Candy Kirby: Full-time family humor blogger
Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
Candy Kirby, a Pennsylvania-born Los Angeles transplant and former writer for “The Bold and the Beautiful,” added Blogger to her resume in 2006. Three years later, she added Editor, Founder, and “Chief Waste Management Technician” when she created The Laughing Stork, a blog dedicated to unveiling the unpredictable and humorous nature of parenting. The blog’s tagline “Home is where the humor is” also applies to the antics of her crazy cats who happily pose for holiday photos, and Candy’s desire to turn a diaper genie into a beer keg. Her good-natured tweets appeal to a wide audience ranging from @BarackObama to @AmyGrindhouse. You can also friend her on Facebook to stay up to date with Candy’s zany updates or check out her fun game for expecting mothers: Pregnancy Bingo!
Q: When did you start blogging, and what was your inspiration to start?
A: I started blogging on a whim – like so many other people – back in 2006 when I was “on a break” from TV writing. At first I thought, “Oh, it will be nice to do this on the side as another outlet for my writing.” Then blogging became my passion. I originally poked fun at pop culture and eventually segued into family humor, a much more rich area for material in my opinion, when I become pregnant in 2009.
Q: What do you think makes The Laughing Stork unique compared to other parenting blogs?
A: The Laughing Stork is not a resource for parents and does not provide one iota of credible information. It is pretty much all humor and satire, all the time.
Q: How much time do you spend each day on blogging?
A: Four to ten hours, which also includes working on advertising, marketing, responding to readers, etc.
Q: How often do you correspond one-on-one with readers?
A: Every day. I make a concerted effort to respond to every e-mail, because the site wouldn’t exist without readers’ support.
Q: Were there any unexpected joys or pains associated with blogging when you first started out?
A: Oh sure. When I wrote about pop culture, there were “trolls,” some of whom were actually other (oddly competitive) bloggers, that would leave vicious comments and try to drive my other readers away. That was certainly stressful. But you learn how to closely monitor comments to keep the community somewhat cordial and, even more importantly, how to develop thick skin! Also, there was – and is – the addictive nature of blogging. It is tough when you’re unable to really take a vacation day. On the flip side, that’s exactly what makes certain blogs successful: that need to post every day and connect with your readers.
Q: What is the meaning behind the name of your blog, The Laughing Stork? Were there other names you considered using?
A: Yes, I had a whole list of pretty terrible names, including – I kid you not – “The Bottle Lines.” Can you imagine? But, hey, there are no bad ideas in a brainstorm! *AHEM* I knew I wanted something different from many other parenting blogs, something that didn’t have the words “mom” or “baby” in it so, with the help of my brand management consultants (AKA my cats), I ultimately decided on The Laughing Stork, which is a play on the phrase “Laughing Stock.” Think it captures my brand well.
Q: What is something your readers do not know about you?
A: I eat everything out of a bowl. Even pizza.
Q: Would you mind elaborating on that a little more?
A: Oh boy. How to explain my many quirks? There is not much logic behind my affinity for bowls (or behind most of what I do, for that matter). I think it all started because I’m a messy eater and I discovered bowls contain my food and crumbs better than plates. And now, well, I feel compelled to eat almost everything out of a bowl if possible. I will eat off a plate at restaurants. But I’m not happy about it.
Q: What is your own personal favorite blog post?
A: Sounds cliché, but it’s hard to single out just one. There is a column about the time I was tragically defeated by an umbrella stroller, Woman Versus Stroller, to which many mothers can relate. And, even more importantly, my mom thought it was funny. I also created a fun new game: Pregnancy Bingo!
Q: Has your approach to blogging changed over time, and what motivates you to continue?
A: It is no longer a hobby; it is my livelihood. So I have to approach it as a business without making the site feel that way.
Q: Since blogging is now your livelihood, is it less fun than it was when it was a hobby?
A: Well, sure, because there is more pressure to keep increasing traffic and, therefore, advertising revenue. And anything becomes a “job,” eventually. But getting to write whatever I want for a living and having the schedule flexibility that I do…? Ain’t too shabby.
Q: What recommendations would you give to up and coming bloggers who wish to make their own blogs their full time jobs?
A: Be sure that you’re passionate about blogging. Don’t quit your day job until you’re generating enough revenue on which to live. And, most importantly, invest in plenty of sweatpants and Red Bull.
Q: You have some big-name followers on Twitter. What does Tweeting add to your blogging experience?
A: Not only does it broaden my community and offer a marketing tool for my stories, but it also gives me an outlet for thoughts or ideas that aren’t necessarily blog post-worthy. In other words, I post a lot of nonsense on Twitter.
Q: You mentioned that a successful blog is one that has daily posts; do you ever take days off?
A: I don’t post much on the weekends anymore because I think it’s important to recharge the creative batteries. However, I rarely take weekdays off – and usually find myself writing during vacations, as I did recently in Hawaii. I make it up to my husband by buying him a couple of fruity umbrella drinks. He’s easy like that.
Q: Do you have a go-to blogger who inspires or provokes you?