Sometimes when life gets unexpectedly busy, as it has lately, I get frustrated that I can’t get everything done. I get particularly anxious when I don’t have enough time for blogging. When I fall behind with visiting other blogs and replying to comments I feel like a bad blogger. But even if I don’t reply to comments right away, I do read them on my phone, and believe me, I value every single one. I just hate typing on my phone – those tiny little keys aren’t made for big fingers!
Just when I was feeling guilty for neglecting the blog and not participating in link ups I had a lovely surprise from Bettye of Fashion Schlub. Bettye nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award, which cheered me up no end 🙂 It’s a great way for bloggers to get to know each other, as the passing of the baton involves giving nominees questions to answer. So here are Bettye’s questions…and my answers!
For how long have you been creating your current blog?
I started Style Splash in August 2011 at the age of 37. There weren’t too many over thirty bloggers then, and even fewer over forty bloggers. I didn’t want to make a big thing about my age, I just wanted to blog about fashion and personal style without any age preconceptions. But once I got into my forties I noticed that lots of other bloggers were highlighting their age, and it seemed to be their USP. So I thought well why not do that too? With age comes confidence, and I’m only too happy to disrupt outdated notions of (female) ageing. I’m sure more mature bloggers have contributed massively to challenging ideas of how older women should look and behave (certainly more than magazies ever have).
What is the most challenging aspect of blogging for you?
Definitely the technology aspect! When I first started blogging I was hosted on Typepad – big mistake! It took me several years to take the plunge and go self hosted but it was one of the best things I did. Fortunately, blogging is a very helpful community and there are plenty of Facebook groups that offer support. If in doubt, ask another blogger!
What is the greatest reward you get from blogging?
I’ve always loved fashion so getting to indulge in one of my favourite subjects with other like-minded ladies is tremendous fun! Of course, the best thing is making connections with other bloggers – I love blogger meet ups 🙂 Being part of this wonderful community has connected me with so many people I wouldn’t otherwise have met.
Blogging takes a lot of time. If you weren’t blogging, how would you be spending your time?
Well I need a creative pursuit of some kind or another, and before I started the blog I went to jewellery-making classes. Sadly I don’t really have the time to make jewellery much these days, but the urge is still there. I should probably schedule a couple of hours a week to devote to it. One of my other passions is music, and in my teens and twenties I played classical guitar and piano. Since Isobel started learning to play the guitar I’ve been picking it up again here and there. My husband would like me to start playing regularly again so I can serenade him with some Spanish music 🙂
An acquaintance of yours is interested in starting a blog. What advice do you give them?
Don’t be afraid of what other people may think! For years I was too embarrassed to tell friends, neighbours and colleagues that I blogged. It probably didn’t help that blogging was relatively little-known then. But now blogging is an established genre and telling people you’re a blogger is no longer met with blank stares. I would also say (and I’m very bad at this!) that you need to bang your drum and promote your content! Self-promotion doesn’t come easily to a lot of us, but if you go to the trouble of making great content you need to make sure it’s seen! Ok, I’m going to have to start taking my own advice on this one.
In terms of branding it’s important to use the same name across your social media platforms. Choose a distinctive and catchy blog name – I know that’s not easy when there are so many out there – and make that your handle on Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest etc. You want your readers to be able to find you easily, plus it helps to establish your brand and make you stand out.
Is there a blog you look to for inspiration?
There are so many! One of the first blogs I discovered was Elegantly Dressed and Stylish – Turning Heads was the first link up I particiated in! I started blogging round about the same time as Catherine (Not Dressed As Lamb) so I’ve followed her from the start. Both Jess and Catherine are fellow redheads (disclaimer: I’m really a brunette, but then I guess you knew that!) so we gravitate towards the same colours. I love fun outfits in bold, bright colours, so Sara is in Love With and Journey of a Stylist are endless sources of inspiration. For an all round fabulous blog covering fashion, wellness and travel, my hands down favourite is Alternative Ageing. Suzi is an amazing lady who travels solo and visits the most fabulous places. Her photos are stunning too.
Where do you see your blog in five years?
That’s a tough one! It’s difficult to foresee how blogging as a genre will develop, but I hope that it’s recognised as a genuine career choice and bloggers are given the credit they’re due. I’d like to turn Style Splash into another income stream with a view to making it my job. As a freelancer working in TV I never know how much work I’m going to get, and often it’s feast or famine. Having another income would make me feel a little more secure.
In terms of content, I’m gradually shifting more towards sustainable, slow fashion. I’ve been vegan for just over a year now, and while I concentrated on my diet at first, it inevitably led to wider changes. It’s an ongoing process of continual refinement, which I’m excited to share with my readers.
What do you feel sets your blog apart from the 9,375,109 other blogs out there?
Are there really that many?! It’s so hard to stand out from the millions of other blogs, but all I can do is be genuine and try my best to produce content that I’m proud of and that other people will hopefully enjoy reading.
Who in your life is your biggest blog supporter?
I have to say both my husband and daughter. Pete takes almost all of my photos, often standing outside in the freezing cold. He’s so used to me being welded to my laptop and phone now, I’m sure he’s given up all hope of us ever watching a boxset together in the evenings. Isobel takes a keen interest too and has appeared on the blog several times. She takes my photos sometimes and is surprisingly good considering she’s only nine. You gotta train ’em young!
What is your proudest blogging achievement?
I’d have to say modelling for the-Bias-Cut.com. When I started Style Splash I never thought I’d model for a website, I was so shy and awkward in front of the camera. The opportunites that come from blogging never cease to amaze me. And of course making the UK Blog Award finals has given me a huge boost. I really don’t expect to win, I’m just honoured to be on the list alongside seven other amazing ladies 🙂
So now onto my nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award!
Jacqui of MummabStylish
Anna of Mutton Years Style
Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
Ada of Elegance and Mommyhood
Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style
And my questions are:
- What prompted you to start blogging?
- Blogging is very time-consuming – how do you manage your time?
- Have you ever considered giving it up?
- How do you stay motivated?
- Do you have specific goals you’d like to achieve?
The rules for this award are as follows:
- Thank the person who nominated you, and include a link back to their blog.
- Answer the questions given by the person who nominated you.
- Nominate other blogs and give questions for them to answer.
- Notify your nominees through social media or by commenting on their blog.
- List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.
Thank you Bettye for nominating for the Sunshine Blogger Award, it’s been fun 🙂