Were you at BritMums Live! last month? If you missed out on a session or couldn’t be there for the weekend, we’ve got you covered. Here is an outstanding write up by Gillian Nove about the Friday afternoon session of The Clever Blogger’s Way to Write about Parenting. Enjoy!
Discussion Den: The Clever Bloggers’ Way to Write About Parenting
Presented by: Jane Sandeman (chair), Jennie Bristow, Liz Fraser, Kate Sutton & Zoe Williams
Reported by: Gillian Nove
This was the first of the break out sessions on the Friday afternoon and as such there was quite an anticipatory buzz in the room. Bloggers around me were certainly looking forward to the session. It started out fairly quietly, but soon got into its stride and turned into a lively and entertaining discussion. The first question from Jane to the panel was around the proliferation of parenting blogging and why this was happening. The general feedback from the panel was that women are having children later in life and that the public v private balance has shifted; we’re happier to share our feelings and experiences online. The aspect of sharing your experience has always been important as a parent, but now we’re more likely to do it online than in the local church hall.
Questions came from the audience throughout the discussion and were answered by different members of the panel. One of the questions was around the tailoring of content to suit the audience and another on reviewing products. The view from the panel was that you should not tailor your content to fit a particular audience, you should definitely just be yourself. As for product reviews and sponsored blogs, it was agreed that everyone has to make a living somehow and if you can get your blog to pay, then that’s fine. Many bloggers use it as a legitimate source of income. However, you should definitely be transparent and honest about this, using your own voice and fitting it into your life. So the products reviewed should fit with the theme of the blog and not just be randomly selected.
Another question that sparked debate was around anonymity of people featured in the blog. This prompted quite a lot of discussion, but the final advice was that it was up to the person concerned. Concealing an identity within the blog and respecting privacy all falls into the honesty bracket and everyone has to take responsibility for that.
The best tip from the panel on how to write the best blogs was to be honest. So it’s ok to write about life experience and issues, but focus on the truth and don’t embellish. Sometimes your experiences will be more negative and it’s not always possible to be upbeat all the time, but that’s just life.
When I went into the workshop, I was hoping to find out how to differentiate myself from other parent bloggers and not just be one of the crowd. Why were my experiences any different from others? I came away with a strong sense that I should write about what I want to, but always be myself. And it is this that will set my blog apart and make it unique. I should be thick skinned and not focus on the detractors, but most of all I should enjoy blogging.
It was certainly interesting to hear about the panel’s experiences of blogging and their top tips. All 5 women were likeable, friendly, open and honest and this was one of the most enjoyable workshops of the weekend.
I originally come from Edinburgh, but these days live in lovely North Wales, not far from Chester. I am married to Chris, with a son of 4 and 2 step-children of 14 and 18. I spent 12 years working in retail marketing, but left at the start of this year to set up my own marketing consultancy to try and achieve more balance in my life between work and family – the Holy Grail for working mums! Things have started well and the business is growing slowly, which is really encouraging. I’m a social media addict and can lose hours weaving my way between Facebook, Twitter and my new favourite Pinterest. It was my love of social media that led me to blogging. I’m still very much a novice, but it’s something that I enjoy and am looking forward to doing much more of!