Today, I'm continuing my series of interviews with my favorite bloggers, attempting to figure out just what makes the blogging world go round and just how they achieve content I want to read again and again. Next up is Helen from the lovecats inc, who has amazing hair and clothes and is basically my new style crush!
Your photos of products are always so beautifully arranged. Do you have a particular process you follow to create these images?
first of all, thank you! secondly, i don't necessarily have a particular process for all photos. my 'makeup series' posts (which are still ongoing) have a certain layout as i wanted the images to look like they were part of something, so are similar in style. everything else is a case of throwing the products down on my windowsill and shuffling them about until they look presentable.
Your use of only lower case letters could be quite controversial. It creates a standout aesthetic on your blog, but do you think it affects your readership?
i'm not 100% sure if it affects my readership, as i haven't had any direct feedback stating so. i mean don't get me wrong, i've had people tell me they wish i would use capital letters where appropriate, yet they still read and frequently comment on my blog. to me it's just an aesthetic thing, i like the letters being on the same level as much as possible (maybe it's borderline OCD, who knows?) but i doubt i'll change any time soon, as it's my personal blog.
How would you describe the aesthetic of your blog? Is the design of your blog important to you?
i've just changed the layout of my blog which i think has made it more 'me', to be very cliché. i'm not sure if i have a specific aesthetic, as my last layout was a million miles from this one, but i'd like to think clean and simple is the thing i'm aiming at for now. i think the design of any blog is so important. big, clear images, access to all important features (social media, categories etc) and an easily readable blog are the main things i look for in a blog. for example, if your blog has strange text, in a bright colour, on a black background with tiny images, who is going to come back to read it? your blog design is your first impression, so you need to make it as easy as possible for a reader to take everything in as they don't want to have to hunt around to find info - they'll just go somewhere else!
What is your favourite part of the blogging process- the writing or the photography?
i like a mixture of the two, as there's nothing more rewarding than seeing a whole post come together and getting feedback from readers. i wish i was a lot better with my camera than i am, but that (along with my writing) is something i can improve over time.
Do you think doing a degree related to blogging has helped you move your blog forward?
not at all. i genuinely wish i hadn't bothered going to university as, to me, it has been a complete waste of time. i have learned more through my blog than i did in my full three years of my magazine journalism degree. they don't teach you how to network, promote yourself or anything related to actually getting a career in journalism in university and there's not enough feedback to know if your writing is improving or not. maybe it was just the university i went to and perhaps i should have went to london or another major city, but i would say don't do a journalism/media degree unless you really have to.
How do you think writing a blog post differs from a magazine article? Which medium do you prefer (print or online) overall?
i think it differs massively as magazines depend so heavily on advertising that what they say is heavily edited (hence why you rarely see a strongly negative review in a magazine). blogging offers the opportunity to be constructive and honest, regardless of if the product has been gifted or not. it also offers a more personal aspect to the journalism world which makes readers want to come back instead of a faceless writer in a magazine. + even though i have mag subscriptions, i still much prefer the online world.
What are your favourite types of posts to write?
i like putting together outfit posts, as i'm a huge fan of seeing personal style on blogs and they're the posts i get the most positive responses from. though, deep down i do really like writing beauty reviews as i am a beauty junkie and the beauty blogging world has helped me so much with my skin etc, so i enjoy sharing what's worked for me.
What has been the main benefit of blogging for you?
i know a lot of people say the opportunities are fantastic but being up north i have to turn down a lot of press invites which does make me sad! i do really enjoy working with PR's though as some are absolutely lovely and you discover a lot of brands and products that you might not have otherwise. it's not the be all and end all of blogging, but it's certainly a nice perk!
Do you see your blog as a long term career prospect?
at the moment it is my sort of my job as i've just finished uni and haven't started a 'proper' career yet. you can't guarantee any money that comes in from blogging each month, so, just like freelance writing, it's quite risky as a permanent long term job. i am happy to do it part time along with a job when i get one (which should be soon) and as long as my readers keep reading, i'll keep posting.
Where do you see yourself, and your blog, in five years?
i honestly have no idea as no one can predict the way the internet is going to go. new trends and ways to publish content keep coming up all the time, so who knows if blogs will even be as popular as they are in five years. i'd like to think people will still be blogging and it'll be interesting to see who continues on though. when i started taking my blog seriously in may 2012, i never expected to stick at it but i have, so i will continue to do so even if it's just to prove a point to myself. we'll just have to see what happens!
(All picture credits go to Helen).