what is a blogger and how do they make money? read on and you'll find out

“So what do you do?” It was a question I’ve had many times over, and every time I pause before giving an answer. This time was no different. It was a noisy bar and the person asking was seven sheets to the wind. Not sure if they were really bothered what my answer would be, I quickly weighed up a reply in my head.

Do I go for my fail safe Social Media Manager? After all, I am now fully qualified and so it feels like a perfectly valid answer, or do I go for the pre courser, the role I cut my teeth in, in all that is social media; a blogger.

Feeling in the mood for debate, and sensing one looming with said person asking, I replied “I am blogger.”

There was a pause.

“I don’t get all that blogging malarkey, what is a blogger?” was the eventual reply.

This time it was my turn to pause. I needed to give a full and valid reason for being a blogger only in laymen terms, while giving the profession the justice it deserves. Simply because that’s what it is to me – it is a profession, after all I gave up a career, a 9-5, for blogging.

Yet that title is never one which can be translated into a sentence and be done with. It needs explanation and clarification.

So that’s what I did……

“well, I share my opinion and snippets of my life on a website which I built and maintain myself. Sometimes I share reviews of a product which a company has sent me and sometimes I just waffled about things which are going on in my head.”

And the debate continued.

“That’s not a job though, that’s a hobby. You can’t make money blogging.”

f you're looking to make your business more environmentally friendly then why not consider running a paperless office? Starting with my own small

3 years ago I’d have completely agreed, it was just a hobby. An outlet to share my professional training and to keep it fresh in my mind while on maternity leave. Which it did. But pretty soon I was being contacted by brands to review their products on my blog. I only ever accepted things I thought were relevant to my readers or I needed, it helped keep me in my niche and stopped looked like a total advertising platform.

12 months in though, my social media followers were building up nicely and soon the offers for sponsored posts were pinging into my mail box. I was being paid to write a blog post by companies. My little blog had become a trusted advertising or brand awareness referral platform for other companies. My hard work had paid off.

It’s still a little difficult to explain if you don’t fully know how the internet works. In a nutshell, companies collaborate with bloggers to help spread the word about their product or service. We have direct access to readers who follow our blogs on social media or receiving our latest blog posts straight via email. It’s a much more personal way of reaching people; Our experience with the brand or company we are collaborating with is bound within a story within an underpinning back history on what is going in our life.

Almost like having a chat with your mates, telling them how great something is (or rubbish) having moan about life or shouting from the roof tops how great it is. I’ve turned down work offers which I don’t think I can find anything interesting to write about or doesn’t fit with anything which is going on for me right now. I’ve refused to write about products or experiences which I have no interest in or I wouldn’t want to recommend to a friend.

A lot of my day is spent replying to emails with a polite thanks but no thanks. So don’t ever feel you’re being fed a line, if I tell you I liked it, I liked it. If I write about it, it’s because I’m interested in it.

Plus, it’s actually a lot harder to tell a lie than share a truth.

And don’t EVER think that blogging is all about the free stuff, it’s NEVER free, any product I review has been exchanged for my time spent putting the product through the nitty gritty, writing a blog post, photographing and editing, sharing and promoting across my social media and the time spent maintaining my website. Most of the time the product I’m sharing doesn’t equate to the cost per hour spent doing all the above.

Which is precisely  why I will thing long and had about whether I want to review it. My time is precious.

I’ve been criticised for over sharing and ‘spreading myself all over the internet.’ Which I don’t disagree with one bit. You do have to give a little bit of yourself away to draw your readers in. It’s the curiosity of humankind which makes a blog such compelling reading. A little like a reality TV show, I guess. But the pros far outweigh the cons, the messages and feedback of support and thanks I get as a blogger keep me reaching for the keyboard and sharing my story. And while I do sometimes find it difficult being so public, especially with my current situation.

It’s also the most cathartic thing I can do both for myself, anyone else in a similar situation and for my family and friends who wonder what’s going on in my busy little head most of the time!

Blogging isn’t for everyone but it is for me, the hours are long but the rewards are fantastic!

I'm happy to shout about being a mumpreneur, turning blogging into a business while working around my family. It's not an easy option by any ,means but is a lifestyle choice I will never regret

 

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I'm a mumprenkeur and this is my story, a business owning blogger as well as mum of 3 boys

It’s coming up to a year since I left the workplace and started life as a mumpreneur. That’s 12 whole months of a daily commute from my bed to the sofa and now my multipurpose desk.

12 months of one woman planning meetings

12 months of late nights and early mornings

And d’you know what? I’ve loved every cotton picking minute of it!

