Bearded Backchat with Lucy from The Parent Game

Bearded Backchat is a chance for me to interview PR people and fellow bloggers.  This week it’s Lucy from The Parent Game

The Parent Game blog header

Who are you?

Lucy Dorrington

What is your “day job”?

I am currently struggling with a health condition, so I don’t venture out much. I’m writing some children’s books and hoping to get them published one day.

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

My blog is The Parent Game and you can find it here 

What’s your blog about?

The blog is written mainly by me, with contributions from all the family on subjects that are vaguely related to parenting! It tends to be naturally geared towards parents of older children, because mine are older, and we sometimes cover student issues too.  

Why did you start blogging?

I started the blog because I like writing. A couple of my friends had blogs and it looked like fun.

Why do you still blog?

Is it possible to stop?! I was under the impression that once you were sucked into the world of blogging, you would be forever condemned to photograph everything you eat and take notes during days out. I think if I did stop, I would probably still do those things! 

How has blogging changed since you started?

I’m not sure if blogging has changed, or if I have. You naturally tend to try and improve on the things you do in life, and in doing that, I’ve become more involved in the statistical, marketing side of blogging, and the blogging community.

This has led me to feel that blogging has become more competitive and statistic-driven, but that could be because I want more out of it than I used to.

There are certainly more bloggers now than there ever was before. The community is considerably larger and more diverse than it was even a year or two ago.

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

It is definitely fun and that was always the point of blogging for me. Blogging challenges me to push myself and try new things, in order to have something to blog about, and the reviews and events we go to mean we never know what we will be up to next!

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

Organic posts are very important to me. I never wanted my blog to look like the Argos catalogue, with one long advertorial of sponsored posts and reviews, but it is hard to come up with new ideas constantly.

I try to remember that just because it’s something we do all the time, it might still be interesting to other people, like days out and craft activities, even recipes. I’ve shared some of my best easy recipes that are perfect for students who are learning to cook.

I also have a jar where I write down ideas for blog posts on little bits of paper, which I can pull out at random if I get really stuck!

Lucy from The Parent Game blog

Lucy

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

Miss Mamo’s World is a great blog for cooking inspiration. It’s so well-organised and easy to dip into for a few minutes, to look for a specific recipe, or browse for longer if you need a bit more inspiration! The photography is imaginative and colourful too.

Fly Drive Explore is a relatively new travel blog and is full of ideas and inspiration for travel, from local attractions, to far away places. It’s great to see how genuine travellers react to a place, rather than just reading the website’s blurb.

Pretty Big Butterflies is a fashion blog that focusses on plus-size clothing. The bright, happy photos provide real inspiration and show that you can look great, whatever your shape.

What is the single best thing that has come about as a result of your blog?

These questions are really hard! I love every opportunity I get from blogging. It’s given us so many opportunities to try things we never normally would, which makes family life a bit more of an adventure than it probably would be without it.

If I had to pick one, it would have to be our glamping trip to Roebeck Country Park last year. Family holidays are so expensive these days, we could never have gone if we hadn’t been reviewing the park and the lovely people at Wightlink ferries, who kindly funded our return trip to the island.

What would be your perfect blog post?

One of the best aspects of blogging, is the friends you make. It’s an amazing community, full of a wide variety of lovely people, with similar interests and life challenges.

I have always wanted to organise a review of a local restaurant or similar venue for a group of local bloggers.

Whenever I go to a blog meet it’s always focussed on talks and classes, but I always enjoy the social aspect in between, probably most of all! I think it would make a fantastic blog post!  

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

I’m not very good at this. It seems to be equally about making sure people see what you write, as well as writing good content.

Making good use of your Social Media networks is one way, not just firing out links to posts, but also engaging your audience by taking time to interact on all the platforms you use.

Not easy though, it requires quite a lot of time and organisation!  

Which brands do you enjoy working with?

I loved working with Nouvelle. They have the best PR lady, who really seems to value the bloggers she works with. At Christmas, they sent the loveliest gifts to my children and that level of thoughtfulness makes blogging so enjoyable.

I like working with brands that offer a more personal approach, where you feel you are talking to an actual person in emails and you are not just a name on a list! 

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

I would love to work with Merlin. My son is just the right age to get properly excited about theme parks and, as he loves to make videos for our Youtube channel, I think between us, we would make excellent reviewers!

We recently went to Legoland and this video of him getting super-emotional when I surprised him with the tickets, shows just what these days out mean to him!  

What is your own personal favourite post on your site?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I especially like writing poetry. When a friend came to me for help with a competition, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to wax lyrical to help her with her entry, and she won!

Her guest post about the day her family had at Manchester City FC still makes me smile when I read it!

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

I don’t have a specific blog that I would like to be featured on. I just enjoy writing, so I like to take every opportunity to write something a bit different!

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

What’s your biggest achievement as a blogger?

… And what is your answer to that question?

I love to use my blog to give other people a voice and to raise money for charities. I offer guest posts to anyone who has something they would like to say, but don’t have an opportunity to be heard, and this is particularly important if they are raising money for a cause that’s important to them.

I was very lucky to be involved in a fundraiser with a friend, that brought something lovely out of horribly tragic circumstances.

In the four years I’ve been blogging, it is still the thing I’m most proud of and Jack Joseph still inspires me every day.


Thanks for taking part!

You can catch up with Lucy in all of the usual places:

Facebook link: The Parent Game

Twitter link: @theparentgame

Instagram link: @theparentgame

Blog link: The Parent Game

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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