Jo Middleton is a writer and blogger at www.slummysinglemummy.com
What first inspired you to start blogging? Describe your career/lifestyle beforehand?
I had a pretty varied work history before I started blogging, doing everything from working for my local newspaper to trust fundraising at a university. It was 2009 when I decided I wanted to give freelance journalism a shot (I’d been watching a lot of Sex And The City…) and so I started the blog really just as a marketing tool for that.
What is the premis behind your blog and how does it differ from other popular parenting blogs/vlogs?
I wouldn’t say I have a particular premise other than just to be myself. I like to think that whether I’m writing something very personal or writing a product review, I apply the same honest, humorous, relatable style. I guess the fact that my kids are pretty old now - 22 and 15 - sets me apart from a lot of other parenting blogs. I don’t write about potty training or toys or anything like that, but I do have a lot of experience to share.
What is your current following?
I currently have around 60,000 views of my blog every month and over 110,000 people following me across social media.
How do you work running the blog alongside motherhood and your other commitments?
I actually rent a shared office space that’s about 15 minutes walk from home, and that helps me to manage that boundary between work and home life. Of course one of the things I love about working for myself is the flexibility, so if I do want to work at home, or pop into the office outside my usual hours, then that’s okay too.
What do you enjoy most about what you do? Are there any perks/downsides?
The thing I love about blogging is the freedom and the variety. I love that I get to work in the morning and have no idea what might be waiting for me! Recently for example I was asked to go speed dating in London as part of a blog post - that’s surely not a real job?! I enjoy being able to set my own hours to fit around other things I want to do, plus I like getting to meet new people and try out things I might normally get the opportunity to do, from seeing behind the scenes in the chocolate factory to trying my hand at skiing. (I am NOT a natural skier is the conclusion we can draw from that one!)
What would be your one piece of advice to any budding mum bloggers?
I’d say just go for it! Just stay focussed on what you want to get out from it, be yourself, and try not to compare yourself to other people. It’s easy to get sucked into to looking at other blogs that you perceive as more successful, but maybe that blogger spends every evening working on their blog and that just isn’t what you want from it. Do it for the right reasons and stay focussed on those.