Welcome to the newest addition to my blog - I've started interviewing bloggers that inspire me to get their insight on the blogging world! I'm focusing the questions on advice for bloggers instead of personal style - we all know bloggers have that! First up, we have Alexandra from Into the Woods. I only found her blog a few weeks ago, but it's impossible not to immediately fall in love with her vintage style, makeup tutorials, and smile! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me, Alex - everyone go check out her blog!
Name, age, and location?
Alexandra, 17, So Cal.
What is the story behind your blog title?
It's funny- people often ask me this, and sadly my story is not super awe inspiring. I have a huge passion for the outdoors, and I felt like Into the Woods sort of captured a nostalgia of Summer camp outs, berry picking and the like.
How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?
I have been blogging since September of 2011. The Summer prior to starting my blog I had become really interested in re-purposing old clothes, and I thought it would be a fun idea to blog about the things that I made to inspire other girls to be resourceful and to dress modestly.
How do you make your blog your own instead of just following the crowd?
I think finding your niche is really important. In my case, it's vintage. I still think it's a good idea to draw inspiration for other blogs- find out what it is that you love about your favorite blog and implement those principles into yours (the type of posts, the style of photos, etc). And then pour your heart into it. Blog what you love!
What advice would you give to new bloggers on staying dedicated, branching out, and making their blog grow?
I know it can seem super tedious in the beginning, when you are trying to get a following. There were several months where I had no followers whatsoever, but I posted anyway. Those were probably the hardest, most trying months, but so worth the payoff! One of the biggest things I think you can do is reach out to other bloggers- particularly ones with the same size blog as you. Follow their blogs, take the time to leave kind, genuine comments (never say follow me please), and build some long lasting relationships. It will bring wonderful followers who appreciate the content on your blog, while creating some lovely Blogosphere friendships! Link ups help a ton as well.
Has having a blog influenced your career, helped you get a job, or gotten you contacts with people?
Yes! Very much so. In the past three years of blogging, I have been able to work with over 60 small businesses, Hubert's Lemonade, Persunmall, Rose Gal, Asian iCandy, Buzzfeed and more. Through blogging, I was even recently connected with a writer from New York Times! If you stick with it, you will be amazed at some of the connections you will make, and the opportunities that will arise. Blogging is rewarding!
Do you have any tips for writing good content that will draw readers in?
I think it really depends on the direction you want to go with your writing. I personally like to stick with writing whatever is on my mind- the weather, something fun that happened, or that is going to happen, outfit details, etc. Whereas other girls prefer to be more personal in their writing- their feelings, things that trouble them, things that inspire them ( my friend is more like this than I am). Pick the voice you want people to hear, and go with it!
Who takes your photos, or do you take them yourself? Any tips for capturing that perfect moment?
Typically my sister and mom take my photos- I am a professional photographer so I do all the settings for the lighting and composition, and then they snap the shots for me. It's a luxury to have someone to take photos for you- so I definitely feel very blessed! On occasion, if neither are available, I will set up a tripod and do some self shots ( I have a flip screen which really helps). It takes about 10 trillion times longer to finish a shoot, but it is possible! As for tips- investing in a good lens is SO worth every penny! I use a 50 mm 1.4- but if you want to go a more affordable route, you can purchase a 50 mm. 18 for $100 or so. Also, shooting in manual is crucial- pick up a book ( I like to recommend- don't laugh- DSLR Photography for Dummies :-), learn how to work those manual settings and you will never want to go back to shooting in auto!
How do you get/choose sponsors for your blog?
It really depends- once you grow your blog to a fairly good size, and if you are active on social media, sponsors will start to write you. Also, if there is someone you want to work with in particular, be sure and take the time to follow any blogs that company runs, leave comments, follow them on Instagram and FB- make them know your name!
What is the best and worst (be honest!) part about blogging?
Haha- well, the best part would probably be the community- I meet so many wonderful people, through both my followers, and my sponsors. The worst part? I think internet trolling. The bigger your blog grows, the more subject you are to ridicule. Some people don't care if you are a real person or not- they take pleasure in creating forums about you and your blog to make fun of everything about you. Both I, and some of my blogger friends have been subjected to this- sometimes people say things you will never forget. But, ultimately, it's important to know that you can be confident in who you are. It doesn't matter what the forums say. I have personally been able to find trolling easier to take, when I remember that I find my confidence in who I am in Christ <3