Five Minutes With…
Welcome to Five Minutes With… a new feature where I invite bloggers of all genres to tell us a little about themselves and their blogging journey.
Today’s blogger is Joanna who blogs at Smile Being You.
Q1: When and why did you start blogging? Which platform do you use?
I started my blog Smile Being You in 2016. I reached a point in my life where I felt much happier, healthier and balanced than I had for a number of years. I realised how much I had learned about mental and physical health from my own wellbeing journey and identified that this could be useful to others. I’d worked in a number of roles involving writing and sharing information, and I’m always keen to contribute positively in some way to society. So, I decided to combine my professional and personal experiences and learning to create a resource to help other people smile more in life.
Smile Being You is focused on sharing ideas, information and inspiration to help enhance wellbeing and happiness. My writing is aimed at any adult with a personal or professional interest in helping themselves, or others, feel great. I came up with the title to convey not just happiness and wellbeing, but to share a message that a core component of enjoying life is knowing, embracing and valuing your authentic self.
My website is created using WordPress. This has enabled me to add other sections in addition to my blog, including a directory of wellbeing resources which lists a wide variety of websites, apps and organisations. As you’d expect, I also regularly post ideas on a number of social media platforms.
Q2: What topics/themes do you blog about? Do you ever deviate from that theme?
I believe the best approach to nurturing long-term wellbeing is a holistic one, tailored to the individual. For most people there’s not just one activity or approach in life that helps them feel happy, it’s a combination that is unique to them and their situation. Therefore, I write about a variety of wellbeing related topics, from exercise to mindfulness, from creative activities to food.
I focus on writing about subjects that interest me and have plenty more ideas! I want to offer as broad perspective as possible, so I also have guest writers contribute. For example, one woman wrote a lovely post about the joys of bird watching. It’s not a hobby I’ve tried myself, but reading their post makes it sound very appealing and it’s an activity people of all ages can enjoy.
It’s brilliant to see the conversation about wellbeing and mental health continually increase in our society today and there is lots of excellent work going on in these areas. I’m keen for Smile Being You to complement this. I aim to find ways to connect with others and to contribute positively to the global wellbeing conversation.
Q3: Which of your blog posts is your favourite and why do you like this one so much?
I’ve really enjoyed writing many of my blog posts because I focus on topics I am passionate about. One favourite though is my piece titled ‘Be More Present to Smile More in Life.’
In this post, I talk about mindfulness. Practising mindfulness really helped me reduce my anxiety levels in the past, and it’s a simple technique that I believe has something to offer everyone in our fast-paced lives.
The reason this blog post is a favourite is that I tried something new. As well as the text, the post features a recording of a talk I delivered in 2017 about mindfulness. I gave the talk to an audience after attending a series of public speaking workshops. As well as being a great way to share my message verbally it was a personal achievement for me and a culmination of my hard work. I think it’s great as a blogger to try out different mediums for communicating your messages to suit your audiences’ varied learning preferences.
Q4: Do you have a top tip to share for any new bloggers that might be reading?
My top tips for new bloggers are:
- Pick a passion – Pick a subject you are passionate about and just start writing. Let the words flow without judgement and see what emerges. You can take a more planned and strategic approach in the future, but at the beginning just begin.
- Find your voice – The more you write, the more you’ll develop your own style and realise what messages you want to share with others.
- Learn from other writers – Read and read some more. Be that blogs, online articles, books or magazines, read and observe what styles and approaches other writers use.
- Review your work – Check your spelling and grammar, as well as the structure and flow. Try to view your blog from the perspective of the reader and think about what they will gain from it. Then publish your writing and gather feedback.
- Finally, enjoy it – The more you enjoy blogging, the more you’ll do!
Q5: What’s your favourite social media platform?
My favourite social media platform is Twitter because I enjoy the interactive nature. I particularly enjoying joining in discussions for specific Twitter hours. These include local hours, such as Brum Hour on Sunday evenings and themed ones like mental health chat hour on Wednesday evenings. If you’re a blogger, it’s worth seeing what Twitter hours are relevant to your topic and area. As a keen photographer, I do also really like Instagram, both posting my own photos and admiring other peoples.
Find out more about Joanna and Smile Being You by connecting via the links below:
Blog Link: www.smilebeingyou.com