Your name: Klara Donovan
Name of your blog: Her Happy Heart
Blog URL: www.herhappyheart.com
Blog social media accounts:
- Bloglovin’: https://www.bloglovin.com/@herhappyheart
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/herhappyheartblog
- Twitter: N/A
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/herhappyheart
- Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/herhappyheart1/
Let’s get to know YOU:
Tell us a little bit about yourself (mini bio): I’m 31 years old, a Christian, and living in Australia. I am married to a Californian IT nerd, Chris, and we have one adorable, cheeky son; Jackson. I love music, cooking and craft – but I am crazy about writing, and I have been ever since I was a very young girl!
What do you do outside of blogging (think school or work): I’m mostly a stay-at-home Mum, though I do work at my long-standing job in finance one day a week, and I freelance write for a popular Australian parenting website.
What do you like to do on your down time? My son’s Thursday morning nap is my strictly-no-blogging designated down-time every week, and I usually spend that time parked in front of Netflix, recovering from the week! If I have more energy, I pull out my Project Life scrapbook and document my family’s little life. But if I’m being real, Netflix wins 95% of the time!
Blog niche: Women’s Lifestyle, written by a team of four women with diverse life experiences
What’s the purpose of your blog? Our overall mission is to inspire and encourage women to live their best, most joy-filled lives. We believe happiness is just as prevalent in the little things as the big things (perhaps even moreso sometimes!) and so our posts offer ideas for living well and enjoying life.
Who’s your target? Women aged 18+
What’s the best way for your audience to contact you? I’m very contactable – they can leave a comment on the blog, send me an email, or contact me via Facebook or Instagram.
How would you describe your blogging style? Casual, conversational, and always positive in nature.
When did you start blogging? I’ve been writing personal blogs since I was 20 years old! I’ve loved the medium for basically my whole adult life. But Her Happy Heart (my first foray into lifestyle blogging) launched in August 2016.
What inspired you to start blogging? Back in the day, a lot of my friends had blogs. We used our blogs to spill our guts, fill out copious amounts of getting-to-know-you quizzes, and copy and paste song lyrics! Over the years I got really into lifestyle blogs, and I always wanted to give lifestyle blogging a go, but didn’t have the time or energy while I was working full time. Becoming a (mostly) stay-at-home Mum finally afforded me the opportunity.
What’s the biggest change in your life since you started blogging? I’ve gained a lot of confidence. I’ve become obsessed with managing my time well. I feel like a girl boss. I have something other than my kid to focus on throughout the day. I’m learning new things constantly. I’ve created opportunities for myself, and I’ve had opportunities land in my lap. I still feel deflated regularly (usually when I’m viewing our traffic stats! Ha!) but overall, the blog makes me feel so good.
- Short term: I am really focusing strongly on growing our traffic. It’s not only my work I’m trying to get out there – I have 3 other amazing writers and I feel like in return for the fantastic pieces they turn in, I have a responsibility to get their work seen!
- Long term: I really hope to make a modest income blogging.
If you could start blogging all over again, what would you do differently? I would go in with a strong Pinterest game and some knowledge of SEO right from the start. In general, I would learn everything I could, set up all the systems and accounts that I need beforehand, so that I go in 100% on top of my game. I constantly feel like I’m chasing my tail as I learn new things and try to utilise and incorporate them into the blog!
How do you motivate yourself to continue blogging? First – I really enjoy it. It gives me purpose. Second – having a team really keeps me going. When you’ve got people giving you their precious time and their best work, you need to be respectful of that. If I were to get snowed under, throw up my hands and take a break, that affects all of them, and makes their efforts seem like a waste of time.
What attributes have helped you become successful blogger? I’m highly motivated, I genuinely love to write and I’m organized. To me, this isn’t a hobby. I treat it as a job (that I happen to love), and that in turn makes me work hard at it. And honestly, high attention to spelling and grammar is super important to me. Yep, I’m one of “those”. I just believe a sloppily written blog looks unprofessional and can’t be taken seriously. It takes the attention away from the content, no matter how good that content is.
How have you tried to increase your blog traffic? Which way has been the most successful? I think all I ever do is try to increase my traffic! Ha! This ebook has helped me immensely (note – affiliate link). I also recommend the Ivory Mix School Pindepth course (currently free!) for optimizing your Pinterest account. I wrote this post to encourage our readers to help spread the word. And I use the Yoast SEO free plug-in which has increased my search engine traffic too. For me, I haven’t yet found the one golden ticket that grows my traffic more than anything else but I have a feeling it will eventually be Pinterest!
What’s your favourite social media platform and why? I prefer Facebook I think – it’s the easiest way to genuinely engage with people. On Instagram, people are constantly using bots to follow (and subsequently unfollow), like and comment on other accounts to gain more followers. I would much prefer 300 engaged, genuine followers than a constant shuffle of thousands of followers who don’t actually care what I’m posting, but simply want me to follow them back. People don’t use Facebook that way. At least for me, it seems more genuine.
