They share intimate details of their lives online and their followers love them for it. They aren’t afraid to tell it like it is when sharing the highs and lows of motherhood. But when it comes to mummy bloggers, it isn’t all free gifts and fancy events, there is a darker side of trolls and bullying along with the sheer number of hours that go into building a successful online presence. 5 of Australia’s favourite mummy bloggers reveal what life is like on the other side of the keyboard.

The Everyday Mums (Jess & Lisa)

Interview with Jess & Lisa from The Everyday Mums

Why did you start blogging? Did you know what you were getting into when you started?

We started a bit differently to a lot of bloggers. We started as a shopping page, just sharing things that the both of us liked but the conversation shifted from our followers and moved from shoes to motherhood so after a year we transitioned to ‘The Everyday Mums’ and haven’t looked back. We had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into. There was this whole online community of mums ready to talk and share and be honest with how motherhood was treating them and as soon as we started sharing our own everyday lives, they all started talking. We probably don’t blog as much as we share daily and talk in our stories. Our DM’s go crazy with personal questions and experiences. So many women feeling so relieved that they aren’t alone.

What opportunities has blogging given you?

The best thing that it has given us is the opportunity to connect with other mums. Provide a small platform where women feel safe commenting or messaging about what they are feeling or going through. It’s also provided some awesome fun events for the kids that we wouldn’t normally have been able to do so that’s really cool. But it’s also allowed us to attend events for ourselves and be in the company of really inspiring women.

You have five kids between you, how do you manage to fit it in?

Between work and study and raising our families, it’s not always easy but we often balance each other out. When one of us is super busy, the other one takes over and visa versa. We also have fun with it. We know that it’s a hobby for us and if we don’t have time, we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves for prioritising our families.

What is your biggest learning along your blogging journey?

To not worry so much what other people think. We do this for ourselves and we do this to support other mums. At the end of the day we really just want everyone to feel normal, have a laugh and know they aren’t alone.

What do you think it is about you both that has made you so successful?

We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We also care a lot about our followers and what they have to say. We have created a place where there is no negativity and we don’t allow it. We want anyone who comes along to any of our socials to feel welcome. There’s no hidden agenda. We are very honest and open and we are exactly the same in real life.

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The Modern Mumma (Mel)

Interview with Mel Watts The Modern Mumma

When and why did you start blogging?

I started blogging back in 2014 from memory. I had quit my nursing job as the hours weren’t very family friendly for us. I found that I quickly grew lonely and longed to connect with others. I felt as though there was a missing part on the Internet back then. It was still early days of social media but parenthood was portrayed completely different to how I viewed it. I thought if one person out there felt less alone by reading just one thing I had written then I knew I had achieved what I wanted.

How has the blog world changed in that time?

It has changed so much in the three years. When I started there weren’t so many blogs out there and now there are thousands. So many men and women wanting to connect and engage with an audience. I think the “blogging” world is now being seen as a serious career path and we’re able to connect with so many other platforms.

If you could go back to the day you started your blog and tell yourself one thing, what would that be?

The hard work and long hours paid off. Never stop dreaming!

You do share your kids names on your blog. Was that something you had to think a lot about?

Children’s identity in social media is all a new thing I think. It’s not something that wasn’t thought of or addressed. I’m mindful of things such as school names, places they attend for sport and personal issues. I gained Ayden’s fathers permission as well as Nolan’s permission to be able to continue what I’m doing.

What has been the best thing to come from your blog? And the worst?

The best is the experiences. I have had some pretty “pinch me” moments in my life since doing this. I’ve been able to make an income and work around my children which is the dream for me. The worst is obviously the hate and the bullying you can receive but like anything I guess, there are arses everywhere!

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Patchwork Cactus (Babs)

Interview with Babs from Patchwork Cactus

When did you start blogging and what was your intention when you started?

I started blogging for an assignment in uni, we had 10 weeks to create a blog to show all of the skills we were learning in the class. I never stopped. That was about 9 years ago. I started Patchwork Cactus just after my daughter was born in 2011 and I knew I wanted it to be my business from the start.

How has blogging changed you?

Hmmmmmm, it’s so hard to know because it coincided with so many other huge life changes (motherhood, a move to the Central Coast, sleep deprivation) But I think overall it has made me more thoughtful and more open to new and different ideas. I am always looking for ways to make our lives easier and happier and I’m not sure I would be so conscious of those things if I wasn’t writing articles on them.

How do you involve your kids in your blog?

They love all of the great opportunities Patchwork Cactus brings, and are total hams for the camera! But I’m careful with their involvement. Even though it seems as though I am sharing a lot of them, I am actually very cautious. I use pseudo names and make sure that their schools or birthdates are never revealed. I feel like identity theft is going to be a huge issue for their generation so I keep the details to a minimum.

Who is the most interesting person you have met through blogging?

