Welcome to the first Blogger in Focus 2.0 🙂 Today we are featuring Keri Hedrick of Baby Globetrotters. Enjoy!
Hi, I’m Keri – founder of Baby Globetrotters; a blog and social media network aimed at encouraging, inspiring and preparing parents for the reality of world travel and living abroad with a family. Originally from Australia, then London I am now a mum of three in Abu Dhabi balancing my blogging with family, travel and finances.
Name: Keri Hedrick
Location: Abu Dhabi
Blog: Baby Globetrotters
How did you start blogging?
When we moved to the UAE in 2012 it was the first time I found myself not working full-time, and a stay at home mum! I had long had a desire to be a writer and express myself more than I could in my previous accounting job in London but couldn’t quite find the right outlet; freelancing was near impossible without a portfolio or journalism background.
I first started writing a blog about my experience share trading and dealing with personal finances but it had no traction; I couldn’t compete with professionals in the field and felt overwhelmed by it all. I experimented next with writing about our travel experience with our kids instead, and wow, it took off! People were fascinated by where we would travel with our kids and were asking us for travel advice! I got myself a proper domain name, set up some social media accounts and the rest is history; Baby Globetrotters was born!
What do you write about?
Baby Globetrotters is aimed at young families either curious about how to travel with their children or making the decision whether they should move overseas. My aim is to help them overcome that fear and uncertainty and travel confidently with kids.
My primary focus at the moment is reviewing hotels and destinations that families will enjoy (particularly within the UAE), reviewing and recommending baby and toddler products that have gotten us through many years of travel and sharing expat stories from different countries, letting other expat Mums and dads know they’re not alone!
I also still have a deep interest in finance and business, so you’ll see this come through in some of our occasional series like Expat Money Matters and Expat Entrepreneurs.
Tips for new Bloggers?
Is it a blog from the heart or a blog to make money? Some of the fundamentals of a good blog, appearance, building your audience may be the same but there are many differences in the mindset and I think that clearly comes across when I read others blogs.
I’ll admit I have flip-flopped on what I want my blog to be about and who I’m targeting. I think I write best and enjoy it most when I simply write from the heart. When I’m passionate on the topic that really motivates me and I think it comes across in my posts and how I promote it. When I need to write something more sales pitchy, I know it doesn’t sit comfortably and I need to motivate myself to get it done.
I’ve taken the stance now I’d rather my blog was informative and valuable for families, rather than making a lot of cash from it. I do make a little side income that really just funds the hosting and some of my online tools. If I want it to make money to live off, I’d take a very different approach. I’ve come to accept there are so many more side benefits, like forming a community with like-minded people.
Both approaches to blogging are valid, just be clear which one you want to be, and remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
What are the challenges you face with blogging?
Finding the time to balance everything that I want to do with available hours in the week is always a challenge. Family of course, needs to come first but that can be frustrating for someone who is quite goal orientated!
I have also found the learning curve enormous, particularly learning the IT and back-end of running a website is challenging. Learning about social media didn’t come naturally either – I’m from the generation that only just started having computers in school, certainly not email let alone Facebook or Snapchat!!! I have gotten to grips with it all now but it’s a sub-job within itself managing all my different channels – the key with all of them is to do what you enjoy and it will come far more naturally.
What do you do outside of blogging?
With 3 children my weekdays entirely revolve around school runs, play dates and kids activities. When I do get my own time, indulging in travel is very important to me – be that cultural travel or relaxing at the beach! I also love reading, wine tasting and still do some share trading on the side to keep my brain active.
The other thing that has kept me very busy in Abu Dhabi is working as Treasurer for Aussies Abroad, the Australian social club. We put on various family and community events throughout the year and raise a lot of money for charities both here in the UAE and overseas.
Blogs you recommend my readers should read/follow?
For travel lovers – my favourites in my genre with young families and familiar with the expat life are Strollering the Globe and Learning Escapes. Wandering Wagars also have a beautiful site with handy baby & toddler advice.
Those wanting to improve their blogging, I can’t recommend Darren Rowse from Problogger highly enough, he’s incredibly motivating.
If you want a giggle, Hurrah for Gin always puts a smile on my face. And for all round parenting advice, Nicole from Planning with Kids, an Australian based family blogger with 5 kids is an absolute wealth of information
Give 3 Random Facts about you
- Although I hold two passports for Australia & the UK I was actually born in New Zealand!
- When I was 12 I became the youngest female at the time to gain a black belt in Tae Kwon Do in Western Australia
- I have a tendency to lose my shoes, well one shoe – please return any random right-footed sandals you may find in your travels….