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Everybody Loves A First Time


Lana Hilton the person and Lana Hilton ‘The First Timer’ have their similarities but they are two different people.

Who: Lana Hilton

What: The First Timer

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Lana Hilton the person (and yes, I am related to the massive Hotel empire) is a bit of wanderer. I am an eldest child from rural Sydney and I much prefer the quieter, snake-infested farmlands to the busy, no-time-for-talk streets of the city. I especially enjoy living in the bush because I have been part of the Rural Fire Service for over 10 years and can’t imagine staying away from the delicious smell that is burning wood and scrubs. Also the people I work with are some of my oldest friends. Over the years I have started a lot of projects and had my fair share of ‘revelations’ on how I was to make my mark on the world. I usually get to a point where if it requires more effort and cuts into my precious TV time then my enthusiasm wavers and eventually ceases altogether.

This will not be the case with The First Timer. This time I am making goals, enrolling in classes and looking at the bigger picture.

The First Timer is a concept that wants to celebrate people’s achievements, disasters, awakenings and efforts. It may have started a little on the selfish side before I chastised myself and finally took on board the tips and tricks I’d been reading about on successful blogging – did you know blogs that actually make a difference and have a ‘call to action’ are more popular than the ones which put themselves on parade and expect the world to applaud? Heard it here first.

Long-term I hope to write a book with ‘first times’ from around the world.

What would I write about you?

2. Is The First Timer your first blog?

My very first blog was in response to a radio competition to become a music blogger who travelled to three massive festivals in Europe and Japan and reported back everything there was to know about the events. You had to write a CV as if you were applying for a job and give it a bit of an edge. I had never blogged before and I used the site to showcase the quirky, up-for-anything side of my personality hoping that where I lacked in experience I would make up for it with bursts of enthusiasm and creativity.

Sadly, I did not win the competition but overall I was impressed with my tenacity to achieve something that was completely unfamiliar to me. The seeds of blogging had been planted.

 3. Where did the idea for The First Timer come from?

I’d have to read back through my notes to find out exactly, but I believe it came about in a daydream or night-dream when I was reading ‘The Power of Influence’ by Sarah Prout, a book about social media and how to jump on the website/blog bandwagon and start making a bit of money for yourself online. I took notes on every chapter and once The First Timer idea appeared I started applying what I’d learnt bit by bit. The book definitely inspired me.

4. Which is your favourite post to date?

I discovered my passion for writing when I started a travel blog last year when I was working in Santorini, Greece for the summer. At first it was a way to upload photos and so my family could see the reason I didn’t plan on coming home anytime soon (Greece = Amazing!), however, when I found myself making notes each day and capturing a bit more about what I felt and not just what I did I really started to enjoy it. My favourite post is from this blog and is called ‘The Accident’ and it involves a Superhero-bike-riding-nutella-croissant-catastrophe. You know how you sometimes read stories and you think ‘that can’t be real, how do these unusual events just happen to people?’ Even while it was happening to me I still couldn’t believe it.

 5. What are your goals for the blog?

I’ll admit I have faltered in sticking to my short term goal of one post a week on my blog. I had hoped for an even amount of my ‘first times’ and other people’s ‘first times’ and so far the numbers have been fairly right, just not as often as I’d hoped. With a full-time job and two volunteer jobs I find it hard to fit everything in. I have changed my goals so there is less pressure on me, I know things aren’t going to happen overnight and its ok if it takes a year or two for this concept to make its way around the world.

I am now striving to have more contact with people on Twitter, Facebook and through my blog so that people will take more note of their own ‘first times’ and share them with me. This involves more updates and links to pages or stories I see which relate to The First Timer or are even just good for a giggle – I’ve found Hootsuite really helps me with this because I can schedule updates for a couple of days.

Long-term, I mentioned I’d like to write a book.

6. Do you plan to monetize? How?

I was going to add this to the above question as another long-term goal has been floating around in my head the past week or so. If I plan to monetize – which I am not 100% sure I will – but I could set up a site that offers people the ‘first time’ activity they’ve been wanting. There are lots of sites out there already offering experiences and my concept can relate to them, whether if stand out on my own or am just affiliated with them.

7. What challenges have you faced establishing the blog?

Time and hunger. Having the time to exact the many concoctions you’ve dreamt up overnight or have been working on for a while, and having the hunger to carry them out and see the finished product.

Acceptance is another challenge I am currently attempting to overcome. Blogging isn’t my career or life (just yet) and it’s ok to have a break from it every now and then. Besides, if I am not living my life I wont have much to blog about!

8. How has having the blog improved your life?

It has made me aware of the passion I have for writing. Practice makes perfect and I feel my skills are improving the more I read and write. It has made me feel special which is why I’d like to tell other people’s stories if they’ll let me, so they can feel special too.


The best way to contact Lana is….

Twitter: @thefirsttimer


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