How They Blog Interviews Heather MacFadyen

heather_bioHeather MacFadyen

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GodCenteredMom.com
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The Upcoming HowTheyBlog.com Podcast

There is a new podcast coming your way and I’d love to feature you on it! The How They Blog podcast will be a mix of interviews with bloggers that have been featured here and Q & A with you. I’ve already done a few interviews, so now it’s time for some questions from you!

The first Q & A will focus on blog planning, so if you have any questions about planning your blog scheduling content, or how to break down your blogging dreams into actionable projects and tasks, just click here to ask your question.

1. Be sure you include at least your first name.
2. Feel free to include your blog address.
3. Have fun!

I can’t wait to hear from you and introduce you on the podcast! Just click here to record your question. (Don’t worry. It’s simple.)

An Interview with Heather MacFadyen

She’s hilarious. She hosts a successful blog conference (one of the best I’ve ever been to). She’s writing a book. She’s a mom to four….FOUR boys. Oh yeah, and she blogs. I’m very excited to share an interview with the fabulous Heather MacFadyen.

You’ll love her witty humor and be inspired by her blog story, especially if you dream of writing a book but think you need to have a massive blog first…

1. Give us a quick intro to you, your family and your blog.
I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom to four Texan boys ages 1 ½ to 8 years old. The oldest and youngest boys actually share a birthday/half-birthday… so I successfully had four boys in exactly, to the day, six and a half years. Just like I’d planned.
Technically I’m still a licensed speech-language pathologist, but I haven’t treated an official client in years.

My blog is called, “God Centered Mom”, but rest assured I’m not claiming that title for myself (like “hey look at me. I’m the “God-Centered Mom”). The title came from realizing I had been putting my children in the center and myself in the center but true happiness came when I put God in the center of motherhood. It’s a daily aspiration but in my own strength I fall short…often.

2. Tell us your blogging story.
My blogging tale started back when I traveled the world getting paid to eat chocolate and write about the experience. Okay. Maybe I’m lying. Truth: in April of 2007 I started a blog because (and a direct quote from my first post): “blogs are like MySpace for moms (and half of y’all are thinking, “what’s MySpace?”).

At that time I had one son and now I have four, yet I was bold enough to name the blog, “The Mac Boys”. (There’s your first blogging advice, be careful what you name your blog, it may be prophetic).

Around April of 2011 I was speaking at my MOPS group and in the middle of speaking I got a sudden revelation about mothering. About the same time I noticed my blog posts contained less cute pictures of the boys around Dallas and more about what God was doing in my heart.

So in June 2011 I started my current blog, “God Centered Mom” with the tag line, “relentlessly replacing ‘me’ with “He”. It was hosted at wordpress.com for free and a friend helped me make a pretty basic header using some family pictures. At the time I didn’t know how long I would be blogging and wasn’t willing to invest a lot of money in a design or hosting.

But miraculously I’ve kept going and learned a lot along the way. Last fall I decided it was time to move to the “big time” and hire a designer. One girl I tried was not willing to work with my host (Firehost, aka where my husband works). So after attending Allume in October 2012 & meeting Annie from (Be SmallStudios) and doing a little research I discovered her husband is a web designer (and an awesome one at that).

The first skype chat with Ted, from Contemplate Design, he started by saying, “We’ve actually met before. We went to college together. I was on your brother wing.” To which I responded, “TED!.” I loved how his first questions were not about design colors or header formatting but about functionality. What did I want my reader to experience when she came to the site? What information did I need from her and what did I want to give her? Great questions!

Then he had me create Pinterest boards with inspirational pictures I liked, fonts and colors. I was amazed how there was definitely a theme to what I liked and didn’t like.

3. Tell us about a blogging “success” or “failure” that taught you a powerful lesson.
I would say I haven’t experienced traditional “success” from my blog, like large subscription numbers or viral posts.

I am one of those people who got contacted via email by a literary agent. This is what I love about that story. He contacted me before my blog had been redesigned or self-hosted. He didn’t contact me because of a viral post. He was drawn to my blog simply because he liked how I glorified God in my writing. How humbling and awesome is that? Not because of me but because of God.

