New feature alert: The Interview
Now there are many things that I love about blogs- the fact that I can get some awesome style inspiration quicker than I can skip down to my local newsagents, how easy it is to gain great, knowledgeable advice on a range of products and discover great new writers with a simple tap on my keyboard. But I think often the most interesting aspects of blogs are the people behind them. So today, I'm starting a new series of posts interviewing some of my favorite bloggers, to find out just a little bit more about them and give an insight into the blogging world. First up, the lovely Em Sheldon from EmTalks, a beauty and lifestyle blog that's one of my must-reads...
There are many lifestyle blogs out there, but yours definitely has a personal touch that makes it stand out. Do you think this has contributed to your success, and how do you achieve this?
I just write as if I'm chatting to my friends, I guess that's what a blog is all about. I don't think a blog should be like an English literature essay, it should be easy to read and relaxing. I read blogs which have nice photos and where I can really connect with the author. I like to think that I'm really down to Earth on my blog, so hopefully people can connect with me too. A blog really is just your own little space on the internet though, so you can write it however you like. I know that a lot of people do enjoy my blog because of the personal touch, I’ve had a lot of emails from lovely readers about that so I guess it has helped yes.
The aesthetic of your blog is very clean and simple. Do you think this is important for attracting readers?
Thank you, yes I do. When I first started blogging my blog was so ugly, so I decided to just make it modern and easy to use. I think ease of use is really important. But again, it’s your personal space so it depends - if you love pink, go for a bright pink blog - your blog should show your personality and in terms of decor/interior/design, I've always been a minimalist.
You seem to have achieved the tricky job of balancing your blog as both an online diary and a place to post honest reviews. Do you ever worry about blog posts becoming too personal, or too generic?
Ah, yeah this was difficult to do, but to be honest, I never wanted to be just a beauty blogger. I feel like I do so much stuff that I want to share with the world. I absolutely love beauty blogs, but I feel like as a girl, we do so much more than just use make up. We go out for nice meals, cocktails, dates but also we have horrible experiences which if we discuss them, can maybe help other girls in the same situation. I decided that most girls who love beauty, will also love going for drinks and will appreciate nice food, so I generally do around 80% beauty and the rest lifestyle. Primarily I am a beauty blog, but I love to dip into lifestyle posts here and there, it also makes my blog more personal. I did a post about how I overcame bitchiness and bullying which was very well received and it took me a lot to write it.
Do you like to write when you get inspired or stick to a strict blogging schedule?
It really is just when inspiration comes. I've done a lot of scheduling on the train before and then got home and deleted it all and started again because it's just too robotic, I like to just go with the flow and really go off on a tangent.
What are your favorite types of posts to write?
I like doing in depth reviews, but then at the moment I’m loving doing travel, I love taking my camera out and taking lovely photos and letting people see a place through my eyes. Watch this space on the travel front!
Do you feel doing a media related degree has benefited your blog?
Not really whatsoever, I started my blog to get into Uni. It's a bit of a random degree and we don't really do much about the media, it's more law, politics and then TV and radio. I wish we did blogging but no one on my course has a blog either which surprised me, just me I think!
You've been quite pro-active in the blogging community, organising meet-ups. What has this been like?
I've met some great girls. I didn't get anything out of organising my meet up in terms of money, I purely organised it for other girls in the North; I brought together girls who had been speaking online for years and it was worth it all just to see how well everyone got along. It was nice to be able to bring such a large community together but if you set your mind to it, you can do anything. I've always loved organising things and helping people so I thought that was a great opportunity to have a great girls day, I didn't realise just how many people would turn up. I'd love to do another one but it really was a lot of pressure/stress organising the whole thing by myself for over 70 attendees so maybe in the future we will have another #northmeetup!
For you, what has been the main benefit of blogging?
I think the main benefit of blogging is been able to get my truthful opinion across. There are too many celebrities who are paid to tell you that something is good and magazines are probably the same in some ways. I just feel like you shouldn't trick the consumer, particularly when they're loyal readers who put their faith and trust into you, so that's why I am always 100% honest on my blog with everything I review or discuss. Also, I've met some absolutely lovely friends through blogging which really makes it great. I've also been lucky enough to go to some fantastic events and work with some lovely brands but seriously, meeting some life-long friends through blogging has to be the top of my list.
Do you plan on developing your YouTube channel alongside your blog?
Yes yes yes! That's my goal this summer. I'd love to know what people want to see from me. I've been doing fitness videos at the moment as lots of people requested them.
Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years time?
I will have finished University so hopefully I will have done a year abroad, gained lots of work experience and have grown my blog enough to be doing it as a full time career and living the life of a freelance journalist!
Check out Em's blog here at EmTalks, her YouTube channel here, or tweet her @emshelx.
(All picture credits go to Em.)
(All picture credits go to Em.)