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Interview with a blogger

Jessica Escobar, Jess in the ATX, This Blogger's life, blogging, people behind the blogging

This week, I am so proud and excited to welcome Jessica Escobar of Jess in the ATX to This Blogger’s Life. It’s not often that I gush about anyone ( other than my kids) but Jessica truly is my Latina sister from another mister. Aside from being a whip smart lawyer by day and superhero mom & wife by night, she is an amazing woman who writes from the heart. In her quiet, classy way ( yes, she is my complete opposite in this area) she is fierce and loves and lives BIG. She is an all in kind of woman with a heart as big as Texas. When you talk to her, she is one of those rare people who actually listens and is present. She makes you feel like you matter and this is a gift that many lack.

I don’t know exactly how many years that I have “known” Jessica but it feels like I have known her forever. That’s what it feels like reading her blog, like you are sitting down at the kitchen table with a dear old friend you’ve grown up with and know one another’s secrets. That is the beauty of blogging friends, they know the secrets that you might not tell your in real life friends because it’s just too damn hard to utter the words of weakness or fear but online, for me anyways, I can speak freely and never hold my tongue. I appreciate that in other writers as well because then I feel like I know the real them; flawed and imperfectly awesome. Jessica is so much more to me than what a quick blurb could ever describe so I will leave you with this, please check out her blog Jess in the ATX and see for yourself what a true warrior looks like; quietly stoic and ever pressing on, never giving up. I admire this Jess more than she knows. You will thank me for having the chance to get to know such a truly, strong, amazing and authentic woman. Jess is more than just one of my favorite people on the Internet, she is one of my people in the world. She’s the real deal and you will be a better person for having known her. I dare you to see her smiling avatar and not have a better day. That’s Jess, she lights up the world.

Jessica Escobar, Jess in the ATX, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview

This Blogger’s Life… Jessica Escobar

 

Jessica Escobar, Jess in the ATX, This Blogger's life, blogging, people behind the blogging
Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging a few years ago as a way to share my stories about my daughter. It was a way to share her funny moments and my proud mommy moments. It was less about me and more about her.

What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger?

Don’t make it about trying to be like “that other blogger over there who does that big stuff”. It isn’t about trying to be big. You can’t compare yourself or try to copy their style. You have to have your own voice and speak from your heart.

What are the three words that describe you best?
proud, strong, caring

What is your favorite website?

Hmmm that’s tough. I really don’t have one! I really don’t surf the net. I have a very small list of blogs I love. It’s definitely not the mainstream ones.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging?

Running. I’m out of the habit but it’s something that I’m working to get back into it. It’s my release and my me time. Self care is VERY Important and something that often gets neglected as a mama.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself from blogging?

You have to find your voice. It’s easy to be scared of what the people in your “real life” will think of you. It’s so much easier to build a community who truly understand and support you. I’m proud to share my experiences because you never know who is reading and understands what you’re going through.

How do you balance life and blogging?

Right now I’m on “hiatus.” That’s a nice way of saying I’m having a dry spell. And I’m ok with that. Sometimes you just don’t have the words and when you aren’t trying to be the next big thing that’s fine. You can’t be hard on yourself and force the words out or you won’t enjoy yourself. You have to make the time when you want to and it’ll just balance yourself out.

How has blogging changed you or your life?
It has given me an absolutely amazing community of women who have been the most wonderful support system and group of friends that I wish I had in my community. They are the best bunch of women that I’ve never met. It’s so true that some of your best friends can live in your computer.
What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same?

They are definitely similar but not necessarily the same, not to me. A successful blog is the one that gets all the big traffic and the one that people know. They have all the “big sponsors” and they’re the ones that people want to be like. That’s all good and great. And there’s the GREAT blogs. It’s being awesome but more than hits. They’re the ones like Deb who truly speak they’re minds and are real and open and about LIFE. Many bloggers speak from the heart.  Sometimes you blog for the hits. We’ve all done it and it happens. No harm no foul.

If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life?

I would be fine. I would look back at what I wrote and be proud. But I would never let go of my blogging community.

 

How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life? 

That’s the hard part. I have to balance my true story with the privacy of my family. I struggle with that a lot. I really censor myself because I fight depression and anxiety. I don’t want people in my personal life to read it and judge my husband or my girls and think they are getting less than a wife or a mother. It’s also why I’ve pulled back on what I say about them. It’s a hard road to walk but it really is up to you as a blogger to decide how much you share and who your audience is. I’m very weary of my real life people, and that’s just because I am reserved with them in real life. I’m not one way online and different in person.

Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in the early days? What do you love that has changed?

Blogging seemed to be a lot more carefree. Then you go through the phase where you want to really grow and get big. Then you get over it and just want to be.

 

How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content?

I really try to speak from the heart. A lot of that has to do with parenting, because damn that shiz is hard work! I think that’s something a lot of other women struggle with. We question our skills but often we just underestimate ourselves.

If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite?

OMG, Steve Jobs. I just finished his bio and I’m obsessed. My mom. She passed of cancer in 2006. DEB! Damn I love that girl. She’s so real. Three other computer friends. 🙂 I’m not a star gazer, so no one famous.

What’s the one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m actually on a social media hiatus and that kind of happened during my depression. I’m just removed from social media and not really interested and that’s ok! The people that I’m connected to know where to find me and I know where to find them. I think that’s why I’m disconnected from the internet right now.

 

What’s the one post that you are most proud of?

The one where I laid it all out about my postpartum anxiety. I was really scared to hit publish because I had to admit that I’m human. What’s more? I sent it to a few people in my family.

https://justjessatx.com/postpartum-depression-maternal-mental-health/

Jess, Thank you so much for letting me interview you on This Blogger’s Life! You truly are one of my favorite people in the world and you know I am not about blowing smoke and rainbows up butts, so you when I say it, you know I mean it. Keep on keeping on, mama! You are an extraordinary woman and I feel blessed to be called your friend. XOXO
If you want to know more about Jess, check out the blog, JESS in the ATX on Facebook and @Jessesco on Twitter.