Sarah Rosborg, she runs the charity Rafiki Mwema, a therapeutic safe house for kids in Kenya who are the victims of horrific sexual and violent abuse. Sarah has the most incredible story AND heart, I met her at a blogging event called Problogger and instantly I was like – what can I do to help you with your work? Also, through Rafiki Mwema I have gotten to meet some of the loveliest and funniest women in Australia. (Their charity is funded almost entirely on the dollar of Aussie mums! Get amongst it!)

If the internet ceased to exist, what would you do?

I think I would be a bit relieved, to be honest, parenting in this digital age is no joke. But then I would panic. And then I would just go back to writing, taking pictures and cooking in my little shack. Ironically, I have always worked in digital but I really love paper. It would be nice to see my words and images printed on some.

Website  |  Instagram  |  Rafiki Mwema

Oh So Busy Mum (Cheree)

Interview with Cheree from Oh So Busy Mum

What led you to start your own blog?

I started the lunchbox Ideas Australia Facebook group 6 years ago and it took off really fast! I would share all of my recipes and lunchbox ideas in the group, so my group members encouraged me to start a blog and the following week, Oh So Busy Mum was born.

What impact has blogging had on you personally?

Blogging has allowed me to leave my nursing job with terrible hours and work from home alongside my family. I’ve managed to turn something that was “just for fun” into a small business. Blogging has opened up opportunities not just for me, but also my family. We’ve been lucky enough to take some sponsored holidays and the kids have had some special experiences we wouldn’t have experienced if I didn’t have the blog.

If someone was starting a blog today, what do you think is the most important thing for them to know?

Build your tribe first! Start with building an Instagram or Facebook page and let the blog follow on from that. I’ve personally found Facebook easier to grow and make connections.

If you gave up blogging, what would you miss the most?

I genuinely lovewhat I do and sharing everything with my audience. I’d miss having that connection with both my readers and fellow bloggers. The blogging community is pretty amazing, so I’d miss being apart of that for sure.

What has been the greatest key to your success as a blogger?

Being authentic and having a genuine connection with other bloggers.

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The Thud (Lauren)

Interview with Lauren Dubois from The Thud

How did you get started with blogging?

When my maternity leave ended I was struggling to secure full-time daycare for Thud and the radio station where I was working as a newsreader wouldn’t agree to letting me work part-time, so I delayed going back. I started a blog because I wanted something to do and writing is my ‘thing’ but when I realised how much I loved it, I made the decision to not go back to full-time work.

What is one thing you wish you had known when you started?

How much work is involved! It sounds fun to sit and write little stories now and then but it’s so much harder than that. Building and maintaining a website, researching and writing, taking photos, social media, endless emails… it’s relentless.

What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘overnight success’?

Not me! I started my blog three years ago and it has been a very slow and steady race for me. I’ve completely failed when it comes to using all the standard growth methods on facebook and instagram. If I’d focused more on proper ‘strategies’, I could probably have a much larger following, but I’m not terribly interested in that. I’ve grown through word of mouth and that means a lot to me. I’m happy to stay smaller because it means I can really engage with everyone who takes the time to comment or send me messages. People know I will always respond and keeping that connection alive is really important to me.

You don’t share your kids real names, why did you make that decision? Do your kids know their mum is insta-famous?

I made the decision before I even started my blog that I would keep my children’s names private. I know a lot of people find it really annoying but I’m trying to protect their future – specifically their google future. When they’re young adults and trying to get a job, I don’t want employers to google their names and find a thousand hits from their lame mum’s blog she wrote when they were kids. I’d like them to have a clean slate if at all possible. I use their faces and their stories so I feel like I should at least let them keep their names.

And no, they have no idea what I do! They’re terribly disinterested in anything I do unless it’s feeding them or fetching them things so it has completely passed them by. Although Thud did recently ask if I was putting a photo I’d just taken on Facebook and I was utterly floored that he even knew the word Facebook!

What is the most rewarding thing about blogging? And the least rewarding?

The most rewarding thing about blogging is the community of women (and some men!) I speak to every day. I adore them. I have complete strangers who are more interested and invested in me and my kids than members of my own family. They make me laugh and cry every day. I’m incredibly proud of the messages I’ve received from some women who say I’ve really helped them through some difficult times in their lives and that, quite frankly, is worth every minute of work I’ve put in. I never really imagined my silly stories could help people, but now it’s the whole reason I exist. Recently I’ve been doing some grammar lessons on instagram and it’s been amazing to hear from people who say it’s really helped them. It started as a bit of a laugh but hearing people say they finally understand things that have always confused them makes me SO happy!

The least rewarding? The people who are completely obsessed and watch everything I do so they can go and write awful things about me. They have this incredibly weird and hateful infatuation with me. It makes no sense to me but I just wish they’d unfollow and forget I exist. I’m a happy, fun, confident, friendly, intelligent woman – so if that’s going to really irk you, I won’t mind if you don’t follow me. Truly. But when it starts to eat away at me and distracts me from my kids – that’s when I get really cranky.

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