It’s such a pleasure to welcome Chloe from Life Unexpected as a guest on the Inspire Me series.
It’s a bit surreal to tell the truth, as Life Unexpected was one of the very first blogs that I came across in the blogosphere. Way back when I had no idea how little-a-fish I was going to be in this huge ocean of parenting blogs. Chloe has such a kind heart and was so inspiring and encouraging in the first few months of me getting 3 Little Buttons off the page and out there for all to see. As soon as the idea for this Inspire Me series came about, Chloe was one of the first bloggers that sprung to mind. I’m so glad she said yes!
Quick fire questions are so much fun but can also tell us so much about how someone thinks. Let’s see how Chloe got on.
Ahhh, a fellow lefty! What I wouldn’t give to have a view of the sea and beach huts from our house!
1. How long have you been blogging for and what inspired you to give it a go?
I’ve been blogging for two years next week. It started as a creative outlet for me when I was on maternity leave. I really wanted to do something during my daughters nap times and my love for writing and photography led to Life Unexpected.
2. Think back to when you first started blogging, what if anything has changed the most?
The way people use social platforms. It used to be all about twitter, you’d hop onto twitter every day for a conversation but now I find its more for self-promotion than chatting which is such a shame. Instagram and youtube have become huge for bloggers in the last 12 months. It’s all turning more visual than written in terms of marketing.
3. Are you a pen and paper or straight to the screen type of writer?
I have always dreamt of being a writer and ever since I was a little girl you’d find me with a pen and paper, sat somewhere scrawling. I much prefer using pen and paper now but mostly for blog ideas, lists and planning my time. If I need to write a post I tend to write ideas down in a notepad but then type them straight up on the screen.
4. Where and when do you do most of your writing?
I can write from anywhere. But I can never write in the afternoons. My best times are first thing in the morning or late at night. I love working from a coffee shop or my new office space in our spare room.
5. How often do you write and what type of things inspire your blog posts?
I write every single day. Even if I’m not publishing anything daily I’m working on future posts, writing stories or doing freelance writing. Anything can inspire blog posts. I get ideas all the time, from conversations, things I read, going out and about. My mind is one constant reel of blog post ideas.
6. Have you ever had a major case of writers block, if so, how did you overcome it?
Last year I went through a big phase of writers block and felt very demotivated with writing and blogging. My partner ended up having to help me finish off some campaigns because I just couldn’t write them.
Luckily for me he knows my voice so well so could help. I overcame it by turning down jobs and switching off for a few weeks. I regretted turning down the opportunities so much, but I knew I needed space from work to fall back in love with it again.
7. Complete one or both of the following sentences. A) Bloggers rock because… B) I am a super blogger because…
Bloggers rock because they’re not afraid to use their voice. They’re confident enough to give you their take on the world and a little bit of them. They aren’t afraid to recommend to you the things they love the most and they can really inspire you in so many ways.
I am a super blogger because I have overcome being a completely self-conscious, introvert and have put myself out there. I’m still incredibly shy now and always worry about what people think but blogging has given me so much confidence and I’m no longer afraid to pursue my dreams.
8. Name 3 bloggers who inspire you?
You Baby Me Mummy – Aby has completely overhauled her blog and has decided to make it her job to help others to blog, at the same time as building an amazing source of income for her family. She writes so many posts a day as well as balancing social media, her new courses and monitoring online groups. I wish I could do as much as her.
Mummy Daddy Me Makes Three – I love how true to themselves this beautiful family still are, despite having blogged for years. Most blogs end up evolving into a mass of sponsored posts and ‘how to’s’. I’m guilty for this myself. But Mummy Daddy Me Makes Three is still a family diary, showcasing both the ordinary and extraordinary moments. I love how the brand work they do slots so organically into family life.
Honest Mum – Vicki inspires me to challenge what I can and can’t do with blogging. She is making her own way, grabbing opportunities but also creating new ways that bloggers can work with brands and new ways that they can make an income.
9. What is the best piece of blogging advice that you have been given?
‘Be yourself, people will know if you try and be something you aren’t.’
This advice is so true. I went through a phase after my separation last year, where I didn’t feel like writing anything personal. I started to write posts that just weren’t my voice. One of my regular readers noticed a change and sent me a private message asking me if my blog was still run by the same person. That’s when I knew I needed to still be myself. That very day I released my post explaining about my separation. It went viral and is still my most popular post, showing that my readers wanted the real and not the fake.
10. Share your own top blogging tip, advice or quote.
Don’t be afraid to pitch. If blogging is just your hobby, you can still do this. Especially if there are certain items that you love and that you’re going to buy anyway. I used to be terrified of even the idea of pitching but I’ve learnt so quickly, that if you don’t ask you don’t get.
The worst someone is going to say is no. Now I pitch my little heart out all the time and it’s amazing the opportunities you get from it. You don’t need to have a big following to work with brands. Even big brands. Just an engaged audience, passion for that brand and the desire to show off why you love them.
The Inspire Me guest series will be running over the coming weeks. It will be featuring some of my favourite bloggers. From the queen bee’s themselves, to the much newer bloggers on the scene. All have that elusive something that you can’t quite put your finger on that makes them stand out from the crowd, as well as being key inspirers.