This week, sitting in Doris’ chair ready and waiting to be interviewed is Bexz Walker, a food blogger from Kent.

13083193_226863921024600_2115310693964285439_nCan you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?

Hi! Well… I have the privilege of being able to write about my passion, food. I am a mum, wife, full time geek and general ‘all round good egg’ who loves to review restaurants, write about food or create recipes. I have been writing about food for the past 10 years on and off but it is only been the last 2 years where I have written a lot more and been lucky enough to work with some amazing brands including the wonderful Doris & Co.

I travel all around the UK with various food shows, food festivals and trade shows reporting on food items. I also get to eat in some of the best restaurants in the UK and take gorgeous photos. I just love doing what I do.

 

Is blogging your ‘day job’? If not, what do you do?

During the day I am the ‘techie’ at Niche Brands. We are a glamping business development company that specialise in PR, Marketing & Design for glamping businesses. But blogging is part of that job as I blog for our clients too!

How did you first get into blogging?

I started my first blog in 1995, back in the days when it was called an ‘online diary’ or ‘online journal’. I started blogging about being ill with Guillain-Barré Syndrome as back then no one had really heard of my illness. My legs, feet and hands were numb and after strokes and being told that I would never walk, talk, work or have children, I was determined to do something about it.

After both physiotherapy and occupational therapy, I started to be able to use my hands a little and found that typing helped the dexterity in my hands. So I started blogging my journey through the illness. Although I am in a wheelchair most of the time now, I can walk, I work, I can talk (a lot!) and have 2 children. I did say I was determined 😉

How would you describe your blogging style?

Very relaxed and informal. I just want to be me. I am happy with who I am, so why try and be something I’m not! I write from the heart and as awful as this probably sounds, I write how I talk. I think you get a more meaningful blog post if you write how you talk and not necessarily write to impress. Just be yourself.

What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?

Self confidence crisis, of which I have one or so a year where I just think – ‘am I good enough to write this?’. I think most bloggers go through these phases throughout the blogging year if they are honest and the only person who can get you out of it is yourself. But it is challenging when it happens.

How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?

I just adore what I do so it’s quite easy for me to be motivated, however time is usually my enemy, especially through the May-August season when there are so many food shows and trade shows to attend.

What is the biggest difference in your life since starting blogging?

Getting the use of my hands back and self confidence. Being voted as one of the top 50 UK food writers back in 2015 felt amazing and the last 4 food shows I have attended, people have recognised me and come up to me asking if I am ‘Bexz the food writer’, which always makes me feel a bit shy!

What does the future hold for your blog?

More of the same, I want to start getting into the habit of writing at least 2 blog posts a week – which I can during any other part or the year apart from May-August when it is so busy, but I will! I will also be recording new videos towards the latter half of this year where I will be working with the lovely Doris & Co again and using their gorgeous English creamware in my videos. I can’t wait!

You can read Bexz’s blog here: www.bexzwalker.co.uk

Thank you Bexz for a fabulous interview, you have made us all hungry here talking about your food blog!

Doris & Co English Creamware Ceramics Made in Britain

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This weeks word of the week is ERUBESCENT – it means to be bold or daring. What has made you ERUBESCENT this week? Let us know on our Word of the Week post on Facebook, come and share your story with us!

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It’s Monday and that means Doris is back in her interview chair. This week Doris interviews Sophie Callahan who is a specialist UK equine photographer.

Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?

First and foremost, I am a specialist equine photographer, working with private clients and their own horses, or equestrian and country brands, on commissioned shoots, across the UK. Blogging my shoots felt like a natural and smart addition to my online marketing in the early days, which is how I started, and it just grew from there.

Blogging (and vlogging) has now sort of become my side gig and a whole other animal, in it’s own right. I still blog all of my shoots, but I now also write about my trips to horse shows and country events, I share business tips every Friday and I’m also exploring more lifestyle type blogs, recently, too. I absolutely love it!

Is blogging your ‘day job’? If not, what do you do?

