I had the pleasure to interview the lovely Anna who writes over at The Cornish Life to get an insider on her life as a blogger and marketer! I met Anna recently when she ever so kindly set up a blogger meet up earlier in the year.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Anna, a self-employed designer, copywriter and blogger based in Cornwall (aka, the most beautiful county in England! Yep, I said it). I work from my home in the ‘The Deep South’ with my partner and French Bulldog, Pepper, where we watch too much Netflix and eat way too much pizza.
Why did you initially decide to start a blog?
I’ve been an ‘on/off blogger’ since age 13 really. Writing has always been my passion and, as an extreme introvert, I’ve always been heavily involved in the online world (God forbid I ever have to socialise with other humans in real life!). In the early days on MySpace, LiveJournal and Blogger I just used to witter about random thoughts and do a few beauty/makeup review things, but I never really stuck at it for more than a couple of months.
However, in January 2015 I decided to commit to a project for once. I’ve always been the kind of person who can’t just come home after work and do nothing… I like to get stuck in with creative projects, and always be doing something productive.
So I wanted a creative outlet for my spare time, and I thought – what better to write about than my love of Cornwall? Hence, The Cornish Life was born.
What do you blog about and why?
Okay, so I don’t exclusively write about Cornwall (I’m not a travel agent, right?). I include a lot of random stuff in there too, such as random thoughts that pop into my head, my general life experiences, holidays and, of course, my dog.
It’s basically a ‘lifestyle blog’, and a collection of my day to day thoughts and activities. God knows why anyone reads it, but (amazingly) they do, and I really appreciate that!
Any advice to anyone that wants to start a blog?
If you want to start blogging because you’ve heard you can make money from it and have the work-from-home blogger lifestyle, don’t do it. I see loads of people on various Facebook Groups I’m part of say they want to start a blog and their first question is ‘how do I monetise it?’.
Do it because you enjoy it and because you want a creative outlet, or if you’re a business, do it because it’s a great form of content marketing and awesome for building an authentic brand.
When I started in January I just did it for fun, and so that maybe in a few years I could look back at all the cool stuff I’ve done, but my blog has slowly grown and it has opened up a load of opportunities and friendships to me, and that’s awesome, but that’s really just an added perk that I don’t expect.
What are the best aspects of running your own blog? What are the hardest aspects?
My favourite thing is having my own space on the internet where I can write about whatever I want. I have a brand and website design business and I have a business blog on that website where I write about marketing and such like, and while I do enjoy that, I can’t just write whatever I want, because it’s supposed to be kind of professional.
I also love that I have made friends through my blog (hello Cornish bloggers!), and that I’ve been able to use my blog as a portfolio to prove my writing skills for jobs and clients.
The hardest part? Consistently thinking up fresh content that isn’t just copying what everyone else has done. It’s fairly impossible, as the internet is essentially saturated with blogs now, but it helps to work on your personal writing voice and make sure you write about things from your unique point of view.
Which social media tools do you use the most?
As a copywriter for several clients (which involves managing their social media accounts), and as someone with a small business who needs to promote their services, my life revolves around social media. I use mainly Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to promote The Cornish Life, but man, by the time I’ve spent all week doing social media marketing for other people I do not feel like spending more time on it.
I mainly automate stuff now because… bleh.
Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years time?
I am a typical Type A person who likes to make long lists and 5 year plans, but honestly I haven’t made one for The Cornish Life (yet?). Because blogging, marketing and general online stuff is changing all the time, I just feel it’s impossible to predict what ‘Blog Land’ will even look like in 5 years… but I’d like to do more community stuff and networking with other Cornish creative people!
Three blogs you love that we should know?
I follow well over 200 blogs so it’s pretty hard to pick just 3, so these are just off the top of my head fellow Cornish bloggers who are amazing:
Brainfood (Annabel writes about ‘life after stroke’ in Cornwall, and is super lovely in person too!)
On Serpentine Shores (Alex’s blog includes the most stunning photos of the Cornish landscape, if they don’t make you want to come live here, nothing will!)
Salty Sea Blog (Photographer, Sarah, writes the most incredible posts with stunning photos to match. I could read about her life all day long; she tells it like a story.)