Welcome back to Influencer Interviews! This week we are chatting with Cristie Anne, otherwise known as @thetravelingred on Instagram. Cristie is another new team member who joined us late last year. We are excited that she is here to share with everyone what it is like to be a full-time mother, as well as a full-time blogger/influencer.
Tell me a little bit about yourself, why you became an influencer and how you found your own voice in the saturated influencer world?
I am Cristie Anne, better known as The Traveling Red. About 5 years ago, a friend suggested that I start a travel blog and Instagram page to share my travels. My husband and I were constantly traveling and we loved photography, but we never shared it with the world.
We’ve always been extremely private people, but my friend insisted we were missing out on a great opportunity by not sharing the content we were creating anyway. I figured it would make us a little extra income or get us some comped stays, so I went for it and began The Traveling Red.
Fast forward 5 years later and life has changed quite a bit. The biggest change is that I am now a mommy of a 2 year old daughter. The Traveling Red still has plenty of travel content, but it often focuses on traveling with children, as my daughter goes everywhere with us. She had been to 4 continents by the age of 1. My Instagram page and blog now include a range of topics: lifestyle, motherhood and even home decor.
After my daughter was born I found myself struggling to keep up my Instagram page and my blog. I was no longer just a girl traveling the world, but I was a mom and life was very different. I assumed my followers only wanted to see travel content. I was so stuck on sharing what I thought I was supposed to share, rather than what I really wanted to share.
About a year ago, I decided that I didn’t really care if people unfollowed me because my content changed. I just needed to be true to myself and find my voice in the saturated influencer world. I started sharing about my daughter, family life, home decor projects and really just anything going on in my life at that moment.
My content was no longer only travel content. I definitely lost some followers at the beginning, but I just as quickly gained a new following of mostly moms that aspired to travel with their kids. I ended up creating an amazing community that I love sharing with every day. I’ve decided to remain true to myself because that is when I am the happiest.
What do you wish someone told you before becoming an influencer?
I wish someone had told me not to worry about what everyone else was doing and be true to myself. When I started out many years ago, I thought I had to focus on only one thing. I thought if I had a travel page, I couldn’t post anything that wasn’t travel related because that’s what I was seeing on other pages I admired.
By doing so I missed out on a huge opportunity to connect with my followers on a more personal level. There’s so much more to me than my travels, and I wish I had shared that from the beginning.
What is it like being an influencer and a mom all at once?
Being an influencer and a full-time mom is hard work, but I am so grateful to have this opportunity. I don’t have a boss or work hours, so it’s on me to make sure my work gets done. It’s so easy to get distracted by being mom all day, but I still have to make time for work. I don’t take for granted that I am lucky enough to be able to earn income while being a stay at home mom. It’s all about finding the right balance and making time for everything.
How do you navigate having your family being a part of your business and content?
Sharing my day-to-day life would be almost impossible without including my family. I am a full time mom as my daughter doesn’t go to school yet, so it would be really hard to share content daily if I didn’t include her in it. Most of my daily activities are for her, other than working and household responsibilities, which wouldn’t be much fun to see.
My husband is also part of my content, more so when we’re traveling because then we are together 24/7. There are days when my daughter isn’t in the mood or my husband doesn’t want me to video him, so then I don’t. In that sense, I go with the flow.
At the end of the day, Instagram and my blog are snippets of my life, and I share what I want to share and I keep private what I feel should be private. That’s the beauty of this job, you select how much you share and you can do what works best for you. At this moment, including my family in my content works for me, so that’s what I do.
Toughest part about being a mommy blogger?
Creating content with a 2 year old is definitely the toughest part about being a mommy blogger. It is so much harder than when I had to create content on my own. Getting a 2 year old to cooperate for a photo shoot isn’t always easy. I might have a tight deadline that I need to submit several photos for, but if she’s not in the mood for a photo shoot I have to be patient and try again later.
It was much easier when it was just me, I could focus and take a bunch of photos until I got the perfect shot. It’s not that simple with a toddler. I’ve definitely learned to have patience and go with the flow. I’ve come to accept that creating content takes 10 times as long as it used to.
Best part about being a mommy blogger?
The best part about being a mommy blogger is being able to work from home and be a full-time mommy while earning some extra income. I am exhausted a lot of days, but I get to live the life I always dreamed of and I don’t take that for granted.
What would you share with future and current mommy bloggers?
Be yourself and keep it real! Life isn’t perfect, your kid isn’t perfect and that’s okay. Other mommies relate to that. No one expects you to have a perfect life and perfectly behaved children. It’s just not real life and it’s definitely not relatable.
Most of my followers are other mommies, so we connect the most when I share the reality…be it a rough day or asking for their help because I’m unsure about something as we enter a new phase. If you’re a mom, you know it’s the hardest job there is, so keep it real and other mommies will find you relatable.
Anything else you would like to add?
My advice to other hopeful influencers as a whole is to stop being a perfectionist. I am such a perfectionist that often times I don’t post a photo or blog post until it’s perfect, which means I’ve checked it over 100 times.
You don’t need the perfect photo or the best editing or the perfectly engaging caption, you just need to be consistent. Same goes for blogging. It doesn’t have to include every single detail and every photo, you just need to write an informative blog post and share it.
Many times I find myself not sharing something because it’s not perfect or up to my standards in one way or another. As the years have passed, I’ve realized just how much time I’ve spent on each blog post and how many blog posts I started writing and never finished because they just weren’t good enough. I wish I would have posted more and worried less.
I still struggle with this daily, but I’m actively trying to be better about it. Having a 2 year old has definitely helped me. Getting the perfect photo I envisioned isn’t as easy with a 2 year old in it, so now I pick the best from what I got and go with it. I really wish I had been better about that since the beginning.
I want to personally thank Cristie for taking the time to share her story and her knowledge about juggling mommy and blogger life. Please go give her a follow at @thetravelingred. Hopefully you have learned something if you are a mother as well or gained some insights into the busy lives of full-time moms and bloggers.
Comment below if you are a mommy blogger or know one and how you cope with running your business and your family at the same time!
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