Bloggers Behind the Screens is a monthly interview series, where fellow bloggers come together to answer a series of questions on a specific theme. This is a chance to get acquainted with a whole range of bloggers, some of whom you may not have encountered before, and learn a little more about them!
This month, we’re talking to bloggers about the very thing that makes them bloggers. Their blogs. I’m hosting a behind the screens interview today with Aaron from The Busy Papa.
When did you start blogging and why?
I’ve had multiple blogs dating back to 2007, all started for varying reasons.
The Busy Papa however was started early 2018 as a means of coping with my mental health issues, an unhappy work situation, the joys of parenting and my dying (now over) marriage.
How did you come up with the name for your blog?
My son sometimes calls me Papa and I’m always busy with one thing or another. It is quite literal.
What do you blog about? Has that changed from when you first started?
The core pillars of The Busy Papa are Parenting, Wellbeing, Entertainment and Lifestyle. Originally, the blog focused exclusively on parenting and wellbeing but I soon found that other content just… happened. So, I expanded.
Is your blog your job, your hobby or your side hustle?
The blog is currently a side project (I’m a software engineer by trade) but my hope is to take the blog and freelance programming work and turn them into my full time work.
What is the best thing or experience that blogging has given you?
The honest answer to this question is relationships and connections.
Since, starting the blog I’ve had the chance to connect with many people. I’ve found like minded writers, individuals with a flare for marketing and business and kind, warm hearted souls who are now forever embedded in my life now.
What is your favourite thing in the whole world to write about?
I enjoy personal anecdotes told with a humorous spin a lot but sometimes the mood just isn’t there and that can be difficult. Failing that, poetry or mental health awareness. Actually, this question is hard! I love writing about relationships (good and bad) but this blog isn’t the place for that and I also love writing about music. I guess it depends on mood.
What skills (the more unusual the better!) has blogging taught you?
The biggest one is explaining to people who aren’t on the scene how it could be anything more than a hobby. I mean seriously, we’ve all got the Mr or Mrs Judgeypants friend of family member who insists that NO-ONE makes a living off of this, right? Or is that just me?
Of course, there are all the usual things; writing, marketing, social media, PR, communication, timekeeping and running a business etc.
It’s also taught me that you won’t have time to do everything, I could for example build my own WordPress theme but it might be better use of my time to engage and build a following on social media or deliver new content. You learn to pick your battles.
What is your favourite post from your blog? Give us the link and tell us why it’s your favourite.
It isn’t my most well thought out post. It isn’t my best written. It isn’t my most successful in terms of traffic. What this post did, was play a part in changing my life.
If not for this post I would not have joined some of the communities I have, found some of the people I did. It was a step in massively increasing the amount of Twitter followers I have. My general reach increased and I formed new bonds with this small little post trying to encourage people to think about International Men’s Day a little differently.
Have you ever been on TV or radio in your capacity as a blogger? If so, what for? If not, do you think it’s something you’d like to have a go at?
I don’t know about TV or radio, I guess. You know what I really want to do, what I’ve always wanted to? A podcast! I’d love to talk about my experiences in that format, especially as I listen to a few myself. It’s kind of a bucket list thing.
What is your least favourite thing about blogging? There must be something you don’t like about it…
Blogging in general I don’t have any particular dislikes, I suppose negotiating rates or standing by your ethics (ie when asked to pretend something isn’t an ad and having to cut ties) can be difficult. That’s not really too bad though.
For me, what I don’t like is that it feels like you can lock yourself out of being able to publish certain content. Sometimes you have something you really want to write about but you can’t because it might isolate some of your audience or hit too close to home to people who know you and read your blog.
Do you have any advice to give to anybody out there thinking of starting a blog right now?
Don’t do it in isolation. Look for communities on Twitter, Facebook, forums, Reddit etc. Learn from other bloggers and take (and give) all the support you can.
Where do you do most of your blogging? Do you have a home office, are you on the sofa or do you prefer to be out and about when writing posts?
I have a workstation, a laptop, a tablet and my phone. I use all of these, I write from any and everywhere. The most common places are bed, the bath and my sofa.
Be honest. How many unwritten posts are in your drafts right now? How many are likely to see daylight?
212. A third of them will almost certainly be used in some capacity, probably not as full posts though and maybe not even on my blog.
What are you most excited about for your blog in the last six months or so of 2019? Anything awesome in the pipeline for the summer or are we forever winging it?
I have a good feeling about this year but nothing in the pipeline just yet.
Finally, what is your absolute favourite thing about being a blogger?
Diversity, who knows what I’ll be working on in the next month. It could be raising awareness of something I believe in, it could be funny stories about the kids or it could be working with a cool brand.