Next up in my ’13 Questions With…’ series is the lovely Sarah from Toby Goes Bananas.
- When did you start up your blog and why? I first started blogging in 2009 but after Toby was born in 2013 I realised the people who read my old blog, which was mostly reviews of comedy gigs and random waffle, wouldn’t be that interested in reading about my life with a baby. I was reading a lot of parenting blogs while I was awake doing night feeds so I decided to start a new blog of my own and Toby Goes Bananas was born.
- What is the most important thing you’ve learned since you started blogging and what advice would you give to a newbie blogger? Don’t force it and try not to put too much pressure on yourself. I’ve gone through peaks and troughs with my blogging over the last two and a half years. Sometimes I post nearly every day and other times I might only post once a week. When I was pregnant for the second time, working full time and looking after a toddler I just didn’t have the time (or the motivation) to blog all the time. I tried not to worry about not posting for a while and two and a half years on I’m still here and probably blogging more regularly than I ever have.
- Which has been your most popular blog post? This one: http://tobygoesbananas.co.uk/2016/04/11/to-the-man-who-told-me-i-should-be-enjoying-my-baby/ from a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been having a bit of a tough time with coughs, colds, teething and reflux with Gabe and I got so much support when I wrote this post.
- Do you blog as a hobby or as a job? As a hobby although I’ve recently started trying to make a little bit of money from it. I’m currently on maternity leave but don’t have a job to go back to so things are a bit up in the air at the moment – if I can make some money from my blog then the need to return to work might not be so urgent.
- What do you do to stop getting blogging burn out? Nothing really! As I said earlier I try not to put too much pressure on myself and only blog when I really want to.
- Who are your favourite bloggers to read and vloggers to watch on YouTube? What the Redhead Said was one of the first parenting blogs I ever read, back when it was Redhead Babyled and now Donna is one of my good blogging friends. I also love Make, Do & Push, and the What the Toddler said posts on R is for hoppit. (And I have a confession to make – I really don’t like vlogs. I just don’t get it!)
- What are your blogging pet peeves? Pop up adverts and subscribe boxes! And blogs that have loads of sponsored content that isn’t related to what they usually post about.
- What’s your biggest aspiration for your blog in 2016? To try and continue to build my readership – my page views have been steadily increasing over the last four or five months so I want to keep the momentum going.
- What were your career aspirations when you were at school? I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I chose my GCSE and A Level subjects, and my degree just based on what I enjoyed. I had a vague idea that I might like to be a teacher but I didn’t really know what of. As it turned out I worked for 10 years after graduating from university before I decided to do teacher training and now I teach French and Spanish in Secondary school.
- Do you find balancing work/blog/family/life a struggle? Yes! I’m on maternity leave at the moment and even though Toby goes to nursery four afternoons a week I also have a baby who doesn’t seem to believe in afternoon naps so it’s almost impossible to do any blogging during the day. And by the time we’ve put the boys in bed, eaten our tea and tidied up the day’s mess it’s usually 9 o’clockand I get in maybe an hour or two of blogging before I need to go to bed. Gabe doesn’t sleep very well at night either and usually wakes up between 4 and 5 am so if I stay up any later I really pay for it the next day.
- How do you get exposure for your blog and what is your favourite social media site? I promote my blog posts on Twitter and Facebook, and a year ago I definitely would have said Twitter was my favourite social media platform but since joining a lot of groups on Facebook I find myself on there more and more now. And I do like a bit of Instagram too these days.
- If you had £1000 to spend on yourself, what would you buy? Ooh, that’s a good one. Probably some new clothes that don’t come from a supermarket! Or maybe a Macbook.
- Which 3 famous people (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party? Tim Minchin – I’ve met him quite a few times and he’s a lovely guy, and he’s very intelligent as well as being funny so a great dinner party guest. Prince Harry – He seems like a really nice bloke and I’d love to chat about what it’s like to be a royal. Victoria Wood – I’ve loved her since I was 15. Her’s was the first ever comedy show I went to. I was so shocked to hear that she had died.
Thank you so much to Sarah for taking part and helping me out while Im on blogging maternity leave! I hope you enjoyed her answers. If you want to learn more about Sarah make sure you check out her blog Toby Goes Bananas.