Date Posted: Tuesday 17th October 2017
DIARY directory recently caught up with freelance writer and fashion and lifestyle blogger Amanda Fulton from Ginger Mum Style. Initially, a lifestyle and parenting blogger, Amanda's blog has evolved over the years and she now shares content on a range of topics; from travel and lifestyle to beauty and fashion.
|Date of Birth:||04/07/1973|
|Country of residence:||London & Bedfordshire, UK|
|3 main areas of focus:||Fashion, Parenting, Lifestyle|
|5 specific areas of interest:||Travel, Fashion, Food, Parenting, London Life|
|Height:||5 ft 9.5|
Why did you start blogging?
My ongoing quest to find my place in life after having my children led me indirectly to it! I started a few small businesses, which I still run now, before I found my calling. I was then using the skills I had to manage social media for brands and ended up writing their blogs which I loved and realised I should be doing it for myself instead, as I was growing their following and producing engaging content but with no benefit to myself other than monetary. Then I juggled both until my love of writing eclipsed all else and I went full time on that two years ago. The best move I ever made!
What niche do you cover?
I am most definitely Lifestyle! The travel aspect has grown substantially for me with lots of key press trips for myself and my family. The children are always at the heart of what I do, but my ongoing love of fashion and beauty is reflected so much more these days. It’s lovely to have a blog which was recently described by a huge global brand as ‘beautifully rounded.’
You have a background in digital content, how does this differ from writing for yourself?
Creating content for other people can be challenging when you can see the direction they need to go in but they perhaps are not ready to take it. For some brands, digital is still very much unchartered territory and they prefer to take baby steps but are then unhappy with the slow progress those baby steps make. Often they would ask me to write favourably about products I was not personally keen on so that was a no-go for me. There is no greater joy for me than having the autonomy to choose what, where, and who to write about, from the heart, warts and all.
I also love my freelance work for Huffington Post, my own monthly column in a very popular regional magazine and a plethora of digital and traditional media titles.
What is a typical day like for you?
Usually, it is juggling the school run to get into London for meetings. Then I pack as much into the day to make it as productive as possible. It will usually be punctuated with a few key events which fit with my brand identity and often a lunch with a PR before heading home late to start writing! It is very much a 24/7 job but I love it.
How do you balance parenting with blogging?
It is the perfect combination! The only challenge is when I occasionally have to turn down a lovely event or trip due to childcare as my husband works away a lot but on the whole it works perfectly. The children love being part of my career and they are incredibly opinionated when it comes to brands they would like to work with or content they’d like to help create! This blogging career has given us the most wonderful opportunities and they thoroughly enjoy it.
How does being subscribed to DIARY directory benefit you as an influencer?
DIARY directory undoubtedly keeps me ahead of the game and gives me direct access to the decision makers I want to work with. It’s also fantastic to keep abreast of events in the fast-moving world of advertising and PR.
Favourite collaborations to date? And who would you like to work with in the future?
The recent London Fashion Week collab I did with Batiste was a particular favourite as it combined both my love of the bi-annual shows I enjoy so much and a product which is always in my handbag! I have also just worked with Birds Eye and that was a real joy for me as it’s a trusted, traditional brand my children have grown up with, as did I.
There is no one brand I could single out for the future as there are so many! I would like to build even more on travel as I find it so stimulating for creativity.
Do you have a rate card? Can you tell us an example of a cost?
I price up each collaboration on its own merit, work out how long it will take me to create that content and produce it. Blogging is a far more time consuming job than people realise and most jobs I do are multi-faceted and can often include vlogs, Instagram Videos or suchlike. This is all handled by my agent, Handpicked Media.
YouTube vs traditional blogging, do you have a preference? Do you think traditional blogging will fade out with the prominence placed on say Instagram and YouTube?
I personally prefer the joy of the written word. It’s what makes me tick. I don’t think traditional blogging will fade, just like books will never die. I believe it will take on a different format. People will always want that back up for SEO purposes. It is, however, enhanced by the visuals of Insta & YouTube and they are so much fun to watch and create for.
Which social channels do you use the most? How do you grow your following on them?
I spend most of my time on Instagram, unsurprisingly. It is my main source of income. I do have a love/hate with Twitter though and sometimes find myself having a spell away from it for long periods then joyfully returning to it and wondering why I ever strayed!
On any platform, the only way to grow authentically is to be dedicated and engage with others. No point in being anti-social on social - the clue is in the name!
What do you think influencers can offer brands that traditional media outlets can’t?
Most definitely authenticity and a great R.O.I. People will always buy from people and this is what blogging has championed spectacularly! Buyers want to know about bloggers, their lives and their likes and dislikes. To ‘know’ them, feel like their friend and to go on their recommendations. I don’t see how traditional media can ever replicate that human touch.
Do you use product placement & what are your thoughts on disclosure for ads?
Yes, I absolutely do - it’s my money maker! I always disclose and it is not difficult to do so. If your readership is loyal, they will know you stand by your values and they can trust you.
What brands and products are you loving right now?
I’m always obsessed by the latest Spectrum Collections products. I love the ethos of the brand and the work ethic of the two sisters who have made it such a success with virtually no PR budget.
More broadly, I love luxury at a realistic price and enjoy discovering new labels for the fashion aspect of my blog.
Magazines vs blogs, what do you think the future holds?
Blogs all the way for me of course, but I do love the freelance work I do for magazines. I do feel the titles which have gone digital will do better though and sadly there may come a day when the glossies are no more.
Where do you see your blog five year’s time? Is there anything else you’d like to branch into?
I hope it continues to grow as successfully as it has done thus far. I'd love to branch into TV as I was an actress before I had my children and I’m very at home in front of the camera. I also would love to write a book one day – well they say we all have one in us eh?
What other bloggers /influencers do you follow and why?
I’m loving Claire Chanelle (@iamchouquette) as we share a mutual obsession with Chanel and she is so unintentionally funny.. I don’t really have time to watch many vloggers but I always make time for her!
Amanda Fulton in 'Freelancers'
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