Here’s this week’s instalment of Blogger Behind the Blog where I interview a blogger all about their reasons for blogging and what it means to them. This week I’m joined by Katy from What Katy Said.
Here’s Katy with more about her blogging life:
Where did your blog name come from?
It took me ages to think of a name. I didn’t want something that would pigeonhole me. As a child I read the What Katie Did books and it just clicked for me. I’ve always got something to say so ‘What Katy Said’ was born!
When did you start your blog and why?
I was part of a Dec ’13 baby group and was always giving advice to other mums in the group. One of the mums suggested I start a blog to share my experiences, specifically LJ’s dairy allergy and our battles with reflux. I’d never even heard of a blog so didn’t know what I was doing at all! I am so glad she suggested it though as it is the best thing I’ve ever done!
What did you do before you blogged?
I was (technically still am) a teacher. Teaching is a double edged sword as it is the best job in the world, moulding young minds and watching them grow. But it is also one of the worst jobs when you have a family as you never switch off. Not that you switch off as a blogger but at least I don’t have 90 books to mark every night and I don’t have to leave the sofa if I don’t want to!
What was your first post?
I wrote several posts all in one go, all relating to the struggles we had faced so far with LJ. This one about the signs of reflux continues to bring me traffic every day. It isn’t the best in the world but honestly I had no idea what I was doing!
What inspires you to blog?
I guess I still blog for the same reasons as when I first started. I wanted to share my experiences as a mother of a child with allergies, to help others recognise the symptoms and know they aren’t alone. That hasn’t changed really except now LJ is (pretty much) clear of her allergies. I still want to share my experiences as a mother, to have just one person to relate to something I have written. There are so many blogs I have read since that have touched me in some way, helped me as a woman and I just want to do the same.
What post has had the best response, which post are you most proud of and which post did you enjoy writing the most?
My most popular post is this one I did for Father’s Day – Pinterest went absolutely crazy for it and it is my top referrer from about April to August (thank you Australia for a later Father’s Day date!). The post I am most proud of? I actually don’t know – is that awful? I think when you share your life, days out etc then it is hard to think of any as being proud pieces – I find that is the case anyway. If I had to choose one I would say it is a piece that I am proud of due to the fact so many people have messaged me or emailed me as a result, rather than the fact that it is a brilliant piece. I shared the story of Little G and her Toddler Hypoglycemia – one of the worst days of my life. So many people have realised that their toddler is suffering with the same symptoms as a result.
Have any of your posts not had the response that you expected?
Ah plenty! Sometimes you pour your heart out and nobody even notices haha! It used to make me feel as though nobody cared but all it means is that people are busy, they miss your tweet. For me it isn’t really about getting an amazing response, it helps me to write things down and if someone finds the post in a year’s time and is helped by it then that is good enough for me.
Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
Probably empty haha! Having a baby will probably mean I have no time to write! Eeek! Honestly though I just hope that people are still relating to what I write.
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
I love that I have my own little space to write what I like. I know that if I have a bad day that I can let it all out and people will sit there and nod along. I am just a normal mum and being able to share those little moments, whether that is on my blog or on FB etc just means I get to connect with other mums just like me.
…and your least favourite?
The jealousy and competitiveness. I’m not saying I have never felt a pang of jealousy because that would be a lie. But over two years in I am over that now, life is too short to worry about what other people are doing. But I see so many other people getting down in the dumps, getting in a state because they haven’t been chosen for a campaign. Just blog for you and the rest will come.
What’s the best blog post you have ever read?
Ooh that is a tough one and not one I am totally sure I can answer. Probably just because I have a memory like a sieve!
What blog do you love to read and why?
My favourite blog is Mummy Daddy Me, Katie writes from the heart and has such a way with words that you are just hooked from beginning to end.
Do you do anything differently now to when you started blogging?
My blog has evolved quite a bit over the years. In the beginning I had no idea what I was doing and pretty much wrote diary entries whenever we did anything but they were dreadful. I began working with brands and as much as I loved it I did become exhausted by the constant pressure to meet deadlines. I feel like I have finally found my balance now – I still work with brands but I am much pickier and on the whole I have gone back to diary entry style posts, sharing our life. It isn’t for everyone and I am sure plenty of people find my life totally dull but it is a way of documenting my family life so I can look back in years to come and remember. If I can share experiences that help others along the way then that is a bonus!
Is blogging what you expected it to be?
As I said, I didn’t even know what it was. I think I thought it was something angry american teenagers did in their spare time haha! So really I had no expectations at all. Blogging has changed my life – sounds dramatic but it is true. It has given me a purpose other than being a mum and wife. Leaving teaching meant leaving part of my identity behind and I was a mum of 2 feeling very lost indeed. Now I feel in charge of my own career, making money through writing and taking photos. That is another thing – I have found a love of photography I never knew I had!
What’s been your favourite blog collaboration to date?
I have a YouTube channel and so recently I have done a couple of video collaborations. These are really fun as they are opening up a creative side I didn’t know I had.
Are there any brands you would love to work with, why?
I struggle with this one, it is like asking me where in the world I would like to go on holiday – the choice is too vast! It is only when a brand approaches me that I think wow this is amazing! It still blows my mind that brands approach me and love my blog, I have such positive feedback and it makes me so proud to be a blogger.
Have you had any blogging fails so far?
Only that I worked myself into the ground and almost gave it all up completely. Thankfully taking a break did wonders and now I don’t take on too much and say no to lots of opportunities as I just don’t want to get myself into that position again.
What is your biggest blogging hope, dream or ambition?
I am already living the dream, working around my children and earning money which means I don’t have to go back to teaching. That’s not to say I won’t go back to teaching one day but at the moment it doesn’t suit my family. I guess the dream would be to earn enough money that teaching would never have to be an option.
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
First and foremost I am a mother and my days are always centred around the children. I blog when they go to bed so it never interferes with my time with them. If I am not blogging of an evening then I will watch a movie on Netflix with Mr F.
and lastly, tell us all a random fact about yourself.
I once dyed my hair but the dye only took to the roots and so I had a nice blonde stripe down my roots and the rest of my hair was a maroon colour (from the old dye). Not a good look and I swiftly ran to the shop to buy some black hair dye haha!