You will wonder why you didn’t have Jessica Escobar in your life sooner:)

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Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview

Today’s guest on This Blogger’s Life is the delightfully funny and super stylish, Vera Sweeney of Lady and the Blog and Getting Gorgeous with BFF Audrey McClelland. Did I mention they also run the Permission to Hustle Group and the PTH Retreat?

I am fairly certain that the woman never sleeps. I’ve never met Vera but she is a powerhouse blogger who has been rocking the blogging world for nearly a decade. She takes her businesses seriously but she is a wickedly funny, lighthearted lady with a great sense a humor. I’ve learned that just from watching her youtube channel.

The more I learned about Vera through the interview the more impressed I was not only by how she’s built her business but her dedication to her family. Finding the balance between family and career is something I struggle with and I love seeing moms who figure out that happy medium. Go Vera! I truly loved getting to know Vera Sweeney through her interview and I know you will too.

This Blogger’s Life…Vera Sweeney

vera sweeney, lady and the blog, This Blogger's Life, the people behind the blog, Getting Gorgeous

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in 2005 after the birth of my first child. Blogging became a way for me to reconnect with the world during my daughter’s naptimes. It was my little escape from isolation.

What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger?

Don’t expect to break through and hit 6 figures in your first month. I feel like that is the new wave of thinking these days. People assume that if they start a blog they will immediately earn some sort of revenue. It took me several years before I received my first paycheck.

Start because you have a passion to write or to connect – not because you are looking for a “get rich quick” scheme.

What are the three words that describe you best?

Type A, Semi-Manic, Hilarious (what? too much?)

What is your favorite website?

That’s a hard one! I don’t know. I’m going to go with Pinterest since that’s where I spend the vast majority of my day.

READ ALSO:  This Blogger’s Life, Ree Drummond

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging?

I would say traveling with my family. But honestly, when I travel I usually end up blogging about the adventure. So, I guess that’s not the greatest answer. Anything is fair game because I write a lifestyle blog. If I watch a movie, take a pottery class, or spend the entire day napping in my backyard, then I can mold each and every one of those experiences into a potential post.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself from blogging?

I am a workaholic and that’s not a bad thing. I used to wear that word with shame – especially when my children were younger. I have learned through time that it is simply who I am and that doesn’t make me a terrible person. I enjoy putting in the effort and the long hours. Some people can’t understand this about me. They see a work-from-home mom of three and they expect a different type of person when they meet me. I’ve stopped worrying about them.

How do you balance life and blogging? How has blogging changed you or your life?

Life is blogging. Everything I do is content for my blog. I’m really lucky in that sense. If I cook a great meal for dinner (AS RARE AS THAT IS), I take pictures as I go and then I post it the very next day. It’s just part of our lives.

I truly believe blogging has made my life 100% better. My husband quit his job in 2007 and has stayed at home ever since. He manages our 4 websites and takes on the kids when I am away. We have been a true partnership for many, many years.

My children get to see their dad 24 hours a day. Not many families are lucky enough to have this set up and I never let that escape me. I am always grateful for our lives. I am so thankful that he is home with us and that wouldn’t be our reality if it wasn’t for blogging.

READ ALSO: This Blogger’s Life, Jill Smokler

What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same?

Honesty. A real voice. No filter. And excuse me, I don’t mean Instagram filters because I use a million of those. I mean giving your readers a TRUE LOOK into your life.  Get rid of the pixie dust. I think people have moved beyond that and are ready for a dose of reality. People want something that they can relate to. Everyone is looking to connect. Be that friend.

A great blog vs. a successful blog? I don’t know. That’s a hard question for me. Money comes to mind when I formulate my answer but I know plenty of successful fashion bloggers in NYC that aren’t making a lot of money. They have a ton of klout during fashion week though. It depends what the end user wants. I think this is a really personal question. Each blogger needs to define this one on their own.

If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life?

There are two things that I still have to do before my time is upon this Earth. I have to write a book. I started one already and I will leave it at that. It’s completely unrelated to this field just in case you thought I was going to go there.

The other dream I have is to open up a little shop in town. I have always wanted to do something like that but I know that it will require a lot of time and I don’t want to give that up while my children are so young. So, I think the latter will happen when all my babies are in college.

How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life?

I’m an only child. This is actually really easy for me.

Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in the early days?

When I first started blogging in 2005, there were maybe 15 celebrity gossip bloggers. Imnotobsessed.com used to get around 7 million impressions a month. We were ROCKING big time and I loved every second of it. Now, everyone has a blog and I mean everyone. My mother, my daughter and the crossing guard at our school – everyone has a blog. So, the playing field is absolutely saturated which means it isn’t as easy to hit those numbers. I have to work a lot harder to get noticed by brands. I miss being one of the only few doing it. Is that so selfish of me to say?! I told you I am an only child! HA! My celebrity gossip site gets about half the amount of traffic it used to… so you can see where I am coming from!

What do you love that has changed?

I love how big the community has grown. It’s sort of the double-sided coin if you read my previous answer. I have met SO MANY PEOPLE that I would have never known. TRULY! My favorite part of my job is meeting other bloggers. In fact, I met my best friend through blogging – Audrey McClelland from Mom Generations.

How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content?

I live a full life. I lived in NYC up until 7 years ago when we moved to Long Island. We are constantly going into the city to watch new shows, attend previews, parades, try out new restaurants or walk through festivals. We also travel a LOT. Live a rich life and then document it.

If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite?

Honestly – I’m not the best person for this question. I’m just not that deep. It’s somewhere between Jensen Ackles and Matthew McConaughey. You don’t want me to fill up this table. It would be obnoxious.

What’s the one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?

I believe in the zombie apocalypse.

What’s the one post that you are most proud of?

