Saving the planet by blogging might sound like quite an ambitious aim but if everyone does their bit, blogging can change the world for the better in so many ways. Today, I interview Lauren from Inspire Create Educate about how she is helping ordinary folk to work out how they can contribute to a better world for us and for future generations.
I met Lauren initially about two weeks after the loss of my lovely Dad. She was so friendly and made me feel at ease at a very challenging time. Over the years I have realised how very intelligent she is and it does not surprise me that she is one of the bloggers who is changing the world for real one baby step at a time. I am better off for having Lauren in my life.
Why did you start to blog?
I started blogging out of a desire to encourage more people to think about our planet. I think sometimes the message could be put across better. People shut down if the message reads as preachy, so I thought I’d try and deliver something that was more realistic to us normal people.
How did you feel when you started blogging?
Quite nervous! I’d blogged before on and off but not for a few years. So much has changed since I closed my last blog in 2014.
How do you feel about blogging today?
I’m still pretty nervous! It’s more of an ongoing, nervous excitement. I feel I achieved a lot since I launched in May 2017 and this year I know I’m going to achieve a whole lot more.
What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?
Being asked to speak at a green festival in the summer, and being recommended by the then deputy leader of Wales Green Party.
What is the most exciting event you have attended as a blogger?
It has to be BritMums Live 2017. It took on a completely different format this year compared to the older ones I went to.
Do you monetize your blog and, if so, how?
I do! Mostly offering VA work and the occasional sponsored post. I also use affiliate marketing (not great income but I did earn a Halloween bonus from Etsy) and scout for relevant media opportunities.
What do you find most challenging about blogging?
Putting myself out there on social media consistently. Even though I have a weekly Facebook live show, I still struggle with fraud syndrome. I take a minute to bury it and get on with my day, but it’s still always there in the background.
What surprised you most about blogging?
How much has changed in a short space of time, and how little our work is valued by others. Not just people I know in real life (“You mean you actually get paid for writing? Anybody can write!”) but people who want space on our blogs without paying fairly for it. Graphic designers will get paid. The PRs themselves will get paid. Bloggers are often expected to work for free, or very little.
How do you balance blogging and family life?
My daughter, who is home educated, gets on with her work throughout the day while I get on with mine. We chat, and I help when needed. My sons are still in infants and I stop working in time to get them from school every day. I would say I carry on in the evening when they’re asleep, but to be honest I’m too knackered to do anything that requires much thought after 9pm! Sometimes I work a few hours over the weekend, while they’re on the games consoles, but that’s kept to a minimum. The children all know what I do and pretend to understand it! My fiance is supportive, and we usually keep our evenings for each other. When we do feel like working in the evenings, we work alongside each other. He’s self-employed too so there’s always admin for him to do.
I switch days and hours around to suit whatever we’ve got going on (school plays, dates, home ed events) and make up the hours elsewhere when I can. I also try to work ahead when I can in case of illness or other obstacles. I love what I do – blogging has given me the freedom to be there for my family and earn at the same time!
What would lead to you giving up blogging?
I don’t think anything would… even if the money stopped being there, I would still want to get my voice out there. Everything that’s on my blog is there to help people be happier, healthier and greener; and the need for that isn’t going to go away if I stop being paid. I would have to make changes to how the blog was run if I needed to get a job, but I would definitely still be doing it.
I genuinely can’t think of anything, other than the internet going down forever. I’ll always have something to say and will always want to help. If the ‘net goes down… I’ll print a magazine!
What is your top tip for a new or inexperienced blogger?
Learning from other people’s mistakes will give you a great start. There are loads of blogging courses out there run by real bloggers who have been there. However, there is a danger of procrastinating by learning. If you find you’re not putting any of the new information into practice, it’s time to stop learning and start doing!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I run a weekly mindfulness show on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/theincrediblog) and would love it if you tuned in. Every week we love the good moments, mind the bad and look forward to our future together; having an extra mindfulness task to bring you through the week. It’s called The Little Happy Journal Live, and it’s every Monday at 11am.
If you blog is involved in saving the planet or making the world a better place, I would love to hear your story and share it on my blog.