Our Influencer of the week hails from across the pond in England. She’s been honored with several blogging awards and has the capability to make her readers laugh their heads off, wipe tears from their eyes, and pick up some great mothering tips…all within the same post. Please meet Helen Wills of Actually Mummy.
Tell us about the origins of your blog.
For two years, I kept a handwritten diary written in my daughter’s voice (I have no idea why!) since she was 7 weeks old, but I was getting bored with writing in it and feeling guilty that I wasn’t keeping it going. Then I found a parent blog online and decided to have a go at online writing instead. Pretty soon I was hooked!
“Niche” is one of the big buzzwords in the blogosphere. Do you fill that your blog fits into a niche? What is it?
Well, it’s a parenting blog, but like most mum and dad blogs, I write about all sorts of things from recipes to flash mobs! So I guess it’s a family lifestyle blog, but I imagine that eventually most people will have a blog, at which point there just won’t be any niches anymore.
That is one fantastic picture on your blog header. Is there a story behind it?
Yes! When I was trying to come up with a name and design for my blog, a photographer friend suggested I put together a bunch of things that represented my daughter in my mind. Amongst other things I took smarties, and a drawing she had done recently. We put those together, intending to change the image every so often when she had done a new drawing, but this one just stuck and became my brand. The girl in the crown is now my avatar on most of my social media accounts. Occasionally I change my avatar temporarily (eg. When I was supporting the Matilda May, and the Out to Lunch initiatives) and people hate it. There are always a few messages of relief when the girl in the crown comes back!
What are you up to when you’re not blogging?
I spend ALL of my free time writing – I have other websites of my own, and I blog for clients. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, I just love wordcraft.
I sing with the Rock Choir, and have performed at Wembley Stadium and the O2, as well as performing flashmobs at St. Pancras train station. Singing helps me relax.
Not just the exhausted, parental glass at the end of the day, but really good wine, chosen on road trips around the Champagne region, or hot tours of Catalan vineyards. It’s the one thing we try to incorporate into most of our holidays, despite the fact that the children don’t really appreciate sitting in a wine cellar learning about noble rot and grape must.
How do you get your Sverve on?
I promote my blog content across as many social media platforms as I can, but only if it seems natural. For example, I don’t use Reddit, as it feels too contrived to fit a general lifestyle blog into its parameters. But Sverve is very populist, with lots of categories that seem to work well for me. I also have a different type of follower on Sverve, and a different community to my other networks. Plus the people at Sverve are altruistic in their sharing of my posts.
Please leave Helen some comment love here and then go check out Actually Mummy.