Our latest featured blogger Vicki from Knocked Up and Abroad, is a self confessed chocolate advocate, an op shop addict, a dreadful sewer, yet a wicked Pinterest-er, a bus model, a Milo drinker and travel enthusiast – now mostly from her couch.
Once upon a time Vicki had an exciting fling with life and traveled seven different European countries for seven weeks, whilst seven months pregnant aka knocked up and abroad. Today we catch up with Vicki to discuss the business of blogging….
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
This November marks three years since I started my little blog space. I initially started because I was encouraged to share my stories about my knocked up travels through 7 European countries whilst I was 7 months pregnant. However, I personally wanted to develop the site so I would have a creative avenue which enabled me to connect with a wider community of woman at a time when I felt isolated in a new town and finding my wings as a new mother.
Tell us a bit about your blog and what we can expect to see in the future?
Despite the blog title suggesting many good travel times, Knocked Up and Abroad has actually evolved into a space for my musings as a muddle through mumma now stuck in suburbia! In fact I mostly suffer dreadful wanderlust from my couch these days although we do tend to tackle parenthood with a sense of adventure and still try to travel with little Vicklets in tow as much as we can. Most importantly, I pride myself in creating an honest, raw space about the realities of motherhood with an eclectic mix of other Vicki things that aren’t all about CHILDREN.
What lies ahead? Perhaps a complete revamp. A new name and a new look may be on the cards. Something that feels representational of my life as it stands now. Perhaps it’s time to detach from the suggested travel niche? These are all questions I’m trying to answer right now but in the meantime just more Vicki on a page.
Do you have a favourite place or dedicated space for blogging?
A dedicated space? Lets be honest it’s wherever there is a bench free of Weetbix and spilt milk and somewhere little curious fingers can’t reach.
What are your must have tools and resources when it comes to blogging?
Having something that captures good quality snaps is a real asset in blogging these days. Readers & clients love a good quality visual. I am always trying to refine my skills using my DSLR and sure love using my blog as an excuse to get my camera out and capture moments. I also love Instagram and Little Moments App for fun, Picasa for photo editing and Canva for creating photo presentations.
Have you ever experienced blogger’s block and what are your top tips for when it strikes?
I often suffer blogger’s block when life gets busy or hectic. When I’m stressed or exhausted my creativity energy is hampered and I just don’t have enough clarity to string coherent and interesting words together. I’ve learned in these times to just let the writing slide until the phase passes.
Sometimes life needs to take priority (especially when you’re in the thick of parenting very little people) and if writing is forced it is unlikely to be organic, heartfelt or engaging material which I promise my readership every time. So my top tips are: don’t force it, sit it out, do things that you love to delight your senses and inspire creativity, perhaps do a photo post instead? Let pictures tell a story instead of trying to find the words, but above all, just trust the words will come back (you can’t be broken forever) and they will.
What have been your blogging highlights and biggest challenges?
The challenges have always been understanding the technical world behind the blog. It’s a whole other universe with so much alien lingo! I’m a real dummy when it comes to this and that’s possibly why I haven’t pushed my blog further because I’ve desired a slicker design and nifty buttons etc but haven’t had the knack to create it all. One day folks, one day.
Also finding the time to write as frequently as I desire when small humans dominate my (messy, unruly) world and I have a husband who desires my company for more than seven minutes a day. I’ve learned to not be so hard on myself in this area. I will never be a pro blogger who posts 6.5 times a week. I’ve learned that if I blog even once a week I’ve at least had one creative moment for myself and connected, so it’s a win!
In terms of highlights, I’m easily thrilled. I get a buzz when I get a bunch of new followers, or someone gives one of my posts a shout out. It’s just so validating and I’m always so grateful. I even remember feeling embarrassingly elated when bloggy superstar Mrs Woog started following me on Instagram!! Yep, I’m a tool.
One genuinely very exciting thing that happened to me was when the magazine That’s Life discovered my blog and asked to write about my knocked up story!! Oh the fame that week!!
Who inspires you and what’s on your Worth Casing list when it comes to other bloggers?
There are oodles of brilliant wordsmiths out there that I regularly read. I often wish I could have written their words! I mostly gravitate towards mummy bloggers and at the moment I’m loving When at Home, The Little Mumma, Baby Mac, Raising Master Max and Lentil and the Mint.
What advice would you give to anyone that is thinking about starting a blog of their own?
Go for it. Anyone can do this. If you have a voice then it deserves to be shared. Just be true to you. Show us who you are and you’ll be embraced.
Can you share your most popular post?
One of my favorite posts and equally one of my readers was: This Body. I wrote this after having my second baby and when I was coming to terms with the permanent changes to my body and its unbelievable strengths that could so easily go uncelebrated.
If you weren’t in the business of blogging what would you be doing?
I hate to think. I imagine I would be trying to get my creative fix through some other avenue requiring skill, like sewing and skill here I have not. I was not made to be a sewer, but Lord I have tried.
More ways to ‘case’ Vicki’s Knocked Up and Abroad antics