Under the Influence – finding a new blogging niche

toddler in sunglasses
My son, ready to be a toddler influencer superstar

Back in the day, influencer positions mostly belonged to actual celebrities like movie stars and famous models. Thanks to social media, the new influencers on the block are regular people that like to post their stuff online, like me.

I fell into the influencer niche because I’m a sucker for free samples. Like honestly, if you are giving it away, I’ll try it. I love trying new things. I’m also the person hoarding those little bottles of shampoo and shower caps from hotel rooms just because they’re free for the taking.

When I started blogging, it was from a very personal angle and I didn’t intend to do product reviews. When offers started coming in, I wanted to find a way to satisfy the campaign requirements without turning my blog and social media pages into big boring ads. I’ve made an effort to craft honest, informative and entertaining reviews from my own personal perspective.

There have been a few things I’ve turned down. There was a campaign for new tampons and I just couldn’t see myself posting stylized pics of tampons on my Instagram and discussing my personal flow details. And I think we’d just skip the YouTube review for that lol. And then there was the dating site for people seeking sperm donors. For real.

If you are thinking of giving the influencer thing a try, these are the companies I’ve enjoyed working with the most:

Influenster

CrowdTap

Smiley360

I’d love to hear your recommendations of companies you have tried!

And now I’m off to go try out a new stinky shoe cleaner. Because this influencer life is straight up glamorous. 😂

Hi, I’m Candy Keane and I’m a…

img_7376A couple weeks ago I was at a ComicCon type convention judging a cosplay contest and at the beginning they handed the microphone to the judges to introduce themselves. As soon as I put the mic to my mouth and said “Hi, I’m Candy Keane and…” I just froze. I looked out at all those people and had not one idea what to say about who I was or what I was doing there, besides “I’m a mom.” I was suddenly having a full-blown identity crisis in front of hundreds of people.

My mind started racing as the MC took over for me and started rattling off my years of involvement in the cosplay community and experience in costuming. My face started to burn. I used to have such a solid answer. I own a small business. I run my own boutique. I’ve achieved success in my field and am a well-known cosplayer and costume designer. I was there as a cosplay guest! I could have easily led with that but my mind just blanked. I wanted to say I blogged but couldn’t seem to get it out.

After that experience, I realized I need to embrace my new identity as mom and blogger and be able to shout it loud and proud. It’s not the mom part I wasn’t confident about. There’s no denying that part! It was being a blogger.

Blogging is the kind of thing where anyone can set up a free page and write a few lines and call themselves a blogger. So how do you distinguish when you are a “real” blogger? Is it when you are getting paid for writing? Because so far I’ve only been paid in free products. I don’t like ads on my page so I’ve turned down offers of advertising. I haven’t been published on any big blogs. I don’t write about anything newsworthy. Half the time I’m writing about pooping. (see previous post)

So what makes me a blogger? I guess the answer is Me. I’m the one who makes that distinction. And people are not going to believe it unless I truly believe in myself.

So let’s try this again: “Hi, I’m Candy Keane and write a blog called GeekMamas.com.”

I think that’s a good start.

 

Rise and Shine! Giving early a try

sleepy toddlerI normally like to sleep as long as possible, but after reading a post by The Salty Mamas where they described getting up early to “punch that day right in the face” I got inspired to give it a try. My son normally wakes me at 7AM by yelling “Mommy! Mommy where are you?” over and over. I decided to try waking up to the sounds of chimes at 6AM instead.

I initially woke up at 2AM and lied there for a bit hoping it was really 5AM and I’d amazingly woken up early on my own. After checking the time and realizing getting up at 2AM was a really bad idea, I went back to sleep.

The chimes went off right at six and my first impulse was to press snooze. Then I continued to snuggle in the covers while trying to get my brain going. I managed to get up about three minutes into the snooze.

I failed to factor in letting the dogs out, feeding the dogs, making coffee, then letting the dogs out again, which left me with maybe only 30 min. to work with. Still, it was a great 30 min. of silence and I actually got some bloggy stuff done, which was my whole goal of getting up early.

And right on time, at 6:57 I can hear the first rumblings of the child waking. I may not have punched this day in the face, but I feel like I at least gave it a good smack.

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Drinking Wine and Blogging in My Activewear

cheersMy wardrobe has taken a dramatic turn since my child became mobile. It’s the heart-stopping, turn your head and he’s gone kind of mobile. Once we entered this activity- enhanced phase and I found myself running down the street, chasing through store aisles, crawling around playgrounds, navigating the grocery store with a child/monkey climbing me…these are not activities for cute dresses and strappy shoes. Nope. I needed to invest in some Activewear.

I started with a cheap sports bra on Amazon that ended up being the most comfortable thing in the world. I ended up buying a 6 pack in different colors! Bye-bye Victoria’s Secret $50 bra! Hello $6 Amazon special. Everything pokes, scratches or just bugs me so I looooove these things. I’m serious. My last order of VS undies I have to wear inside out because the damn seams are so sharp. I warned my husband what was up so he wouldn’t think I was losing it.

Then I invested in some really comfy sneakers and started collecting running capris. Not as long as yoga pants (I’m in Florida!) but not as short as shorts. And then added cute tank tops to pair over the sports bras. This is now my daily wardrobe. While I do actually go to the gym a few times a week, I dress like this regardless of my gym attendance. It’s just so functional! And I think it looks a lot better than the big T-shirts and jean shorts combo I was rocking post-maternity wear.

So I get the yoga pants mom thing now. I may actually look into those when it gets chilly! I am guilty of doing everything in my activewear, because I am up and moving most of the day. I didn’t even go to the gym today or workout and still hit 19,000 steps on my Fitbit just running around trying to balance housework and “toddler things.” So cheers to all you mom’s out there in your fancy activewear. We all know you earned it.

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Like what you see on the blog? Consider supporting GeekMamas.com with a virtual cup of coffee:
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

The Mommy Blog Identity

Top Mommy BlogsIt used to bug the crap out of me when I’d see “mom” in someone’s bio. True story. I was like, I see you’re a mom, I feel that’s one of those things you don’t really have to tell me. The entire “Mommy Blog” trend annoyed me. I thought separating them into their own category was just silly. This was of course because I had no idea what I was talking about.

So now, here I am, with “mom” usually first in my short bio. It took me so long to become a mom, that people are just lucky I don’t walk around wearing a badge that loudly proclaims my mom status. Oh wait. I’m usually dragging a toddler while wearing clothing with various food smears and have Cheerios in my hair. I think that speaks for itself.

Today I got the message that my blog was finally accepted into the Top Mommy Blogs website. For some reason, it made me feel a little more official. Maybe because I got a cute cartoon badge. (Go ahead! Click it! It’s a vote for my blog) But also because I decided to embrace the fact that yes, I am a Mommy Blogger. That’s what I enjoy writing about the best – being a mom and raising my son and all the crazy things that come with it. ❤