A NEW LOOK AND WHY I FEEL THERE IS STILL LIFE LEFT IN BLOGGING
Oh hey! Remember at the start of the year when I said I was going to make it my 2019 goal to write more on this blog? Well I kind of failed. But I also said I wanted to have a blog refresh. And guess what, that is one I have stuck to. Welcome to the new and improved ‘Mummy Daddy Me’, although actually it’s not just a blog redesign around here, it’s a full on name change. Say hello to katieellison.co.uk.
Ever since I first started my blog over eight years ago now I haven’t really loved the name ‘Mummy Daddy Me’. Readers of mine who have been there from the very beginning will know that it came about when Maddie my first daughter was three months old- she had fallen asleep on her playmat so I thought I would take advantage of her nap time and start a blog (I still have no idea what made me decide to do it). She was wearing a vest saying ‘Mummy Daddy and Me makes Three’ and that’s it- my blog was born.
Sometimes I think back to that time and I feel like a whole lifetime has passed. In a way I suppose it has. I have gone from a nervous first time Mum to a slightly less nervous Mum of three small humans. Our lives have changed dramatically and in part that is because of this blog and all that the online world has bought me. When I first started it there was a handful of UK ‘mummy bloggers’. We used to chat every evening on twitter (anyone remember twitter?!), support each other and comment on each other’s blogs. There wasn’t instagram, or if there was it hadn’t filtered down to us yet, the term ‘influencer’ was still a few years off being a thing, and no one made money from working online, unless you used your blog as a spring board to get a writing job.
I loved every minute of learning this new thing. I would spend hours upon hours teaching myself photography, blog design, and html. I’d spend hours chatting to other mums, I’d feel so inspired reading their stories and seeing them pour their hearts out on to their blog page. I still remember the first time a company offered to send me something to review. A small company offered to send me some little leather baby booties and I was so excited that I rang Jon at work to tell him. I still genuinely feel that eight years on, I still get that amazing feeling when I get to work with a brand I love.
In recent years the whole ‘influencer’ thing has exploded. People can make money, in certain cases serious money, from being online. I still cannot even comprehend that I get to do something I love so much as my job. I started off a few years ago with a ‘sponsored post’ here and there. Where a company would give me £50 to put a link on my blog with an article about something random. They didn’t want me for me, they wanted the link on a high ranking website. It didn’t matter what it was about, it could be anything. I went back to work at my travel job between Maddie and Lottie and I worked part time, but still every evening I would spend hours online learning and growing. I found a little niche, doing small brands social media management and I built up some lovely clients. I did that every spare minute I could- I was even in the hospital after having Lottie tweeting and planning social media posts for brands because I had this dream not to go back to my previous job after my maternity leave with her.
I did it. I got my dream. I handed in my notice after my maternity leave and I didn’t go back to that job. It felt amazing, I felt unbelievably grateful to be in this position, I still do. I did it like this for a few more years, but around this time it all began to change a little. Instagram became a big thing, I got more into You Tube after being too nervous to be on there previously, and there was a rise in the ‘influencer’ (I still really don’t like that word). All of a sudden there was this whole new way of making money from being online. It was both exciting and scary at the same time.
There are people who just automatically are going to be a success at this whole influencer gig, those who gain thousands of followers overnight. There’s no rhyme or reason for it, they just do well. They’ve got that certain something. There are people who get into it now with the intention to make money (and fair play to them- how amazing to be able to build up your own business from home?), and there are people who do it to become famous or well known.
I have never been any of those things. I started it way before any of this was a thing. I am under no illusion that I am interesting or exciting enough to have become an overnight success at being an ‘influencer’. I am not confident enough to fully put myself out there and I never have been. I have zero desire to be famous and have turned down nearly every single press thing I have been offered since I started doing this. I just want to make content I love, document my memories like I always have done, and make some money to support my family in the process.
What I am is a hard worker. I understand when people say that this isn’t a hard job or a ‘real’ job. Of course I do. How can you possibly compare any of this to being a paramedic, or a carer, or a teacher? You can’t. But I have worked so hard on this. I have spent hours upon hours upon hours, every single night practically for eight years building it up. Replying to people, chatting to people, making friendships, learning how to video edit, how to take my camera off auto, building a community, planning brand jobs, making natural content, and so many other things. It’s all relative but I work so hard on this, and I used to be embarrassed to admit that for many years. Now I am proud of it. There are always going to be people who think this isn’t a job, and I guess there are varying degrees of being online- you might just be someone who takes photos on instagram, or you might be someone who does Pinterest exceptionally well, or makes cracking you tube videos, or all of it and more. The point is while I make money from it, this is a job to me, and I will continue to work as hard as I can. I’m not going to ever be the biggest or the best, but I am happy doing what I am doing.
