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Interviews

Blogger Spotlight Series: Lara Heacock

Words can’t express how happy I am to be bringing you this Blogger Spotlight series as I revamp and rebrand this ol’ blog of mine.  Lara Burkey is my first feature and I can’t think of a better person.  She is smart, giving, kind, beautiful and someone I have known for wow…..about 13 or 14 years now!

Time flies but hopefully during that time you meet good people and Lara is one of them.  Imagine how surprised I was to hear she had begun blogging and helping others (well that wasn’t much of a surprise).  So without further ado, meet Lara Burkey, owner of the blog Kind Over Matter.

Laura Burkey of Kind Over Matter

GPC:  Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.). 

LH:  Hi!  I’m Lara and I’m a Life Coach and owner of KindOverMatter.com.  I’m certified by a Coach I’ve admired and respected for years, Kate Swoboda (AKA Kate Courageous!) of YourCourageousLife.com

I live in suburban Philadelphia with my husband and our big red tabby cat!  I love connecting with people – it’s what lights me up – so even when I’m not coaching, I love to spend time with people.  I have some amazing girlfriends, and of course the hubs, so there are lots of small dinners at home to recharge with those I love.

GPC:  What is the name of your blog(s)?

LH:  My blog is KindOverMatter.com and I’ve owned it for about a year now.  Time flies when you’re having fun!

GPC:  What’s your blog all about (i.e. genre, niche, etc.)?

LH:  KOM is in the Arts & Humanities category according to Facebook (http://facebook.com/KindOverMatter), but I’d categorize it as feel good.  I think of KOM as the positive internet rabbit hole!  Stop on by when you need something inspiring, and get lost for hours.

GPC:  What inspired your blog name?

LH:  The amazing founder of KOM clearly loved a play on words (get it – KIND over mater // MIND over matter!), and it has always been a labor of love.  With over 22K Facebook followers and thousands of daily readers and newsletter subscribers, I think the name has served us well, and goes to show people really do value kindness.

GPC:  When did you start blogging?

LH:  I started blogging about a year ago.  At the same time, I was starting Life Coach training, so it has been an amazing year of transition.  KOM has been around since 2009, so there’s lots of amazingness on the blog!

KindOverMatterBanner

GPC:  Why did you start blogging?

LH:  I really felt called to blogging, and it goes hand in hand with Coaching.  One of the things I’ve always loved about KOM is the opportunity to read different voices united under 1 theme.  We have guest bloggers almost every day, and I blog 1-2 times per week, as well.  I love to share my thoughts with the readers and love reading our guest posts, too!

GPC:  Is blogging your full-time job or do you work elsewhere full-time or part-time?

LH:  I sorta have 3 jobs right now!  Lol  I do still work a 9-5 job, but am slowly building my Coaching practice and plan to leave the 9-5 world in the near(ish) future!

GPC:  How do you balance the demands of blogging with your everyday life?

LH:  I learned through trial and error.  Although the hubs makes fun of my manual style, I have a paper planner to schedule all of the KOM posts.  I spent a few months doing posts ad hoc, but have fallen into a groove.  All guest posts are due at 5 PM on Friday of the week before they’re scheduled to go up.  Saturdays are my blog writing and scheduling day, so I do a lot of bulk processing.

Lara Heacock and Kitty

GPC:  What would you consider your biggest accomplishment to date as it pertains to your blog?

LH:  Honestly my biggest accomplishment with KOM has been not causing any significant technical difficulties!  There were a few snafus, but I’ve gotten so much more technically confident.  For KOM as a whole, I think its biggest accomplishment (yes, I do speak about it as a living/breathing thing!) is its impact.  I get emails that tell me they visit KOM to feel better, or they stop by every morning to start the day on a positive note.  That is so meaningful and heartwarming, and to be able to provide that to people is the best feeling!

GPC:  What do you consider the biggest challenge you face blogging in your genre/niche?

LH:  I’m not sure if it’s a challenge, but KOM doesn’t really have a niche.  My coaching practice is similar.  I get the “what’s your niche” question a lot, about the blog and coaching, but I haven’t felt the need to label either of us.

Yes, I’m a Life Coach, so I definitely fit into that self-help/service provider niche, but KOM’s contributors are artists, and moms, yogis, etc., so we’re really showcasing a lot of folks.  I think that’s a big part of our appeal.  Want some DIY project idea?  Check!  Need to feel a little motivated on a Monday morning?  Check!  Want to read poetry?  Yup, we’ve got that, too.

GPC:  What has been your most exciting event you have participated in or attended as a blogger?

LH:  Because I’m a relatively new blogger (and have been in intense, amazing Coach training this year) I haven’t had a chance to attend any blogger events, but I’m realizing there is a huge world out there, and I can’t wait to dive into it!

Kind Over Matter

GPC:  What tips or tricks do you use to encourage engagement from your readers on your blog?

LH:  The best tip I’ve received is to pick a couple of social media outlets and use them well.  Don’t try to do all of them, and then not be able to keep up.  I’m a Facebook girl, so that’s my comfort zone, but I’m really starting to love Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, too (just search @KindOverMatter on any of them!).  I make sure I acknowledge and/or reply to all of the comments on the blog, answer every email, etc.  I love asking questions of our readers and offering them giveaways and freebies!  KOM even has a DearKOM feature where you can ask me a question; share a kind story, etc.  That’s been a wonderful way to interact with readers.  When they’re willing, I post their email and my response and have found that this really fosters the sense of community with KOM-ers.

