Saturday, April 6, 2013

Canucks Rock: All Canadian Link up! 04/06

Welcome to our weekly All Canadian Link Up!  This weekend and every weekend, Canucks Rock! with our All Canadian Link Up and Candid Canuck feature interview.  Brought to you by your hosts: Did you know Canada?, Tales of a Ranting Ginger and Maple Leaf Mommy!

This week's Candid Canuck is Shayna from Mommy Outside the Box. Check out our interview with her..

Do you feel living where you do helps inspire you with your blogging or does it hinder your opportunities?

I know that if I really looked closely at it I would find living in Canada does limit opportunities in terms of working with brands but I don't see it as a huge obstacle.  We have some truly fabulous brands here, both big and small that know the value of working with bloggers and that is growing all the time.  I can tell you that in terms of just pure writing, there is inspiration all around in this great big beautiful country. We have so much to be thankful for.

You have worked with some great companies and had some fab ambasadorships, is there one you have really enjoyed? Why ?

All of my experiences have been positive so far. My biggest shout out would have to be to the lovely folks at Canadian Beef.  They took a huge chance on me when my blog was really just a baby and have given me so many opportunities to grow.  When I applied to work with them as an Ambassador my blog was just a few months old but Canadian Beef is something very near and dear to me (having grown up on a beef farm)and I was confident I would do a great job.  My passion must have shown because I was given the opportunity and I was and still am very grateful for that.

If you could travel anywhere where would it be?

That's a tough one!  I've been fortunate enough to do a little bit of traveling in my life already but it is such a big world. I think if I had the chance to go anywhere it would be French Polynesia.  I can't imagine a more beautiful place exists.  But there are also places in Canada that are on my bucket list.  I have yet to travel to the east coast and one day I want to spend Canada Day in the capital with my family.

Tell us your goals for your blog.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  I started my blog for me, to write and have a creative outlet.  Once in a while I feel that I'm steered a little too far away from that.  The drive to do things like increase SEO, page rank, and secure paid opportunities can get in the way of my intent.  That's not to say that I think there is anything wrong with focusing on those elements of my blog, or any blog, but I really don't want to lose sight of why I created it in the first place.  So one of my goals is to get to back to writing for me.

On the flip side of that, I have the opportunity to give my blog a fresh look and I'm really looking forward to that.  Because I didn't start blogging with the intent of it being a source of income I wasn't particularly concerned with it looking "professional."  My goal, in terms of design, it to create something that is more inline with my own personal style that also has a clean professional look.

Do you have any advice for new Canadian bloggers just starting out?

My advice for new Canadian bloggers, or any blogger for that matter, is to be patient and do what feels right for you.  It takes time to build a blog.  There will be times when you get frustrated and think about just walking away. Those are the times when you need to take a step back and take a breath. It doesn't matter if you are blogging for pleasure, for income or a little of both, there are going to be frustrations and days when you are uninspired. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off and refocus. You are going to have dry spells, both in terms of inspiration and opportunities, that's just part of blogging. If you really aren't getting anything out of blogging, and it's become more of a chore than a pleasure then maybe it is time to walk away.

The other key piece of advice I would give is to surround yourself with people who support your goals. That could be friends, family or other bloggers (probably some of each).  Don't be afraid to listen to advice or ideas from other people.  You won't always follow that advice but you will learn and you will benefit from it.  Read other blogs.  See what works and what doesn't.  This isn't a science.  That's one of the great things about blogging.  It's creative, it's subjective, and it can be whatever you want it to be.

Thanks so much Shayna!
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