Get to know Leigh of HinesSight Blog
I recently celebrated my 4th anniversary owning the HinesSight Blog. My very first blog post went live in January of 2011 and I did not know one thing about blogging when I hit “publish” for the first time. It’s been a hands-on learning curve for me since day one.
2. What do you blog about?
The HinesSight Blog is a lifestyle blog with a strong emphasis on travel and hospitality, especially hotels and upscale family travel in the South. I expanded internationally this year and I plan to do more U.S .and International travel now that our children are getting older and we think traveling with them could be more enjoyable. My husband is not too convinced of that yet. We take them somewhere in town (they are 9 and 5) and they act up, and my husband looks at me and says, “And you want to take them on a trip?” My answer is, “Why, yes, I’m not going to be stuck at home not traveling.”
3. Why did you start blogging?
Honestly, I think I was having a mid-life crisis. My second child had just turned one. I had just turned 42 a week earlier. It was the first time I had not done any contract work while staying at home. When the funding ran out for my contract work, I started to question if I had made a mistake to leave a journalism and communications/marketing career. This was just after the holidays and I always get so depressed after the holidays because you have all these fun events the entire month of December then bam, it’s cold, dreary, and your social calendar is clear as a bell. Also, did I mention that my only company was a baby and five-year-old?
I actually missed writing and having some creativity in my life. I saw the movie “Julie and Julia” one evening, and it inspired me. I said, “I’m going to start a blog, too.” And I did. I started on the foundation that it was to be used as a writing portfolio to keep my samples current.
4. What is your FAVORITE post you’ve ever written (you can pick 2)?
You’ve probably heard an actor make the comment that he or she doesn’t like watching their work in TV or movies; I’m kind of like that with blogging. I go back and say, “Oh, this feature could have been better” I always see things where I could improve. With that said, I think my favorite pieces have been where I just sat down to tell a story.
Capturing some crazy moments in my Southern Parenting Tales are my Mom’s favorite pieces that I write. I don’t do them often. My favorite tale is the story when my daughter pulled down her pants in my son’s basketball practice.
I, of course, love hotels and North Carolina travel, which is why I’ve recently started the #outaboutNC travel community to unite people who love to travel in North Carolina. This hashtag allows residents to show us the best of our state on social media. I curate all of my “Pack Your Bags” features and each one is unique and different. Every hotel is special to me, and I’m proud of each feature I’ve done. You can find those on my Travel/Hotel section on the blog.
5. What blog do you love?
Even though I write about travel, hotels and destinations, I read recipe blogs more than anything else on my own time. Currently, one of my favorite food bloggers is a new North Carolina blogger, Ashley Korizis, founder of The Olive and The Sea. She features Greek-inspired cuisine and techniques on her blogs. She cooks a lot with vegetables that are in-season and I’m on that bandwagon right now.
6. What is your biggest piece of advice for other bloggers?
Just follow your passion and write what you enjoy. Find other bloggers with things in common, and support each other. Some of my best friends are other bloggers now and it’s great because you can collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other. In some ways, being a blogger is no different than being an artist. It’s just a different creative outlet. Your voice is a reflection of that artistry. In this case, the “html of a new post” is the blank space as opposed to canvas or the stage. Be kind. Be respectable and treat others how you would like to be treated professionally. And in the world of social media, always think before you put your feelings in 140 characters.
7. What are you looking forward to for you as a blogger in the upcoming months (conferences, big blog release, book release, publishing, community, redesign, new content, etc)?
I am looking forward to growing the #outaboutnc travel community. So far, the hashtag is amazing. I love looking at the pictures that people are posting throughout the state. I have been asked to speak on a panel on the topic of social media and travel and tourism at the 2015 N.C. Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism this year. I look forward to that event in Pinehurst in March.
Where can we find you on the web?
Facebook: HinesSightBlog and OutAboutNC
Twitter: HinesSightBlog and OutAboutNC
Instagram: @HinesSightBlog and @OutAboutNC
And then anything else you might want to add that you want people to know about you – professional affiliations, any other place they can find you, etc.