Blogging Q&A

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Today is a bit of a big deal for me. After graduating two years ago (two whole friggin’ years o m g) I am going back to talk at my old university, London College of Communication, UAL #reprezent.

I remember so clearly when people from the industry would pop to our lectures and take over for an hour. They would chat to us about their experiences, sharing wisdom, tips and advice, leaving me feeling motivated and ready to go get ’em. Today I am going to be one of those speakers, how did that happen?

I’m not gonna sugar coat it, the years following uni are tough. Endless internships, little money, LOTS of tea making, temp jobs (Elf), more bladdy internships and a job in PR for a year. Life also happens. Your mind changes, so does your values and the realisation that what matters is you, not anyone else.

Because, in the midst of the hustle I realised that an office job wasn’t what I wanted. I dreaded the rush hour commute, the desk lunches, the pressure. I just didn’t feel passionate about my job. I didn’t work my bootay off for a promotion, I didn’t have the thirst to climb the ranks because my heart wasn’t in it. And at 22 I wasn’t up for living everyday not the way I wanted, working for something I didnt actually want, letting my dreams and passions slip.

SO here I am today, about to go back and chat about my experiences and hopefully inspire others. One of my lecturers, Nicola sent me a brief to chat with the students about with room for questions at the end. I know, I am not a big blogger by any means, but I just bloody love it. I always like hearing other peoples perspectives on blogging and the industry, so I thought you might wanna hear mine.

Let’s get to it!

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Q1:

HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH ORIGINAL CONTENT?

When I first started my blog I mainly wrote about cake. Literally, I think all my posts were some sort of bake / recipe. I had a radio show so a cheeky website was a perf way to keep my recipes incase any listeners asked. My main advice is to keep in mind that everyone is interesting. Everyone has something to share that people would love to read about. The most successful blogs out there have a bit of a niche, a specific interest of particular lifestyle. Also, people are bladdy nosy, they want to know about you, so don’t be afraid to get personal.

Q2:

TIPS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR OWN STYLE (PHOTOGRAPHY)?

I wrote a whole post about my photography tips here. However I think it is important to have a specific style when it comes to photography. Whether that is a certain way of editing, a particular way you put your pictures together #flatlay hehe, or maybe you add illustration to your images. Something that makes your photos recognisable to others as being yours is what ya want to aim for. I reckon that finding a photography style is best done through Instagram as it is the most visual platform. It can be a great way to establish your style, then carry it over to your blog, too.

For example, my photos are pretty light and bright, I use the same filter on all of em’ and I try to aim for similar subjects (ahem, brunch / foodie flat lays) hehe. I’m at missimmymay if ya wanna find me.

immymay

Here are some of my faves…

LITTLE MISS KATY

misskatyenglish

ANNA RICKETTS

annarickets

JORDAN BUNKER

jordanbunker

SHINY THOUGHTS

shinythoughts

Can you see their theme?

Instagram is also a great way to get involved with the community and grow your following. I would recommend this coruse from a great lady called Alex Tooby, it is FAB way to establish what your theme is, and how to stick to it.

Q3:

HOW DO YOU CREATE ‘LIFESTYLE’?

It’s quite funny how much prep that goes into creating a natural lifestyle shot. From rushing around collecting props to create a flatlay, having cupboards full of  wrapping paper / tea towels / tile samples and succulent plants all over the shop.

When it comes to cooking shots, ideally it is great to have a helping hand. Persuading my boyfriend to help take a birds eye view shot above to capture the cooking in action is perfect, but sometimes ya gotta play around with what you have. Helloooo self timer / aching arms >:)

When creating your blog post, building context around your subject is a great way to create lifestyle. If you love posting about fashion, alter your post so you aren’t JUST talking about the outfit. Maybe you were in a particular location you love to go, or a coffee spot / cake shop you discovered. This will give more depth and context, thus creating lifestyle! (ahem, when do I ever say ‘thus’ lol).

Ask your pals for help. I am lucky that my bro is a photographer and is kind enough to take some shots for me in exchange for lunch, or my boyfriend or chums. Shooting a bunch of candid shots taken by your pals can do amazing things for your blog/Instagram, rather than posed self timer shots / selfies infront of my white curtain lol, what kinda lifestyle is that?

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^ V. candid shot teehee.

Q4:

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GROW AN AUDIENCE?

One of the best bits of blogging is the lovely people who read it. I know everyone says this, but it isn’t an over night ting.

It takes months, years to grow a loyal, organic following. My main tip is to interact with the community. Share the love, comment on pictures, blog posts and add a link so they can find you. Not only have you probably made their day, but you might now have a new reader too.

I make sure I dedicate part of my day to just pure interaction, reading and watching content, reaching out to people, replying to every comment. It can be very time consuming and there isn’t an easy way around that (ahem, DON’T buy followers whatever ya do) but it is SO worth it in the end.