Hmmm… good one.  I wrote this one about my baby boy and it got some traction. I guess if I had to pick… https://www.ladyandtheblog.com/2014/04/28/41-reasons-why-you-should-have-that-last-baby/

Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Vera. I know you are super busy but I loved getting to know you better through this interview. Keep rocking the blogging world!

READ ALSO: How Blogging Changed My Life

If you’d like to know more about Vera Sweeney check out her blogs ( listed and linked above) and Facebook!

 

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Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview
This week’s guest on This Blogger’s Life is Kelby Carr the founder of the website Type-A Parent and the organizer of the Type-A conference. I think just about everyone in the parent blogging world knows Kelby by her reputation as a business powerhouse. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her over the years through her online magazine Type-A Parent and finally got to meet her in March at Type-A Disney World. I’ll be honest, I was a little intimidated, and I am not intimidated by many people but she really has her shit together. But, when I met her, if you look at the photo below, this is who I met. A kind, quiet, strong minded, business savvy woman who upon recognizing me gave me a huge smile and heartfelt welcome that put all my nerves at ease. The thing that I love most about Kelby is that she genuinely wants to help other bloggers succeed, which is evident by her conferences. I’ve only been to a handful of conferences but I felt like I got more out of her 1 day conference than any other one I’ve attended, I can’t wait to go to Type-A Atlanta in September.
I am honored to know Kelby and proud to have her as my guest on This Blogger’s Life today. So, without further ado…

This Blogger’s Life, Kelby Carr.

Kelby Carr, Type-A, Type-A Parent, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging while still working as a newspaper reporter. It was a way to write about a topic I was passionate about, but didn’t cover regularly at my paper (travel).
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger?

Run your own race (blogging isn’t a zero sum game).
What are the three words that describe you best?

Assertive, Type-A and social.
What is your favorite website?

Inc.com

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging?

Watch movies and read (everything from comic books to horror/fantasy and business books).
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself from blogging?

After years of writing and working for others, I realized I could (and prefer to) be my own boss.

How do you balance life and blogging?

That is one of the biggest challenges. The smartest thing I did after years of being an uptight control freak (and too tightwad) was to hire an executive assistant last year. It has made a huge difference. It has allowed me to work more on my business, and less in my business. If I could go back five years, I would smack my old self and say to do this earlier.
How has blogging changed you or your life? 

I can now work for myself. While I do have some travel, I can attend almost every school function. We can decide at the last minute to do a short getaway. I get to decide my own fate.

What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same?

I don’t care what your business model or topic is, fantastic content is always the core to a successful and great blog. There are a lot of other factors that also can enhance that, but you can’t have great and successful without the quality content.
If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life?

Travel, start another business or open a restaurant.
How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life? 

I actually don’t share anything personal about my children or husband. I did buy my kids’ domains with their names years ago, so web their lives get blogged it will be by them.
Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in the early days? What do you love that has changed?

The focus on great writing, conversation and community. I am over the moon thrilled bloggers are making money and supporting their families now from this industry, but it is important that bloggers balance revenue goals with maintaining quality content. I see sponsored post to non-sponsored post ratios that are really alarming. If we don’t maintain the quality content, we will kill the golden goose anyway. We won’t have readers, and brands won’t see the value in investing in our industry.

How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content?
Type-A Parent has always been an online magazine/social blog, so that means I mix up my own posts with paid posts by bloggers. Each month, we do a call for paid blog post ideas and any blogger can apply. What’s great about that is it helps us remain community-focused, and we get lots of variety of topics and expertise areas. As an online magazine, we also cover a wide variety of topics (anything of interest to parents who blog, so that ranges from business and blogging advice to recipes and crafts).

If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite?

Hunter S. Thompson, Audrey Hepburn, Seth Rogan, George Takei, Lynda Carter and Stan Lee. 

What’s the one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?

I witnessed an execution.

What’s the one post that you are most proud of?

My favorite posts tend to be when I mix commentary about our industry with advice, like this recent one on sponsored post ratios: https://typeaparent.com/sponsored-post-ratios.html

Kelby, Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. I KNOW how crazy everything is right now with you being in full-swing preparation for Type-A Disneyland in a couple weeks. You always make time for your fellow bloggers and  I hope you know that it doesn’t go unnoticed. You’ve earned my respect on so many levels for what you do and how you conduct yourself in this arena. Can’t wait to see you in September and hug your neck. XOXO

 

If you want to know more about Kelby Carr, check her out at Type-A Parent on FB, Twitter and Google+.

 

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Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview

Today, I am honored to welcome a woman who needs no introduction and is a force to be reckoned with in the blogging community, Cecily Kellogg to This Blogger’s Life.

I have “known” Cecily for a few years now but finally had the pleasure of meeting her last year at BlogHer. When I met her I found her to be more beautiful in person than she appears online ( that sounds wrong but what I mean is that she is such a vibrant woman and I don’t feel that comes across fully online) and she is one of the kindest and most down to earth people I’ve ever met. She greeted me with a hug and felt like an old friend almost immediately.

I’ve always enjoyed reading UpperCase Woman for the transparency of her words and she’s always writing about what’s new and changing on the Internet.  Cecily is a kind soul whose words have weight. She is a doer in the world. She sees something wrong, she puts her back into it and she tries to make a difference. I love that about her.

Cecily is truly one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook. She looks hardcore like she could kick your ass ( and she probably could if you got on her bad side) but I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone nicer.

I’m honored to call Cecily Kellogg my friend and it’s my privilege to have her on This Blogger’s Life today.

This Blogger’s Life…Cecily Kellogg

Cecily Kellogg, UpperCase Woman, DoubleGood Media, This Blogger's Life, the people behind the blogs, blogging

Why did you start blogging?

 

In 2003 I was desperately trying to get pregnant and couldn’t. Someone on a fertility message board

linked to a handful of blogs and I finally found my tribe. I devoured those blogs and the blogs they all

linked to, and by March of 2004 I started blogging myself.

 

What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger?

