One of the things I love about Vancouver is the blogging community here. I managed to connect with the local mom bloggers shortly after moving here, thanks in part to my Vancouver Mom Blogger Top 30 nomination in 2015. Kristyl Clark was one of my fellow nominees that year, and we’ve run into each other at a few local events since then as well. Here, she shares how she transitioned from newspaper woman to mom blogger, and what advice she’d share with other bloggers.
TKM: First, tell us a bit about Kristyl Clark.
Kristyl: Hello! Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me.
I’m a 36-year-old mom of two adorable girls, Molly, 8, and Zoe, 6. I accidentally stumbled into the world of blogging around six years ago. Prior to going on permanent maternity leave after Zoe was born, I worked at the Peace Arch News as a community news reporter.
I never thought I’d want to be a stay at home mom, but had a tough time leaving my daughters, which led to my resignation. Hormones, hey?
While I adored being home with them, it didn’t take me long to grow bored, and, to be honest, a little lost. So, I did what I knew best – found a way to hone and market my writing skills.
Enter the blogging career.
TKM: When and why did you start blogging?
Kristyl: What started as a hobby – a way to express the joys and frustrations of motherhood—quickly turned into a fun way to bring in a little extra income, feel more connected to my community and embark on some incredible adventures with my family. Throughout these experiences, I’ve been able to expand on my skill set, secure various freelance projects and build on my own confidence.
If you had asked me seven years ago if I’d feel comfortable co-hosting a live radio show, being interviewed on television or speaking in front of a crowd of over 500, I would have laughed – and then I probably would have ran and hid under my comforter. Trust me, I’m as socially awkward as it gets.
Being a blogger has felt a lot like being a community news reporter. I get to experience a variety of local events, connect with men and women making a big difference in their ‘backyard,’ and help give a voice to some incredible non-profits.
TKM: How did you come up with your blog name?
Kristyl: Originally, I was “She’s a Valley Mom,” but went to ValleyMom.ca for brevity a year later.
TKM: Do you have a blog schedule or do you post when you feel like it?
Kristyl: Unless I’m working on a specific sponsored campaign, I kind of just wing it!
TKM: What is your favourite part of blogging? Your least favourite part?
Kristyl: Favourite: The events! Love getting dolled up, feeling like a ‘real adult’ and experiencing something that I might not have otherwise.
Least favourite: The events! Sometimes I’m so tired and overwhelmed with freelance work, motherhood, our two dogs, PMS, that I just want to stay home in my flannel PJs, watch old Roseanne reruns and eat my feelings.
TKM: What advice would you offer other bloggers?
Kristyl: Find a niche. The mom blogger market is overly saturated, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find success with it. If that’s your goal, find something about you or a hobby you love and incorporate that into your overall theme/message.
Also, don’t try to be like everyone else. If you are true to yourself, there will never be any competition.
Speaking of competition, just take that word out of your vocabulary altogether – instead, replace it with collaboration.
I am privileged to know so many incredibly talented bloggers who have graciously shared their knowledge and tips with me.
Through the process, I’ve also made some real deep connections – both online and off. Reach out, ask for advice and be willing to share your knowledge in return.
TKM: What is your favourite social media platform and why?
Kristyl: Lately, I’ve been loving Instastories. I’m horrible at Instagram – my house is way too messy and chaotic for those gorgeous clean white backgrounds. However, instatories encourages you to keep it real with impromptu videos, photos, etc.