Annaleis Topham from Teapots and Tractors is our latest Worth Casing 100 Aussie Blogger. Annaleis is a trained Primary Teacher and mother of three who lives in rural Western Australia. Her blog is all about living life a cup of tea and tractor ride at a time.
How long have you been blogging for and why did you start?
I started blogging back in October 2011. It was a way for me to reach out and communicate with other parents. I was feeling a little isolated living rurally. Slowly I have built up a fabulous community especially on the Facebook page who are really aware of the needs of families that live away from big cities. We also have many readers who like the little insights into country living.
Tell us a bit about your blog and what we can expect to see in 2014?
Teapots and Tractors is a personal blog. We share our lives, we share our attempts at craft, baking and trying to get organized all while we sometimes cant even get a fresh loaf of bread. I also share some simple teaching ideas that will help parents to help their children take the next step. Being at home with small children and being unable to work because the access to daycare locally was so limited, was one of my reasons for blogging in the first place.
In 2014 we plan to keep on sharing, crafting and baking. I hope to have more printables available to make getting organised much easier.
Do you have a favourite place or dedicated space for blogging?
I blog at my desk which is in the corner of the dining room. I have big dreams for a dreamy desk where I can look out the window and see flowers and the sunshine would stream in.
What are your must have blogging tools and resources?
My favourite blogging tools are my Mac, iPad and Iphone. Seriously I do most of my blogging from my Mac. But I do most of my social media promotions and conversations from the iPad or iPhone. I’m also starting to love WordPress as I get my head around it. My favourite resource of all is other bloggers – many are kind and willing to share their knowledge to help solve problems with the blog easily.
Have you ever experienced blogger’s block and what are your top tips for when it strikes?
I have experienced writers block and it usually follows some self doubting and general negative self talk. So I am consciously trying not to do that. You will find that sometimes I go a little quiet on the blog. Seriously that is mostly because I might need to drive 1000kms that week. I just don’t have the time or energy to put into words what I am thinking. It’s one of the downfalls of living away from a city.
What have been your blogging highlights and biggest challenges?
My own self confidence would be my biggest challenge along with the distance I live from any other bloggers. I wish I could catch up and talk ‘shop’ more often.
My biggest highlight has been meeting Darren Rowse in Perth earlier this year. He talked about giving yourself just 15 minutes a day to learn something or do something you really want to. I’m trying to put that into place to learn how to use my camera better.
Who inspires you and what’s on your Worth Casing list when it comes to other bloggers?
I like bloggers who share a little of their humour and personality. I mean I love reading ‘style’ blogs, but it can take you a while to get to know the author. I like the personal relationship with the reader/blogger. I try to do that with my own blog.
What advice would you give to anyone that is thinking about starting a blog of their own?
I would try and attend a Learn to Blog course. Just to get a little support right at the start. But the main thing is to just do it! Even if you don’t publish – start writing.
What are your top 3 favourite posts?
My top 3 posts that I love are:
1. My most popular post was Mikala’s Lalaloopsy Birthday party. I love that I can help Mum’s come up with simple ideas to add a little magic to a birthday without a huge price tag.
2. Hayden’s Lego Organisation in his room is one of my favourites because it shows something that has changed our life. Lego was ruling my son’s bedroom now its just a part of it.
3. A completely different post which is a little tongue in cheek about Peppa Pig. Thank god the kids have now moved past that show!
If you weren’t in the business of blogging what would you be doing?
I would probably still be reading blogs and doing my usual Mum Taxi gig and teaching part-time. I get to communicate with adults when I blogging, and I love that.
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This is one of the first blogs that I started reading – I love Annaleis, she is real, funny and loves to let her hair down when she gets the chance!
Such a nice thing to say Em. You know what I would love to catch up with you and ‘let my hair down’ sometime. Think we would have a blast!
Fifteen minutes a day to learn something new. What an excellent piece of advice Annaleis 🙂
I definitely understand feeling bloggers block after you start to doubt your self and your writing. The blogging world is great that there are always people around, but sometimes it can also feel like you are alone in a crowded room.
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