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.
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.
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.
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?!