Friday, April 5, 2013

Why I Started Blogging: An Interview with My Favorite Bloggers

A few weeks ago on instagram, a reader asked me why I started blogging and what really got me into this crazy thing I now call my totally awesome job:) I thought this would make a really fun and informational post to many, especially readers who {like I did years ago} only read with hopes of starting their own blog one day. So, I gathered up a few of my favorite bloggers for some interview questions on why they began blogging, how it's changed since they started and what has come of this awesome community.  Grab a cup of coffee {or herbal tea, in my case} and enjoy the read!


1. When and Why did you begin blogging?

Jen of IHeart Organizing: I started three and a half years ago.  I was a stay at home mom watching kids by day and working on our home by night.  I found the blogging world one night and thought, "Hey, I do what they do, I should write about it!"  I started writing to share our tips and projects with friends, family and neighbors and would blog once or twice a week.  It was a fun way to take some time for "me" and meet oodles of amazing virtual pals.

Michelle of Ten JuneJuly 2010. To document our house reno because our friends and family thought we had fallen off the face of the earth since we were working on the house all the time. We had to show them what we were up to!

Cristin of Simplified BeeI started blogging in May of 2009. It was just a few months after I launched my design firm, Simplified Bee® and my first client urged me to do it. At the time, I barely knew what a blog was and had never followed any. So I jumped in completely blind and with the idea that the blog was simply a placeholder for a website that would be developed later that year. To my surprise, the little blog grew and I grew to love writing about interiors, organizing and entertaining.

Megan of Across the PondI started blogging in the fall of 2011. I started blogging for the same reasons most of us start blogging; as a way update friends and family who lived far away about my life, and as an outlet for my thoughts. I was moving from my home in Orange County California to Nottingham England, and starting a Masters degree. It seemed like the easiest way to keep a large group of people updated without having to write each person an e mail...read:lazy


Sam of The Peak of Tres Chic: August 2011.  I originally went to college and studied Energy Management, a business degree with an energy focus.  After graduating, I began working for an upstream oil and gas company here in Houston.  Although the company was wonderful I wasn’t satisfied creatively.  I felt uninspired and overwhelmed with a feeling of, “is this it?”  Meanwhile, I began helping friends decorate their homes and apartments, and really enjoyed the process!  That led me to start blogging as a hobby. As I got more involved with my blogI began realizing that interior design wasn’t just a hobby to me- it was a passion.  After talking with other bloggers who had made similar transitions, I decided to leave my oil and gas job and go back to school at The Art Institute of Houston to pursue my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. 

Jenni of Story of My Life: I actually started blogging back in 2008, but only a few people (read: mom and grandma) read my various blogs back then. Seriously, I changed blogs more than I changed underpants, so they were all doomed to fail.

Stephanie of SS Print Shop: I started in 2010, but didn’t share my link with anyone and was not very consistent with my posting. I slowly got more and more in to it. I just needed my own creative platform, and then last year was when I really took it seriously, transferring over to Google’s Blogger, getting a design, domain etc. and gained a great following.  I called it my “re-launch,” but really it felt like I truly started blogging then. I’ve always just wanted a place to express my own musings and inspire others.


Natasha of Schue Love:  I began blogging in January of 2011 after discovering the blogging world a couple months prior to that.  I decided to start a blog as a creative outlet since moving to Tahoe.  I wanted to stay inspired with good fashion, food and decor and the blogging world opened up a whole new world of creativity for me.



Courtney of A Thoughtful PlaceI began blogging over two years ago. I was introduced to Just A Girl and The Idea Room. by my dear friend, Meghan. After reading those amazing blogs, I was inspired to start my own. Initially, I told my hubby I would begin my own blog in about a year. But the very next day I emailed Jenna from Small Fry and asked her to design my blog. I literally started on a whim as I new I had a creative streak and I knew I needed an outlet. As a mommy who had stepped away from a career to be home with my babies, a way to express my creative side was a huge blessing. I never dreamed anyone but my mom, sister, and best friends would read it. 


