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: Sylvia Sparkles
My story with Sylvia begins back in September when I took a Fashion Journalism course at Condé Nast College. During my time there, I attended a lecture from full-time blogger, Monica Welburn, who really inspired me to take my blog further. I left Condé Nast full of ambition and a desire to know more. And I had an idea…
I got back in touch with Monica and asked her whether I could shadow her. I wanted to know more about what a typical day looks like. Unfortunately, we were unable to make this happen as she’s based out of London. But Monica – being the amazingly supportive mentor that she is – got me in touch with Sylvia Dennis (aka Sylvia Sparkles), a jet-setting travel and style blogger.
Luckily for me, Sylvia was more than happy to take me under her wing and we set up a day to meet.
Lesson learned: never be too afraid to ask!
Sylvia came up with the brilliant idea of having me along for one of her press days. This meant I’d be running around London all day, getting sneak-peeks of the newest collections from fashion and beauty brands. We managed to pack so much into one day and my head was full of ideas. Good job I always carry a notebook. I also came away with some lovely goodie bags which was obviously an amazing perk…
5 Things I learnt from Sylvia
I had the whole day to bombard Sylvia with my questions – and there were a lot of them – but she happily obliged, being the self-confessed chatterbox that she is. I’ve whittled down this fountain of knowledge into 5 pieces of advice that you can take away today:
- Treat other bloggers as colleagues, not competitors. Unfortunately, the more successful you get the more likely you are to start acting entitled. Sylvia has managed to stay down-to-earth, appreciating all the opportunities she gets. She keeps in touch with other bloggers and invites them along to events. And people return the favour, meaning everyone helps each other succeed rather than trying to compete ruthlessly.
- Get in touch with brands first. Sylvia didn’t wait around for brands to come knocking, she went there first. She’s not afraid to get in touch and ask for collaborations. Not everyone says yes, but at least they’ll know you exist if something does become available. This also means you’re more likely to work with brands that you genuinely love. On that note, you shouldn’t be afraid to turn down opportunities that don’t fit your style. Stay relevant.
- Colour co-ordinate with your surroundings! This was a funny little insight into the way a fashion blogger thinks. Sylvia often stops suddenly in the middle of the street to snap a picture of something that catches her eye – be it a coloured wall, an idyllic looking blossom tree or an intricate iron gate. She keeps these photos on her phone as reminders of streets in London she could use as locations. She also likes to look up the decor of a restaurant she’ll be reviewing so she can match her outfit to it – no detail is too small!
- Create a schedule for emails and social media engagement. Sylvia stresses the importance of keeping in touch with her followers. They’ve taken the time to appreciate your work and you should show some appreciation back. It helps in creating a loyal following and keeps the conversation and interactivity going. Sylvia sets aside her Mondays to dedicate to emails and comments.
- Network, network, network! The internet is a huge place where it’s difficult getting noticed. Nothing beats meeting people in real life and building real relationships. Look for local events and go alone if you have to, it’ll push you to socialise and new make connections. Stay in touch with the people you meet, you never know who may come in handy in future.
10 Questions with Sylvia Sparkles
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
I would totally go to Bali! My list is very long but Bali is no.1…
What is your favourite London spot at the moment?
Regent’s Park for the cherry blossoms – a quiet haven in the busy city.
How would you describe your style?
Feminine and casual. I like thin pieces of jewellery and curly hair with a cute dress, but occasionally ditching the dress for skinny jeans and heels.
You love Gossip Girl, who is your favourite character and why?
Blair Waldorf. Partially because I was a bit of a bitchy, gossip girl in high school … Also because we all have a Chuck Bass in our closet. And because she is empowered, knows exactly what she wants and goes for it no matter what, and that is so me.
Who is your celebrity role model and why?
Emma Watson, we all love Harry Potter, she has grown to be a stunning, beautiful woman and a female hero for all of us ladies out there! #girlboss
What are your top 3 favourite blogs to read?
What brand would you love to work with that you haven’t yet?
Where do you draw inspiration from?
My travels, the landscape scenery that I see everyday. Also, Pinterest (duh), magazines and also other blogs.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I moved from my country (France) when I was only 18 and even if it was the best thing ever, it’s sometimes hard to be far from friends and family. So someone once told me, “If you are not happy where you are, move. You are not a tree.” It’s so true. We have the luxury of going anywhere in the world nowadays and we should enjoy it!
Also “do what you love in life.” I believe in doing what you love on a daily basis.
Any words of wisdom for new bloggers?
Work harder and harder everyday … it’s not easy but the ride is so worth it! Blogging is a beautiful world and you will get to meet some incredible people along the journey.
If you liked this post, check out: Blogger Of The Month: My London Dream
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