Lorna Jackson is a 30-something Mummy to an awesome 3yr old boy, with a life which she describes as hectic, challenging and fully of Lego! Previously a Marketing and Events Manager before life as a stay at home mum beckoned, she started her blog It’s a Mummy Thing as a way of recording her family’s adventures.
Lorna is a list maker, chocolate lover and holiday enthusiast with a disproportionate love of stationery, you’ll often find her with her head in a book while enjoying some cake. As a family, she loves long walks outside, watching movies under a blanket and are always up for a treasure hunt!
It’s a Mummy Thing was only recently set up by Lorna, and is quickly gaining a loyal following. She is the latest in a growing number of “Mummy bloggers” who host their blog with Easysapce. Mummy bloggers are massive influencers online. In fact, Mummy blogging has become one of the biggest and best ways for stay at home Mums to still enjoy working while being a big part of their kid’s lives.
In our first of a series of interviews with mummy blogger Lorna Jackson, we are going to begin by finding out how she got started:
Q1. Lorna, what was it that made you want to create your blog? On what date did you start it?
I’ve always loved writing. When I was a teenager I entertained the idea of pursuing a career in journalism until someone explained to me that what you write is meant to be impartial. That wasn’t for me so I turned to Marketing instead.
After we had our son, I took a career break to become a stay at home mum and writing was the part of my Marketing and Events Manager role that I missed. When our little boy started preschool this year it seemed that, for the first time in three years, I had a bit of time to myself. I decided to set myself the challenge of building my own website to see if my brain still worked after three years of sleepless nights and Cbeebies marathons!
I wanted to create somewhere I could record our family’s adventures, share practical ideas and generally have something I could call my own. I liked the idea of collating my experiences to share with other parents – I’d have loved to read something similar when I was a new mum.
I started researching it all in September 2014. I’m more writer and mummy than knowledgeable techie of all things cyberspace so it took me a while to get to grips with that side of things. Slowly but surely I managed to learn about websites through reading tutorials and watching YouTube videos.
And so, It’s A Mummy Thing was born. I launched the website in December 2014 though I did post-date some articles so there was some content in case anyone other than my Mum actually read it!
Q2. Did you have much blogging experience before setting up It’s a Mummy Thing?
None at all! I’d read the odd blog post when it appeared in a Google search but that’s about it.
Q3. How did you find out about Easyspace and why did you choose us to host your website?
My brother told me about Easyspace. When I looked into the company, I liked that they seemed to have a lot of experience with smaller businesses and this gave me confidence. My blog isn’t a business but I knew I’d have a lot of questions that might be really basic and I liked the level of support which appeared to be on offer. I also liked that Easyspace are UK based. Many of the hosting companies targeted at bloggers are American and I didn’t want to deal with a time difference should I need help.
Q4. The domain name for your site is: itsamummything.com. Why did you choose this?
I took quite a while to decide on the right name for my website. I wanted something that was easy for people to remember but most of all, something that was relevant to the content and told readers what they coukd expect to find there.
One day, I was at toddler group chatting to some other mums when someone told a funny story and I found myself saying, ‘That’s such a mummy thing!’ and it stuck!
Q5. You registered the .com and the .co.uk domain extensions for your website – why did you register more than one domain name?
Once I’d decided on the name It’s A Mummy Thing, I really loved it. I definitely wanted a .com domain name – the world of blogging doesn’t have geographical boundaries so I thought a .com would serve me better. I bought the .co.uk extension as well so that anyone who typed it in would be redirected to the main site. Also, I didn’t want someone else to buy it for a business or another blog and for readers to be confused between the two.
Q6. How did you go about securing the domain names you needed and how did Easyspace help?
It was super easy. I just went onto the Easyspace website and there is a search function for domain names. I looked up the name I wanted and bought it in a couple of clicks. The instructions were really clear and easy to follow – it couldn’t have taken me more than 10 minutes.
Q7. You chose to use WordPress to run your blog on – why?
After a bit of research I knew I wanted a self hosted WordPress blog. There are other blogging platforms but the levels of ownership and control you have over your site vary hugely. For anyone about to embark on their blogging journey, I’d definitely recommend investing some time researching the different platforms to find what’s best for you.
I had a very clear idea of what I was looking for, especially in terms of the design, and WordPress offered the most flexibility and opportunities for customisation. As someone who knows nothing about web development or coding, the sheer volume of plugins that WordPress offers means I can add functionality to my site without having to worry about the technical side of things.
Finally, I’m a PR friendly blogger. I’m always excited to work with relevant, family friendly brands and not all blogging platforms allow you to have commercial activity on your blog. This was another deciding factor for me.
Q8. How easy was it setting up your WordPress site and choosing a theme for the design?
