We’re back with our Inspire Me guest series. Woohooo!
I’m really loving this series and so glad I didn’t end up restricting it to the few weeks it was intended to run for. It’s packed full of top tips from some super rising-stars of the blogging world and I literally learn something new with every blogger featured. This week I’m so happy to have Kirsty from the Winnettes joining me.
One of the things that I simply LOVE about Kirsty’s blog, the Winnettes, is her ability to reinvent her blog so seamlessly, as well as evolving the type of content that she writes about. It’s so refreshing and Kirsty’s a brilliant example of a blogger who keeps things fresh and moving forwards.
Quick fire questions are so much fun but can also tell us so much about how someone thinks. Let’s see how Kirsty got on.
I LOVE beach huts too!
1. How long have you been blogging for and what inspired you to give it a go?
I have been blogging for nearly three years now. I started at my husbands suggestion. Whilst on my second batch of maternity leave I think he could see how bored and lonely I was getting. I have always had a busy mind and if I don’t put it to good use I can get very miserable and lose a lot of confidence. He suggested that writing could be a good way to keep my mind ticking over whilst I wasn’t working.
2. Think back to when you first started blogging, what if anything has changed the most?
I think my content and writing style has changed the most. I started writing about our family life, as a type of online diary. Now I actually don’t share that much about the inner workings of our family but instead share helpful lifestyle posts. These still give an insight into our life approach to things such as parenting but it is far less of a diary style.
3. Are you a pen and paper or straight to the screen type of writer?
I am a straight to screen writer. I love the idea of writing things down but truthfully I like the convenience of editing that technology allows. It has been many years since I have had to write pages and pages of stuff down so I suspect I would get cramp in my hand if I tried to do it now.
4. Where and when do you do most of your writing?
Most of my writing is currently done sat at my dining table whilst the kids play around me. However once my youngest is at preschool (1 week and counting) then I will be working from the office upstairs, sat at my desk and away from the usual distractions. Unless there is a deadline for me to meet I never write during the evenings or weekends as that is reserved for family time.
5. How often do you write and what type of things inspire your blog posts?
I try and write at least once a week but sometimes, if the inspiration strikes me, I will write more in a week and then schedule the posts for the future incase life gets too busy to write or I find a little writer’s block sneaks in. My inspiration usually comes from what is interesting me at the time or what I have been learning. I like to better myself, my writing, my baking, so once I have found what works for me I will write it down and share it.
6. Have you ever had a major case of writers block, if so, how did you overcome it?
I often get writers block, or at least it feels often. One of my worst cases saw me not write for over 3 weeks. At first I stressed about it but that just made it worse. My way of coping now is to not worry about it. I love writing so I am not about to give up just because I don’t know what to write about for a few weeks. Taking the pressure off myself to write gives my head a chance to find and notice any possible inspiration around me. As bloggers we are all very proud of our little space on the internet, and so we should be. But really, what is actually going to happen if we don’t get a post out for a few weeks? As long as you meet any sponsored deadlines it really doesn’t matter and it doesn’t mean you have failed.
7. Complete one or both of the following sentences. A) Bloggers rock because… B) I am a super blogger because…
Bloggers rock because we are some of the hardest working people around but conduct our work with the grace of a swan whilst frantically peddling below water. No one ever realises how much we do until they try to do it themselves.
8. Name 3 bloggers who inspire you?
Sara Tasker from Me and Orla hugely inspires me. She knows a lot about social media and shares what she knows on her blog, her podcast and through her courses. I already know a lot that she shares but she gives me the direction to put what I know into action. Of course she also teaches me loads that I didn’t know before and I am grateful for that.
Sina from Happy Grey Lucky also inspires me. I love her photography skills and the interior of her house. She has given me some brilliant ideas that I have used in our recent living room update. Plus she has inspired me to pack a little lighter the next time we travel…. I am dreadful at packing way too much stuff.
Kerry Villers is another blogger whos content I just love. I always enjoy her Instagram posts and her blog is beautifully laid out and I always learn something. She has interviewed some brilliant people about their social media accounts and they are always so insightful.
9. What is the best piece of blogging advice that you have been given?
It is hard to pick one piece of advice but I think the best thing has always been ‘Just ask, never be afraid to ask’. Some of us talk a lot about the lack of transparency in the blogging world amongst fellow bloggers, but how many of us have actually asked? The chances are there will be at least one person willing to answer the question, no matter what it is. Once you have found that person or people then keep them close because one day you may be able to repay the favour.
10. Share your own top blogging tip, advice or quote.
Write to the beat of your own drum.
There is a lot of ‘noise’ in the blogging world and it can be difficult to know which advice to listen to. I, myself, have been swept away with all the ‘You should be writing these types of posts….’ and the ‘You have to write 5 posts a week AT LEAST’ to be noticed. This is particularly rife in various blogger facebook groups. None of this advice is wrong as it has presumably come from a tried and tested method. But that doesn’t mean it is right for everyone. And besides which if we all started writing “The 5 best ways to change a nappy and not get wee in your eye” then no one would get any traffic (I have not written that post so if anyone would like to use it as a working title then please go ahead).
Do what feels right for you and write what you want to write about. If you want to start making money then that is a different kettle of fish and you will need to be more selective and deliberate in your writing and approach, but if you are just starting out and what to find a new hobby, then do what feels right, ask if you have a question (no matter how ‘big’ you think a blogger is they are only human and will feel flattered you felt comfortable enough to ask them.) and don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. You own your blog which means you own your schedule too.
The Inspire Me guest series is back! 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! Here are some of my favourite interviews… enjoy!
An interview with Chloe from Life Unexpected
An interview with Vicky from Millie’s Beach Huts
An interview with Heather from Shank You Very Much