#coolmumclub – Behind the linky (Guest post for New Mummy Blog)

Have you ever wondered why you sometimes don’t get a #coolmumclub tweet on a Thursday morning? Or why maybe you got three? It can get a little crazy running a linky and getting two kids out of the door on  thursday! Here is a guest post written for New Mummy Blog, taking you on a tour of what’s going on #BehindTheLinky. 

x MMT

Hello. I’m Sarah, aka Mum Muddling Through, host of #coolmumclub Thursday linky. The blog, the link up, and my life is not sponsored by Ray-Ban (in case you were wondering), but it probably should be. Here is my entry for the wonderful Lynne’s guest series, over at New Mummy Blog.

My links/addresses: 
Your blog name: Mum Muddling Through
Your blog address: http://www.mummuddlingthrough.com
Your twitter handle: @mummuddlingthru
Your Facebook link: Nope 
Your pinterest link: mummuddlingthru
Your instagram link: @mummuddlingthrough
  
Some linky questions…
1. Linky name: #CoolMumClub
2. Linky run time: Thursdays 06.00am – Friday 11.59
3. What sort of posts can link up? Any parenting posts. The funnier and entertaining the better! (Recently reduced to ONE per week)
4. Where do you share the posts which link up to your linky? Twitter, and on a pinterest board of best bits.
5. Host/cohost? Myself, joined by Talya aka Motherhood the Real Deal (@motherhoodreal)
It’s also nice to know more about the host’s blog…
1. When did you start your blog and why? June 2016 because I was looking for a new hobby, I’d been made redundant and was mostly at home with two young kids.
2. What’s your favourite thing about blogging? Exorcising my over active mind!
3. What were your top 3 most popular posts since you started blogging? The thing is, running a popular linky (like joining one) skews your stats on this – Popular posts #1, #2 & #3 are the last 3 weeks linkys – and for actual posts, it’s whatever I had linked that day. So…I’m going to pick the ones I felt received the best attention off their own merit instead 🙂
4. Which other bloggers do you most identify with? (Name up to 3) Such a hard question…I love Min from single mum speaks – we are the same age and I totally ‘get’ her posts – different family set up, totally, but same attitude at heart. She reminds me of one of my best friends in the real world. Then, there is Nat, from Mum in Brum – my red wine / chilli loving twin. And finally (so hard!), probably This Mums life – a mum of two, like me, who has a fabulous way of making me smile. (I’m Obviously excluding from the selection my blogging BFF Talya).
And of course a bit more about you: 
1. Do you have any non-blogging hobbies? Running, erm…hate this question as I never know what to say! Maybe read this post…http://mummuddlingthrough.com/uncategorized/being-memorable-2/ explains it best…
2. Favourite take away? Chinese (I love a good curry, but definitely in a curry house, so I don’t have to deal with the washing up)
3. Favourite home made meal? Green Thai curry
4. Favourite TV series? Beaking bad / Game of Thrones (How can I choose!)
5. Favourite outing with little ones? Someone else’s house, preferably for tea (for them) and wine (for me).
6. Top tip for new mums? Just do your best, and don’t strive for perfection…you’ll only end up feeling a failure!
Behind the Linky:
From under my veil of anonymity, I sometimes wonder if you’d all be terribly disappointed if you were to meet me? #CoolMumClub HQ chief…no pressure eh?!

The linky idea came to me much in the same way as the ‘starting a blog’ idea…an itch that needed to be scratched. A eureka moment that needed to be executed. An idea worm in my head that needed to come to life. You may or may have not read my post ‘Can Mum be Cool?’ (http://mummuddlingthrough.com/coolmumclub/can-mum-be-cool/)…well that’s where it all began. And, so it seems, a few of you ‘get it’ and hence became the buzzing community that is #coolmumclub.