Michaela: I began blogging on a complete whim when my dad told me "I should get online."  I didn't know what that meant, so I started reading {stalking, really} blogs on design and fashion to try and soak up what I would do, should I decide to start my own. One summer, I opened a blogger account and claimed my site's name. I drafted, redrafted and saved my first post for weeks before clicking "publish", and when I did, I never knew that it would change everything. July of 2010, Michaela Noelle Designs was born. Thank you, dad, for pushing me to get an online presence!

2. What is your favorite part about being apart of the blogging community? 


JenOh my, what is NOT to love?  In my day to day life, I am not physically surrounded with too many people that have the same organizing, home and style interests that I do.  The blogging community has opened me up to a world of people who have similar passions and I have made amazing friendships with people I have never met, and have now met thanks to blogging.  There is so much inspiration to be found within the community, and so many uplifting personalities.

MichelleFellowship! Making BFFs online with those who share my passions (cough cough, michaela!)

SamNo matter what you're going through, you never feel alone.  Whether it be a personal loss, a career setback, or just a bad day, the blogging community is very encouraging and supportive.

NatashaHands down, the amazing support!  I had no idea how many like-minded women I would meet in this space and I can honestly say that I've formed life long relationships out of it.  How often is it that we get to meet women that we have an immediate connection with?  It's a rare thing and blogging has created an amazing and safe space for me to share my life with.


Michaela: So many things. Namely, the amazing friendships I've cultivated.  I met a few of my best friends in the entire world through this crazy blog world.  I'm also so thankful for the daily dose of inspiration and passion behind blogger's posts. I'm continually inspired-- not only in the design department, but also in how to be a good wife, mom and caring, hospitable person.

3. What is something you didn't expect about blogging?

JenThe time commitment on the computer.  I had this misconception that bloggers had the most fabulous lives and got to project and craft all day!  I find myself in front of the computer 90% of the time and projecting the other 10%.  I wish it were the other way around, but I still wouldn't trade this job for any other!

CristinI had no idea how many doors it would open. I been able to interview the most inspirational interior designers of our time, review outstanding products and collaborate with top-notch home d├ęcor companies.

MeganI never in a million years expected that blogging was such a large community, and the possibilities that it had in ways of friendship, readership, even ways to make money through it. I had no idea that there was this "hub" of bloggers doing some amazing things with their blog. I also, of course, never expected to make real friendships. To say i have been pleasantly surprised by this community is a vast understatement.

Jenni: Mean people! I didn't expect negative criticism, but it's a necessary evil.

StephanieI guess I didn’t expect the impact I would have on people. I get e-mails about how I’ve made someone’s day a little brighter, or that I inspired someone to do what they love. That has been such a huge reward!


Michaela: The insane time commitment.  When I first started my blog, I was commenting and visiting other's blogs for countless hours every day just to grow mine and make friends.   Now, I spend a lot of my day on my computer or phone, checking and replying to comments, emailing with companies, sponsors etc. When I'm not doing that, the real fun takes place: creating pretty content for readers. That's my happy place.

4. Since blogging, has your blog/intentions/platform changed?

MichelleI don't think so? Still talking about cheap house stuff, ha! Hopefully my writing style has evolved.

SamDefinitely.  I began blogging purely as a hobby.  My original idea was for it to be more of a lifestyle blog, focused equally on interior design, fashion, travel, and bits of my own life.  As time progressed, my focus became primarily interior design. To this day, I'd say 80% of my posts center on interior design and decor, and the other 20% is fashion, travel, and updates on my own experiences.  I still enjoy blogging just as much as I did originally, but it is more of a career than a hobby now.  Most of my design clients find me through my blog!

Jenni: Most definitely! Mine has always been a primarily "lifestyle" blog, but my intentions have definitely changed. I used to just be writing for fun, diary style, and now I really try and think about my readers and what will be most valuable to them. I also use my blog to market my photography business to an extent, which is great!

