As a blogger it is really important to find fellow bloggers who think like minded to you. It helps you on your journey as a blogger/writer/creative. I have been blogging for about 2 years now and in this time I have come to love and connect with Elise Hodge from She is light Blog. She has created a platform which lets women know that they have value and a purpose for why they are on the earth. This resonates with me which is why I thought it would be fitting to interview the creative mind behind this growing platform that is She is light blog.
1.Could you tell us a bit about yourself
The first thing you should know about me is that I am passionate about seeing young women come to know their worth. I’m 21 years young and live in Brisbane, Australia – a lovely, sunny (and very hot) part of the world! I studied a double degree in journalism and business (majoring in economics) and am putting my study to good use, working full time in PR and media relations. When I’m not churning out media releases and content for clients, I’m working away on my blog, She is Light. But in my down time, you can find me spending time with my hilarious, sweet and handsome husband, sipping cups of peppermint tea, or going for walks to the closest dog park looking for mini dachshunds (yes, you could say I’m a bit obsessed!).
2. What inspired you to start your Website?
I wanted to start a blog since my first year of university, but I didn’t want to start one without having a real focus and vision behind it. For a few years, I wrote ‘blog posts’ and saved them to my computer, knowing there’d be a purpose for them one day. About a year ago, I heard the Message version of Matthew 5:14-16 in the Bible, which explains how we are called to ‘be light’. It was in that moment that I felt I’d stumbled upon the vision! The blog was always going to be about women and for women, so naturally ‘She is Light’ came about. It’s so much more than a blog – it’s a global movement of women who know their worth. The mission is all about placing value on women, and inspiring them to be a light to other women.
3. Is She is light a full-time job or do you have a 9-5? I have a 9-5!
As I mentioned above, I work full time in PR. I am very blessed to have received my job the year before I graduated uni (2014), and I’ve since been there for nearly two years. I’m a Media Consultant, and I manage a range of content for a diverse group of clients, ranging from industries such as the retail industry, to the electrical industry, to disability services, suicide prevention and more – you could say I’ve learnt a lot in the past few years!
4. Where do you get your inspiration from to do what you do?
My inspiration for She is Light comes from God. It’s quite simple. I want to reveal to women what His heart is toward them – they are loved, they are valued, they have a unique purpose.
5. Do you plan what you do in advance ? Or do you just write posts as you feel?
I’ve got to be honest with you, I haven’t quite mastered the whole ‘planning and being super organised thing’, yet! I love just launching into the work, and writing and
churning it out as I feel appropriate. Mind you, I do have quite a whole bunch of ideas and posts up my sleeve that I have saved in the back-end of the blog as drafts, and in a document filled with ideas, collaboration opportunities, and other tasks that I’ve identified. Since launching the blog a few weeks ago, I have begun relying on my trusty Apple iCal to map out what blog posts I want to schedule each week. It’s so helpful to see a roadmap of what’s ahead, in terms of posts, for the next month or so. Of course plans shift from time to time, but for anyone wanting to get a start on being organised with their posts, I would highly recommend mapping them out in a calendar! I’ll let you know when I’ve mastered the organisational side of things. 😉
6. When you do make time to be with family and friend and is it hard to juggle work with your personal life?
Yes, it is hard. Blogging could easily take up my full time attention, but I have a full time job – so it’s kind of like juggling two full time jobs! What I’ve found is that, apart from a job where I am committed to working for someone else within a set time period, I can choose how I want to use my time. The only times I can work on the blog and blog-related content are before 8am and after 5pm, and I can’t work on the blog five nights in the week but completely disregard relationships – that would be silly. My husband, family and dear friends are very precious to me. I find it’s best to set up boundaries – I try to choose specific mornings and nights to work on the blog, and then allocate a few hours on a Saturday. I’ve got to set up these boundaries, so I can prioritise time with my husband (date night!), family on the weekends and friends, too. I’m a very social person, so I’m usually saying a big ‘yes’ to spending time with people I love over anything else.
7. How do you market yourself and your business/ career?
Social media! I’ve always been fascinated by social media as a business and networking tool, but I never realised just how powerful it was until I kickstarted an Instagram account for the blog, before the blog had even launched! I think some platforms are more powerful than others, and of course it depends on the demographicthat you want to attract. For She is Light, Instagram has been a great tool. From the get go, I liked, commented, followed and messaged women who were going about similar ventures, as well as consistently pursued a conversation with the followers andaudience. You don’t always realise who you’re talking to – that person who you spark up a conversation with could end up being your biggest encourager, provide your nextcollaboration opportunity, and be a really great friend. I know that has been the case with a lot of the connections I’ve made through She is Light.
8. What is your biggest tip for anyone starting a blog on online business?
Build up a community around you. Not everyone in your personal sphere will understand what you’re doing or why, so find other women who are following similar pursuits, and connect with them; ask questions and take it all in! Community is so powerful. We not only have a whole lot we can learn from one another, but we can also be each other’s biggest encouragers – that’s pretty cool.
9. What is the biggest challenge about what you do?
The most challenging part has been finding the time to develop all of my ideas for Sheis Light, so I can take it to the next level! It’s also a little tricky finding that perfect work-life balance when working full time and running a blog. It can be challenging drawing the line between what’s blog time and what’s down time at home. That’s something I’m still learning.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Personally and with the website.
My aim is that one day within the next five years, She is Light will be a sustainable full-time job – I can’t wait for that day! I have a lot of dreams for She is Light, and there are quite a few things in the works. I so want to share them all with you, but that would spoil the surprises. 😉 In the meantime, I’m focusing on creating meaningful content, developing products, networking with other wonderful bloggers, brands and organisations, and consistently learning by reading other blogs and listening to podcasts. Apart from She is Light, my more personal goals are focusing on having a healthy and strong marriage, further developing my singing (my husband and I are involved in theworship team at church, and love to tinker around with writing music, too – it’s a bit of fun!), and maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.
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