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 Sharon from After the Playground.
Here’s Sharon with more about her blogging life:
Where did your blog name come from?
I wanted a name that would reflect the stage in a Mum’s life that I wanted to write about. We spend a lot of time in the school playground when our children are in primary school and when they move on to high school that stops so ‘After the Playground’ seemed like a good choice.
When did you start your blog and why?
I started blogging in May 2016 which was a difficult time for me. I had been unwell for a few months, I could feel the menopause creeping up on me and my eldest daughter turned 18 – an actual adult! I felt like the rug has been pulled out from under my feet and I needed something to focus on. I guess I need something to obsess about now that my kids need me less. Perhaps my blog is my fourth child.
What did you do before you blogged?
I cleaned the house for a start! I have worked as a freelance scientific and article writer for a while so I spent a fair amount of time hunting for contracts. Now I focus on my blog and work for a couple of regular clients.
What was your first post?
It was about the exam season because I was in the thick of it with two of my three girls sitting exams and I wanted to examine what a parent’s role in this situation could be.
What inspires you to blog?
My inspiration is my desire to share my experiences with other ladies who feel the same way as me about this stage of motherhood. Since starting my blog, I have become increasingly frustrated by the tendency to treat ladies of 50+ as irrelevant and as having nothing to contribute. That could not be further from the truth.
What post has had the best response, which post are you most proud of and which post did you enjoy writing the most?
The post with the best response was the one about why I started blogging and how I was feeling a bit lost now that my children were growing up. I am most proud of my two health-related posts. One was about first aid courses (which was shared by St Johns Ambulance on their newsletter which went to their 12,000 subscribers) and the other was about meningitis in students which was shared my Meningitis Now. I obviously can’t leave my public health roots behind! I loved writing my post about holidaying with teen daughters.
Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
In a year’s time I hope my blog will look a little more professional – I may try a new theme. I would also like to expand my readership and get some regular followers.
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Being my own boss and having the ultimate say on what gets published.
.and your least favourite?
Promoting on social media – I can’t help feeling that I’m being a nuisance.
What’s the best blog post you have ever read?
I love the funny posts. I really enjoyed Whinge, Whinge, Wine on the lies we tell kids.
What blog do you love to read and why?
I love Mum of Three World by Sarah because her life seems to mirror my own in so many ways. We have even discovered that our youngest daughters have the same name!
Do you do anything differently now to when you started blogging?
I’m definitely getting slicker and using plugins to save me time. I faffed around a lot when I first started.
Is blogging what you expected it to be?
No way! I had no idea that there was such a community, I had never heard of BritMums or Tots100 and I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a linky!
What’s been your favourite blog collaboration to date?
I have only done reviews so far. I loved reviewing a local restaurant with all my family.
Are there any brands you would love to work with, why?
I’d like to work with some holiday companies exploring places that you can enjoy with your teens.
Have you had any blogging fails so far?
My first YouTube video was a bit of a disaster! I didn’t know that you have to hold your iPhone on its side to get a video without black lines down the sides! I put it up anyway.
What is your biggest blogging hope, dream or ambition?
I’d like to become a recognised voice for ‘ladies of a certain age’ and be a positive role model.
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
I love watching historical dramas, drinking good wine, strolling on beaches and climbing mountains – not necessarily all at the same time.
and lastly, tell us all a random fact about yourself
I have a PhD in epidemiology and my thesis was on E.coli O157 – the bacteria that was associated with outbreaks from undercooked beef-burgers. I was 5 months pregnant with my eldest daughter when I had my viva – and despite being a very active baby when I was carrying her she kept totally still for the whole hour and a half. Either she was listening intently, or the stress hormones had made her freeze! As soon as it was over she was kicking again.