Hello there! Glad you’ve come to join us. I’d like to welcome you to the Creative Corner.
Without further ado, meet Sophie, the creator of This Brilliant Day.
Sophie’s been blogging for 2 years. Her blog, This Brilliant Day’s main topics cover mental health, personal development and sustainability. It also covers the Law of Attraction, books as well as lifestyle.
The title, This Brilliant Day, was chosen because Sophie wanted to create a vibe of living in the present and making each day the best it can be, making each day count!
When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in September 2018. There are several reasons why I started.
Firstly, I had been going through a lot of anxiety that year. I wanted something to distract me and make me feel a sense of achievement.
Secondly, I realised that I was always writing things down in notebooks and journals and I thought, why not share these ideas with other people, to help them too?
Thirdly, I hoped that blogging would be able to provide a new source of income that would grow over time.
What are you hoping to achieve with your blog?
Looking back at my old posts, I realise how much my writing has improved over the past 2 years. I am hoping to continue improving my skills at writing and blogging so that I am putting out high-quality content that will really help people.
I am also hoping to grow my audience and expand the money-making potential of my blog so that it can become my main source of income.
Who are some of your favourite bloggers and why?
There are so many amazing bloggers to choose from! I’ve picked 5 of my favourites that are all very different:
Jenny – Jenny in Neverland
Jenny is a blogger I look up to and admire! She posts about all kinds of topics but I especially love her blogging-related posts. They are so clear and easy to understand.
If I have a question about blogging, I will often look at Jenny’s site to see if she has done a post about it. As well as having such useful posts, Jenny has some more personal posts too; which is great because it shows the real person behind the blog.
Kyra – Love Kyra
I have been following Kyra’s blog for quite a long time and it’s one of my favourite ‘feel good’ blogs to read. Her topics include fashion and beauty, bullet journalling (she has the cutest spreads!) study advice and blogging tips.
As well as sharing useful advice, she adds personal touches to all her blog posts so that you really feel like you know her from reading her blog. If you’re into all things ‘girly’, you’ll love her blog!
Tinka – Little Tinkablee
This is another blog I have been following for a long time and is one of my favourites! Tinka writes a lot of open and honest posts about mental health which I like to read because I can relate to them.
I am also a big fan of her pets and animal-related posts because I am a cat lover myself. I haven’t seen many other bloggers write about their pets so it’s a refreshing change!
Lauren – Bournemouth Girl
Lauren’s main topic is stationery, but she also covers blogging tips, self-care and personal development. I have discovered several lovely stationery brands through reading Lauren’s blog, and I also love seeing her bullet journal spreads, they are so beautifully done!
Julie – Dark Blue Journal
Julie writes in-depth, thought-provoking posts about important topics including the environment and sustainability, social justice, mental health and personal development. I’m especially a fan of her sustainability posts because this is an area where I am trying to make a difference myself.
Julie’s blog is a great source of information and I can tell that all her posts are well-researched because she includes links throughout to back up what she says.
How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected you personally?
I am fortunate enough not to have had the virus myself (to my knowledge) and nor has anyone in my family or close circle. So it is the lockdown that has affected me more than the virus itself. I live in the UK where restrictions have been in place since March but are gradually lifting now.
The thing I have found most difficult is not being able to see my friends. Although I am quite introverted and I sometimes get anxious in social situations, I think it is good for me to have regular social contact. I live with my family but it would be nice to have a change from seeing the same people every day.
However, I am trying to look on the bright side of the situation. In many ways, the lockdown has been a beneficial thing to me because it has given me a chance to focus on my blog and other personal projects. My life could sometimes be quite hectic before lockdown, and it’s been nice to have the pressure taken off me for a while.
What have you done in support of the Black Lives Matter movement?
I have signed many petitions that have been circulated around, including those for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other victims of police brutality.
The most recent petition I signed was this one: Medical schools must include BAME representation in clinical teaching. Reading this one really made an impact on me because it seems so obvious that some diseases and symptoms would present differently on black and minority ethnic (BAME) patients, especially where the skin is affected.
