Last week we began our inspirational ‘Meet the Blogger Series’ and featured the wonderful Lindsay Davison from her self-titled site. This week we catch up with the fabulous Zoe Collins from nosaferplace. Let’s dive right in. Enjoy.
Talk us through the inspiration behind the brand and your blog?
From a young age, I have always been enthusiastic about books and when I was 19, I discovered my first YA book, The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon and it was through that book, I was introduced to the blogging community and some truly amazing people. When I was 20, I decided to take the plunge and create a blog myself, with an accompanying YouTube channel that followed a year later…and nosaferplace was born. (nosaferplace is homage to the book that introduced me to the world of blogging; it’s the tagline from the book!).
If you had to pick one blogger as your ultimate icon, who would it be and why?
The blogger that I aspire to be, who always inspires me, is almostamazinggrace (@_gracelatter). She is absolutely incredible and her writing is always beautiful.
When starting out did you have any professional help or did you create your site yourself?
No, definitely not. I did everything myself. I was completely lost when I first started out and I spent many a night watching tutorials and experimenting. I think doing everything yourself gives you a level of satisfaction that you wouldn’t achieve in having professional help. I always look at my website full of pride, knowing I did everything myself. (I mean, I still have a lot of work to do…but I’m getting there!)
Talk to us about the best service a blogger can provide to their readers?
Escapism. I think reading is all about escapism, even reading blogs. Of course, many readers are looking for reviews of books and products, or personal posts about your life etc but escaping reality, even for a few minutes; that’s what I want to provide my readers.
A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from a site?
It is definitely not easy. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time. I think my main advice would be to post about things you’re passionate about. If passion and dedication shine through your blog, people are more likely to want to read it. Also, interaction on other social media accounts is key to gaining a blogging audience; it took me a long time to figure out this for myself.
Of course, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, so what would you say is the greatest satisfaction of being a blogger?
It’s definitely not. There are days where I’ll sit and my desk and want to bang my head against it because I just can’t motivate myself. It’s definitely something that requires a lot of self-drive. Honestly, the greatest satisfaction for me is someone enjoying my writing, especially if it’s an author. On most of my reviews, the author will make a positive comment about it and it fills me with so much satisfaction.
We believe in accountability, do you have any specific goals for the rest of this year?
I have actually recently taken on blogging and YouTubing as a full-time job so no specific goals as such but just to keep my blogging audience growing at a steady rate and continue loving what I do and making the most of this opportunity!
Thinking about the future, what do you think your blog will look like in 5 years?
I’m hoping my blog (and YouTube) will continue to grow and I’ll be able to work from home permanently. My health is a major barrier to me having a “normal” job, so working from home blogging on a permanent basis would be the ultimate dream.
Talk us through your proudest achievement since starting blogging?
I have to admit, every thing I do as a blogger fills me with a sense of achievement. Every time a publisher or author contacts me about reviewing books, or I get invited to a book launch or blogger event, that satisfaction never goes. Collabing with WHSmith is most definitely the thing I’m most proud of though and something I hope to continue to do in the future.
If somebody walked up to you, asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
I get this question a lot and I think the most important thing is to be genuine and true to yourself. Put your own stamp on whatever you do, do things that make you stand out from other blogs that are similar to yours…and get involved with as much as you can online and offline.
If you want to take part in the Meet the Blogger series download one of the interview choices here, then submit with your headshot to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject title ‘MEET THE BLOGGER SERIES‘ to be published – only requirements are that you’re part of ELLEfluence – join our Facebook Community here