In all honesty, it was probably a bit of a premature birth – my blog itself was only a few months old and I had only just cracked joining in with linkies, let alone running them. But, in true Sarah fashion, I was already looking for the next fix, wondering if I could create something similar of my own. I had some headache teething problems – I hated the fact that the InLinkz was an external link because I wasn’t self hosted (no prizes for what I did next), and I could not get the badge code to work which drove me insane.

The badge was a recreation of the original featured image for ‘Can Mum Be Cool?’ in a more condensed form. Those are my actual shades (somehow survived half a decade of festivals prior to parenthood and everyday summer wear then on). That’s my kitchen worktop, and my kids real stuff. It still seems funny having it appear at the end of blog posts I read online.

Mummuddlingthrough

The vibe at the linky is definitely laid back. I can assure you that you will never read the words ‘I’ve noticed some of you have not been using the badge / leaving comments’. I’ve come to realise the parenting blogger gang are a pretty nice bunch, and highly unlikely to take the piss. Plus who am I kidding that I have time to police that kind of thing?

So, nowadays, Thursdays are my linky day. Usually comprised of frantically sending tweet reminders (twitter spam) first thing (all manually) over porridge before we all get dressed. A nursery dash, a bit of naptime-reading if I’m lucky. Then, more reading, commenting and sharing when the kids are in bed. My blog daytime hours are restricted big time by a 45 minute naptime (as advised by health visitor to aid night sleeps), a three year old, and a 15 month old who goes crazy if she see’s the laptop / ipad. So I’ll be sneakily retweeting and favouriting your tweets from my iPhone throughout my somewhat ‘normal’ day. Plus there are always ‘things going on’ which the linky has to fit in with; a coffee morning date, an ill child, a play date afternoon, a midweek night out with the girls, a birthday, a weekend away to prepare for. The day the blog comes before real life is the day it’s all gone horribly wrong, so I never decline invitations on a Linky-day basis. It usually all comes together…with a bit of jiggery pokery.

I originally decided to go it alone, and even declined some rather wonderful co-host offers. Mainly, due to the fear of getting it all wrong and letting someone else down. But, in time, I started to see that it could be beneficial to share the load – in terms of work and moral support, so the offer from Talya ‘Motherhood the real deal’ came at the perfect time. Talya brought a new energy to the linky, a wider audience, and someone to share the highs and lows with (plus 50% of the reading when the links were growing each week – we split it 50:50). We make a great team and I have never looked back from that decision. I still feel a bit in awe that I can call such a phenomenal blogger my partner in crime.

Soon after then, I started my guest post series #coolmumclub: Meet the Members which complements the Linky perfectly. Sure, I give up one of my linked spots over to you, but it’s a pretty awesome thing sitting back each week and seeing another blog get a massive boost from all of the new reader comments. (We are always looking for new guests!). One thing I need to get better at is replying to all the comments, but I am only human (trying to care for two other humans) and sometimes I get a bit behind! I don’t have any ‘child free’ days to blog, so everything can become a squeeze.

I remember a fellow blogger, Domestic Momster, wishing me good luck and giving some advice that running a linky is great fun but really hard work – I now appreciate exactly what she meant! It brings an element of commitment to the blog that wasn’t there before, but the hard work pays off in your stats and audience growth. Plus of course, all the amazing blog posts come to you!

The biggest reward of hosting #coolmumclub is definitely getting feedback from the readers & linkers saying they feel part of something special; a community. I have to pinch myself sometimes that I created that, from nothing. I have got to know some wonderful bloggers; both Mums and Dads. It makes me feel incredibly proud, and if I ever have those weeks that I wonder what the hell I am doing, it spurs me to carry on. It’s kinda…well, cool.

Thanks Lynne for the opportunity to feature on your guest series. See you Thursday?!

