ALI AGNEW, KENT EDITOR OF MUDDY STILETTOS
When former magazine journalist Ali moved back to Tunbridge Wells last year, landing her dream job as editor of Muddy Stilettos was the icing on the cake…
“My husband and I are both from Kent, and it’s a really special place to me. We were in London for years, Surrey for a time because of his job, then moved here and I got a job in a school. At the same time I got offered the Muddy job, which I took in a heartbeat. I can work this around the kids and it works in so many ways – it felt like fate because we were moving back to Kent, and then the Kent editor job came up at the same time.”
STARTING FROM SCRATCH
“Hero, the founder of Muddy Stilettos started the blog in Oxford as a hobby – within a year she realised everybody wanted it, so she turned it into a business. It’s her baby, so she’s carefully hand-picked one editor from each county, and it was really exciting as lots of us launched at once in February.
With any business you set up, you have to put in so many hours and do it every evening and every weekend and there’s the pressure of making it work ﬁ nancially, but it’s so much fun at the same time. When you love doing something you appreciate it, so I am really lucky. I’ll never moan again about my job!”
“Online is really different to print and it’s been a massive learning curve, but it’s a challenge I love. The newsletter side of things I’d never done before, but it’s amazing the stuff you learn so quickly – you can never learn anything like that without just doing it and just trying it out.
I’m not a master of social media, I certainly wasn’t the mum on Facebook and Twitter every day at all, but I enjoy it because I’m doing it on something that I love and not tweeting about what my kids had for breakfast.”
“Our aim is to make sure things are a little bit different and also useful. Food content is really popular; trying somewhere that is a bit off the beaten track – people like things that are somewhere different or somewhere they’ve heard of and have been meaning to try. The school reviews are also really popular, I think because it’s an in-depth and personal account, if I go anywhere with my girlfriends, that’s all we talk about! Schools always come up in conversation and it’s such a big decision. That works really well because I’m looking at it as a journalist and a mum.”
“Hopefully there aren’t too many blogs around doing what we do, being local and lifestyle, I don’t think the market is saturated already. I think you have to really care about the area – there’s just so much to explore, and it’s
finding all the hidden gems. I would never run out of ideas. In Kent there’s a real sense of community’ we’ve got the sea, the land and we’re the garden of England, it couldn’t be better really! I feel so lucky that I happened to be moving here, so I’ll have to get my skates on to get round to everywhere.”
Monthly site visits: 20,000
*All numbers are approximate