In the second of our series of our celebration of ‘Wonder Women’ we caught up with Sam Hobden, founder of the hugely successfull blogger online portal Hay-net Blog….
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name is Sam Hobden and I am a half Finnish mum who is a horse and two-terrier owner. I am also the founder of Haynet which is a leading equestrian and countryside blogging network. Together with working with bloggers and fellow rural marketers, I also work with countryside businesses guiding them through the world of social media.
HOW/WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
I started the network purely with the view of locating equestrian bloggers under one roof who can network together and follow each other’s blogs. Last year I opened this out to the countryside and agricultural bloggers which I feel sit well together within the network.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS/EXPERIENCE DO YOU NEED TO BE GOOD AT THIS JOB?
I think the most important qualification for this job is to have a strong foundation in writing and media knowledge. Being able to write well and get your point across precisely is key, together with experience and decorum that I think is vital within the marketing and social media industry.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FOUND BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS?
There has been a few! It has taken years within this industry to be recognised which is hard work. I have learnt to be consistent and keep going despite knock backs. Technically running a network has been a huge challenge as I was not trained in running a website and dealing with the technical issues that come with this. It has been a huge learning curve and I have found dealing with any problems myself only improves your technical knowledge. However, there are still lots of technical issues that continue to baffle me!
NAME TWO THINGS YOU COULDN’T’T LIVE WITHOUT IN YOUR JOB? (PHONE & COMPUTER ASIDE)
Books for sure would definitely be one thing I couldn’t live without. The “For Dummies” range have been invaluable in dealing with my website and SEO as I need to have simple and clear instructions to deal with technical issues! I also read marketing books too which has helped immensely with my work. I will say the other thing is my horse. My lovely twenty two year old warmblood was the key reason in starting the network when I was blog posting about my ups and downs having horses bring. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be answering these questions now!
WHAT IS YOUR SPECIAL WONDER WOMAN SKILL?
Tough question! I would say I am good at communicating and sorting problems out. I can talk myself into and out of things pretty well!
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU WOULD HAVE GIVEN YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Don’t have doubts especially with yourself. The mind is very good at making you question if you are doing the right thing. Go with your gut feeling, especially with this line of work. I have always been interested in marketing and media and wish I had harnessed this interest at an earlier age. So, my best advice is ignoring the doubtful part of your mind and go for it!
Feeling inspired? Read another Wonder Woman interview