We are excited to feature another Blogger Chat! Today we are chatting with Julia from Lemon Stripes.
Q. What is your biggest top blogging tip? The best tip you can give your fellow bloggers that has made your life easier, your blog more successful, or you a better blogger?
A. My advice may seem boring and obvious but it’s so important: BE AUTHENTIC. There are so many bloggers out there now and I find half of them copying each other’s styles, designs, and even writing styles. What’s with that? People will want to read your blog for you so own that 100%.
The biggest challenge in blogging for me has been to find my voice. At first I tried to do everything that Emily (Cupcakes & Cashmere) was doing, then I found myself trying to emulate the styles of other top bloggers. It just looked ridiculous. Now I’m 100% me all the time and people really resonate with that!
Q. What is your favorite form of social media and why?
A. I love and hate Instagram. I love how it’s a beautiful expression of every day life. I’m a very visual person so Instagram comes more naturally to me than Twitter or Facebook. It’s all about the image! The tough part is that it can get too curated and staged. I am getting more and more into Snapchat (Follow me @lemonstripes!)
Q. How do you stay organized? Either in life or specifically as it relates to blogging, what are some tricks, methods, tools, and/or apps that keep you on top of things?
A. If I had a good answer for this, I’d probably feel a lot less exhausted right now! I work full time at Nourish Snacks and blog full time as well (doesn’t quite add up, does it?) It’s a constant struggle to balance my many projects. I am beginning to realize that I have too many pots on the stove and I need to pull back somewhere. In the meantime, I stay hyper-organized by making a schedule every morning for the day down to the quarter hour (no joke!).
I have Google Docs on Google docs color coded for everything from my editorial calendar to my workout schedule. It’s insane but when I have things written down, I feel way more organized.
Turning off and relaxing is probably the most important thing that I do for myself. Even though it’s rare, it makes me much more productive in the long run. Exercise and date nights are like gold for me too. Without those two things, I would for sure lose my mind!
Q. What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired, or when you’re suffering from writer’s block?
A. I go for a run. My best ideas come to me when I’m running. Sometimes I have to stop and write them down in my phone midway through!
Q. What advice can you give about growing your blog + following? How did you curate your audience, and what are the best tips you can give bloggers looking to grow?
A. When I first started blogging I said YES to everything. I went to every event, networked with every brand and blogger I could find. I made connections during that first year or two that have lead to serious growth and opportunity.
Specifically, I used to schedule an hour a day for emailing companies that I wanted to work with and would send each brand a personalized email (not a template!) letting them know why we would be a good fit for working together.
Today, brands usually reach out to me and I have learned to be VERY clear on the terms of collaboration. If the brand has a big following on social, for example, I always ask that they promote me as a part of our partnership.
Work with brands that truly resonate with you. For a while I was saying yes to everything and I felt like I was losing control of my blog because every day was another scheduled sponsored post.
Thanks so much to Julia for taking the time to talk to us!