People

Bloggers of North Cardiff

Cardiff Blog

Blogging has become a popular pastime for many, and here in North Cardiff, there is a thriving blogging community. Meet some of your local bloggers

Mrs Helicopter

Jess Helicopter
I blog about feminism and parenting with a big dose of silliness.

My goal is to talk about feminism in an inclusive and non-alienating way. I don’t want it to be labelled as an extremist ideology. I want it to feel approachable and not all man-hating, bra-burning poe-facedness. But also, I just really like to make people laugh. My blog started in 2012 as a kind of online diet diary.

I naively believed that this would be remotely interesting to strangers. I changed my blog to a parenting one when I got pregnant with my second child in 2013, but I quickly realised that the parent blogging market was rapidly becoming saturated. I then started to focus more on feminism as it’s something that’s really important to me, and actually to the future of society.

My online family name is Helicopter, which in itself is a long story. I changed the name of my blog to Mrs Helicopter Writes when I started taking the writing part of the blog more seriously.

I have had some sharp learning curves. I had no idea what I was really doing to begin with. I didn’t really know what direction I wanted to take with it and so I just wrote very personally. Your content needs to be engaging and relatable - it therefore needs to be general unless your life/experience is very unique. Which mine definitely isn’t!

I reach my audience solely through social media. My Facebook page is my biggest traffic referral site but I’ve started doing daily Instagram stories which seems to be bringing some readership in too. I also now have a YouTube channel which helps. Blogging is a hobby for me, albeit an obsessive one. For now, I need to pay the bills, so I have a part time job.

I love it when people tell me that they find my blog funny, or even better - that they’ve spat their tea across the room laughing. I’ve found such solidarity and support with people I hardly ever see in real life.

In the future, I'd love to one day write for The Guardian but with so many voices out there, I think it will just remain a pipe dream. At the moment, I am having a little festive break and then I’ll be back to smashing the patriarchy one word at a time.

Read Jess's blog here

Welsh Mummy Blogs

I initially started blogging as a way in which to record my son's growing up. I wanted to record all the great places we go and fun things we do. After a while, I noticed that people started to follow the blog over social media and that the posts that received the most likes or views were those about family days out or when I would review things.

Everyone thinks it's easy to start a blog and become successful with it and that’s not the case. I didn't realise how many bloggers were out there! Don’t be put off though. With good content and links, you can really succeed and have a lot of fun while doing it.

My blog started as a parenting and lifestyle blog. However, it's since become more entertainment and review based over the past year. I find that I have adapted it to fit in with my personal likes and hobbies, not only what the kids like (I’m not just a mum after all!)

I have fun writing reviews for theatre, cinema and events. I’ve had many opportunities to review family friendly events within Cardiff. The highlight of my blogging career so far has to be the Bafta Cymru Awards where I attended as press.

I reach my audience through social media - Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and am lucky to have found links with other bloggers and PR agencies. I do have a YouTube channel too which I use to upload videos to my written blog.

I am hoping to write more casting calls for TV and film and I like to move with the times - therefore as my boys get older, the content will change with them.

I love blogging. I love that I can do it in the comfort of my home at a time that suits me. I can take on as much or as little work as I wish and this works out perfect for my busy family life.

Read Charlotte's blog here

WalesOnCraic

Patric Morgan
I have been writing 'fake news' since I produced my own spoof news magazines at high school. I set up WalesOnCraic in late August 2014, just before Cardiff hosted the NATO Summit. I began by posting spoof Welsh news stories and the first few weeks were hard and I had very little traffic. But I then wrote a story about Barack Obama being mistakenly taken by a taxi driver to Castle Bingo instead of the NATO summit at Cardiff Castle. The story went 'viral', meaning it was shared a lot on social media. My Facebook page then started getting lots of likes and things snowballed from there. Within 7 months, my site had received over 1 million visits and I had to fork out for new servers to handle the traffic.

I then decided to monetise the site by adding in some online advertising. I also ventured out into selling T shirts and mugs that have also sold very well. While I was on holiday in 2015, I wrote a book about how the blog had succeeded. I published the book myself on Amazon and it went straight to the top of the charts on Kindle. It's been the #1 blogging book on Kindle since July 2015. The biggest challenges I've found is making time for blogging as I'm co-editor of Whitchurch and Llandaff Living in my main job. The site has brought me some memorable moments though - winning an award for Blogger of the Year and also being interviewed on American radio. They had picked up one of my spoof stories online and thought it was real. It wasn't until I was live on air that they realised that they had been reading a spoof news story, which made the interview even more interesting!

Read Patric's blog here

Picture the Positive

Laura Kilvington
I first began blogging in 2014 after I had quit my job as a bid Writer in business development. Corporate writing had sucked the life out of me, and I desperately wanted to reignite my love of writing. I decided to start a personal blog with a collection of my own random thoughts and musings. Between motherhood, work and study I had also battled with my mental health and that often meant taking breaks in between blogging and stopping and starting writing projects - nothing was consistent.

I realised as an aspiring writer that this didn’t look great for me or my portfolio. So I decided to take the plunge and start a new blog with a main focus on my mental health and my recovery journey. I had also taken up photography as a hobby and wanted a blog where I could combine both of my passions. I decided to name my blog Picture The Positive - because I needed to focus on positivity and not perfection. Not only was it a way to start writing again but it enabled me to be honest about what I was going through. Having this outlet is not only beneficial for me but it’s been beneficial to others too.

Since starting the blog I’ve reached out and connected with people from all walks of life, engaged in local politics surrounding the issues of mental health stigma and I’ve secured a placement writing for a social housing tenant magazine. I don’t know what the future holds but I’m constantly thinking of new ideas and different ways to get my writing out there. To be able to be paid for my passion would be the ultimate goal, but for now I’m just enjoying the new blogging community I’ve become part of and taking each day as it comes.

Read Laura's blog here

Kelly Allen

I blog about our family lifestyle, arts and culture as well as product reviews. I write a large amount of theatre and day out reviews, which I absolutely love.

Initially, it started off as an outlet for my thoughts on writing my first novel, The Moss Garden. After a year or so, it grew into a family lifestyle blog and has evolved from there.

I've been blogging on and off over 3 years, but during the past year I've put a lot more work into the blog and built up good relationships with brands, PR companies and other bloggers.

The hardest bit has been getting my blog seen in a world where there are so many blogs out there. It's a challenge to stand out and I think it's also hard pitching to brands and companies for reviews because you face rejection, but it does toughen you up!
My favourite blog posts are the theatre reviews, especially for shows that really touch me. On a personal level, I also like to blog about anything I'm passionate about, such as home education or equal rights.

Social media has been my way of reaching my audience - Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the main ones. It's sometimes a long and arduous job, but it's worth it. I love people's reactions, from the general public to the companies I work with. Receiving emails with praise and thanks is so awesome!

Looking ahead, I'd like to monetise my blog one day in the future, but for now I am focused on reviews and my own thoughts and ideas. I'd love it to be my future job, but right now I'm enjoying what I do. I'd love to work with more Cardiff based companies and small independent stores.

Read Kelly's blog here

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