 

Don’t blog about deeply personal things if you’re a sensitive person. I’m sensitive – even hypersensitive

– and my own psychological makeup means I don’t have many tools for creating barriers between what

people say about me and how I react to them, although I am working on it (part of this is also because I’m

an alcoholic; we tend to take everything very personally).

 

What are the three words that describe you best?

 

Loud, funny, and sensitive.

 

What is your favorite website?

 

Oh god, just one? I couldn’t possibly begin to narrow that down. I mean, I live online. It’s like asking

someone what their favorite song is. From what decade? In what genre? I utilize so many for my life and

work I can’t imagine picking one. They are all just tools for doing what I do.

 

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging?

 

Cuddling with my daughter, or hiking.

 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself from blogging?

 

That I am a great writer.

 

How do you balance life and blogging?

 

I actually just read a really good article about this idea of balance that we’re constantly told to strive for.

I no longer believe in balance. I just do what needs doing and try to make sure I take time to eat well,

exercise, and be with my family – but sometimes that has to all go by the wayside to get the work done I

need to do to support my family.

 

How has blogging changed you or your life?

 

Everything in my life today is because of blogging. While I do have some good hardcore pre-internet

friends in my life, and some great connections with my daughter’s school families, most of my closest

friends are people I’ve met through blogging. It also completely changed my career – not always in the

best ways – and now I run a boutique content marketing agency that serves a very particular niche. While

I’ve struggled as a personal blogger – I recently closed comments on posts because of the chronic abuse

I received from a group of folks – it’s like breathing for me. I can’t imagine life without it.

 

What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same?

 

In the decade I’ve been blogging, that has changed so much. I think a great blog requires all of the

following: excellent writing, great story telling, and a beautiful and user friendly responsive design. It

doesn’t matter what niche the blog falls in, if it has those components it can be a great blog. The blogs I

read the most, however, are either industry blogs about tech/content/social media or are the old-school

blogs written in memoir style that share way too much information and make me fall in love with the story.

 

If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life?

 

I’ve thought about this so much, and in fact, have set up my life so that I can walk away from blogging if I

need to do so. I’d continue working in online content, just from a business perspective instead of personal

one (which is about 80% of the work I do already). I’d probably expand deeper into marketing work as

well. And I’d finally write that damn book.

 

How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life?

 

Ah, the big question. I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes other people don’t want to star in your

story. It’s an awkward dance, of course, because my family is part of my story daily. For instance, I often

write about my father abandoning me as a baby because it has impacted my life in so many ways, but it

can be hard for my siblings to hear how I feel about him. I’ve taken posts down at their request. But the

biggest change, of course, is that my daughter is now eight and reads my blog now and then and I need

to bear that in mind when I write about her. She approves every post where I speak only about her, and

any photos I post of her. Eventually, I imagine, I won’t be able to write about her at all, and that’s okay.

I’m not a mommy blogger anyway.

 

Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in

the early days? What do you love that has changed?

 

Blogging wasn’t competitive in the early days. It was, really and truly, about community and supporting

each other. But even so, it was plagued with personalities. I had a huge falling out with another infertility

blogger after I lost my twins around early 2005, and it was rough and divided our community for a while.

While today the competitiveness is mostly around the “fame” and the money, it was there even back then.

I will say that in general the level of vitriol on the web has gotten so, so much worse. That’s the worst

thing by far. Blogging is rather terrifying now; I’ve been threatened with everything from violent rape to

being reported to children’s services and more. Without careful monitoring of what I view online, I would

see non-stop messages about how awful I am. It’s fucking exhausting.

However, the good part is still the community. I have gotten to know so many amazing people through

blogging. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

 

How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content?

 

Well, I obviously find myself fascinating as that is what I generally write about. But I also write about

elements of politics and culture too.

 

If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite?

 

Honestly? I could list amazing historical figures I’d love to meet, but I’d really rather just have a dinner

party with my “sister wives”, or my closest girlfriends.

 

What’s the one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?

 

I’m not tough, not even a little. Also, I’m very short and I’m much fatter than I look in my gorgeous avatar

photos.

 

What’s the one post that you are most proud of?

 

This one: https://uppercasewoman.com/2007/04/19/health_vs_life_/

 

Cecily, I know that you are super busy and I really appreciate you taking the time to let me interview you. Thank you for sharing your stories, no holds barred. It was my pleasure to have you on This Blogger’s Life.  xoxo

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Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview

Today, I am honored to welcome one of my favorite people and writers on the Internet, Amanda Magee to This Blogger’s Life. I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda last year at BlogHer and she has been one of my favorite people ever since. Not only was she dressed completely adorable, my first impression was what a beautiful smile and legs for days but she had a great personality so the first thing I did when I got home was start reading her blog. She’s a directly to my inbox kinda writer.

I am not blowing smoke up your derriere when I tell you that she is one of the best wordsmiths I’ve ever read and being the bibliophile that I am, that is saying a lot. She is not only a wonderful storyteller, she is an artist. She paints a story with her words and her “book” of words is better than any movie could ever be. Amanda is a writer’s writer and I am thrilled to get to feature her here.
When I met Amanda, we were introduced by a mutual friend at a function and I am pretty sure that I charmed the pants off of her with my gruff vocabulary and loud, overly blunt attitude ( just think naval officer on leave but louder and more obnoxious and you have me). Amanda on the other hand was very Grace Kelly, her personality is as ethereal as her words. Still, she laughed at my jokes and I enjoy anyone who I can amuse without offending.
Long story short, if I had been a regular reader of her site before we met, I may have approached her with a little more reverence and a lot more awe but as it stands, we met exposed in all our human vulnerabilities and became fast friends. I am not joking when I tell you that I look forward to reading every word she writes because it always makes me feel something, think something, consider or take action. Her words have weight and we all need to read them and if you are a writer, mother, sister, woman, human; Amanda Magee should be on your daily read list…just like she’s on mine.
I’m honored to call Amanda my friend and it’s my privilege to have her on This Blogger’s Life today.

