Today, we are chatting to Kelly from A Place of My Own. She’s been blogging for 10 years this year and talks to us today about being honest, writing through the hard times and community.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog:
I am Kelly – wife of 1 (Mr C) mum of 2 (Piran, 5 and Kate 3) maker of lovely things. I am 36 and live in East Sussex. I am originally from Cornwall and miss it every day. I love to write, to sew and spend my days attached to a computer or smart phone.
2. What made you decide to start blogging in the first place?
In 2005 a friend of mine went traveling to Australia and in order to keep in touch with friends and family he started a blog. I used to be at work checking up on his adventures and then I would click the ‘Next Blog’ button on Blogger and read all these weird and interesting blogs. Then one day I clicked the ‘Create Blog’ button instead and the rest as they say is history. That was almost 10 years ago now.
3. Talk us through how you chose your blog name? Has it always been the same?
Originally my blog was called ‘Random outpourings of my mixed up mind’ – catchy huh? I was completely anonymous and talked utter drivel. Really. Those first posts of mine are a complete embarrassment. I happily wrote complete rubbish interposed with the occasional from the heart post. And then I got a bit drunk and told all my friends about it. And that just spoiled it for me. Suddenly I really couldn’t write I was so worried about who was out there reading it. And so I started ‘A place of my own’. I chose the name because I just wanted somewhere to be myself again, to write from the heart. I was addicted to the feeling of being honest and myself and I didn’t want to lose that. I told a couple people about my new blog, and eventually imported all my old posts to make this blog complete. Around the time I was pregnant with my first child I decided to stop being anonymous, to change from Dancinfairy to Kellyfairy. Something had changed, I was older and wiser and happier to be myself.
4. What has been your biggest blogging challenge?
I think striking the balance between getting money for posts and my blog still being something that reflects me as a person and something that I am happy with and proud of. It hasn’t been easy and in the end I think I have had to say no more to keep my blog the way I want it.
I was a finalist for Best Pregnancy Blogger at the MADS one year which was nice. Especially because my pregnancies weren’t all sweetness and light – there was a fair bit of moaning and carrying on. I think the thing I am proudest of though is writing about postnatal depression, not hiding my experience, being real and true.
6. Tell us about your blogging routine. Do you us an editorial calendar? Do you plan in advance or blog it as it happens?
My blog definitely ebbs and flows. That is one thing I love about it really. Some months there is just one post (new baby that won’t stop crying for 7 months) and times when I post daily. It reflects me as a person and my life and that is what I love the most about it. At the moment I am trying to post twice a week and I am following a bit more of a monthly routine. I am really enjoying using the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin. Great for just adding titles as drafts and then coming back. I wish I could schedule posts but if it hasn’t happened in the last 10 years I don’t suppose it will soon.
7. We’d love to see and hear about where you blog.
In the corner of our front room behind a bookcase. Usually first thing in the morning when the children are watching TV or in the evening. It is always cluttered. It is never pretty but it is our home and that is just the way it is. I usually have to shift lego and drawings before I can start. There is always a cup of tea on my left.
8. What are your blogging goals for 2015?
This year is exciting. I have spent ages tidying and making my blog look how I dreamed it could look. I have ‘standards’ that I have set for myself and try to stick to them, I want the design to be consistent. The most exciting thing this year is that A place of my own is 10 years old and I really want to celebrate that. I have lots of plans that I am really excited to share with my readers.
9. If you could give new bloggers one top tip, what would it be?
One tip? Too hard. Three: Be Yourself. Don’t look at stats. Sit down and just write.
10. What made you push the “Buy Now” button on your ticket for Blogtacular 2015?
I went last year and there was no way I was going to miss this year.
11. What did Blogtacular 2014 do for you?
It is so nice to be somewhere where everyone just ‘gets’ it. I loved every session I went to and the ones I caught up with afterward at the Virtual conference. I wasn’t ready to make big changes back then, I was just happy to absorb the amazing atmosphere, chat to other bloggers and be surrounded by interesting people. I took a risk and went to the sessions that interested me not the ones that I felt I ‘should’ go to and it paid off brilliantly. The best part though – was to see two of my best online friends achieve their dreams. I shed a few tears seeing Kat and Kat throw the best blog conference I had ever been to.
12. How has blogging changed your life?
It has given me an outlet. I have my challenges and writing about them never fails to help. The community has saved me. Twitter & blogging got me through some tricky times as I adjusted to being a parent. I have made friends for life, and when I was a new mum in a place with very few friends it was my lifeline. Things are much better now, but I cannot imagine stopping writing.
13. Which 3 blogs do you read every week without fail.
Thanks for stopping by, Kelly!
You can find her: