For this week’s Meet the Media, we’d like you to meet Valerie Hansen, Seattle-based lifestyle blogger at the Maple Leopard.
1. How did you find yourself starting your blog Maple Leopard?
I started a blog because I was really burnt out with my job and my career. My goal was to gain techy skills to make myself more marketable to employers. I also have been a fashionista my whole life, and have sewed my own outfits since I was a teen. The blog was a creative outlet to pursue my passion and inspire others along the way. Into the 2nd year, I added travel. I have been blogging for 3.5 years, and this year I decided to make travel my main niche going forward. I still will cover style content, but travel is my ultimate passion. I love sharing travel stories, experiences, and guides to encourage others to travel as much as possible.
2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?
I have several posts I am proud of, so it is hard to narrow it down to one. I did a collaboration with Vegas.com so the post with them was one I was proud of and also I recently did one about Point Ruston in Tacoma, which was shared several times and featured on Point Ruston’s Page.
3. What is your favorite thing about your job?
Blogging is not my full-time job yet, it is my side hustle. What do I love about it? I love the connections being made, the many opportunities to participate in – promoting the businesses in the Seattle area and beyond, and being part of an industry that has forever changed how advertising is being done around the globe. Most of all I love that I have a creative outlet to inspire others with exciting and compelling content.
4. What is your interview style?
My interview style is a mix of Q&A with storytelling
5. What do you look for in a story?
Is the story inspiring? Is it solving a pain point for a problem for my audience, is it compelling, does it have a unique story angle?
6. What is your day like at your job?
As I mentioned earlier, I have a day job, which is teaching. Blogging is my side job – and it is a LOT of work. I had no idea what I was getting myself into (ha ha)! I pretty much do it all, because I am not at the place where I can hire out work. In any one day I may be doing all or a combination of these tasks: writing, photography, photo editing, pitching, social media, public relations, email, product styling, technical maintenance, networking, or attending an event and/or collaborations.
7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
Dan Louis who retired from KOMO News was one I admired greatly. I love Molly Shen, Diane Sawyer, and Robin Roberts.
8. What is your favorite news outlet?
The Wall Street Journal, Seattle Times, and Good Morning America.
9. Fill in the blank:
- If I am not reporting, I am… Enjoying my family and cat, shopping, enjoying the outdoors or sewing.
- If I could interview anyone, it would be… Gary Vee, Steve Pool( Komo), Carey Underwood, or Diane Van Fostenburg.
- My favorite thing about Seattle is… Pike Place Market and the amazing summers!
10. What is your guilty pleasure?
Chick flicks and Popeye’s fried chicken!
Check out last week’s Meet the Media where we spotlighted Sandy Kauten, the owner and publisher of Oregon Family Magazine.
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