 

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32 thoughts on “#coolmumclub – Behind the linky (Guest post for New Mummy Blog)

  1. justsayingmum Reply

    Oh I love this post! I have absolutely no bloody idea how you do it all – in total awe – but so bloody glad you do! #coolmumclub was the first linky I ever joined when I first started blogging in December/January so it has a special place in my heart – it’s where I’ve learnt so much about the blogging community – you are like the cool gang at school that know everything and wear the coolest clothes – love it! #coolmumclub

  2. beautybabyandme Reply

    I am sooooooooo glad you started #coolmumclub and I am so thrilled every week to take part in it! It’s been brilliant reading a bit more about how it all started and I love the story behind the logo! You and Tayla are both fab! Long live #coolumclub <3 xx

  3. wendy Reply

    Love this. So nice to find out more about you and how #coolmumclub started. I love linking up every Thursday and I’m so happy you decided to start this linky, such a fab community of bloggers joining in every week xx #coolmumclub

  4. Katy (@hotpinkwellies) Reply

    I’m a big lover of #coolmumclub, although it feels like I’m still a bit of a newbie! Love reading a bit more about how it got started. I love the laid back vibe but you still manage to achieve a real sense of community and giving back re. comments. So impressed by anyone with the time commitment to run a linky and all the work that goes behind it! Thank you! #coolmumclub

  5. Mrs Lighty Reply

    I started reading this then realised I’d already read it over on New Mummy blog! Clearly I have become your stalker!! Well you already know that #coolmumclub is my favourite linky, so what more can I say?! Thanks for hosting! 🙂 xxx

  6. sisterk1n Reply

    This is great. I feel like I know you a bit better and am in awe of your focus and dedication to bring think fab linky to us every week. Keep up the cool work! #coolmumclub

  7. Mum in Brum Reply

    Let’s be honest, #coolmumclub is definitely the coolest linky around! I love this little community and (as I say when I comment on all of your parenting posts) I really don’t know how you manage to run it with two kids at home. So glad you started it though – it’s given me a real sense of ‘blog belonging’. Big up to you and Talya. And thanks for the mention – you know you’re one of my faves too 🙂 xx

  8. Mum in Brum Reply

    Oops #coolmumclub (obvs)

  9. robina - babylists.co.uk Reply

    So interesting to find out more about one of my favourite linkys! Love #coolmumclub!! Thanks for hosting and thanks for sharing X

  10. anywaytostayathome Reply

    Love this series on New Mummy Blog and getting to know everyone a bit better. I’m in complete aww of how you manage to do everything, I struggle and haven’t even entertained the idea of hosting a linky!! Hats off to you. xx #CoolMumClub

  11. crummymummy1 Reply

    The main thing that puts me off starting my own linky is the work involved and letting people down if it gets too much as I struggle to find enough time to get everything done as it is! #coolmumclub

  12. Cheryl @ Tea or Wine Reply

    Great to get such an insight into running a linky! Hats off to you, I don’t know how you do it, but jiggery pokery seems to be working so well for you. I completely agree that blogging is a busy business but it can’t get in the way of real life! I really love the #CoolMumClub community. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work! xx

  13. Squirmy Popple Reply

    I’m really impressed that you manage to run a linky at the same time as running a family – I don’t know how you do it! I love the laid-back vibe of this linky and the wide range of posts. It’s a great way to discover new blogs and come across new ideas. Well done! #coolmumclub

  14. dadbloguk Reply

    I salute anyone who runs a linky. It must take a lot of effort. Very enlightening read and amazed to hear how long you’ve had those shades! Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub

  15. occupation:(m)other Reply

    This is so fab, I always like to know more about the person behind the blog. I don’t get to link up every week but really enjoy the coolmumclub you have created. I can’t believe your blog was so young when you decided to run a linky…your blog is so complete and together, I thought you’d been going for years and years! I am full of admiration of linky hosts, such a lot of work so thank you for the insight and thank you for hosting #coolmumclub!

  16. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    LOL what do you mean you’re excluding me from the list of bloggers you most identify with!!? hahahaha so thrilled to have the honour of being behind this #coolmumclub linky with you darl xx

  17. Unhinged Mummy (aka Janine Woods) Reply

    I live Thai green curry and I love your top tip for new mums. I couldn’t agree with you more on that one.

