I read that you started your blog back in 2007 as a way to stay connected to your experience as an English teacher. How long did you teach? What grade level? What did you enjoy most about teaching? Does blogging bring you similar satisfaction? Would you like to return to teaching at some point in the future?
I taught for one year. ONE. That's it. I taught ninth grade English and I got pregnant that same year. My measly paycheck was not enough incentive to continue teaching while paying for daycare. Aside from moderating great discussions with my students, I most loved making them laugh. Nothing made my day like the look of shock on a student's face when I would finish a Snoop Dogg rap or serenade them with an Opera rendition of Metallica's Enter Sandman.
Blogging is similar in that I get to exercise my creativity through writing and encourage others to step outside of the box with my weekly writing prompts. However, I get a lot less sass in this platform. And chalkboards make me cringe. I'd love to go back and teach, but at this point it's not likely.
Can you tell me a little about your Writer's Workshop?
Writer's Workshop is a weekly challenge I created to help bloggers beat writer's block with topics I post each week. Everyone who participates by answering a writing prompt gets to add their URL to a link up on my page. It turned out to be a really great way to meet other bloggers and support one another with comments on their posts. I love clicking through all the links to see how differently so many people answered the prompts.
Who are some of your favorite writers?
Erma Bombeck cracks me up. There's something to be said about a woman who can write about motherhood and girlfriends and husbands in 1965 that is still relevant to women 50 years later.
How do you manage to run an in-home daycare, write such a successful blog as well as other social media projects? Do you have any trouble keeping up with everything? Do you have any tips for other working moms out there?
Tidbits about Mama Kat
I've been blessed with a high threshold for stress, an extremely flexible schedule, mostly well behaved children, mostly well behaved hired helpers and a whole rack of aging red wine. Together, we can do anything.
My tip for working moms -- all moms actually-- is to forget the unrealistic idea of establishing this magical level of even balance among your many duties. Tend to whatever is screaming loudest. When it's done screaming, do something for yourself.
Tell me about your obsession with Ellen DeGeneres.
It kind of started as a joke. My blog was brand new and I was explaining to my brother in law that all I needed was someone big to notice me and pimp me out. He was all "write a letter to Ellen!" So I did. It was a huge joke because I'm not a "write a letter to a celebrity" kind of person, but I'm at 17 letters and counting. I plan to keep writing until I'm well into my 80's and have no real plans of actually appearing on her show. In fact, I'm pretty sure that would send me into a panic attack.
If you could dry hump one celebrity, who would it be?
WHOA! Not Jesus as in "I want to dry hump Jesus"...I meant Jesus in an "exploitative that's a loaded question" kind of way. The answer, of course, is Britney Spears. Who else?
What do you love more--Twitter or ice cream?
Can't I have my ice cream and tweet it too? Definitely Twitter...because when I lick it, it doesn't make me fat.
If you were given the opportunity to have six hours of undisturbed writing time or three hours of shopping and a $200 gift card, which would you choose?
Shopping for sure. What good is writing if I don't look good doing it?
What do you think of mom bloggers as a community? How many blogs do you personally follow?
I love mom bloggers. LOVE them! I have over 300 blogs in a reader that I frequent weekly (as many as I can), but find I enjoy sporadic blog visiting more. Just following links wherever they might lead me.
Do you think it is more effective to spend time chatting on Twitter or commenting on blogs to gain followers on your own?
Twitter is more effective. With Twitter, you have the potential to reach an exponentially higher number of bloggers than you do through commenting. But I still love comments. Specifically the ones left on my page.
Do you have any blog friends who are also IRL friends?
I have blog friends who are IRL friends, but I don't have any IRL friends who are blog friends. Make sense? None of my friends have been converted to this platform, but a number of amazing women in blogland are people I consider close friends now. In fact, I think I like them better because they don't get mad at me when I cancel dinner to stay home with my kids.
What are the top three tips you would suggest to a new blogger?
Protect your family. A lot of times we start a blog without giving much consideration to the person we're talking about and how they might feel in the years to come. Think about how much information you want the world to have access to and maintain that standard every time you post.
Find a niche. A lot of people fight this idea of putting their blog into a specific category. We like to blog about everything, not just one thing. Which is fine, but bloggers who offer their readers consistent, tangible, valuable information will see the highest number of return visitors. The women I know who claimed a niche and excelled at it get more traffic than any top mom blogger I know...the Pioneer Woman being one of the few exceptions.
Reach out to other bloggers. Your blog might never grow to be the biggest, best website. You might not ever hit 100 followers. You might not ever make money or get a book deal or be seen on any "best bloggers" lists...but you do have the opportunity to meet fascinating people and make lifelong friends. Reaching out to other bloggers to learn and connect with has been one of the most rewarding by-products of this process.
If you could have any dream come true, what would it be?
You mean other than dry humping Britney Spears? My dream is to make a whole lot of money doing a whole lot of nothing. I have no idea why this plan is not working for me.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!