Blog: Bumpkin Betty
Blog URL: http://www.bumpkinbetty.com
What inspired you to start blogging?
I originally began blogging in 2009 and back then, things were a whole lot different. I’d just moved to London from my small town in the North of Scotland and was desperately trying to find my way in the fashion industry through a series of internships, but frankly I was overwhelmed. I knew no one in the city and although pretty head strong as far as my career path, really knew very little about the reality of the industry I was attempting to get into. As a result I continually got myself into pretty ridiculous situations and had some funny stories to tell about my interning experiences so I started a blog as a way to share those stories. At the time I was reading and being inspired by some of the big ‘fashion industry insider’ blogs such as Liberty London Girl and Disney Roller Girl who were both spilling fashion gossip from their anonymous profiles, so I did the same and coined an alter ego – Bumpkin Betty (documenting the adventures of a Scottish country bumpkin in London) and stayed anonymous for the first two years of blogging (crazy to think now!). My blog was very much an online diary and as I wanted to be a writer much more focused on the words and stories than the imagery (which again you could get away with more at that time). As the blogging industry changed, and I grew up and started getting proper jobs/ carving my career, the blog changed with me and grew into so much more than just silly stories. I finally lost my anonymity a couple of years ago and now I like to think of the blog as an all encompassing lifestyle site – sharing lots of interesting content from fashion to food, travel to inspiration. I still look back at those early posts and laugh/ cringe but I wouldn’t change the journey as in years to come I like to think I’ll have a space in which to reminisce about all my experiences.
Do you have any other ‘day’ jobs?
Yes! As long as I’ve been blogging, I’ve always had a full time job alongside it but just last year I made the leap into freelance life and left my full time job in Fashion PR and Digital Media to work for myself and set up my own freelance consultancy (so now I feel as if I have three full time jobs!). Now no two days are the same and I spend my time working on projects with brands to help them build their online profiles – this can include anything from writing their editorial and putting together their social strategy to organising events and coming up with global brand building campaigns. The blog is now integrated into my daily life and is an important part of my freelance career.
What are your must-have blogging tools or resources?
Ooh so many! I think my most valuable tool at the moment has to be my camera, as imagery plays such a big part in blogging nowadays. Back when I first started blogging, I rarely even included images on my posts and when I did they were either taken on a very basic camera phone/ snapshot camera or found via tumblr and linked back to the source. Now I spend so much of my blogging time both thinking about the type of shots I want and working hard to make sure they are the best they can be. I’m definitely not a natural at this so I’ve been working hard this year to teach myself as much as I can and since I invested in a newer SLR model (I use the Canon 700D) and a better lens (Currently a 50mm F2.8 but coveting a F1.4) I’ve seen a noticeable difference, but it’s a learning process.
What inspires you?
Everything! I think inspiration comes in so many forms and I just try and soak everything up, even if I’m spending the day sitting at a desk with nothing more inspiring than my mug of tea in front of me. I’ve always been quite a creative person so love getting inspired by art, photography and anything crafty (I love to bake!).
I’m a big fan of fashion and illustration books and have all of the Vogue series – I love them and if I’m ever feeling uninspired just sit down and have a read through one. Pinterest is of course a great quick fix for lack of inspiration – I could spend hours on there – and of course I’m always inspired by fellow bloggers! I spend lots of time reading blogs and love nothing more than a quiet night in to absorb myself in beautiful blog photography.
What is your biggest challenge as a blogger?
That’s a tricky one as I think there are a lot of challenges but I think one of the biggest for me is trying to stay individual with my content, yet doing enough to grow my following. The blogosphere is so huge nowadays that it can sometimes be difficult to figure out where you fit and what you offer that’s different from all the rest. Sometimes I get myself in a tizzy worrying that I cover too much on my blog and don’t have one particular niche, but at those times I just remind myself that my blog started out of passion, and try and get back to writing the content I enjoy writing, regardless.
Share three of your favourite bloggers with us.
I adore Cider with Rosie – her photography is beautiful and she has a wonderful way of making her readers feel like they are somehow a part of her magical little everyday life.
My ultimate lifestyle blog has to be Cupcakes and Cashmere and Emily is a constant inspiration for me as she covers fashion, food and lifestyle in a really coherent way.
On the fashion side there are SO many but one I always look forward to reading is A Little Bird Told Me as Jen’s a great writer so combines witty words with pretty photographs and being a similar age to me, I really love her style.
What are your future plans for the blogosphere?
Well hopefully I’ll be able to continue carving a career within the online and blogging world for a few years to come – that would make me pretty happy indeed!
My blog is undergoing a makeover at the moment (which may already be completed depending on when this interview goes live) and I’m really excited about that as I feel the blog has come on so much in the last year and I want its look and feel to reflect that. I’d love Bumpkin Betty to become a site where people could visit daily for tips, inspiration and advice on lots of different areas so I’m going to work hard to try and create this and aim to integrate the blog into my freelance business more and more.
But also, away from the online world, I’m aiming to start writing my first novel this year as that’s high on my ambition list.
Finally, tell us a random fact about you.
I’m a list writing obsessive! I write lists for every single part of my life and can’t seem to function without them, even right down to tasks as simple as ‘get up, have shower, eat breakfast’. It’s part of my daily routine now but whenever i think about it is rather ridiculous – as if I wouldn’t get up or eat breakfast if it wasn’t on the list!
Thanks for joining us for Shout Out Sunday!
See you again next week for more blogger awesomeness.