Q5:

HOW TO EARN DOLLAR AND GROW BRAND RELATIONSHIPS?

This point is bonus. Once you had established what your blog is all about, have a lovely audience and brands begin to contact you it is fab. I am on a database called ‘Gorkana’ which is a great platform for brands to find you. when working in PR, I used to have spreadsheet after spreadsheet of bloggers I would mainly source through Gorkana.

I would also suggest reaching out to brands you love, especially if you have a corker of a blog post idea to pitch to them! Suggest to meet for coffee perhaps or just start the conversation, you never know what opportunities may come from it.

The main way I earn a bit of dollar is via sponsored posts. This is when a brand with pay you to either write a post about a new product, or will commission you to post a series of Instagram pictures. Make sure you are selective with who you work with, with everything – stay true to your own brand and keep your readers at the front of your mind, always!

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At the end of the day, blogging is a really fun journey. A lovely way to make new pals all over the world, take opportunities and have all your memories somewhere you can cherish forever.

Any Q’s ya may have just ask, I’m here aaaaaall day.

Thanks for having me back LCC!

Ix

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  • Laura Torninoja

    Such a lovely, informative post! You write in such a friendly way, I love it :) I’m definitely gonna go check out Alex Tooby’s tips too as I’m always looking to learn more about how to be better at Instagram and photographing in general. It’s so hard this time of year with basically no light – with a full time job it’s basically impossible to take pictures during the week so I’m cramming everything into my weekends like a maniac :D Could summer come back please?! x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Thank you so much Laura, that really means a lot to me :) Definitely head over and check it out, I found it so useful! It is a little instalment each day, super easy to follow! I KNOW such a blogger woe, gotta get going on the weekends but it is really hard to adjust to! YES PLEEEEASE! I can’t bloomin’ wait! Immy x

  • Great post! Thank you so much, it was honestly really helpful and I am glad I read it :) I like reading your posts, so nothing new on that front. But obviously others have posted about this and some just seem to be written pretty much the same and yeah I really liked yours :) Thank you so much again! xxx
    And the instagrams you posted are gorgeous!
    Love,
    Jenny

    Jenny Side Up

    • I am so so happy you found it helpful Jenny! I know what you mean, it can be same old same old when it comes to advice. I hope it kinda makes sense, I just poured my mind onto the keyboard a bit. I will try to get a few more blog advice kinda posts up soon hehe :) Thank you so much for commenting! Immy x

  • ninegrandstudent

    Such a good post! I have to admit I feel like I’m becoming a bit disillusioned with blogging but this brought a bit of the excitement back! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

    • Thank you so much Chloe :) I know what you mean, it can sometimes be easy to get a bit disillusioned and lose yourself slightly in it all, sometimes good to put things in perspective! SO happy it got your excitement back! :) Immy x

  • Great post! Congrats on going full time as a blogger and following your dream! I’m sure it’s a lot of work but totally worth it! x

    http://pollyrowan.com/

    • Thank you my love :) Ah unfortunately I’m not quite the sassy full time blogger yet, fingers crossed one of these days! Hope you are well Polly… And enjoying summer! Immy x

  • That’s so cool that you were asked to speak! Well done :) these are great tips! I definitely need to find a style and niche but then I’m quite happy bumbling along at the moment haha. I also could do with more of a helping hand, my other half is very good at refusing to take photos for me… I think I’m slowly getting there but we shall see… xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    • I was so much fun, really odd to be back! Thank you, glad you found them useful :) It can be difficult with the ole niche, but whatever works for you and makes you happy will be the same for everyone else :) Oh man, it is such a pain! Matt is just about getting used to it haha, my brother gave me a tripod the other day… I tink that may have been a hint haha! Immy x

  • Erin Russell

    love the post, so informative :) Your blog layout is stunning, so so beautiful to navigate! Now following you on BL to keep updated :)
    Erin || MakeErinOver

    • Thank you lovely lady :) That means a lot! My designers are fab (Pipdig) all their layouts are really beautiful. Woo! Thank you, I will follow you too! Really, really need to get the hang of all this Bloglovin’ stuff! Immy x

  • Great post! I’m not just saying that, I really mean it! I’ve been so terrified to start writing again for fear that I won’t have time to keep it up. To be honest I have no idea what I’m so scared of but I’m trying to figure it out haha.
    This inspired me to start again because I have nothing to loose. Stay tuned in the next few weeks, you never know what I’ll come up with ;)

    • Eeeep thank you Caroline :) SO happy you have found it useful, I sometimes feel that I am not at the position to actually give advice yet – as I still really need it myself haha! I know, it is a weird mix of commitment / writers block and all sorts but you are so right. I think it is totally healthy to take a bit of a break to gain some perspective and become inspired :) YES! do it, and send me your link so I can have a read too! Immy x

