This week we catch up with local Manchester Blogger Sweetie Sal to chat all things blogging. Sally works in HR but blogs in her free time and in her own bio explains that having a blog gives a creative outlet to juxtapose the administrative demands of her day job.
How did you first start blogging?
Sally: I first started blogging when I read an article featuring up and coming bloggers and thought ‘oh I could do that!’. I’ve always been creative and enjoyed writing, so the idea of having my own little corner of the internet really appealed to me. Hence, a very basic SweetieSal was born approximately 4 years ago and I am amazed at how Blogging has progressed in that time. I’ve had to Google a lot and grown my following by engaging with other bloggers and brands and using social media.
How would you describe your blog?
My aim when writing is for my readers to feel like they are having a catch up with a friend. Whilst I sometimes cover more serious topics, I want to address issues in an inclusive and approachable way, keeping the tone lighthearted but informative. I try not to take myself too seriously, my blog is a hobby so that will always be my focus. For that reason I think I am able to continue to be creative but not feel pressured into creating content when I have nothing really to say.
Do any bloggers inspire you?
Oh, absolutely. Many many Bloggers and Vloggers inspire me and it is always those who have remained grounded and you can tell still get giddy when they get to work with their dream brands. For me, that’s what Blogging is all about, opinions and features from real people and when you can tell someone is excited I think that is really positive. My current faves are; Gabriella – VelvetGh0st, Claire – Chouquette, Lydia – Lydia E Millen and Josie – Fashion Mumblr. They are all a similar age to me and have similar outlooks and interests.
What are your thoughts on the Manchester Blogging scene?
I am so proud by the Manchester Blogging Scene and I think it is amazing. I am so pleased that Manchester based Bloggers are getting more and more opportunities and exposure. There was definitely a time when Blogging seemed very London-centric, which was a shame as it ignored a massive community and audience who want to hear what someone local and like them thinks and feels about a product or topic. For me, influencers should represent a real life cross section of consumers so it’s really positive to see this developing more and more. The Blogger Community in Manchester is made up of some really lovely and really talented individuals and I am lucky to be a part of it.
What is your favourite thing about Manchester?
My favourite thing about Manchester is without a doubt how friendly us Mancunians are. The Blogger Community really highlighted this for me as from attending various events over the years I have made friends with and met people I would never have done so otherwise. Yes it puts you out of your comfort zone but everyone is so nice that it’s been an amazing perk of my decision to Blog.
I love that there is such a buzz about Manchester. I have lived here all of my life and attended both University of Manchester and MMU and I don’t intend on ever leaving!
How do you think shifts in alogrithms and visibility is impacting bloggers?
Whilst alot of this goes over my head, I think there has been a massive effect and it is a real shame as I don’t really see or understand what benefits this would bring to the platforms and their users. I much prefer chronological organisation (on social) as everything is presented on a level footing. I feel like the changes cater more towards large brands who pay for placement.
Where do you see your blog going in the future?
My blog started as a hobby and will remain as a hobby. I want to improve my photography #flatlaygoals and continue to work with brands on collaborations. I feel really proud of the opportunities it has afforded me and I want to build on this even more. I have aspirations to bulk out the travel based content so that will definitely be a focus in 2017 and beyond.
Which are your favourite brands?
I am very glad this question is phrased as brand(s) plural as it would be too difficult narrow this down otherwise. For Fashion I’d say ASOS as I never fail to find something and my saved items list just seems to grow every time I pay a visit. Accessories-wise, I am currently loving Charles and Keith – they do the most amazing quality handbags for rather bargainous prices. For Jewellery it has to be Astrid and Miyu as they have such unique pieces that again will not break the bank and finally my favourite beauty brand of the moment is Urban Decay.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style would definitely be described as classic. I used to wear a lot more of the trends and my wardrobe barely closed and was a case of quantity over quality. I’ve changed tact now though and am trying to invest more wisely on classic pieces that will last. My weaknesses are accessories and bags in particular!
What advice would you give to new bloggers?
I’d like to think I can share a few pieces of advice from my time blogging, my tips are;
- Do not compare yourself to any other bloggers. It is a waste of time and you don’t know what resources they have at their fingertips!
- Write what you want to talk about and don’t feel pressured to talk about something that isn’t really of interest as your readers will be able to tell. It should be fun for you so if writing about trends when you have no idea or interest in it will feel stressful and you may end up feeling unhappy with the content you produce. Let your personality shine through!
- Don’t take it too seriously and don’t join in with bitching on social media in the hope it will win you notice or views from other bloggers. I see this all too much and you should treat your blog and associated social media platforms as a professional place. Brands will not want to collaborate with Bloggers if any promotion you provide is surrounded by negativity!
- Say yes! To events and opportunities, us fellow Bloggers are a lovely bunch and I will have no doubts you will make friends out of it!
- Do not feel pressured into spending loads of money. You don’t need to!
Get to know Sally more on her blog Sweetie Sal.