Here’s this week’s instalment of Blogger Behind the Blog where I interview a blogger all about their reasons for blogging and what it means to them. This week I’m joined by Fiona from Savvy in Somerset.
Here’s Fiona with more about her blogging life:
Where did your blog name come from?
When I started blogging I knew I wanted to write about money saving and life in Somerset. I think the name encompasses both of those things but also allows me to write about other things if I want to.
When did you start your blog and why?
I started my blog just over a year ago in June 2016, but life got in the way a bit and didn’t really start focusing on it and blogging regularly until December 2016. Starting a blog was something I had wanted to do for a long time – I’ve always loved writing and language and it’s nice to have a creative outlet that is totally different to my day job.
What did you do before you blogged?
Had a lot more free time! I love bogging but doing it alongside working full time, helping care for my parents and normal everyday stuff like housework and seeing friends it does feel like it has taken over my life a bit sometimes
What was your first post?
My first post was ‘Saving Money on a Center Parcs Holiday’ – we’d had three family holidays to Center Parcs in previous years and each time I’d googled ways to save money and not really found much. As it’s such an expensive place to stay I really want to help people still go without spending an absolute fortune.
What inspires you to blog?
I love saving money and I love helping people. There are always ways to get things for less, sometimes you just have to look for them. People can’t always be bothered but I think they are sometimes surprised at what they can do with a little bit of effort. I’ve also had some lovely PMs from people letting me know I’ve saved them money or I’ve inspired them to spend less and it’s an awesome feeling to know I’ve helped people.
What post has had the best response, which post are you most proud of and which post did you enjoy writing the most?
I recently shared a post about my husband, how he suffers from severe migraines and how that impacts on our finances. I had a fantastic response from lots of people who suffer from the same thing. There can be a lack of understanding around migraines – often people don’t realize it’s a serious neurological condition rather than just a bad headache.
I wrote a post about why I wish we had spent more money on our wedding – it wasn’t something I was entirely sure I wanted to publish. As someone that blogs about personal finance it can be easy to feel like you should always talk about how to do everything for less. On top of that our wedding budget wasn’t exactly small either, I was worried people would be judgy but every single comment I had was positive.
I really enjoyed writing about our £50 monthly food budget – something we did for the whole of last year while we were saving for our wedding. It felt good to finally get all the tips and ideas on saving on groceries I’ve had for years out there.
Have any of your posts not had the response that you expected?
Sometimes I can spend hours writing a long post, tweaking it, editing it and I’ll be really proud of it and the response can be a bit lukewarm. On the other hand, sometimes I’ll publish something I’m not 100% sure about and it gets an amazing response. A recent post, ‘Friends with Benefits’ sat finished in my drafts for ages because I wasn’t sure I wanted to publish it – I finally caved and it had an amazing response with more shares in the first 24 hours than anything else I’ve written.
Where do you see your blog in a year’s time?
Hopefully still going strong. We plan to start a family in the next year so I’m hoping my blog will have grown enough that I won’t need to go back to work after having children.
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
I enjoy having a creative outlet that is completely different to anything else I’ve done in my career. I’ve also connected with lots of other awesome bloggers – when I started blogging I didn’t expect there to be such a huge sense of community.
…and your least favourite?
I am really rubbish at the technical side of things. I’m getting there slowly and learning all the time but I still find it tricky.
What’s the best blog post you have ever read?
One of my favourites is this one from Toby & Roo. I completely agree with everything Harriet says in the post but it’s the sort of thing I would be too scared to write myself!
What blog do you love to read and why?
My favourite blog ever is emmadrew.info. I’d read her blog for several years before starting my own and there are several of her posts on making money and blogging that I go back to time and time again.
Do you do anything differently now to when you started blogging?
I’m a lot more organised than I once was and I’m blogging much more regularly. Everything used to take me so much time in the beginning, but I’ve definitely got quicker with practice! You also learn so much as you go along, it can all seem a bit overwhelming to begin with but a year in I’ve learnt so much more than I ever expected to.
Is blogging what you expected it to be?
It’s a lot more complex and time consuming than I expected it to be, that doesn’t mean I love doing it any less though. In a way it’s a good thing because I have learnt so much and now have skills that I didn’t even know existed before.
What’s been your favourite blog collaboration to date?
I did a guest post for Reduced Grub.com earlier this year when I was still a very new blogger – it was so nice that someone with so much more experience reached out and asked me to do that, it really boosted my confidence.
Are there any brands you would love to work with, why?
I would love to work any of the big supermarkets – a lot of the focus on my blog is on saving money of food shopping so working with one of the big four would be amazing.
Have you had any blogging fails so far?
No fails exactly, but looking back on some of my early posts is a bit cringe, although I think I’ve updated the majority of them now. It’s nice to see how much I’ve improved and learnt though.
What is your biggest blogging hope, dream or ambition?
To be able to blog full time is the dream – it would allow so much flexibility around children and family life.
What do you do when you’re not blogging?
At the moment I work full time as a chef at a country pub just outside the town where I live. I do enjoy it but the unsociable hours and spilt shifts mean it’s not something I’ll be able to continue doing long term. On my days off I love going for days out exploring the local area.
and lastly, tell us all a random fact about yourself
In 2011 I had one of my ribs removed due to a rare condition called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. I still have the piece of bone that was removed in a jar on my book shelf.