Boo! Yes I’m still on holiday but I thought I’d surprise you with a post. You see every week I get lots of emails from readers and I’ve noticed that they often include the same questions. So, I thought it would be helpful to put a Midlifechic FAQ in my ‘About Me’ section. This is it and I’m sending it out as a post just in case you’re missing me – which you’re probably not but I can hope!
Midlifechic FAQ – Facts
How old are you?
I hit the dizzy heights of my 50th birthday in May 2017
How tall are you?
People always think I’m petite but I’m 5ft 8″
What dress size are you?
A standard British size 12 (US 8)
How do you maintain a size 12?
I generally follow the Slimming World ‘Way of Eating.’ I like wine but only drink it occasionally and I think that is probably the number one way that I control my weight. In terms of exercise, for cardio I have a daily 40 minute walk with Gary (my dog). For toning I do Pilates twice a week and for strength I go to a Kettlebell class once a week.
What is your like most about your appearance?
Probably my eyes – I think you can see most people’s story in their eyes.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I wish I had longer legs. I’m tall but I still only need regular length trousers. I have a long body and I never feel quite in proportion. It means I will never be able to carry off a jeans and trainers – or skirt and ankle boots look well.
Do you accept posts from guest writers?
No, Midlifechic is very much a blog written from a personal point of view. At the moment I have no plans to expand it.
Why do you so often mention that your blog is for women over 40?
I should start by saying that I don’t mean to exclude anybody and everyone under 40 is most welcome. The thing is that there are millions – probably billions – of blogs on the world wide web. I need a way to help people find me. Time has shown me that a lot of the readers who stay loyal originally included ‘over 40’ in their search string. I would like to encourage more loyal readers to come and join our community so I often optimise against those terms by including them in my content. However there are lots of age groups reading Midlifechic – from 25 to 75 plus.
Midlifechic FAQ – About blogging
Are you a full time blogger?
No, I am also a partner in a marketing agency. There are lots of benefits to continuing in my career. Not only can I showcase career wear from a genuine perspective but it helps me to keep my marketing and digital skills sharp too. It also means that I have a strong retail insight which helps me to choose which retailers to work with and give you a bit of business context in my posts.
Midlifechic has reached the stage where it could become a full time occupation for me (I don’t use the term professional blogger, however hard you work at it, in my view blogging is not sufficiently established to be called a profession. There is a blurring of the word ‘professional’ currently and I think it should remain in its proper context of occupations like law and medicine which require significant training and rigid certification). However, life has taught me that it is often better to have fingers in multiple pies – if only because. it allows you to move fluidly in a changing economic environment.
Is it easy to write a blog?
It’s easy to start one, the hardest part is keeping on going. There are times when you don’t have any ideas… or when something is going wrong in your life… or you’re just feeling fat and you really don’t want to have your photo taken. It is difficult to attract readers and keep them interested. It’s much harder work than you would imagine. In my experience you need to do it primarily as a creative outlet – because you love blogging. If you go into it thinking you are going to make a lot of money very easily, you are going to be very disappointed.
How long does it take you to write a blogpost?
I write long posts so they take at least 10 hours to put together. When I’m working on a brand spotlight that requires a higher level of photography, a post takes about 3 days from start to finish.
Do you earn money from your blog?
Midlifechic generates revenue but I don’t earn money because at the moment I plough it back into my blog. My disclosure policy explains that some (but not all) links are affiliate links which will each contribute a few pence to the running costs (hosting, the maintenance contract, plug-ins such as Disqus etc). Sometimes I also run ‘spotlight posts.’ I write them independently but brands pay me to dedicate a full post to them. The money from these covers things like my regular trips down to London so that I can see the new ranges and tell you about them as soon as they hit the stores.
How many people are reading Midlifechic?
On average 49,000 people visit Midlifechic each month. They read almost every post which means that I have 511,000 page views a month.
Why don’t you run features for petites / plus sizes or people with different body shapes?
As I explain on my ‘About Me’ page, Midlifechic is very much a personal journey to discover an easy, chic look for my lifestyle. I don’t pretend to be a stylist. Having worked with a number of qualified stylists during my years at Selfridges, I have great respect for the amount of training that it takes to be able to assess and dress a woman whose body shape is completely different to your own.
