Honest Mum

It’s human nature to want approval, to seek it and relish in it both online and in real life. I get that entirely, but I’ll be honest with you and share that I look to those who know me when it comes to their opinions about me. and I’m pretty good at self-reflection and self-validation.

I can treat myself like s*** too of course and be my own worst critic but that’s where my support network comes in.

They help me see the wood from the trees. They tell me when I’m being a d*** and when I’m not. Simple. I’m the first to throw my hands up when I’m in the wrong and apologise.

The thing is though, everyone wants to feel heard, and vitally, valued. I remember as a TV Director being advised by a wise Exec Producer that every single person in my crew walks around on set with an invisible sign across their foreheads which reads, ‘Value me’. From that day on, I made sure everyone knew that they mattered.

This need for validation however, seems somewhat twisted of late thanks to the (albeit wonderful) explosion in technology. Whilst I adore the democracy of the internet, I abhor the keyboard warriors who type tripe before they think.

Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. WRONG. Words can hurt.

We are, however in control of how we react to others.

Don’t believe your hype first-off when it comes to the great and good, stay grounded, learn to take criticism on the head so you can grow always of course deciphering whether you value the person offering their opinion or not- and stop valuing others (and yourself) based on the number of like/followers/page views you receive.

Whilst it’s important to keep an eye on growth and engagement if blogging and vlogging is your job, don’t let it consume or define you.

Work first and the views/following will come.

Equally, don’t follow the crowd. You are your superpower.

It’s easy to become trapped in a herd like mentally. To believe that others are better, smarter and more creative than you because they have 2789405664x more followers than you do but that’s just not how ART works. Art is subjective. ‘Since the start of time’ subjective by the way.

And we’re all artists whether we’re tweeting short stories of our lives, making animation films or painting oils with brushes.

I place value on quality content, on the creative/storyteller who makes me laugh/think/ feel inspired. I don’t need you to have awards under your belt or a million followers to receive my support and time, I just need to FEEL something. To witness emotion on screen in any/all of its glorious forms.

It’s time to return to what truly matters frankly, and what has always mattered: your VOICE and STYLE. On connecting with others in a meaningful way.

Of being unafraid to have your say, to share your life.

To be yourself.

To have integrity.

To work hard and share what you know.

To help others.

To approach living and working online with a long term view over short term gains.

You might not have the audience numbers you crave right now but hard work and consistency will prevail, as will you with a positive mindset, even it takes years. If you love what you do, why do you need it to be an overnight success anyway?

Nothing happens without hard graft.

Short term gains are just that. Remember why you’re creating in the first place.

I can’t not write. Whether three or thirty million people read what I have to say, I have to write, and film too.

It’s a need, a desire, my therapy, my love.

So next time you ponder why you don’t have 1000 RTs on that hilarious tweet of yours  or 100 comments on your FB page, remember what actually flipping matters and go back to your art. Your work.

What nourishes you.

Don’t let that desire to be liked stop you from creating work you like yourself.

Channel that anxious, needy energy into doing what makes you happy.

Write. Make. Be you.

Cheers to that *clinks my Mojito.


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Stop Valuing Yourself Based on Likes & Follows & Focus on Quality Content & Integrity - Honest Mum


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103 Responses

  1. Angela Milnes

    This is a good reminder. Follows and likes should not determine our worth. What you speak is pure truth and I love reading uplifting posts like this! Thanks 🙂

  2. Moonsparkle (ZM)

    Very helpful post, thamk you! 🙂 I sometimes feel “less than” others because I don’t have a large following but the most important thing is that I enjoy blogging and expressing myself. Once I would have been too scared to blog at all.
    Moonsparkle (ZM) recently posted…Design Your Universe- Part 2My Profile

    • Honest Mum

      Please don’t feel that way and numbers are relative. I remember feeling massively excited to have reached 200 follows on twitter. It’s about the quality of work and the joy it brings you xx

  3. Caitlin

    This is a great post! What people respond to best is storytelling, it really captivates your audience and will make them remember you, but to be successful the most important thing is to give an honest portrayal of yourself and your values, who you portray in your blogs and vlogs is a reflection of your business and your character so make sure you stay true to your own value and vision to create great content that you believe in and the rest will take care of itself!

