WeBlogNorth Featured Content Creator of the Week - The Skyliner
This is a space that showcases all of you awesome WeBloggers in the North and gives everyone a chance to get to know each other, as well as raise your profile (and your DA!). This week we're chatting with Hayley Flynn, award-winning arts and culture blogger at The Skyliner.
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Name: Hayley Flynn
Location: Whalley Range, Manchester
Blog URL: theskyliner.org
Twitter followers: 5,655
Instagram followers: 1,713
I always remember the phrase 'if you want something doing, ask a busy person'.
How long have you been blogging/vlogging/creatin
Since 2011 though it's been peaks and troughs so by no means do I have reams of content, but I've focused on other projects that the blog connected me to and so I've always been working on it one way or another.
Why did you decide to start The Skyliner?
I wanted to answer the questions about the city that no one else was at the time, I found a niche and within 6 months won my first award.
Do you see this becoming a career or part of your career?
It already is my career, though admittedly woefully underachieving one at the moment owing to being a single parent and grappling with an MA in Place Writing at Manchester Writing School. Sometimes I don't make a living from the blog directly but it creates projects and roles for me - I was the UK's only City Curator for the National Trust, which was a role created for me, basically replicating what The Skyliner is but for a charity. It was amazing, though highly stressful!
What do you hope to achieve for your content in 2018 and what’s your big-picture goal?
My site is about to be relaunched but it's a long process when I don't know much about design or websites, so I've been ploughing away behind the scenes for a good while now. My aim for the start of this year is to get all my old content back online for a start. After that I want to make more from my writing than I do at the moment - its fallen by the wayside in favour of the tours I run which were born of the blog. Whilst they're enjoyable and flexible hours they're not the reason I set up the blog in the first place.
What is your favourite social media channel & why?
I love Instagram and the stories are a great feature as I tend to use them to provide live tours of the city and offer interesting bits of information to my audience that I don't necessarily want to commit to paper. However I have issues with it and the way it has enabled everyone to have the same living room, every bar to have the same design, every unique cafe in every city in the world to be not so unique after all - but this is the modern world and it'll be interesting to see how people tackle this sort of thing in the future when they realise Pinterest and Instagram have created this global identikit aesthetic.
What is your favourite tool or app that helps in your content creation?
I use Evernote for recording my content, I can use it on all devices and it syncs them, it saves as you go so no devastating loss of content and when I use it properly the tags really help me stay organised.
Who is your blogging/vlogging/content
There wasn't really anyone out there doing what I do when I started it so I didn't have an inspiration back then; now there are blogs like Messy Nessy Chic which is hugely successful (and makes me realise my whole anti-advertising and sponsorship stance these past 7 years may have been a case of shooting myself in the foot! Yes, in 2018 I'll be open to sponsors etc)
What do you like to do on weekends? Where can we find you hanging-out?
I'll be with my toddler somewhere, though she's very adaptable and she comes along on tours which I normally run on Sundays, or on long photo walks around the city to gather more images for Instagram or the blog. We are always outdoors, all weathers, and as long as I have my phone to hand I can write on the go and find great inspiration in walking.
If you could go anywhere in the world or experience any one thing, what would it be?
I'd probably keep going back to Tokyo, I have such an affinity with it, it's magical to me. I took my daughter when she was 10 months old but already I feel a yearning to return. That said if I could run a lovely little farmhouse style B&B in the Mallorcan countryside I'd be very happy with that.
What're your tips for staying motivated and/or organised in your work?
Not being an organised person it's a tough one to dole out advice for. However, I always remember the phrase 'if you want something doing, ask a busy person', which rings so true. Since I had my daughter I've done so much - I think having so much on just encourages me to keep on going, and to utilise the free time I have the best way I can. I also set up a lovely work area in my flat facing into the garden and having the daylight on my face (on rare times I get to do work in the daytimes) really boosts my mood.
What is the one piece of advice you’d give other content creators & aspiring bloggers/vloggers?
Inspiration finds you working (OK, I'm paraphrasing Picasso there but he's spot on)
Fun/Random fact about you (go on, surprise us!):
As a film extra, I once had to kiss the bright orange adult baby from the 90s You've Been Tangoed adverts.
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