So one of my Twitter friends is the (Mostly) Yummy Mummy (follow her on Twitter at @MostlyYummy) A stay at home Mummy of 4 and friend to many via Twitter and Facebook – she writes with style and candor that always makes for a fun read! If you haven’t checked out her blog yet you can visit it here: http://www.mostlyyummymummy.com
Ready to learn more about the blogger behind the blog? Me too! Read on…
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a stay at home mummy with four children. I have a son who is almost 14 and three daughters who are 12, 6 and 4. So my days mostly consist of never ending nursery and school runs with as much writing as I can possibly fit in between at the moment!
How did you first start blogging?
I first came across the blogging world through Twitter and after months, if not years of reading other peoples, I thought I might like to have a go myself. Then after much encouragement from one of my very best online chums, I finally took the plunge back in 2010.
Did you have a goal when you started? Do you now?
Not at all. I just saw it as a hobby and took it one blog post at a time. I still do to this day in fact!
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?
I tend to write as and when it comes to me. I do have a favourite chair to sit in when I write, if that counts as a regular routine? And I’m usually fueled by a bucket full of Earl Grey too.
What motivates you to write?
My family, the places we go, the things we eat, the clothes that I wear, the things I love.. Being inspired by the life I live motivates me to write I guess.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Sometimes yes, I think it’s only natural when you have been blogging for as long as I have. There have been times when I have taken a complete break from blogging for weeks and months at a time. I think taking a break is always the answer to writer’s block. I always come back buzzing with ideas.
What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
I network through Twitter and Facebook but to be honest, I don’t really see it as networking, it’s really just chatting with my friends! I know that doesn’t sound very professional but I have only ever seen my blog as a hobby not as a business as such.
How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog?
My blog has a whole mix of parenting, lifestyle, food and fashion topics and I’m generally inspired by what is going on right around me at that time. I think you have to live in order to blog, if that makes sense.
What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
I have managed to gain a really loyal following and am lucky to get lots of traffic to my blog but to be honest, this really isn’t what motivates me to write. I don’t think about what my readers might like or what might bring more traffic, I quite simply and I suppose selfishly, blog about whatever takes my fancy!
What’s the best thing a blogger can give to their readers?
I like to think that I am completely honest with my readers and I think or at least hope, that is appreciated. It is a case of warts and all when it comes to my blog. The good, the bad, the ugly and all that comes in between!
Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
I think my most favourite post ever has to be ‘Ten things the baby books wouldn’t dare tell you’ which I wrote a couple of months after I started blogging. It was one of those off the cuff posts that I threw together in no time at all but it was cherry picked to be on the WordPress Freshly Pressed page and the response I received was just phenomenal! Thousands of views, over a hundred comments, it was bonkers! Especially as I was so new to the blogging world!
My least favourite post I actually ended up removing from my blog. It’s the only time I have ever taken that decision. It was a Father’s Day post that I wrote for my lovely Dad. He had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and my emotions were all too raw. After pressing that publish button I soon realised that this wasn’t something that I was ready to share and quickly took it down again.
What’s your take on sponsored reviews?
I have had some fabulous review opportunities since starting my blog but I have to say that I am really selective in the reviews that I take on. I am really mindful of the fact that this is my personal blog and while I will do the occasional review, I don’t want my blog to just churn out review after review. It’s just not for me. I’d be bored to tears and I’m sure my readers would be too! I am always completely honest in any review that I do though and will only ever promote products that I truly love.
Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
There are so many amazing bloggers and I read literally hundreds of blogs every single week. But I can’t take part in this interview without mentioning Susan K Mann though. She encouraged me to start my blog in the first place and has been there to hold my hand along the way.
If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
This is a tricky question but I think you just have to be yourself. Another thing that I did when I first started out, well, I still do it in fact, is to visit lots of other blogs and never be scared to leave comments or jump in and say hello on Twitter. I think you only get out of blogging, what you put in. There are lots of blogging events coming up in the UK this year too and I would definitely suggest going along. There is always so much to learn but best of all, you get to meet so many fabulous bloggers in the flesh!
How do you feel about the term “Mummy Blogger”
I have no issue with the term at all. I am a Mummy. I am a blogger. I am a Mummy Blogger! I don’t think that the term pigeon holes me at all. Being a mummy is a huge part of who I am but of course, as there are many aspects to being a mummy, there are also many aspects of being a mummy blogger. I blog about what I like at the end of the day!
Today CityGirlNoMore, granted me an exclusive interview which I’m sharing with you. CityGirlNoMore is engaging Twitterer, Blogger, Mum and ex-Londoner and almost-kind-of-a-neighbor-if-you-don’t-believe-in-the-space-time-continuum. Apparently we have both lived in the same neighborhood at alternating times – so while we have an appreciation for the same restaurants etc, we’ve never actually been in them at the same time :0) I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did. (The words are hers – the highlighting is mine.) Be sure to follow her on Twitter @CityGirlNoMore and check out her Blog at http://www.CityGirlTurnedSuburbanMum.com
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? …..
I am somebody who has managed to go through life always attempting to live a life that made me happy. This is, and always has been my uppermost motivation and goal. As a Capricorn, I’ve worked very hard to achieve success in whatever field I have entered, be it writing, marketing, public relations or running my own company. As a multi-task expert, I’ve probably done most of these things in conjunction with each other. I like nice things in life, but would give it all up in a moment for continuing health and happiness.