Amanda Magee, This Blogger's Life, the people behind the blogs, blogging  This Blogger’s Life….Miss Amanda Magee ( Jones in my head as I now cannot get that song out of my head)

Why did you start blogging?

I initially started blogging because my grandmother once told me, “Write things down. Just a little detail or two each day to help you remember times in your life.” I knew that I would not go the scrapbooking or journaling route with recording our daughter’s first year. The blog was a way to chronicle that sweet time, while also making it possible for my family on the West Coast to keep up with the milestones.

 
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger?

Write for you. It’s really that simple, because anything less is unsustainable. Now, writing for you means a lot of different things, for one person it might mean writing reviews to earn bits of money, for another it might mean writing to cope with emotions. Whatever your motivation, so long as you stay true to it, you’ll find a path.

 
What are the three words that describe you best?
Hmm, why is that so hard to answer. Me as a writer? Open, hopeful, intimate. Me as a working woman? Driven, passionate, frank. Me as just me in the quiet of my thoughts? Worried, sentimental,
 
What is your favorite website?

A site that I kind of forget and am then reminded of and every single time find something grounding or inspiring is https://thatkindofwoman.tumblr.com/

 

 

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging?

Well it isn’t folding laundry, I can tell you that. Ok, sorry, focus. My favorite thing is probably doing something outdoors with my family. A hike, a trip to the lake, or just goofing off in our backyard. It makes bedtime so much easier when everybody has had their itches for time together scratched. That moment when the girls are down and we have the sensation of job done right or a life well lived, it’s priceless.

 
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself  from blogging?

That I dream in words. My love and my heartache, it all lives inside of words and the release of those words, sometimes as a declaration, other times an admission, and others still a kind of song, makes me feel whole.

 
How do you balance life and blogging?
The simple answer is that I don’t. I think balance, in any sense, is more a loose concept than a real thing. I certainly pursue a sense of balance, but honestly most of the time in order to get the uninterrupted writing time that I crave, I cannibalize my sleep, staying up late or waking early. The saving grace is that my family all know how much writing means to me and, as a result, it has come to mean a great deal to them. The girls ask me to write about them, offering suggestions and delighting in the times that I take them up on it. Sometimes on a Sunday morning Sean will clap his hands and declare that it’s “writing time for mom.” Everyone scatters and lets me have space.
 
How has blogging changed you or your life?
 

I have made dear friends, like share my darkest secrets people who have held me up from thousands of miles away. It’s also taught me so much about myself. I have often said that I wish I created something—music, art, buildings, whatever. Blogging helped me see that I do create something; I make Narnia like doors for people to slip away from the harsh intensity of life and just be inside a moment.

What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same?

I think we all define a successful blog in our own way. For me it is having a clear voice and a steady direction, which really means not writing things that don’t add value to my life and never betraying the people who “use their time on me” as my daughter would say. Every time someone visits my blog, that’s a choice, when they comment it’s a gift, I hope that in some way my writing honors that.

 
If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life?

Miss it. And find a new way to write.

 
How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life? 
We have a saying in our house, “If you have to ask, then you probably already know the answer.” I feel like I have a pretty good internal gauge. If I am in doubt I’ll ask Sean or the girls.
 
Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in the early days? What do you love that has changed?
I started over ten years ago. I don’t really miss anything because I really cherish each couple of years as a chapter in my blogging tale. I suppose I do sometimes yearn for a slightly less caustic environment. Even as I say that I don’t really know who is to blame, is it the media loving to stir the pot or is it in-fighting within the blogging realm? Maybe I’m just older and less inclined to try and elbow people out of the way. It’s why I am grateful that I love writing, the rest just doesn’t really matter to me.
 
How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content?

Oh, I don’t. I’ve have stretches when I cannot bring myself to publish because it doesn’t feel up to snuff. Eventually the freeze passes. I think Instagram has helped a lot. I find myself getting so inspired by moments I snap and the conversations that they spark. “Oooh, I can write about this. This is more than a photo!”

 
If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite?
My grandfather six times over…
My dear friend Estefania from my year in Spain (1991), I lost track of her and I’d love to hear her say “Ai, Amanda” and then laugh. Sean’s friend Andy and his wife Ali, who live just outside of Boston. Andy and Sean were on the crew team together at RIT. Andy can make Sean laugh like no one else in the world. It is one of my favorite sounds. Jenny Ingram because when you are with her she makes you feel like the most important and wonderful person in the room.
 
What’s the one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?

I used to be a smoker. I quit in 2001.

 
What’s the one post that you are most proud of?
I feel pretty deep shame when I run out of patience with the girls. I wrote a post once about a bedtime that tore me open. I was scared to reveal the experience. The night it ran Kristen Chase tweeted a link to the post.  Before I went to bed I got an email from an editor at the Huffington Post asking if I would allow them to republish the post. Reading the post I can still remember what it felt like to have her let go of my hand, it reminds me that nothing lasts forever.
Amanda thank you so much for being my guest on This Blogger’s Life and allowing me to interview you! I am so glad that we got to meet last year at BlogHer and I can’t wait til the next time I get to hug your neck! Keep on telling your stories. I cannot wait to read the book that I KNOW has to be written. Nobody puts baby in a corner:) XOXO

If you want to get to know more of the amazing Amanda Magee go read her blog, check her out on Facebook and Twitter!

