Issa Friday!!!! Whoop whoop!
I’m so happy it’s time for the weekend! But more importantly, welcome to the Creative Corner!
Today you’ll get to meet a prolific blogger whose writing and creativity will blow you away. You’ll leave feeling inspired.
We’re chilling with Essie, Australian creator of Skin Careless, a blog where you can learn how to better care for your skin from a skin expert who is also a writer and experimenter.
Since Skin Careless’ inception more than two years ago, Essie has been sharing her experiences with troubled skin, ingredient explanations, product recommendations, myth-busting as well as reviews for every level of skincare enthusiast.
Let’s hear a little more from Skin Careless creator Essie…
What have you been doing to keep yourself busy during the lockdown due to the Corona Virus outbreak?
I’m lucky enough to currently live in Japan, where I’ve still been able to work through this pandemic, so I’ve been going into my workplace every day but with a reduced workload.
So aside from my day job and blogging, I’ve also had some extra time to totally clean out my digital devices of years’ worth of clutter, read, draw and plan for what I’m going to be doing in the coming weeks and months.
When all else fails, I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts!
Besides blogging, what else do you enjoy doing/what are your hobbies?
I’m the kind of person who loves to pick up a new hobby every other day. I’m kind of known for having more passions than is good for me.
I went to a school for music and also studied art and photography – portraiture is my specialty.
My university degree is in languages and I love to learn about new languages all the time. I also love things like crochet and needlework.
Oh, and working out is a huge stress relief for me! I’d love to do more reading but right now I’m away from home and buying any books would just result in me needing to sell them soon, so I have to wait a little longer to keep building my collection.
My main free-time hobby at the moment is gaming – I recently hopped on the Animal Crossing train!
And of course, I binge watch Netflix (currently: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina).
Which platforms are you using to promote your blog, which is the best, and why?
I just use Pinterest and Twitter.
There are other platforms I could be using too, but social media can be pretty draining for me. Just those two are enough to share the two sides of my personality that don’t get as much time to shine on my blog: my own personal thoughts about blogging and my life, and my more creative side that enjoys designing images.
Most importantly, I actually enjoy using these platforms myself, so it doesn’t feel like work.
How much time do you spend working on your blog?
I’m lucky to be able to dedicate a few hours a day to blogging. On a good week, that translates to writing around two 1000-word posts and creating the necessary graphics, lining up content to go live on social media and interacting with my blogging friends, planning future content, responding to emails, and updating a couple of old posts or tweaking my site performance.
I follow the 12 Week Year as a guide for pre-planning tasks for the upcoming 3 months in one-week chunks, so I don’t waste any time thinking about it day-to-day. The biggest advice I can give is anyone is to automate everything.
I’ve built processes to automatically track my time, export my DSLR images in a pre-defined format for uploading, schedule posts, release newsletter updates and more.
You’d be amazed how much time you can waste working on the little unimportant ‘procrastination’ tasks like that, instead of getting the work done that actually brings results.
Why did you start blogging?
I’ve really struggled with my fair share of skin problems my whole life – acne, eczema, dermatitis, infections, you name it.
Two years ago, I was heavily into researching skin for my own benefit and it really struck me that what I was finding just wasn’t doing it for me. I could eventually gather the information I was looking for, from different resources and by spending a lot of effort and time.
But each individual article was too sales-y, superficial and unscientific, or on the other side of the spectrum, too dense and medical.
I decided that if I wanted the perfect middle ground, I’d better build it myself. After all, I had suffered through just about every skin issue under the sun, so if anyone was suited for the role, it was me!
A blog meant that all my effort would result in something other people could benefit from too. I also really enjoy the technical side of blogging – I took some computing courses in university that are finally being put to use.
It’s been two and a half years now and I’ve built quite the repertoire of resources, from basic to advanced, all thorough enough to teach you something new, unbiased, well researched, and easy to read.
I write product reviews and ingredient explanations, debunk common myths, share personal experiences and share progress shots from a variety of treatments I try.
Who are some of your favourite bloggers and why?
The first blogger I ever followed was Emilie from VoeBlogg. When I was younger I used to really relate to her fashion and makeup advice! That was the first blog I ever read – before that, I didn’t know blogging was a thing.
I’ve always been drawn to people I relate to in some way – like Amber from Barefoot Blonde (who shares my eye shape) and Kelly of the Wandering Blonde (who shares my love of travel – and is not to be confused with the aforementioned Barefoot blog).
And of course, I can’t resist the luxury of beauty blog behemoth Into The Gloss. Their photography is to die for.
All of them find the perfect balance of influencer-style engaging personal stories, and also really tapping into their strengths while being on the pulse of what their audience is looking for and providing helpful, valuable content.
What have been your biggest achievements so far; in blogging and life?
There have been a lot of times in my life I could have easily said something was too hard and given up, and nobody would have blamed me.
The biggest example of this was experiencing so many setbacks during university – like moving cities and changing degrees, and mistakes with my enrolment that were out of my control.
But I have a natural inclination towards perseverance and commitment. Pushing through and finally getting my degree was symbolic of all the determination and heartbreak and proof that I can do anything I set my mind to.
On my blog, that translates to steady progress despite slow recognition. I’ve created the entire site myself with no outside help, and it’s not been an overnight success.
I post regularly and just keep chipping away.
When I look at it now, it’s almost unrecognizable as compared to how it was when I started. I’m proud of what my little idea has grown into through my own effort.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I come up with most of my ideas by pulling from my own experience and curiosity. I know what I wish I knew before when I was struggling, but also the things I want to learn now I’m on top of things. So I just write about those things – it gives me variety and authority.
A lot of my best writing happens when the topic is something I feel strongly about. Usually, it’s myth-busting or motivational topics that really get me fired up. The words come so much quicker and just seem to arrange themselves on the page.
I know there’s a lot of misleading information out there and that makes me want to hit publish as soon as I can, to kind of balance the scales.
Of the blog posts you’ve written; what’s your favourite blog post about?
Easily the one I had the most fun writing about was my “expose” of Rodan and Fields skincare and recommended dupes for their products. In it, I talk about the ingredients, the advertising, the business model – everything!
I feel really strongly about multi-level marketing companies, so it felt good to have an outlet for my thoughts and a physical article to share whenever anyone asks me about the business or products.
To be a successful blogger you need…
To enjoy the process.
You can be ‘successful’ in a traffic and monetary sense without the love for what you’re doing, but it will be like any other job you’ve had where you dread doing the work. Seeing metrics go up is a good feeling on its own, but in those down weeks where growth has stalled, you’ve got to still want to be doing it.
To me, success is when I get to spend my time learning and sharing about skincare and loving every minute of it. So choose something you’d write about even if no one reads it.
It’s been great chatting with Essie and getting to know the brains behind Skin Careless.
If you’re looking for skincare suggestions and advice then you have to check this blog out. Please don’t forget to like and subscribe to her blog so you’re always up to date.
Thank you to Essie for being such a great guest. I appreciate the time and effort you’ve spent and I wish you the best.
Let me know what you thought of this interview in the comments. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to both our blogs.
If you’d like to be the next blogger featured then drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll catch you lovely people later.