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 Helen from KiddyCharts.
Here’s Helen with more about her blogging life:
Where did your blog name come from?
It comes from the free charts, but it has kind of grown to mean a little bit more than that from the funnies I post on Insta, to the free resources on the site. It isn’t really just about the reward charts, five-a-day charts, etc anymore. It is more about helping, and giving stuff to parents for free. Oh, and having a bit of a laugh at the reality of it all too!
When did you start your blog and why?
January 2011 – and it was all about trying to do something with my brain that fit in with the kids; My son was 4 and my daughter just about to start school, and I really wanted to do something from home. No clue what; but something! So I started with an idea, and the blog kind of grew from that. It has pretty much had its own head of steam ever since to be honest….
What did you do before you blogged?
I was a business analyst. And funnily enough, I do both now. I work in digital marketing analytics for Channel Mum, and also run the blog when I get a spare moment. Which isn’t that often these days; I do still love doing it though. Except when I have 500 unread messages flashing at me in Gmail of course.
What was your first post?
Awful. It was all about the launch on the reward charts and I can safely say, it is definitely NOT my best work. Thankfully, it is 170 pages down the blog now! *phew*
What inspires you to blog?
It is a mixture of so many things to be honest; I love writing, and love that the blog gives freebies to people that need a little help here and there. I also love the community of blogging too. Before Jan 2011, I never knew any of this existed, and now not only am I part of it, I work in it full time too. I think that says an awful lot about how welcoming this community really is.
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 that always does brilliantly for me on everything is my printable worry tree for kids. I created it to help my kids from an idea I remembered from school, and it seems to really help lots of people, which is brilliant. The post I am most proud of is actually a guest blog I wrote for Mums the Word a long time ago. That might seem a strange choice as it isn’t even on my blog; but it touched on a subject that was hard for me to write about; being bullied at school, but one that has shaped me into the person I am today. I am pretty proud of everything I have written (recently!) on KiddyCharts, but that stands out most, as it is the most personal to me. I don’t tend to get too personal on KiddyCharts as it just doesn’t fit with the blog. The one I enjoyed writing the most was the one about 50 manic tasks in one day for the working mum. It has a naff picture that I really must update, but I still smile at the memory of all that Chaos!
Have any of your posts not had the response that you expected?
To be honest, I was hoping for more participants in the #52KindWeeks posts that I launched a few months back; but totally get everyone is busy, so its hard to write about these things. I have adapted the concept, and am now focused on providing Kindness resources on the blog as and when. I am also chatting to a couple of charities to see if the blog, and my blogger outreach, can help them on a voluntary basis too. I might resurrect the linky one day, but think I need a partner for it. Just not enough hours in the day for me to do it on my own!
Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
No clue! Not a great blogger am I? I haven’t the time for strategic plans, so it’ll be wherever the next whim takes me! I like to think I shall be using it to help a few charities, and it’ll still be giving a good few schools, and parents some resources that they, and their kids like. It might even give them enough time to themselves to get a coffee too perhaps?!?
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Without doubt the opportunities it has given me to find my place, and to work for a company I love, in my own home. I have learnt so many new skills since I started 7 years ago, and every single one of them has been so helpful in getting me to where I am today. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities its given me.
…and your least favourite?
Has to be getting people to understand that you really do need to be paid for things. I still feel bad for asking to be paid too, which really is a bit bonkers as well….
What’s the best blog post you have ever read?
I am not sure that this is allowed, but is it OK to share a vlog here instead? I have been deeply moved by the recent vlogs from Lorraine about her beautiful daughter, Primrose’s still birth. They are so powerful, and show such strength. The vlog describing her birth is so moving, and will help so many women who go through this pain. I know this isn’t a blog, but it has left such an impression on me and anyone else that watches.
What blog do you love to read and why?
I wish I had more time to both read blogs, and watch more vlogs. The blog I love the most though is Meet the Wildes, when I do get a moment to actually stop. Amber is just amazing at writing, and her photography is wonderful too. The way she documents her, and Kirsty’s journey is honest, chaotic, and beautiful all at the same time. I met her very early on in my blogger career as well, so it has been wonderful to watch her blog change as she and her family develops.
I probably should do LOADS of things differently, but I am not really sure I do anything that differently. Except perhaps the time that I spend on the blog, which is dramatically reduced these days. I think probably the most important thing I have changed is my attitude. I have stopped chasing stats. It just did my head in. I chase stats for work, and for KiddyCharts I have become a lot less bothered. I used to check Google Analytics every day for it. Now I’m lucky if I find the time to check once a week!
Is blogging what you expected it to be?
I hadn’t really got any clue how to would be in all honesty at the beginning, so I guess it hasn’t disappointed in that it has allowed me to do what I wanted it to when I started; look after my kids from home. So yes – it’s done a fantastic job!
What’s been your favourite blog collaboration to date?
I regularly work with Microscooters, and they are always an absolute pleasure. The marketing manager completely “gets” bloggers and blogging, and is always incredibly helpful. The product is simply awesome too, which massively helps as well. We have worked on reviews, giveaways, and even articles with them. In fact, I think I have probably been working with them on and off for over 6 years! I think it helps that my kids love to scoot too; so they are always willing to give me an opinion too.
Are there any brands you would love to work with, why?
I have always wanted to work with Lego. I have never really had the chance to yet. The main reason for wanted to work with them is simply that they have the most amazing product, both from the perspective of a child, and also an adult. Kids love to create, and use their imagination. Adults love their products too because it allows them to be a kid again when they help their own children. It is one of the few toys that really spans the generations. If you aren’t sure what to give someone as a present, then Lego is usually going to work. Even for a very difficult to buy other half!
Have you had any blogging fails so far?
All the time! But the thing that really annoys me most when I do it, is when I totally forget to write a post I have scheduled, and then end up publishing a blank post. Just the title, and nothing else. That is particularly annoying as I am TRYING to be organised by setting myself a calendar to write to. However, my organisation totally fails, and then everyone on my feed just sees how incompetent I can be! I have only done this a couple of times, but that’s a couple of times too many really, right? 😉
What is your biggest blogging hope, dream or ambition?
That my blog will just be self-sufficient one day, with all the traffic it brings, so I can write and publish as and when I want, rather than feel that I should be writing something and then failing to write it as I don’t have enough time! I do love the blog, but sometimes it would be nice not to have to worry about the fact that I haven’t written an article on there for a week…!
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
Ferry my kids about from one club to another?! But actually things for me – reading, walking, watching sport (usually with the family); including football, cricket, and anything else going, eating out, and travel. I really do love travelling with the family. Just nothing quite like it.
and lastly, tell us all a random fact about yourself
I was actually born in Belfast. Which probably explains why sometimes you just can’t stop me from talking….