Here at the Newbie Blog Hop, we choose a featured blogger each week from the previous week’s linky for us to be familiar with everybody.
Now, let’s get to know more about Anna and how blogging has been treating her.
She’s a sweetie and I love this interview!!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family.
I am married to my soul mate, grandmother to two of the most precious people in my life, mother to two grown daughters, and recently retired from ownership of a brick & mortar and online baby and maternity shop.
Do you have more than one blog? If so, tell me about them!
I started out with a blog for my shop. Then created my personal blog but had very little time to devote to it because I was working so many hours in the shop. Now that I am retired, I am enjoying getting back in to my blog which I think of as my open diary.
How long have you been blogging?
I first started in 2009.
Why did you start blogging? Is this also why you continue blogging?
I started blogging as a way of connecting with my shoppers in a more personal way. Then when I created my personal blog (I am Nanny Anna) it was because I have always enjoyed keeping a journal or diary as a child and thought of the blog as a modern day, very public, extension of that. It will also be a great place for my grandkids to visit long after I am gone, to figure out who their ‘Nanny’ really was.
Who does your blog appeal to? Is this who you thought would be your target audience?
I am not sure exactly who it appeals to. I have mostly women followers, the few male followers are pretty much just stalkers (not in a bad way) because they have never posted a comment. I think my readers started out as mostly young women that met through my shop, and a few of their mothers mixed in. Over time I have gained more women readers that are middle age like me. They must have found my posts about menopause, grandkids, and mid-life in general, interesting. There is not much in the way of networks for ‘women of a certain age’…although i am seriously considering created one myself.
What direction do you see your blog going in the future?
I am not sure what direction my blog will grow…I guess I will just let it do what it will do
What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far with your blog?
Prior to retirement my biggest challenge was finding time to blog about all of the things that I wanted to. Now that I have the time, I sometimes worry if what I say in my post might offend someone…I am working on that because I really want to write my posts without thinking about how it might be perceived…I want my posts to be true to me, and hopefully that will match my readers interests as well. If not, then maybe my blog is not a good fit for them.
What do you love about blogging?
I love writing in general. I love sharing bits and pieces of my life with the world (or at least my readers, lol) and I love getting feedback from my readers when a particular post touches them in some way.
What do you NOT love about blogging?
I guess it would be the worrying that something I post might offend someone.
Sometimes I write posts about something but never publish them because I think it might hurt someones feelings. It felt good writing it and getting those
thoughts out of my head, so maybe that was therapy enough.
What types of product reviews and giveaways do you feature?
I don’t really do any product reviews yet. If I truly like a product I might post about it without even talking to the company about it, I feel that is more of an honest review. I might like to do some product reviews in the future for things that are related to my everyday life, perhaps things that are beneficial to women in mid-life, going through the lovely stage of menopause.
What was your favorite product to review?
I have only done one professionally. I approached the company about doing it because I really liked the product. It was a review of a book called ‘Shmirshky” for women experiencing Peri-Menopause and Menopause. I loved that I could share this book with other women who were going through the same miserable experiences as I, and hopefully give them some hope that there is help. The feedback was wonderful.
What advice do you have for those wanting to get into this or up the value of their giveaways?
From a store owner perspective, I say do your research about a company and their product and see if it really fits with your blog before approaching the company. If you send out ‘fill in the blank’ pitches that don’t feel personal then the company PR person can tell, they will hit the delete button pretty quickly.
Besides your blog, how else can people find you? Which method
is your favorite/least favorite?
I love comments on my blog, and I also love to interact with people on Facebook at http://facebook.com/IamNannyAnnablog and I do have a twitter
ID of @NannyAnna but I don’t really use Twitter as much as I do Facebook. I am
also just playing with Google + (you can search for my blog on there as well).
Share your top 3 favorite posts from your blog.
My most recent favorite post was “I am thankful that I am finally living My dream” because I started out writing to share about the fun baking that I was doing and once I stated typing, so much more came out of me. That post was like a mini epiphany for me. I wasn’t really aware of just WHY baking, cooking, and cleaning brought me such peace…but now I understand it. I hope that posts like this one can help other women get in touch with their dreams as well.
Another post that I loved writing was “My Husband is So
Multi-Talented“ It was special to me because I am so proud of my husband and thankful that he is my man and I wanted to put him on the pedestal and let him shine. He was so surprised by the post and said, “You really think that about me? Wow!” He also loved reading the comments about the post by my lady readers, lol.
And the most controversial post “Should a Grandma Charge to
Babysit her Own grandbabies?“. I have very strong feelings about this issue, and apparently other women (grandmothers and daughters) have equally strong feelings, both for and against, my argument. I got lots of comments on this post at that time and still get them every now and then because it is out there in Google-land. I posted most of the comments, with the exclusion of a few that were just mean and hateful. I feel that everyone is entitled to an opinion and I will hear and publish them all, but if you go beyond sharing your thoughts and start attacking another person (even if it isn’t me) then you do not deserve to have your comment published.
Do you have any bloggers that you consider to be mentors?
I have several blogs that I really enjoy reading and I share those on my “My Button Collection” page, but I kind of struggled through this in the beginning alone. I didn’t really want to mimic anyone else’s blog anyway…I wanted my blog to be as unique as I am. However, I make it a point of helping out new bloggers if they have a
question about something. I have even helped a few create their first button,
add cool widgets to their blog, etc. We were all Newbies at one time…so we
should always be willing to help out others by sharing what I have learned along the way.
Do you have a weekly, daily, or monthly Blog Hop or Meme that people should join in?
I recently started the Weekly “Nannys Facebook Page Like Hop“. I am only on my 4th week right now. I might keep that up for a while longer if the response is good. I like to try new things and see how they work. If it doesn’t go over well then I am not afraid to drop it and try something new. It is all about having fun.
How do you find time to blog?
Now that I am retired I have more time for blogging then I did in the past. I do not like to feel rushed. Mornings are my favorite time to write in my blog. Sometimes I will have a single post in the works for a few weeks before it is what I consider ‘ready to share’. Other times my fingers cannot type fast enough to keep up with my thoughts and I whip out a post in a really short time. It is my therapy, not a job, so I don’t set time limits or requirements on it.
What else would you like us to know?
Gosh, I don’t know. Just stop by my blog, read a few posts that are of interest to you, leave me a comment…lets get to know each other. Virtual friendships can be as strong as physical ones.
What is your best advice for a Newbie Blogger?
Be true to yourself in your posts. Write what is important to ‘you’ and others
of like-mind will naturally gravitate towards you. If you decide to do giveaways on your blog, don’t let the giveaways take over your blog. Your readers come to your blog because of YOU, they enjoy the giveaways or tolerate them, but they will probably not hang around long if you are nothing more than the classified section of the paper.
Remember that the Newbie Blog Hop opens every Tuesday at 9PM CST and closes at midnight every Friday. Come back on Tuesday if you are new to blogging so you can link up and get to know your fellow newbies. We have a Triberr tribe (send me an email if you are interested in joining) and a Facebook Group.
GoingCrazy!!WannaGo??!! is planning to start some blogging tutorials soon.
Leave me a comment if there is something you would like to see!!