    I have no idea how you linky hosts do it. I take my hat off to all of you. I have enough trouble finding the time to link up and comment sometimes but I have to say that from all the linkies I link up to, the coolmumclub badge isy favourite. It’s totally cool 😉

    #coolmumclub

  18. Emma - meandbmaketea Reply

    very impressed! well done! and Game of Thrones all the way #coolmumclub

  19. Helen Reply

    Well hello Sarah! Seems odd using actual names doesn’t it? I echo what some have already said … I don’t know how the dickens you do it. Especially when your little one is so young. (love that you started your blog in the future too! sorry). You’ve achieved so much. I look forward to buying you a glass at BML – if I can figure out who you are! xx #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Ha ha! Top marks for attention to detail 😉 that’s what 18 months of no sleep does to you… Time travel 😉 x

  20. Not Just Phoebe Reply

    What a great post, I feel like I now, know more about the fabulous linky and its birth story! #coolmumclub

  21. Kat EatLoveLive Reply

    This was so lovely to read. I love this linky and you’ve done so well with it. It’s my weekly Thursday mummy hang out 🙂 xx

  22. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) Reply

    tehe I love reading these. Always good to know why people blog and do what they do! I’m so nosey!! Blogging is the best so…such a fab community. Thanks for hosting hun x

  23. Mummy Rules Reply

    This was really interesting!! I have started to get mad thoughts recently about hosting my own Linky, so I really enjoyed this post! I love coolmumsclub it’s my favourite with bigpinklink because you and MHRD seem laid back and lovely, just the sort of ladies a busy mummyblogger wants to hang out with, online and ‘in real life’. I comment and join in cos I want to, not cos I have to! Congrats on such a great linky. #coolmumclub

  24. thebrightnessofthesedays Reply

    I’m so fascinated by linkys because it seems such a lot of work! I don’t even get to join them as much as I would like to, let alone run one! You’re doing a fantastic job! It’s such a great linky. I was browsing earlier & started reading posts & thought, well I might as well join in now! #coolmumclub

  25. Louise Reply

    Fab post and so interesting to read more about the decisions behind the linky and how you run it. I have to say I’m amazed by anyone that manages to run a big linky like this – I find it hard enough just keeping on top of my little one! Always love to join up with #coolmumclub each week – thank you to you and Talya for hosting it 🙂

  26. Double the Monkey Business Reply

    Love this and love to get to know people better! These linkups must take up so much time, I dont know how you do it… but I am glad you do 🙂 x #coolmumclub

  27. everythingsrosieandgeorge Reply

    What a great post, lovely to get to know you a bit better! I am seriously in awe of how you manage to run such a great linky and look after two tiny people, thanks for your hard work 🙂 x #coolmumclub

  28. tinboxtraveller Reply

    I often wonder what other bloggers are doing while tweeting and commenting. I have visions of them sat in front of their pristine work desks with the sound of birds singing in the background as they sip hot coffee. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who does it in between grabbing snacks for rowdy toddlers, meeting friends and cooking (sometimes) healthy meals 🙂 #coolmumclub

  29. Silly Mummy Reply

    This is so interesting! I love this linky – really enjoyed reading a bit more about it! I’ve been stuck in undecided mode for ages about running a linky. I’d like to try it, & have an idea for one. But it makes me nervous. I think either (probably) no one would actually link or, if they miraculously did, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the work! Been trying some guest co-hosting to see how it is! #coolmumclub

  30. DomesticatedMomster Reply

    If for some reason I ever link up and your badge isn’t on there please note that sometimes things don’t work on my phone …I am always late with commenting because well I have my own linky to run and comment on and I try my best to link with everyone I can. But I never link and never come back. Now that’s not to say I might forget where I am in commenting and I might miss someone on other linkys but hey I do my best. Running a linky and linking up is A LOT of work. Thanks for hostessing!

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