Well done to our October blogger of the month: Emily Leary from A Mummy Too. Emily’s blog is a joy to browse – with a brilliant standard of food styling and photography, mouth-watering recipes, mixed in with lifestyle posts. She started the blog three years ago when she was on maternity leave, waiting for the birth of her second child. “I was, in all honesty, bored,” she says. “With a decade of digital marketing experience behind me, I knew my way around social media and so I thought I would set up a simple blog and see where it took me. It was only ever intended as a hobby – something to keep my mind active and a chance to join a community of like-minded parents and food lovers.”
But rather than just remain a hobby, A Mummy Too has snowballed into a top food and lifestyle blog. Here, we chat to Emily…
What’s the best thing about writing your blog?
The best thing is that I get to share what’s exciting me at that moment, and to show off my ever-developing creative cooking and photography skills. And I do mean show off – you can’t be a blogger without at least being a little bit of an exhibitionist.
What have you learned since starting your blog?
Blogging is an amazing insight into digital content development and marketing because you’re right in the thick of it, with full control and the ability to typically respond hours, days, weeks, even months faster than the corporately owned content world.
Having no MD to go and ask for budget also means I’ve gained a better understanding of how best to get the word out organically and to harness the blogging community’s co-support system to distribute content and kickstart its reach into the wider Internet world.
Has your content changed much since you started?
Like most blogs, mine started off quite personal with more diary focused entries but I quickly realised that I most enjoyed writing how-to pieces, reviews and guides, and that readers responded best to my practical posts, so within a couple of months they became my primary focus.
Food has always been a big passion of mine, and so I was inspired by some of my favourite food blogs to concentrate on improving my recipes and fine tuning my photography. I think it was about one year in that I realised my blog had transitioned from a general site to a family food focused one.
Two years in, it became my full time job. The blog is now just over three years old and I’ve never been busier.
What has surprised you about blogging?
I had no idea I’d love it so much that I’d want to give up a 12 year career to do it full time. Or that I’d be able to do it in a way I love and still make a healthy living.
Are there any things about blogging you don’t like?
Only that there are no limits to the time I could put in, and no staff to delegate to. It’s just me and sometimes that means 20 hour days. But that’s 20 hours spent doing what I love, so it’s hardly the worst ‘worst’ in my career history!
What advice would you give someone starting a food blog now?
Just do it. Pick a domain that means something to you but doesn’t restrict you too much if you decide to adjust your focus in future. Set up a basic blog and just start writing. Join blogging communities, read lots of blogs that inspire you and learn as you go. There’ll be ups and downs, you’ll have successes and you’ll make mistakes, but if you’re destined to love it as much as I do, it’ll be the best roller coaster you’ve ever ridden.
Has blogging brought you any amazing opportunities or experiences?
Blogging has, without the slightest hint on exaggeration, changed my life. I eat better, travel more, spend more time with my family, have made my house a home and feel part of a community I love.
This year I’ve travelled all over Italy learning about true Italian cooking, I’ve filmed in kitchens with international brands, I’ve sampled a 5* Rhodes resort, I’ve been among the very first to try new home technologies, I’ve cruised through the Ancient Wonders of Greece and Turkey, and as I write this I’m about to board a plane to cover the sights, sounds and tastes of the Derry Halloween Carnival.
Which posts have been your most popular?
My most popular posts tend to be ones that somehow resonate with a particular niche and just go crazy on a particular social network.
This recipe for reduced fat naan breads, for example, was featured under Weight Loss by StumbleUpon and has had over 70,000 visits.
And which are your personal favourites?
My favourites are the ones that people come back and say they’ve tried and it was yummy, or a birthday success, or has become a regular family favourite. That’s just so lovely – it really makes my day.
For example, this pasta bake one which I get messages about quite a lot, even though it’s a super simple recipe, or possible *because* it’s so simple!
How does it feel to be chosen as Foodies100 blogger of the month?
I hugely value the opinions of my fellow bloggers as I truly believe we, as a group, are at the forefront of a new breed of fast, original, personality-led multimedia content creators. As such, I’m really stoked to have any recognition from that community, so thank you! 🙂