Bearded Backchat with Jo from Organised Jo
Bearded Backchat is a chance for me to interview PR people and fellow bloggers. This week it’s Jo from Organised Jo. Jo only started blogging at the start of the year and still considers herself a newbie. She’s also a national champion, though you’ll have to read on to find out what she’s a champion at!
Who are you?
Hi, I’m Jo Penhaligon, also known as Organised Jo. Mum to 4 and 7-year-old girls and wife to an emergency services shift worker. We live on the South Devon coast.
What is your “day job”?
For 30 hours a week I work as Communications Officer for the local Council, the rest of my time is looking after my girls, as more often than not the hubby is working when I’m off.
What is your blog called and where can we find it?
The blog is called Organised Jo & you can find it at www.organisedjo.co.uk
So, Organised Jo, what’s your blog about?
Tips and tricks that I’ve tried out to help get myself and two kids out the house every morning. Also ideas on organising stuff in the house.
Why did you start blogging?
As a working mum, having to do the morning school run before going to work I had to find ways to get more organised. After trying and testing various routines, and generally trying to organise other parts of my life & house too, I thought I would share what’s worked for me.
Why do you still blog?
I have only been going since January this year so I am still in the honeymoon period I think & still eager to share!
How has blogging changed since you started?
I can’t really answer this one as everything is still so new to me. Still trying to work out what the hell I’m doing (and what linkys are - which I think I know now!!).
It’s been 3 months since I first asked you these questions - How is the blogging going? Have you worked out what the hell you’re doing?
I am coming up to my 6 month anniversary and yes I think I have worked out what I am doing now.
Congratulations! I’m years into my blog and still feel like I’m winging it! How about the linky question?
I have also worked what linkys are, how to take part and get the most out of them. And I’m really enjoying them as it is a great way of finding new bloggers.
Would you count your blog as a job or something fun to do in your spare time?
At the moment it is something fun that I do in my spare time, but I would like it to bring in some income at some point. The day job is not as secure as it used to be so I did start the blog as something that maybe I could grow if needed.
Six months after I started, I am still really enjoying blogging. I love creating the content and taking the pictures to go with them. In fact it has really brought the creative out of me.
Being a new blogger, have you managed to get to any blogging events yet?
I have yet to go to any blogging events and would have loved to have gone to BritMums but hubby’s shifts didn’t work out.
Hopefully I will make it to Blog On in Bristol in August.
Where do you get the inspiration to write a blog post?
My ultimate goal is that I want to help people who may be looking for ways to make life easier when you are juggling so many balls - work, kids, school run, their social lives (which are usually 10 times busier than mine!), the house etc. Because I have tried and tested what I write about I feel I can show how it has helped me, and how it could help others.
If you could recommend three other blogs to read, what three would you recommend and why?
A blog that really got me thinking about doing my own is an American one called A Bowl Full of Lemons. I am a bit geeky when it comes to storage stuff and Toni has a great creative eye for home interiors and using storage in your home. This blog also inspired me to start my own, because it is American we can’t buy all the things over here, so I like to go off & search and find similar products that we can get over here.
Closer to home, one of the first blogs I followed was Modern Mummy. I just love Katy’s style of writing and as a mum to two girls as well I feel we have a lot in common, even though she probably doesn’t know who I am (stalker!!)
A new blog to me that I also really enjoy looking at is The Ordinary Lovely. Again I love Rachel’s style of writing and her photography skills are great, every time she posts a picture of the ideas she has for home styling I just want to jump straight in and grab it all! She is also a tester for GLTC, my dream job!
What is the single best thing that has come about as a result of your blog?
At the moment I think it’s learning the new skills I have needed to develop to put the blog together and increasing my social media awareness on promoting it.
I love to learn how to do new things and get a lot of satisfaction from setting myself a challenge and achieving it. It has also let me do more creative stuff with my pictures, which I didn’t realise how much I liked doing until I started the blog.
What would be your perfect blog post?
Being given a free rein in IKEA and writing a review on all the wonderful storage stuff they have. The same with the Good Little Trading Company. I’m a great fan of their kid’s storage stuff and both my girls love their wooden kitchen toys.
What can you recommend to other bloggers to increase the traffic to their sites?
I can’t really answer this one, as still being a newbie and all that, but from experience of promoting work events and campaigns I highly recommend networking a lot on social media.
I love Twitter for jumping into conversations and taking part in weekly ‘hours’ that take place. I also like using hashtags, and copying in other people and organisations into tweets, as I find I get more back more from that.
I recently let a retailer know I had used their hooks for something, they then retweeted it to their 62,000 followers. I saw a massive spike in my blog views and picked up some new followers too. I also love Instagram for exactly the same reason.
Which brands do you enjoy working with?
Well so far I haven’t worked with any brands, and I haven’t started pitching to any yet as still feel a bit too new, but I would like to change that soon.
Companies I would loooooove to work with are those I’ve already mentioned, pitching high I know! IKEA would be a-ma-zing because I love their storage stuff, and we are finally due to get a store that’s going to be close to us and is not over two hours away.
GLTC would also be lovely, as I mentioned earlier, their stuff for kids is so lovely. Another one would be Wilkinsons, as I feel like I live in that shop as they have absolutely everything you need to organise and sort your life!
What is your own personal favourite post on your site?
My favourite would be the one that has got the most views to date - organising my girls jewellery with hooks. I also loved doing this and having my youngest helping me out. And so far it is actually working, no more jewellery left on the floor for me to stand on!
Whose blog would you love to be featured on or write a guest post for?
I would love to be featured on theordinarylovely, for all the reasons I said before!
Lastly, if you were to interview another blogger, what question would you ask that I haven’t asked here?…
Difficult one, because you have listed some great questions. Maybe something like - ‘Is there one thing about you that other people find surprising?’
… And what is your answer to that question?
Back in the day, I used to play rugby for a local ladies team, and we became National Champions!
Thanks for taking part, Jo!
You can catch up with Jo in all of the usual places:
Don’t forget to visit their blog too.
(Header adapted from an original design by www.lucykatedesign.co.uk, with thanks)