Bearded Backchat with Nettie from Reclusive Fox

Bearded Backchat is a chance for me to interview PR people and fellow bloggers.  This week it’s with Nettie from Reclusive Fox.

Reclusive Fox header

Who are you?

Reclusive Fox, also known as Nettie.

What is your “day job”?

Freelance copywriter and social media manager.

What is your blog called and where can we find it?

Reclusive Fox – http://reclusivefox.com

What’s your blog about?

My main topics are gaming and anxiety/panic attack related issues. It started off just sharing advice and my own personal mental health experiences but I have expanded to include things I’m passionate about. I used to run a gaming website and I missed it so I have combined the two. Many gamers experience anxiety issues so it seemed like a good fit to me.

It started off just sharing advice and my own personal mental health experiences but I have expanded to include things I’m passionate about. 

I used to run a gaming website and I missed it so I have combined the two. Many gamers experience anxiety issues so it seemed like a good fit to me.

Why did you start blogging?

I started to make progress in learning to manage my social anxiety and I found several things that worked. I wanted to share my journey with others who may be struggling like I had been for over two decades. A lot of people try to make money out of anxiety and panic attacks and I wanted to offer a free resource. I also found in my very troubled times that I was unable to go to the doctor to ask for help. I know a lot of people have the same problem.

A lot of people try to make money out of anxiety and panic attacks and I wanted to offer a free resource. I also found in my very troubled times that I was unable to go to the doctor to ask for help. I know a lot of people have the same problem.

With online help I hoped to reach out and provide the best advice from my experience to those who are looking for assistance online. Failing that, I wanted to show people that they weren’t the only ones dealing with panic attacks and anxiety.

It was also a form of therapy for me. I had to push myself into actually getting out the house and doing things. The blog helped me a great deal because when I was suffering, I would think of my readers and do whatever it was I was doing for them too.

Why do you still blog?

 I enjoy it. I wouldn’t like to give it up and I think I’ll continue to blog for many years, but I am moving over to live streaming more at the moment. I am also building up a new audience on Twitch and it’s a place my followers can visit for more information about me, gaming and anxiety if they so wish.

I recently posted about dealing with anxiety and panic when going to a gaming convention. I had some lovely messages from followers who, like me, felt it would be too much to handle.

That response drives my blog but also pushes me to keep looking after myself and fight my mental health issues./em>

How has blogging changed since you started?

I first started blogging about 10 years ago, probably even further back (can’t even remember what my blog was called) and it has changed dramatically. I think it’s become more business orientated and heavily focused on marketing.

I feel in the past, people were simply using blogs as online diaries or to share their lives. I do feel many people are focused on money now.

I did venture down that road a little with Reclusive Fox, but I lost a lot of passion for my hobby by doing so. I decided at the start of the year I wouldn’t write posts about pieces of clothing I wasn’t really into simply for the sake of earning a bit of extra cash.

I don’t want to take anything away from bloggers that do use their blog for reviews and sponsored posts about stuff they aren’t truly passionate about though. If they have the time and the drive to do so then that’s a great path for them.

But my favourite blogs and blog posts are ones that come from the heart and are filled with passion and truth.

Would you count your blog as a job or something fun to do in your spare time?

It’s a hobby more than anything else. If I can write a post in exchange for a game I love or a tee that will work in my everyday wardrobe then that’s great, but it’s certainly not something I can make a living from as I don’t have the time to do so.

I do really enjoy sharing positivity-focused advice to help others too, I get a lot of personal strength and reward from helping others too.

Receiving an email or a message from a reader who wants to share their experiences or who tell me the advice I have shared has benefited them really does blow me away.

Where do you get the inspiration to write a blog post?

I barely have deadlines to deal with, beside game embargos but I will normally be passionate about the game or wish to share my gaming experiences with others, so the deadline isn’t an issue.

I don’t have a blogging schedule either. As it’s a hobby I have the freedom to be a lot more relaxed with it. Inspiration comes from what I am thinking about and what I’m playing or lusting after.

When I have something coming up that I would have previously struggled immensely I will write down tips for others that may be facing the same thing. When I see news about a game I can’t wait for I will write about it. I don’t write about many things I want to but that’s simply a time issue.

I am trying to live in the moment a lot more than I have done in my adult life, so I go with the flow.

I also manage blogs for many clients where deadlines are involved, another reason I have removed that kind of pressure from my own personal blog.

Nettie from Reclusive Fox

Nettie aka Reclusive Fox

If you could recommend three other blogs to read, what three would you recommend and why?

I have moved to vloggers more than bloggers. I love to see real life in action and as I said, many blogs are more review and sponsored post focused these days.

