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BMBL Podcast 005: Mummy Blogger 101

Welcome to Episode 005 of the Busy Mum. Balanced Life. podcast!

Want to know how to be a mummy blogger or how to start a mummy blog?

Well, here’s the low down on why and how I started my own mum blog plus how I earn money from my blog.

Thanks for listening!

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This is episode five of the Busy Mum. Balanced Life. podcast.

Hey, this is Mim Jenkinson and you’re listening to the Busy Mum Balance Life Podcast.

Welcome back, and today I thought I might talk about being a mum blogger or a mummy blogger or a parent blogger or all the different terms that mums or parents who blog get, and the latest one, I suppose, which has been around a while now is influencer. In fact, I’ve heard mum-fluencer as well, so Jesus, it’s going to extremes at the moment.

But, as many of you know, I’ve had my mum blog for six years now, and it’s evolved a little bit over time. In the beginning, actually, I shared quite a lot of my family life and a little bit more about the kids when they were babies, actually, when I first began. But then in more recent years, it’s become more of a mum blog. So, I talk very much about my personal life as a mum, my health, mental health, the kind of things I do day-to-day, and, whilst I still talk about being a mum and having kids, it isn’t so much about them. The focus is now a little bit more on the mum, not just me, obviously, although it is a little bit of a diary. I will tell you, it’s great therapy as well to write a blog, whether you actually just keep it on an online private platform or whether you share it with the internet like I choose to, it’s really good just to get stuff out sometimes.

What is a mummy blogger? Well, to me, a mummy blogger is a mum who blogs, and generally, a mum who blogs about life as a mum  and they might share only their kids, they might share everything to do with their family, they might share only like me, really more about their life as a mum, some kind of combination of any of that anyway. Mum bloggers come in lots of different guises, and I’m sure that you follow many, whether it’s their website or social media. In fact, a lot of mum bloggers these days only have a social media presence, so maybe they only have an Instagram account or only a Facebook page, whereas I have all three because I really enjoy writing, some are more about shorter blogs written more in captions, I suppose, and really awesome visually appealing photos and video sharing their life. My Instagram is a bit of a weak link. Although I love, love, love the platform, my photography skills are pretty weak, unfortunately. But you can just get lost for hours on Instagram, can’t you, looking at other people’s lives and living vicariously through them?

So, yeah, some will have a website, some will only have social channels, or some mummy bloggers will have a combination of all of them.

On websites, so, I choose to share quite a mix of articles. Some of them are product reviews, and I get so many requests to review particularly products that help save time because we’re busy, we’re time poor, ones that are not too expensive as well. My blog isn’t a place to share super luxury items, and I try to keep the items that I do review and share within an affordable budget because we’re a family that doesn’t have too much excess funds, and I know many of my readers are as well. So, but for the occasional splurge purchase or product that I choose to share. But most of them are affordable products that help save time and money, or make life easier somehow. So I share product reviews.

I also share a mix of articles. And some of those are personal articles. So it might be updates on me, my health, just more personal, almost like diary entries sometimes. Because it began as a place for me to share for myself and for my own enjoyment, or therapy, as I say. But I know that some of my readers have followed my journey since becoming a mum, since having cancer, and the aftereffects and aftermath of that. Some of my issues with mental health. So it’s a place that I share, for me, and for them as well, so we can keep in touch with each other’s journeys, too.

And I also share general articles. So it might be, I’m going to call them parenting. I always feel a little bit dubious saying I share parenting tips, because whilst it’s tips on how to make life as a mum easier from my experience, I would never hold my hands up and tell someone else how to parent. I think I kind of, sort of did that in the earlier days, and when I reread some of my older posts, I cringe a little bit. But I’m just not ready to delete them because there’s some useful stuff in there. It just might come across as a little bit preachy. So if you’ve been following me from the beginning, please forgive all of that. Maybe I’ll rework them one day. I don’t know.

