I’m excited to be introducing you to our latest worth casing blogger Rebecca Bowyer from Seeing the Lighter Side, for Worth Casing Wednesday this week. Rebecca is a Melbourne writer, history buff, novelist-in-progress and mother to two small energiser bunny boys.
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
3 years, 2 weeks and 5 days. I started because I read a newspaper article about how people were making a bunch of money by writing on the internet. I was on maternity leave at the time and wanted to contribute to household finances.
I was young and dumb, what can I say? Fortunately I discovered a blinding passion for all things blogging, because I certainly haven’t made much money from it!
Tell us a bit about your blog and what we can expect to see in the next 12 months?
Seeing the Lighter Side started out as a parenting blog. I’m an eternal optimist and like to make people laugh so the name seemed to fit. It’s evolved into my general home on the internet – a personal blog. I still write about parenting but have added in book reviews, a history series and random funny or (hopefully) insightful pieces.
For example, I recently wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about how behavioural economics relates to everyday parenting, followed by a serious post about why some charities should be abolished altogether and their functions rolled into essential services.
My day job pays the bills now that my kids are a bit older, so I no longer feel the need to make my blog ‘pay its way’. In the next 12 months my readers can expect to see fewer sponsored or giveaway posts and more philosophising-on-life-in-general posts.
Do you have a favourite place or dedicated space for blogging?
About a year ago I decided I really needed my own space in our house for writing. I don’t need a lot of room; just somewhere to sit at my laptop. So we got rid of the dressing table in the master bedroom and installed my shiny new desk and red chair (it goes faster, according to my 3-year-old, who takes great pleasure in spinning on it and pushing it around the house).
What are your must have tools and resources when it comes to blogging?
For images: Pixabay to find them, Picmonkey to edit them. Sometimes I’ll use Unsplash for gorgeous general images. Sometimes I’ll use Canva for editing if I’m feeling brave – I’m not a natural designer. Occasionally I’ll even take my own photos, but photography is definitely not my strength!
For writing: Evernote for keeping track of ideas; a content calendar in Excel if I have a lot planned posts coming up.
For social media scheduling: I’m a big fan of Buffer for scheduling but I tend to use the Facebook scheduler at the moment. Twitterly is a fabulous WordPress plugin for auto-posting my archives to Twitter and I have Facebook set up to feed to my Twitter account.
Have you ever experienced blogger’s block and what are your top tips for when it strikes?
Honestly, no – I have the opposite problem. Blogger’s flood? Blogger’s avalanche? My biggest problems are finding the time to write and not getting distracted by other shiny things like working on my novel manuscript or getting into fascinating (or inane) conversations on social media.
What have been your blogging highlights and biggest challenges?
So many highlights! A few stand-outs:
- e-meeting other writers
- finally feeling confident enough to call myself a writer
- having an excuse to write often
- translating my new-found technical and communications expertise into my day job and moving into a dedicated web content development role
- being published on bigger websites such as Mamamia and Essential Kids and being interviewed by Channel 10 News about financial literacy for kids
My main challenge has been finding the confidence to define my own blogging goals and not be swept along on the tidal wave of popular opinion about what success looks like.
Who inspires you and what’s on your Worth Casing list when it comes to other bloggers?
Oh, where do I start? I’m just going to plough through some of the blogs that I keep going back to again and again. They all share a chatty style, a fabulous sense of humour, wit and originality.
Woogsworld, Pinky Poinker, Hugzilla, Handbagmafia, Essentially Jess, Em Hawker, Allison Tait, Natasha Lester plus plenty more, but if I keep going this will be a full blog roll!
What advice would you give to anyone that is thinking about starting a blog of their own?
Know your one reason: why are you blogging? Write it down, refer to it often. Change it if you need to. It will be your anchor and your guide when you feel overwhelmed by the massive many-headed beast that is digital publishing.
It started with a post for Mamamia about the history of bottle feeding and developed from there into a whole series on my own blog of fascinating stories about our parenting past. It’s a cliche, I know, but it’s so important to put modern parenting in perspective and understand that the ‘good old days’ of parenting are now.
I’ve written about everything from the history of bedwetting cures to the origins of baby incubators. My personal favourite is Baby crawling races (with beer): New Year’s Eve the 1950s way – popular opinion about what is okay in parenting has come a loooong way in the past 60-odd years!
At the moment I’m working on a post about how parents got their kids to go the f&*% to sleep in the past, and another rather more morbid one about how adopted kids fared in 19th century Sydney.
If you weren’t in the business of blogging what would you be doing?
Probably watching more television! I’ve become one of those people I always despised: “Oh, I don’t really watch TV.” It sounds so pretentious, don’t you think?
I prefer to spend my tiny periods of spare time tinkering with my website, reading other blogs, hanging out on social media or writing my next post. I am, however, looking forward to binge-watching the next season of Game of Thrones when Foxtel has finished hogging it.
More ways to case Rebecca Bowyer
Seeing the Lighter Side | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Have you met Bec from Seeing the Lighter Side? I just know you you are going to love her blog!
WORTH CASING WEDNESDAY
Do you have a blog post worth casing this week? Make sure you link up for Worth Casing Wednesday!
