‘In the Blog Seat’ is a series of interviews with bloggers and vloggers who share their blogging journey, inspirations and learning lessons…
Caroline Edwards has been blogging at Girl About Townhouse for around five months and lives with her husband, four-year old son and two cats in Sussex.
Apart from blogging she enjoys exploring with her family and discovering new places of interest…
What three things can’t you live without to help manage your blog – and why?
Lists – lists and more lists! I use trello to make lists of goals, blog posts, things I need to do. Anything you can think of! Yoast SEO plug in – SEO for dummies (like me). My husband – he proofreads everything that goes on the blog. So if you do spot a typo, blame him!
Who is your ideal reader?
People who are looking for affordable ways to create a home they love and a lifestyle to match. Whether that means DIY projects, upcycling or simply shopping in the right places, I’m here to help! Failing that, someone who will laugh at my mildly amusing jokes will do nicely.
How did you first get into blogging?
I've been reading blogs for many years and I've always wanted to write my own. When I moved to a new house I felt like it would be the perfect opportunity, with so many decorating projects in the pipeline.
How did you choose the niche(s) that you have chosen to blog in?
It was a no brainer! It's all the things I'm utterly passionate about.
How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
Hmm, I'm still working on this. I try my best to stay organised using an editorial calendar I've created using Trello. I use social media schedulers – buffer for twitter, later for Instagram and tailwind for Pinterest, which helps me to be more efficient. Oh, and I quit sleeping.
What strategies have worked well for you in getting more traffic to your blog?
When you get it right, Pinterest can work wonders. Stumbled upon is also really great for boosting traffic.
What blog achievement are you most proud of?
Obviously it's early days for me, but honestly, hitting publish on my first post. After months of planning, procrastinating, worrying what people would think and doubting myself, it was a big deal to finally launch. As a blogger you expose yourself very publicly to both praise and criticism – it's scary. Encouraging comments from my fellow bloggers mean the world too.
What are your blogging goals for the next 12 months?
I would like to see readership grow and develop a really engaged community. I'd love to collaborate with like-minded bloggers and brands. It would be great to start earning a few pennies too!
What's the most challenging issue for you in your blogging journey so far?
Keeping on top of everything. I knew blogging would be hard work and time-consuming, but nothing quite prepares you for it.
Do you have any favourite bloggers (and why)?
Lots and I'm always discovering new ones, which is great. I've been reading I heart organising at least 6 years and it has inspired lots of home decor projects. A new favourite of mine is The pink house, Emily's style is totally different to mine, but I love it and her writing style is brilliant and hilarious.
What motivates you to keep your blog up and running?
A whole lot of coffee! But mainly when people tell me they've enjoyed reading something I've written.
Do you monetise your blog – and if so, if what ways?
A few affiliate links and I would like to work with brands that I think are relevant to my readers in the future.
Where do you get your inspiration for your blog posts?
Just everyday life really. Projects that need doing around the house or tips I think others will find useful. Often I see things and think – I could make that for half the price, so I do! Pinterest is great as well.
What’s the best thing a blogger can give to their readers?
In my opinion great value content. If someone who reads your post learns something new, feels uplifted, smiles because they're entertained – you're doing it right.
What’s the biggest mistake that you’ve made in blogging so far?
Producing a lot of seasonal content for Christmas, which meant that traffic really slowed down in January. It reminded me how important evergreen content is!
What do you love most about blogging and how long do you spend blogging in a typical week?
I spend at least 40 hours a week working on blog related things, sometimes more. I really enjoy everything about it. For the past decade I've been working in jobs where I do a lot of copywriting, but in a corporate, ‘on brand' voice. It's refreshing to finally write in my own voice. I could swear like a sailor if I wanted too – I don't – but it's good to know the option is there! Also, I love meeting brilliant bloggers from all over the globe from the comfort of my sofa.
If someone was interested in starting a blog, what one piece of advice would you offer them?
Go for it! If you want your blog to be more than just a hobby, treat it like a business. Research, write a business plan, think about branding and get to know your ideal audience.
The nitty gritty... What is your favourite blog post (or one of your favourite) you’ve written and why? I think it has to be 5 things I wasn't prepared for when I started a blog. It was a great opportunity to reflect on my first few months blogging and I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. What type of blog post do you most enjoy writing? In most of my posts I try to add a little personal anecdote, even if I'm writing a recipe or craft tutorial. I enjoy writing those. Do you vlog – and if so, what about? No, it would mainly consist of me on my laptop, doing the school run and attending a thousand children’s parties. Nobody needs to see that! I do plan on making some craft tutorial videos though, so watch this space.