something productive to do in the evenings.

What is your blog about?

Although it started being very focused on weaning as the blog, and my children, have grown the content has adapted too. It’s now a blog about family life, days out and all the little ordinary moments as well as recipes, reviews, competitions and travel – when we get the chance to go away.

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

I have been nominated for awards and have been shortlisted in some too but for me, my proudest moments come from helping other bloggers. Most of my time now revolves around critiquing other blogs, offering advice and just being a point of referral for other bloggers. It makes me happy and I do it purely to help, not to get anything back. I think, because of that, when another blogger nominated me for an Outstanding Contribution award last year and said I was ‘a pillar of the blogging community’ that was my proudest moment. To know I have helped people and for other bloggers to know I am there if they need me – it just makes everything worthwhile.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

My favourite part of blogging is actually reading and commenting on other blogs. I run and take part in quite a few linkies each week and month and I love getting to know the people who join in as well as reading other blogs as something to do each evening. For me, other bloggers and the blogging community are a bigger part of blogging than my actual blog.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

I think the most challenging part for me is trying to keep all the plates spinning. There are photos to take, posts to write, recipes to plan and when you’ve put it all together you then have to promote the posts and be as active as possible across social media. Then there’s an inbox to keep on top of, linkies and everything else. Blogging has evolved into so much more than just writing – and I love it, but it can be hard to keep on top of all the different aspects of blogging.

What surprised you most about blogging?

When I started blogging I had no idea that blogging was a thing. I didn’t know there were other people out there writing blogs and doing the exact same thing as me. It felt like there was just me, talking to myself online. So the blogging community, when I eventually found it, was the most surprising part for me. But one I am so thankful for.

How do you collaborate or work in partnership with other bloggers?

I have an interview series on my blog called Blogger Behind the Blog where I interview a different blogger each week. It’s proven really popular with both readers and bloggers wanting to take part and it’s a series I’m so glad I started.

I also host and co-host a few linkies – Living Arrows, Ordinary Moments and Siblings – and it’s so nice to find other bloggers through linkies and also work so closely with likeminded bloggers too.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

That actually made me laugh out loud. I can’t imagine a time where blogging isn’t in my life. I’m a blogger, it’s a huge part of who I am – it’s my job and it brings me so much happiness. Without my blog I don’t really know what I would do – I wouldn’t have a job but more than that I wouldn’t have this outlet, this place to express myself, to write and to document the children growing. I don’t think I will ever give up blogging willingly.

Why should I read your blog?

My blog is such an eclectic mix that I think most people would find something they’d enjoy reading – from family updates and little adventures to family recipes and pretty photos. But, I write regular opinion pieces on anything that may have popped into my head – current affairs and things I see on Facebook mainly. They’re always good to read.

What are the aims of your blog?

Really my blog is there to record the children’s milestones and updates as they grow. It’s somewhere to record the little things that I would forget otherwise and somewhere to have photos of them – ones that I would never get around to printing. But, it’s also a source of information for people on so many aspects of family life as well as being my only true hobby and my job.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

When I started blogging I was just this person writing a blog. But, over the last five years I have become a blogger – and my blog, and the whole blogging world, is such a huge part of my life. Starting my blog is definitely the best decision I ever made.

You can find Donna’s blog at What the Redhead Said

If you would like me to feature your blogging journey please get in touch or leave me a comment.

It takes a lot for the women I feature to share their stories so openly so please do hit one or more of the sharing is caring buttons below.

clairejustine

Mumzilla

Life as mum or Beth as I like to call her is the first blogger to feature in my inspirational blogger interview series.

life as mum

Why did you start to blog?

I started my blog to document our day-to-day life, family adventures and memories. It was an online journal where I also wrote letters to my two girls. I thought (and still do) it would be something lovely and memorable to look back at in years to come.

How did you feel when you started blogging?

I remember feeling very confused but excited. I was excited to see where about blogging would take me but I was also confused because I didn’t quite understand the whole ‘blogging world’. I mainly started it to document our family memories and so I was excited writing about them and being able to read them again in a few years when the kids are older.

What is your blog about?

My blog is mainly about parenting and our family life. I share my life experiences of being a Mum of 3. I also talk about my pregnancies, weight loss, our family adventures and quite a few other topics too.

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

My proudest achievement has to be when I earned more money blogging than I did with my two previous jobs. Although I was super busy constantly working, the money was worth it in the end.

Other than money, I think my next nearest proudest achievement is being recognised. I’ve had local people coming up to me saying they read my blog often. It can be nervewracking but it did make me feel happy and proud of myself that people actually do read my blog.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I would say I absolutely love writing and that has to be the main reason I enjoy blogging. Very close to that is being able to practise some photography. I’m not the best person on taking photos, but I love to learn and capture the kids growing up.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Sometimes I find it hard to keep on top of everything such as the social media and e-mail side. I am trying to get myself a bit more organised by scheduling social media posts after writing a post.

What surprised you most about blogging?

What surprised me the most was how much work you need to put into blogging. It’s not the matter of just writing a post and posting photos. It takes up so much of my time but it is something I enjoy doing.

How do you collaborate or work in partnership with other bloggers?

I link up to a few linky’s during the week and weekend. I comment on other blogs and I also try my best to socialize on Facebook and Instagram too. I have offered a few spaces for guest posts and interview-type posts too.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

I think the only thing that would stop me blogging if it made me extremley unhappy or it was some how damaging my kids as they grow older.

Why should I read your blog?

My blog, Life as Mum is a very truthful parenting blog. I hide nothing about our lives as I think it’s important to say the truths about parenthood. I also share some lovely family adventures and all my posts are full bright photos.

What are the aims of your blog?

My blog is my little space on the internet. It’s a place where I feel I can share what I want. It’s a hobby as well as my job. After a long day with the kids, I blog during the night when the kids are in bed and it’s just my time to myself which I really enjoy.

Huge thanks to Beth and now go forth and read Life as Mum

Please do get in touch if you would like to be interviewed as an inspirational blogger.

It takes a lot for the women I feature to share their stories so openly so please do hit one or more of the sharing is caring buttons below.

The Pramshed