I’ve given it my all and managed to make working from home a success.  I knew I’d come to a natural end in my previous job, I’d lost my mojo  and was dreading my maternity leave ending. Knowing it wasn’t just the thought of leaving my boy, I had an opportunity to trust my instincts so weighing up the pros and cons, my mantra became

you just don’t know until you try it

Having a back up plan

Now don’t go thinking this lady’s a serious risk taker, I always have plan B! With a family to support and mortgage to pay I have to play safe with my big ideas as well as making sure I have the full backing of those closest. The tipping point to my latest adventure was the desire to be at home with my family, see my boy grow up as I’d done with his older brothers and not have the stress of arranging childcare (and paying for it.)

And I’m not alone, I recently stumbled upon a story in the Telegraph dated  back to April 2014 and titled the ‘Rise of the mumpreneurs‘ It told how the rise in childcare costs meant more and more mums were considering becoming their own boss or mumpreneur

– a stay-at-home mother who keeps one eye on the children and another on a fledgling business.

So I handed in my notice in and joined the mumpreneur army. My renewed enthusiasm for ambition and desire for success giving me the kick I needed to get things off the ground.  First off, was to rekindled a personal blog, initially  to keep my mind busy in the fog of new baby days, but I soon realised that I could actually make a living doing something I’d come to love.

I'm happy to shout about being a mumpreneur, turning blogging into a business while working around my family. It's not an easy option by any ,means but is a lifestyle choice I will never regret

My sensible head knew I needed a steady income as  my ‘bread and butter’ so set up a business which I could use my professional training and experience. I had short term and long term goals. If you’re embarking on a new business you need to know where you’re taking it in order to allow it to flourish. And simmering away in the back ground were my plan b’s and c’s. The ones I would fall back on if things went belly up and the ones which I might up following.

One thing I picked up along the way was that as much as goal setting and planning is vital in business development, being prepared for change and opportunity to progress in other areas is also a key.

The story so far….

And that is where I’m at now. While I close the door on one adventure, I’m opening a much bigger one. I still have my plan B should things stop gathering momentum but that’s the beauty of being a mumpreneur, or self-employed anything, there is no one saying “wait till I’ve checked with so and so” you just go for it!

There are good days and bad, it’s just the bad aren’t really that bad at all, more mediocre and there are still  those who step in your way simply because they don’t like the cut of your jib, don’t think you are up for the job  or just a general pain in the bum, it’s just now I’m not sitting opposite them in an office! (saying that The Toddler can get pretty feisty, pre nap time some days)And  I’m not saying that being your own boss is easy, far from it. I still find it hard to define working hours and tend to work much longer and later than I intend and then bow under the guilt when I’m not ticking off my to do list.

The house isn;t as tidy as I like it to be and I get a lot less sleep and downtime than I did as an employee but  also get the buzz of seeing results, meeting new people and seeing my efforts pay off.

So as I type this with my faithful spaniel at my feet and the toddler stealing kisses with his arms wrapped piggy-back round my neck, making the mumpreneur switch has been the best life changing decision I have made.

(And a sneaky little thank you to the people who nominated me for a second year in the Mum and Working Parent Blogger of The Year awards! You really shouldn’t have, but I’m so glad you did!)

we've been nominated blog award

 

I'm a mumpreneur and proud! a self employed mum working from home around my family. It's not the easiest option but I have managed to make being a blogger a business, read my story here;

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Cuddle Fairy
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what's on the cards in 2016 for this mummy blogger?

So it’s 12 months, give or take a day, since sit I sat down and penned a blog post on what I hoped 2015 would bring. Not being really sure if the whole mummy blogger thing would still be part of my life (I don’t mind that phrase, I know some hate it, but I’m a mummy and a blogger so why not)

It was a hobby, keeping my mind busy while I took some maternity leave, a way to keep the cogs turning and all my early years training fresh. Little did I realise on taking a step into the world of blogging after momentary conversation with a crazy lady (who would become my closest and most precious friend) would open up the doors to world of opportunity, determination, burning the candle at both ends to meet deadlines but ultimately a passion for writing.

what's on the cards in 2016 for this mummy blogger?

Through Mum in a Nutshell I have shared my turmoil of accepting the change in relationship with my bedroom hiding teenager (which took its spotlight on America website Blogher) I’ve finally summed up what skills I have honed being a mum to 3 boys and had moments of hoping to inspire others with my own take on positive  parenting in posts on How to Raise Happy Children and The Perfect Formula of Raising a Teenager. Both of which I have had to revisit many times personally. These were my most popular posts of the year so huge thanks to you my lovely readers for sharing, sharing and sharing again!

Regular readers might also noticed but I’ve also veered off into writing more lifestyle based posts. Staying true to my proclamation of being a family and lifestyle blog I introduced some how to and tips for cleaning  and getting organised  as a busy mum and my love of all things home has crept into these virtual pages as I’ve begun another round of makeovers around the home.