Courtney: Interesting question. To be honest, it hasn't changed all that much. I began my blog as a way to express my creativity and to share ideas. I have tried to stay true to that intention. I think there is a lot of advice out there about streamlining your blog to really have one focus. I understand that advice, but have chosen to be all over the map with what I offer my readers. Organization, design, entertaining, and lifestyle topics all appeal to me. No matter what, if you are passionate about something and stay true to who you are, it will come through in the blog. 

Michaela: 100%, yes! I'm embarrassed to go back and read my old posts. Please don't go read them now that I said that ;) I used to just throw anything in a blog post, use bad, small pictures taken with a horrible camera. Now I really try to think about my posts, plan them in advance, take/use good pictures, and come up with unique and fun content that keeps readers excited and learning. As blogging is my full time job while I'm in school, I've really tried to treat it as such.  Through the years, I've made an effort to keep my personality in my blog. Hopefully that hasn't changed!

5. What opportunities has blogging presented for you and your career or lifestyle?

JenSo so many that I am eternally grateful for.  First, I have built amazing friendships and gained a great team of contributing writers.  I have had the opportunity to appear on The Nate Berkus Show and HGTV's Clean Freaks episode.  Yeah, this girl got to spend a day with the beautiful and talented Sabrina Soto.  I have contributed to a few magazines and am also a Style Spotter and Pinning Pro for Better Homes & Gardens.  They even came to our home and did an amazing spread in Storage magazine which was a totally life altering experience.  Seriously, I make my hubby pinch me daily, because it seems like a fairy tale dream come true and I hope I never wake up!

MichelleOh my... Product reviews, publication opportunities... Lots of great stuff! It's still a part-time hobby for me but its nice to know I could grow blogging into more if I wanted to!


CristinBlogging has brought about many wonderful opportunities. Several of my clients both local and virtual found me after reading my blog. I’ve also had the opportunity to attend High Point Market in North Carolina. That was really a wonderful experience. 


MeganI used to work in the LA fashion industry for a very long time (almost 10 years!). I stopped working and dove full time in academia, traveling across the world to get my Masters degree in Neuroscience. As much as I love academia, a part of me always missed what I used to do in LA. Blogging has given me the opportunity to do some of what I loved in LA; working with different brands that I love to help promote their products. It has provided me that creative outlet without the stress and pressure of being full time in the industry.  I feel like I am finally doing life on my terms.


Sam There have been many highlights during my short year and a half of blogging! Houston Tidbits did a “5 Local Bloggers We Love” feature about 6 months ago and that was definitely flattering. We got to showcase our favorite beauty products at a Neiman Marcus party, and the  publicity from that led to a lot of other amazing opportunities.The biggest opportunity that blogging has afforded me is my career change!

JenniDeep friendships, professional connections, a large audience and a leaping pad for new endeavors, and confidence and skills I never had before blogging. :) 

Stephanie: Blogging has the potential to bring so many exciting opportunities. I’ve been able to work with brands that I love, be a cover girl on a magazine (!!!), and advance my career in doing so. It also really helped bring exposure to my heart and soul, SS Print Shop.


Natasha I've had the chance to collaborate with some amazing companies and fellow bloggers.  I think Ethan has benefited in so many ways as a result.  He certainly has a much cuter nursery and dresses better with more fun toys to play with than if I wasn't blogging.  That is one truth I know for sure!  ;)



CourtneyI never ever dreamed that blogging would turn into a career. Because of my loyal readers and their interest in design advice, my sister and I began Casey Grace Design LLC. Talk about a crazy turn of events. We are both crazy passionate about decorating and helping people create beautiful spaces. My family and I get so much joy out of our little home and I love creating spaces for other families. Blogging has even offered me the change to partner with fantastic brands and to travel to conferences and meet up with other like minded people. I never dreamed any of that would have happened. I think it's true about doing what you love in life and the rest will follow. 

