Have you ever wondered, “What makes smart ass writers want to inflict their inner ramblings on the rest of the world?” Perhaps you’ve read my blog and thought, “Is this real? How does all this crazy shit happen to one person?”
(Answers: 1. Narcissism 2. Yes. 3. Beats me.)
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I have some questions for my fellow humor bloggers. (Do you mind? It is my blog, after all.)
Today, I’m talking to Frances Taylor of Whinge Whinge Wine. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Me: How did your blog get started?
Fran: When my son was about 6 months old I spend a huge portion of the night awake and the day complaining about it on Facebook, so I thought I’d take it a step further and write it down for posterity.
Me: How do you define your niche? Do you have a target audience?
Fran: Mums I’d guess (maybe dads too). Niche-wise not really; I write about whatever I fancy.
Me: Where do you get your material? Do you think funny things happen to you more than other people, or do you have to “enhance” your stories to make people laugh?
Fran: Oh no, life with toddlers is material enough, no need for comedic embellishments here.
Me: Do you think that being funny is something that comes naturally, or can a writer learn it?
Fran: I think it’s something you either have, or don’t, and you can absolutely tell when it’s forced. In the same way that I can’t write a heartfelt love letter to my children or prose that would deeply affect you (as much as I’d love to) some people just aren’t that way inclined. Go with what you’re good at, the funniest blogs are always those that are sincerely written I think. Not everything I write is funny (this interview for example) but even my reviews are lighthearted; that’s just how I write and I can’t help it really.
Me: How do you find other humor bloggers to connect with? Is there some “humor blogger cool kids table” I haven’t been invited to?
Fran: I am really lucky to have connected with a lot of bloggers by being very vocal and present in the blogging community; that’s it really. I’ve chatted to them a lot on Twitter, read their blogs and commented and vice versa. From there I’ve managed to grow some amazing friendships. I’ve been at it about 18 months, though and I joined in a lot of linkies when I was a newbie which helped me to get my bearings.
Me: Seriously, do you connect with other humor bloggers?
Fran: Not just humour but I do speak to my blogger friends every day, and I naturally get on better with the funny ones!
Me: Do you monetize your blog? How do you do it?
Fran: Not really no. I have adsense and I hope to have hit the £60 threshold within three years. Here’s hoping. I have flirted with the idea of monetisation, but when it comes down to it don’t really want to get sucked down the rabbit hole of churning out boring sponsored posts about insurance or washing powder for fifty quid a pop, because there is literally nothing funny about those things and no one would read them. Also I’m on blogger, so it’s not like I can just stealth publish shit and know no one will see it. I have started reviewing things and writing about our days out to keep the blog ticking over; these are the things people search for and how they organically land on my blog. No one is googling ‘ten reasons I’m pissed off with parenting today.’ I do freelance writing when I have spare time to bring in a bit of cash.
Me: Do you think it’s harder to find a “product” to sell when your product is wit and sarcasm?
Fran: I do think that maybe it’s not as brand friendly as other blogs but I give no tosses and I’d rather be me and write what I want to than become bland for brands. I’m not taking out every mention of poo or every use of the word shit in order to appeal to Persil or Iceland. I didn’t start out to sell myself.
Me: How do you publicize your blog? Are there any social media platforms that you think work best for humor bloggers?
Fran: Facebook is my favourite. I think that it works really well for driving traffic and anyone who doesn’t put their efforts there is missing a trick. It is a labour of love though; unless you happen to go viral it takes hard work to build your numbers; I usually post 3-6 times a day! I enjoy spending time on Twitter but it’s mainly full of bloggers trying to get you to read their stuff and the majority aren’t looking for blogs to read, even hilarious ones.
Me: Any final words of wisdom for other humor bloggers?
Fran: In the least self-deprecating way possible, I’m really not one to be doling out advice. Do what makes you happy.
Me: Thank you, Fran! It was a blast talking to you!
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