My number one blog is Galadarling.com. I visit Gala when I need an insert of positivity in my life. I love her outlook on life and she is an inspiration to me. I also love her witchy posts (I’m a bit of a hippy and I love crystals and magical stuff!) and her writing is top notch.

The other two are going to be vlogs, I hope that’s okay.

I love DudeLikeHella on YouTube. I started watching him when he moved to Alaska. He vlogged about his adventures and it was always so much fun. Now he has just had a baby and his vlogs are changing a little but I love to check in with them still.

Watching his journey is fantastic and it’s certainly worth watching him now if you have also had a baby as he shares his true and honest experience of what it’s like being a new dad.

Finally, currently I am watching More Ali-A and his girlfriend ClarSiobhan vlogs. They are a couple both in the gaming industry and have very similar interests to myself and my boyfriend. If they blogged I would be an avid reader.

What is the single best thing that has come about as a result of your blog?

Learning to manage my panic attacks and anxiety. Three years ago I barely stepped outside the door unless absolutely necessary. Now I can go out without even thinking about it.

I think that may be my favourite answer to date. Well done. What would be your perfect blog post?

Hmmm tough question. It would probably be sharing an experience that I would have never thought possible in the past; going to a huge launch of a game in London, perhaps. I actually turned down going to the launch of Black Ops II in London in 2012 (for my old blog) because I let panic get in the way. I regret that but it was the right thing to do at the time.

I actually turned down going to the launch of Black Ops II in London in 2012 (for my old blog) because I let panic get in the way. I regret that but it was the right thing to do at the time.

What can you recommend to other bloggers to increase the traffic to their sites?

From an SEO angle – quality and original content, consistency, social media marketing and link building….

My true advice is to write from the heart. Focus on building an audience full of readers that really connect with you and write for the readers you want to come and find you and will want to stay on the journey with you.

What’s the point of having large amounts of traffic from people who find you once and never return? Stats are one thing; actually connecting with your audience is another.

Which brands do you enjoy working with?

Right now I’m working a lot with EvolvePR, they send me games to review but only the games I request so I don’t get titles I’m not interested in.

I have also recently reconnected with Sony Entertainment, Bethesda and a couple of others who I worked with on my old blog. I hope to rebuild those relationships to get back to the level I was at before.

I plan on reaching out to some of the gaming charities such as Special Effect.

Everyone has that one company that they have always wanted to work with but have never quite been able to. Who is yours?

Insert Coin. They sell gaming inspired merchandise and have so many clothes that I would wear the hell out of. I am also in love with Dead Living Clothing, they have recently released a line of dresses, leggings and skirts inspired by one of my favourite games of all time, Bioshock. The designs are perfection.

Both of these brands make clothes I love to wear (or would love to if I had the money).

My dream would be to work with them on my Twitch channel and my blog. Perhaps being sponsored so I could showcase their designs online and offer my audience a small discount or something.

That’s a goal of mine but I have a long way to go before I would even consider pitching to them.

What is your own personal favourite post on your site?

Does Gaming Help with Depression and Anxiety? I had several private messages about this post.

One that stands out was a mother who was concerned about her daughter who was suffering with anxiety and spent a lot of time playing games. She was grateful to see things from the ‘other side’ and it provided her some relief from her own fears about what her daughter was going through.

As a mother of a 16-year-old I know how it feels to read something that makes you feel a little better about a parenting concern. I was pleased to offer a little bit of peace in a crowded parents’ mind.

Whose blog would you love to be featured on or write a guest post for?

 I would love to find more gaming bloggers and feature on their websites but they are quite hard to track down (give me a shout if you are one!). Many gamers focus more on streaming and vlogging these days.

Oh, I think the only gaming blogger that I know is Kelly from Sussex With Love.

She mentioned her love of gaming in her Bearded Backchat interview

Is there anybody that you’d like to see featured in the Bearded Backchat series?

Gala Darling.

Lastly, if you were to interview another blogger, what question would you ask that I haven’t asked here?… 

 What do your family and friends think about your blog and blogging in general?  If you haven’t told them, why not?

… And what is your answer to that question?

My friends know I blog and live stream but I haven’t told them directly where they can find me online. I have only recently added my website address to my Facebook profile as I have moved back into gaming.

I think I wrote about such personal things that I didn’t want acquaintances or old nosy school friends seeing that vulnerable side of me. Close friends know, but many don’t understand what it is.


Thanks for taking part, Nettie!

Nettie is the first blogger on the Bearded Backchat series that has mentioned having a Twitch channel to me. You can check out Netties Twitch channel here.

Don’t forget to visit the Reclusive Fox blog too.

You can see all of the Bearded Backchat interview series by clicking here!

(Header adapted from an original design by www.lucykatedesign.co.uk, with thanks)

by DannyUK

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