  4. Bec Webb

    Love this Vicki! I spent years chasing success following crowds, never seeing success. Never being fully happy with what I was doing. Never feeling fulfilled. Never getting anywhere.
    I’m not saying I’ve gotten anywhere yet, and I’m a long way off what I would see as successful. But, I’m happy, and very recently I discovered I have finally found my voice, my ‘thing’ and doing what makes me happy – being me.
    Great post. ?

  5. Michelle

    I’ve been putting out a weekly vlog now for a month and in the beginning it was difficult to prise myself away from the computer when I published – obsessively hitting the refresh button hoping for more views/likes/comments/validation.
    You know what? I like my vlogs. They make ME happy, I enjoy making them, I enjoy sharing them and that is enough. As you say, the rest will come in it’s own sweet time.
    I think being true to myself, being myself and not worrying about what other people think about my somewhat quirky sense of humour will pay dividends in the future. There IS an audience out there who wants to watch a slightly off-the-wall 50-something Welsh woman bungle her way through life with a smile – they’ll find me!!
    Thanks for this post Vikki, sage advice indeed.
    Michelle xxx

  6. kerry

    This is a great post. As a new blogger, (as well as an older one) it came as a total shock to me to see how people stressed over their followers etc. It even made me worry that as I didnt feel that way, did it mean I didnt care enough! I have since come to the conclusion that, like you, I love to write and thats all that matters. Id be lying if I said I didnt want my words to be read, but they are being, my page stats slowly slowly creeping up on my blog show me that. I write for the love of it, so thats what I try to remember.

    • Honest Mum

      Hi Kerry, it’s great you are not stressing about numbers. Worth isn’t about stats, it’s about creating quality content you love. Views and following comes from that x

  7. Bianca Cox

    Great post Vicky and so true, it’s hard to stay focused on not comparing yourself to others, particularly when you’re quite new to it all, but you’re so right – your own voice is unique and it’s important to champion it rather than drown it out with negative thoughts of “maybe I’m not good enough”. I’m going to pop back and read this post when I’m feeling wobbly! 😉

  8. Clare

    Wow Vicki, so true! I totally blog for fun and I LOVED this post! If I manage to help one person with my ‘spill’ breakup posts or one child or family make a recipe from my blog – I’m a very happy girl!
    It has to be fun, it’s that simple and reading this just reminded me. I’m 50 in 2 days and 3 years ago I didn’t have my blog. I’m so glad to be taking my little baby with me as I move forward into the fifty somethings!

    Darling you need to know you are my inspiration! DRINK soon Cx

    • Honest Mum

      Happy Birthday lovely (know it’s today)! Thank you for your kind words and well done you on everything. Love your blog. Def drinkies soon xx

  9. Victoria - Lylia Rose

    The worst thing is people comparing themselves to others and worrying they are not as successful. Comparison is the thief of joy. For me I concentrate on my own success. That doesn’t mean I don’t admire others, but I don’t strive to be them or beat myself up if I’m not getting as many likes/follows, etc as them. I am in competition with only myself and only have myself to please. I set my own targets based on my capabilities. I love to blog and even if no other soul read my blog, I’d still blog 🙂 #brillblogposts
    Victoria – Lylia Rose recently posted…4 Things That Will Help You To Look Good PermanentlyMy Profile

    • Honest Mum

      Love this, wise words and I feel the same. I look up to so many others and adore learning from their success but we each have our own journeys x

  10. Babes about Town

    Aww Vicki you know you’re singing my tune right here! So very true, it’s really about doing work that matters, creating a space for yourself and your audience to connect on a deeper level than what I call the ‘drive by clicks’. Every time I’ve felt myself being pulled in the wrong direction (ie working towards external goals that don’t align with my internal vision) I have to reel it back in and focus on what I love. Just like you, I live to write! Do you know Alexandra Franzen? She also writes wonderfully on this topic and states that whether you’re speaking to one person or to an entire stadium, your message (in whatever form it takes) still matters. Quality trumps quantity every bloody time. Absolutely love this post mama xoxo

    • Honest Mum

      Oh my guru, love your words as always and I must read Alexandra Franzen’s work now, thank you. It’s so important to do what makes our heart sing. That in itself is a moth to a flame and brings people in, however many or few. I would write for myself alone and that’s the key isn’t it although just touching one person, is success in my eyes xx

