Today, we are interviewing Sarah, blogger behind Mommin' in the Real World. She has worked with various brands like Clever Publishing, Kids Can Press, Paperless Post, Candlewick Press, Tuck, The Recovery Village, Education.com, etc.
Please tell us something about yourself.
I am 38 years old. I'm married to an incredible man and have two kids under the age of five.
How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more about your journey?
I turned to blogging as a creative outlet after having my first child. It was difficult to follow my artistic ambitions with a newborn constantly in my lap. I had thought about starting a blog for quite a while and decided to give it a shot. In the beginning, it was something I could pick up and put down at any time and was convenient to work on when I could.
I've been blogging for almost five years now. It is a lot of fun, but it is also like a second full-time job (or 3rd if you count parenting) and is a labor of love to continue and try to grow.
My blog has grown substantially over the past year, and I've had the opportunity to work with some great bloggers and also some really great brands.
Who are your role models?
My three role models are my mother, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and astronaut Sally Ride. Each of them is a strong, independent, and accomplished woman. They've all inspired me to push past any reservations or fears that I have and to strive for something bigger and better.
What inspires you?
My kids and husband inspire me. I want to do as much as I can for them. I'm also inspired by seeing new moms- I remember being in their shoes and having no idea what I was doing.
Please tell us about your blog Mommin' in the Real World.
I wanted to create a community where moms could turn to for a friend, for support, to know they are not alone. Parenting can be difficult and lonely; I didn't realize the extent of that when I was a brand new parent. My blog is my way of trying to connect with other moms. I want to use my platform to encourage women to pursue self-care, take a look at their mental health. And also to empower other women to follow their dreams and goals.
It is also a place where I try to talk about my life and personal experiences. I have three on-going series, Momumental Mothers, The Making Self-Care, Health, and Wellbeing, a Priority Challenge, and a subscription service/subscription box review.
What's your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience with blogging so far has been reaching out to a podcaster I admire via e-mail and not really expecting any reply back. Still, instead, she sent me a lot of encouragement, and we even spoke over the phone. That is really what prompted the creation of my self-care challenge series.
Which social media channels work best for promoting your work? What exactly do you do on the social media channel that makes it work for you?
I have found that Twitter and Instagram have been beneficial in sharing my work and gaining new followers. Facebook has never been a valuable resource for me, as far as follower interaction, so I (terribly) tend to forget about using it.
I've carried over the same philosophy I use with my blog to make Twitter and Instagram work for me. I don't sugarcoat posts or stage photos. I don't have elaborately styled scenes or layouts. I am mommin' in the real world, so I show it all- the fun and happy, the crappy migraine days, the messes my kids create, my baking failures. It may not give me tons of new followers, but the ones that I do have often tell me they appreciate my approach.
What's your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is a combination of the current economic and political climate in this country (US) and the COVID-19 pandemic. I worry about friends and family losing their means of supporting themselves and worry about their health. The thought of becoming very sick or my kids becoming very sick makes it hard to sleep at night.
Looking back, what's one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
I went head-on into blogging with zero experience. I wish I would have prepared more by reading as much as I could about blogging, sharing on social media, utilizing social media productively, etc. I've had to learn a lot as I go, and I know there are still tons that I don't know.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
I don't know that I have a specific strategy; I just keep going. I've been tempted to quit many times and even took a break from blogging. Still, I think consistently putting in the effort, continually approaching people for collaboration, writing down ideas whenever and wherever they come, and learning to let failure or a negative response roll right off of your back is essential.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
I like to keep a corkboard on my office wall with business cards, thank you notes, pictures, bookmarks, and other types of information from brands that I've worked within the past. Seeing so much accomplishment in one spot makes me want to continue and strive to get better.
Any message for our readers.
If there are any fellow bloggers or brands out there who would like to discuss collaboration, let's connect.