Bearded Backchat with Afra from Mad Mum of 7
Bearded Backchat is a chance for me to interview PR people and fellow bloggers. This week it’s Afra from Mad Mum of 7. I’ve met Afra once before, at a Rug Doctor event in London a few years back and she’s lovely and approachable.
Who are you?
Afra – madmumof7.
What is your “day job”?
Mum to 7 children aged 7-21. I used to be a journalist in a former life.
7 kids? I thought I was mad having 4! Any plans for more kids?
My youngest is almost 8 and five years ago I did get pregnant again (planned- I don’t like odd numbers!) but miscarried. After that, Mother Nature apparently put her foot down and said “no more”. Fair enough - I am very blessed with my 7!
What is your blog called and where can we find it?
It’s Mad Mum of 7 and can be found at http://www.madmumof7.com
What’s your blog about?
Everything! Food, life, kids, days out, random musing and anecdotes. Like a magazine complete with a few adverts. (gotta pay those bills!)
Why did you start blogging?
I missed writing and needed a job. I thought the blog would act as a CV to get me online writing work. It has and has also become a profession in its own right.
Why do you still blog?
I love it! I love writing, I love the amazing opportunities it brings and on the whole, I love the community which was a perk I hadn’t anticipated.
How has blogging changed since you started?
It seems to me that there are many more bloggers and many of them seem young, thin and beautiful. I think brands want more for their money but on the plus side, they seem to view bloggers as professionals with real reach not just “mummy bloggers” who might add a few stats to their reports.
Would you count your blog as a job or something fun to do in your spare time?
A bit of both. I consider it my job now and treat it as such setting aside many hours to write, sort good pics, research and network. Spare time? What’s that!
Where do you get the inspiration to write a blog post?
The desire to share, educate, entertain and frankly sometimes just to empty my head on a bigger audience than the unlucky souls who call themselves my real life friends.
If you could recommend three other blogs to read, what three would you recommend and why?
This is probably a good opportunity for me to mention that Suzanne has been on Bearded Backchat in the past.
What is the single best thing that has come about as a result of your blog?
Unique and exciting opportunities for my children.
What would be your perfect blog post?
I’ve always dreamed of travelling to somewhere exotic whether that be to review a luxury hotel or to work with a charity in the third world. I loved the reports from Tanya – Mummy Barrow- for Comic Relief and think with my professional journalism background I could create some fantastic posts to support the charities working overseas for the likes of Oxfam or Habitat for Humanity.
What can you recommend to other bloggers to increase the traffic to their sites?
Be chatty and active on social networks, join linkies and comment, use good labels, keywords and hashtags.
Which brands do you enjoy working with?
I loved working with Butlins as during my time as an ambassador there was even a facebook page for us all to chat via. I like working for Flea Ents (who run the likes of Tots100) as the jobs are usually interesting and often quirky.
I must admit that I have a bit of a crush on Flea Ents as they are such a nice bunch. Anyone else?
I love working with Simply Beef and Lamb as the meat is awesome, the events fun and the work well paid.
I do like a nice piece of lamb! Everyone has that one company that they have always wanted to work with but have never quite been able to. Who is yours?
Difficult question. So many brands including Aga, Cath Kidston and Apple! I love reviewing restaurants and adore anything kitchen related so any brands working in that field are always top of my list.
What is your own personal favourite post on your site?
http://www.madmumof7.com/2014/04/what-kind-of-mother-am-i.html. I was nominated by my son to Britmums when they were looking for Keynote speakers for Britmums Live in 2014. This was a turning point for me as I realised my confidence was returning and I was still a person in my own right, not ”just” a mum of 7. I loved the experience and hope to have more opportunities to speak about my life, family and blogging in the future.
Whose blog would you love to be featured on or write a guest post for?
I wrote a guest post for comedian Dom Holland once (long story) and would love to write more for him. I’d love to feature on a post on Mummy Barrow after joining her on an expedition for charity.
Lastly, if you were to interview another blogger, what question would you ask that I haven’t asked here?…
How do you deal with trolls? Kill, marry, avoid?.
… And what is your answer to that question?
Switch off the laptop, turn off your phone and walk away until they get bored. Don’t dwell on what they’ve said. Sticks and stones…
Thanks for taking part, Afra, and I couldn’t agree more on the best way to deal with trolls.
You can catch up with Afra in all of the usual places:
Don’t forget to visit the madmumof7.com blog too!
(Header adapted from an original design by www.lucykatedesign.co.uk, with thanks)