In my early days of blogging, these awards were two a penny and to be honest, I thought they had long-since passed. When the lovely Lara from Lara in the Middle, announced that she was giving me the Sunshine Award as one of her favourite bloggers, I was chuffed to bits!
Like me, Lara recently re-launched her blog. Unlike me, her children have all ‘flown the nest’ and therefore she travels a lot (something I’d like to do one day). She also talks about the menopause (something I will no doubt be experiencing in the not too distant future) and discusses all things midlife. If you like my blog then I think you’ll like hers, so do check it out if you haven’t already.
In honour of this wonderful award, Lara set me some questions to answer. At the end of the post, I will pick out a few of my favourite bloggers and do the same. So here goes…
What made you want to blog in the first place?
Casting my mind back 8 years isn’t easy these days but that’s how long ago it was that I first put finger to keyboard. I have always been an avid reader of Red magazine and some of you might be familiar with the columnist Rosie Green who used to write a monthly feature: ‘Life is Rosie’. It sounds a bit big-headed but I used to read it (whilst chuckling) and think ‘I could write something like this’.
So my first blog, ‘3 Children and It’ was an amusing take on family life with three children and a dog. We now have 1 adult child and 2 dogs so the title slowly became irrelevant as my children grew up. Cue the arrival of this blog that I started back in late 2016.
Another reason for starting my blog was that I just wanted to write. I had recently completed an online journalism course with a view to writing articles for newspapers and magazines. The biggest tip was to practise writing as much as possible. Once I started writing my blog and realised how bloomin’ difficult it is to get a by-line in a publication, I put that idea on hold. At that point, blogging had totally gripped me and it was successfully scratching my writing itch.
Who is the blogger/writer that inspires you the most?
Oh goodness, this one is so hard! I follow a few good blogs but nowhere near as many as I used to. I get inspiration from blogs for various reasons – I have a lot of interests! Sometimes it’s because they are writing about a topic close to their heart (Steph’s Two Girls) and other times it’s because I love their dedication to fashion (Does My Bum Look 40 in this?) or interiors (Lisa Dawson Styling). A blogger who regularly makes me stop and think is We are THAT Family by Kristen Welch.
Check out my sidebar to the right, where you’ll find my favourites.
What opportunities have come your way because of your blog that you might not have had?
I never set out to make money from my blog or even to review items; it was purely and simply a writing outlet. However, this year I decided to say ‘yes’ to a few opportunities that came my way. I think working with Boden for 3 months was probably a highlight for me.
I have a few personal rules that I try to stick to before saying ‘yes’. Firstly I ask myself if the topic is in-keeping with my blog and if it will interest my readers. I also won’t do more than two collaborative posts in a month. I have seen too many blogs that I once loved, become totally commercial and have since lost interest.
For the last two years I have been working part-time (freelance) for a company that I was introduced to through my blog. I was invited to review a massage at The Massage Company and since then have been managing their social media accounts – definitely not something that I would ever have done if it weren’t for my blog!
Is there a post that you are most proud of? Why?
I think the posts I’m most proud of are the ones that have taken a lot for me to write. I hope that by writing about my experience of supporting a child who is struggling with their mental health, it has helped someone else in a similar situation. It still gets read regularly and has far and away the most comments I’ve ever received on my blog.
I am also rather fond of a post that I wrote on our 20th wedding anniversary – I made sure the OH read it before I hit publish!
If someone asked your advice on starting their own blog what three top tips would you give them?
Where to even start with this?! I think people assume blogging is easy – write a post, publish it and it gets read. Wrong! Blogging takes a lot of hard work and dedication so my top three tips would be as follows:
- Don’t expect overnight success. Write consistently well, with authenticity and your readers will come, slowly but surely.
- Consider the name of your blog carefully and then think about the main topics that you want to cover. Does your blog name reflect these? If not, make sure that you have a by-line that does.
- If designing a decent looking blog isn’t your thing then buy a theme – you can get a really nice one for under £30. It makes it look professional immediately and you can tailor it to your personal style.
The bloggers I would like to extend the Sunshine Blogger Award to, are Gail from Wellies on the School Run, Jo from Mother of Teenagers and Sarah from Mum of Three World. All three ladies are excellent writers (something I look for immediately in a blog) and I enjoy reading their content; their blogs are ones I come back to time and again.
Here are your questions ladies:
- What made you start blogging?
- Name 3 things that you love most about blogging
- Where do you get your inspiration to write?
- How much time per week do you spend blogging?
- Where do you see your blog in 5 years time?
I look forward to reading your posts!