Get to know NCBN member Ashley Shaffer of Today’s NC
1. How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging for just over 4 years. I started out with my own scrapbooky style blog, Momicles. It’s still out there and holds a big piece of my heart, but it’s also terribly neglected! I’ll get back to it one day. After starting Momicles, my next step was writing for MomStart. I did a little bit of everything there: reviews, videos, recipes, press trips, a TV appearance on Lifetime. Working there is what really introduced me to blogging as an industry.
2. What do you blog about?
I classify Today’s NC as a local lifestyle blog. I cover recipes, travel, and some general “lifestyle” articles, but my favorite things to write are profiles about local businesses. I meet with local business owners and find out what their stories are. It’s a great way to get to know my community, meet some amazing people, and bridge the online and IRL world.
3. Why did you start blogging?
I have always loved to write. Blogging gave me the tools to write things that others could read. I set out to use Momicles as a way to document pretty much everything in our lives after I entered the myseterious world of motherhood. We were living in Seattle at the time and I wanted to share stories with our family and friends back on the East Coast. After I had that initial high of knowing people were actually reading the things I was writing, I was hooked. Having an audience pushed me (and still pushes me) to hone my craft and make a better product.
4. What is your FAVORITE post you’ve ever written (you can pick 2)?
So many bloggers are embarrassed by their early days, and maybe I should be, but one of my favorites is still my first post ever: Melancholy Mama at Momicles. I tear up every time.
I also LOVE what I do now at Today’s NC. Writing about local business owners is amazing, and I love how this one turned out: Meet Mama Peep – Some People Call Her Jodi .
5. What blog do you love?
I love a lot of the blogs that are in our network. Go Dansker Mom and The Pintester are two that I frequent, but there are SO MANY great blogs in our group. I also like checking in on Girls With Glasses and Scary Mommy can usually make me laugh. Tanis Miller (Tanis the Redneck Mommy) was the first blogger I really started following and reading. Still love her.
6. What is your biggest piece of advice for other bloggers?
Be nice. Be yourself. Do things you will be proud of.
I feel like so many of the problems in the blogging world can be helped (though not always solved) with these pieces of advice.
7. What are you looking forward to for you as a blogger in the upcoming months (conferences, big blog release, book release, publishing, community, redesign, new content, etc)?
Today’s NC is still pretty new in the blogosphere so I’m definitely looking forward to continued growth. Featuring Triangle area businesses for holiday gift guides and local charities for the season of giving is going to be so much fun! I can’t wait to become more involved with Vend Raleigh (a Triangle based network for mom entrepreneurs) and their blogger group. I’m also excited to be developing my freelance career and launching my own professional portfolio. There are so many things to look forward to!