In regards to “failure”, how much time do you have?

I’ve learned (from Kat) to not be consumed with frequency of content but quality. When I started blogging I felt like I had to blog every day and even considered doing the popular 31 days series. Kat wisely gave me her perspective, which was reader based. She wrote for moms (which I do as well) and moms don’t have time to read that much content. Genius.

Also, I’ve learned to be less concerned with writing “perfectly” or writing like someone else. Be silly if you are silly or serious if you are serious, so that your posts reflect the real you.

Be silly if you are silly or serious if you are serious, so that your posts reflect the real you. <–Click To Tweet

4. What are the intangibles that have helped you succeed?
I don’t make money blogging. To me it’s an outlet and a ministry. Keeping that in mind, just like any ministry, I can’t pour out more than I am being fed. I think it’s important you live life and stay in touch with real people more than you spend time online.

Some of my most popular posts came from lessons learned living life. Hard to learn anything worth writing about if all I’m doing is reading others’ blog posts, Facebook status updates or tweets (not that you can’t learn something from these places…but hard to create something novel and personal when you are only consuming).

I’ve also learned the lesson of getting to know other bloggers out from behind the screen. Like I wrote in the “only blogging shortcut” post, face-to-face friendships take you miles in the blogging world where as social- media-only friendships only take you a few feet. This doesn’t mean you have to attend conferences every two months. I’ve gotten together with other bloggers for lunch, late night meetings, Skype calls and Google hangouts. But seeing mannerisms and hearing tones of voices, this is what we were created for…real-life friendship.

Come back Wednesday to read all of Heather’s Blogging Gadget and App recommendations and on Friday she’ll share her thoughts on social media and writing. Stay tuned!

Q & A with Heather MacFadyen

What questions do you have about blogging for Heather? Click here to share your thoughts or ask your question!

 

Read All The Interviews with Heather MacFadyen

1. How They Blog Interviews Heather MacFadyen
2. Gadget and App Recommendations (Coming Wednesday)
3. On Social Media and Writing (Coming Friday)

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Comments

  1. Hi Heather. That was great…love the advice that you can only pour out if you are being fed. Excited to see you here. I only just discovered your blog three days ago! My sister and I have been sharing blogs that have been encouraging us as mums and she sent me a link to yours on Friday to say she is loving your blog. Thanks for sharing your heart to be a God-centred mum.

    • Oh Rosalie! Thank you for your very, very kind words. What a blessing. (and pst…love you used the word “mum”…I have a secret fascination with British culture…guess it’s not so secret now).

  2. Great interview, Heather! I love your wisdom about being yourself. And this is good stuff too: “Some of my most popular posts came from lessons learned living life.” Hugs!

    • oh chica…hope you didn’t look too closely with your editing eye! Thank you for the compliment and for being one of those gals I’ve lived life with. You have and continue to be a blessing. (hugs)

  3. YES. Heather was certainly on my list of bloggers I was dying to hear more about! Love everything about that girl–her drive, charisma, her faith. Can’t wait to hear more!

  4. Tiffany Sears Leach says:

    XOXO, Heather! I am so proud of how you are allowing God to use you! 🙂

    • Thanks Tiffany! You have always inspired me with your joy and how you “show” Christ to all those around you. You are doing a good work, sister, keep it up!!

  5. First, doesn’t Ted ask the most amazing questions? I’ve never thought about blog design in such interesting ways before 🙂 And you just make me smile – now that I’ve met you in real life (and ditto Kat’s comment: Declare has now spoiled me for all other conference experiences), I love reading these words & hearing your sweet voice in my mind 🙂

    • I’m not just saying this because we went to the same college…but Ted is a genius. Brilliant, really. And so you’re saying I have a voice? Woot!!! I discovered the magical unicorn. (wink wink). And are you saying you’ll be at Declare next year? (say yes. say yes)…see ya soon!

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  2. […] I published my last post I’ve written 6 posts. Three posts published over at How They Blog.com & three which may never leave my computer…I know, what a tease.  For those […]

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