Diana Mancuso from Toronto Teacher Mom an Interview
Diana adds her own voice to her blog for sure. When you read her reviews you know that she used the product, tasted it if it’s food, played with it if it’s a toy and shopped if it’s a store or website. Her photos tell stories of her escapades with her daughter and her reviews also. I like the style of her blog especially the layout of her product reviews.
Tell me about your Blog –
I first started blogging in 2006 while I was on mat leave with my first child. My sister-in-law introduced me to blogging and looking back, it was a pretty new and innovative concept, to me at least. Now, blogs are popping up everywhere! On Toronto Teacher Mom, I write about my life as a mother of two and teacher of many. This has now expanded to include product and service reviews and giveaways, too. I like to talk about products for moms, children and babies, as well as promote local, organic and natural products and businesses whenever I can. I am now looking to add tutorials about how I have edited HTML code to personalize my site because, well… I am a teacher and I love to teach! And I learned a lot from other fellow bloggers, so why not pay it forward? I just wish I had more time to write!
What was your first blog?
My first blog was Toronto Teacher Mom. When I got into crafting with my Cricut Expression last year, I started up a craft blog called Diana’s Designs Blog. It’s been great connecting with people who share my love of paper crafts and learning and sharing ideas with them, too.
What is the biggest tip you would give to product reviewers?
My biggest tip would be to stay honest and add some original insight. It seems some bloggers just copy and paste info from press releases, etc. and add very little of their own content. It also provided me with the opportunity to work on my writing skills, which I have to say was never my forté.
Are you contacted by companies or PR companies or do you contact them or both?
Last year, in late summer, I was contacted by a few PR reps to promote a few products, services and campaigns. I did most of these without any recompense of any sort and didn’t mind in the least. Then my first major product review was for Clorox cleaning products and I was sent a whole whack of free stuff to keep and give away to friends and family. That’s when I started to put some serious thought into doing more reviews and adding more content to my site. Since then, I have been contacted to review products and services about 90% of the time. Lately, I’ve joined some product review sites such as Mom Central, The Product Review Place and Business2Blogger, that work with companies who want to pitch ideas for product reviews. I’m now starting to really reap the benefits of these memberships. I’ve secured some products for review by responding to the companies’ pitch through the sites I mentioned above.
What is your favorite product that you have reviewed?
Hmmm, this is a tough one. I loved Burt’s Bees Overnight Firming Lotion, Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion and Clorox Green Works Cleaning Products, which I have yet to write about.
What do companies or PR companies do that you wish they wouldn’t/ do that you like?
My biggest complaint would be not receiving a reply to my emails, especially if I have a question about giveaway details or if I have emailed winners’ information for them to ship out prizes.
What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t/do that you like?
I love it when bloggers leave comments. I can live without the anonymous “bloggers” who spam.
What advertiser would you like to work with given a chance?
I’m not sure. I would love to advertise for Dyson vaccuums. And try one out for review, too! (Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.)
Where do you see growth in the blogging field?
I see an incredible growth in parents who blog and promote word of mouth advertising. But I also see a potential for blogs to become a part of education and teaching. I’m working on creating a blog for my students and learners of French in general.
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
I spend way too much time on the Internet. The current state of chaos in my house can attest to that.
What’s your favorite book?
I was never much of an avid reader but I remember enjoying the works of Jane Austin, a novel called the House of the Seven Gables, Metamorphosis, No One Writes to the Colonel by Gabriel García Márquez, Madame Bovary and even parts of the Divine Comedy. But nothing will surpass my love for Canadian-based author, Robert Munsch!
What is on your iPod?
I don’t own one. Yet.
What are your contact details?
Email: torontoteachermom(nospam)@hotmail.com — remove the nospam
Blog: www.torontoteachermom.com and http://dianasdesignsblog.blogspot.com/
What events do you attend?
My social life is a work in progress. But I have attended and plan on attending more blogger events in the area.
How do you prefer to communicate?
I love email. And Twitter.
Who would you recommend, and why?
If you’re looking for some great Canadian mom blogs about product reviews and giveaways, check out:
My Real Review
My Organized Chaos
Canadian Natural Mama
And if you’re looking for some inspirational craft blogs, check these out:
What is one thing people can do for you?
You can offer any ideas or tips on being a more organized mom. And/or teacher. Oh, and you can enter my giveaways, too!