  11. Maria | passion fruit, paws and peonies

    This post has really helped me. My numbers are growing stubbornly slowly and it is at times hard not to measure my success alongside it. I know the quality of my blog posts are very high tho’ so I just need to keep my head up and take seo/marketing/techie bits/social media one positive step at a time. Much thanks to you x #brillblogposts

  12. Emma Peach

    We all need a reality check sometimes and to refocus on what matters most. I totally understand that if blogging is your only income the pressure is greater, but if you don’t stay true to your own values and produce content that you love it’ll show. Worrying about what others have got only distracts you from pursuing your own goals. Comparison is the thief of joy, and not just when it comes to blogging.

    Emma xxx
    Emma Peach recently posted…Celebrating National Selfie Day With a #GemfieMy Profile

  13. Tooting Mama

    I really agree with you. This isn’t a numbers game, though it can be tempting at times to try that game.

    I much prefer to read a true and authentic voice – that is so powerful.

    I sometimes fall into that trap, how does so and so manage to get so many likes and follows, but all that does is crush myself esteem. So no more of that!

    Write from the heart, and I truly believe we will be heard. Thanks for this amazing post, it’s just what I needed to read today!
    Tooting Mama recently posted…7 reasons why running is the best exercise for busy mumsMy Profile

  14. Finn

    Great post. Words really do hurt and it is hard to ignore them but we all have to keep trying. I really like the thought of seing everyone with a sign saying “value me”. #brilliantblogposts
    Finn recently posted…Delight in difference My Profile

  15. Jo @ Jo's Kitchen Larder

    So well put Vicki, as always! I’m a newbie and wouldn’t even think to compare my stats after 4 months of blogging to some of the established boys and girls who have been at it for a while. I learn from them, I admire them, go back and do my thing – cook, eat, write about it and really enjoy it! And as you say work, passion, the rest will follow! x
    Jo @ Jo’s Kitchen Larder recently posted…Easy Strawberry Yogurt CakeMy Profile

  16. Susan Mann

    These are very wise words. It is even more difficult these days not to get caught up on it, but you are so right x

  17. MyCityMyLondon

    Quality does go a long way I agree

    MyCityMyLondon recently posted…Skinny chocolate nuts and seeds barsMy Profile

  18. Susie/So Happy In Town

    It’s so good to be reminded of this Vicki – in this blogging world I’ve realised you can get caught up with those numbers and followers, rather than the content. But that doesn’t make me happy. Writing makes me happy. And I love it when I discover a blog and, like you say, I feel it. It may not be the most followed in the world, but I love the style and feel I know the writer. That’s what matters. #brillblogposts
    Susie/So Happy In Town recently posted…Mrs S.H.I.T’s Top 7 Tips for the Festival SeasonMy Profile

  19. Yvadney

    YAAAS! To everything you have just said, how interesting would it be to just post and not see any likes, just share with abondon, because at the end of the day, our worth is not in what others think of us or what we produce, but in what we think. Thanks for hosting

    Yvadney x

  20. Jemma @popcornlunchuk

    I needed to read this today! My blog is a newborn so I’m the blogger equivalent of a new Mum (clueless and frantically searching the fridge for alcohol). I’ve been so caught up with who has the most followers etc lately and it was starting to consume me but it’s all fickle really isn’t it? Guaranteed a solid 15% of anyone’s followers are dodgy start up companies selling their new organic skincare range for your car anyway. Your words are literally gold dust to me with you being such a successful blogger and me being, well, not. Thank you for a beautifully written and informative article.

