Bearded Backchat with Steph from The Mental Parentals

Bearded Backchat is a chance for me to interview PR people and fellow bloggers.  This week it’s Steph from The Mental Parentals.

Steph has been blogging for several years, beginning after she saw friends blogging.  Steph is also the first Civil Engineer we’ve had in the series!

An interview with Steph from the Mental Parentals - header

Who are you?

Steph.

What is your “day job”?

I’m a Civil Engineer, specifically working in Road Safety.  I’m currently on Maternity Leave, though, so I suppose I’m now a Full-Time parent for a year!

What is your blog called and where can we find it?

My blog is called Mental Parentals - found at www.mentalparentals.com

What’s your blog about?

Mental Parentals is a Family Lifestyle blog where I can be found writing about our daily life in the Lake District, topics I feel strongly about, meal planning and everything in between.

Why did you start blogging?

Erm, because my friends did it?  Haha I know that sounds totally daft, but I have a couple of friends that were always into blogging and it seemed like a good way to get some of my thoughts out onto ‘paper’, meet people going through similar times as I, and keeping track of our life while O is young.  I have a terrible memory so a blog to look back at will prove helpful in the future!

Why do you still blog?

Because I love it!  When I was working full-time, it was difficult to find the time to blog regularly, but now I have more time I’m absolutely loving being back behind the keyboard and camera.

How has blogging changed since you started?

I’m not sure it has, to be honest.  I’ve been quietly blogging for around 3 years, and re-branded the blog around a year ago, and haven’t really noticed any change in blogging.  There’s still a lot of bloggers out there!

Would you count your blog as a job or something fun to do in your spare time?

I have always seen my blog as something to do in my spare time, but now I’m on Maternity Leave, I’m hoping that my blog can help me to contribute to the family accounts while I’m on a pittance of a wage.  

Where do you get the inspiration to write a blog post?

The little things, I suppose.  The other day, I wrote an Open Letter to the Guy in the Wheelchair.  It came to me, as I walked back to the car from the fish and chip shop.  Inspiration for blog posts comes to me at the strangest of times!

An interview with The Mental Parentals' Steph

Steph and her family

If you could recommend three other blogs to read, what three would you recommend and why?

I’d recommend Donna at What The Redhead Said, Pamela at Life With Munchers and Emma at Life According to Mrs Shilts.  All fabulous ladies with great blogs.

I agree!  Two have been part of the Bearded Blogger series!  What is the single best thing that has come about as a result of your blog?

My sanity!  I wish I had blogged when I was on Maternity Leave after O’s birth, almost 5 years ago.  I found myself in a very low place and blogging would’ve given me the support network I needed to get me through.  Now, I’m feeling very optimistic about my year off with my babies!

What would be your perfect blog post?

I don’t even know!  I would love to be able to blog more about travel, as it’s something that both my husband and I are very passionate about.  I’d love to go to Italy, visit Rome and the Vatican, and share my experiences there.

What can you recommend to other bloggers to increase the traffic to their sites?

Promote your post everywhere you can.  I spend quite a lot of time scheduling social media updates, adding my blog post links to various link up’s, reader groups on Facebook, etc. 

It’s one thing writing a fantastic post, but it’s wasted if no-one is going to see it.

Which brands do you enjoy working with?

I have loved working with many brands, including the Gro Company, Photobox and Jones Bootmaker, to name a few.  I feel very lucky to have had such big brands want to work with my little blog!

Everyone has that one company that they have always wanted to work with but have never quite been able to. Who is yours?

I’d love to work with more companies in promoting the Lake District; particularly The National Trust, Cumbrian Cottages and Lakes Distillery.  I’d also love to work with Netflix as we’re avid watchers here!

What is your own personal favourite post on your site?

My favourite post is the only one I’ve written relating to road safety.  I wrote this post around a year ago, but the message still needs to be put across to those ignoring parking restrictions outside Schools. 

I go a bit into statistics and the justification that’s so regularly used, but there really isn’t an excuse to put your own convenience before the safety of your children. 

Because it is your child’s safety that is being put at risk.  I’d love for you to read it and let me know what you think.  

Whose blog would you love to be featured on or write a guest post for?

I’d love to be featured on Honest Mum’s blog, hopefully in a few months time, as being a new successful blogger - one can dream!

Lastly, if you were to interview another blogger, what question would you ask that I haven’t asked here?… 

You’ve got a good range of questions here, Dan - well done!  I think I’d add a small round of questions (I play this game with my son, O, all the time) like;

Sweet or Savoury?  Summer or Winter?  Night In or Night Out?  Eat In or Eat Out?  Late Night or Early Morning?

… And what is your answer to that question?

Sweet; Summer; Night In; Eat Out; Early Morning…


Thanks for taking part, Steph!  

You can catch up with Steph on Twitter @mentalparentals, also on Instagram @mentalparentals and on Facebook - thementalparentals.

You can see all of the Bearded Backchat interview series by clicking here!

(Header adapted from an original design by www.lucykatedesign.co.uk, with thanks)

by DannyUK

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