This month's Industry Insights comes from the stunning Cliona O'Connor from the amazing parenting, fashion and food blog: Lean Mean Momma, winner of Littlewoods Ireland Best Parenting Blog 2016 🌼. Check it out now 🐾
1. How did you first get into the industry?
I studied PE, Sports Science and Chemistry in Loughborough University in the UK and subsequently qualified as a PE teacher. So I always had a huge interest in sport and wellness. It was really after my 3rd baby that I felt the urge to get vocal about it and hopefully encourage others like me to get active. Starting Leanmeanmomma.ie was my way of demonstrating how of you can simplify things and that we all struggle - it's ok to struggle but important to still do it.
2. Can you describe a typical work day?
My kids are all in school or creche most mornings so I usually do a workout after the school runs. Then I cramp all my emails, photo taking sessions, content creation, dinner making and housework into the rest of the morning. This brings me to more school run's at 1pm and then homework and local mum taxi service until dinner time!
3. What motivates you?
Feeling good is my main motivation! Looking good and toning up is a very welcome side effect of being healthy. I also love the feedback I get from people who read my blog and interact with me and each other on it. That makes it so worthwhile!!
4. How do you integrate social media into your daily role?
As a blogger it is easy as it is what I do. But as a mum it can be such a pain some times. Snapchat and IG stories do slow life down. You are just running out the door to grab something or collect someone and then you think "OHHH I need an outfit shot" or "I should really snap this" and it takes an extra few minutes everytime. On the flip side, you get to organically make work from how you live and that it amazing.
5. What has been your biggest career achievement to date?
Winning the Irish Bloggers Choice award and the Littlewoods Ireland Awards for Best parenting and family blog was such a welcome surprise on both counts. Not that awards define how good a blog is....but it is so nice to be recognised by peers.
6. Have you any advice for people thinking of entering the industry?
Don't let the fear of what others may think put you off! As a busy mum I have found that other mum's are just the same as me and love to read that their struggles are my struggle and vice versa for me when I hear from them.
7. Is there anyone that influenced you to take this career path?
I love lots of other bloggers! On a local level Nessa Hurley had a blog for years and I used to adore logging on to read it. She has subsequently moved on to another blog with a friend and it's amazing too. But she made me think that maybe I could do it too.
8. Where do you hope to see yourself / your business in 5 years?
In 5 years I would love to think that I will be working steadily part time either blogging or in an opportunity that has arisen from Leanmeanmomma.ie Other than that I would like to think I'll be healthy and the kids will be sleeping through ha ha
9. What is your pet peeve about working in the industry?
As a blogger it is hard to put down the phone - you are always looking for a great shot or recording bits and pieces of your life. Sometimes it would be nice to have more time to just create content for the blog rather than keeping up with all the channels that you need to be on to advertise what you do.
10. What do you do to relax and unwind after a long days work?
I go to the gym to unwind but apart from that I love to read on my kindle, watch some youtube and maybe even get to switch on the TV!