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Featured Blogger: Dana Baker, Parenting in Real Life
Dana Baker is a writer, blogger and mom of two who knows first hand the challenges of raising a child with anxiety, ADHD and some depression. Read on to find out more about how Dana is stepping boldly into a new career as a blogger and parenting coach.
1. What is your name and where are you located?
My name is Dana E. Baker, I live just north of San Francisco in Tiburon
2. What is the name of your blog? What subjects does it cover?
Parenting In Real Life is my blog. It explores all the ups and downs in parenting, often using personal essays to delve into the various emotions of the subject matter. I give parenting advice and tips on many aspects: how to notice and then mitigate anxiety at different ages, how to keep peace with your teens, how to make senior year in high school more bearable—for parent and teen. My aim is to help both kids and parents get through family life with less stress and discord. I also write about health, chronic illness, managing life transitions, marriage and anything else that comes my way. I hope to do it all with humor and from the heart.
3. Why do you choose to write in multiple niches?
Good question. I think because my life has so many aspects to it. I have had different careers; I have 2 very different kids; I had a high-powered career that I had to stop due to acute—and chronic—health issues. I’m passionate about women and equality, parenting and kids, helping people have their best lives. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns and I embrace that and want to let other people do that as well. I love adventures and it’s fun to explore new places, new things, and new topics.
4. Do you blog and write as a hobby, as a part-time job, or do you do it for full time income?
I don’t think of it as a hobby; it’s more of a passion. And, yes, I do it for income as well. My blog is also part of my Parenting in Real Life business, where I am a Mentor/Coach for Parents as well as Teens or kids. I offer a reality check and acknowledge that parenting is really hard and we are not all the perfect parents you see on social media.
I think it’s really important to share any information and successes/failures we’ve had and to help others succeed. I’m sure I would have been a better mom had I had some of that information earlier.
My blog shares secrets and tips to help others before it’s too late. Family dynamics are so important, and so is learning how to relate to the differences in your kids. How do you know when your child is having a normal concern and curiosity vs. when they may show signs of real anxiety? What do you do and how do you face and advocate when there is anxiety or depression or ADHD? How do you start to push independence on them as they get older and become a mentor rather than “parent” before they head off to college. I could go on and on. And I do in my blog! It’s also critical to keep your humor as you face all of this—and i definitely do that.
5. Do you blog on your own platform, for companies, for publications, or for a mixture of these?
I blog on my own site as well as for publications. I’m open to it for companies as well, but haven’t pursued that. I just want to keep it interesting, to offer new perspectives. But I really do want to get eyeballs on my blog, because I have gotten some great feedback that it touches people and is helpful—and that’s what it’s all about for me.
6. Where have you been published?
I started my career as a magazine writer and editor, but that was eons ago! Most recently I have been published in Thrive Global, Grown & Flown and Parent Co. I also have a couple of health pieces about to come out.
7. Why do you believe multi-niche writing is beneficial?
My feeling is two fold on this. As the writer, I find it much more interesting to read, research and write on many topics. My life is not one-dimensional; no one’s is. So let’s keep the writing fresh and interesting. Look at things from new angles, attack issues up front and in a human, accessible manner.
From a business point of view you can find pros and cons of each. I imagine you get more people reading and finding you if you have multiple topics. The more topics and viewpoints, the bigger the audience and broader the base. But niche is also a great way to go because you become an expert, you get loyal readership and you know what you are writing means something to certain people.
Also, if I were to only write on one topic, it may become harder to find new angles and new information to impart. Plus, my busy mind could get bored! 😉
8. Is there anything you would like to add?
I am excited to have started this new path for myself; I am loving the writing and the parent coaching. I am eager to learn the best ways to get my blog seen, to get my other articles read and to keep growing my business organically.
I feel like this new chapter allows me to fulfill the pieces of me: Strong woman, loving mother (usually), wife, adventurer, community member, coach and writer. I am eager to embrace it all and see where it goes. I want to keep on learning, keep on doing and keep on caring.
Dana Baker blogs at Parenting in Real Life. Show her some love by visiting her blog and leaving a comment!