#FierceFriday Interview with Family/Lifestyle Blogger Dara
#FierceFriday is a weekly feature on Everything’s Coming Up Rosie (ecurosie) – celebrating all the incredibly inspiring and kick-ass women out there! With that, I am excited to share this week’s interview with family/lifestyle blogger Dara from “like Sara…but with a d’
Click here to read the other #FierceFriday Interviews!
Dara and I met through Twitter. I can’t remember if it was through a Twitter chat or perhaps I happened to come across her blog. She’s a fantastic person and one that I know that you’ll connect with too. When I started to think about the #FierceFriday series, she was one of the first bloggers that I thought of to interview.
In this week’s interview, some of the highlights are how she discovered blogging through Pinterest, her monthly guest post for the Charlotte Geeks site, how she handles social media and blogging and a whole lot more!
Share Your Story – Dara
Hi Dara, please tell us a little about yourself. And what are some of your interests outside of blogging?
I am a 37-year-old mother of two, and I recently married a wonderful man that I have nicknamed Cheetoh (he loves it, let me tell you). We live in Charlotte, NC where I work as an ophthalmic assistant to a glaucoma specialist, and he works as an estimator for a siding company. I grew up a Coast Guard brat and attended 6 different elementary schools. I think the coolest place that we were ever stationed was Kodiak, Alaska, but I also loved living in Wisconsin. I enjoy traveling, reading books, making lists, and watching nerdy TV shows.
How did you discover the blogging world and what made you decide to start a blog of your own?
I discovered blogging through Pinterest. I have been an avid pinner for the last few years, saving recipes, DIY tips, and interior decor ideas, but I noticed that a lot of the content on the blogs was only
so-so. One day I was reading a particularly dreadful post when I thought “Ugh. I should just write my own dang blog.” So, I did. It was just a “for fun” thing at first, but then about 6 months ago, I started to get more serious with it and doubling up on my efforts.
What types of topics do you post and how often do you blog?
I consider myself a Charlotte family/lifestyle blogger. My posts generally consist of things to do in and around Charlotte, family activities, crafty DIYs, blogging tips and the very occasional recipe (I am not much of a cook). My current schedule is to publish a post once a week and update my weekly menu page with my dinner ideas for the following week on Sundays. Last month, I also started doing a
monthly guest post for the Charlotte Geeks site about the sci-fi/fantasy book club that I attend.
Do you have a dedicated office space and if so, what is the importance of having this?
I do not have a dedicated office space, but I would really love to have one. I think it would actually help me be more productive and focused if I had a little office nook, but I just haven’t got the space for one. I usually blog from the bed or the kitchen table.
With so many bloggers nowadays, how have you learned to stand out?
The blogging world is full of so many fantastic bloggers, and I am constantly finding new people to read and follow. I am not sure if I actually do stand out…I just do me and hope that my personality shines through my writing and that people enjoy it and want to come back for more. Blogging is this weird bubble that feels kinda narcissistic but at the same time like belonging to a really encouraging family.
What’s your best tip for balancing work and a blogger’s life? How do you do it when you are working full time?
I am terrible at balance. I waiver back and forth between spending a week glued to my laptop and then the next week failing at promoting my posts because I am hanging out doing other stuff. I am getting much better at handling the social media time-suck because I signed up for Tailwind and the free version of Buffer. Also, I had another blogger show me that you could schedule your Facebook posts THROUGH Facebook. I felt super lame for not knowing that already 😀 I also bought a super-duper planner from Michael’s to help me keep it all straight. There is definitely a learning curve!
What are your top three favorite blog posts? And why?
My top three favorite blog posts are
1. A Weekend Getaway in Savannah because the trip was sooooo much fun, and I am really proud of the main graphic. I took the photo myself, and I designed it using Snappa. I am really getting into graphic design since I started this blogging adventure.
