Today I would like to welcome Hayley to the Wise Words Wednesday hot seat. Her blog is a great combination of pictures, reviews and posts about their lives. Make sure you pop over and have a read once you’ve read her post 🙂
Over to Hayley!
Tell us a little bit about you & your blog:
Hi, I’m Hayley, a first time mama living in rural Devon. Aside from raising our one year old, juggling a complete renovation to our house and working part time on our family business, I’ve somehow managed to throw a blog into the mix. In 2016, I launched Devon Mama whilst on maternity leave and threw myself into a completely new online world. Since then I’ve shared product reviews, insights into our lives and even the odd recipe along the way. Put simply, our lives are organised chaos and my blog is my oasis of calm!
What inspired you to start blogging?
I’ve had blogs for a number of years but never anything serious. My day job is Content Marketing Director and I figured I would use my maternity leave wisely and learn more about social media and influencer marketing. Well, there’s nothing else to do on mat. leave, is there?! What started as a bit of a hobby quickly became a small addiction as I threw myself into things. In October 2016 I went self-hosted and decided I wanted to continue it beyond a learning experience and here we are. It’s one of my favourite pastimes – even if it is ridiculously time consuming!
What has been your highlight of blogging?
The highlight so far has probably been working on a Debenhams campaign for Father’s Day. It was the first ‘big’ campaign I worked on and came completely out of the blue. I actually thought it was a prank to start with. It made me realise that I was doing something that had worth to others – up until then I’d figured my blog was just a little fun for me! It was also the point at which I ‘came out’ to my family and friends, albeit ever so slowly and quietly. Blogging up until then had been a secret of mine but this campaign marked the turning point.
Is there anything you have learnt about blogging which you wish you knew when you started out?
How much it can take over your life. I thought to start with it was a simple case of write and publish but it’s far more than that. It’s networking, brainstorming, photography, writing, styling, promoting… there are so many elements to getting you and your blog out there. Sometimes it can get a little overwhelming so I have to remind myself of why I started and what I want to get out of it. A little perspective helps.
Bloggers sometimes get a lot of stick however many work really hard and are reaping the rewards, what has been the most rewarding part of blogging for you?
It’s going to sound ridiculous but the most rewarding bit is having all of those images and memories of my little one documented. Blogging has forced me to take more photos and capture more of what we’re doing and I’ll be forever grateful for that. That and when people say they’ve read my blog… that’s still an odd feeling for me but one that makes me a little gooey inside.
What would be your 1 tip you would give all new bloggers starting out?
Find yourself a group of like minded individuals. The world of blogging is a little odd and I’ve found it can be overwhelming and a bit cliquey at times. The best thing I did was spend some time on Twitter interacting with other parenting bloggers. Some of those are now some of my close friends – we’ve never met in person but I speak to them most days. They understand the blogging world AND the life of a new parent, they’re normally up at all hours and get that family life is a juggle. I hate when people talk about their ‘tribe’ but genuinely… find a tribe. They’ll be your biggest support and biggest cheerleaders!
Who do you find inspiring to read/watch in the blogging world?
I read an eclectic range of blogs, I couldn’t pick just one. Because I follow a number through their personal feeds, I often see their posts and feel so proud of them. I think most bloggers are pretty inspiring in one way or another, it takes a fair amount to keep plodding on these days and sharing your voice.
Lastly – do you have any big plans/dreams for your blog in the next 12 months?
There are a few brands I’d love to work with and I know there’s some housekeeping I need to do with the layout. I want to cover more of the work on our home and start refining my photography more and more. Do I want it to be a career? No. For me blogging is always going to be a hobby, an awesome adventure and a huge part of our family life.
You can find Hayley over on her blog and social media here :
Thank you for taking to the hot seat Hayley! You can read all our Wise Words Wednesday posts here.