At Printed.com, we’re dedicated to supporting small businesses. That’s why we’re proudly supporting the Best Written Blog at the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 (#IBA18).
We got in touch with one of the shortlisted bloggers for the Best Written Blog 2018, Apartment Number 4, and asked Victoria Jackson to tell us a bit about her journey and how she finds being a blogger in today’s competitive industry. Whether you blog for business or as an added extra to boost your engagement and online presence, take a read through what Victoria had to say and get inspired right here with us!
Victoria, tell us a bit about your blog and how you got started
Apartment Number 4 is an interiors blog, designed to help readers create a beautiful home on a budget. I’ve been blogging since 2009, after my university tutor told me blogging would be the future (I didn’t believe him!) and juggled this and my career in publishing for nearly 9 years. There were many a late night and working weekend, let me tell you. This year, however, I took the leap into running Apartment Number 4 as a full-time business earlier, which was both exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measures, and I haven’t looked back.
How do you balance blogging with work, life and your other priorities?
That’s the eternal struggle, right? When you love your job, like I do running Apartment Number 4, it’s very hard to switch off. Especially as you’re always looking for inspiration, jotting down feature ideas etc. But I find that having Sunday as the day where I don’t open my laptop, really helps me to feel recharged and ready for the week ahead. I schedule content so it looks like I’m working on a Sunday, when in fact I’m sat back with an elasticated waistband on, eating a roast dinner or lazing on the sofa.
What makes your blog unique?
I’d say the mix of interiors and personal lifestyle elements. I love to focus on affordable homeware and showcase the best pieces from the high street, but I try to steer clear of upcycling and DIY’s. I think these can be great, but not everyone – myself included – has to time to search for second hand furniture and upcycle it to suit their own personal taste. So, I go off in search of affordable brands, both high street and smaller independent labels who are doing an amazing job. Plus, I feel like I have a distinct style of writing, where I try to be relatable, warm and friendly. Let’s hope it comes across that way.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to start their own blog? What are your three tips for success?
The first tip for success is blog because you want to, not because you want to make money from it. The second you go into blogging because you want free items or to make money, without having a true passion to create content, is the second it won’t work. However, if you’re looking to create a career out of something you truly love blogging about, then it’s absolutely possible. I’m doing it right now.
Secondly, I’d say don’t forget to engage. Blogging is a two-way street so be sure to reply to comments, leave comments on other people’s blogs and social media platforms, and generally engaged with the people who take the time to read your blog.
Finally, don’t feel pushed into finding a niche. There are so many great pieces of advice out there about finding a niche and really honing in on that, but why not start by writing a lifestyle blog and once you find your stride, then discover if there is something you love writing about more than others. Maybe you’ll discover you love writing restaurant reviews, or perhaps you want to focus on bohemian interiors. You won’t know any of this until you just start writing.
What would winning an Amara Award mean to you?
Without launching into a sob story (this is hardly X-Factor), just to be shortlisted means the world, especially in the category for Best Written Blog. I was made redundant earlier this year after 8 years as the editor of a magazine, and after something like that you can start to doubt your abilities, especially in terms of the one skill you’re trained in – writing. So, whether I win or not, I’m so excited to be in a room full of industry peers and be alongside some of the most talented bloggers in the interiors world.
Get involved in Victoria’s world…