This weeks featured blogger is Christie Burnett from Childhood 101
When did you start your blog?
I started Childhood 101 in May 2009.
Why did you start blogging?
As a new stay at home Mum, I found that I missed having something for me as my work had always been such an important part of my life. Childhood 101 became what I did for me, an outlet for my thoughts and ideas and feelings. I enjoy the fact that blogging requires me to think and problem solve – planning, writing, fiddling with html, editing photos, connecting with readers, it’s all good fun.
Describe your blog in 20 words or less
Childhood 101 aspires to put ‘childhood’ back on the agenda, inspiring families to create happy, memorable childhoods for their children.
What are your 5 must have tools for blogging?
My cameras (I have both a DSLR and a point and shoot which lives in my handbag), my laptop, a bar of whatever is my latest chocolate addiction and a cup of hot Earl Grey tea.
What is your favourite part of being a blogger?
Connecting with readers/other bloggers through my blog and theirs; whatever your parenting style or philosophy there are others around the world feeling, thinking, enduring, (and sometimes even) enjoying a similar journey. The blogging community is wonderful and I have made true friends through blogging.
What would be the biggest thing you have learnt since starting your blog?
There is an audience for every blog, it is a matter of finding and connecting with your audience. Write how you want to write, about what you wish to write about and don’t bother comparing yourself to other bloggers in your niche. Examine and learn from others but do not judge yourself or be too critical, as everyone has a different approach and a different purpose for blogging.
If you could start again, what would you do differently?
It would probably be to explore the different blogging platforms. Whilst I have had no issues with Blogger, WordPress appears to offer a lot more flexibility and more options. I would also have looked into getting my own domain name and host, I know I can still do so but it just seems like a much bigger job now!
What has been your blog’s biggest achievement?
Childhood 101 won Best Parenting Blog at the inaugural Nuffnang Blog Awards in Singapore in October. It was such a buzz, especially as the other finalists were much more experienced bloggers (one finalist has even starred in a Malaysian online reality TV show about bloggers). Through the experience I met some wonderful Australian and overseas bloggers and learnt that blogging is actually really huge in Asia, much bigger than here in Australia, which is exciting as it means we still have so much to look forward to as a blogging community.
What advice would do you have for new bloggers?
Blog regularly about something which you are passionate about. Read and comment on lots of blogs in your niche. Offer to write guest posts for other mid level blogs in your niche and provide them with great material. And for yourself, keep it interesting and fun by regularly trying new things (check out my guest post at ProBlogger http://www.problogger.net/archives/2010/01/30/20-ways-to-up-your-blogging-fun-quota/ for tips on keeping your blog fresh).
Do you (or do you plan to) make any income from your blog?
Yes, I think serious bloggers devote a lot of time and effort to their blogs and deserve to be compensated. As well as being registered with Nuffnang, I also offer private sponsorship through sidebar advertising and sponsored posts.
What future goals do you have for your blog?
While not really a goal, we have recently moved into our very own version of ‘The Money Pit’ and I look forward to sharing some of our adventures as we renovate it, transforming a house into a real family home.
Who are your 5 favourite women bloggers and why?
1. Kate at Picklebums (http://picklebums.com) makes me want to pack up and run away to live on a farm (though it would have to be a very small farm as I hate gardening and would find the wildlife a bit of a nuisance). Somehow Kate makes bugs and chooks and ducks that bite sound so appealing. I admire the way she makes blogging about life look easy and fun.
2. Cath, aka SquiggleMum (http://squigglemum.com), feels like someone I have known forever. A fellow teacher-Mum-blogger, we live on opposite sides of the country but could just as easily be teaching in classrooms side by side to each other. I love reading Cath’s adventures as she is that little bit further along on her motherhood journey and I get a little insight into what my life could very likely be like in the months and years to come.
3. Jean at The Artful Parent (http://artfulparent.typepad.com/artfulparent) shares her passion for children’s open ended art through the adventures of her own daughter, Maia, and a toddler art group she initiated.
4. Stephanie of The NieNie Dialogues (http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com) is simply inspirational. A mother of four she continues to struggle to heal after being seriously injured in a near fatal plane crash. NieNie reminds me to be thankful everday for so many different reasons.
5. Megan of SortaCrunchy (http://sortacrunchy.typepad.com) captured my interest with a series of posts about ditching disposables and reducing household waste – she ditched ‘paper’ products, so no more paper for cleaning spills, wiping noses or wiping backsides (children’s or adults!) I admire Megan’s approach to many family issues and challenges.