Maggy Woodley is an award-winning blogger at Red Ted Art, one of the biggest and most popular art and craft blogs in the UK, with around 500,000 page views a month.
Her new book, Red Ted Art: Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids is available from 28th March.
Here she tells us about blogging, books and awards...
How did you get into blogging?
I started Red Ted Art in 2010. I was at home with my children, my son 'Red Ted', who's five, and my daughter 'Pip Squeak', three, and wanted to do something different.
I started originally by making pop art prints for my son's bedroom. A few friends commented that they liked them, and I started thinking about making them to sell.
I was advised to try and get an online presence for self-promotion, and blogging was the easiest - and cheapest - thing to do from home. Red Ted Art was named after my son's teddy bears, one of which was, you've guessed it, red!
What are the most popular things on the blog?
It varies hugely thanks to social media and particularly Pinterest, where posts and pictures can get a lot of attention. My round-ups do very well, where I showcase other bloggers and posts, along with my recycling content and 'kids get arty', which features crafts inspired by great artists.
Why do you think Red Ted Art is so successful?
I always try to be myself on the blog, and be original. Of course I take inspiration from other bloggers and authors, but my work is original content, which readers haven't seen before.
I'm also honest and not intimidating with my crafts and ideas, making them all achievable.
I try and make the blog attractive with good photos, which I believe can make anything look 100 times better, and I am very active on social media which helps promote content. You really do have to put yourself out there.
What's your advice for parents who want to do more crafting and get creative with children?
Buy my book! But honestly, just try and make time for it. Say to yourself that on Saturday morning, you will spend 20 minutes doing something together. Otherwise it just won't happen.
You also have to remember to keep it simple and have fun, and get inspiration from your children - my kids always amaze me with their ideas.
Don't be nervous of the mess either - not every craft you try has to involve glitter and paint!
Find something you enjoy and are comfortable with.
How did your book deal come about?
I do craft and recipe book reviews on the blog, and always said to publishers that I was keen to be involved, and if there were any opportunities for me and my work to keep me in mind.
Eventually, with a bit of luck and even more perseverance, I got offered a deal with Square Peg.
I think my active social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest really worked in my favour. I already had an audience and platforms for self-promotion, and clearly really put myself, and Red Ted Art, out there.
After many wins you're a judge in the Mum and Dad Blog Awards (MADs) this year, sponsored by Parentdish. How are you finding judging rather than competing?
It's nice to have the pressure to do well and win taken off, and see the other side of the awards. I was chuffed when I was asked to be a judge, as it means I am making time to read other blogs and discover new talent.
I'm responsible for choosing a fifth 'judge's finalist' in the Best Craft Blog category, as well as helping the other judges (including Parentdish editor Tamsin Kelly), choose the winner of Blog of the Year and Outstanding Contribution. It's a nice thought that I can give a fantastic blogger a great reward and brilliant exposure.
Your own house is brimming with blogging awards...
They are all in the downstairs loo! I moved them in there so everyone who comes to the house sees them!
So far I'm the proud owner of Best Craft Blog, MADS 2012, Best Craft and Best Preschool Blog, MADs 2011, and Fresh New Voice, BritMums, 2010.
Try Maggy's crafts at home:
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