Bloggers Behind the Screens is a monthly interview series, where fellow bloggers come together to answer a series of questions on a specific theme. This is a chance to get acquainted with a whole range of bloggers, some of whom you may not have encountered before, and learn a little more about them!
This month, we’re talking to bloggers about the very thing that makes them bloggers. Their blogs. We are chatting with Amy from Planning Spree and finding out more about her blog.
When did you start blogging and why?
I originally started blogging as a way to document a new chapter in my life as a mum! I started as I was pregnant with my son in 2015. Originally it was just to keep my family, a lot of whom live eighty or so miles away, updated with what was going on but, it grew a lot after that.
How did you come up with the name for your blog?
This is just the latest name… when I started, it was “Mum’s The Law” as a reference to my ‘real’ job as a solicitor and obviously, the fact I was about to become a mum. We quickly changed that to ‘The Mighty Duxburys’, a play on our last name and The Mighty Ducks. This third and hopefully final name of Planning Spree, it’s due to a shift in focus and it’s because the name basically sums me up. I am a planner… I plan everything no matter how small.
What do you blog about? Has that changed from when you first started?
Now, I blog about planning (surprise!) not just planners and stuff, but tips and tools for planning for specific celebrations, holidays, meals, weddings, travel… and just day to day life things that require even the smallest of plans. It’s a wide niche, but a pretty narrow focus.
Is your blog your job, your hobby or your side hustle?
It’s a hobby, for sure. At least for now.
I’d quite like it to be a side hustle eventually but there’s a ways to go. I have a full-time job as a solicitor that I’m enjoying immensely. I can’t ever see me leaving that job (that I worked bloody hard for) to go into blogging, but hey, you never know. Things change and it might work better for me.
What is the best thing or experience that blogging has given you?
Blogging has given me a bunch of things, but right now the best thing it is giving me is an outlet for my thoughts and the opportunity to help share my passion for all things planning with the world. Whether anyone else is on board with it, is a totally different matter, but it’s cathartic to just sit down and just write like mad.
What is your favourite thing in the whole world to write about?
I like helping others with my posts, so I like any post that requires researching my topics and providing information or useful items to my readers. To be honest, I love the research almost as much as the writing. Needless to say my google search history is… varied.
What skills (the more unusual the better!) has blogging taught you?
I’ve learned how Pinterest works! I’d never even seen Pinterest before I became a blogger, I had no idea how involved it was! I’ve also learned quite a lot about how websites work in general and how you improve them. I’m still learning a lot though… stuff I never even thought about when I wrote my first post on blogger almost four years ago.
What is your favourite post from your blog? Give us the link and tell us why it’s your favourite.
Hmmm. Well I have two, and they’re really, really different. My first is I’m Sorry Short Rib, I Don’t Have All The Answers. It was written after the terror attack in Manchester a couple of years ago… I spent a long time thinking about how I was going to explain these things to my son when he got a little older and more aware.
The second post, is my 7 Day Zero Prep Slimming World Meal Plan. It took me ages to put together but I’m so pleased with it. I hate to see so many meal plans out there that have you up at the crack of dawn to cook your meals, so I focused on being able to do one that was so simple that anyone could do it.
Have you ever been on TV or radio in your capacity as a blogger? If so, what for? If not, do you think it’s something you’d like to have a go at?
No I haven’t and no, I don’t think so. Unless I’m showing off some pretty stationery or something, I don’t think I really have the balls to get on there and argue something. And I’m not going on Good Morning Britain, because I can’t punch Piers Morgan on live breakfast telly. So it’s not worth it.
What is your least favourite thing about blogging? There must be something you don’t like about it…
I’m not great with decisions. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I’m quite fussy when it comes to how my blogs look and feel. I am constantly tinkering with stuff and it takes away from the love of the actual writing – I’m trying to just nail it down and leave it as is, but I find it really, really difficult.
Do you have any advice to give to anybody out there thinking of starting a blog right now?
Do not be afraid of making a few investments to start off with. They will pay off in the long run – your own domain, decent hosting and maybe even a paid for wordpress theme will all make things much smoother. Especially if you want to make money eventually.
Where do you do most of your blogging? Do you have a home office, are you on the sofa or do you prefer to be out and about when writing posts?
I do have a home office; I work from home for my ‘real’ job two days a week, so the home office (i.e. the desk in my room with my computer on it) is where I do a lot of my writing. I also have a PC downstairs with a reclining chair that I do my work on each evening. Unfortunately I’m not allowed to be entirely anti-social in the evening.
Be honest. How many unwritten posts are in your drafts right now? How many are likely to see daylight?
I have a lot of recipes written – I’m trying to get the time to make them, so I can get the photographs of the finished product and post the damn things. I estimate that I have around twenty that are written and almost ready to go, but I have literally hundreds of post ideas in my present notebook. Most of them probably won’t even be thought about again… Oops.
What are you most excited about for your blog in the last six months or so of 2019?
Anything awesome in the pipeline for the summer or are we forever winging it?
Winging it!? On a blog called Planning Spree? Absolutely not. I’ve not got anything big in the pipeline, but I’m excited that I’ve found my “thing”, because I’ve never really had that before. I have a full on niche to explore and that’s exciting!
Finally, what is your absolute favourite thing about being a blogger?
I love how it’s a reflection of the people behind it. It doesn’t matter what niche you have or the road your blog takes. For me, it’s an outlet for me to plan (something I love to do) even when I have nothing personally to plan for. If that means I help someone else along the way, all the better.
Blog URL; http://www.planningspree.com