I have one more blogger taking part in my ’13 Questions With’ series. Say hello to Donna from What The Redhead Said. I’ve met her a couple of times and she is one of the friendliest and most help people I know. Make sure you head over to her blog and social media to say hi.
When did you start up your blog and why?
I started my blog in April 2012 when my first child, Athena, was about 7 months old. I started it to document her weaning journey – as we were doing baby led weaning there wasn’t a huge amount of information around about it at the time.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned since you started blogging and what advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that blogging is a very solitary thing – it’s your space which you write, usually by yourself at home. Even if you focus on what others are doing and their stats it won’t effect your little space online. So, my advice to any new blogger would be – just do your own thing, write what you want to write and don’t worry about everyone else. There are so many bloggers out there, there’s space for all of them and it really doesn’t have to be a competition.
Which has been your most popular blog post?
It was this one I wrote about being bullied at school. It was featured on Tots100 and Britmums and Mumsnet asked me to write a slightly shorter version for their website too. It had more comments than I ever imagined and so much support across social media. It was a post I wrote on the spur of the moment, about something I was thinking about at the time, and one where I hit publish without even thinking but I am so glad I wrote it.
Do you blog as a hobby or as a job?
I still blog very much as a hobby – which some people may find strange – but I blog because I love it and it has always been my only proper hobby. It’s something that is slowly forming into a job, and I hope at some point to not have a job alongside the blog, but it is, until then, remaining a hobby for me.
What do you do to stop getting blogging burn out?
I think the main thing is just prioritising posts. I write as I agree things and get them scheduled/published in that order too. I also make sure I say no to a lot more than I used to and sometimes, if it’s all getting a bit much, I just switch the laptop off for the evening.
Who are your favourite bloggers to read and vloggers to watch on YouTube?
I have so many! I love Plutonium Sox, A Cornish Mum, Love From Mim and LesBeMums but there are just so many great blogs and I read literally hundreds every month. I don’t really watch vloggers though.
What are your blogging pet peeves?
The emails where people expect you to work for nothing in return, Captcha, automatic newsletter subscription when you comment on a blog and Bloggers not valuing themselves highly enough.
What’s your biggest aspiration for your blog in 2016?
I had hoped to get higher in Tots100 but never expected to get to #3 – that has exceeded all aspirations for the year. I know many people think it’s just a number but for me it’s a pat on the back and a little bit of recognition for the work I put in. I think, where I’m at now with the blog, I don’t really have any more aspirations – I’m just happy with everything I have.
What were your career aspirations when you were at school?
I wanted to be a criminal psychologist, a lawyer or a National Geographic photographer. You can see that I really did realise all of those ambitions….
Do you find balancing work/blog/family/life a struggle?
Hell yeah! It’s hard. I work 19 hours a week, have two young children and my husband and I work shifts around each other. Add the blog into the mix and life is pretty busy here but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re always doing something, always planning the next adventure and always making sure we cram as much family time in as possible. Life is good.
How do you get exposure for your blog and what is your favourite social media site?
To be honest, even after a few years I still do the same things I always have done. I schedule a post, schedule four tweets on the day it goes live to promote it and then let WordPress push it onto Facebook too. Then I forget about it. I don’t really do much to promote the blog in all honesty except for just writing consistently.
My favourite social media site is Instagram – I love posting little snaps of our life on there and love how varied accounts can be – heavily filtered, planned, set up or just natural and day to day. I love the eclectic mix or people too.
If you had £1000 to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
That’s easy. A new camera and a new lens. I would like a Canon 750D and would love a 35mm lens to go with it – both of which I could get under £1k at the moment.
Which 3 famous people (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party?
Robin Williams – for his sense of humour, Gerard Butler – as he’s lovely to look at and Michael Jackson for the music.
Thank you so much for taking part Donna, I loved reading your answers and I would so invite Robin Williams to my dinner party too!