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 Kat from Mum Reinvented.
Here’s Kat with more about her blogging life:
Where did your blog name come from?
My current blog name was actually suggested by a friend. When I first started blogging my blog was called Diary of a Single Mum, although not long after hitting publish I started seeing my partner and so it became Diary of a (not so) Single Mum. I outgrew the name, as us bloggers often do, and asked some friends I’d met through blogging for their ideas. Mum Reinvented was the winner. Saying that, 6 years on from that name change, I’m thinking of changing it all over again.
When did you start your blog and why?
I started blogging way back in 2009 after stumbling across a magazine article about Catherine Sanderson, who blogged anonymously under the pseudonym Petite Anglaise. Catherine had been ‘outed’ after she published a post about injuring herself at work in Paris and was sacked in the process. Having lost her online anonymity, publishers suddenly began beating a path to her door, desperate to know more about her work and parenting exploits. The resulting books make a fabulous read and inspired me to start my own blog. Anonymously of course.
What did you do before you blogged?
When I started my blog I was working for the police and probation service. Despite the often harrowing nature of the job, I adored it. Every day was different and I met some incredibly brave people. And yes some of those were the offenders themselves. A bizarre thing to say perhaps, but having been responsible for teaching them everything from how to write and cook to getting them support to deal with addiction and helping them find somewhere to live, they became like my extended family. It’s a job I left when we moved abroad and one I will probably always miss.
What was your first post?
A long since deleted ‘this is me’ kind of post.
What inspires you to blog?
No one thing. I think after almost 10 years it’s an addiction. I need to blog. I miss it when I don’t, despite often not having the time. Its like its become a part of me.
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 is You know you were a teen in the 90s when…, which was great fun to write and still gets lots of hits 4 years on. It makes me smile every time I read it. The 90s were a pretty amazing time to be a teenager that’s for sure. A post I’m proud of due to its controversial nature and the discussion it provoked is HPV Vaccine – to vaccinate or not? I don’t often tend to court controversy on my blog, but back in 2014 it was a subject I had no option but to face head on and I was thrilled it struck a chord with so many people.
Have any of your posts not had the response that you expected?
No one post sticks out. Although there have been some posts I didn’t think would do well, which seem to be some of my more popular posts. The HPV vaccine post for example. Not to mention some random ones from way back when.
Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
I have so many plans for the blog and never enough time when combined with my day job. It’s currently a work in progress in terms of a little face lift, in the form of a new theme I uploaded to it recently. And of course, there’s that new blog name to think of. I may well still be thinking of a new name by this time next year at this rate. In terms of content though, I’m planning to be upfront and centre a little more. Having blogged anonymously for years it’s time for me to step out of the shadows and truly embrace what I love doing and that includes being in photos and letting my personality shine through a little more.
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
The opportunities I’ve had as a result of blogging are by far the best thing about it. Not only have I been lucky enough to review some fabulous products and enjoy day trips and holidays, but I’ve made some good friends and got an entirely new day job to boot.
…and your least favourite?
How people underestimate how much work blogging actually entails.
What’s the best blog post you have ever read?
I don’t think I could ever choose just one post. Does anyone ever manage to answer this question?
What blog do you love to read and why?
One blogger who has it nailed as far as I’m concerned is Suzanne from Inside Outside and Beyond. Whatever she writes just seems to strike a chord with me. Perhaps it’s because we have children of similar ages, but I find myself nodding along and wishing I could find a way to put things into words as eloquently as she does. And her posts always seem to come along at the right time. When my relationship hit a bit of a rocky patch Suzanne was there telling me there’s always hope and reiterated that marriage is hard work. When I struggled with self doubt, she told me why playing small does not serve the world. And when I felt like I was all on my own with a seriously unhappy teenager, Suzanne was there again sharing her experiences. Thankfully both of us (and our teens) have come out the other side of it and she has gone on to write about parenting a child with mental illness.
Do you do anything differently now to when you started blogging?
What don’t I do differently? ‘Back in the day’ blogging was a case of writing something, adding a teeny blurry thumbnail size image and putting it out there in the hope that someone, anyone, would read it. Twitter was in its infancy. Facebook pages were still but a twinkle in Mark Zuckeberg’s eye. G+ didn’t exist and Pinterest was invite only. There was nowhere to promote what you’d written (thankfully). Years ago I’d just write any old thing. My thoughts on what had been on tv that night, what the latest stick thin actress was wearing at the Golden Globes. The list is endless. I must admit, my blog is constantly neglected thanks to my job and family commitments, but at least days when I do write anything (usually a #littleloves post as they’re the one thing I’m guaranteed to write) it gives a bit more of an insight into our lives than just general commentary.
Is blogging what you expected it to be?
I’m not sure what I expected blogging to be when I first sat down at my laptop and began to type. I remember wanting an outlet. Something for me. I was bored at home with my young daughter in bed and little else to do in the evening. Did I think I’d become the next Petite Anglaise or Belle du Jour and be plucked from obscurity and into the world of published authors? Hell no. I think for me, it was the friendship I craved. The more I blogged the more connections I made with other bloggers. The majority of whom I’m still friends with today, even if they themselves no longer blog.
What’s been your favourite blog collaboration to date?
Weirdly enough my favourite collaboration is the recent review I did for Fashion World. Yes I’ve had bigger payments, holidays and the like, but this post came along at just the right time to help boost my confidence and actually get infront of the camera for a change. I have no photos of myself and my children, except for when they were born. I’ve shied away from the camera for so long, my weight and lack of confidence preventing me from even being a bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding six years ago. But having lost 3 and a half stone so far this year something has finally clicked and I’m not prepared to live in the shadows anymore. This simple review post made me step outside of my comfort zone at a time when I really needed it and I ended up having loads of fun and getting some really lovely shots of myself and my children and for that alone it stands out as a favourite.
Are there any brands you would love to work with, why?
I love working with brands, but it isn’t why I got into blogging, so I don’t have a ‘wish list’ as such of brands I’d like to collaborate with. Of course my kids would no doubt want me to say Disney – who wouldn’t want to work with Disney after all?
Have you had any blogging fails so far?
No fails. But it would help if I could settle on a name rather than change it every few years.
What is your biggest blogging hope, dream or ambition?
I guess I hope to continue carving out a little space on the internet all of my own. I have no huge ambitions for my blog, other than for it to serve as a reminder of the good times. If it just so happens to make me a millionaire in the meantime (I wish) then so be it.
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
I would say by day I’m a social media manager, content creator and virtual assistant, but it pretty much takes up my every waking moment. Thanks largely to my blog I gained a wealth of experience in the online world and was introduced to my first social media client back in 2012 and haven’t looked back. I work 365 days a year and I certainly don’t do a 9 – 5, but it works for me. Being able to take my kids to and from school and spend time with them in the holidays is something I’ll always be hugely grateful for. And it helps that I love what I do. When I’m not working, or blogging, I’m running around after two kids. Trying to stick to my diet but never quite resisting cake and tracking down long lost ancestors on my family tree, like the closet history geek I am.
and lastly, tell us all a random fact about yourself
I once fell over on stage while dressed as one of the Blues Brothers.