Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
I’m a mum to two daughters – Ella is almost 15, Ruby is 12. Ella has Asperger’s syndrome, diagnosed aged 8, has a remarkable memory and is doing phenomenally well at school. Ruby is vibrant and energetic, a fabulous dancer with a huge heart. I live in the East Midlands with their Dad – we’ve been together for 19 years now!
What’s your blog called?
My main blog is a home interiors site called Love Chic Living. I also blog about 40+ women at Style Brief and furthermore I run jenstanbrook.com, my Pinterest coaching business website and blog.
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Love Chic Living provides style and design for a family home.
When did you become a blogger and what inspired you?
I’ve been blogging for about 8 years. Initially I used to write about baby signing – I used to run a small franchise business – and loved it so much I decided to combine it with my other passion – home interiors.
How do you manage working around your children?
It’s become much easier to work around them now they are both at secondary school. I start when they leave about 8.30am and break again around 4pm. Often I do a school run, or take them to an activity so will pick up working again around 6pm when they eat.
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
So I now spend a lot of time away from my home. For around 5 years I loved working on my own but have found myself becoming increasingly isolated so I use a coworking space, café’s and freelancer mornings to work with others. It’s been a fabulous experience.
Usually I plan out my blogs for the week and work around that. I send out a couple of newsletters per week, schedule my pins and Instagram posts and spend some time replying to emails.
What challenges have you faced in with your blog and how have you overcome them?
Challenges I’ve faced have included being hacked several times which was stressful, but moving hosts resolved that quite quickly.
Managing admin has always been tricky for me (it’s not my favourite task) so turning the business into a limited company was a great idea – it saved me tax and gave me more of a routine with my book keeping!
Keeping up with an ever demanding skill set is daunting but challenging. I love learning new skills so SEO, photography, graphic design etc have all been tasks to overcome. Some I’m better at than others!
What’s the best thing about being a blogger?
The diversity and the people. I’ve met some amazing people including other bloggers, PR agents and brands, and I love the constant changing face of the industry.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to grow. To build more brand partnerships and to do more filming with brands. It’s a big love.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in blogging?
Try to be yourself. Don’t measure yourself against those who’ve been blogging for a long time, it’s not a fair comparison and will steal the joy. Focus on doing what you love.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Influencers and bloggers get a bad wrap these days, but there are a huge number of valid, honest and authentic ones who have a place and platform for inspiring others. Don’t write everyone off!
If you’re interested in blogging to create an income, check out the Parent Blogger Secrets course.