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Sandra Muncaster Bumples Family First An Interview

Sandra has been blogging for about four years. She has her own blog and writes another for a children’s interactive magazine called Bumples, where she writes product reviews and provides information about children and parenting. She enjoys reading as you can tell by her numerous book reviews.

Sandra Mumcaster

Tell me about your Blog –

Bumples Family First is a cross-promotional Blog for Bumples Interactive Magazine (http://www.bumples.com).  At Bumples Family First I strive to keep the blog fresh and up-to-date.  I do reviews of family-friendly products and services as well as fiction and non-fiction books.  I also have interviews with experts (doctors, health care professionals, teachers, authors), where they offer up great advice and sometimes Q/A sessions where readers can leave a question and my guest will answer them.  I have at least one random draw/giveaway a month.  I enjoy doing these.  I think in this day in age we don’t get has many no-strings-attached opportunities to win free stuff, so I want to provide that.  I also will host guest bloggers to add variety and a new prospective on topics.

What was your first blog?

My very first Blog was/is Sandie Lee – Live it.  Love it.  Write it. (http://sandie-lee.blogspot.com)  This is where I fell in love with Blogging and learned the ropes (and mistakes) to blogging.  It was actually this Blog that landed me my first “Professional” Blogging job with SFC; Families Matter.

What is the biggest tip you would give to product reviewers?

I would have to say…only review products you think/know you’re going to like.  I hate giving a bad review (and so far I haven’t had to) and I don’t want to be dishonest about something I’m reviewing.  I’m fairly confident before I ask for a review sample that I will be able to make a favourable Blog Spot from it.  However, that could just be me…some folks may not have a problem giving a negative review 🙂

Are you contacted by advertisers or do you contact them or both?

I was really blessed to have started the professional blogging arena with Families Matter, where the PR reps contacted me and since leaving there I retained most of my contacts.  I also troll around the Internet – Twitter, BLU, other Blogs, looking for people I want to connect with or think may be interested in doing a guest spot – Social Networking really is a valuable resource, but it’s time consuming.
What is your favorite product that you have reviewed?

Wow…tough question.  I guess I’d have to say any/all books.  I’m a huge book-worm and love to read.  I also have had the privilege of interviewing some great authors (Andy Andrews, PJ Nickels, various Doctors) so for this reason I’d have to say the books. I enjoyed Your Memoirs and Born Free Products.
What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t/ do that you like?

I really haven’t had any negative experiences so far.  I like when they contact me, it saves time 🙂

What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t/do that you like?

I have gone to enter some giveaways on other Blogs and it’s a huge deal – You have to Twitter them, go back to the link and write a review/comment – I just find it’s time consuming a big hassle.  That’s why I decided just to do random drawings from the folks who left a comment.  I do, however, realize it must work as there is always a number of people who are willing to put the work in for the chance to win the prize.

What advertiser would you like to work with given a chance?

I’d work with anyone as long as the product is Family-Friendly.  I guess to be specific (and being honest) I’d have to say any advertiser with a HUGE name that will help me build my Blog readership 🙂
Where do you see growth in the blogging field?

Blogging is HUGE now, more so than even 5 years ago.  Everyone, young, old and in between has a blog and the best thing is it can be whatever you want it to be.
I believe it’s a “must have” if you’re in business or trying to launch a business.  It’s one of the first things I look for when I go on a business site.  I think you get a more honest, relaxed feel for what they have to offer from reading a blog.  On the other hand, I also think Blogging has become more professional – with cross-promotional Blogs like Bumples Family First, I try to portray the qualities of the magazine and keep that in the forefront, yet maintain a fresh, fun and interesting read.
What is one thing about you that not many people know?

LOL…I’m not sure many people know anything about me.  I’ve been freelance writing for about 15 years and it’s only been in the last 3-4 that I’ve started to find some success.  I’m also on Renal Dialysis (I doubt anyone knows that outside my own tight circle of family and friends).  You’re actually the first I’ve told that to – I just didn’t/don’t want to have folks think I can’t do a job because of a condition that I have.  It doesn’t stop me and actually affords me the time to Blog and write 🙂
What’s your favorite book?
Ohhhh…that’s like asking a shopholic what their favorite purchase has been.  I guess I’d have to say anything by Andy Andrews, in particular, “The Noticer.”  This is an inspirational book and will make you stop and think about your life and how you’re living it.

What is on your iPod?

I’m embarrassed to admit…I don’t own one 🙁What are your contact details (email, company, blog, facebook, myspace, forums, etc)?

What events do you attend?

I don’t attend events, unfortunately, as Dialysis keeps me pretty much stuck in the city.

How do you prefer to communicate?

Email, definitely!  There’s no time-zones in email and you have a chance to think about what you want to say before you type it.
Who would you recommend, and why?

Cathy Stucker at BloggerLinkUp at http://BloggerLinkUp.com/ This is one of the best places I’ve found for making connections and it’s FREE to join.

Blogger is good
Twitter has been an excellent source for making connections (and I vowed NEVER to be a twitter…tweeter?) However, I have found it to be invaluable.
Also the other Social Networks I mentioned above, but again they have to work for you.
What is one thing people can do for you?

I would just LOVE for folks to stop by the Blog (http://bumplesfamilyfirst.blogspot.com just in case you forgot the url 🙂 Leave a comment, join my follow list and PLEASE join in on the giveaways.  I just started up Bumples Family First about 6 weeks ago, so my giveaways have only had a few people enter – I’d like to see that soar.  I guess in a nutshell…just more folks reading and enjoying the work I put out there 🙂

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