Today we’re profiling Katy Monnot of Bird On The Street blog. Katy describes herself as “a Metry Girl”. She attended St. Martin’s Espiscopal for elementary school and Dominican for High School. She went to LSU for college where she met her husband. He served in the Air Force for five years and they lived in Texas and Arkansas,moving back to the New Orleans area in 2007. Katy is a stay at home mom of infant twin boys and their older special needs brother.
Katy, when and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in late 2005 on a whim. Shortly after, my husband deployed to the Middle East for four months. Blogging became an outlet for me to interact with others and share my experiences. After my son was born in 2007, I realized I needed blogs to give me a first-hand experience that couldn’t be found anywhere else.
Do you consider yourself a “mommy blogger”? And what does that label mean to you?
I do consider myself a “mommy blogger” even though I was blogging for a while before I became a mom. I prefer the term “parenting blogger” because I think that’s what I actually blog about: parenting, specifically, parenting a child with special needs. Mommy is job title and lots of moms blog and never mention their kids. So yeah, I’m a mom blogger, a parenting blogger, but also what some people call a memoir-style blogger.
Are you trying to connect with a specific demographic?
Yes and no. I consider my main audience to be people who are raising children with special needs. Specifically, I want to provide them with hope and a positive view of what that life can be. As my blog has grown, however, I have discovered that there is a second audience–people who wish to support those with special needs. So I find that I am also writing for them these days.
Why did you choose BlogHer as your blogging platform?
Well, Blogher is just my advertising network. I applied on whim and it was probably years before they contacted me about joining. I control the rest of the site myself.
What do you think are the benefits of utilizing BlogHer over an independent blog?
The greatest thing, from my perspective is the exposure. Once a week, my post’s title appears on other blogs in the Network. It’s a nice way to find new readers. Also, I don’t think I was ever going to solicit my own advertising for the site, and Blogher ads provide a (very) small about of revenue for essentially zero effort.
I know you are the creator of The Louisiana Bloggers Network. Tell us why you started it and what you hope to accomplish.
I’m so glad you asked! The Louisiana Bloggers Network is my attempt to promote, unify, and help bloggers in Louisiana. Right now it’s just getting started, but we’ve already had a Baton Rouge and New Orleans meetup, and we’ve put together a panel for the Rising Tide Conference. My ultimate goal is to have it become a hub of collaboration and assistance. Bloggers can share information, stories, goal. They can band together to seek advertising and sponsorship. They can plan road trips to conferences.
Katy, tell us a little bit about your involvement in the Rising Tide Conference.
Mallory Whitfield organized Rising Tide’s new addition this year: Tech School. She asked me to participate as a representative of The Louisiana Bloggers Network. I was completely intrigued by RT, so I started attending the planning meetings. I wasn’t able to do as much as I would have liked since I had my twins in the middle of June, but I was able to organize a panel on Photography and Graphic Design for your blog. I also live-tweeted Tech School and made some vegan red beans and rice for vegan attendees. Next year I hope to do even more. Rising Tide was created and is organized by old-school bloggers: not people looking to make a buck, but people with something to say. That is still my favorite type of blogger, and I’ll do anything I can to keep that aspect of blogging alive. Don’t get me wrong, I think bloggers can and should make money for their time and energy, but I really love people who do it regardless.
Are you involved in any other online endeavors you’d like to share?
Nothing I can think of, but you never know what project I’ll be up to next!