For me, starting a new blog was daunting. I didn’t know the first thing about it and I’m still learning new things all the time. I’ve always wished that I had a blogging ‘big sister’ that could help me out with all my questions, which is how the idea for this feature came about.
Each month I’ll be chatting to an upcoming blogger about their personal journey and it’ll be an opportunity to share their tips and advice. So whether you’re new to this or simply looking to find other great bloggers out there, I hope you find these posts helpful as well as inspiring.
This month: What She Does Now
I first came across Amy’s blog back in 2014 when I nominated her for the Liebster Award – an award given within the blogging community to help discover new bloggers. I could instantly recognise Amy’s talent for well-informed, quality posts, brimming with personality. From her writing, you get a sense of someone friendly, approachable and fun, making her blog as likeable as her.
It’s been great to see how What She Does Now has grown since its creation in 2013 from a modest fashion & beauty blog being noticed by the online community, into a rising success having been nominated for both Best Content and Best Beauty Blog by two Irish blog award organisations. Clearly, she’s doing something right and us newbies could learn a thing or two from Amy…
How did What She Does Now come about? And tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the name.
I started What She Does Now in November 2013 after reading different fashion and beauty blogs for years and always wanting to start my own. I’d just started studying journalism in college, and basically decided to bite the bullet and go for it. I’ve always loved writing and wanted to have somewhere I could share things that I’m currently loving or whatever’s on my mind. Plus, it gave me an excuse for all the different beauty and fashion bits I was buying!
I wanted a blog name that didn’t restrict me to just one area as my interests are always changing. “What She Does Now” was actually my dad’s idea, and I loved it. It had a ring to it and was exactly what I wanted.
What inspires you to write?
Absolutely anything at all! It could be something I saw in a magazine, something one of my friends’ said or something that just pops into my mind. I’ve so many notes on my phone of different ideas! If I don’t write them down straight away I’ll forget them!
How would you describe your blogging style?
I like to put good, visually appealing images alongside my posts. That’s really important to me. I write as I talk – I want people to feel like they’re talking to a friend when they read my posts.
What do you find most rewarding about blogging?
There are lots of different things, but one of the best is when someone gives me a compliment about my blog or someone I meet tells me they read it. That makes me so happy! I put so much time and effort into it, it’s great to hear that people enjoy it. I love putting every post together and seeing it go live on the site, too.
What do you find the most challenging?
I try to make blogging as enjoyable as possible, as that’s what it has always been for me. Comparing myself or my blog to other bloggers or other blogs can really knock my confidence, so I avoid doing that as much as I can! The blogging community is absolutely huge, and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. However, I just keep putting out content that I enjoy, and hope other people will like it too. If I was to start thinking very strategically about what I post and how I post, it wouldn’t be fun anymore.
Do you have any design and layout tips for new bloggers?
I’d say start with WordPress. Apparently it’s much easier to use than Blogger. I’ve used WordPress ever since I started and I love it. A good, clean template that shows your personality always comes across well, too. After my first year I made my blog self-hosted so I was able to change more things about the layout. That’s not a necessary step, but I knew What She Does Now was going to be something I had and did for years, so I went ahead and did it. I’d also recommend Googling everything in relation to design and layout – someone always has the answer!
Do you work with any blogger programmes or brands and how did you first get involved with them?
I don’t work with any blogger programmes in particular, but I work with a few different brands. A lot of brands get in contact by email, but don’t be afraid to do a bit of research and find a brand’s PR company. If you think they fit well with your blog, drop them a friendly email telling them who you are. That way they’ll have you on their system and will know where to find you.
Who takes the majority of your photos?
I take every photo on my blog, unless it’s a wish list or gift guide. Taking photos to go alongside a post is one of my favourite parts! I use the Canon 1200D and a 50mm lens.
What do you think is the best strategy to get more traffic to your blog?
In terms of traffic, social media is a great tool. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are the platforms I use most to promote my blog and posts I’ve written. I try to show my personality and not be robotic or spammy!
What are your long-term blog goals?
I’m a big believer in setting goals. Ultimately my goal is for What She Does Now to become a business and my full-time job. If you can dream it, you can do it!
Please share with us your top three book-marked blogs
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Work hard, dream big, be kind and good things will happen!
Biggest lesson you have learnt yourself through blogging?
Blogging has made me grow so much as a person. I’m so dedicated to my blog, and I’ve really seen how important hard work is. I was so afraid of what other people might think when I started my blog, but now I am so so proud of it. It has gotten me where I am today and is such a big part of my life. (cheesy much?!)
Any inspiring words for aspiring bloggers out there?
If you want to start a blog, just do it! Don’t worry about what other people might think. I only told 3 people about my blog for the first eight months. Then I built it up and got it looking how I wanted it to, and then I told people. Blogging is still a relatively new thing, so if someone hears that you have a blog, most people think it’s amazing and so interesting.
I was worried at first that there were “too many” blogs out there, surely the world didn’t need another one? But then I thought: No one would ever say “Don’t write a book, there’s loads out there!” or “Don’t make a new film, sure we have enough!” No one ever says that! People always want new content, new people and new things!
Also, always write about what you want to write about. It’s easy to get sucked into what’s trending and what other people are writing about, but stay true to yourself and your blog. Always believe in yourself (and your blog!) Keep working at it, enjoy it and everything will fall into place.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post, please share your thoughts below! I’m always on the lookout for more great bloggers and I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below…
If you liked this post, check out: Blogger of the Month: My London Dream
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