Welcome to the Blogger Spotlight Interview. This week we have Kate and Alison from Five Little Stars taking part in the Blogger Spotlight interview.
If you would like to take part, and your blog is under six months old, or has been re-launched in the last six months, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourselves
We are Kate and Alison, by profession a barrister and a journalist. We’re currently both taking career breaks to raise our young families, and living just outside of Paris.
Kate’s children are 3 and 21 months, and Alison’s are 5 and 3, and we met through our engineer husbands who both work together (thanks hubbies!).
Kate is from England and she loves family days out, world travel, animals, and making the most of enjoying the French food and wine whilst she is in Paris! Alison is from Australia and her favourite activities are family cycle rides along the River Seine, breaking into warm baguettes and meeting new friends.
2 What is your blog’s name and what is it about?
Our Blog is called “Five Little Stars” and our main aim is to find products and places that we consider to be worthy of our 5 star rating, and review them, so that other people can discover them too.
We also have a Life and Tips section of our blog for any other topics that we are inspired to write about, and charities that we want to help promote.
3 Why did you decide to start a blog?
The timing felt right for us both to have something else in our lives that was additional to being a mum, but it had to be something that would compliment our family lives and that we could work around our children. Alison had a few ideas floating about and then meeting Kate was the real push behind the creation of Five Little Stars.
We are co-bloggers, which is a little unusual, but it works for us. It helps us to motivate and support each other, and our skills, experience and personalities seem to compliment well. Team work is a very new experience for Kate, who pretty much always worked alone as a self employed Barrister, but (she hopes Alison agrees) she is quickly adapting and enjoying the new collaborative way of working.
The site is really taking off now and we are getting new opportunities almost every day. We are working hard as a team to ensure that the work and the rewards are shared equally. We are both really pleased with how we are developing, and pleasantly surprised at how fast Five Little Stars is growing.
4 Do you have any goals for your blog?
It is still early days as we only launched Five Little Stars on 1.12.16 (after an intense behind the scenes set up phase) but we would love for it to become a well known blog so we are able to reach and help as many people as possible. Bloggers are known as “influencers” – and we would like to have as big an influence as we can for this purpose. But, we are both determined that this will not be at any expense.
We are professional people and we want our site to retain its professional and friendily ethos, and for what we write to be informative and useful. It is of paramount importance to us that our readers trust what we write, and we will only review honestly. As a lawyer would say, “without fear or favour”, which means we will remain impartial, even if we have been sent products or opportunities for review or have been paid.
5 Tell us one random fact about you
We are not very good at being succinct!
Kate is… well Alison thinks Kate is a little bit crazy with the things that she will just do on her own with her young children: Disney, exploring Tokyo and California, Saturday night curry out with 2 under 3… not much phases her. I mean, who buys a 2 year old a drum kit for Christmas?! A career as a barrister, perhaps surprisingly, equipped her well for parenthood: organisation, sleep deprivation, being robust, thinking on your feet, and creativity (and blogging?!). Oh, and she wants to build a house and learn how to fly a helicopter one day.
Alison does the school run in a Cargo Bike, is police riot trained and has done a helicopter crash safety course where she was submerged upside down in water. Basically, you want her on your team!!
6 What is the best piece of blog related advice you have received so far?
We are both members of a Facebook group called UK Parent Bloggers, which on a daily basis has provided us with lots of advice and support. We have discovered that a whole online blogging community exists, and it’s great. Rather than being competitive it is so supportive, as there is room for us all.
As for a specific piece of advice, we think the one which has impacted the most on how we are proceeding and dividing the work loads is: quality over quantity for blog posts, to ensure we have enough time to also promote and build relationships with our followers and brands.
7 What is your favourite thing about blogging?
We both love to write, and we are enjoying the photography side of making our blog look beautiful too if we can. The technical side of the site, learning how to use social media for promotion and how Google works has been a steep learning curve for us both, but it has been great to learn new skills.
And best of all, Five Little Stars is something that is just OURS. The feedback we are getting on and off line is frequently making us feel very proud about what we are creating.
8 Is there anything you would do differently if you were starting over knowing what you know now?
Nope, not yet!
Well, actually, Kate would have bought her Canon Powershot G7X Mark II right at the beginning, not a few months in!
9 Anything else you’d like to share with us?
When we write reviews, we hope they might read as if a friend is giving you advice. This is part of the reason we sign off each blog with our name and a kiss, like you might an email.
We welcome feedback by way of comments and questions on the blog and particularly our social media because we are a platform for sharing. For us this interaction with our followers is really what makes it fun.
If you like us then we would really love for you to come and join us on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, and interact with anything that takes your fancy. This is how we know we are doing well. It is, after all, why we do this!
10 Where can we find you? (blog link and links to any social media)
YouTube: Five Little Stars