One of the questions in my recent Reader Q&A was whether you had any blogging or business related questions for me, and you guys sent so many awesome questions my way that I want to be able to answer a few of the most frequently asked today. If you have any more questions, blogging related or not, feel free to ask them in the comments as I'd love to make this a more regular feature!
Why did you start your blog?
I started Jennypurr way back in March of 2013 while I was in my final year of University. I've mentioned before how I struggled with a mental health breakdown back then, and it was during a time in my life when I was feeling very uninspired, isolated, and in need of a creative outlet. At first this space was focused on beauty content, though after a year or so of blogging I discovered my passion was creating content for other creatives and bloggers.
How long did it take you to really discover your own style and blogging voice, and has that changed over time?
Quite a while! I really feel like it's only really been in the past six months or so that I've really found my feet and blogging voice. As much as I enjoyed creating beauty content and being a part of that community, when I made the switch to developing this space into an online creative resource for other dreamers and creatives like me is when I really discovered my own style and voice. It's without a doubt changed over time, and I expect it will continue to change and grow with me along the way!
How did you build your readership and interaction with your audience?
So many of you asked this question and I wish I had a more interesting and direct answer for you. Almost 20 months since launching this blog I feel crazy grateful to have almost 9,000 readers subscribed through Bloglovin and in all honesty I never expected that many people to stop by this space and engage with what I'm doing here. I've never been all that obsessed with growth - I've mentioned before how I think we are more than just our traffic - and I'm way more interested in engagement, having impact with the words I'm putting out there, and building community with this space. In terms of direct growth though, I think a lot of it has been down to other awesome bloggers sharing my space and my content and also blogging daily for so long has meant that I have so much content available to browse and discover. Interaction has been built as a two way thing, I think because I engage with my readers and really enjoy that side of running this space is why I'm lucky enough to have really good engagement with my readership.
Do you share your blog with the people in your life, and how did they react?
For the first six months or so I didn't tell a single soul in my 'real life' about this space. I was pretty self conscious about everything and feared people would judge me or, even worse, laugh. These days I'm way more comfortable talking about my blog and will happily share it with people - though I rarely tend to bring it up first in conversation as unless you're a blogger, it's quite hard for people to really get their head around what this whole online content thing is. The people in my life though, like my family and Alex and close friends, are super supportive of this space and I think the people who matter to you will always support you in your endeavours.
How do you not get burned out posting everyday?
It's without a doubt a challenge to keep coming up with engaging content everyday, though it's one I really enjoy taking on. I post daily over here and look after daily content over on ALO (whether it's my own or one of our contributors) and there are of course some days when I just feel like I'm completely out of any decent ideas. I tend to plan ahead as much as possible, write in bulk, and have a few days scheduled in advance - so when bloggers block does hit I have enough breathing space to take a day or two away from idea generation. I keep a big list of ideas at all times that helps me brainstorm for content, and my best advice is just to not force it. If you can't think of anything to write about, just take a step back and do something completely different and allow your mind to recharge.
How do you stay consistent with your content?
Being consistent is something I've always wanted to do with this space, so I think because it's something a strive for and a priority for me I'm always focused on creating consistent content. Having a purpose, goals, and really knowing what it is I want this space to be without a doubt makes all the difference, as otherwise I'd just feel like I was wandering aimlessly with my content. I have a standard I've set for myself and I'm always focused on maintaining it and raising the bar when I can!
How do you come up with ideas for posts?
The number one question I ask myself is this: what can I create for my readers that will be useful and interesting? I always have a big list of possible post ideas and I'm forever brainstorming and having light bulb moments. I feel very in-tune with my blog and what I want it to be so that really helps when it comes to keep a consistent stream of ideas. I've shared in the past 10 Different Ways To Vary Your Blog Content and How I Come Up With Ideas For Content.
What advice do you have for someone who believes in their content, is passionate about blogging, and receives good feedback, but isn’t seeing the growth and engagement they want to?
Keep going, whatever you do don't become disheartened. We've all been there when we feel like we're writing to no one, and it really does take time and dedication to build an online space with a consistent and engaged readership. Keep putting content out there that you're proud of, keep pushing yourself to try new things and learn new skills, and don't just define yourself by stats and follower count. If you really want some guidance and one-on-one support to create a bold and brave online space with impact and reach, I might have something in the new year that is exactly what you're looking for!
Do you consider yourself successful?
I loved this question, not only because it opens up the discussion of what success really is and how it means something different to everyone, but it also made me sit back and really explore my answer. Do I consider myself successful? Honestly, no. I'm so proud of everything I've achieved with this space so far, it's become more than what I ever dreamed it could be, but I honestly just feel like I'm getting started and I'm so motivated and excited to continue to develop and grow and create work I'm truly proud of.
What are your long term goals?
Long term goals and the idea of the 5 year plan is something I try and not obsess over too much; I used to believe without one I would fail, but these days I'm learning that it can be way more effective to live in the moment and embrace the here and now. Of course I have some long term goals and projects I want to work on, there are a few I've been working on for the past few months that I can't wait to share with you in January, but in all honesty my main focus is to continue to push myself, create work I can be proud of, and ultimately build a life for myself I can really love. I will be sharing some goals for 2015 with you super soon though, so look out for that!
Hope these answer some of your questions! If you have any more feel free to send them my way!
Background image via June Letters
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