I couldn’t believe that this wasn’t already being taught when it so clearly should be, as lives could be saved!
I‘ve read and supported Black Lives Matter related blog posts and social media content and made an effort to diversify my Instagram feed by following black-owned accounts and small businesses.
I‘ve also been diversifying the photos I use on my blog. I often use stock photos in my blog posts and on the pins I create.
Lately, I have been making sure to include a diverse range of races in the photos I choose. A few weeks ago I discovered this great list of books by black authors on Goodreads.
Reading is a big part of my life and I have added all of these books to my ‘to be read’ list so that I can educate myself more about black history and the experiences of black people today.
I am grateful that you asked me this question because it has made me think about what I have actually done to support the movement, and I’ve realised that most of what I’ve done has been quite passive. It is such an important movement and I could be doing more, so thank you for drawing my attention to this!
In the future, I would like to be able to look back and know that I played my part in making the world a better, more equal place.
How has blogging impacted your life?
Blogging has helped to build up my confidence because now I interact with a lot of people online which is something I never did before. This has boosted my confidence in face-to-face interactions too.
Developing the skills involved in blogging has made me feel like anything is possible and I can achieve anything if I put the time and effort in.
Which of your blog posts is your favourite and why?
It’s hard to choose a favourite because I like certain blog posts for different reasons. But a recent one I am proud of is my 6 Lists to Make During Lockdown post.
The idea for this blog post actually came to me in my sleep! I remember half waking up in the middle of the night, and in this sleepy state, the idea of ‘lists to make during lockdown’ just came into my head.
The next morning, I wrote the blog post! I’m glad this happened because although there have been a lot of lockdown-themed posts around recently, this one was a bit more of a unique idea. It got a lot of engagement and comments so I think other people liked it too!
I’d be curious to know if other bloggers sometimes get blog post ideas come to them in their sleep!
When you aren’t blogging, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy reading, going for walks, playing board games, eating at restaurants (when we are not in lockdown!), watching films and doing crafts.
What advice would you like to give to the new bloggers or anyone considering starting their own blog?
There is a lot to learn when it comes to blogging. When I first started, I thought it was as simple as just writing a post and pressing publish. But there is so much background work that goes on around that. Actually writing posts takes up less than half of the time I spend on blog-related tasks!
You don’t have to get everything perfect at once. That would be overwhelming! The key is to take little steps and keep making little improvements, and they will add up! The main thing really is just to get started, write your first post, and get something out there. You’ll learn all the finer details as you go along.
Keep a record of your stats, but don’t obsess over the numbers. There will be ups and downs and it may feel like slow progress. But if you look back after a year, you will see how far you have grown.
You will learn about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how to write a ‘good post’, it’s important to implement those things. But don’t let that take away from your own individuality as a writer.
It’s important to write about what YOU want to write, in your own style. Include personal experiences in your posts – that way, even if it is a popular topic, your post will be unique.
I recommend deciding how often you are going to post and having a schedule. I post every 6 days. If I have extra posts I slot them in on the 3rd day. This keeps me motivated to write regularly.
What is the most important thing to do both before and after publishing a new post?
I have a checklist of things to do before and after publishing a new post. I’d say the most important thing to do before publishing a post is to check it thoroughly.
Make sure all the links work, the photos appear in the right place, and proofread for spelling and grammatical errors.
The most important thing to do after publishing is to promote it on social media! I usually tweet about my new post and pin it to the top of my Twitter. I also make an Instagram post about it and schedule several pins on Pinterest.
To all the new bloggers out there, please take special note of the sound advice you’ve been given by Sophie!
Thanks to Sophie for chatting with us, it’s been so much fun getting to know you and your blog.
Go and subscribe to This Brilliant Day if you liked what Sophie had to say. You can also check Sophie out on Twitter and Instagram. Give her a follow and share ideas with her on Pinterest.
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I will see you later…