Thank you Jo from iCurvy for sharing an insight into your blogging. Check out Jo on Facebook, Instagram and twitter.
When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in January 2013, and the initial catalyst was so I could participate in the Aussie Curves photo challenge. It took me a couple weeks to build up the courage, but I did it and haven’t looked back.
Describe your blog in 20 words or less
An ‘inbetweenie’ blog where the clothes are fabulous and everyone is welcome. A true expression of style at any size.
What are your 5 must have tools for blogging?
My iPhone. I blog almost exclusively from my iphone – this includes taking photos, editing photos, writing posts (and playing with code)
My Photo Apps – I use Tadaa to edit my photos and I use a time lapse feature on an app called KitCam to take my outfit photos
The WordPress App – you may be seeing a re-occuring pattern here – the i in iCurvy is no coincidence – again the WordPress App is where I jot all of my ideas for new posts, write, edit, unload and schedule my posts.
Melissa from Suger Coat it – she is my tech guru. Her guru status is general, and not just in comparison to my utter lack of tech skills. Not only is she responsible for the design, layout an migration of my blog, but she is always on hand when I break things. essential in my blogging toolkit.
Blogging friends – I think that putting effort into establishing links with other bloggers is key. A lot of my IRL friends don’t get the ‘blogging thing’ especially since it just seems like me posting a LOT of selfies all the time. Blogging friends ‘get it’ and are a great supportive network – I’ve also found that bloggers tend to be incredibly stylish, witty and intelligent (hint, hint – that’s all you guys!).
What do you enjoy most about being a blogger?
eek – this is the bit where I can come off a little wanky. My favourite bit is when people tell me Ive made a difference in their lives. *Cue eye roll*. But seriously, I get emails and messages from women all the time that say that they tried a new style, or stepped out of their comfort zone, or tried something new because I did, or had the confidence to wear something because they saw me do it – they are my reason for blogging. It’s so rare to be able to connect with people from all different walks of life, with the possibility to make a small difference. I know I’m not curing cancer – but every time a woman has the confidence to look into the mirror and smile at their reflection, I think that’s worth all the effort.
Oh, and free clothes – I cannot lie – that bit is pretty awesome too 🙂
What would be the biggest thing you have learnt since starting your blog?
Not everyone will like what I do – not everyone will ‘get’ what I do and why – and thats fine. At the end of the day, I write for me – because I enjoy it. If other people enjoy it, then thats great – if they don’t – not really my problem. It’s a free world, it’s a free Internet – divert your precious eyes elsewhere. The lesson I’m trying to teach myself right now is how to break from my own perceptions of my ‘niche’.
What advice would you have for new bloggers?
Just go for it! Start writing, start posting, You will get better. You will learn your brand, your niche if you want to have one. Sometimes, I think bloggers put so much pressure on themselves to be defined from the outset – let yourself evolve, but for goodness sake, just start. Trust me – I cringe at my early stuff – but I would never be on my journey without them.
What has been your blog’s biggest achievement?
This year I was named in the Top 40 Beauty and Lifestyle Blogs by Kidspot. I was absolutely blown away.
What do you find is the best way to help promote your blog?
I would also say that being an active participant in blog hops and linkys. By that – I don’t just mean posting up your own content or posting your content to ALL THE LINKYS – but finding a linky community you identify with, posting meaningful content and also ensuring that you visit everyone else’s posts and engage with them. I’ve found some of my favourite blogs that way. Kimba Likes hosts Wardrobe Wednesday, Redcliffe Style hosts a 30+ Beauty and Style link up each Thursday, Sonia Styling hosts the Weekend rewind on a Friday evening, and of course there is the weekly Aussie Curves Challenges too for plus size gals. There are plenty of ways to connect and get started – it’s all about finding the one that works for you – a ‘community’ you can identify with…
What are your tips to overcome the dreaded Bloggers block?
I try not to read too many other blogs – I feel like I’m opening up a potential can of copy-cat worms by doing so! I do two things –
1. I ask for help from my facebook followers – I put out a question, or ask them for questions and see what inspires me to write.
2. I read the log of search queries coming into my blog. This can tell me what people are interested in at the moment. I know if they have made their way to my blog via the search string – then I have found it an interesting enough topic to write about before – so I re-read the posts and think about different angles, or whether the post needs updating.
That tends to be enough to snap me out of bloggers block and get writing again.
Do you (or do you plan to) make any income from your blog?
I make a small income from sponsored posts. I have an incredibly demanding full time career that I love – and I’m lucky to have a job that I not only love, but that pays me quite well. I see the blog as a creative outlet, not a career avenue right now. I have ambitious goals to conquer on the corporate ladder that are yet to be fulfilled. I have enough sponsored posts to cover the cost of my blog, and a little bit of shopping play money – and that’s the right balance for me at the moment. My priorities might change in the future, but for now – I want to make sure that my blog stays as my creative playground – something fun I have to break free and relax.
What future goals do you have for your blog?
My life priorities got in the way a bit this year (I’m currently 6 months pregnant) but I would love to attend ProBlogger and get myself a little bit more equipped on the techy side of the blog. Ultimately I’d love to get sponsorship to go to Full Figured Fashion Week in New York City – that’s on the long term goal list.
What is your all time favourite post that you would love people to read?
My post for Aussie Curves – Vulnerability Week. People ask me about my weight-loss all the time – and it’s not a topic I post about – but I do explain why in this post. I also talk, more importantly, about my journey of self acceptance, and the decision I made to not let my own vulnerabilities hold me back from the best that life has to offer. It’s not the typical fashion/clothes/style post from me, and I love it for that reason.
A more typical post of mine that I really love is “Get a little Golden Globes Style in your everyday Wardrobe” which looked at the Golden Globes outfits – and found similar looks/styles in plus size.
I have done a few of these – Fashion Week Australia street style trends in Plus size, and logies trends in plus size – they don’t generate wild amounts of traffic – but I enjoy writing and researching them.
What is your most popular post (in number of comments, or traffic received)?
The Vulnerability post received a lot of comments, and I truly appreciate everyone who shared their own stories – I posted it while I was migrating my blog and they didn’t travel to the new platform. While it’s sad that they do not all appear on the post anymore – I kinda like that they are just for me.
In terms of traffic – people love the post I did on how to get away with style Harem Pants in the Office. I guess there are a whole lotta ladies who enjoy being comfortable at work 🙂
Who are your 5 favourite bloggers and why?
It’s like making me chose between chocolate and cake! But here goes…
Danimezza – She started Aussie Curves – which is not only the photo challenge that got my inspired to blog in the first place, but she also created a community of plus size women which I very much enjoy being a part of… She is also a driving force behind the plus size industry in Australia, a friend and a very valued sounding board. She also releases a yearly challenge list which keeps me in inspired for blog posts for an entire year!
Sonia Styling – I had the great pleasure of meeting this South Australian ball of style and energy at the Kidspot events this year after following her on-line for quite some time. She is wet-your-pants hilarious with style by the absolute bucket-load.
The Curvy Fashionista – Marie Denee is my go-to place for plus size news and reviews from around the world.
Suger Coat it – I can assure you she is not included in this list because my blog’s technical survival depends on her skills – but she is also a great source of blog-inspiration for me. Someone who not just blogs about fashion, but also her life, lifestyle, how she is feeling and who she is – I’d love to follow her lead and share a little more of myself – and I find her writing to be thought provoking and topical.
Kimba likes – Another hilarious lady I had the pleasure of meeting IRL at Kidspot – I love Kimba’s quirky style, her style how-to guides, and her sense of fun and adventure.