Interview with South African Mom Blogger - Taryn Ulster
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 - Taryn Ulster who started 3 Boys and a Lil’ Miss
How long ago did you start your blog?
I started my blog in November just before I turned 30 years old, and it was originally called 3BoysB4Thirty 2016 (so going on four years), with my debut post “How do I handle the news of another boy?”
Why did you decide to start a mom blog?
I actually didn’t, not really, I felt like I needed to write that first post out of frustration, to encourage other moms feeling the same way, whether they had only boys, only girls, one child or no children, because all of those scenarios seemed to be nit-picked by society, and so it was to process for myself but also to encourage others. I guess that’s how a lot of blogs do start, for ourselves and then it kind of morphs into a blog.
What was it like in the beginning?
A year later and still had just posted that one post, I then just found out that I was pregnant with baby number four, and a few days later my middle son Craig rushed to the ER and turned out he actually had cancer. It was then that I really started using writing as a way processing all of that, and it turned into a blog. From the responses that I got, and the support from other moms and mom bloggers and just all the love and support that I received from the posts about our journey with Craig’s cancer that I really got into it, and discovered that I felt so fulfilled. That’s when I started calling myself a blogger.
How did you come up with the name for your blog?
I already explained the original name above (3BoysB4thirty) and when we found out that our fourth baby was a girl, we started playing around with names that were kind of similar but that meant something special to us. So my husband has this pet name for me and actually his sister too, he calls us madem (like madam, but he says it with an “eh” sound), but he used to call his sister “lil’ one” because she’s his little sister. I also refer to my boys as “my little men” so that’s how we came up with 3Boys &a Lil’ Miss.
3Boys &a Lil’ Miss
What is unique about your blog?
It’s a parenting blog and there are so many of us but I think we all bring our own little flare and uniqueness because each of us as moms, our families and parenting styles are unique.
But what I think I have as a bonus is that as a millennial who had children at only 21 years old, it means that unlike my peers I have four children of varying ages; I have a pre-teen (12 year old) son, a 7 year old, an almost 5 year old not quite a toddler but not yet a school-going age and a baby just about to enter toddler years. With four children in very different ages and development stages it definitely makes for an often busy home life, but it also means that I can relate to a variety of families with kids at different stages. I can relate to the new mom, the breastfeeding mom, the cloth-nappy mom, the mom of a toddler in terrible-twos, the mom of a baby who suddenly became a middle child but has two older brothers to contend with, the mom of a cancer survivor, the mom of a 6th grader, who is on the cusp of high school applications and becoming a teenager. All that and I haven’t even hit mid-thirty, makes my blog somewhat unique.
How do you market your blog and what has been the most successful way of marketing?
Honestly I haven’t really used sponsored posts or much marketing and my following has mostly been very organic. I have recently started looking at ways to market my blog more, I’ve also started a YouTube channel and I’m enjoying learning to edit my own videos in this new avenue of blogging.
How many hours a day do you spend on your blog?
I’m not sure how long per day, it varies around my business and home life, but I’d say, accumulatively probably around 6 or so hours a week. I have however, tried to carve out time to create more content by dedicating a specific work day to only my blog, to treat my blog as one of my clients.
Can you describe/ outline your typical Day?
Take my son Joel to school, only 10mins away (my husband takes the older two boys to school in the morning and my daughter stays home with my mom),
Get back home OR go to my husband’s uncle’s place to go work (I don’t always get things done at home with Taylor around because she will want to breastfeed all day just because I’m there).
Work on one or more of my clients digital needs for that day depending on which day it is, or what’s required for the client, while also trying to work on some of my business and/or blog needs – video editing, recording videos, creating digital content or designs etc.
Has being a mom blogger affected your family life at all?
It has in some ways, for instance my children are very aware of when I need them to try out, unbox or test a product and I need to take pictures or videos of them doing it. They are usually quite keen if I prep them. So it’s affected my family in that way, but I try to never ever let it infringe on their freedom of choice, privacy or emotional health. If they do not want me to take a picture, video or write about something then I won’t, my very first goal is to always protect them, so whatever I’m putting out on my blog I think, if they read this in 5 years or 10 years would they be ashamed, embarrassed or upset by this? If there’s a chance of that, then I don’t publish it. So yes, in that way being a parenting and family blogger will always affect my family life.
Do you have any advice for a fellow mom wanting to start their own blog?
Yes! Just do it!
Find your niche, find that one thing that’s unique about you and your blog, find your own voice, don’t try to emulate anyone else because only you can be you. Be authentic, because your followers will follow you because they like you and what you’re putting out there and if they don’t like it, they can unfollow and don’t sweat it, there’ll be others. Just be the best version of you that you can be and be kind, be kind to yourself, to your family or whatever or whoever your subjects are.
If you’re not sure of something, ask. Ask a fellow blogger who you relate to, promise most of us are just like you, and I honestly don’t mind if you ask me something, I will answer you as best I can.
Last bit of free advice, don’t try to cheat the algorithms, con the system or stress over numbers, I’ve been there and done that, and honestly it was a waste of time and effort, because tomorrow or next week or next year Instagram or Facebook or whatever will just change the algorithms again, just do you and appreciate every single follower or supporter that you gain.
Taryn Ulster and Family