Anniki Sommerville is the Super Editor at Selfish Mother and the Co-Founder of The Hotbed Collective.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I was approached by Molly Gunn who runs Selfish Mother and The FMLY store. She wanted me to edit the blogzine. We have over 5000 writers now who contribute and my role is to read, edit, and share them on social media. I then started writing for online publications and this expanded — the key areas I focus on are parenting, aging, feminism, and branding.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
There isn’t a typical one as I tend to juggle a few different roles. I edit Selfish Mother, co-founded a website/podcast called The Hotbed Collective and write fiction. I also do freelance copywriting for clients, some brand consultancy, and market research. I tend to make a big list and then break down my tasks each day. I work a lot first thing in the morning but also have a young daughter so I take regular breaks too.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE? (YOUR APPS, PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS, ETC.)
I don’t really use any apps apart from Instagram which is my main networking and PR too. I also use Facebook and this is where we share our Selfish Mother posts too.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INSPIRED?
I try to read as much as possible — I find that reading really inspires me and gives me new ideas. I also try and adapt my own life stories into writing material.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
I love Nora Ephron who said once — “When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you. But when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh.” It’s about owning your story and choosing the narrative.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING/INNOVATIVE THING YOU HAVE SEEN ON ANOTHER OUTLET OTHER THAN YOUR OWN?
I love the way Instastories is developing and is now a short film making device. I like the way people are telling stories about their lives each day and thinking about interesting graphics to bring it to life.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THAT YOU’RE PASSIONATELY TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
I think one of the key problems is people having low attention spans or just feeling too overwhelmed to take the time to read content. It means that many of the links to content aren’t really used because people can’t be bothered. So how do you get over that? Are there ways of offering shorthand content so people can get the jist without clicking through? Those are the problems I’m going through at this moment.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?
I would just do a lot of research and see what people are doing. The people who are truly creating new ways of presenting content online are not always the big brands. They are often the small start ups or even individuals who are experimenting and coming up with new things.
They have to keep these questions in mind, (a,) What kind of content do you tend to read and engage with? (b,) Why is that? and (c,) Are there ways to make it super impactful and visual so your tired and overwhelmed audience don’t have to work too hard to get meaning?