AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, retired Army veteran, mom of four, and our June Spotlight Blogger! We asked this Colorado blogger about her thoughts on social media, influencer marketing and a couple of personal questions, too. Take a look at our Q&A below and get to know AnnMarie!

Tell us why you blog.
Blogging is something I enjoy doing. As a high-schooler growing up in the English education system, literature was one of my favorite subjects. I would come home and write novels (which have never been published), and would dream about the day when I became a famous author. While I’m far from famous, blogging is my step in that direction, I would say.

What content do you feel your readers find most valuable?
Anything that is done in a lifestyle format, whether it’s for their home or travel. I’ve noticed that readers really connect with posts that speak to them; posts that share real-life stories that they themselves may have gone through.

Where do you see the most engagement with your content?
I actually see more engagement on blog posts than I do on social media content. While you may not see it in the comments, you can see it via the views that each post receives.

What’s the #1 question you’re asked by your readers, and what’s your answer?
I get asked all the time, “How do I become a blogger and get free stuff?” My answer is always, “There is no such thing as free stuff.” I personally didn’t become a blogger to get free items, and I would much rather work for cash than “stuff.” Blogging also is a full-time job for me, and it’s a job because I file taxes.

What’s the #1 question you’re asked by your brands, and what’s your answer?
Whenever I’m approached by a brand, the first question is usually “What’s your rate, or can you send your rate sheet?” My answer is ALWAYS “I don’t have a rate sheet.” I know some bloggers have one, but it limits what you can earn per campaign. My rates are also based on the company I’m working with, and as I would tell anyone, “You wouldn’t charge Apple or Microsoft or even Google the same you would an Etsy shop owner.”

2018 is the year of:
Being transparent. I want to share a bit more of me.

What are brands doing right when working with bloggers?
Asking for our input and allowing us to speak in our own voice. While they may give guidelines on how they would like their item portrayed, they prefer if we incorporate it into our lives and are honest with our opinions.

Favorite program you’ve done with The Motherhood?
I would have to say 2nd Skull and Nature’s Bounty. 2nd Skull introduced me to a product that parents should invest in for their sports-loving kids in order to help reduce head injuries, while Nature’s Bounty gave me everything that I needed to live a better life in 2018.

Who is your mentor?
I don’t really have a mentor. Instead, I have a few bloggers whose blogs I enjoy reading.

How do you organize your day?
Can I admit that I don’t? I used to, but recently I sat down and had a chat with myself. Life is short, stop organizing and living with schedules, rather, live your best life each day. Buy all the shoes and handbags, take time to smell the roses instead of the coffee and just enjoy life.

More about The Motherhood’s Spotlight Blogger Series
Each month, our internal team convenes and discusses our latest programs, stellar partnerships and top influencers. It’s not about numbers, but rather, the quality, authentic content they’re delivering consistently. It’s about reliability, professionalism and partnership. We discuss our nominations for the month and ultimately decide on just one blogger to feature.

Take a look at our other featured influencers here, and stop by in July for the next Spotlight Blogger!