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Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview
Today, I am honored to welcome my dear friend, Lori Garcia aka MommyFriend to This Blogger’s Life. Lori is a very talented writer with an always half-full personality and an infectious smile that shines through in her pieces. She is the woman who walks into a room and instantly brightens it up and her writing makes the Internet a better place.
When I first “met” Lori, we were both newbie bloggers who were just trying to figure all of this out. We knew we loved to write and blogging allowed us connections and community at a time in motherhood when we were craving friendships and connections like the air we breathed. Lori is and has always been the kind of person who every woman needs as a friend; she is kind, genuine and sincerely a good person who loves her family and looks for the good in life. We need more people, more writers, more friends like Lori.
Lori is also known as MommyFriend and it suits her perfectly because she is truly a mommy friend that every single one of us needs in life. Her passion for the stories that she tells coupled with her optimistic perspective, always leaves me wanting more. The one thing that always radiates from Lori’s articles is humanity. She tells her truth with wild abandon and unrestrained honesty.
Lori can write about anything and make it interesting but my favorite stories that she shares are her love stories for her family; her boys. The pride and love that she has for her family inspires me to be a better wife and mother. She is one of the kindest and most tenacious women I know and it makes me so happy to see her enjoying such amazing success as a writer, all over the internet.
I’m honored to call Lori my friend and it’s my privilege to have her on This Blogger’s Life today.

Lori Garcia, MommyFriend, This Blogger's Life, the people behind the blogs, blogging

This Blogger’s Life…Lori Garcia (MommyFriend)

 

Why did you start blogging? I always loved writing and after working in an uncreative field for a decade, I decided it was time to scratch that creative itch and begin sharing my stories.  



What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger? Decide what you’re willing to share and not share for the almighty dollar. It’s easier to make these important decisions and stick to them long before a financial carrot is dangled in front of you. If you’re unclear about where to draw the line when it comes to public consumption, spend some time thinking about it. What you don’t want to do is learn the hard way. Ask me how I know.


 
What are the three words that describe you best? Loyal, kind, dependable.


 
What is your favorite website? Ever? www.amazon.com. Come to Mama.


 
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging? Binge watch formerly popular TV shows. I just finished Gossip Girl because I’m 37 years old and that’s totally normal behavior.


 
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself  from blogging? Not only learning, but learning and believing that I’m not alone in motherhood has been huge for me. My stories help mothers and their stories help me. I feel bigger and bolder as a mother for blogging.


 
How do you balance life and blogging? Honestly, not very well. The two are so intertwined, making a distinction is nearly impossible for me.


 
How has blogging changed you or your life? Blogging gave me confidence in the value of my voice, which has translated to so many aspects of my life. From my career to my relationships, blogging has made me the woman, wife, and mother I am today.


 
What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same? I think a successful blog and a great blog eventually become one in the same. Great content almost always rises to the top because we’re all hungry for it. 

 
 
If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life? First, completely remove myself from the grid. Imagine all the time I’d have! Of course, that would probably only last a week or so because I’m a social being and I’d miss everyone too much, but for that week – man, that would be glorious. I don’t know what I;d do. I’m really into home renovation with my husband, so probably more of that.


 
How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life? This is a tough one. My tween son established blogging rules for me to blog by…what does that tell you?


 
Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in the early days? What do you love that has changed? I think I miss the excitement I felt before every publish. Will people read this? Will they like it? Will they comment? I love witnessing the climb of so many remarkable blogger friends who have made a respectable career in this industry. I love witnessing success. Love it.


 
How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content? The blogger’s mind is a funny thing. In time, it comes a bit of a machine, finding blog fodder in every aspect of life. From what we read to what we experience, what we overhear to what we desire, relevant, shareable is everywhere.


 
If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite? Ooo, Jesus, my Grandpa Charlie (most awesome man ever), Brandon Flowers (because yum), my husband (because double yum), Bob Villa (I have some home improvement questions), and Elton John.


 
What’s the one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you? Gosh, I don’t know. I’m pretty much what you’d expect, there’s not a lot of dark corners or secret passageways with me. Maybe that I’m a yell-y mom? I yell a lot. I do.


 
What’s the one post that you are most proud of? Probably this one. https://www.babble.com/mom/an-open-letter-to-my-gynecologist/

 

Thank you Lori for letting me interview you on This Blogger’s Life and thank you for always being such an amazing friend and inspiring writer.
XOXO

If you can’t get enough of Lori Garcia, check her out on MommyFriend, Babble and Twitter too!

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Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview
Today, I’d like to welcome Jenni Chiu aka MommyNaniBooBoo to This Blogger’s Life. Jenni is one of my closest and dearest friends on the Internet and my BlogHer roomie. who just happens to be one amazing vlogger, blogger and writer Jenni and I found one another and the rest is history. If you have never read her, I recommend that you do that stat!
Her words have touched me (and many others) through sharing her stories with transparency and bravery. Jenni has a way of writing that is so raw and honest that if you are not feeling something when you are reading Jenni, you just might be dead. I can honestly say in the past 4 years she has made me laugh and cry more times than I can count. If she isn’t moving you with her written word, you can be sure that she is probably charming the pants off of you with her hilariously entertaining videos on youtube.
There are a million different wonderful things that I could say about Jenni ( and I’m not just saying that because she totally put up with my snoring;) but mostly I want to leave you with this, she was an actress and a beautiful model and now she is a mom, wife, a writer and a beautiful, talented soul who I am pretty sure can accomplish just about anything she sets her mind to. She is by far one of the kindest, truest women on the Internet and I could go on gushing for days. I know, I am biased because I’ve called dibs on her as my BlogHer roomie for infinity and beyond but believe me when I tell you, do yourself a favor and read her words. Get to know this brilliant woman through her blog. You will be wondering why the hell you hadn’t done it sooner.

I’m honored to call Jenni Chiu one of my dearest friends and it’s my privilege to have her on This Blogger’s Life today.

 

Jenni Chiu, This Blogger's Life, mommynanibooboo, the people behind the blogs

A blogger’s work is never done

This Blogger’s Life…Jenni Chiu (MommyNaniBooBoo)

Why did you start blogging?
I’ve always been a storyteller of some sort, which is why I spent so many years as an actor. After becoming a mother, I think I started blogging for the same reason a lot of mothers start blogging.  I needed some kind of creative outlet.  I also spent months holed up with a colicky baby and no support system after I gave birth. I was in desperate need of some kind of grown up conversation and commiseration.
 
