It's October! And you know what that means: blogtober is on! What is blogtober, you ask? Blogtober is a blogging challenge undertaken during the month of October where bloggers vow to post at least one post each day of the month. That's just...that's just...wow. I've never done blogtober, but it's never too late to try something new. Here's the first post of the month: a blogger's tag. I had previously done a Get to know me tag which you can read here.
How long have you been blogging? And what type of blog do you have?
I have been blogging for a little more than 4 years now. I would classify my blog as a personal/lifestyle blog.
What made you decide to start a blog?
I love writing, and I just wanted a place where I could share my writing, so I created a website for that and thus started my journey.
Do you have a routine that helps you stay on track and be productive?
For blogging, I didn’t really have a routine when I started out, but now I usually use social media to help me stay on track. For example, I use Instagram questions to get to know my followers and what they’re interested in and what they’d like to see. Having a social media presence is one way to stay accountable to your audience. It keeps you on track. However, it can put some people into overdrive in a negative way so you’ve got to look out for that. I try to balance my time so that I don’t spend too much time on social media. I also use a good old calendar to plan myself.
Have you ever experienced a creative rut and how did you get out of it?
Yes, I have been through this more than once actually. Sometimes I just burn out and I have to take a step back; take a break. I normally leave for a while and do some other things I enjoy. Most of the times, I usually fall into a rut because I was overthinking/overworking, so taking a break sorts that out. I try to schedule some breaks to avoid falling into a rut ever so often.
What are some tips you could share with people that want to venture into blogging but are too afraid to do it?
I’d say just go for it. It looks more difficult than it really is. One thing to do is to have a look at a lot of different blogs so that you can get a sense of what is required and, if you can, get in touch with some of the bloggers and have a talk with them. When reaching out to the bloggers, keep in mind that they’re usually busy so you have to go directly to the point.
Who are some bloggers/influencers that have inspired and impacted you?
Sharon Mundia, Stefani Roma and Megan Jayne Crabbe, to name a few.
What has been one of the most challenging moments in your blogging journey so far?
I wouldn’t say it’s a moment, but rather an ongoing challenge; but being a blogger from Africa, an African blogger, a black blogger, a blogger of colour… there are people who have taken issue with that and have made sure to let me know that my presence in the blogosphere is unwanted. Most of these people have specifically taken issue with the fact that I’m African more than anything. I’ve also been bullied online by men who simply didn’t like that a woman would exist in spaces they felt were owned by men – for example, because I’m a scientist, and I also blog about that – and that sucks too. You would think that the world would have changed by now, and people say that the world is changing, but it’s clearly not changing fast enough.
With the rise of Influencer Marketing, how can bloggers stay true to their creative voice and individuality while still promoting valuable content for their audiences?
Transparency and accountability are key. If I were to use an example, if a company approached me and said, “Hey, you have lovely hair and a big base, how about you promote our hair product to our base and say it’s the one that made your hair look so great?” I wouldn’t agree unless I’d actually been using the product and it’s the one that’s to thank for my hair looking great. However, I’d be open to trying the product, and then decide whether or not to promote it based on the results. I’d also look up the company because it’s always best to know who you’re in bed with. But what happens is that people are so desperate to get that coin that they straight up lie about anything and everything and false marketing is everywhere. Making money, and not just money, but as much money as possible, has been put above everything. After all, money makes the world go round. Audiences have gotten wary of the situation. As a blogger/content creator, you’ve got to be true to yourself. Always ask yourself why you’re taking up a promotion job. Be transparent with your audience. Have someone to hold you accountable.
How can a new blogger find support from peers in the community? What are some ways you’ve done this?
I joined some Twitter and Facebook bloggers’ groups for support. They’ve been great so far. I’m new to the Facebook one so I haven’t really seen or done much, but I can say that the bloggers’ community on Twitter is amazing. I would encourage any new blogger to follow pages like @BloggersTribe.
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