Bonjour, Blogger! : Danielle
Location: Hampshire, UK
Blog URL: fluffycandyuk.blogspot.co.uk
What is your blog about? I describe it as a beauty, travel and lifestyle blog. I’ve also thrown in a few bits and pieces about development and marketing to help other bloggers.
Is this your first blog? No, I used to run a personal blog many moons ago but this is my sole focus at present.
When did you start your current blog? End of August 2013 so it’s only a few weeks old :)
What made you do it? I trained to be a journalist and always had dreams of writing for a living. The way life panned out didn’t quite go this way for me but I’m still quite a creative person who likes writing. My main idea behind starting up was just to get writing again and then, if it goes anywhere, hopefully turn it into my income. I’ve got a few ideas I’m working out with some friends of mine so there’s hopefully a few big things to come!
What was your first blog post about? My first blog post was about setting goals, I wrote about five goals I wanted to achieve, how I was going to achieve them and by when. Some of them are to do with writing, some with travel and some a bit more about personal growth. I thought it was a great way to start off as then, as my journey continues, I can always see what I wanted to start with and how far I’ve come.
What do you think is the most useful tool to you as a blogger? Social media. This is twofold, number one, it’s an audience, a community. It’s a great way of creatively sharing ideas, finding out about new products and promoting our writing to other like minded people. It gives you a direct line to people and brands that, ten years ago, would never have been accessible. The second reason is it gives you a platform to promote yourself, drive traffic to your site and start building up a demographic that you can then develop and work on your site with.
Do people in your “real life” know about your blog? No, not at present. I’m quite shy about my writing and I feel like maybe I wouldn’t speak so freely if I had people I know reading it. That being said as I develop my blog and start to gather momentum I will begin to tell people and direct them to it so they can see what I’ve achieved!
If no, why? Do you purposefully keep it a secret? Not purposefully as such (see previous answer). I’d rather have an established blog with loads of content and some followers before I introduced it to my friends and family. I feel there is a stigma in some cases with the term “blogger” like it’s not a real job and I want to be able to prove to them, when I do reveal, that actually it’s a pretty important platform in today’s digital age.
What has been the one thing (blog post, project, etc) you’ve been really proud of? Well, there’s something I’m working on at the moment with some people both online and offline that is making me very excited. It’s still very much in the planning stages but the knowledge I’ve been able to share and skills I’ve developed as a writer and as a sales/marketing person in my real life job have made me really proud of what I’ve learnt over the last few years.
Where do you see your blog in a year? I’d like it to be a regular, consistent place where people come for great content, amusing writing and interesting topics. I would love to have been able to make the jump to advertise for people and give them great traffic and a fantastic return as well.
What do you wish you knew when starting your blog? I wish I knew that I didn’t have to IMMEDIATELY find myself a niche. The beauty blogging world is so varied and diverse that everybody has their own, quite distinctive voice. I put off launching my blog for ages worrying that I wasn’t “different” enough but actually being pretty average is a great asset because you have such a broad appeal to all sorts of people.
What do you wish you know about now? I wish I was more savvy with the latest things that are coming out. Unless you are very quick or have a direct link into many companies by the time you actually receive or purchase a product to review you are a bit behind the curve. The more I develop though I think the easier it will be!
How do you keep motivated to post? This is a tricky one. I LOVE writing and I LOVE trying out new products and have loads of ideas. The biggest distraction in my life is actually my husband who will try and encourage me to watch TV or just chill out with him. I’ve had to sit down with him and specify that I will be spending X amount of time doing my blog and then it’s our time. In some respects blogging is like having another job and you just have to set the time to do it. You will only get out as much as you put in and if you have big plans you have to put in the graft.
Anything else you’d like to add? Just how friendly and helpful everybody has been since I started. Sites like Bonjour,Blogger! and other people’s experience posts have been invaluable for setting up timescales, goals and tips. I would never have known about affiliates and how to use them and the custom design I’ve had from Serena over at Pretty Wild Things has been amazing.
The network is big and there are so many people supporting each other, it’s a great community to be a part of!