1. Tell us about yourself and your business. I am an author, newspaper columnist, and magazine writer. I specialize in writing about pregnancy, parenting, and related issues.
The Mother of All Pregnancy Books (second edition) has just been updated for the Canadian and U.S. markets and The Mother of All Baby Books has just been updated for the Canadian market (second edition available in October).
My column—The Mother of All Parenting Columns—has been running every other week in The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation daily newspaper, for the past two years.
I joined Canadian Family as a contributing editor earlier this year. My first article was an investigative report on the state of childcare in Canada. It appeared in the March edition.
This past spring, I had the opportunity to participate in a family policy roundtable hosted by the Governor General and the Vanier Institute of the Family at Rideau Hall.
2. Do you blog for business? Can you describe how you use it?
I blog about parenting at www.having-a-baby.com: the parenting website that hosts my backlist of parenting articles and that promotes my parenting books; and that promotes my services as a parenting speaker.
I blog about writing and social media on my writing portfolio website.
And I am about to launch a third blog—one focused on passion: my passion for writing, activism, and life.
I have also blogged for a number of pregnancy and parenting websites, including The Toronto Star, Yahoo! Canada, and WebMD.
3. Do you use SEO or social media in conjunction with your blog?
I don’t make a deliberate effort to use SEO (although I do make a point of using headlines that include topic-specific keywords and tagging my blog posts). I’ve also focused on creating good content (I hope) and linking to other relevant, well-written articles and resources.
I don’t really understand the science of SEO and I know that SEO done badly can be a very bad thing: it can result in your website or blog being blacklisted by the major search engines.
I do use social media, however. Twitter is my favourite platform. I also really like Pinterest and LinkedIn. As for Facebook, I’m on it because the rest of the world is on it.
4. What’s the best blogging advice you’ve ever been given?
·To let my personality shine through
·To have fun
·To blog often
I’ve found it easy to follow the first two pieces of advice.
The third? I’m still working on it.
(I always have more writing projects than time.)
And yet, I want to start another blog….
Blogging frees me up as a writer because I’m writing for myself (with the hope that, at least occasionally, someone else will decide to pop by to join in the conversation). I’m not trying to attract a sponsor or win a popularity contest (official or unofficial), so I don’t feel the need to self-censor or to play it safe.
I know that I’ve become a better writer because of blogging and that blogging has, in turn, inspired me to take on greater challenges in the rest of my writing life.
The Official Ann Douglas
Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting, including The Mother of All Pregnancy Books, The Mother of All Baby Books, The Mother of All Toddler Books, The Mother of All Parenting Books, and The Mother of All Pregnancy Organizers. She has also contributed to a number of anthologies about motherhood.
She is a columnist for The Toronto Star and a contributing editor to Canadian Family magazine. Her articles have been published by Today’s Parent, Canadian Family, Parents Canada, Canadian Living, Chatelaine, Quill and Quire, The Globe and Mail, The Chicago Tribune, CNN, WebMD, among others.
Ann speaks at childbirth, health, and parenting conferences on topics related to parenting without fear, mindful parenting, and parenting and social justice. She also speaks about connectedness, social media, and writing.
Ann lives in Peterborough, Ontario, with her husband, Neil, and the youngest of their four children.
A passionate and inspiring speaker, Ann delivers keynote addresses and leads small-group workshops at health, parenting, writing, and social media conferences across the country. She has created and delivered parenting courses for high-profile websites such as WebMD and AOL as well as on behalf of government clients and Fortune-500 companies. And she has trained authors in social media and online publicity skills on behalf of The Writers' Union of Canada. She is a regular speaker at MagNet, Canada's magazine industry conference.
?Ann Douglas is the author of 23 books, including (most recently) the second Canadian and American editions of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books (Wiley Canada, 2011, Wiley US, 2012); and The Mother of All Baby Books (Wiley Canada, 2012). The books in The Mother of All book series have sold over half a million copies in North America to date.
Ann is a Toronto Star parenting columnist and a Canadian Family contributing editor. She has written over 1000 articles for such publications as Canadian Living, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, Parents Canada, Cottage Life, The Globe and Mail, and The Chicago Tribune.
This past April, Ann was one of 16 Canadians invited to Rideau Hall to discuss family policy with Canadian Governor-General David Johnston and his wife Sharon Johnston.