Sunday, 15 April 2018

Q&A - Blogging Life

I've been getting a lot of direct messages over the years about blogging, and the details around it all and how I can do it as a job. I recently asked you lovely lot to send in some questions for me to answer on here, so here I am! I picked out a few of the ones I thought would be the most popular/interesting to you so here you go. Happy reading lovelies!

Do you see yourself blogging longterm?

I think its one of those situations where you have to look at it realistically. I adore what I do, I want it to continue growing so its something I can continue with, and I would love to be able to adapt it with the changes that will occur in my life. This is something I would love to happen, but I know I have to remember that it might not. So I am happy with the idea of it always being a part of my life and not something I just let go of completely. If I had to stop, I would want to take the skills and experience I've gained and apply it to something else. I would just hate to spend my life doing something I didn't enjoy or have a passion for.

What are your best tips for someone starting out trying to grow a following?

I wish this question wasn't as hard to answer, and I wish I had the answer myself for my own benefit. Its become so much harder to organically grow within the industry, to the point where sometimes I feel and I know others do, at a very loose end. The best advice I can give you is to keep up the regular content and try to get a feel of what works best for you and your audience for good engagement. If your genre of blogging suits, trying to work with brands or tagging brands that might repost your images to their followers is always good, however sometimes this might mean altering your usual style of image or editing to theirs which is something I am not always down for, but its your content!
Maintaining a loyal and consistent following that will engage with your content is far more important than having more followers who don't engage in the long run.

How do you monetise your content as a blogger?

Half of this is putting your business head on. Yes some opportunities may come your way and that might/will increase as you grow as an influencer but its also about reading out to brands with ideas, something to pull them in and make them want to work with you and allocate some of their promotion budgets your way. Approaching and keeping up great relationships with brands is more valuable than I can express to you.
This is the most in depth answer I can give without getting into every detail, I intend on writing about how I personally started to make money through my platforms, so keep an eye out!

How much time should you invest into blogging?

I think it depends what you're doing it for and the situation you're in. Is this a hobby? Is this something you want to push towards something that might become full time?
If you're happy with having it as a hobby and taking it as it comes without putting too much pressure on yourself, then regular content of little and often when you have spare time I would say is the best way to go about it. If you're in work or education, having it as something you do when you have some spare time is a good way to build up some followers and get in with good contacts for future.
I fall short of how much I should do sometimes, and I guess its a motivation thing more than anything. But if you're wanting it to be full time you should be getting out content as and when you can, and having it as more of a focus of your day to day life.

How do I find my own personal style/brand image?

This is one that took me a while. If I am honest, I think its more how do you find your own personal style/image as a person not just for your blogging. I've had periods where I've been blogging where I've changed my style because of people in my life (which FYI is an absolute sh*te idea don't do this people, just don't), and over the last year or so I would say I've become the most 'myself'. I've become really comfortable in my style, and in turn have become so much more comfortable with my online presence. Not just my outfits, but the way I shoot my pictures, edit them etc and it all becomes so much more 'you' and you are so much more likely to stand out. People will notice you for being yourself, not for blending into the crowd.

How do you get into travel blogging?

This is a question I wished I could have found the answer to earlier, although there isn't an answer, there is advice to be given. I remember two years ago direct messaging travel bloggers I admired asking their advice on how to get into it, but hardly anyone responded. This is the only thing I find frustrating in the industry, there is a tendency for people to hold their cards close to their chests and it doesn't have to be that way.
I would love to do an advice post on this, so let me know? But the best advice I can give it to get in touch yourself, email email and email again and someone will reply. The more people 

What/who inspires me in the blogging industry?

Too many to number in all honesty. I have people I take inspiration from in so many different ways, aesthetic, style, travel and just who they are as people. But in all honesty, anyone who is willing to be themselves and not always follow the crowd and especially those who choose not to perhaps 'sell out' in certain ways and stay true to what they want to do in the blogging industry, those are the people I admire the most.
I think this is one of the greatest things about the blogging industry, it gives you this amazing platform of influence to be yourself and connect and engage with people all over the world for being who you are, and loving what you love. Thats what I want to continue to do.

I would love to write up a more specific blog post on blogging, a travel one, or specific advice for making it a job, so please do let me know what you want to see!


H x


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Latvia - The Most Aesthetically Pleasing Place I've Ever Been

I have been spending the past week trying to find somewhere for me and Conor to go in Summer for a little getaway, and it's had me thinking (and being a little jealous) of all the travel I got to do last year, and the places I was able to see. I saw some beautiful things, but nowhere surprised me as much as my trip to Latvia with Radisson Blu Hotels. When I was invited over, I really didn't have anything in my mind whatsoever as to what I thought Riga would be like, but my gosh I was not disappointed.

I have never been anywhere so diverse and beautiful and god DAMN aesthetically pleasing. Seriously, in a second you're going to get to just a handful of the images I took and they are all stunning. 
I had never really visited eastern Europe, seemingly all I do is go west. So, as I mentioned I really didn't know what to expect.
I was taken aback by how different it felt, when in reality, there wasn't a whole lot that seemed immediately different to home when I arrived. But after spending some time doing what I do best, wandering around aimlessly for hours, I was amazed at the beauty of the culture, the incredible architecture took my breath away.

Whenever I get asked where the best food I have ever had was, I say Latvia. Alongside the beauty of the city, what shocked me the most was how bloody incredible the food was. The standard of cafe's and restaurants was unparalleled. I have never been so consistently impressed by everywhere I have been. Everywhere looked beautiful, it was genuinely an absolute online millennial Instagrammable dream.

One of the most impressive restaurants we went to was literally on the edge of what seemed to be an abandoned industrial estate, then round the corner of one of the bland concrete slab walls was a stunning modern restaurant, one of the best I have ever been to. And the price! I had heard this from friends who have been to eastern Europe before, but the value for money is beyond belief at times.

After the experience I had in Riga, I would suggest renting a car if you would be going for more than a short city break of a couple of days. Riga itself is gorgeous, plenty of shopping, gorgeous architecture to visit and enjoy, and they have a very competitive ice hockey league (which grabbed me in, I just wish I could have gone and watched a game!), and of course AMAZING food.

If you were hoping to stay a little longer, I would suggest renting a car to be able to drive around and visit what else Latvia has to offer in close proximity to Riga. I would recommend a visit to the beaches in Jurmala, they are empty (or were when I went) but long and beautiful. When I went it wasnt super warm, but I can imagine it being absolutely amazing for a day trip of some sunshine and a picnic in the summer months. Right next to Jurmala is Ragakapa which is a fascinating forest, honestly I can't describe it but Latvia just felt so different and I came home feeling like I had had a very new experience.

Not only is it cheap to enjoy yourself in Riga, its also really not expensive to get to. From £50 for return flights from London, its really a city break I would hate for you to miss. & with Airbnb's with gorgeous Scandinavian interior design from £10 a night, yes I did not type that wrong, £10 a night for a gorgeous entire flat on Airbnb ( I am serious, check this one here - £10 a night, and this beauty here from £20 a night). Or if you're wanting some luxury in your trip and a less self catered feel, then try out where I stayed in the Radisson Blu, which fun fact, is the tallest building in Riga and absolutely stunning! Click here to book.

I couldn't try and sell you Riga anymore, I had the most amazing couple of days that left me wanting more. So I will leave you with the rest of my photo diary, I can't get over how pleasing these photos are. Enjoy!

So bloody satisfying am I right?

You've got to try it.


H x

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