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This Is Northern New South Wales

North Coast Bloggers – Zanni Arnot

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It was discovering Zanni Arnot’s blog, Heart Mama, that cemented my decision to go ahead with this North Coast Blogger series, an idea that had been percolating for a while. How could I not have known about Zanni’s blog until only recently? She lives so close by, and blogs on issues so close to my own heart, and yet we were strangers until a mutual friend connected the dots and put us in touch… It made me wake up and see that we have a community of talented and creative bloggers in this region just waiting to be discovered…

The other week I met up with Zanni in the warm family home she is renovating with her partner and her little one gave me a tour of their garden –and showed me the eggplants she had grown herself (impressive work for a three-year-old, I must say!).  I can tell you firsthand: The woman behind this beautifully written blog is just as you would imagine her to be from her words – down-to-earth, gentle and no pretence. Just gorgeous and generous.

I think one thing that makes blogs stand out from other media is the authenticity of the blogger’s voice.  Zanni is a perfect example of a blogger who is true to her heart in every blog post she shares and I am delighted to introduce her to you today. ~ Megan from The Byron Life

Here is the story of Zanni’s blogging journey…

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I am Zanni Arnot. I am a writer. I write educational resources, am a feature writer for Mumgo, and I have been blogging since September 2010. I am also working on some children’s books. I live in a North Coast village called Alstonville.

My blog is called Heart Mama, but I think a new name is in the wings…still thinking.

I started my blog to become a better writer. So I wrote about what I knew best – my children. I also wanted to capture little bits of them to help me remember later on. When I found out I wasn’t the only mummy blogger in the world, I wrote more specifically about kind and gentle parenting ideas.

My blog tells the story of my children, and how I get my head around it all.

Blogging has meant that I write almost daily. I went from writing occasionally, to writing fanatically. Now, I think in blog. It serves the same purpose as a diary, but it’s better, because I am interacting with my world and my readers. I am also constantly thinking about the form the blog takes, and whether it represents what I want it to represent.

The most challenging part of blogging has been building an audience and encouraging interaction. There are so many blogs out there – it’s hard to get noticed. Ironically, writing a blog post about this very topic stimulated some great people to get in touch with me, and give me some advice. I realised I needed to fine tune what I was writing about, blog consistently, and do it well.
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I stumbled across a couple of supportive blogging communities, and soon my readership developed. Being asked to write for Mumgo was a huge bonus, and my social media community began to grow. Blogging has become more and more rewarding as my audience grows.

If you are thinking of starting a blog my advice is…Write well. Develop a beautiful blog. Know your audience. Love your readers. Blogging is all about personality, and being genuine. I find that the blogs I connect most with are written by people who are good at their craft, and develop something beautiful in their blog. You feel like you know a blogger personally. Connect with like-minded bloggers.

My Facebook page has a very interactive and positive community. It has more of an immediate focus on gentle parenting and nourishing children than my blog does. I put up snippets from my day, share relevant photographs and quotes and of course share my blog posts on the page. I am an entry level Twitter user, I use Instagram – more for personal use, and I also use Pinterest. I haven’t exploited Google+ as yet, but have an account.

What I love most about living on the North Coast is the diversity of people. The relaxed approach to life. So many beautiful things to do and places to go – beach, markets, farmer’s markets, cafes…So many like-minded people. I have never been more social.

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We are surrounded by people with beautiful, free-spirited kids, who eat organic food and have knotty hair. Leaving Melbourne was a hard decision, but the minute we set down our first roots here, I haven’t looked back. Also, my family is here, so I get a lot of support raising children.

Right now, I am excited about writing children’s books. In the evenings I am not blogging, I am working on a few different pieces for children. I am also excited about rebranding, slightly. I want to be able to talk about issues, thoughts and experiences beyond parenting, when the urge arises. Looking towards the horizon…


Thank you so much for joining in the new weekly North Coast Bloggers series, Zanni

You can find Zanni’s Heart Mama blog here
Join the Heart Mama Facebook community here

This interview is republished with permission from The Byron Life