It is all getting a bit saturated now and I would be lying if I said I didn’t compare myself a lot. I have days where I think ‘I have been doing this eight years and in a year this person has more followers than me’, but for the most part I am just here doing my own thing. Especially on You Tube, I know the videos that could make me more ‘successful’- the Poundland Hauls, or cleaning videos, or other type ones. I haven’t got much interest in doing them (although I don’t mind the odd cleaning video from time to time). I am happy being me and if that means it takes me longer to grow then I am happy to pay that price. But I do compare myself- I think that is only natural.
Some days I worry it is all going to implode. Over the years we have seen blogs transition from the odd sponsored post here and there, to a much more stand alone form of marketing. Gone are the days that writing a blog or making you tube videos was just a side hobby, now creators are teaming up with some of the biggest brands to create bespoke content. There will always be advertising, we know that from more traditional tv and print advertising, to this new form of advertising we are seeing now. But I do often wonder whether the influencer market will implode on itself.
If it does, it does. Of course I don’t want it to and I hope it continues for a long time. I don’t have all my eggs in one basket, I do work with Jon as well for other clients, and I plan for the future and what I am going to do next. I often see all my channels as my ‘online CV’- a showcase of my skills and what I am interested in. It’s a funny old thing because it is your personal life, but also your work life and your job, but I think I get the balance right most of the time. I’m careful what I show, I don’t spend hours a day on instagram stories, and I don’t show things that would potentially embarrass myself or my children. I always have ideas in my head about what I will do next- I am currently trying to work hard at my video skills and editing, because that is something I would potentially like to pursue in the future.
But what about blogging, aren’t they at the bottom of the list in terms of content?
There’s no denying that brands nowadays are looking more to Instagram especially, and also You Tube as a way of working with ‘influencers’. And from a consumer/follower point of view, we have become very time poor. The instagram world and You Tube world is saturated and therefore we can’t possibly keep up with everyone we want to keep up with. Therefore we look to short form content, like instagram captions or more visual content like videos. We want to consume our content in bite size easy chunks.
I still think there is a place for blogs though. I have always said this, but having a blog is a space you own. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, they are all spaces where you don’t really have any control. All it needs is for instagram to change its algorithm, or You Tube to change the way it approaches its advertising (as it is actually going to do soon in terms of advertising on videos with content that is aimed primarily at children), and it could dramatically change the way in which you share your content. A blog is your space, you own it, you have complete control over it.
There are people out there who still appreciate long form content. I know that while I adore videography I still look to a blog for lots of different things. I would rather read a blog post (or instagram) when I am looking at interior related things, I would never watch a video really for that kind of stuff. I also actually prefer a blog post when I am trying to find travel inspiration. I am an avid watcher of travel videos, but those are more in my free time I enjoy them, if I am looking for inspiration for a trip I prefer to read about it on a blog post. There’s certain things that I would write in a blog that I wouldn’t particularly film for a video. So I definitely think there is still a place for blogs. Some of my interior and travel blog posts are viewed thousands of times a week via Pinterest. People still like reading blogs.
MY NEW BLOG
My blog domain name has been mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk for eight years, but for a long time now I have wanted to change it. However whenever I got serious about doing it, I ended up chickening out. A few months ago I decided to change my name on instagram from @mummydaddyme to @katie_ellison, and I finally decided that now was the right time to change my blog domain too.
There’s a few different reason for this, but the main one ultimately is that when I started my blog I was a first time mum to a three month old. I’m now a mum to an 8, 6 and 3 year old, and I feel like my content has grown and developed as my children get older. Inevitably as they get older they aren’t the main focus of my blog anymore, it is more about our travels, my love of interiors, and life in general, rather than focussing on them as a whole. The girls are becoming full on amazing individuals with their own unique personalities, and it doesn’t feel right to me to share them as much as I used to. Another big reason is that as my kids are getting older and as cheesy as it sounds I feel like I have a little bit more time to find me again. When I first started this blog I was well in the throes of that all consuming period of motherhood where my entire world revolved around my offspring, where I sat on cold church hall floors and all I did was talk about my baby, or when I went on a well needed date night with Jon and we spent the entire time talking about our kids. And don’t get me wrong motherhood is still all consuming- but not in the way it was when they were babies.
I am finding out the things that make me ‘me’- I am loving getting back into running again, I have found a massive passion for editing videos, and I suddenly find I have pockets of time I didn’t have before. Life is hectic, we are taxi drivers all week as we ferry them to various clubs and play dates, but as a family we are all growing and it feels good. Therefore I wanted my blog name to finally change to reflect the changes in our lives too. Don’t get me wrong it will still include parenting posts, as after all my three little people are the most important people in my life, but I think change is good. And I was really up for a change on here too.
I’m excited. I am hoping that it will reinvigorate me to write more on here, I have a feeling it will do, I am feeling so motivated and inspired to write. I am loving my new design so much and there’s so many cool little features. For example the blog posts are best viewed on a computer rather than a phone so you can see all the cool little design tweaks.
Anyway that’s that. A new blog name. A fresh start. I can’t wait.