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
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 best? Stubborn, 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.