As I’m on adult “Spring Break,” the blogger Interview is designed to engage with bloggers whom I like and respect, and who have something to say. It will run each weekday from March 21-28. I posed to each of the interviewees the same 13 questions and requested that they answer at least 10 of them; I told them that their answers could be as short or long as they wished.
Next up is the always-wonderful Julie of Lifestyle by Joules. Julie and I recently “met” in the blogger world, and I’m incredibly glad that we did. We both focus on a mix of fashion and living a healthy lifestyle, with Julie’s blog even expanding into Literature and Travel. Julie is also a blogger in the West Loop of Chicago, in the area that I lived in until about two years ago. It’s a blast to be a fan of a blog that’s similar to mine, though much further along than my own. Check out below to see some of Julie’s tips and tricks!
What goal did you set out to achieve when you started blogging? Has it changed?
I originally started out blogging with the goal of using my blog as motivation and inspiration to become more fashionable and make my wardrobe more professional. Since then, I’ve expanded my focus to cover more areas that I care deeply about. In addition to fashion, now I also blog about healthy recipes and healthy living, literature and writing, and travel. Now my goal for my blog is to focus on the things I’m most passionate about and hopefully to inspire others to follow the things they’re passionate about.
Which movie best describes your life and why?
This might be an odd answer, but I’d say Chocolat, which is one of my favorite movies. The main character, Vianne, is so inspiring to me in that she is a beautiful, self-actualized woman who is true to herself. I also like how she works to make her community better and to share delicious food with those around her. Certainly not everything in this movie is pertinent to my life, but the overall theme is.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your blogging career?
I know this sounds cliché, but I’d say being true to yourself is so important. After blogging for a year or so I found myself posting things that were more and more like what I saw other bloggers posting–things that I thought other people might like–rather than posting outfits and inspiration that was more true to me. When I realized I was doing this, I totally changed up my content and my readers responded really positively to the changes I made to be more authentic and genuine to myself.
If you had to define the most important aspect of blogging successfully, what would it be and why?
Interacting with your readers and other bloggers. It turns out that blogging is a really communal activity, so it’s very important to respond to comments, listen to feedback, and also to comment and provide feedback on other’s content. I find that the more I engage with my readers and with other bloggers, the more those readers and bloggers engage with me.
Do you prefer posting on your blog, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, or any other account, and why?
I always prefer posting on my blog, as I feel like the format of my posts really is tailored well to my content. There are people in my life who think I’m working too hard by blogging in my free time, but honestly I think of it as “play” rather than “work.” Aside from my blog, though, I love posting to Instagram. By far, Instagram is my favorite social network. I love putting together a beautiful landing page of pictures and I also really enjoy looking the pictures others post. Plus, I like how Instagram has so much user interaction–I get a lot of comments and that’s very gratifying. I leave a lot of comments too!
Most memorable meal? Where, what, and why?
I’d have to say the meal at my wedding. I did a destination wedding in St. Thomas with about 30 people in attendance. My husband and I decided to have a very informal wedding, so our dinner was buffet style without any assigned seating. We had surf and turf with lobster tails and lots of great sides, so the food was great. But even better was the fact that due to the open seating we could just float among the tables and eat with everyone. Instead of just walking among the tables we actually sat down at each individual table so we really got to interact with everyone that was there, which was really important to us. It was a really magical evening–definitely the best day of my life so far!
What’s one thing that you haven’t done yet that you would most like to do?
This is such a hard question for me! There’s so many things I still want to do. I would say: publish a book, travel to China, celebrate my 50 year anniversary with my husband, and own property somewhere in the Caribbean. There are so many more things I could add though!
How do you typically plan your posts each week, and how far in advance?
I usually sit down on Monday and make a plan for the next week’s posts on my blog and Instagram, that way I know what to shoot throughout the week and what I’ll need to get from the grocery store for the recipes I’ll be making. I have both a Google calendar and a Google sheet for this. I didn’t always plan my posts in advance, but since I started I’ve found it to be an integral part in keeping my content consistent and myself sane while producing it.
What are some of your favorite blogs to follow for inspiration?
My current favorite blog is Gal Meets Glam. Her photography is lovely and I really enjoy how feminine her outfits are. Plus, she travels all the time and travel is a huge passion of mine. I also regularly read Extra Petite, With Love from Kat, Atlantic Pacific, and Skinnytaste.
Keenest insight (so far) from your life and/or blogging career?
Logic is your friend, and that applies just as much to blogging as it does to real life. For my full time job I’m a web developer (i.e. I write the code for websites) so logic is an essential part of my daily work. But it also applies to making decisions about just about anything in my life. When in doubt, use sound logic to help you make decisions and you’ll never be disappointed in how things turn out.
Tomorrow: Check back to learn more about the wonderful Desire’ of “Darling Be Daring.”