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger?
Write because it feeds your soul, or because it makes you happy to feed the souls of others. If you want to make money at it, have a plan on how to do it… and then be okay with NOT making money for quite a while.  Although, maybe that’s advice for writers… not all bloggers are writers.
I would say – Create a blog you can look at years from now and be proud of (whatever that means to you).
 
What are the three words that describe you best?
 empathetic, honest, undefinable
 
What is your favorite website?

The one that’s already built in my head – I just have yet to make it a reality.

 
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging?
Sleep… wait no – play with my kids…
Wait – shop!
Okay now I’m back to sleep again.
 
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself  from blogging?
That my words can hold more space than my physical body can. In some ways it’s been a relief for me to have my words, and not what I look like, be most people’s first introduction to me.
 
How do you balance life and blogging?
I don’t. I am almost at all times off balance one way or another.
 
How has blogging changed you or your life?
It’s given me a sense of community that I was lacking in my real life.  It’s kept my creative self from dying a slow death.  It’s allowed me to witness and celebrate a thousand aspects of humanity… and also, it’s renewed my faith in women as a community.
It’s also made me a lot less physically active than I used to be (or maybe it’s the kids – or both). Either way, I have to remind myself to back away from the computer and move around more.
 
What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same?
I think that depends on how people define success. Some define it by impact… some by income… some by longevity.
For me, I feel more successful when my reach is great – when people read, and are moved to share my blog.  I think a successful blog is shared it’s because it has moved people in some way. There also blogs that are shared or have a large reach because they are inflammatory… they are the Star magazines of the blogging world, and not successes in my book.
I don’t think a successful blog and a great blog are one in the same.  For me, a great blog has well constructed or important content that’s updated fairly regularly… unfortunately, there are many great blogs out there that have no reach and are largely unsuccessful. The Internet is vast and murky.
 
If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life?

I would write books… or paint… or go back into acting… or find some other way to connect people through stories of humanity. I would also sleep more.

 
How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life? 
I talk about what happens to me.  If something happens to someone else, I write about how that event affected me.  I also don’t use the names of my husband or children. I’m quite open about myself in my blogging, but very protective of my family.  I’m sure it will be even more so as my kids get older.  Their online identities will not be built on my blog – that’s for them to do later on in life.

 
Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in the early days? What do you love that has changed?
I feel like five years ago the troll population was significantly lower. That may or may not be true however, because no one read my blog back then so trolls probably couldn’t find it.

One thing I love about blogging now is that we have so many different ways or sharing our words and engaging with one another.  Social media has exploded over the past five years.

 
How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content?

I simply go with what I feel motivated to write about… turns out I have lots to say about all kinds of things.  I also try to remember that they can’t all be gems.

 
If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite?
Shakespeare and Tom Hanks because they are two of my favorite men. I would also then invite Nick, Brandon, Monte, and Gary.  The last four are people in my life that I feel died too young. I want them back… even if it’s just for a one-night dinner party.
 
What’s the one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?
I ate my twin in the womb.
Kidding.
Probably nothing if they read my blog or follow me on YouTube.
 
What’s the one post that you are most proud of?
Impossible. That’s like asking which kid I love more.
Some of the ones that have done well are:
 I’m Pretty Sure AT&T is Responsible for Many Deaths (I love that I got to read this one at BlogHer’11 for Voices of the Year.)
Thank you Jenni for taking the time to let me interview you. You are one of my favorite people. Keep using that big voice of yours to change the world. I suspect some day soon I’ll be reading your book. It needs to be written.  Love ya , roomie.
XOXO
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Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview

 

This week’s guest on This Blogger’s Life is my good friend, fellow blogger and mentor, Jessica GottliebI have known Jessica for a few years now. I believe our friendship was sealed over a conversation on Twitter about drinking good wine, in bed, or something like that and we have been friends since. The more I’ve gotten to know her, the more I admire her keen sense of business acumen, her sense of humor and her determination to always put her family first. It’s hard to find a balance doing what we do but she does it and that’s something I’m still working at.
Anyone who knows Jessica knows that she is a straight shooter, loves her family and likes fast cars and pretty things. I love her because she has a giant heart, can use the word f*ck in casual conversation and still sound like a complete lady and always says what’s on her mind, especially if it’s a cause she believes in. I am honored to have her as my friend and here today. So, without further ado…

This Blogger’s Life… Jessica Gottlieb

This Blogger's Life, Jessica Gottlieb, bloggers, blogging,

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging a number of years ago when my friend was dying of AIDS. I was raising my kids during the day and then spending my nights by his side at the hospital. I found that my friends would ask me how I was doing and then I’d burst into tears and start giving them the details of Steven’s demise. I needed an outlet and blogging became a good one for me. https://angrymom.blogspot.com Without that site I’d have lost many friends.

 
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger?

Write honestly. If you don’t have a passion there’s no reason for your readers to care.

 
What are the three words that describe you best?

I’d be scared to think about that.

 
What is your favorite website?

Just one? Everyone loves Suri’s Burn Book right? No one’s supposed to admit to reading GOMI but I have to admit that it tickles me. Also I really enjoy suburbanmatron.blogspot.com

 
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging?

If you can get my husband my kids and me all in the same room I don’t really care what we’re doing. I am happiest when the four of us are together. As for alone time? I like to be in motion. I love tennis, yoga and hiking.

 
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself  from blogging?

I learned that I can be respectful of people who I disagree with. Blogging reveals a lot about people that you might not otherwise learn and I’ve found that I can enjoy parts of people and they can occupy parts of my life without needing to agree with them.

 
How do you balance life and blogging?

I have a social media schedule. I am willing to spend up to three hours a day working on these things and no more. When the time is done, my work is done. No one wants to read about a blogger who sits in front of the computer all day. You have to get out and live. Most days it’s less than an hour but three is my absolute limit.

 
What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same?

