Ever felt inspired to blog but didn’t know where to start or what to expect? Have you started a blog but felt like giving up?
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you three amazing interviews from bloggers who have been happy to share their top tips and advice for all the newbies out there. They’ve faced the highs and lows but never gave up, so if you’re in some need of some inspiration then keep your eyes peeled; this is…. Inspire Me To Blog!
This week we reached out to Arielle from ‘With All My Affection‘ for some top tips and advice. In February 2014 Arielle started her blog “With All My Affection” and has since gone on to become one of the fastest growing beauty/fashion blogs of 2014. With 3000 followers and an average of 67 comments per post in just over a year, you can rest assured that the advice Arielle gives works! Let’s get started.
1. You started your blog ‘With All My Affection’ in November 2013. What/who inspired you to take this step?
I always loved sharing pictures and my life experiences with friends. After following a lot of beauty, fashion and lifestyle bloggers/youtubers, I thought about having my own personal blog since it looked like so much fun! The idea of sharing my thoughts with people from all around the world really appealed to me, and this is why I wanted to give it a try.
2. In what ways does your blog reflect your personality?
The overall aesthetic really represents my taste as I am someone who is very simple, girly and an old romantic at heart. I wanted my blog layout to reflect these feelings about myself. I am a very positive and bubbly person, I always love to talk to people and I think you can see my personality by reading my posts and by seeing how I love to engage with fellow bloggers.
3. One great perk of being a blogger is the ability to collaborate with different brands. If you would develop your own skincare range with one brand, who would you choose and what 3 products would you start off with?
I would choose a brand that would be very similar to Kiehl’s and Arbonne. I would prefer my products to be made from natural ingredients and oils, which is very important nowadays. I would start my brands with a face cleanser, a mask and a moisturizer as they are the products that I reach out the most
4. Looking back at your journey over the past 15months, what have been the highlights of your blogging career so far?
First is that I found my voice and found my blog aesthetic. You get to discover so much more about yourself while blogging and I finally discovered the type of posts I enjoy the most, the layout, the pictures and so on. Another highlight would be to meet so many awesome bloggers from so many countries– it is amazing to see that people from other continents are reading and enjoying my blog! You get so much support in the blogosphere and I think that the blogging community is amazing here.
5. How has With All My Affection changed your life?
It hasn’t really changed my life that much to be honest since for now it is only a side hobby. I do spend more personal time working on the blog and I start to get invited to small events – but I am still the very same person and this is what I love the most. My family and my friends aren’t too much into the blogosphere and it allows me to stay the same person and to continue to live how I usually do.
6. Where do you see yourself and With All My Affection 5 years from now?
I would love to be a professional blogger – this is my ultimate dream job. I would also love to have my very own self-hosted blog (which I will be switching to in a year or so) and I would love to get my writing and my photography skills on another level. 5 years is still far ahead but by seeing how much my blog changed through the last year, I am confident I can achieve most of my goals!
7. What are your three favourite blogs to read at the moment and why
Cupcakes & Cashmere, Parisinfourmonths, Gary Pepper Girl, Kenzas, Sincerely Jules and Song of Style (there are too much to write down!). I love reading these blogs because they are everything I wish to have (photography, content, layout and so on). They are such inspiration and they motivate me every single day to continue blogging and to get better.
8. Just for fun, if you were shipwrecked for 3 months, what three bloggers would you want stranded with you and why?
That is such a hard question! I think it would be Kenzas, Paris In Four Months and Song of Style. I can relate with these 3 and they seem like such amazing and lovely persons so I think we could get along pretty well and survive the 3 months 😉
9. Before starting a blog, many people hear about the glitz and glamour behind the industry. They see the success of many Youtube/blogging gurus, not to mention the money and freebies. For someone reading this who has the same mind-set, what would you say to them to make them understand the reality behind what you do?
When you start your own blog, you have to do this because you love it – to do it for fun. There are billions of blog in the world and getting noticed by brands is very difficult. My advice would be to have fun with your blog and to work hard (as you never know who can discover you). If you are too focused on being successful and having the glam lifestyle, you will lack originality and I am pretty sure you will get fed up with blogging before you reach any big milestone, as the blogosphere is a very competitive industry.
10. From your experience so far, is there anything that you would change or like to improve in regarding blogging, the community and/or the industry?
I would change the competitive aspect of the industry. There are so many bloggers out there who wants to become the next ‘best blog of the year’ and they will not support fellow bloggers or smaller blogs in any way. I started my blog with 0 knowledge about this whole cyber world and now that I can help people, I definitively am and I am more happy to do so. I wish people were more supportive with one another.
11. What are the 3 main challenges you’ve faced being a blogger?
Regularity, originality and motivation. These are the 3 most important factors if you want to start a blog and one day or another, you will get the writer’s block. There were many times where I was sick of writing and where I couldn’t find any other original ideas, which led to being not motivated at all. We all go through this phase. The key is to remember why you started blogging in the first place and to go back to your roots and to your inspirations. It really helped me!
12. For people who relate to you in regards to those same challenges, what advice would you give to help them overcome it and stay motivated to keep pushing on
Go back to your roots and to your blog’s essence. Remind yourself the reason why you started your blog in the first place. Talking to your friends and to your family really helps also, as you will get incredible amount of support. I would also suggest going back to your source of inspirations (other blogs, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, magazines etc.)! If you feel you need a break, take a break. It will not do any good for you and for your blog if you keep pushing yourself when you don’t want or don’t feel like blogging at all.
13. With so many blogs out there, what can aspiring bloggers do to stand out from the crowd?
It sounds really mundane but having your personality spread out throughout your blog is key. You can have your very own layout, signature or even aesthetic. There are so many blogs that are covering the same subjects and what will make yours unique are your very own personality and the essence of your blog. No one has the exact same tastes, opinions and visions, and you really have to take advantage and to feature these out on your blog.
14. When you’re visiting a blog, what makes you:
- Stay: quality content and writing, quality images, beautiful layout
- Leave: poor quality images, coarse language, 1000 words post all written up in one single paragraph (it makes it very hard to read!)
- Return: Everything that makes me stay and seeing that the blogger is really engaging with his/her readers.
15. For your last bit of advice, what are your top three dos & don’ts for new bloggers who are about to take their first step?
- a) Be consistent and have quality content
- b) Have your own unique and personal voice
- c) Engage with fellow bloggers and with your readers: the best is to comment and read their posts, to go on forums, to look for bloggers facebook groups and so on
- a) Plagiarise – you can actually get your blog shutdown if you are copying other blogs!
- b) Ignore or not engage with your readers
- c) Forcing yourself to blog when you don’t want to
16. To finish of the interview, can you sum up to our readers in one tweet (140 characters) why they should head over to With All My Affection
Food lover, travel enthusiast, fashion & beauty addict and lifestyle blogger. With All My Affection is my very own love story with life.
End of Interview
We want to say a massive thank you to Arielle for taking part in our first ‘Inspire Me’ series. Be sure to let us know what you guys think below, and what answer you would provide to some of these questions. Are you a blogger who feels like taking part? Be sure to get in contact with us here.