On the back of yesterday’s post about the term blogger being a dirty word, I thought it would be apt to follow up with a blogger tips post about the dirtiest of dirtiest of blogging things. Working with brands! I don’t do a hell of a lot of collaborations because one, they’re time consuming and two, they’re not always relevant. Generally when I do a blog post about a brand or product, I don’t get paid, I’m gifted the item and every opinion I have on that product is mine. If you’re a blogger and want to know how to get in with brands, my advice is to start small and build your way up.
Mommy Blogger is even worse! I’m not the first to admit it and I dare say I won’t be the last but when someone asks if I’m a blogger, I cringe a little. Blogger is a dirty word! Lately, I’ve been invited on to the auld radio to chat to the lovely people based on some of my articles in the auld newspapers, and if I’m introduced as a blogger rather than a freelance writer, euuggghhh, my insides churn a little. Not that I’m embarrassed to write a blog but rather for the misconceptions that come with being a “blogger”.
I’ve been missing in action for the last while. Blogging has gone so far down my list of life essentials just like so many other things which have gone by the wayside. Four loads of ironing are waiting for me in the kitchen. The windows still have that brown sludgy residue on them from the Beast from the East. There is a fine layer of dust cascading through the house that seems to follow me everywhere. The weeds have decided to join us now that the weather has picked up and the chickens, well they’ve multiplied as we’ve adopted two more, but their pen is in desperate need of enlarging. And there’s a one year olds birthday party to plan. I have a list. A long list of items that will never get done because I am MIA.
It somehow feels justified and appropriate to use a boot in what felt like ten thousand feet of snow as the image for this post. Just like #Snowmageddon, this post feels endless with the potential to fall and get stuck in it. Or at least that’s what I thought when I saw the very lovely Ross from The Stented Papa had nominated me for the most god awful, ridiculously long and painfully torturous blogger tag 100 Questions, 100 Answers. Thanks Ross! But since my brain power has melted somewhat with the snow after four odd days of being snowed in, it’s a good way to get my blogger mojo back. So here we go, endless questions and real answers. There may be something in here about me that you don’t know yet!
First off, a massive Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year. This is my last post before Christmas on Over Heaven’s Hill as I have decided to take a well deserved break away from all things Blog including Social Media over the Holidays. In my six months of blogging, this is the first holiday I’ve given myself and I’ll be honest I need it to refresh and regroup. It’s been an exhausting Winter, but I’m really looking forward to settling down with some good movies, a box of roses and my family over the next couple of weeks. I wish every single one of you a very Merry Christmas and I hope you all make some beautiful memories this season.
No, I have not been handed another award for my writing or for the branding of my website. This is not a post about being the brightest and shiniest blogger around. Here is another Blogger Tag and I’ve been happily nominated by the amazing Sinead from Shinners and the Brood to open up, delve deep and share an insight into my life, my personality and my family for you, my lovely readers. I quite like taking part in Blogger Tags because it gives me an opportunity to tell you things about myself that may not ordinarily come out in my regular blog posts. Read more to see if I air any dirty laundry but first let me tell you about our crappy weekend with the most patient almost three year old ever!
Quite a surprising thing happened to me on Tuesday in the early afternoon. An email zipped into my inbox from the organisers of the Realex Web Awards, dropping the bombshell that I was a finalist in the awards. I have to say, I wasn’t expecting this in the slightest and thought that my days of attending award ceremonies were over and done with for this year. But nope, not just yet. The Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards, two weeks ago, was great fun. I anticipated it with excitement and, I’ll admit, slight anxiety since it was my first Blogger event and as a finalist no less. Papa Bear came along with me and we made a night of it, booking a hotel, revelling in the incredible acrobatics of the Circus and picking little miss up at 11am the next morning. This time, I wasn’t following the announcements for the Realex Web Awards and missed that I was a finalist. The Awards were thrown on me a day before the Ceremony. Yep, a day before! The event was last night, in Dublin’s Liberty Hall Theatre. Since it was all very last minute, juggling work, babysitters and life in general, I pretty much figured it was out of the question for me to attend. I had almost resigned myself to missing the night until Papa Bear encouraged me to go if I could get a date. A date? But of course, there was only one person to ask. I was absolutely delighted that my Mum was happy to be my arm candy for the night.
Have you met Tasha from Cookie Crumbs yet? I love, love, love Tasha’s blog. As she says herself, her blog is the musings of a wife, mother and ever evolving creative soul. Beautiful! Her About page is worth a read alone as herself and her husband toiled with the idea of moving home, all with the best intentions for their daughter. The move was not just down the road but from New York to Iowa and that, I believe, takes a huge amount of strength and courage. Tasha writes absolutely beautifully about her family and includes some hard hitting subjects like infertility and whether to be a Working Mom or SAHM. The first post I ever read from Tasha was The Day My Daughter Said “Mommy I Miss You” I won’t tell you what it’s about, all I’ll say is, read it. Find out about Tasha’s hopes and dreams for her daughter and her fears as a Mum in our conversation.
The first thought I had when I decided to attend the Irish Blogger Agency launch on the 25th of September was Frick, I better pluck my eyebrows! This was to be one of my first blogger networking events, and there would be fashion bloggers at it. Fashion Bloggers!! I have chatted with plenty of fashion bloggers since I started Over Heaven’s Hill and they are absolutely lovely people but boy do they send me into a cold sweat. Especially, if I am going to be in a room full of them. You see, I’m not the most fashion conscious person. I am by no means fashionable, up to date or on trend. The best I can come up with, as far as the fashion stakes go, are skinny jeans – which I pray will forever be in fashion because I’m not sure I could go back to the baggy jeans days of the noughties. Let’s face it, I’m a Mommy Blogger and we’re not exactly the coolest bloggers in town. But I know, through my pregnancy, that I’d have been lost without the numerous parenting blogs I read. Those nine months and that first year of fighting through teething was hard. I struggled and barely knew what the hell I was doing as I learnt about my new life as a mum. Parent bloggers – their advice, their happy moments and their torturous hard days – said one very important thing to me, “you’re not alone.”
Between September and November this year, I have four blogging related events to go to. I’m excited and thrilled to be a finalist in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards. I’ll also be at the Irish Bloggers Agency Launch in September, the Women’s Inspire event in October and BloggerConf in November. As you can see, I’m pretty damn serious about blogging. Time to get some business cards! It’s true that if you want to come across as being professional in your field, a business card or two won’t go amiss. Read my five tips for designing business cards that wow, that pop, that make you memorable.