I don’t know what a successful blog is. Is success a large audience? Maybe financial security? Perhaps success means a book deal? Blogs are like the new MLM and the moment someone tells me they have one I sort of cringe because I’m not sure I want to read it. I’m not sure anyone wants to. Hell, most of the time when people ask me what I do for a living I tell them I’m a housewife. There’s something so inherently narcissistic about blogging that I’m both drawn to it and repelled by it. I can’t define success. I can’t define greatness. I’m not sure anyone can.

 
If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life?

They same thing I do now. I’d just have to budget better.

 
How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life? 

This is where the work comes in. It’s difficult (and worth making the effort) to tell only my story. It’s entirely possible to talk about motherhood without talking about your kids. I’ve had a few slips and annoyed some folks along the way but for the most part no one knows much about my kids, my husband or my extended family. When my kids go to get their first jobs you will not be able to google their names. That’s the balancing act.

 
Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in the early days? What do you love that has changed?

I don’t know that I feel particularly wistful for anything. Change is good. I love that short content can live on other networks. I just don’t enjoy slideshows, I’d say that’s the only big bummer in blogging right now.

 
How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content?

I don’t. An awful lot of my content gets ignored.

 
If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite?

My family of four and Sasha and Malia Obama. I want the scoop from those two.

Thank you Jess for being my guest today and always being such a huge supporter of other women & bloggers, and on a more personal level, thanks for always being such an awesome friend and mentor to me. Your writing always makes me think and your fierce attitude has taught me that strong women can do what ever they set their minds to. XOXO

If Jessica  rocks your socks as much as she does mine, check her out at JessicaGottlieb.com and at Word of Mouth Women. but if you really want to have someone interesting to follow and engage with, Jessica Gottlieb is that person on Facebook and , of course, Twitter, where it all began.

 

 

 

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Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, bloggers, This Blogger's Life, blogging, interview

In celebration of my 5th year of blogging, I have decided to start a weekly series called This Blogger’s life.. featuring one amazing blogger each Friday. I will always ask the same 15 questions to all the bloggers.For my inaugural post I am interviewing my amazing friend and fellow blogger, Jill Smokler ( the force behind ScaryMommy.com).

This is how it will work, every Friday ( same bat time, same bat blog) I will be interviewing one of the many amazing women ( or men) on the internet. Those who inspire me, mentor me and even some of those bright new up and coming bloggers. The blogging world feels so small sometimes because we share some of the most intimate moments with one another; marriage, pregnancy, birth, labor, raising children, divorce, sex, fashion, travel, food and everything in-between. It’s the greatest tribe I’ve ever had.

I love conferences because it’s a giant hug fest amongst some of the women that know me best but there just never seems like enough time to hang out; to talk. So, I decided why not interview some of these amazing people, who I am proud and lucky to call my friends. So without further ado, I give you the inaugural

This Blogger’s Life…Jill Smokler aka Scary Mommy.

Jill Smokler, This Blogger's Life, Interview, bloggers

Why did you start blogging? March of 2008, I was home with three little kids and desperate for a hobby of my own. A friend started a blog and, on whim, I figured I’d try one, too. Never, ever thought it would last past a month or two.

 

What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger? To have fun; blogging starts as a hobby – very few people make decent money from it and those who do, certainly don’t immediately. If it’s feeling like a job or a burden, you’re missing the point. 
 
What are the three words that describe you bestStubborn, passionate, driven

What is your favorite website? My own. I mean, it better be, right?
 
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging? Walking on the beach with my kids, looking for shells. That’s my happy place. 
 
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself  from blogging? That my path in life is really up to me.  
 
How do you balance life and blogging? Not very well, unfortunately. Since the time the site became my sole income, I’ve constantly been searching for that happy balance, but still don’t think I’ve found it. As a side hobby, it was easy, but as a job, never. I’m not sure you can ever truly balance life with work you’re passionate about, though – something always suffers. 
 
How has blogging changed you or your life? Pretty early on, I realized that blogging could be the vehicle that allowed me to do something I enjoyed from home and not have to go back to an office job. I’m thankful every single day that it has allowed me that. The lifestyle isn’t easy, and I’m always working, but I’m working for me, doing something I love and I can still be the one to pick the kids up from school every day. None of that would have been possible without the blog.
 
What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same? I think a great and successful blog is one that serves its purpose — if you set out to entertain your friends and family and do that, you’ve succeeded. If you want some fun freebies and perks and you get them, you’ve done it. If you want a record of your days with your kids, that’s a pretty awesome gift to give them. I think there are a million ways to have a successful blog, it just depends on how you define success. 
 
If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life? I can’t even imagine! Seriously. I’m stumped. 
 
How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life? The older my kids have gotten, the less I write about them for that very reason — their stories aren’t mine to share. It’s a tough road to navigate, though, and I’ve definitely learned the hard way that most people don’t appreciate being blog fodder. 
 
Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in the early days? What do you love that has changed? I miss the intimacy, I miss having time to visit all the blogs I care about and I miss the focus being on quality content rather than virality; sites like BuzzFeed and ViralNova drive me crazy. I do love that there’s much more acceptance of less than perfect sites than there used to be. It’s no longer taboo to admit not loving every second of motherhood and that’s definitely a win.
 
How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content? I’m lucky to have people send me content, because I certainly couldn’t do it alone! 
 
If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite? Erma Bombeck, Hilary Clinton, Tina Fey, my grandmother, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. Hello, random dinner party.
 
What’s the one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you? Years ago, I was offered a job to work at Martha Stewart Living – kind of the anti-Scary Mommy workplace. 
 
What’s the one post that you are most proud of? Probably this one – It was the most raw I’ve ever felt, and I still sometimes go back and read the comments when I need a pick me up. 

Thank you Jill for allowing me to interview you. You were one of the first blogs that I ever followed and you inspire me with your big heart and authentic voice. You always stay true to who you are. Thanks for always sharing your truth and being scary awesome.  XOXO

Hope that you all enjoyed my first This Blogger’s Life interview with Jill and if you liked her here, go check her out at ScaryMommy.com or better yet share her hilarious series of Scary Mommy books with the moms in your life.

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