GPC:  What advice do you have for a newbie getting started with blogging?

LH:  Just do it!  Cliché, I know, but if I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that fear isn’t going anywhere.  It’s best to work with it instead of against it, so even if it’s just a teeny little Hello post, click Publish and start your journey.

GPC:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about blogging?

LH:  Ah, nice question! I think that many people think that all bloggers are just publishing their diary online.  Blogging is so much more than that!  Blogs can inspire, educate and inform.  If there’s something you’re interested in, I bet you can find a blog about it, and maybe even learn something!

GPC:  Who are some of blogger inspirations? 

LH:  Definitely Kate Courageous of YourCourageousLife.com is my biggest one.  Admittedly, most of mine are in the Coaching realm – these women are amazing!  Andrea Owen of YourKickAssLife.com is awesome.  Pema Chodron, Cheri Huber and Geneen Roth all have blogs on their sites that I absolutely love, as well.   Really, any author who inspires me – Jen Lancaster has a hysterical blog – I’ll check out their blog!  

GPC:  Please share your blog information and any upcoming events you would like to share with our readers.

LH:  What I’m most excited about is officially receiving my CCTP (Courageous Coaching Training Program) Certification.  I have a few openings for new Coaching clients this fall, so check out the Work with Me page on KOM (bit.ly/LifeCoachingwithLara) for more details.  Next year is going to be a big one, as I have an eCourse in the works and will be leading at least 1 workshop, so I’m very excited and can’t wait to share all of the awesomeness with KOM’s audience!

19 Comments

  • September 29, 2014 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I love discovering new bloggers and your spotlight is a fabulous way for me to “meet” new bloggers!

  • September 29, 2014 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. I also love finding new bloggers and this way you teach me about them all in one post 🙂
    Erica recently posted…Fall Fashion + Huge Giveaway. 5 $50 Gift Cards to 24/7 FrenzyMy Profile

  • September 29, 2014 - 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I am new to blogging and always love finding other new bloggers! Your spotlight is great! Looking forward to more! 🙂

  • September 29, 2014 - 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I love meeting new bloggers too. I started my site seven years ago! It was much smaller back then, and with trial and error, I’ve definitely come a long way. We can all certainly learn from each other too!
    Teresa recently posted…Kenmore Front-Loading Washer and Electric Dryer — Save Over $600!My Profile

  • September 29, 2014 - 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I didn’t know you can do that. I definitely learned a lot, and I am taking notes. Thanks for sharing.

  • October 3, 2014 - 5:51 am | Permalink

    This is great! Thanks for the advice!
    Tiff recently posted…To the Beloved Crazy OnesMy Profile

  • October 3, 2014 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I love learning about other bloggers and finding new blogs to read.Just like Lara, I’ve been blogging for one year.
    Adanna recently posted…College Life With Unlimited Talk Text and DataMy Profile

  • Nate
    October 3, 2014 - 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Loved the interview. Picked up a few nuggets from reading. Appreciate you sharing!

  • October 3, 2014 - 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I started blogging about a year ago too. I change the name pretty quickly and like you technical stuff can be a pain. I can’t seem to get my mobile site to direct to the latest blog name. I even deleted the whole website of the first one.
    But learning more about it every day!
    April recently posted…Breast Cancer Awareness Month: OctoberMy Profile

  • October 3, 2014 - 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Wow this was an amazing spotlight! I loved reading it all.

  • October 4, 2014 - 12:34 am | Permalink

    Nice interview and I love this as it will help me to further remain encouraged as a new blogger. Everyday I am learning something new.

    I agree with focusing on just a few social media networks. The two that have proven most successful for me (at this point) has been Pinterest and Twitter. I do still use Facebook and Instagram, but focus more on the first two.

    That is exactly what I had to do, “Jump” and “Just Do It!”

    Happy Friday (from the West Coast)

    Yulunda
    Yulunda G. recently posted…The Wisdom of The EagleMy Profile

  • October 4, 2014 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    First off- I wish you lots of success with your rebranding! I am in the process of doing the same and am starting from scratch!

    I also love this interview. Lara seems like an amazing person and Life Coaching is awesome! I love what she said about hte misconceptions of blogging- so true! Just had this conversation today! I hope you get to leave the corporate world sooner rather than later!
    Jaime Nicole recently posted…Dodge City: Amish CemeteryMy Profile

    • October 4, 2014 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

      I met Lara back in 1999 and she is an awesome person!!! Happy to see she joined the blogging train CHOO CHOO! Also thank you for the love in this rebranding process. Slow and steady. Check back this Monday & Thursday for the next interviews.

  • October 4, 2014 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I just love feature blogs, you get to meet people, read their stories .. How awesome it that! Very informative too the a newbie blogger like myself! Don’t mind being featured too! *wink wink*
    NappyBella recently posted…To my SON!My Profile

    • October 5, 2014 - 8:35 am | Permalink

      Thanks for stopping by NappyBella – I love reason them too.

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