Interview with South African Mom Blogger - Monique De Villiers
Emma Kate started this blog series to showcase what great mothers we have out there and to show support between fellow mothers. The series showcases how these ladies became mom bloggers and what inspired them to start this journey in their lives. The interviews may even inspire another fellow mom to start their own blog.
Today I would like to introduce Mom Blogger - Monique De Villiers who started Letters To My Wildling
How long ago did you start your blog?
I started my blog in 2019 as a diary for my boy - a safe place to record our life journey and share my love for writing with him. We will celebrate our first birthday in April this year.
Why did you decide to start a mom blog?
I have always loved writing, writing has always been my quiet place in a storm, a passion like no other. After having Aryan I found that motherhood is hard, its quite the rollercoaster ride and it can become quite lonely so I turned to my writing. It actually started off as a safe space to record my journey as a mom with my boy - a way to preserve memories for him and to give him a new perspective on why, who and how. I saw that moms enjoyed reading my posts and I learned that we can always learn something new from a fellow mom, because they our journeys may be similar, but its still so unique.
What was it like in the beginning?
Honestly I feel like we are still in the beginning. It was (and still is) overwhelming! Gosh, you think its as easy as setting up a page and just writing, but setting it all up is the easy part. The hard part comes in when you realize that you need to create content that is relevant, relatable and “in” at that specific time. Its amazing to see how a simple post like “pottytraining” or “sleep training” falls into a specific “trend”. Then there’s rating cards, media kits, etc. BUT I also have to add the support is unbelievable and the mom community is incredible. I've met some amazing women throughout our short journey and built some very special friendships through it all.
How did you come up with the name for your blog?
It all started with the main purpose of my blog - I wanted something to explain exactly what my blog is about. Ultimately it was supposed to be a diary to my boy with recordings of his life and special letters to him throughout each phase that we go through together, hence the “letters to” and he has always been my little wildling. He has always been so curious, adventurous, wild and free so thats how I got to “Letters To My Wildling”. It just worked.
Monique De Villiers and Aryan
What is unique about your blog?
I think every motherhood blog is Unique in its own way since all of our journeys are so unique and different. We all go through similar phases BUT in our own unique way. So in my blog I share our unique journey - what we love to do, what we like to use, what works for us, what doesn’t work for us, our favorite places, activities,etc. I also love to do a lot of educational activities with my boy which we also share on our blog to help homeschooling moms.
How do you market your blog and what has been the most successful way of marketing?
I don’t really spend money on marketing my blog, but I do use social media like Facebook and Instagram to help me out and it’s been rather effective thus far.
How many hours a day do you spend on your blog?
Honestly I have a job as a teacher and I am full time mom so I’d say I roughly spend about 3 hours a week on average actually working on my blog (unless I have a certain deadline) and about 1-2 hours a day on social media, which has a direct link to my blog.
Can you describe/ outline your typical Day?
Gosh, in my household every day is chaos but I’ll try. So our day usually starts with me waking up at 05:30, and getting ready for work. I then drop Aryan off at school and head off to work at a homeschooling center as a grade 2 teacher. We finish at 14:00 and I will then pick up Aryan from school. Aryan has free time to just unwind a bit and I attend to my mommy duties. At about 15:30 I will then spend some time with Aryan - we will usually do some fun activities together or unwind with a movie and snacks. At 18:00 we usually have supper as a family and Aryan will have some free play time. At 19:00 its bathtime, storytime and lights out at 20:00-20;30. Then I would usually start working on my blog, write, edit or post on social media. I am a night owl and do my best work at night, but I hate myself every morning.
Has being a mom blogger affected your family life at all?
Yes and No... I think the word that comes to mind is BALANCE. Its all about finding that balance - What to post and what not to post, how much time to spend on your blog and how much time you spend with your family, how to focus on actual family time when out and about and how much attention you give to snapping pics and creating content in your mind. At first its hard to find your balance, but once you get into routine and prioritize it gets a little easier and you get to enjoy the best of both lives.
Do you have any advice for a fellow mom wanting to start their own blog?
Sure - Be YOURSELF and remember why you started your journey! Its easy to lose track of your goals and to feel like the pressure is drowning you, but just stop. Breathe. And start again. You are the best version of YOU and as long as you stay true to yourself, true to your audience and true to your goals, you’ll have a kickass blog.