When I first started my role as a Press and PR intern I often found myself sitting around hoping that my next story would come to me on a brainwave. Eventually however, I ended up searching for those stories myself and so the first person I sourced out is one of my closest friends: Charlotte.
Charlotte is a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger who started three years ago with only a handful of followers as her audience. Now she finds herself with hundreds of followers reading her blog, Twitter and Instagram pages and, suffice to say, Charlotte has never looked back.
“I’m not sure really,” Charlotte nervously laughed when I asked her why she first started creating blog posts. “I mean, I used to watch YouTube videos a lot (and still do) which led to reading blogs, so I decided I wanted to give it a go. I love writing and I wanted to prove my writing capabilities when I started a new job.”
Charlotte began her role as a Communications Assistant just after she completed a Level 2 Business and Administration qualification at Winchester City Council. Coincidentally, Winchester City Council was where we first met, as I started as an Communications Apprentice a little while after Charlotte joined the team. I remember her blogging was a little sparse back then, as she only wrote if and when she felt like it.
“Yeah, it’s a lot more effort than I assumed it was going to be,” Charlotte smiled when I ask what she has to do to create what she felt was ‘good content’. “Writing the content, taking photos and editing is only the first step! You have to then promote your blog in order to draw in your readers… It’s tough because blogging isn’t typically your “main job” and you need to fit it in around your life, weekend and evenings. It’s just working out how to balance it all really.”
“I still love it though, which is why I continued and now I try to update weekly to keep my readers interested!”
And so it shows, as Charlotte has been given the opportunity to attend events, open evenings, press days and product launches with a local Southampton Bloggers meet up group. She continues to use other social media regularly to publish her work and to keep up to date with her followers; as well as to launch a side blog named CriticalCharlotte which followers her journey as a theatre critic.
During our interview we chat about the rise of blogs and how it doesn’t seem as if the popularity of them will wane any time soon. But when I ask her why she thinks this could be, Charlotte burst out laughing.
“Oh, it’s definitely because people are so nosey!” she giggled. “Everyone enjoys the chance to have a peek into someone else’s life, don’t they? So when someone post snippets of their lives on the internet, it’s hard not to have a look.”
I’m curious of how Charlotte has managed to grow her blog and run it successfully. Does she have any top tips for newcomers?
“Always be honest and true to yourself,” she advises.
“Readers need to be able to trust you, so just be honest in your writings. Even if you’re reviewing something that was sent to you for free, state what you like and even dislike about it. Also, don’t assume that you’re going to get free things just because you own a blog… It’s a perk, sure, but you have to work for it.”
“Most of all though, join in and have fun! Engage with your followers as they’re the ones who take the read and comment with you, so enjoy discussing with them.”
After many giggles over the hour of the interview (which was bound to happen when you bring two girlfriends together), Charlotte and I begin to wrap it up. But I ask her for one last advice for up-and-coming bloggers:
“If you put the effort in, you’ll be sure to reap the rewards.”