Hey all! You may have noticed I’ve not been posting as regularly around here, and it’s because I’ve been so busy at weekends that I’ve not had time to really catch up on blogging. I didn’t want to leave you in the lurch so I asked one of my fave bloggers, Karen from Style Sunrise, if she’d be interested in doing a Q&A and she said yes, so here we are!
What inspired you to start a blog, and is that the same reason that keeps you going?
After graduating with a degree in Psychology, I decided post-uni was the time to travel. After 2 months exploring Sri Lanka and Thailand, I returned home to ‘sort my life out’. To then find an opportunity to travel around China several months time came up, which obviously I couldn’t say no to. It was awkward timing to secure a job when I was going to swan off on another adventure, so, while building general experience, I started my blog. I guess I was finding my feet, exploring what I wanted to do and wanted to feel productive with my time.
This isn’t the same reason as I’ve now landed a social media role, but it’s still as much of a fun hobby now as it was back then.
What is the best thing to happen to you as a result of blogging?
I guess the fact it helped me decide which path to take and which direction to head in. Without sounding like I’m bragging, I finally felt I had found something I was good at. At school, I was terrible at the creative subjects like art and music (aka I used hide in the practice rooms), but blogging has made me realise I am actually creative, just in different ways.
Do you have a favourite type of post to write?
Despite them taking longer, I adore creating fashion/outfit posts. I like venturing out to find the ‘perfect’ backdrop, the fun taking the photos, and experimenting with different styles. I find fashion posts persuade you to search through your wardrobe, which leads to rediscovering lost items.
How do you stay motivated when it comes to maintaining your blog?
I’m lucky in that I still thoroughly enjoy writing posts and never see it as a chore. It’s sometimes hard to put time aside, but I’ve still managed to never feel forced to post. I feel it’s easy to obsess over a consistent schedule, but there really is nothing wrong with taking a break if you need to.
How do you balance regular, frequent blogging with working full time and having an actual social life?
This I struggle with and, since landing my job, my respect for those who blog daily while working full time has rocketed. I’d say scheduling ahead and organising are key. I pretty much have a list for all of my lists.
Is there anything that you dislike or find difficult about blogging?
A lot of well-established bloggers comment on how the community has turned competitive and, despite only blogging for just over a year, I feel I’ve seen a difference too. I just completely ignore it and stay away from snide comments (whilst finding any pettiness pretty amusing). So what if you’re not the next Zoella?
What is your favourite part about blogging?
This is a toughie as I genuinely can’t decide between creating the posts and interacting. I’ve learnt so much with photography and become so much more comfortable in front of a camera, plus I’ve rediscovered my love for writing. However, it wouldn’t be what it is without all of the lovely people who engage with my posts. I love the interaction and some of the people I’ve met through this journey are now what I’d class as best friends! <3
Your photography is always crystal clear. What camera do you use, and what are your top tips for bloggers wanting to improve their photography?
I often receive compliments on my photography and when I whack my camera out at events. It’s all down to the Canon IXUS 240 (I think there’s newer models out now) and I seriously love it. It’s compact, portable and the quality is fab!
To improve photography, as well as the typical upping the brightness and contrast, explore different angles. I find photography is more about experimenting and learning through practise. After all, looking back at older photos and how you’ve progressed is a great representation of your blogging journey (despite some cringing).
What do you look out for in other blogs/ bloggers?
Definitely personality. A blog post that leaves me grinning from ear to ear is a definite winner. As well as this, I love when a blogger is an interactive member of the community. I love connecting with them on a personal level and when they’re involved it definitely helps me keep them in mind.
Who are your favourite bloggers out there, any why?
A blog I read daily is Miss Makeup Magpie – I totally admire her for posting so frequently, yet her posts always remain in-depth and of high quality. Whenever I head there, there’s always a new post. Also, I can’t not mention Mascara & Maltesers – her photograph is seriously top notch!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting a blog?
Do it for the right reasons: because you love it. Keep your expectations realistic; blogging is time-consuming and hard work! And never, ever compare yourself to well-established bloggers – everyone’s journey is different.