Blogger Spotlight – Kim from Sweet Monday
It’s day 3 of Social Media Week and next up we’re chatting to Kim, who runs Sweet Monday. She blogs about fashion and general lifestyle in between her normal work life as a Content Market Assistant. Don’t forget, you can read them all on our Blogger Spotlight page.
What made you want to start a blog? Was there a particular idea behind it? Do you have any aspirations for your blog? Where would you like it to lead?
I started my blog just after graduating university. It began as a space to collect inspiration and ideas. However, as I started to follow other blogs, it grew into a fashion based blog, posting regular outfit photos and wish lists.
My blog is a hobby, I’m always striving to produce better content and update the design of my blog. But I’m happy with my little space on the internet, and don’t have any grand plans to change it.
Do you have another job, or is blogging your main job?
I work as content marketing assistant for boohoo.com, and blog when I have chance at weekends or weekday evenings.
Do you have more than one blog you manage?
Nope just Sweet Monday.
Tell us about your blog/life balance. How often do you post? How do you come up with ideas for posts?
I try post at least 3-4 times a week, but this can be hard when working full time. Some weeks I have more inspiration and therefore more content than others. I try to keep some regularity to my blog though. For instance I post a recipe every Tuesday and an outfit every Sunday.
How long was it before you started to notice traffic to your blog?
I remember the day my blog traffic grew. About 6 months after starting my blog, way back in 2010, Lily Melrose included me in a list of bloggers she recommended following. Suddenly I had hundreds of hits and equally as many new followers.
When you first started, how did you promote your blog? Did you use any specific channels, e.g. Twitter, Instagram etc? Where did you see the biggest engagement in terms of social and what was the best thing to grow your community size?
It took me a little while to get to grips with promoting my blog, but I soon realized Twitter was a great platform to engage with other likeminded bloggers. Instagram has also become a fantastic platform for sharing photography and content. Most of my engagement is now through this channel, and so I post more regularly on Instagram than on my blog. It’s a much easier and quicker way of sharing snippets from your day to day life.
How long before you started to get approached by organizations? How did they approach you and what did you think?
Once my traffic jumped from Lily’s mention, I soon began being contacted by fashion and accessory brands. To begin with they were small boutique companies, asking me to write reviews on their products. Through growing friendships with other fashion bloggers, I was able to get invited to press days and blogger events as their plus one. This enabled me to engage with new brands who then went on to work with me more regularly, and it grew from there.
How do you retain your authenticity when working with a brand?
I try to keep my blog as honest as possible. I always make it clear if a product has been gifted to me or if a piece of content is sponsored. I only work with brands that I like the look of, or that I already purchase from and trust. I think it’s more about keeping your blog down to earth, and engaging with your readers, than working with hundreds of brands.
What’s the worst approach you’ve ever had from a brand or agency?
Being addressed as ‘Dear Blogger’ is the absolute worst! Also, just last week I was contacted by a media agency with an invitation to an event. I then received a second, mass email send out, apologizing that in fact the original email had been a mistake. That wasn’t too friendly!
And what’s the best approach you’ve ever had?
Agencies or brands that take the time to actually read my blog, or have engaged with my recent posts in some way, always make me smile. Even if I don’t feel they are suitable for my blog/personal style, I will always take the time to reply, when they’ve been so lovely.
Do you ever proactively approach brands you want to work with?
I haven’t done this before but I know that some bloggers do. I personally feel a little uncomfortable approaching brands, requesting to review something from them. But, with the blogosphere growing so quickly, maybe it’s time to put yourself out there!
And finally, are there any particular pearls of wisdom you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself before you started blogging?
I wish I had branded myself better when I first started blogging. For instance, I regularly come across blogs with a clear direction in terms of style and design, and Instagram accounts that have a particular colour palette or that always edit their photos with one filter. I think this looks really appealing and will get you noticed quicker. It’s hard to find a niche; everything feels like it’s been done before, but with some imagination and creative flare it can happen!