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 Ali from Mum in a Nutshell.
Here’s Ali with more about why she blogs:
Where did your blog name come from?
I stole it from my brother’s email address! I did ask his permission first and in my defence he hadn’t used it for a while. I just thought it was really clever, he has a really good way with words
When did you start your blog and why?
I first started back in 2013, my friend loved to read blogs and encouraged me to start one up to share all my thrifty, family tips. I was hooked straight away but it fizzled out while I was trying to do a major house renovation. Blogging’s hard work and requires commitment which I didn’t have at the time. I restarted Mum in a Nutshell while on maternity leave a year later and had the time and energy to keep it up. It was my lifeline during those early new baby days.
What did you do before you blogged?
I was an outreach worker in a Children’s Centre.
What was your first post?
It was about how having a dog was cheaper than going to the gym. I wrote it on my phone while I was walking him.
What inspires you to blog?
Anything and everything, it can be emotions which I’m feeling and need to put into words, things which are happening in the news or even just from a conversation with family and friends. My mum was telling me about someone criticising the Pokemon trend which fired up a defence case from me. Not that I felt I needed to defend letting my kids play Pokemon Go, I just thought, hang on, this person really hasn’t looked at it’s benefits and aside from the media hyping the bad points, it has some real advantages.
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, which has gone viral thanks to Pinterest is about thinking how you talk to your children, the one I’m most proud of writing thought is about how I still help my toddler go to sleep. It got such a great response from readers thanking me for sharing it as they felt bad for having to still hold their babies and toddlers to sleep. Knowing it helped so many feels good and the post which I enjoyed writing was my Teenagers; The cocoon years. I say enjoyed, as the truth is I bawled my eyes out all the way through writing it, and I still do when I read it. But to write it was cathartic and helped me put a jumble of emotions down in words. I’m past that stage with my eldest now (my tween’s entering it, mind!) and to go back and see how far we’ve come is lovely
Have any of your posts not had the response that you expected?
Yes, absolutely. There are a couple which I thought were entertaining but clearly no one else shares my sense of humour!
Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
I’m not planning on hanging up the laptop anytime soon so I hope it will go from strength to strength as I fine tune my writing skills. I’m probably going to head away from the parenting/baby blogger area and focus more on lifestyle as my children get older and I’ve found that a lot of what I would be writing about has already been written. But in all honesty, who knows. that’s the beauty of blogging, I can tailor it to a variety of interests.
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
I love the community and the buzz of not knowing what opportunities are going to pop into your inbox. I do make a little money from mine so that’s always a plus. I’m getting to do things I would probably never have done without being a blogger.
…and your least favourite?
Being disciplined to keep on top of it, there are times when I have taken on too many reviews and then it becomes a chore so I’ve really cut back on them. And there’s the times when you really aren’t in the mood for sharing what’s going on in your life so you only write reviews as they’re much easier to hide behind. The feast and famine cycle is tough too, when you rely on your blog for income and sponsored posts are thin on the ground that’s scary.
What’s the best blog post you have ever read?
It was a laugh out loud one from My Milo and Me on why she is still breastfeeding. I sent to my friends who breastfeed past 12 months it was so hilarious. That lady has some serious writing skills! I also read an amazing one by Amy at Mr and Mrs T plus 3 on growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness. That was riveting stuff.
What blog do you love to read and why?
Crikey, so many! I love seeing Tin Box Traveller’s latest jaunts, the funny antics is Life Is Knutts and the heartfelt musings of Mummy Tries but truth be told, I’m a bit of blogging slut, I’m all over the shop! What ever takes my fancy on day really.
Do you do anything differently now to when you started blogging?
Yes, I’m very selective about how I use the internet. As I’m on there a lot I don’t do so much internet shopping or general surfing as I only tend to use it for work or blogging now.
Is blogging what you expected it to be?
No, I never thought I would be able to meet a community of like minded people or make blogging a job.
What’s been your favourite blog collaboration to date?
Probably with Bellamy Baby, they were a small newish company and I spotted their stunning luxury baby changing bags on Instagram, so got in touch on a complete whim. Knowing you’re helping a small team who value your help so much was such a lovely feeling. They were just as supportive of my as I was of them, and I got a beautiful leather changing bag which I would only of ever dreamed of.
Are there any brands you would love to work with, why?
I would love to be a Mark Warner Mum! I loved reading this years holiday posts, such an amazing opportunity but you have got be be serious A list blogger so I can only dream.
Have you had any blogging fails so far?
Yes, I tried to be anonymous and failed completely. I live in a small village and it really effects what you write as you know that everyone likes to know the ins and out of a ducks arse and blogging leaves your personal life so exposed. It’s the price you pay I guess.
What is your biggest blogging hope, dream or ambition?
I hope I entertain people enough to be a regular reader, I dream of the day I don’t have to chase down sponsored posts to keep the wolf from the door and my ambition is to not have too many typos which I notice once I’ve pressed publish!
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
I’m also a social media manager for a few small brands and I do mum things. I’m seriously no that rock and roll, god that makes me sound so dull. Ummmm, can I lie here? Just a little one, please, let me think…..
and lastly, tell us all a random fact about yourself.
I only ever do multiple sneezes!