What makes a blogger a blogger?
Continuing my series of blogger interviews, here’s Gary from Stay At Home Dad of Two.
My name is Gary and I’m a journalist turned stay at home dad to my three year old daughter Cordelia and 11-month-old son Davie. The blog is/will be about my life and experiences as a parent, and what it’s like to be a dad at home looking after the children while mum is at work.
2. How long have you been blogging for?
Just over a week! It’s been really interesting to see and read about people in the same situation. I’ve had such a warm welcome from the parent blogging community.
3. What led you to start your blog?
I thought about setting one up three years ago when I took additional paternity leave to look after my daughter but never took the plunge. After finishing work last year my wife urged me to do it as she felt I had a story to tell and being a former newspaper reporter was concerned that I’d completely stopped writing. As ever, she was right!
4. What is your motivation to keep going?
My children are my life so writing about them is the easiest thing in the world, plus the material is never ending! Ultimately, my main goal is to find a way of making money from my blog so that I can remain off work beyond the year we’ve budgeted for.
5. How much time do you spend blogging?
I’ve written four so far, one being a particularly long account of a difficult time for our daughter who has suffered from seizures. Realistically I’m hoping for three posts a week.
6. What works best for you to drive more traffic to your blog?
Link ups have been very helpful in this first week or so. I find it gets people talking about your blog and ultimately looking out for the next post. My first ever blog was the featured post on one particular link up which was a nice surprise.
7. What is your favourite tool or plugin?
Haven’t got to that yet!
8. How do you promote your posts?
I basically adopt the same method I used as a reporter when I promoted stories through my social media accounts, using different ways to try and entice people. Using a question or an emotive line from the blog post for instance. As I mentioned earlier, the Twitter link ups are very helpful and I’ve found it a real must to get involved in them.
9. What is your best tip for fitting blogging in around work or home commitments?
As a parent it can be difficult to set specific time aside. I usually take advantage of my child napping to make a start or, if I’m lucky, finish a post. I’m used to having to stop and start a piece of work from my time as a journalist. Often a new story would break or I’d be waiting for a comment or call back. I tend to type something quick in my phone, maybe a blog idea, and come back to it later. That’s probably the best tip, always make a note of an idea. The best always tend to pop in your head sporadically rather than come along when you’re specifically trying to think of one. Otherwise, it all depends on the importance you place on your blog. If it’s a hobby you’ll make time at some point, if it’s a significant part of your life then you need to get into some form of routine. And now a few questions about you…
10. What do you do in your spare time?
Parents have spare time?! I go and watch Everton, my football team, with my daughter most weekends. If we have a rare babysitting pass me and my wife enjoy music gigs or just a nice meal.
11. What was the first CD you ever bought?
Genuinely no idea. Remember my first cassette tape though. It was a pop/dance mix in 1994 – the name of it escapes me, but it was blue with a big smiley face on it!
12. What was the last thing you watched on TV?
Celebrity Big Brother. Car crash telly.
13. What’s your most embarrassing memory?
Not sure what the most would be but this question instantly makes me think of when I cut my son’s umbilical cord and sliced the midwife’s finger. I was mortified.
14. Who is your favourite celebrity?
Never really thought about it.
15. Cats or dogs?
Cats. I do like both but we have two cats and they are perfect for our family life.
Thank you Gary for sharing a little bit about yourself. It’s really interesting to learn about how you used social media in your journalism days – I am sure there are a lot of comparisons in the blogging world that will stand you in good stead! I really love a bit of car crash TV too. It’s great to keep us grounded.
Please download your ‘featured blogger’ badge below 🙂
You can find out more about Gary on Stay At Home Dad of Two.