I love your blog but a lot of the clothes are out of my budget – can you include some cheaper clothes?
This is a tricky one. Because I have a retail insight into supply chains and the way that different retailers treat their suppliers – both UK and overseas, there are a number of large store groups that I purposely don’t cover. I could make a lot of money if I did but I just won’t go there.
Sometimes I just use logic. Take Primark for example. Despite the fact that they have published corporate social responsibility statements, in my view there is no way that everyone along the supply chain can possibly be treated fairly when they are retailing goods at the price that they do and still making a profit.
However I do champion retailers with lower price points that I know are scrupulous. Take Marks and Spencer for example. I’ve worked there so I know how they operate. I am also constantly on the hunt for retailers who offer a good price to quality ratio. I will be working with another lower price point brand this Autumn. It’s somebody you will already know but probably haven’t considered. I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the changes they are making… watch this space!
Do you work with / do interviews with students?
I have an ongoing relationship with Lancaster University Management School. I lecture there sometimes and am always open to approaches from LUMS students.
When is your next blogger sale?
There will be another big one in the Autumn. I’m hoping to do it by the end of September at the latest.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
The readers. It’s an amazing feeling when I write a post that a large number of people relate to and comment on. However the very best thing is that I have developed a circle of readers who comment faithfully on most posts and I now know them quite well. It’s like having a team on your side and I really enjoy hearing their updates about their lives, thoughts and families. It’s a very special relationship.
Midlifechic FAQ – Style
Who is your style icon?
Without doubt, Inès de La Fressange. If I’m not sure about an outfit, I find it really helpful to ask myself ‘would Inès wear it?’
What is your ‘go to’ everyday outfit?
Indigo jeans, a simple top, a well cut jacket, statement shoes and whatever jewellery is currently fashionable to make sure this classic look is up to date.
What is your ‘go to’ important meeting outfit
A beautifully cut dress (with a great coat in Winter) and power heels.
Midlifechic FAQ – Family
Why don’t you reveal the names of your sons and husband?
We have an agreement that I can talk about them and include them in photos as long as Google (and their friends) can’t track them. If I included their names, Midlifechic posts would appear in search against them.
How old are your sons?
They are 20, 15 and 13
How many pets do you have?
Currently five and I can tell you their names because they don’t care about Google! Gary, a staffie / springer cross who is a rescue dog, he is now 13 years old. We also have the cats, Alfie and Rosie who are rescue pets too, they are eight and the middle son recently ‘rescued’ two goldfish from a local fairground. They are called Flip and Flop.
Midlifechic FAQ – Thoughts
When were you happiest?
The usual answer to this is ‘when my children were born.’ I have a version of that – the most joy filled moments of my life were the ones when I discovered that I was pregnant. I say that because not all of my pregnancies went full term but each stick that turned blue will be forever special to me. I hold them all in my heart.
What is your biggest fear?
Without doubt it is of anything bad happening to the people I love, especially the boys and Mr MC. I continually have to stop my mind going there.
Which book changed your life?
I have read a lot of good books in different languages and there are so many that I love. However the one that changed my life was not very well written but I read it at the right time. It is the Celestine Prophecy and after reading it, Mr MC and I both decided to turn our lives upside down and make big changes. Regular readers know what happened next – most of it is covered in ‘About Me.’
What has been your biggest disappointment?
That my parents are no longer here. I would have loved them to be around to see my boys grow up and to be there for our family celebrations.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
At the moment it would probably be a helicopter. I spend so much time travelling to London and still turn so many opportunities down, it would make a big difference.
Where would you most like to be right now?
In a restaurant by the sea with Mr MC and the boys – somewhere hot with a simple meal and a carafe of local wine.
What is the most important lesson that life has taught you?
Don’t follow your head or your heart, instead listen to your instinct. You always know what is best deep down.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Midlifechic FAQ. If you think I’ve missed something, please tell me in the comments and I’ll add it in. In the meantime thank you for reading and I’ll be back soon.