2. What would you consider your superpower to be? (or which would you like if you could have one)
Definitely multi-tasking and fixing things (usually problems) – So I’d probably be wonder-woman.
3. How did you first start blogging?
It was totally unplanned and something I just got up and did one morning, late last year (originally on a blogger site) until OH changed me a week later onto my own website. I’d had a few attempts at failed novels, as I tend to get bored after about the first 12 chapters, so blogging seemed a great way to write, with an immediate audience – instant gratification.
City Girl Turned Suburban Mum
4. Did you have a goal when you started? Do you now?
No, when I initially began I was writing my own story, so my goal was to attempt to put out one chapter every ten days. Many friends over the years had advised me to write a book about the adventures I’d been on, but this seemed a little too serious, but a blog for those purposes was great. I soon discovered that my story in blog form was just too big and too spread out, so after lots of encouragement, recommendations and people approaching me in person and on Twitter telling me to ‘hurry up’ with the next blog and complimenting me on the writing and storyline, it gave me the courage to attempt putting my story into book form. My goal now is to take those initial blogs, complete them and then turn them into a book and have it ready to publish by 1st June. After that, I’m hoping to have my first fictional novel Alex Black, An End to Innocence ready for publication by the end of the year. So blogging has certainly inspired me. I will however, continue to blog at the same time.
5. What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?
No, I write as and when I feel like it. Usually my motivation comes when there is a looming deadline. When I wrote my weekly columns for New York, I’d generally start writing it the morning it was due to be handed in.
6. What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for bloggers?
I think the most important thing I look for is a good topic. In blogging, I believe controversial issues can also prove very interesting. My personal taste is positive bloggers. I know we can’t all be happy all of the time, but blogs whose main purpose is to moan about how bad things are, without then giving a positive spin on how one would deal with those problems to turn them around, does not really do anything for me – so it definitely should have good balanced opinions.
7. What motivates you to write?
I love writing, irrespective of whether it is to complain to a company that has wronged me, to catch up with friends, to blog, to tweet. It is my main source of communication and I don’t really need to motivate myself for this, just need time to be able to do it.
8. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Not particularly and because I do not have a ‘set time’ to write every day, I generally only sit down to write when I have something to say. Generally as I am going about my chores, a whirlwind of ideas is flying around in my head for the next blog, or chapter of a book, and then I can’t wait to jump onto the computer and get going. I never sit down ‘cold’.
9. What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?
As my story was mostly about me, it has been challenging when I have to write about times that may have been difficult or painful. In my general blogs, especially my ‘Twit’(ter) Awards, its keeping abreast of what is happening and who’s doing what to who, so that you have enough material and good ideas each week. These have now come to be expected every Thursday and people have actually commented that they use them as a gauge on who to follow. They now receive an enormous following each week.
10. How would (someone) describe your blogging style?
Probably not too serious. I like to think people view it in the light hearted manner it is intended and hopefully see it as both funny and witty at times.
11. What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
Generally helping run our family business, looking after my two boys, elderly dog, shopping and most definitely eating out, as I am a huge foodie and so are my boys now.
12. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
The only networking I do at present is Twitter, which I also love for the banter. I may go to a few conferences in the future when I have more time.
13. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog?
Most definitely my overactive imagination has a lot to do with it. Also current affairs can produce some effective blogs. It also helps to blog about things that are happening in your life, like a recent debate on whether to allow an underage child to watch 18+ games.
14. What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
I think you should always prioritise content. You only have to do a few bad posts then people will not bother going back next time you have something to say.
15. What’s the best thing a blogger can give to their readers?
Honesty, if you do not believe in what you are writing about, why would others.
16. A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
I haven’t actually approached blogging from this angle personally, but there are sponsors out there should you wish to take advantage of them. Many Twitter friends are being sponsored to attend events, review products. Indirectly I suppose, should I begin to make money from my book, then I will have my blog to thank for this.
17. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
Word of mouth amongst friends initially got my blog noticed, but aside from this, I advertise my posts on Twitter and find this creates the most hits to my blog.
18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
My favourite posts are my Twitter Awards, because they are enormous fun to do, I enjoy researching them and they always get a fantastic response. My least favourite post it probably my one on food – it was pretty boring.
19. What’s your take on sponsored reviews?
I think as long as there is transparency, there is no problem doing a sponsored review. However, if just because somebody has gifted something to you, you then feel obliged to write something positive about it, then you should not do it. (think Top Gear) I could never recommend a product or endorse one if I did not fully believe in it, nor a person.
20. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
I am going to keep a dignified silence on this, because there have been so many bloggers who’ve offered help and encouragement to me over these past few months, I would not like to miss any out. My ‘Twit’(ter) Awards are generally a good indication of what I like and dislike, who I look up to and why. They are always done very honestly and after a lot of research and consideration. I am hoping to put up an archive of old Awards soon.
21. If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
Have fun and enjoy yourself whilst doing it, because it will shine through in what you are writing. Also get yourself on Twitter or Facebook and build up a network of friends who are also bloggers. Everybody likes to know their work is being read.
22. How do you feel about the term “Mummy Blogger”
I don’t have a problem with it, but even as a mother of two young(ish) children, I always still consider myself a person first, mum second. I do lots of things with my children, my writing allows me to be me for a while x