So what are my plans for 2016 and Mum in a Nutshell? Well as the new year beckons so do many new years resolutions. It’s been a busy year and all work and no play make Ali a grumpy bum. Family time is becoming more and more precious with my two older boys growing up way too quickly so I am on a mission to make memories in 2016. This means a family holiday is long over due along with some weekend breaks which I have no doubt will be shared simply as they are the perfect photo taking opportunities!

hopeing for more family friendly festivals this year

I’m also hoping to branch out even further into writing more lifestyle posts sharing more useful and helpful content which will make life a little simpler.It’s hard to pin down Mum in a Nutshell into one particular niche in the blog sphere, as the title suggests, it’s everything which encompasses life as a mum (and dad for that matter) so be it sharing life with a toddler, using my personal and professional knowledge, letting you know about new and upcoming products through reviews and informative posts or just letting you know that life as a parent is just the same for me as it is for you, warts n all.

I failed miserably at the 365 photo project and as much as I love taking photos, I won’t be taking part again in 2016, but one I will be embracing is the Miles for Mama challenge. After loosing my FitBit then being poorly for a few weeks, my fitness challenge took a back burner but as it’s for such a worthier while charity (Mama Academy) I have the full intention of taking my Mountain Buggy  on long power walks over the Jurassic Coast once again to help clock up the 10,000 miles in 10 months challenge which I, along with several other bloggers have pledged.

Friends and family, you have been warned, I will be knocking at the door looking for sponsors in the coming months. If you would like to support a valuable and small charity which was set up to empower parents and midwives into reducing still birth rates you can add your tuppence worth here.

So that’s my 2015 and plans for 2016, in a nutshell. All that leaves me to do is to wish you a very happy new year and thank you for supporting Mum in a Nutshell, you’ve been awesome and I couldn’t have done it without you!

Ali

x

looking onwards and upwards and hoping 2016 is the year of the mummy blogger

 

what's on the cards in 2016 for this mummy blogger?

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If you’re looking for some inspiration on what to buy a blogger, then look no further! Here’s a little gift guide with some ideas for presents which any blogger  who is loud and proud of their blogging status would love. And to top it off, everything is under £15, my own personal favourite is the Gorgeous Little George T-shirt as it sort of lets anyone else, who’s wondering why I photographing my meals, know the reason behind the impromptu photo shoot!

I’ve also invested in the blog planner to get my self organised for the new year as a little pre Christmas / post birthday treat. Watch this space to see Mum in a Nutshell transformed into an organised, king of the web,  social media star. (No pressure then,  should’ve checked to see if it comes with a guarantee)

Looking for some Christmas or birthday gift inspiration for a blogger? Look no further, there's bound to be something here!

Mummy Blogger T-shirt £13.50

blog star bag Cafe Press £11.50         blog journal Cafe Press £7.50

Selfie bag  Toxic Fox 12.99

Blog mug The Literary Gift Company £9.95        Blog planner Amazon £11.41

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The rewards of blogging are varied. Some write for the pleasure of writing, some to share everyday life with family and friends, for some it’s a profession and many a hobby. What ever the reason, we bloggers take huge pride in our little corners of the internet. I started Mum in a Nutshell in an attempt to keep my early years training fresh while on maternity leave, not wanting to loose all my knowledge which I had built up and so I could return to my professional role with the same enthusiasm and confidence I had prior to the arrival of Toddler.

Little did I realise just how much I’d love writing, that I’d ignite my photography passion again and that I join a community of like-minded, super supportive and amazingly talented people. As much as I spend my days sat at a computer, photographing  and keeping up with social media, it has never once felt the solitude which it might look from an outsider.

I do earn a small wage from Mum in a Nutshell but the main reward for me is the journey I’ve travelled from the person I was a year ago to a working, business owning mum of three ( I also own a childcare business) and the knowledge I’ve gained in making Mum in a Nutshell a success. Things I never once anticipated when I started typing out my days with my newborn son.

So to have the honour of being nominated for a best blogger in the Mum and Working Awards was amazing. Happy with the nomination and facing a public vote, I was under no illusion that there are bigger, better blogs out there than little old me. Then to the make the finals, well, utter disbelief springs to mind. In a ceremony sponsored by Natwest  and with inspirational speeches by Caprice Bourett and Annabel Karmen to name a few, my fellow nominees gathered.

In the irony of being nominated a best blogger in an awards celebrating working mums, I had to work! For various reasons I was unable to travel up to the capital and so wasn’t in with a chance to win, grumpy at not being able to meet some of the faces behind the blogs which I have become so familiar with, I followed it all on Twitter and Facebook.

I’d just like to say what an honour it was to reach the finals,  with such a talented bunch of ladies, thank you so much to all the people who took the time to vote for me and say a huge congratulations to winner Kathryn from Is It Wine O’clock Yet? as well as to all my fellow nominees;

mum and working awards

Let's Talk Mommy
Mums' Days
Mami 2 Five
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