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23rd November 2015

Blogging 101: The Student Edit

With the ‘blogosphere’ taking over the internet, Kassi Allcock enlists the help of three student bloggers to reveal the amazing experience of blogging, how to balance it with your studies, and why you should get involved

1) Tell us a little about yourself and your blog.

Emily: I started blogging in January 2014, so I’ve now been writing about all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle on for nearly two years. I don’t have a very large following, at roughly 400 people, but I personally judge the success of my content by engagement through comments, tweets, and emails. It’s a lot more fun feeling like I have a group of supportive friends reading what I have to say! I always say that I write for me, and I think people respond to the fact that I’m not trying to be anyone else—I’m just sharing the things that I love.

Sjoukje: My name is Sjoukje, I’m 17 years old and live in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). I started my lifestyle blog on a boring afternoon in July 2014, and I’ve gathered about 1150 Bloglovin’ followers in the past year-and-a-half or so.

Chloe: My name is Chloe and I’m a 21-year-old petite fashion blogger and English Lit student. I started my blog a few years ago after blogging on and off since I was 17, and since then ‘The Little Plum’ and my social media channels have been growing ever since!


2) What/who inspired you to create your blog?

Emily: I started watching Zoella on YouTube and soon found her blog, which led to me discovering so many others. Once I learned about the community behind blogging I found Anna Gardner (ViviannaDoesMakeup) and Lily Pebbles, both of whom were a huge inspiration to me as I love their personal writing and photography styles, and I grew to really trust their opinions. Eventually I started my own blog which was very review and OOTD-based, and it slowly evolved into what it is now.

Sjoukje: I wasn’t inspired by a specific person, even though I already read and followed quite a few blogs. My passion for photography initially inspired me to start my blog, and I found out that I also really like to write along the way.

Chloe: I was really into photography when I was a teenager, and used to invite girls over from my school to give them a makeover and take pictures of them in front of my bedroom fan! This just progressed into a keen interest in fashion photography and then fashion; I’ve always been really creative, and fashion blogging seems to be my outlet.


3) How does being a student have an impact on your blog?

Emily: It has a huge negative impact! I truly applaud any student that can post regularly while getting uni work done as I really struggle to find a balance. Unfortunately it means that blogging has to take a back seat every now and then as writing essay after essay is so draining, but I really appreciate that the community welcomes me back with open arms when I pop up a post after weeks of silence! I’m a bit of a homebody anyway, but I try to have occasional nights to myself where I can sit with my laptop and blog to my heart’s content.

Sjoukje: Being a student affects my blogging activities both negatively and positively: negatively because it obviously takes away a lot of my time, but positively because being a university student is so different to being a high school student—the new things I experience give me so much to write about.

Chloe: I have no time and I have no money—two crucial aspects to blogging. I can’t attend events, or buy the latest boots, or even necessarily commit to an amazing opportunity because I have other time sensitive jobs going on. It’s really tough juggling a job, blogging, a degree, and a social life. I won’t try and pretend that it’s possible either, because it’s not. Something has to give all of the time.


4) What is the best experience that you’ve had as a result of blogging?

Emily: Being asked to do things like this is pretty great, and I can’t lie that being sent a product to review is darn exciting. However, I have to say that when someone who reads my blog sends a tweet or Instagram comment or an email my way, I really understand how far a little blog can reach. It’s incredibly heart warming when someone comes to me for advice or just wants to reach out and chat like we’ve been friends all along.

Sjoukje: The best experience I’ve had as a result of blogging must be related to the social aspect of it. I’ve made quite a few great friends through blogging, both online and offline, friends I most likely wouldn’t have met in real-life.

Chloe: I got to take my ex-boyfriend to the FA Cup Women’s final after filling him with pizza and cocktails which was pretty amazing.


5) What are your favourite type of blog posts to write and why?

Emily: I honestly just write whatever I feel like at the moment, so this answer changes all the time! I do love outfit posts as I like to chat about why I picked certain pieces, but I’ve recently been working on more personal posts and I’ve been finding them really enjoyable to write. Audiences respond to more honest, authentic posts these days too, so I find that anything showing off my personality and interests is both fun to write and to put out there, no matter how daunting at first.

Sjoukje: I was going to answer ‘every blog post I publish’, but if I’m very honest I think my favorite type is ‘personal’. Creating personal posts feels like writing in a diary, the only differences being that people actually read this and sometimes even leave a comment that makes me think, inspires me, or motivates me to do things differently. It’s absolutely great when people leave a comment on any type of blog post—but when people take the time to write something to me personally as a response to a personal post, that makes me genuinely happy.

Chloe: My favourite to create are OOTDs, but my favourite to write are usually rant-y opinion pieces or anything from the heart.


6) What is one piece of advice that you would offer to blogging beginners?

Emily: Just be you and write what makes you happy. You can take part in all the tags and reviews and ‘common’ posts you like, but try to take your own spin on them and develop your own voice and style. Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from others, but always let yourself shine through!

Sjoukje: Just do it. I don’t think you need an extremely clear vision of who you want to be as blogger; your online personality will evolve over the years anyway. As an example, I started out as a beauty blogger and I never ever write about just beauty products anymore. It also is very important to write about what you love and not about what you think others will: your passion will shine through. Don’t think about how many people read your posts, that’s not the most important thing. Starting a blog brought me so many beautiful things and I’d recommend it to anyone.

Chloe: Take the pressure off—I remember when I started blogging I was so concerned with numbers and views and blah blah blah, but trust me, the time comes for that. The best thing about starting to blog is meeting girls that will be your friends and follow your journey with you the whole way through. Don’t be afraid to comment and make gal pals! 

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