I had a very specific idea of what I wanted the site to look like in terms of style, colours, design and layout (probably the remnants of the Marketing girl in me!) so I bought a customisable theme from an American company. It took quite a while for me to find what I was looking for since with WordPress there are so many options including free ones. I was really aware that I didn’t know very much about blogging, less about web design and absolutely nothing about HTML coding so I wanted the level of support that comes with a paid-for theme.
Once I’d purchased the theme is was really simple to install and I’ve never looked back.
Q9. Did you get any help with creating your “It’s a Mummy thing” logo?
Absolutely. I knew the impression I wanted to give and the style I was looking for but no way do I have the creative talent or computer skills to design it myself! I worked with the wonderful Christina Kerr at Love Design (www.love-design.co.uk) to come up with the It’s A Mummy Thing logo. I used her design services when I was working and she always hit the mark so she was my obvious choice when I needed help with this.
I’ve looked back at the brief I gave her – ‘Think Cath Kidson meets the Great British Bake Off … but no bright colours, flowers or anything with too many swirls’. I think she got it just right!
Q10. How has having a blog contributed to your life?
It’s early days but I’m really enjoying it. I definitely get a thrill when someone reads one of my posts and takes the time to leave a comment.
I love the idea that other parents have identified with me or have benefitted from our experiences. For example, after taking our son abroad for the first time last year I wrote posts about How To Survive A Flight with a Pre-Schooler and Orlando with a Pre-Schooler. I’d spent hours looking for hints and tips on the internet and thought it would be useful for others to have them all in one place. I’ve had lots of comments and emails from parents saying how helpful these posts were and that definitely makes me smile.
Q11. How do you promote your blog?
This is something I’m still learning about. When I was working, I wasn’t really involved with digital marketing or using social media as a marketing tool so my background is of no benefit here. There’s a whole world of social networking out there that I wasn’t even aware of.
I have a Facebook page where I post links to new posts and chat to other parents. I’ve also joined a couple of Facebook groups for bloggers which has been really useful.
I’m on Twitter so drop by and say hello @itsamummything. This is the place where I’ve met the most bloggers. There are often themed days and Twitter parties (who even knew that was a thing?!) you can join in and I do think it raises your profile. If you’re willing to spend a bit of time and effort to put yourself out there, you’ll find the blogging community is pretty supportive and welcoming.
I also use Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/itsamummything – though this is more for keeping ideas for myself. It’s a great platform if you’re a craft blogger though.
Finally, if readers enjoy my blog then they can sign up to receive email alerts whenever there’s a new post. At one point the email list comprised of just my mum and dad but from little acorns …
Q12. How do you decide what you are going to blog about?
I blog about life as a mummy and I’m living that every day. I tend to get ideas from experiences we’ve had as a family or day to day adventures with a little person. I think sometimes seasonal events lend themselves quite naturally especially to a family lifestyle blog like mine. Christmas, Valentines, Easter all present an opportunity for sharing your thoughts or posting ideas for children’s activities.
Your blog is your own space and I think a personal blog provides a great snapshot of a particular time in your life. I’ve definitely written a couple of posts I know I’ll enjoy looking back on when I’m older.
Q13. Do you have a weekly or monthly blogging schedule to help you plan your blog posts?
I tend to post once a week. Lots of bloggers post much more frequently – some even every day. For the moment, I just want this to be a hobby that I enjoy so I’m happy at once a week. Any more than that and I think it’d become a pressure.
I’m still getting myself organised but I’m trying to work a week or so in advance. Then if something happens like my little boy gets unwell or life just gets in the way, I have a post lying ready to go.
Q14. How do you see your blog evolving in the future?
I think it will naturally evolve as our son gets older. I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months but I’ve really enjoyed writing the travel posts so I’d like to do more of them – the feedback I’ve had has been fantastic so it’s definitely something I’ll pursue.
For now though, I’ll be concentrating on increasing traffic to my site and raising its profile within the blogging community.
Q15. What advice would you give to someone who wishes to begin a blog?
The best advice I would give it to take a bit of time to research things properly before you take the plunge. Have a clear idea of what you want from your blogging experience and that will inform decisions you make about blogging platforms, domain names and any commercial opportunities that might come your way.
Also, know at the start how much of yourself (or your family) you’re willing to share, whether that’s in terms of stories or photographs. There’s no reason you can’t change your mind down the line but it’s worth considering at the outset.
And finally, have fun! There are no rules in blogging – this is your very own plot of land in cyberspace to do with what you want. Enjoy it and I hope it serves as a wonderful pastime and keepsake for you.
Thanks Lorna from everybody at Easyspace.
Keep an eye out on our blog, for the up-coming Part 2 of our Interview series with Mummy blogger Lorna Jackson
If you want to find out more about Lorna and her blog, then click on the link below for more info: