A Look Behind The Book With Aby Moore.

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An undisputed star of the blogging world, Aby Moore could quite easily sit back and revel in the success her hard work has brought her. Instead, this Mamapreneur wants to inspire others to turn their hobby into a thriving business  – and she’s happy to show them how.

Among many other things, she writes articles offering tips on ways to make money from blogging on her own popular site, You Baby, Me Mummy, runs mentoring courses, workshops and has a busy Facebook community.  As if that wasn’t enough, Aby has just released her first book, Blogs Change Lives, to make it even easier for those wanting to take things to the next level.

Her daughter, Ava, is the same age as Freya and I first started reading Aby’s blog when she was focussed on parenting but, even at the start, she was always willing to offer help and encouragement. To see the way her blogging empire has grown and evolved over the years has been amazing but the best thing is, Aby has remained the same friendly, helpful person she always was.

I was thrilled when she agreed to be my latest Behind The Book interviewee.

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I can’t think of anyone better to write a book about blogging but what made you want to do it? What are you hoping people get from it?

Thanks so much, that’s very kind of you to say that. Growing up I longed to write a book. As a lover of a good project, the idea appealed to me, but I could never think of a suitable topic. I wanted it to be something I felt passionately about. Something that I could pour my heart into.

Years (and years!) passed and still no book. Then in 2013 I had my daughter and later that year was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression. My life totally and utterly changed, as it turned out eventually for the better! I wanted to capture the magic which had led to so many wonderful things happening in my life and so I wrote this book.

My blog fixed me and continues to do so every day. I’ve worked with international brands, had amazing opportunities and have also been able to support my family. Then it struck me! My story could help others. My story could show people who have never considered blogging just how powerful it is. While providing people who already have blogs with a clear roadmap for them to follow and succeed. I started writing mid way through November and just three months later the book was finished!

I’m so incredibly proud of Blogs Change Lives. I wrote it to show all the mamas out there that they do not have to put their dreams on hold. Nor do they have to leave their children to go out to work for someone else (if this is not what they want). They can create their own empires.

BlogschangelivesHow exactly has your blog changed your life?

My blog has always given me somewhere to escape to when I’ve needed it. Which over the years has proved invaluable.

However, the best thing that blogging has given me are some amazing friendships with beautiful, courageous and driven women that I have the pleasure of calling my friends.

My blog turned into a business which has supported my family, but also been a springboard to other things, such as starting a podcast, running an online summit, oh and writing a book!

You’ve carried your chatty and friendly but confident blog style through to your book. It’s almost like you’re our best friend and we’ve asked you for help. Did it just naturally happen that way? 

That’s so lovely to hear. I think it’s so important to show up with authenticity and so I had to write this book as me. It’s my story and I wanted to tell it in my own voice and make a connection with my readers that was genuine and would be cohesive with my voice across my other platforms.

Blogging has changed so much over the years. What’s one good thing and one bad thing you think has happened

I’m seeing more and more bloggers go on to achieve awesome things outside the blogging niche. This is so wonderful and is a testament to their creativity and hard work. More and more people are expanding and diversifying their work and subsequently their income streams. This is all so positive for bloggers.

However, I think there has been an influx of newer bloggers who think monetising a blog is easy (which we all know it isn’t!). They are expecting to work for a couple of hours a week and earn decent money in return.

Your own blog has also evolved. Did you make a conscious decision to write less about parenting Ava? Do you miss a more therapeutic style of blogging?

It definitely wasn’t a conscious decision. I absolutely love helping people with their blogs and so as my experience grew my niche changed. I would much rather talk about blogging and business, than potty training and weaning, so it’s a better fit for me. I still write about my family when it’s relevant and I really want to show people that I still walk the walk. I’m a working mum, who has to juggle her child with the demands of a business. I still work with brands and do all the things I’m training them to do, which I feel makes me authentic.

What’s your favourite part of your blogging life now (including things such as giving inspirational talks at blog meet ups etc)?

I love doing Facebook lives and helping my community. I also really enjoy creating videos for YouTube.

What about the actual task of writing the book. How did you fit that it around work and parenting?

I’m quite driven, so when I decided I wanted to start writing it I did. I’d just got on the Eurostar in London andy the time I reached Paris I had 3,000 words written. I repurposed some content too. Writing my book just became a daily priority. Even if you write 2,000 words a day you can create a decent room in around 3 months.

Can we talk self-publishing? Was it natural, as a blogger who has been self- publishing for years, to go down that route?

It is difficult, as I think there tends to be a certain degree of ‘extra’ status. However, I was seeing more and more entrepreneurs who I look up to self-publishing their own books successful. I also create my business so I’m not reliant on other people. I’m not tied to brand work. If that goes quiet, I have other products.

Aby Moore Quote

This is your first book, have you thought about writing any more? Maybe fiction?

I think it was a one time thing! To be honest I’m not the world’s most creative person. If you gave me a topic, I could write a book!

What is your top writing tip?

Break it down into a daily writing word count. My book is 75k words, so if you have a rough word count in mind and then always write your daily allocation your book will be finished before you know it.

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I love Aby’s attitude to self-publishing, it makes complete sense when she says it like that.

I can’t thank her enough for answering my questions and wish her every success with her book, which, at the time of writing, has ALL five star reviews on Amazon.

Want to find out more? You can visit Aby’s site here, follow her on TwitterInstragram and Facebook, watch her YouTube videos and, of couse, you can buy Blogs Change Lives via Amazon here.

Are you a blogger? Have you thought about trying to take your blog to the next level?

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A Celebration Of April Blossom.

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“April is the cruelest month,” according to T S Eliot in his long and complex poem, The Waste Land.

This line came back to me recently as I stood and watched heavy rain almost beat the blossom from the trees. I’m sure that’s not what he had in mind when he wrote it but it felt quite apt just then.

In between the fog and the rain, we’ve had some lovely days, days when it would have been criminal not to stop and take photos of the glorious blossom as I was passing.

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It seemed particularly abundant this year but maybe that’s because I was looking for it?

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A week after I snapped these photos, much of the blossom was already gone. I’m sure there’s a message from Mother Nature there about appreciating every day or something.

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Poor old Mark has been suffering with his hay fever and it’s horrible to see him all bunged up and red eyed. I’ve tried to keep my joy at the blossom under under wraps but I’m not sure I’ve been that successful.

Are you a blossom fan? Have you had much where you live?

Simple Creature ‘Hand’ Puppets #BostikBlogger.

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When our latest craft box arrived I was a little despondent because surely nothing could top paper flowers? Had we peaked too soon?

I opened it up and you know in films when a child lifts the lid of treasure box, the special effects kick in and they are bathed in a golden glow? Well, that almost happened, thanks to the spangly gold card that had been included.

My mind was soon racing with ideas but it was actually the recent CBeebies production of The Tempest, which Freya is obsessed with, that inspired our craft. I thought we could put on a play using ‘hand’ puppets with the theme of this month’s box, which is ‘creatures’.

Freya loves putting on shows and when I suggested it she couldn’t wait to get started.

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We used:

Different colour card, including spangly green and gold.

Sparkly pink sticky back paper.

Bostik Fine and Wide Glu Pen.

Pencil and pens.

Scissors.

Googly eyes.

Assorted gems and sequins.

Bostik Foam Pads.

Lolly sticks (plus the odd salvaged coffee stirrer).

Step one.

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Tongue out in concentration, Freya got to work writing a list of creatures she thought we could include in a play. She decided on a butterfly, a ladybird, a blackbird and a bumble bee. This gave me a very rough idea for a story and I suggested we added a dragon, which she was more than happy to do. I explained my tale but, apparently, it was missing a little something (everyone’s a critic, right?). And that something was, of course, a queen fairy named, can you guess? Yes, Freya!

Step two.

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With a character list and rough story idea, we set to work making the puppets. Freya is getting pretty good at drawing around her hand and only needed a bit of help. Although my artistic skills are somewhat lacking, I added in a head and tail for the dragon as best I could.

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Step three.

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For some reason, scissors are one of Freya’s favourite things at the moment. I often find her sat up the dining table snipping up bits of paper (and the occasional bill). I cut out a few others while she was working on hers.

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Step four.

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Now comes the really fun part – decoration. I thought the little sequins looked like scales so we set about covering the dragon with them

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Freya was VERY specific about decorating the fairy in her likeness – although she felt she needed glasses. I also managed to deeply offend her when I offered her a brown pen to colour in the hair. “My hair is not brown,” she said. “It’s golden!” Oops. I didn’t have a gold pen but I tried to make up for it by making her a gold crown and wings.

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She was so pleased with it she wanted to take it to school to show her teacher – and ended up telling the whole class about our crafting activities.

Step five.

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We left everything to dry overnight and then, because she gets up ridiculously early, there was plenty of time to put on a show before school, with the Playmobil as the audience. We’ve also used the puppets several times since.

I’ll post one of our tales below. I started it off and Freya pitched in with her ideas about what should happen, particularly the ending. I don’t think I’ll be writing children’s stories any time soon but Freya might.

This craft actually turned out to be one of the most creative and fun ones we’ve done so far. I think we both really enjoyed it.

* Please note: We receive a craft box from Craft Merrily free of charge, as part of our role as Tots 100 Bostik Bloggers, in return for this post. 

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Once upon a time in a pretty garden not very far from here, there lived a group of creatures. There was a beautiful Butterfly, a buzzing bumble Bee, a bustling Blackbird and a lovely Ladybird. They all lived happily together among the green grass, colourful flowers and blooming trees.

One day, as they were busily going about their business in the sunshine, a dark shadow was cast over the garden.

“Is it a bird?” Butterfly asked.

“No, it’s too big for a bird.” Blackbird explained, a quiver in his voice.

“Is it a plane?” Bee risked a look up into the sky.

“But it’s not making any noise,” said Ladybird.

Suddenly the shadow grew bigger and a huge dragon swooped over them.

“Ahhhh,” they all screamed and fled into the bushes – only coming back out when they could be sure the dragon had gone.

Over the next couple of days the same thing kept happening. The creatures were very fearful about venturing into their little patch of garden.

“Why does it keep coming?” Bee wondered.

“It clearly wants to gobble us all up for its lunch,” said Ladybird.

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The following day it appeared once more.

“Wait, wait, please!” The dragon cried as he swooped down but the creatures quickly disappeared into their hiding place.

“As if we are going to wait for him to eat us,” cried Blackbird.

“Will we ever be safe from the dragon again?” asked Butterfly.

They knew they needed help and so early the following day they all jumped on Blackbird’s back and he flew swiftly over the fence to a garden three houses down where the fairies lived inside a big old oak tree. There they asked to see the Queen of all the fairies, Fairy Freya, sure that she would know what to do.

“So, what does the dragon want?” the golden-haired fairy asked them, regally, from her throne.

“To eat us,” Ladybird said, confidently.

“It has tried to eat you?” she quizzed them.

“Well….no.”

“It’s definitely trying to scare us,” said Bee.

“What does it do?”

“It swoops down,” said Butterfly, spreading her wings in what she thought was a threatening manner.

“And then what?”

“Then we run away,” they all agreed.

“I see,” said the very wise fairy, thoughtfully. “And has he ever tried to speak to you?”

“No, not at all,” said Bee.

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“Although,” said Ladybird, “he did call for us to ‘wait’ last time.”

“Right,” Fairy Freya said, standing up. “I know just what to do.”

With a wave of her wand she transported them all back to their garden.

“What now?” asked Butterfly.

“Now, we wait,” said Fairy Freya.

It didn’t take long. Soon a dark shadow was cast across the garden again. As usual the dragon swooped to the ground. The creatures all cowered behind brave Fairy Freya.

“Good morning, Dragon,” she said.

He seemed quite taken aback. “You’re not going to run away?”

“No, but I’d like to know why you keep visiting the garden and frightening my friends.”

“Oh, I really don’t mean to scare them. I was flying over one day and they looked like they were having such a lovely time that I thought I could join in but every time I got close they ran away.”

“So you don’t want to eat them?”

“Oh no, I’m vegetarian. I don’t eat creatures…or fairies.”

One by one, Bee, Butterfly, Blackbird and Ladybird came out from behind Fairy Freya.

“You just want to be our friend?” asked Blackbird.

“Yes, I ‘d really like that.”

The creatures looked at one another and nodded.

“Very well,” said Fairy Freya, her job here done.

And so each day Dragon arrived and spent time playing in the garden with the creatures. They all had a lovely time and discovered that while Dragon might be big and a bit different to them, he was still good fun and made a lovely friend.

The End.