Welcome to ‘In the Blog Seat’ – a series of interviews with bloggers and vloggers who share their blogging journey, inspirations and learning lessons…
Gina Caro, who has been blogging at Gypsy Soul for the last six year, lives in Devon with her family and enjoys reading in her spare time.
Her Bohemian lifestyle blog covers thrift, simple living, natural beauty, zero waste, family and home decor…
What three things can’t you live without to help manage your blog?
My blog schedule, my laptop and Hootsuite.
How did you first get into blogging?
I read an article in a magazine about making money from home and there was a section on blogging. I'd never even heard of it before but liked the idea so decided to give it a go.
How did you choose the niche(s) that you have chosen to blog in?
I originally started out as a parenting blogger but as my children got older I wrote about them less and less so decided to make rebrand my blog as a lifestyle blog.
What strategies have worked well for you in getting more traffic to your blog?
The generic answer to this would be commenting on other blogs or joining in with linkies, but I see minimal traffic increase from doing this. The main way to increase traffic to your blog is to be passionate about what your write about and then share it everywhere!
What blog achievement are you most proud of?
In 2015 I won Best Thrifty Blog at the Mad Blog Awards. Still to this day I have no idea how I managed that!
What are your blogging goals for the next 12 months?
My main goals are to work on my affiliate income, double my page views, implement a Pinterest strategy and blog less! That last one may sound odd but with Google now favouring longer blog posts (over 1,000 words) I have decided to create fewer posts but fill the ones I do write with more information.
What's the most challenging issue for you in your blogging journey so far?
Finding you true voice. To start with I found myself writing with no real direction and I would write things that I thought people wanted to read and would get me the most views. Now I write about things I'm passionate about. Another major challenge has been teaching myself the technical side of blogging. We didn't have ICT lessons at my school so I have literally had to teach myself everything, which takes time and there is always something new to learn.
Do you have any favourite bloggers?
I enjoy reading a variety of different blogs for very different reasons. I love Zoe's blog Eco Thrifty Living she has some fantastic tips for living a more sustainable life. I also love Lucy's blog Lulastic and the Hippyshake – she has some great natural beauty posts and I'm very jealous of their yurt lifestyle. I read Kim's blog Sailing Britican. They sold up everything and moved onto a boat, which is our ultimate dream one day. I love following their adventures as a family. Finally, I also enjoy Katie's blog Mummy, Daddy, Me. She has some fantastic videos of their family adventures and her photography is amazing. Of course this list isn't exhaustive, there are loads of blogs that I enjoy out there.
Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
It's my profession although it did start out as a hobby. After six months of blogging I got my first paid opportunity and I've been earning from the blog since then.
Do you monetise your blog – and if so, if what ways?
I monetise my blog in a number of different ways but the main ones are affiliate advertising and sponsored posts. I also do a lot of freelance writing.
Where do you get your inspiration for your blog posts?
From our day to day life really or from reading other blogs.
What’s the best thing a blogger can give to their readers?
What’s the biggest mistake that you’ve made in blogging so far?
I had an awful business a few years back with a well know TV presenter who wanted to work with me on something that got a bit political and turned rather nasty with protesters. It was a horrible time and almost made me shut down my blog for good. Luckily, it all got sorted and I continued but I'll never forget it. The lesson learnt is always do your homework before agreeing to work on a project with someone.
What do you love most about blogging and how long do you spend blogging in a typical week?
I love everything about blogging really. I love opening up my emails every day to new opportunities. I love writing and I love connecting with people. I used to spend hours and hours on my blog, late into the evenings but now I'm far more disciplined and set time frames to get things done.
If someone was interested in starting a blog, what one piece of advice would you offer them?
Write about what you know and what you love. Don't feel like you have to know everything about blogging for the start. It's a learning process and takes time to build.
The nitty gritty….
What is your favourite blog post (or one of your favourite) you’ve written and why? I really enjoy writing my Zero Waste blog updates. Becoming zero waste is a process and I enjoy noting down my achievements on my blog. My most recent is my Zero Waste Beauty Routine post.
Do you vlog? I do vlog, mainly about our days out in Devon but I plan to vlog more this coming year.
Do you regularly collaborate with brands? I have collaborated with lots of different brands over the 6 years I've been blogging. I'm not really sure who would be my ultimate collaboration on my Gypsy Soul blog but on our Water Gypsy blog it would be a cruise line for sure!