Welcome to the first in a series where I interview successful bloggers that we all know and love, to find out a little more about them, and pick their brains for helpful blogging and youtubing tips! Today I'm kicking things off by interviewing the lovely Hayley from London Beauty Queen.
1. Can you remember what first inspired you to start blogging?
I’d worked within the industry for years, having done everything from developing new products and writing the backs of shampoo bottles, to running press and tv campaigns while looking after in-store marketing. I became aware of blogs in late 2009 and after deciding to take a new direction in my career started one of my own to keep my toe in the water of the industry. I quickly realised I loved beauty too much to not work within it somehow, so the blog became somewhat of an obsession!
2. How did you feel when you published your first blog post?
I can’t really remember, but I don’t think it was a big deal as I never expected anybody to read it! I can remember one of my mates reading it and leaving comments on every post, just to make me feel loved… It took a long time for anyone to start visiting the site or leaving feedback.
3. Have you ever thought about venturing into YouTube?
I have dabbled in YouTube and about once a year I get the urge to film videos (last summer I even bought myself a fancy new camera specifically for filming,) but I find it hard to maintain. Filming and editing videos is so time consuming, plus I find it much harder to think of ideas that haven’t already been done a thousand times before. YouTube is a whole different beast to blogging; you need a specific skill set and the patience of a saint. I do keep meaning to get more into it, but there’s always something else more of a priority!
4. What do you love most about blogging?
The interaction I get with readers, undoubtedly. If it wasn’t for the comments, Twitter feedback and genuine love for what I do, I wouldn’t still be doing it five years later. I also love the freedom it’s given me to carve my own career path and be my own boss, working with brands in creative ways and trying new things every day of the week.
5. What would you say is the best moment your blog has brought you so far?
There’s not one specific moment, but I’ve been able to do some incredible things. From interviewing Rita Ora and Cate Blanchett, to attending the MTV Awards and flying to exotic locations. My proudest moment will be on April 12th this year - the day LBQ turns five!
6. What do you find your most popular type of content to be?
It’s always the conversational or debate posts that encourage feedback from readers, or discuss something controversial. I recently wrote an open letter to MAC about their lacklustre collections which was incredibly popular, but my commentary on the blogging world also does well too. Reviews still feature on the site, but they’re not what brings in the new readers or excites current ones.
7. If you hadn't found blogging, what job would you see yourself doing?
Before I took the site full time in 2013 I was working in brand and social media management for one of the world’s largest marketing agencies; I would probably be doing the same thing, maybe with different clients, but definitely in social media. I do still dabble in consultancy and that side of things, working with brands and PR agencies to develop a social strategy and help them manage their social channels.
8. Is there one tool or platform that's really helped you grow your blog?
Twitter has been a huge tool for me, as it allows me to reach new people every day. The possibilities are endless, so you just ahem to run with it and see what happens.
9. Just for fun - tell us something most of your readers might not know about you.
There’s probably not a lot people don’t know as I’m a bit of an over-sharer, but you’d probably be surprised as to how ‘un-girly’ I am. I hate pink, anything with sparkles or love hearts; I’m much more masculine in my tastes and my office is filled with Sci-Fi memorabilia!
10. Lastly, what are your top 3 tips to new bloggers looking to make their marque?
Be patient: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Too many expect to be the next big thing overnight and it just doesn’t happen that way, especially now. Carve a niche: try and do something a little differently and don’t just copy what you *think* is a magic formula. Network: it’s all about who you know and not what you know.
I'm sure you'll join me in saying a big thank you to Hayley for taking the time out of her busy schedule to take part :)