Bearded Backchat with Ali from Mum in a nutshell
Bearded Backchat is a chance for me to interview PR people and fellow bloggers. This week it’s Ali from Mum in a nutshell.
Who are you?
Ali aka Mum in a Nutshell
What is your “day job”?
I’m a social media manager for a couple of small companies and blogger. (avoiding saying the ‘pro’ word!)
What is your blog called and where can we find it?
Mum in a Nutshell (link http://muminanutshell.com)
What’s your blog about?
It’s a family and lifestyle blog with a healthy living slant. also as a mum to 3 varying aged children (2, 12 and 16) it covers pretty much every spectrum of the parenting scale.
Why did you start blogging?
This is my 2nd blog, the first was started 3 years ago but I took a year off then set up Mum in a Nutshell while on maternity leave with my last baby, 2 years ago.
Why do you still blog?
I originally started it to keep my professional information fresh in my mind while on maternity leave ( I ran parenting groups, child development and worked with families to get over tricky patches)
I’d had so much training and an early years degree I felt could help others but that’s by the by now and I write whatever pops into my head and I handed in my notice so don’t ned to keep all that knowledge anymore, and it brings in a wage, which is ace.
I also adore the while blogging community, it gives me the colleagues I don’t get as a freelancer.
How has blogging changed since you started?
I was very much linky focused to network and read other blogs at the start but I find now that social media plays such a huge part. Some people I follow I get just as much pleasure reading their Facebook and Instagram posts.
I do think that blogging is more recognised and valued as a job nowadays. When I first started most of my friends and family didn’t know what a blog was.
Would you count your blog as a job or something fun to do in your spare time?
Yes, I do count it as my job. It took a long time before I felt able to say I was a professional blogger but I now rely on the income it brings, I guess that’s when you cross the line.
That’s not saying it’s not fun, though, it’s the best job I’ve ever had as it’s given me opportunities I could only dream of but I am very selective about what I accept to review or write these days as it has to work for me.
Time is money and to be able to give up my time to write and photograph something it has to be something I need, value or admire immensely or would’ve bought.
Where do you get the inspiration to write a blog post?
I try to keep a good balance between those inspirational posts and the ones which keep the wolf from the door and most of the heartfelt posts come from experiences or emotions where I need to get things off my chest. As I still think only my mum and mother in law read Mum in Nutshell
I’m usually good at letting off steam this way as they often know what’s going on in my head anyway!
For example, the whole Brexit thing was awful to see people being so angry but I felt I needed to balance things out and try and diffuse the hostility. The result being that no one ended up mentioning it at all around me so it worked! (And I got a little buzz that maybe a few others did actually read my blog)
If you could recommend three other blogs to read, what three would you recommend and why?
I adore The Joy Chaser and Michelle and I share the same optimism, I often come away from reading her posts feeling so much more focused and inspired. I follow Mummy Tries as Renee is so brutally honest and I love that in a blog.
I’ve also just read a wicked post from My Milo and Me which had me laughing my socks off, so that’s become my latest blog crush.
What is the single best thing that has come about as a result of your blog?
Being able to make it work for me, work from home and not have the whole childcare headache. I’ve learnt enough to be able to branch out into other professional areas, I’ve always been a bit of technology nerd so playing around on the laptop and social media all day is my idea of heaven.
I also love that I’ve met a few other local bloggers who I try and meet up with now and then.
What would be your perfect blog post?
10 reasons to visit Disneyland with a toddler, tween and teenager, (in Florida) while staying all inclusive in a top hotel while eating healthily. #sponsored Disclaimer; I received this holiday for free in return for my honest thoughts.
What can you recommend to other bloggers to increase the traffic to their sites?
network and engage with other bloggers, share their content but above all make the reader leave like they’ve learnt something valuable, you’ve inspired them or made them smile.
We’re all busy people and you don’t want to waste your time. Hopefully they’ll then subscribe or follow you on social media and keep coming back. I do that all the time when I’ve read a good post.
Which brands do you enjoy working with?
The ones which keep in touch, I’ve worked with a lovely bunch of ladies from Bellamy Baby helping them spread the word about their luxury changing bags and they always interact on my social media.
I’ve just joined the BabyMule ambassador team which is a really proactive brand to be part of. I’m also a Frugi Family member via Bump PR which it fabulous to be part of.
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 experience a festival with my family. I keep looking to go but chicken out at the last minute as my last experience was as a carefree 19-year-old with no dependants to keep alive.
So in an ideal world, an offer from a company to go along for a few days would mean I’d have no excuse!
What is your own personal favourite post on your site?
I wrote a post 18 months ago from the heart about finding it a struggle with my eldest growing up and breaking away from the family. He started to stay in his room all the time and I really missed him.
It didn’t take me long to write as the words came flowing, he reminded me of a caterpillar hiding himself away while he evolved into something else ( generally more hairy and spotty with a vow of silence thrown in for good measure) but I seem to be coming out the other side and getting him back a little now so to see how far we’ve come makes me hopeful I can survive another 2 teenage boys! I even went back recently and updated to let any new readers we’d come through. (http://muminanutshell.com/the-teenager-years/ )
Whose blog would you love to be featured on or write a guest post for?
The Unmumsy Mum, I’ve met Sarah a couple of times as a fellow Devonian and she’s lovely.
I went along to one of her book signing talk things and seeing how much respect she’s got from other mums for making them feel normal makes you realise the power of the blog. She’s also bloody hilarious.
Is there anybody that you’d like to see featured in the Bearded Backchat series?
Any of my Devon Blogging buddies would be fab; Tin Box Traveller, Diary of a Devon Mum and Gypsy Soul to get you started there’s plenty more though!
Lastly, if you were to interview another blogger, what question would you ask that I haven’t asked here?…
What’s your favourite social media platform and why?
… And what is your answer to that question?
Instagram at the moment because I’m nosy and it’s a great behind the scenes way of seeing what everyone’s up to.
Thanks for taking part, Ali!
You can catch up with Ali in all of the usual places:
Facebook link: https://facebook.com/muminanutshell
Twitter link: https://twitter.com/muminanutshell
Instagram link: https://instagram.com/mum_in_a_nutshell
Blog link: http://muminanutshell.com
(Header adapted from an original design by www.lucykatedesign.co.uk, with thanks)