HISPZ: Tell us about your self, any relevant journalism experience you have and why you started your blog?
Carol: I am a Brooklyn born Latina, who has spent most of her life in New York, but went to Middle School and High School in the Dominican Republic, where my family is from and where I developed a fluency in Spanish. I had a short stint in Italy before moving back to NYC for college. A lover of languages, I also studied Italian and French, but the lack of use has caused me to forget a lot of what I learned. I love photography and incorporate it often in my work.
My professional background is in Public Relations. My BA is in Communications and I have an MBA in International Relations. Though I’ve also worked in publishing, my career was really in PR, specifically for non-profit organizations. In addition to doing PR work, I also worked in various Community Outreach efforts, many times within the Latino communities.
I chose to leave my demanding job in the field to be more available for my family. I started to blog to stay connected with family and friends from out of town, but it slowly took a life of its own around other my other passions, which are travel and food reviews, both in and out of New York City.
HISPZ: Who is the target audience of your blog and what data can you provide us about the size of your audience?
Carol: My main target audience are people who love to, or are curious about, travel and who have a passion for food (mainly eating new things or trying interesting eateries), whether they have children or not. My goal is to show through my own travel experiences, often with my family, that if you love travel, discovering knew places, and do have children, this shouldn’t be a reason for not pursuing it. There is not a lot I won’t do, even with my kids in tow.
My demographics show that I have done a good job in appealing to those who don’t have children as well families. This may be because my main focus aren’t my children, but rather the journeys we take and how those experiences affect us and help us to bond as a family and with the communities we visit.
I monitor my stats via different sources, and rely mostly on those provided to me by my web-hosting company, as these are based on real-time and provide me with specific data needed for tracking. To date, my site attracts an average of 12,000 unique visitors a month. According to Quantcast.com my demographic reader is affluent, has a high-level education, is female, and has 0-2 kids in the household.
HISPZ: What makes your blog unique and when did you first start blogging?
Carol: I started blogging in December of 2008, so I am just coming upon my 2nd “blogoversary” as they call it. I think that what has helped my blog stand out is my voice and my commitment to authenticity. I try to not get caught up in “the business” and remember that I am having a conversation, sharing a story. I remember that my first audience was, and still is, my family and friends, and I talk to them through my site, as opposed to focusing on selling them something.
The whole point is to make people feel comfortable with the idea of traveling to new places, making them relate to a life in a city such as New York, even if they have never been here, and get them interested about trying new foods. I get a lot of help from the PR professionals and various CVBs and agencies I have worked with. They keep me connected and informed, but I also make sure to get out there and live life to the fullest. Then write about it and take tons of photos.
HISPZ: Do you have any accompanying Twitter, Facebook or other social media contact information you would like to share?
Carol: I am NYCityMama on Twitter, and can be found under the same on Facebook. I am also Carol Cain on linkedIn.com
HISPZ: What is your blog’s web address and how frequently do you update your posts?
Carol: My blog, The Adventures of a NYCity Mama, can be found at the web address www.nycitymama.com, and I update my site no less then 3 to 4 times a week.
HISPZ: What is the key contact information for you and or your blog?
Carol: I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via my Contact page on my site.
HISPZ: What topics are of special interest to your blog and which ones are definitely not?
Carol: As I said, NYCityMama.com is a Travel and Food site. I live in NYC, so I love exploring all the things going on here, for families or not, but I do this no matter what city I am in. I also love writing family travel stories and often take my family with me on trips to feature these on the site.
I don’t do product reviews, unless they are travel related. I do a lot of restaurant reviews, but no food product reviews. I don’t generally do giveaways, unless these are connected to travel or an event/venue, such as a play or concert. I love hosting events because they allow me to connect with readers and peers in person.
HISPZ: What are the best days and hours to reach you and/or your staff with a specific type of story or interview? What are the worst days/times?
Carol: I am best reached via email in the mornings because this is mostly when I am working. It is harder to reach me in later afternoons or weekends unless previously scheduled.
HISPZ: What are your policies in terms of accepting press kits, photos and/or multimedia video files?
Carol: Before sending me press materials I ask that you read both my About page and Working Together/Advertising page. I have a Media Kit with all the relevant information about me and my site, including ad space and rates. I have tried to outline expectations as clearly as possible and identify what I am most interested in for the site.
HISPZ: Is there anything you would like to add about your blog or about working with you?
Carol: I do not identify as a “mommy blogger” but rather as a travel and food blogger, though if you call me Carol that’s wonderful too. Because I come from Public Relations, I understand the industry and the dynamics of working together better then most.
I love what I do and anyone who has met me can see that. I am always happy to work with others to help highlight their client if it is a good fit for my site and if it is something that I know will interest my readers. I am selective, and won’t always say yes to every offer, invite, or request, however, I am never too busy to respond to emails and am always happy to discuss ways in which we can work together. I embrace Twitter wholeheartedly and am always up for a conversation there. I look forward to connecting!