2. Family Fun Night because it seems to get the most traffic on Pinterest and Stumbleupon. It was one of the posts that I did when I first started dabbling with my blog and had no idea what I was doing (not that I am an expert now by any means).
3. DIY Wedding Dress Keepsake because I love the craft. I had that idea in my head since before I even got married, but a lot of my crafts look so much better in my head. The little dress actually turned out exactly like I wanted! I am even considering making more to sell on Etsy because I love it so much.
What is something that you can’t live without?
Well obviously I couldn’t live without my kids, but I am guessing you are looking for a more inanimate object type answer. So, I would have to say coffee. I am staying up way too late and getting up way too
early trying to work a full-time job, take care of my kids, run a household and run a blog. Caffeine is my bestest friend!
What has been your proudest moment with “Like Sara…But With A D”?
My proudest blogging moment was when someone messaged me via Instagram to ask for blogging tips. She was thinking about starting her own blog, and she wanted my advice. It really caught me off guard because I felt like such an amateur, and it was awesome to see what my site looked like from an outside perspective. I was flattered that anyone would come to me for advice when I was scouring the internet for tips myself.
What are three things you’ve told yourself that kept you going during your darkest hour?
Honestly, I don’t think I have reached my darkest hour yet, not in blogging and not in life in general either. I have been a pretty lucky girl. The blogging gig is a fun hobby for me, and so far I am really enjoying myself. I do occasionally feel overwhelmed and like I am in over my head (especially when it comes to google analytics and SEO), but I just keep learning and doing. Youtube is probably the greatest thing ever, seriously, you can find a tutorial for ANYTHING!
I am a pretty positive person for the most part. I don’t really believe in worrying, I ask myself “Is there anything I can do to remedy this situation?” If the answer is yes, then I do that thing. If the answer is no, then worrying about it is a waste of energy, and I let it go to work itself out.
What 3 blogging tips would you recommend that you’d only share with a close friend (and everyone reading this blog)?
I love the blogging community and how helpful everyone has been! I would say my three tips would be
1. Link-up. But do it right, don’t just put your post there and call it a day. You have to comment on
other people’s stuff. My rule is three posts per party, even if the party doesn’t require it. Commenting on other blogs is a great way to build your own little blogging community, and I have “met” truly awesome and helpful people.
2. Schedule your social media posts! Seriously, I just started doing this and I can’t tell you how great it feels to come home from an 8-hour shift and not have to be witty on Twitter. 🙂 Now I spend a couple hours on Sunday afternoon being witty for the whole week when I am relaxed and sipping coffee.
3. Have fun. If you aren’t having a good time then why in the heckles
are you even doing it? I would love to blog full-time for a living. Seriously it would be like YAY! I have to work today, but if that isn’t how you feel about it, then hang it up.
Any guilty pleasures?
I wouldn’t say I have “guilty pleasures”, but I would classify a few as “embarrassing pleasures” 😀 I could spend hours watching Chris Crocker videos which are ridiculous and hilarious, and for some reason, I can’t stop hitting next video. I literally spent 3 hours one Friday night watching everything in his Facebook feed. Also, I love to browse Imgur. It is definitely embarrassing how much time I have spent on that website.
What does the future hold for “Like Sara…But With A D”?
I am not sure what the future holds, exactly. I am working on an e-guide to self-publish on kindle…and perhaps that Etsy store. It would be wonderful if I could manage to turn it into a career, but who
Last but not least, where can we find “Like Sara…But With A D”? I’m sure many of my readers will want to continue following your journey.
Hi! I’m Dara, a family-lifestyle blogger living in the Queen’s City with my 2 fantastic kids and my wonderful husband. You can find me at my blog www.likesarabutwithad.com where you can find tips on fun family activities, crafts, and the occasional recipe. I also post ideas about where to go and what to do in and around Charlotte, NC.
Let’s chat in the comments – did you enjoy this interview with Dara (like Sara)? What other questions do you have for her?
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