Welcome to the Cooperatize Bloggers’ Corner! If you are a professional blogger, aspiring content creator, or enthusiastic digital consumer then this weekly feature is for you. The Bloggers’ Corner highlights individuals who consistently create excellent digital content. Through these interviews, we hope to help our blogger community of over 20,000 individuals to connect and grow together.
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Heather Delaney Reese of It’s A Lovely Life
A tip we are always hearing from bloggers is the age-old ‘write about something you love’. But we know it’s sometimes easier said than done to not only truly tap into what that is but then to also narrow all the things we love down into enough of a focus for something as ongoing as a blog. At the same time, sometimes it’s as simple as taking a look around you and noticing the thing in your life that you take pride in and that genuinely brings you joy. And for many like Heather Delaney Reese of It’s a Lovely Life– those things come undeniably from family.
A large part of our blogger community here at Cooperatize consists of those in the family and family travels vertical. And it’s great to see how each one brings something a little bit different to their platform. In this Bloggers’ Corner issue Heather talks about how her desire to really live life with the ones she holds dearest and truly wanting to cherish as many memories with them as possible, in combination with her love of photography and storytelling, led her to work towards turning those dreams into reality through blogging. She shares advice on overcoming fear – from that of flying to a blogger’s vulnerability- as well as on bringing her husband and three daughters in on the action for some aspects of her digital presence both to reinforce her brand and in response to the time management issues that every blogger out there is familiar with. What a way to kill a few birds with a handful fewer stones!
I’m Heather Delaney Reese, the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog It’s a Lovely Life! Along with my husband Pete (who is responsible for all our video content) and our three daughters, we share extraordinary daily life moments and bucket list worthy travels to encourage others to make memories together as a family in remarkable ways. In addition to traveling 150+ days a year we also share about products and services that make life better and easier.
Q: What made you decide to create a blog?
I have always loved storytelling and photography so starting a blog came naturally to me and it was one of the best things I ever did!
Q: Was there a moment when you thought, “I could do this professionally”? If so, what triggered that desire/realization?
I don’t think there was just one moment, it was more like a series of moments where everything fell into place. It was always my dream to be able to do this and I just kept at it and then one day I woke up and realized that all the hard work and patience paid off.
I love sharing stories and helping other people live their best life. Every time someone tells me that one of our stories helped them in some way it reignites that passion and desire to keep sharing!
Q: What has been the biggest challenge in maintaining a successful blog?
Time management, There is only so much time in the day and you have to be a master at prioritizing to make it work. Thankfully our blog has turned into a family business where my husband and daughters also contribute. My husband creates all of our videos, something I never had innate talent for, but our readers always wanted. Our daughters help with social media and content creation in the form of video ideas and covering entertainment stories. Their help allows me more time to create other content, but I still struggle with having the time to keep up on the other aspects of blogging like answering emails, reviewing contracts and all the other aspects that come with running a business.
Q: How much does social media influence your writing?
I think of every social media platform as a space to micro blog so I am constantly curating network specific content. I also am a firm believer in bringing your content to where your readers are and in the way that they like to digest it best.
I don’t have a favorite because I love each social media channel for a different reason. Facebook is where a lot of my long time readers are and I love to connect with them there. Instagram lets me connect with new people and share a quick albeit curated look into our travels and daily life, and Twitter is just all around awesome for finding and sharing quickly along with connecting with fellow bloggers and brands. Pinterest is also one I love because it is so visual and you can search so easily there.
Q: Do you have any last piece of advice for aspiring bloggers?
This career is what you make of it. The possibilities are endless and it is just getting started! Every single day make it a goal to get your name out there and only produce content you are proud of. Stay professional no matter what is thrown at you and always stay ahead of the curve. Look for changes in the industry and be an early adapter. I guess that was a lot more than one last piece of advice!
Q: Lastly, what is something that you could share with us that we wouldn’t learn from reading your blog?
I don’t share this publicly, because who has ever heard of a travel writer that is scared of flying, but I am. The thing is, I don’t let it stop me from living my dreams. I love to see new places and meet new people and being scared to fly is a ridiculous reason not to live a full life so I push through it and get on a plane multiple times a month. I think blogging is a lot like being scared to fly. You have to be patient and push through your fears and put yourself out there and it can feel vulnerable at times, but the payoff is worth it!
Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for next week’s Blogger’s Corner feature!
-Blaire Massaroni, for Cooperatize Journal