Updated: Mar 4
Welcome back to Meet the Blogger, today we're going to have a little chat with a creative fellow blogger and get to know them just a little bit.
If you missed the last interview with Ronkerria, catch up here real quick before we dive into today's lovely guest...
Meet Alex, co-owner of Clock Out Check In; which is a lifestyle and travel blog, created in 2019 by Alex McIntyre and Vicky Symons. Alex and Vicky started the blog to share their love of travel and help people like them make the most of their annual leave.
Since starting their travel blog; they've been posting about trips to a wide range of destinations from long-haul resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic to European city breaks and weekends at the British seaside. Sounds adventurous huh?
Let's dive in, shall we?
Is blogging your hobby or your job?
Blogging is our hobby although it can definitely feel like a part-time job. There is always something you can be working on whether it is writing more content, working on social media or editing photos but luckily, we absolutely love working on our blog so it doesn’t feel like a chore. It can be difficult to fit in at times though as we both work full time. Vicky is a senior digital designer and I’m a solicitor.
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
That’s an easy question for a travel blogger – the travel! We both really love exploring a new destination and we have always got a holiday planned. Our blog came from that passion for travel. The lovely thing about Clock Out Check-In is that our research never feels like work. Even if we were not running the blog, we would still be travelling to all of these wonderful places and doing loads of research to make sure we have an incredible time.
What inspires you to write/blog and where do you get your ideas from?
We have a really long list of places that we would like to visit and Vicky recently bought me for Christmas an amazing scratch map that shows the countries that we have travelled to together as a couple. There is so much of the world left to explore and that is what gives us ideas for our next trip. In the next 12-18 months we are going to be visiting Porto, Thailand, Pembrokeshire, Yorkshire and the Scottish Highlands as well as maybe Copenhagen, Bilbao and Iceland. We always have something to write about.
Besides blogging, what else do you enjoy doing/what are your hobbies?
I am a massive football fan and have a season ticket at Tottenham Hotspur FC. I also love politics and am involved with the Fabian Society which is a progressive think tank. Vicky is a keen photographer and film lover. I think she has literally seen all of the IMDb Top 100 films and most of the Top 250. She also loves yoga so we’ve got plenty of that planned for our trip to Thailand next year. We are both also massive foodies as any of our regular readers will tell you!
Describe your writing style and process
I do most of the writing for Clock Out Check In and I would describe my writing process as fairly erratic. I tend to do most of my writing on my tablet and I bought a Bluetooth keyboard case to help with that. The first draft of all of my posts is genuinely horrific. I tend to write down ideas and thoughts as they come and then go back to the posts and edit them to make them sound like they have been written by someone with a proper command of the English language. Vicky then builds the posts and selects and edits the photos.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and by whom?
One of the best pieces of advice that we received (and I’ve totally forgotten who gave it) is to be confident in your own style and what you have to say. Don’t try to be like anyone else! That’s why Clock Out Check In is aimed at people like us. We are trying to produce content that we would find useful when planning a trip. We only recommend places and hotels that we have stayed in ourselves and we’re honest when we don’t like something or we’ve made a mistake.
How long have you been blogging for and what inspired you to become a blogger?
We have only been blogging for a year. We first discussed blogging at Christmas in 2018 but we didn’t get started properly until February 2019. We put together loads of content, got the blog set up and eventually launched it with our friends and family in July last year. Blogging is a hobby for us – it’s genuinely something we enjoy doing. I love writing but do not have a creative outlet for that at work and Vicky has always been passionate about digital design and photography. It works really well.
Which resources does a blogger need to succeed?
Enthusiasm and perseverance – in abundance. There is a lot to do to get your blog off the ground, especially if you want to make a business out of it. It can be really tough at the start and I think it takes a lot of courage to put your own creativity and thoughts out there. But with plenty of enthusiasm and perseverance, you can make a lot of progress in a short space of time.
What are your biggest achievements so far; in blogging and life?
We got engaged last year which is really exciting – we’re now busy wedding planning and planning what will hopefully be an incredible honeymoon. From a blogging perspective, we hit 500 followers on both Twitter and Instagram in our first year which we are really proud of.
When you get “writer’s block”, how do you go about regaining inspiration?
This happens to all of us. I have three tricks to get myself out of a writing slump. The first is to get out of the house and work from somewhere else - usually a coffee shop. This gives me a break, takes my mind off writing for a couple of minutes and for some reason I work really well in a café. Second, if you are struggling to think of full coherent sentences – just get your ideas down. You can come back to edit those later to make them sound coherent. Third, do something else that’s productive but doesn’t require much brainpower. Today I was struggling to get pen on paper but I got up, cleaned the kitchen and then sat back down to be so much more productive.
Congratulations on your engagement!!!
Catch up with Alex and Vicky at Clock Out Check In for some travel inspiration and find a few places to add to your travel bucket list. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and find some lovely photos on Instagram.
Thank you for joining us on Meet the Blogger today, it's been an absolute blast as always. If you enjoyed this post please like, share and comment and get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in taking part.
Catch you later...
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