Michaela: Every internship I've had has come from my blog. In fact, my boss at Lulu & Georgia said she wouldn't have considered me if I didn't have my own blog. I found Cristin (above!) through blogging, and began interning for her a few years ago.  Aside from a few of my best friend's I've met through this blogosphere, I've also had the opportunity to meet Emily Henderson of HGTV, showcase my designs on big blogs, be featured in online magazines, and work with some seriously talented people on collaborations and reviews. I am endlessly grateful for this community.
*images by Gem Photo for Michaela Noelle Designs

Hope this lets you into the backstage scene of blogging a bit. What about YOU-- why did you start blogging? Would love to get a convo going in the comments! 


Happy weekend

xoxo
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25 comments:

  1. Great interviews Michaela! Some of my favorite people.

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  2. Thanks for having me this morning! So fun to read everyone's responses! xo

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  3. This was such a fun read with incredibly beautiful (both inside and out) and talented gals. It is great to read everyone's personal blogging story. Thank you so much for including me!

    Hugs and smooches,
    Jen

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  4. Thank you again for including me! LOVE these bloggers. So fun to hear their story too.

    Big kiss,
    Cristin

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  5. This was great Michaela! It's always so fascinating to read about how other bloggers got their start!

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  6. love how your dad told you to get online, whereas most parents (to younger kids obviously) are concerned about online presence :) Keep it up!

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  7. Love this post! Always so encouraging to read other blogger's stories!

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  8. Love this post :). I started blogging like many other ladies once I became a stay at home mom. I love documenting our day to day events, but also find it as such a great creative outlet for me.

    http://chelseanotesblog.blogspot.com/

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  9. I started as a way to record our ever-evolving home decor, but as time goes on it becomes more and more of this wonderful creative outlet for me that has led to new opportunities!

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  10. what a great read! i also love the blogging and coffee print :)

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  11. where is that "I love you, blogs, and coffee" print from? I love it!

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  12. What great interviews! I started blogging when I studied abroad during college. I took a long break after that and then dove back in after I got married. It sure is a crazy world, but one that I have grown to love and appreciate so much! Love your cute blog!

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  13. Love this post! I started blogging a few months after I first found design blogs - I just thought it was such a cool thing!!

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  14. This is great, I am checking out all of these blogers! I started to keep a journal of wvwrything I love and of the outfits that I wear. I also used it as an ispirational board:)


    Aesthetic Lounge

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  15. Great post! I loved reading everyone's answers!

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  16. As a relatively new blogger, I soaked up every bit of this post -- SUCH a fantastic idea, and I'm excited to check out some new blogs, too!

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  17. Great idea Michaela! Loved getting to know all those bloggers and the why they blog!

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    WorldLatestVehicles.com

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  19. Such a great post, I love hearing from other bloggers! And I love these photos :)

    xo, Megan
    indie flower

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  20. Hi Michaela, thanks for the great post! It was nice to expose me to some more wonderful bloggers, and as a new blogger, was very encouraging to read their responses!

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  21. As a newly minted blogger, this couldn't have come at a better time! I love reading and learning more about other bloggers and why they began in the first place. I use mine as a creative outlet, too :) It's for sure a new "happy place." Thanks for this!

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  22. great post Michaela! And I am totally going back to your archives now. Your early blogging days couldn't be nearly as awful as mine ;)

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  23. Great read! Won't get any work done today as i sift through all your projects! :) Also, i love that silver owl on the bookshelf... where did you find it??

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  24. There is so much great advice here! Thank you all for sharing!

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  25. This was SO fun to read...so many of these people are my favorite blogs!

    Our life went from normal to crazy when we adopted a sibling group of three and went from a family of four with two small children to a family of SEVEN in just minutes! We decided to move into a different house at the same time and decor and organization were definitely on the menu. Blogging seemed like a fun way to be creative and share about our new "normal." I love to encourage others when it comes to adoption and decorating/organizing on a budget!

    ~Sarah

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Thank you for stopping by! If you have a specific question, please email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns.com. I always reply to emails! Have a blessed day! xoxo

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