    • Honest Mum

      Hi Jemma, I’m almost 7 years down the road so never compare yourself or put yourself down. Glad this post has helped you, it’s so easy to get consumed in followers but what’s important is the joy of the work: producing content and loving what you do x

  21. Oldhouseintheshires

    And this is why you are Honest mum, Vicki! Such a great post and read. It’s tricky sometimes not to get caught up on how many people “like” a post but what’s important is who reads your post. Really reads them. We all want that as bloggers but thankyou for the reminder. #brilliantblogposts
    Oldhouseintheshires recently posted…Am I an “inbetween” blogger?My Profile

  22. Chloe

    What wise words that many of us should listern to. Indeed enjoy what you do remember why you started in the first place and hopefully you will gain followers as you go #brillblogposts
    Chloe recently posted…Review of PG tips Lemon & Ginger Herbal infusion TeaMy Profile

  23. Nico @ yumsome

    When I was a child, one of my favourite books was a collection of Indian fairy tales, and my favourite story was about a prince who was looking for a wife. It came down to three princesses, all sisters, and they were set the task of making a tapestry; whomever make the best one snagged herself a husband! Oh, whoop! 😉

    The two eldest sisters were accomplished needlewomen, and sewed exquisite tapestries. The youngest, somewhat rebellious (and intelligent!) one, thought there was more to life than being able to sew, so didn’t pay attention to her tutors. She was not good with a needle, so her aya brought her gold and silver thread, and told her, “If you can’t be as good as the others, be different.” Needless to say, her tapestry dazzled the prince, they got married, and lived happily ever after.

    That story has stuck with me all of my life, and was always a kind of mantra, until I realised a fundamental truth… I didn’t need to try to be different to everyone else, I *am* different. As we all are. And that’s a good thing to be. Although I’ve never been an attention-seeker, I’ve also never sought to blend in, and go with the herd because that’s just not me. I’ve always been happy to do my things, my own way.

    Purple Cow by Seth Godin reinforced that. And on the rare occasions that I’ve wondered whether I should be a bit more ‘fashionable’ with my blog in order to get more readers, Nietzsche reminds me why it’s a stupid idea:

    “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

    And that’s why you’ll never see recipe with goji berries or chia seeds on my blog, or turmeric lattes or anything with the words, ‘detox’, or ‘alkalising’!

    Sure, I may not have the audience figures that some of the woo-peddlers have, nor be as seemingly popular, but at least my readers know that what I write is real and authentic, and comes from personal experiences.

    Plus y’know what happens with bandwagons? Sooner or later, the wheels fall off, and you end up on your arse in the mud!
    Nico @ yumsome recently posted…Stan’s Rhubarb Crumble Shortbread BarsMy Profile

    • Honest Mum

      This is one of my most favourite comments ever. So touching and true. Thank you SO much. I’ve shared it on my FB page too. I’ve just interviewed Seth Godin-the post will be live soon (adore him) x

  24. Jemma

    Such wise words to remember, that are so easy to forget #brilliantblogposts
    Jemma recently posted…Glamping in LincolnshireMy Profile

  25. Morgan Prince

    You are SO right Vicki! I’ve never been one to follow trends but I have been swallowed into a world of “I’m not as good as x” because of not having followers etc. I try to remember that I write because I want to, not because I want recognition. Thanks for sharing your awesome advice. xx

    • Honest Mum

      You are brilliant Morgan and we all suffer from self-doubt and the imposter syndrome. It’s vital to remind ourselves of why we do something and the joy it gives us x

  26. five little doves

    I LOVE this! I see so many people basing their worth on likes or follows and it makes me so sad. I try to ignore all of that and just write because I love to write. Social media is so hard and any follows I have feel like such a fluke! #brilliantblogposts
    five little doves recently posted…A cheeky breakfast with JimJams chocolate spreadMy Profile

    • Honest Mum

      Stop feeling that way: you are AWESOME, I love your blog and social media handles. Let’s all return to why we do what we do and stop worrying about numbers x

  27. Jodie, Matched Betting Mum

    Very wise words, I really enjoyed reading this! And it’s applicable to so many areas of life, not just blogging. Writing on such a niche topic as I do most of the time, I learnt not to compare myself to others very quickly (even if I am in awe of so many brilliant bloggers out there, yourself included!). I focus on trying to provide some useful and informative content. This may not result in big numbers but does get positive feedback, which really spurs me on to produce more.

