Bearded Backchat with Lisa from Thirtysomething Belle
Bearded Backchat is a chance for me to interview PR people and fellow bloggers. This week it’s Lisa from Thirtysomething Belle. A fairly new blogger, but a very prolific one!
Who are you?
Hello! I’m Lisa AKA Thirtysomething Belle.
What is your “day job”?
I work in an accounts based role on a full-time basis but since blogging and doing the odd spot of writing for other websites, I have discovered I actually have a burning passion for writing, much more than numbers!
Therefore, I am currently in the process of making a (somewhat terrifying) career change after 14 years and hoping to move into content writing instead, given the right opportunity.
How long has it been since you started moving towards content writing, and how is it going so far?
Actually, since we began our chat, I have some good news! I begin my brand new role as a content writer and social media manager for a local textiles firm tomorrow so the hard work had indeed paid off. It only took me 33 years years but I am finally following my dream and could not be happier right now.
Woohoo! Congratulations! What is your blog called and where can we find it?
My little corner of the internet is Thirtysomething Belle and can be found at www.thirtysomethingbelle.com
What’s your blog about?
Everything! Mainly lifestyle, I like to ramble about most topics. From my teenage daughters, our home and cats to our travels, my favourite recipes and general musings on life.
Teenage daughters? I feel your pain! (Mine are 15, 13 and 12!) Why did you start blogging?
I have always been an avid reader of blogs and had a love of reading/writing since I was little. I wrote a few reviews which proved popular and ended up in the top 5% of Manchester reviewers on Trip Advisor in 2014.
In May 2015, I decided to have a go at my very own blog! It’s safe to say that I’m hooked 🙂
Why do you still blog?
I genuinely adore writing. I find it an excellent form of relaxation, away from my stressful, corporate day job.
You say that you love writing and find yourself writing a lot - How much content do you think you write? How many blog posts per week, for example?
I try and post twice a week on the blog, with each new post being approx 600-1200 words a time so that keeps me busy, along my occasional writing for the Huffington Post UK.
How has blogging changed since you started?
I don’t think it has much, however I‘ve only been in the game for 11 months to date.
Would you count your blog as a job or something fun to do in your spare time?
I would LOVE to be able to class my blog as a job but I don’t earn from it. It’s definitely my hobby and keeps me sane! I spend most of my evenings and weekends happily writing away.
Where do you get the inspiration to write a blog post?
If I visit a place that I think my readers would like or buy a product that I adore, it goes on the blog. I also occasionally write about more heartfelt and personal issues (with a sprinkling of dry humour) such as parenting, relationships, anxiety and the grief of losing my fiancé suddenly in 2014.
How did you lose your fiance? (or is there a blog post to link to which may be easier?)
Sadly, Neil died very suddenly, aged just 30. It was one of them awful ‘one in a million’ type events that you never ever think would happen to you, due to a virus called Streptococcus Intermeduis.
One day he was complaining of having what he thought was the flu, and the next day he had died in hospital after a tense night of emergency neurosurgery. A heartbreaking time, however it really has made the kids and I develop a more positive and braver attitude to things. Life really is too short. You can read a little more about our experiences here.
If you could recommend three other blogs to read, what three would you recommend and why?
In no particular order:
http://whatmyfridgesays.com/ - Lucy is a unique writer with a wonderful, positive point of view. I love the style and ideas behind her blog.
http://admissionsofaworkingmother.com/ - Sarah is honest and insightful. I partially loved her brave work on ‘The Honest Period’
http://www.ladydickson.com/ - Hailing from Canada, Carolyn is witty, brilliant and swears as much as me. I think she’s my blogger soulmate 😉
I have never met any of these women in person but love reading their posts in my lunch breaks.
What is the single best thing that has come about as a result of your blog?
I have developed a new found confidence in my writing abilities, after getting some lovely feedback from PRs and readers. I’ve also been lucky enough to make some wonderful online friends that I would never have come across without blogging.
What would be your perfect blog post?
I’d love to do more travel-related features. Writing about our trips and weekends away is one of my favourite things. It’s where I’d like my blog to be long-term (more travel focused)
I recently got offered a family trip on a 5* canal boat/hotel from Birmingham to London, which would have been amazing! I was offered this amazing opportunity via Caroline Joynson PR and am still sulking that we couldn’t make it 😉 Sadly, it clashed with my work commitments in my full-time office job so I (very reluctantly) had to turn it down.
One day, I hope to have a better work/life balance and more free time to be able to take up these types of opportunities.
What can you recommend to other bloggers to increase the traffic to their sites?
I’m not sure I can help here. The traffic tends to be less of a priority for me - I focus more on my content.
I have recently starting interacting with other bloggers a bit more, which seems to boost the stats a little but if I’m honest? I get overwhelmed by things like DA scores so tend to shy away from it all.
Which brands do you enjoy working with?
I loved working with Gung Ho! last year. A fab company with a great idea, the kids and I had a blast on the day and I genuinely enjoyed writing about our experience afterwards.
I also worked with ResMed recently - their PR company are friendly, accommodating and helpful.
I like to work with smaller brands and starter companies - seeing their passion is infectious and if I can help boost their profile, that’s always nice.
Everyone has that one company that they have always wanted to work with but have never quite been able to. Who is yours?
The clothing brand Collectif. They are a fairly small yet rapidly growing British company and produce vintage repro clothing, indulging my inner pin up girl! I am a HUGE fan but am not brave enough to pitch to any companies just yet.
What is your own personal favourite post on your site?
I liked writing this post. I found it resonated with a lot of people – even inspiring a few others to take their own trip - and brought back some wonderful memories for me. It also reminded me to cherish the girls as they rapidly get older. I truly believe that experiences beat material possessions any day!
Whose blog would you love to be featured on or write a guest post for?
Charlotte over at Write Like No one’s Watching. I have followed her blog for a few years now and love her open style, following her little family and her feelings throughout major life changes. Humble and inspiring.
Lastly, if you were to interview another blogger, what question would you ask that I haven’t asked here?…
What do your friends and family think of your blog?
… And what is your answer to that question?
A mixed bag! Some read it often, others have no idea it even exists. I had an amusing moment recently though, when it transpired that my daughters teacher reads the blog. I was half mortified, half proud – I forgot that other actual, real life human beings read my little ramblings! I’m just a little fish, doing her thing in a very big and competitive pond.
Thanks for taking part!
You can catch up with Lisa in all of the usual places:
Don’t forget to visit Lisa’s blog, too!
(Header adapted from an original design by www.lucykatedesign.co.uk, with thanks)