As part of our blogger interview series, we chatted to lifestyle blogger Robbie Grant, AKA The Middle Aged Man.
Our blogger interview series aims to give insight into some of Scotland’s top bloggers and how PR practitioners and brands can work more effectively with them. It’s unusual to find a Scottish male lifestyle blogger and we’re delighted to host the interview on the Aura blog.
Lifestyle blogger interview #6
Tell us a bit about your blog
I am Robbie and I am the editor of The Middle Aged Man which is a male lifestyle blog. I cover a whole range of topics such as grooming, travel and health and fitness to name a few and I give personal and honest reviews of products while working alongside brands.
1. You are obviously targeting middle aged men with your blog. What do you think is important to communicate in your blog?
I am actually targeting men of all ages with the blog. The name is a bit of tongue in cheek as I am only 31. I feel it is important to communicate personal feeling and thoughts on the blog rather than writing in the third person as it gives the reader that personal touch.
2. Why did you start your blog?
I started The Middle Aged Man simply as a hobby. I was out in Dubai for 6 months working and thought why not show my creative side by blogging. I was also influenced by two friends who are also lifestyle bloggers; The Everyday Man and The Gentleman Select.
3. What platform do you use and was it easy to set up?
I started out on WordPress.com but I have recently moved to being self-hosted and use WP.org which gives me much more control over the look of the website etc. I’m not the most tech savvy of people but with a little help from Google I managed to set it up on both platforms relatively struggle free.
4. How have you found planning posts?
I am not a big one for planning posts well in advance due to work commitments I only place about one post a week on the blog, varying between personal posts and product reviews. I tend to write a post one evening then I’ll give myself 24hrs to check and tweak the original draft.
5. Have you had much engagement from brands as a result?
I have worked with a number of brands both large and small which I am grateful for. I have also turned down some opportunities with brands due to their products not being something I would be use in everyday life so I wouldn’t mislead readers by making up material about them.
6. How do you ensure people know about your posts?
I use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to promote my posts when they go live. I also have an account on Bloglovin which is another way people can read and interact with me.
7. Do you get much engagement from this?
It depends on the post, if it’s a product review then I tend to get engagement mainly on Twitter. For the more personal experience posts I don’t get as much engagement.
I do indeed do most of my own photography and I am by no means an expert in this field. The only tips I can give are make sure the lighting and location you are using make sense alongside whatever you are photographing. At this time of year with the dull dark days it can be frustrating but you just have to have patience.
9. Why do you think there are far fewer male ‘lifestyle’ bloggers?
My own opinion would be that a lot of males don’t tend to like showing their creative side and reviewing products etc as it could be seen as being a more feminine thing to do. Thankfully on social media there seem to be more and more male lifestyle bloggers appearing daily which is good. It’s not a competition, bloggers should be friendly and supportive throughout the community.
10. What’s your top tip for any business that wants to start a blog?
Business blogging could be a brilliant tool as long as the brand is promoting and appealing to their customer base. Blogging has become such an influential part of modern life, brands who promote their products accordingly via a blog could uncover a completely new client base.
11. How can small businesses work with bloggers to reach a new audience?
I have worked with a couple of smaller businesses since I started The Middle Aged Man 8 months ago and the interaction I have had from them with retweeting, re-grams on Social Media has been brilliant. Bloggers can help to promote brands to their own specific audience and followers on social platforms and help the business reach and engage a whole new client base.