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks so much and you are so right, I feel excited if my own kids or mum likes something I do. I always think value yourself first because there will always be people who don’t like what you do. It’s vital to keep going x

  28. Lucy At Home

    Just popping back from #brillblogposts. I have been reminding myself of this post all day and finally plucked up the courage to tell my friend about my blog for the first time (because, as you say, I shouldn’t be judging myself on page views or follower numbers – it’s about the love of doing it). Great post! #brillblogposts
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Eliminate School Run Stress With These 8 Fun GamesMy Profile

  29. Suzy Turner

    What a brilliant post, Vicki! I am guilty of worrying about the number of followers I have and you’re so right – I really need to stop, slow down and just concern myself with what really matters. Yes, being a blogger and author, it is important but it’s certainly not the be and end all!
    Suzy xx

  30. Michelle

    Oh Wise One you are Vicki! It’s a tough crowd out there & we all need a reality check now & again. I know I get frustrated when I start thinking about my blog & Insta growth or should I say lack of? How can X have triple the followers I have when we’ve been doing it as often for as long? Why am I not getting anywhere when X is doing collabs left & right? Yet the truth is never as it first seems is it? When I stop comparing myself to others I feel actually I’m doing pretty well at this blogging lark, especially since I’m only two years into it & came from a point of zero. How do I know what’s really going on in the world of X? But more importantly, why should I care? You’re so right about staying grounded & true to yourself. I have a blog that is entirely honest & true to my ethos, eventually “they will come”.
    Always so uplifting to read your posts Vicki, thank you for putting this one out there xx

  31. Alexa

    I try to think that I may have made a connection with one person and helped their day along with my little blog. The main thing being that I enjoy the creativity process slow as it is 🙂

    Great post Honest Mum and great comments.

    Comments themselves create another thread to the written article.

    Alexa-asimplelife from Sydney, Australia

  32. Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

    So bang on Vicki! Something I and every other blogger need to hear – probably on a daily basis! It’s all too easy to get totally hung up on numbers – let’s face it there’s so flipping many of them!!! But it’s really not all about numbers…and I think if you focus too much on numbers your content will inevitably suffer – it’s a balancing act of course, but you are so right about focusing on great content and the numbers will follow (just need to keep reminding myself that on the bad numbers days!!) I also find it motivational to look back and see just how far I’ve come – 2 years ago I think about 30 people read my blog, now it’s in the tens of thousands – puts things in perspective somewhat and makes me realise how daft it is to be worrying about the fact I have 3 fewer visits than yesterday or whatever silly thing it is I am stressing over!! 😀 Eb x
    Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie recently posted…Mexican Roasted Sweet Potato CubesMy Profile

    • Honest Mum

      Absolutely darling and massive well done, you are shining like the star that you are. So important to focus on what matters, what nourishes and makes you happy. When you do, you’re liberated and an ever growing audience will find you xx

  33. Rebecca Smith

    Wonderful piece Vicki, I love that quote ‘value me’ you’ve just made me realise that I need to value my hubby a a bit more of late…thank you, sometimes I get so caught up in caring for my children and forget he’s part of the crew and struggling with them too – thank you.

    I love your honesty, derrrrr, Honest Mum!!! Keep being you x
    Rebecca Smith recently posted…BBQ Trout with Grilled ArtichokeMy Profile

    • Honest Mum

      Aw sweet, it’s easy to get caught up in life so don’t be hard on yourself. Go spend some quality time together xx

  34. your DIY family

    Wise words Vicki. This is something that has taken me time to realise but now I focus purely on creating good content and I am already seeing amazing results. I am no social media queen and don’t think I’ll ever be. I think people also need to focus on what they are naturally good at and not try and be good at what they think they should be good at. Someone may be an amazing writer but not the most vocal on SM – so they should focus on their writing and amazing things will happen. And as you say, if you love creating in any form, then create for the sake of it and share it with the world. Don’t create for the purpose of increasing your following because in the long term that won’t work. Love this post xxx
    your DIY family recently posted…A minimal open wardrobe diy for your bedroomMy Profile

    • Honest Mum

      Absolutely this wise and wonderful Nomita. Doing what you love and letting your passion lead you is the key to happiness as an artist xx

  35. Katie

    Completely feeling this right not Vicki!! My blog DA has improved but I beat myself up about my social media following!
    Like you so though it should be about the content. That’s definitely what is important!
    Katie recently posted…A unique gift – Twenty Fingers Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  36. Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb

    Vicki this is just superb and so timely because SO many bloggers are feeling down about the whole likes and followers and comments thing, especially where Instagram is concerned. I do catch myself thinking negatively about it all every now and then, but as you say I always try and produce content that is quality and that I’d want to read myself. So much to think about, and so many positive vibes just ooze out of you, well done and thank you!!