Most of your traffic comes from which social media platform? Facebook
What’s your favourite blogging group on Facebook? I LOVE Blogging 101! It’s extremely well-run and a very encouraging place. I’ve been learning heaps and getting so much out of it!
Do you have a freebie for your readers? If so, what is it? Do we need to subscribe to receive it? No freebie at the moment.
What’s your greatest win so far with blogging? I put my brave pants on and contacted my favourite YouTuber late last year, asking if she would consider being interviewed for a feature piece on my blog… and she said yes! It was so lovely working with her and I enjoyed the whole process so much.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far with blogging? You have to be true to yourself, use your own voice, and write what you know – not what you think people will click on and read. If you’re trying to write about something you’re not familiar with or interested in, it shows, and nobody wants to read that!
Has blogging surprised you in any way? If so, how? The amount of work it takes to run a blog really surprised me! Ha! I figured the biggest job would be coming up with and writing content, but in the scheme of things, that’s just a small part of it! They say blogging is 20% writing a post, and 80% promoting a post, and that is so true! I have to take photos, edit them, create different sized promo images for social media (Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram), engage with readers and followers, and find ways to hustle and get the blog out there more. There’s always, ALWAYS something to do – it’s easy to let it get on top of you!
How often do you publish a post? We publish 4 times a week – Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Have you had writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Definitely! I often find it hard to write at home – it feels too chaotic. At least once a week I leave my son with a grandparent, and I go to a Café and write. The change in environment, the coffee and a good ocean view do wonders for writer’s block!
Do you have a blogging schedule? Daily theme? Please share! Nope, our content is mostly random. I just try to keep a good variety of posts happening week-to-week – so we don’t end up with two parenting posts in a row, or two big, heavy pieces of writing one after the other. The only ongoing scheduled type of post is on Sundays. I tell a couple of personal stories from my week and leave a bunch of links I’m loving that week. Those are probably my favourite posts to write!
Have you guest posted for someone? Yes, I’ve done a couple of guest posts.
- For whom? I wrote a parenting post for Follow the Dyers and was the featured blogger for a month over at Everyday Foodies, which included an interview.
- Blog URL: Follow the Dyers: http://everydayfoodies.com/featured-blogger/ Everyday Foodies: http://everydayfoodies.com/featured-blogger/
Do you accept guest posts? If yes, tell us about it! I do have guest posts on the blog from time to time, but my criteria is quite specific, so all of my guest posters have been people that I have personally invited to post for me. I have loved having these women writing for us, and sharing a piece of their heart. I aim for about one guest post each month.
Have you made money from blogging? If so, how? I haven’t made money as I haven’t yet set up any advertising, but I have received some free and discounted product which has been pretty cool.
How long had you been blogging before you made any money? I’ll tell you when I make some money! J
Who’s your favourite blogger before you started blogging and why? (Name and blog URL) I have followed Elsie Larson (founder of A Beautiful Mess) for more than a decade. She has built a multi-million dollar empire now with her blog, but back when I first started following her she was just designing scrapbooking papers and sharing stories of her life online. Talk about inspiring!
Who’s your favourite blogger now and why? (Name and blog URL) Oooo that’s a tough one. I have so many, but I would say Chelsea from The Girl Who Loved to Write. Her blog is crazy genuine and her content is an amazing mix of personal stories, life tips, and encouragement. She has a toddler-aged son, like me, and it’s always nice to follow someone in a similar life stage. But what I love most, and what kept me coming back when I first discovered her, is the way she engages with people. She gets a lot of comments on her blog, and it’s like a big conversation – she replies to every single one and treats everyone as a friend. I think she does an awesome job!
What type of blogs are you interested in reading and why? I love lifestyle blogs, and recipe blogs, but what gets me hooked a lot of the time is when someone has an amazing, relateable voice. I love reading a post that makes me smile, nod my head, and feel like I’m almost reading an email from a friend. I even read one particular recipe blog not because I think the recipes are amazing (usually not foods I’m into) but simply because the author is hilarious and I adore her!
List the top 5 blogs you are reading currently: (Names and blog URLs) Other than blogs I’ve mentioned above:
- How Sweet It Is: http://www.howsweeteats.com/
- Amanda Viviers: http://amandaviviers.com/online-journal/
- Bev Cooks: http://bevcooks.com/
- Helene in Between: http://heleneinbetween.com/
- Only Halfway There: https://onlyhalfwaythere.net/
Give advice to someone who wants to start blogging: Commit fully before taking the leap. Start strong by setting and sticking to a realistic posting schedule, and focus on producing quality content. Just don’t measure your blogging success against someone else’s. Some blogs take off quickly, some are a slow boil, and a lot of bloggers give up before their blog even has a chance for success.
Tell us one thing your readers don’t know about you: I was a seriously good trombonist in high school and early adulthood! Yep, really.
Anything else you’d like to share with us? Go for it!!! Nothing comes to mind
Leave a message for your readers: Thanks for being such lovely readers!