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MAKING WAVES: interview with Nyomi WINTER

MAKING WAVES interviewed Nyomi Winter this week, a Geordie blogger who runs the feminist family lifestyle site She’s a mum to Arlo 6 and Lena 3. She’s known for championing women and feminist causes, as well as her searingly honest and often funny accounts of modern motherhood. In her own words, she embarrasses herself daily on Instagram stories. We had the opportunity to work with Nyomi on a campaign this year with Care2Rock - a social enterprise that provides virtual music lessons by quality music teachers who also pledge to teach foster children and children in hospitals for a year. The campaign went very well, check out her content for the campaign here.

Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?

I’m a 34-year-old Geordie mam of 2. I love indie/rock music and getting to gigs and festivals. I like booze, good food and binging Netflix. I love Harry Potter #HufflepufftillIdie. I’m an angry feminist and social media junkie. I’m a chronic over sharer and don’t really have a filter. I’m the same when you first meet me to when you’ve known me years. I don’t really have many boundaries! I guess that’s how I’ve ended up being a blogger.

What is your favourite social platform to use and why?

I like all of the different platforms for their own different reasons but my favourite at the moment is Instagram and that’s mainly because I love stories. I love to make them and I love to watch them. I like how it’s a more raw and authentic method of getting to know people. I love getting DMs from my followers from my stories. Because no one else can see your stats on their, it takes the pressure off and feels more organic and ironically as a result is my most engaged audience. That said, it’s a total time suck so I’m currently trying to be more mindful of that.

You’re quite a busy person, you have your blog, children and a part-time job, how do you find time to balance it all?

Frankly, I don’t! Stuff slides, the emails stack up and too many go unanswered. I prioritise on what is most urgent and important and really if it isn’t urgent or important then I’m not likely to get to it. My kids come first and then the rest I slot in around. I try to find ways to work smarter too, automating what I can and using apps/software to help me organise. I recently started using Airtable as an editorial scheduler and that’s a great free tool that helps me stay organised. I also like Wave for managing finances and invoicing. All in all though, there is a lot of working past midnight and working every day, including weekends.

What brands or people have had the biggest impact on your growth and why?

I’m not sure any brands have had a big impact on my growth but other bloggers have. People often complain about the blogging community being bitchy but I rarely see that side of it. I’ve been blown away by the generosity of other bloggers who have supported me since the start. Samantha Rickelton from North East Family Fun read one of my first blog posts and took me under her wing. She has been a huge source of inspiration to me and the amount of support she has given me over the past 3 years is immeasurable. Honestly, in my experience, bloggers are the best colleagues ever.

What did you do before you started your blog and why did you decide to start one?

I did work, and still do work, as a project officer in service improvement and performance in social housing. I had always been drawn to blogging as I’ve always been an over-sharer on social media and it just felt like the next logical step for me. I had wanted to blog for years and never got around to it but then after having children I just had too much to say to keep it all in anymore so blogging became my outlet!

What does a typical day in your week look like for you?

If it’s one of my ‘day job’ days, I’ll be in the office 8-6ish and then home to put the kids to bed and then blogging in the evening. If it’s a non-day-job day then I’ll be up with the kids from 6am, do drop off for my son at school, then during the day I’ll be trying to do bits and bobs of blogging work around my 3-year-old daughter while she’s happily occupied. This might look like social media stuff or replying to emails or just general admin. Then I’ll pick my son up from school and I’ll be busy with the kids until my partner takes them upstairs to bed 7-7.30 and I start working. This might be writing/editing/promoting blog posts, social media work, admin etc. I try to stop working around 9.30pm and watch some tv until 10.30 when I try to go to bed as my 3-year-old still wakes a lot at night but if I have a lot of brand working on, often I can still be working past midnight. I’m at that awkward point of blogging where I’m close to doing it full time so I’m kind of running 2 jobs alongside each other until I can focus on it 100%.

What was your most successful collaboration to work on and why?

I honestly couldn’t say, it would be like naming your favourite kid or something. I would say though that I prefer to work on longer campaigns that I can sink my teeth into and really get to know the brand/network and how they like to work, what they are about and can push all the right key points. The Care2Rock campaign I did in the summer with INKWAVE is one example of this.

What are some of the most important qualities you think are required to be successful in the industry?

Resilience is key. You have to have a thick skin – you get rejected a lot. You are opening yourself up on social media to criticism and trolling. You definitely have to be willing to work long and unsociable hours. It’s not a job you really ever knock off from entirely. And to be really successful, you have to be a good negotiator, otherwise, you’ll never push your fees to what they should be. That takes a degree of courage at times!

What are your favourite tools to use to streamline your social media activity?

I actually don’t really use any tools for social media except their general apps. For social media scheduling I’m currently using Buffer as a scheduler and Hiplay for evergreen content. I was enjoying Viraltag but then they removed their evergreen feature for twitter which rendered it useless to me. I do need to get better at automating and being consistent on social media though. It’s a fine balance between being there, live and authentic and not letting it use up all your time.

You’ve created lots of content for your blog, tell us about why you decided to leverage this platform the most and why you think it’s been successful for you.

I think I’ve focused on the blog because it’s what I enjoy the most. If I won the lottery and money wasn’t a factor, I would still want to write on the blog. It’s cathartic for me. I’m not sure it has been my most successful platform though, I think it’s a tie between that and YouTube because YouTube pays higher than the blog. Personally, I just really enjoy writing though so that’s where my heart lies.

What has changed the most in the influencer space and how has it affected the way you create content?

I’ve only being doing this for coming up 3 years so I’m not an OG blogger who has seen a ton of changes. That said, I think Instagram’s growth has had a big impact on blogging. It has become a microblog in itself and stories has almost become a mini YouTube in a way. As in, you can go do a mini blog or vlog on Instagram and stories way quicker than you could a full blog or vlog post. I pretty much daily vlog on Instagram stories – something I could never have faced on YouTube as I wouldn’t have time to edit the videos. Brands seem to care about Instagram more than any other platform now. Sometimes I think brands care too much about Instagram. They never seem to care about Facebook when in my experience, that’s where the best views come from, especially for blog posts.

What do you think the future looks like for influencer marketing?

In the immediate future I think brands are finally waking up to how important engagement is and how some influencers have been faking it. Recently, we’ve seen a spate of brands and networks develop software to see who has bought followers/likes, uses bots, uses pods and does follow/unfollow tactics and stopping working with them. Just today I used a site called Hype Auditor to check my ‘audience quality score’ which looks at authenticity and engagement rate. I think this is a welcome move.

Longer term – once supercomputers become more mainstream I think that will change the game radically. No one knows how yet but I would assume more automation for sure. One thing I can’t see ever changing though is that organic, genuine relationships with your followers is the key to success.

Tell us about your content creation process and how you adapt to the different social channels?

In my mind, each social media channel has its own feel or personality and I adapt to that. Facebook is where I share mostly other people’s content and some of my own. It’s become the platform where I focus on feminism most. I tend to put out content on Facebook 3-4 times a day. Instagram is really focused on me and my life and I share my daily life with my followers on stories. It’s where I chat most to my followers. YouTube I will make a video if it’s something that will be searchable and do well on views (like a review for a brand) or if it’s to capture memories for us to look back on, like a family birthday or holiday vlog. I usually start by thinking about what I want to put on Instagram though and work back from there. I ask whether the Instagram content will work pushed through to Twitter and Facebook or does it need to be changed. I tend to think – is this useful to people, is this provoking thought or change, or is this funny/can I make this funny. If it isn’t one of those then I shouldn’t be posting it.

You can find Nyomi at the links below:

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