  • Peppermint Dolly

    Thoroughly enjoyed your post!! Great points :-)

    Rebecca
    xx
    http://www.peppermintdolly.com

    • Thank you so much Rebecca! I may do a few more bloggy type posts in the near future! :) Thanks for stopping by lovely lady. Immy xxx

  • Hayley Rubery

    I absolutely LOVED this post lady! I have always enjoyed your content and adore your photography too! Thanks so much for the e-course tip – have just signed up :)

    Hayley xo
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

    • Thank you Hayley! :) It is always lovely to have snaps by Oscar on here! No worries, it is so helpful – you will love it! Immy x

  • it is so great that you’re going back to talk at your university! i hope it goes well! <3

    Abigail Alice x

    • Thank you Abigail, it was such an honor to be asked back. It was wonderful, so nostalgic! Immy x

  • Ellie Adams

    Immy you little babe, this is such a great post! How amazing that you’re going back to talk at your uni, such a huge achievement and something you’ll feel amazing about after doing too. Loved your Q&A, I literally second everything you said! <3

    Elle
    http://www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

    • Ooooh thenk u Ellie mi love :) It was such an honor to go back, it made me feel like I might actually be doing something right! Thank you, that really means a lot. Need to see you soooon! Immy x

  • Congrats on getting to go back and give a talk! That’s a really awesome thing to do! x

    • Ah thank you Amanda, it was such a great day and I was really touched to be asked back to talk! It was so strange to return to a place where I spent SO much of my time, it was like nothing had changed! Thank you for stopping by lady :) Immy x

  • The Sunday Mode

    It’s been 2 years since I finished my uni degree too and I have moved onto my passion of blogging as well, it incorporates so many things that I love in life. My thoughts about a desk job and my lack of passion in that area are like yours so I liked reading your well expressed thoughts on how you have come to do this too :) I think it is such an honour to get invited to talk at you uni and I bet the students will get a lot from it and really appreciate it.

    http://www.thesundaymode.com

    • So glad you are on my wave length lovely lass, it is so important to realise what it is that keeps you inspire and run with it. It can be hard to take such a leap in your career but I think it is worth it :) It was SUCH an honor, the students enjoyed it which made me happy – hopefully it was helpful for them! Immy x

  • Commenting and reading other blogs is the best way to get new readers. What is really annoying though is when people clearly haven’t read your post and just write great post and link their blog… ugh so irritating!
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.com/

  • Cute post!

    NatalyG.co.uk

    • Thank you so much Nataly! Immy x

  • Jasmin N

    Wonderful post! Btw, baking & cakes = Loving it!

    ♥ Jasmin N
    Little Things With Jassy
    Bloglovin’

    • Thank you Jasmin :) Aaaaaaall about the cake… Need to do more of it! Immy x

  • I really liked reading this and am trying to get better at networking with other bloggers this year! I’m such a lurker so 2017 is going to be about actually announcing my presence and commenting on the blogs I love reading all the time. You have beautiful photos, btw!

    • Ah I am so glad you enjoyed reading lovely lady :) Me too! I really want to actually start going for drinks / brunch etc with other bloggers, it is so nice to actually become more involved in the community. Thank you so much! Immy x

  • I recently found your blog and absolutely LOVE IT! How I coped without it before, I’ll never know!

    I absolutely love all these tips and tricks. I am an old blogger from years ago, who has started out a fresh and still trying to generate an audience and find what makes me, me! It’s tricky but all I know is that, when I don’t blog, I miss it and think about it far too much!
    As for photos, I have TRILLIONS of photos of me, other people and places I’ve visited (wanna be photographer alert) but struggle to find pictures for generic posts. Plus, I’m not sure everyone wants to see a candid photo of me on every post – it’s a trick one!

    Thanks for all the tips – it’s definitely one of the better blogging tips posts I’ve see around these parts!
    Sarah :)
    from exquisite perspectives

    • Justine Machin

      🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

  • Justine Machin

    I can’t believe I’m only just discovering your blog!! This particular post was recommended via Sarah of Exquisite Perspectives. I’m so glad I read it. Definitely made me feel motivated and inspired. Once I have more of a budget (so I can buy a camera) I’m hoping to come up with my own theme/style for photos. For now I just sort of do the best I can with what I have xxx

    • ooooooooooh hello Justine! So happy to have you here :) I am really, really glad this post has sparked some motivation! Yes it is absolutely with working with what you have, you can do amazing things simply with any phone camera! :) The only thing I struggle with is the bloomin’ light in winter time! I hope you are well lovely lass, happy belated new year! Immy x