    Catherine x
    Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb recently posted…Why Are So Many Fashion Brands Going Out of Business?My Profile

    • Honest Mum

      So true Catherine, keep on doing what you’re doing-creating beautiful content you love writing and we love reading xx

  37. Lisa

    This is such a great post for ANY blogger. Sometimes my favourite posts lose me the most followers. That’s ok, because if I love it, then it is authentic. I lost so many followers after I wore sequin socks in a post. WHY? My blog is called The Sequinist! I’ve stopped trying to please the crowd; I just make myself happy… or else why bother? xx
    Lisa recently posted…My relationship with the Trouser Suit… It’s ComplicatedMy Profile

  38. the frenchie mummy

    This post is so true! such a perfect time for me to read this as I broke up with Instagram last week! I suddenly stopped growing it and even lost more followers. I obviously started comparing myself with others who were growing theirs. I was feeling so low but I read into it and I had been shadow-banned.. So I turn it off on my phone and I have not been worried about it for a week. And now I feel so much better. Numbers are not all! #brillblogposts
    the frenchie mummy recently posted…Tickle Buds Weaning Subscription Boxes Review & GIVEAWAYMy Profile

    • Honest Mum

      Numbers are not everything and it sounds like it was a few of your photos. I read Instagram are cracking down on those who use the same tags etc. Don’t let it put you off, keep creating x

  39. Nicole Roder

    Such great advice! It is so hard not to compare my blog to others with a bigger following, but I know that I’m writing honestly and authentically, and that’s what matters most! #brilliantblogposts

  40. Emma

    Great advice Vicki. I think our own insecurities often stop us from contributing as openly and honestly and fully as we could. I think it’s also very British to not want to be seen as big-headed or narcissistic, and talking about yourself on your blog (even in service of others) can feel like that sometimes. Who am I to advise others? Why should they listen to little old me? But then you make a meaningful connection with someone BECAUSE you shared your truths, and then you realise that’s how it works. Be vulnerable. Be real. Be you. And you’ll win. In time. 🙂
    Emma recently posted…A letter to my daughterMy Profile

    • Honest Mum

      Love this comment so much. It’s so true and women so often find themselves worrying about how they come across because they want to be liked. I love listening to confident women share their work. We need to see more of this. Meaningful connections all the way!

  41. jodie filogomo

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today, Vicki!!
    It’s the ups and downs that are so hard, but I just have to remember, if I like what I’m doing, then that’s the goal!
    jodie filogomo recently posted…Starting a Summer Bucket List so you Don’t Miss the Fun EventsMy Profile

  42. Lucy At Home

    Yes, yes, YES! This is exactly what I needed to hear today, and it is oh so true. I am totally bookmarking this to reread whenever I’m feeling frustrated with my progress. I love to write too and I just can’t imagine my life without blogging now, and the lovely people I have met through it (yourself included). But you have to do it in your own way, at your own pace, staying true to yourself. That’s what art is all about. Thank you so much for writing such an inspirational piece, Vicki.
    Lucy At Home recently posted…My Big, Fat Blogging Secret: Should I Stay Anonymous?My Profile

    • Honest Mum

      Absolutely this Lucy and I loved meeting you too (we must meet again). Thank you for your kind and wise words. I love your blog x

  43. Ninjacat

    Exactly what I was thinking earlier.

    Do what you do and others will do what they do .
    Ninjacat recently posted…Life After A BreakdownMy Profile

  44. Mark Thomas (TheHonestFather)

    This was written for me, wasn’t it? Haha. No I’m kidding, you’ve said this from day 1 and maintained it throughout.

    It’s nice to see the odd follower crop up every now and again. I’m trying to do the YouTube thing at the moment and that is TOUGH. I see the subscriber count as a sort of points system on a game though. I’ve learnt not to let it define what I do – it’s liberating, really!

    Great article Vicki!

    • Honest Mum

      I did think of you dude when I wrote it. Don’t worry about numbers. Your content is brilliant. Content is queen, the numbers will come 🙂


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