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 Laura from Wafflemama.
Here’s Laura with more about her blogging life:
Where did your blog name come from?
My best ‘mum friend’ and I often message each other and they tend to be kind of essays! We talk about all sorts and gave each other the nicknames ‘waffle’ and ‘ramble’ as we both talk too much. After trying out lots of blog name ideas, Wafflemama just seemed to fit and feel right for some reason. I love it and although it’s ‘mum’ related, it can still be grown into anything I want it to be in the future. My Mum thinks I own Wagamama though and tells all her friends that, needless to say they are impressed (and probably think she’s a little batty!).
When did you start your blog and why?
I started a couple of years back after seeing a school friend Katy (What Katy Said) enjoying hers. Aside from the ‘free stuff’ which was obviously appealing, I loved seeing her family updates and learning about her life now as we’ve not seen eachother for years and live quite far apart. I wanted something to look back on myself and this seemed the easiest way. Naively I had no idea you could actually make money from it too, it’s been a bit of a godsend having had to leave work due to ill health.
What did you do before you blogged?
Before having kids I worked in marketing for an agricultural company. It sounds far better than it was but we had some fun days, mostly involving hog roasts and chatting to cheeky farmers. After having Alfie I simply couldn’t return to work, I couldn’t leave him so handed my notice in. We really struggled for money, so I started applying for part time work. Who knew how hard it would be to find family friendly work? All I wanted to do was stack shelves but applied for MacDonalds and all sorts eventually bagging a Christmas temp position at Sainsbury’s. I stayed on there for a few years but left last April after my back and anxiety made it impossible. Luckily blogging stepped in and we have managed so far.
What was your first post?
My first post was this one, a typical ‘who am I?’ post
My first ‘real’ blog post though was ’10 amazing things about newborns’. My blog has changed so much since then moving it more from being child focused to ‘me’ and my family focused.
What inspires you to blog?
I find it really therapeutic, being able to share the good and bad, taking beautiful pictures of my family and focusing on positives. I notice all kinds of things now and as cheesy as it is, there is so much beauty everywhere if you look and I see that now!
What post has had the best response, which post are you most proud of and which post did you enjoy writing the most?
I’ve written a couple of posts about anxiety. It’s a really odd thing to comprehend if you or someone you’re close to hasn’t been through it. I enjoyed writing it and loved getting feedback from others saying it described it exactly how it is for them. This one’s my favourite I think as it was the first time I got to explain to those who know me personally and from work what’s going on with me.
Have any of your posts not had the response that you expected?
I wrote a post about giving Dads a break which I expected to be popular. I didn’t receive any negative responses but did hope for more love for it. I was seeing so much ‘Dads are useless’ type posts and memes and it really annoyed me. I’m still glad I wrote it though.
Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
From an income point of view, I hope to be a bit more relaxed and have a slightly more guaranteed income which is probably quite unlikely but I can hope! I’d like to get my voice heard a bit better, I know I’m saying things that some Mums need to hear if they are struggling etc, but need to get my posts out there a little more and maybe be a bit more well known, even if just to other bloggers.
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
The best and most unexpected thing to come from it is that I have met so many lovely people and the community is so so supportive. I’m not sure if this is just the case in the parent blogger world, but I’ve met some genuinely lovely people that I consider friends. I’m not sure if us bloggers are a certain ‘type’ of person, but everyone seems quite similar, mostly kind, supportive and open about their feelings. I was always a bit of a misfit at school and still feel that way in the playground at school pick ups, I think the blogging world is the only place I’ve felt I could maybe ‘fit’ if that makes any sense? Totally not saying bloggers are misfits!!
…and your least favourite?
My least favourite is the pressure of having to earn some money, even if not a lot as I just feel I am not contributing enough to our family if I fail. Other than that it’s the negative view people sometimes have about bloggers. Nobody seems to get it when I try and explain what we do. I read an article today with the headline ‘can we trust beauty bloggers?’ and although it was obviously aimed at one sector of blogging, a lot of the content I have heard aimed at all of us. Don’t even get me started on having to explain about ‘freebies’ – I did write a post to try though!
What’s the best blog post you have ever read?
One of my favourite blogs is Brummy Mummy of 2 and her posts crack me up, especially when she mentions ‘twerking her way into a wheel chair’, it’s my humour. I can’t think of a specific post but always love them all.
What blog do you love to read and why?
Aside from Brummy Mummy, I also love Sarah’s blog at Whimsical Mumblings as she just seems so down to earth, a bit whacky, friendly and creative. Sarah seems pretty similar to me so it’s nice to read her posts.
Do you do anything differently now to when you started blogging?
I am a lot more careful with how my blog looks now. With some great feedback (from yourself and Aby), I made a few changes and I’m so much happier. I blog for me still but do more brand work, tying it in to fit the theme. To start with I was so excited to get review products or sponsored work I accepted everything, but soon realised it kills your blog a bit and reviews for vitamins are not much fun!
Is blogging what you expected it to be?
Blogging is SO much more than I thought it would be. I honestly started thinking it’s a realistic way of keeping up a family diary. I thought maybe I might get a few ‘freebies’ every now and then but it’s become so much more. Instead of a diary it’s now my job, my living, my therapy and keeps me creative and inspired.
What’s been your favourite blog collaboration to date?
We did a review for Bluestone Wales which was obviously a great one, but other than that I’d have to say working with HomeSense has been my favourite. It’s probably my lowest paying in terms of sponsored work but as it’s one of my favourite shops and gets me sneak peaks of things to come, I love it. I was also invited to our local store for the first birthday bash which was so much fun.
Are there any brands you would love to work with, why?
I’d love to work with more fashion brands as I constantly need inspiration for what to wear. For the kids though, I’d love to work with Lego as we all love it! In the future I’d love to get involved with more locally and love restaurant reviews and travel.
Have you had any blogging fails so far?
Not really fails but I do cringe big time when I look back on those early posts. My biggest regret is not checking my email one day and missing out on an AMAZING opportunity with HomeSense with a big payment and magazine feature, gutted!
What is your biggest blogging hope, dream or ambition?
I’d just like like minded people to know who I am, I’d love to know I’ve helped or reassured another Mum like me. As well as that, I’d love to be earning a full time wage and carry on being my own boss and develop other ideas like selling my illustrations when I have a bit more time when both kids are in school.
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
By day I’m with the kids full time except for just a few hours a week which to be honest I usually nap or do the jobs I struggle to get done with a kid in tow. In the evening I pretty much blog every night whilst watching films and TV, I always have to be doing more than one thing at once and like to have busy hands with sewing, drawing or blogging or I’d use them for shoveling in more food!
and lastly, tell us all a random fact about yourself
When I was a teenager, I played drums for the queen with some friends. The queen said we were rather noisy and Prince Phillip gave us 50p – haha!