But yeah, there’s a mix of articles. And I will tell you, when I started my mum blog, I have experience over many years of writing. All of the jobs that I’ve done since school and college, they’ve all had a degree of writing and marketing and sales and kind of promotion to them. However I’m not a qualified writer, apart from my A levels, which I think is the same as the HSE in Australia. I haven’t got any other writing qualifications whatsoever. I’m sure that comes across in my work, so please don’t judge, now you know that. But if you’re thinking about becoming a freelance writer or blogger yourself, don’t be held back by not having qualifications. I look back at some of my work and I notice typos and grammatical errors, but at the end of the day I tend to write the same way that I speak. And I think that comes across, I’m told a lot that when people are reading my posts, they can hear me talking. And that’s really, it’s not that I’m purposefully doing that, but that’s what I want. I don’t want it to be stale. So that’s my excuse, anyway, for making mistakes. So please forgive me.

But yeah, and you might choose that when … if you’re thinking about writing a blog yourself, starting a blog, whether it’s a mum blog or a different subject entirely, don’t be afraid to write about whatever you want to. Because there are people out there who connect. And some of my readers connect only with my personal stuff, or only with the family stuff, or only with tips on saving money, or hacks. And some connect with all. But there’s a person out there, I think, who’s waiting to hear everyone’s voice. That’s super cheesy. I’m going to move on.

And finally, I thought I might share. I do get questions quite a lot on how my job is being a mum blogger. How on earth do I write a blog about my life as a mum and make money? Is that even possible? And yes it definitely is. And much of my income does come from running the blog. So there’s additional advertising costs … sorry, advertising fees that I get. So you might see adverts on the blog in my sidebar or listed throughout some of the content. So traditional banner ads do generate some income for me.

But the main source of income for my blog has always been sponsored posts. And for those of you who don’t know what a sponsored post is, or perhaps are a little bit confused. And there is a lot of confusion, because they are disclosed differently depending on whose website or whose blog you stumble upon. But a sponsored post is when either a brand has contacted me to collaborate, or I’ve contacted them. And in return for me writing an article for them, or a review, in return for me doing that, they pay me. So they pay me money most of the time. Sometimes they’ll pay me a combination of money and the product that I’m writing about, if it’s a product. Or sometimes they’ll only, the collaboration is only in exchange for the product itself.

And I’ve reviewed loads of different kinds of products. Everything from skin care and make up to baby blankets and swaddles to bigger furniture items, like chairs and a dishwasher, which was amazing. And vacuum cleaners. It really varies. But I try and go for the products that do things to make a mum’s life easier, or a dad’s. However, my audience, if I look at my Google Analytics, it tells me that it’s mainly mums. But yeah, makes life easier. So I will receive money in exchange for my time, the time that I put into writing, the skill in terms of how I’ve actually worked the review, and how that’s going to benefit the brand in promoting their product. And the real estate of being able to feature on my blog as well. Because it isn’t as simple as just taking a few hours or even a few days, if I’m taking pictures and doing a really in-depth review.

Another way that I earn money as a blogger is through consulting. And generally, that’s consulting with freelance writing or copywriting, marketing, or social media. So a brand might approach me because they like what I’m doing on my own website and channels. Or they need some help with growing or even just maintaining their socials, or writing some copy for their website. Or I might approach them and say, you know, these are the skills I’ve got. I love your brand. I can write for days about your product. Would you be interested in writing something for your website? And I have written quite a few parenting online publications as well. But that’s been a really great way for me to use my blog almost like an online resume, or portfolio. And as I say, I don’t have any qualifications at all as a writer, or a journalist, or any of those things. And I’m sure I’d be heaps better if I did. Don’t get me wrong. But that’s another way that I’ve been able to use my blog to go out and make some money for the family, as well.

So there are a few other ways that you can make money as a blogger. And if you want me to talk a little bit more about those, I’ll probably do a dedicated show on that. So do let me know. But that’s in a nutshell, a little bit about mummy blogging. And particularly why I blog. I could actually talk for days about the reasons why I blog, and all the benefits it brings to me. And again, if you’re interested, let me know. Because I’m more than happy to share. But if you’re interested in starting a blog, and particularly a mum blog, I will link below an article that I wrote on the five ways to start one. And I hope that helps you. And I hope it’ll be interesting to you. So thank you so much for listening.

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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.