Oops, sorry, I sort of answered that in the first question. I’d say it’s a part of my day job.

How did you first get into blogging?

Gosh, I’ve pretty much just answered everything all at once here, haven’t I? Sorry about that, lol. As I mentioned, I wanted a place (other than Facebook) to share a write up on each of my shoots and share my favourite images from the session. And blogging seemed like an efficient way to do this. I like to share the stories behind my shoots, so that the subjects in the images are more than just pretty faces, and I’ve always been a lover of writing, so blogging provided an outlet on all of those fronts. (Aswell as being great for SEO, of course. Win, win!)

Aswell as this, when I first started out as an equine photographer, six years ago, there were so few resources available about equine photography as a career and the people I approached for help were incredibly closed-off and unhelpful. So I decided that whenever I’d learned something that someone else might benefit from, I’d share it and encourage others. That’s how I started posting about running and equine business every week.

How would you describe your blogging style?

I tend to write like I speak. I like to think that by reading my blog, you’ll get a good idea of my personality before you ever meet me. I’m fairly informal, quite sarcastic, but also pretty wordy. Some might say I’m a bit of a chatterbox.

Obviously my style of writing might depend on the type of post I’m writing. A business post may be slightly more formal than a lifestyle post, for example (although probably not, lol). And of course, I always like to include lots of pretty pictures.

What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?

This year I’ve really tried to focus more on blogging as it’s own entity, and not just as part of my photography process, which has been a huge challenge in itself. Firstly it’s time consuming and I’m super busy with shoots throughout the Spring and Summer months, so I’ve had to make sure I carve time out just for blogging.

I’ve had to put a lot more effort into thinking about what to write, making sure I post consistantly, creating a blog that people want to look at and that is easy to navigate, working out who my audience is and making sure the content is worth reading, than I did before and it’s still very much a work in process.

Although, I have lists as long as my arm of ideas, so that’s a start, right?!

How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?

I love it! I think the biggest tip with blogging is to write about something you love. Then you’ll never be stuck for motivation or inspiration. If you write about something you love, you just feel this need to share your thoughts and ideas with the world and it will come so much naturally.

I also find it really useful to batch write. If I’m in the mood to write, I’ll knock out five to ten posts all in one go and then save them to drafts, to use when I’ve got writers block or am out on the road, shooting and don’t have time to write.

And I love having guest bloggers write for me, too. I don’t have to use my own brain, my audience gets a different persepective on a subject and we can gain exposure to one anothers’ audiences. I often find huge motivation from reading a guest post somebody has written for me.

What is the biggest difference in your life since starting blogging?

Blogging has changed my business entirely! In my opinion, everybody should be blogging.

For starters, sharing the story beind each shoot has had a hugely positive effect on the engagement I get each time I share my work. Everybody loves a story, especially if it’s emotive or relatable.

And beyond that, it has opened up so many opportunities. I have been asked to be an ambassador for some incredible brands. I was invited to be on Radio Badminton, at the Badminton Horse Trials, aswell as writing for the official Badminton website. I’ve photographed Charlotte and Valegro, as well as interviewing Carl and Charlotte… It’s opened up possibilities I would never dared hope for.

Blogging gives you a voice and a platform to share your personality with the world. And every brand needs a voice and a personality!

What does the future hold for your blog?

Much of the same, hopefully. I love the versitility and excitement that blogging brings to my business.

As I mentioned, I want to continue to write a lot more lifestyle posts, bringing my audience all the best equine and country products that I find along my travels and social media stalking. I want to attend more events, documenting them in both images and writing. I’ll continue to blog my photoshoots and share my clients’ stories. I have some incredibly exciting, new collaborations coming up, which I’m dying to share. And I can’t wait to see what other opportunities blogging throws my way! I’m entirely open to new ideas. 😀

You can find Sophie’s blog here: http://www.sophiecallahanblog.com/

Thank you Sophie for a wonderful insight into your blog and photography!

Doris & Co English Creamware Ceramics Made in Britain

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