For the record… I’m one of those pretensious types that doesn’t watch any TV. It’s the only reason I fit so much in my day. Don’t hold it against me Bec! LOL
Lovely post Bec. I am yet to run into you at some event but I look forward to catching up in person one day.
Hi Jody! We definitely will, I’m sure! I’ll be at problogger if you’re going this year?
I don’t think I’m ever going to make ProBlogger. It’s just so far away from Perth and hubby always tends to be at sea. I might be more inclined if they hosted it from Melbourne.
Oh a Melbourne base would be delightful! This will be my first year at Problogger and I suspect my last unless I hit the jackpot or it moves states!
Some great tips here! I love the idea of the content calendar in Excel and need to check out Evernote. I’ve only recently starting using Buffer (just for twitter scheduling) but love it. Great interview!
Di from Max The Unicorn
Evernote is fabulous. They have a mobile app too so you can plug in thoughts / share articles to it as you go. You can even pop photos in there.
I’m going to have to look into the mobile app.
Lovely getting to know more about Bec! Wonderful community-minded blogger/writer in my opinion. Thanks for sharing more here too! Denyse xx
Oh, thanks Denyse x
Couldn’t agree more.
Aren’t you writing a book at the moment? Or did I invent that?
Nup, you didn’t invent it! If you look carefully at the desk shot – on the left side of the desk, under a folded pair of jeans… that’s the first draft of my manuscript 🙂 It’s going slowly but it’s going!
Go you. Can’t wait to hear more about it.
I enjoy reading Bec’s blog. I need to read it on a more regular basis!
Oh thanks Ingrid! It’s always lovely to have you visit 🙂
I’m struggling to find the time to read (& also comment) on my favourite blogs these days. Blog reading is the first thing to go at the moment when I’m time poor.
Great read Rebecca. I thought the same thing when I had my babies too. Blogging is so hard to make money from. Totally get the shiny object syndrome I suffer from it to.
It’s weird but I started blogging to make money off the blog (with clients) rather than on the blog. I never actually thought about the potential for money making on the blog till later.
I had this weird epiphany one day that to ‘make money from blogging’ the way I had thought I should in the beginning (mainly from advertising), I would need to be a media outlet. And I don’t really want my blog to be a media outlet. I just want to write and connect. It made me look at everything differently.
Love your work. Such a refreshing read. Xx
Oh thank you! xx
I thought the same thing.
Thanks for giving me a little more insight into your bloggy life Rebecca. I love that red chair. I think I need one in my life just for speed!!
The red chair is awesome. Officeworks sells them. #notsponsored 😉
I think I might need to start wearing red. Feel like I’m in go slow mode this week.
Thank you for the mention darling girl xxx I loved your ‘history of’ blog posts so much. More, more, more. That chair looks like an irresistible vehicle for a 3 year old I must say.
They’re coming! The material’s there, I just keep getting distracted by the… SQUIRREL! #UpReference Btw, I’m sooooo very glad you didn’t actually give up blogging.
Hello Rebecca! Love your work 🙂
Thanks Leanne x
Love Bec – she is the Forrest Gump box-of-chocolates of blogging. You never know what you’re gonna get! I love how she mixes it up and can do serious, funny and everything in between. She is also a huge source of support and inspiration to me on a personal level and my guru for all things blogging and social media related.
Thanks Mel x I’ve spent the past 10 minutes trying to figure out how to work ‘box-of-chocolates of blogging’ into my future tagline… 😉 And right back at you re: inspiration and support!
What a wonderful testimonial Bec. There’s a tag line challenge in there somewhere.
Thanks for hosting Raychael!
Thanks for dropping by Anne.
Thanks for sharing! I guess I’m not very pretensious…I love TV! Thankful for DVR so I can watch as I want and it doesn’t rule my life. 😉
My hubby loves DVR. He watches far too much TV though.
Such a great read – I’ve only recently discovered Bec’s blog but I love it because it’s the content is so varied but always brilliantly written. Now I want a red chair…
I’ve been eyeing off a red chair at office works.
Oh thank you Sammie! You should definitely get a red chair – #everywriterneedsone And yes, Officeworks (#notsponsored!!!)
Great questions & answers. I actually have two Blogs, one that pays the bills and one for my hobbies… fitness/fashion/makeup. So for me I can spend up to 8hrs a day making YT videos, blogging & teaching on skype!
Blogging can certainly be all consuming.
Great questions and thanks for sharing. I’m not a parent but do read Rebecca’s blog from time to time!
I think there is a little something for everyone on Bec’s blog.
SNAP, I am pretentious, I don’t really watch TV, but I do watch TV series, and docos!! Nice to find out more about you!
Docos… the only thing I was allowed to watch on TV as a child, so I’ve developed a bit of an allergy to them.
I find it hard to go back to the ‘old-fashioned’ way of watching TV series – you know, waiting a whole week for the next episode!
Love Rebecca’s writing, Her posts are always so insightful. I need to create some office space. I love her idea of having a desk in the master bedroom!
My office space since we relocated earlier this year, still isn’t working for me. I need to urgently do something about this. Preferably without spending any money as we move again at the end of the year.
Rebecca is a lot of fun. Thank you for showcasing her.