An exciting first for Mallzee D.G.T.L as we roll out our latest feature, the Blogger Showcase. With this we’ll be covering many things blogsphere- related, from basic how to’s to our favourite Style Queen’s hottest looks. First to kick things off? Mallzee favourite and all round babe Bethany Jade of Birds Words…
Tell us a little bit about why you started blogging
I had recently cut my full-time hours at my place of work in preparation for going to University and I wanted something worthwhile to do on my days off. There’s only so many re-runs of Friends one person can watch…
I had also been reading blogs for about a year and really wanted to start my own. I have always had a love for writing and all things creative, and it would be fair to say that I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with the beauty industry– it made sense to combine my interests.
How do you balance blogging with uni and a social life?
At times– with great difficulty! Although, when blogging is something you love doing, you always find the time to squeeze it in around the 9-5; I’ve been known to sit and scribble ideas down on my lunch break before! Never give up on something you enjoy purely because life is getting a little hectic. I think the key is to make the best of the time you have and if you’re feeling particularly chatty on a certain day, get a few posts written in one go. I actually have a blog post all about my time-management tips (exciting, I know…).
You’ve been very open and honest with your readers in the past, do you find this difficult?
Not at all. I’ve written about some personal struggles on my blog but it’s actually quite refreshing to write it all down– it’s almost like some form of therapy at times! The feedback I’ve had from some of my posts has been truly amazing; the thought that I’ve helped just one of my readers purely through opening up about my own experiences makes talking about difficult subjects all the more rewarding. I’m quite an open and honest person, and I definitely think this reflects in some of my more personal posts.
What would you say to bloggers who want to make their blog a source of income?
My first piece of advice is not to start blogging purely for that reason. Start a blog because you’re passionate about what you’re writing about and because you enjoy doing it– anything else that comes your way will just be a fruity bonus! If you’ve been blogging a while and want to start looking into ways to make a little bit of income, it’s worth doing your research. There are all sorts of ways you can make a little bit of extra cash, from advertising to sponsored posts and affiliate marketing. The list is endless. There’s nothing wrong with getting something back from all that effort you put into your little slice of the interwebs, but just make sure that along the way you stay true to your readers and remember why you started!
If you could shop with anyone, past or present, who would it be?
This is a toughie! I’ve always been such a fan of Nicole Scherzinger– I’m just completely drawn to her personality and I’m a little bit in awe of how amazing her hair always looks! I’d love to go for a coffee and a run around the shops with her. She’s one of those celebrities that seem so down to earth and real– she doesn’t take herself too seriously and just says what she thinks, no matter how barmy or silly it is! I like that about her! I can imagine she’d be 100% honest when it comes to the ‘does this look good on me’ changing room scenario… everyone needs that honest friend to tell you that, yes, your bum does look big in that dress.
We’ve all had ’em…what is your biggest fashion disaster?
Flared jeans. Say no more. I think all of us 90’s kids cringe when we look back at photographs of ourselves adorning those bad-boys… Not a good look! It gets even worse when I tell you that the bottoms of mine were dipped in a shed load of silver glitter though…
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
There’s a fabulous quote that Steve Jobs once said and that’s ‘the only way to do great work is to love what you do’. I think that’s pretty true from any perspective– if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, it’s a much more rewarding experience and you’ll get much more from it, whether that’s building your career or writing your blog! You get out what you put in n’ all that!
What advice would you give to bloggers about building up a loyal reader base?
My biggest piece of advice is to be consistent and creative with your content – and above all, just be yourself! Don’t focus too much on being ‘professional’ – don’t edit your posts too much. When I’m writing a blog post, I will write it in pretty much the same way that I would speak. That means not editing out any silly little ‘Beth-isms’ or phrases I’d use if I was talking to a friend. It makes your reader’s experience much more personal and they also get to know you. It’s always good to develop your own voice as opposed to sounding like an article from a magazine; after all, that’s what blogging is all about. You can have the best photographs, the prettiest layout and the most well written reviews in the world but if you’re not connecting with your readers, what’s the point?Which is also why it is so important to make sure you’re interacting with other bloggers via Twitter and other platforms. When it comes to blogging, social media is pretty much key to getting yourself out there– obviously, don’t use it purely to spam your link onto everyone’s feed but be sociable, approachable and responsive. Just be friendly and be yourself and you’ll find that building up your blog happens naturally without you even realising it.
You designed your own blog layout. Do you think it helps having a wide range of skills as a blogger?
Of course, it does help if you have a little creative knowledge! Although I’m guessing most bloggers have some sort of creative streak in them, don’t they? If anything, I think you develop skills whilst being a blogger. I’ve learnt so much about photography and HTML (here we go…my inner-geek is coming out to play!) purely through just having a go at things and experimenting. Part of the fun is learning along the way!
It’s also worth mentioning that your blog is a good thing to pop on your CV. Employers always love to know what you do with your spare time, and it’s a much better answer than telling them you spend your evenings down the pub (even if you do…). After all, if you’re a blogger you’re the writer, the editor, the photographer, the communicator and the content dreamer-upperer all rolled into one. Blogging definitely helps you develop a wide range of skills!
What does a typical day look like for you?
At the moment, it’s a little all over the place! I’m in my final 2 months of Uni so I’m concentrating mostly on that currently. I think I’m just trying to enjoy my final few weeks of being in that happy little ‘student bubble’. I often set myself a blogging day though– one day a week where I can sit and take photographs, type up a few posts up and reply to my emails. It’s always good to schedule time in your week for something you enjoy!
Finally, any plans for the future?
I’m currently working on my final major project at University (I study graphic design/illustration) which happens to be a brand new concept and brand of subscription beauty boxes! I’m planning on featuring it on my blog once it’s all put together as it’s something that I wouldn’t be doing as a project if I didn’t write Birds Words. My blog definitely feeds into my creative career path no end- I love it!