This series continues to be a joy to co-ordinate. In a blogging world with so many funny, interesting, talented writers and photographers, I love the chance it gives me to talk with them about what makes them tick.
Today's featured blogger for I Love Your Blog is the brilliant Frankie, who writes at The Mayfairy. Bright, sharp, and properly funny (her posts regularly have me doing the eyes-crying-laughter emoji and trying not to snort-laugh on the overground), her blog is truly one of a kind, and the content she creates is unique, fresh, and a real pleasure to read. As I would have predicted, her interview is a delight - take it away, Frankie!
|Photo courtesy of Frankie, who entitled it 'Frankie Meeting The Person Who Reads Her Blog'. She really makes me laugh!|
How long have you been blogging?
Christ. Start with the hard questions, why don’t you. I suppose The Mayfairy has being going two and a half years, but before that I wrote blogs for various businesses. I came across a few the other day. My god. The less said about those the better.
What do you blog about? Do you have a specific goal with your blog (i.e. reviewing products, promoting a business, transitioning into a writing / media career), or is it more a record of your life?
I’ve dipped my toe into every genre of blogging; food blogging, fashion blogging, beauty blogging, travel blogging, rant blogging; I’ve done review posts, tutorial posts slice of life pieces, the works.
After all that I’ve finally figured out that my love for writing is in the narrative. I like to tell a story, to weave a tale around whatever prompt I’ve been given. Send me to a restaurant and I will treat it like a writing prompt. I’ll tell a story about my night, my experience, or how your menu reminded me of punk weasels. I won’t do a proper “review” as that’s better left to the professionals. I don’t get my jollies in telling people how to create a “lifestyle”, I get them by entertaining folks with a good yarn.
I’m not quite sure what I should do with that in a professional capacity, but I’m working on it.
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
It’s a tie between meeting new friends and having a fun, creative outlet that actually makes me feel like I’m achieving something. Nothing big, I grant you, but it’s nice to look back and have a giant depository of stuff I’ve created, all with surprising validation from the strangest of places.
What is your least favourite thing about blogging?
I feel that there is an expectation of success amongst bloggers, which can sometimes feed into a pressure structure that we all experience. Like, there’s an underlying feeling that we could all be Zoella if we just work hard enough. No mention of the fact that it’s not 2010 anymore and that the blogging climate has changed, but we all feel guilty regardless. Like, we can’t justify this hobby unless we are super successful and super success is measured in clicks.
Do you have any favourite posts on your blog – pieces you’re really proud of, which document something special, or which seemed to strike a chord with your readers?
The things I like are the weird little pieces that don’t necessarily get all the click love. I don’t do click bait titles. I don’t do last minute trend pieces to jump on bandwagons I do shit about ladies’ toilets and Spanx and childhood flashbacks. Way to grow an audience, Frankie.
Whose blogs do you love? I’m always looking for recommendations :)
Look, let’s be blunt here, Claire. You and I know a lot of the same people. We love a lot of the same blogs. Let me not waste your time by listing off a bunch of blogs you already read. Here a few that you should check out, and no I don’t know everyone on this list, I just love their blogs:
Need a restaurant recommendation? In Her 30s, Connie Consumes and Cheese n Biscuits are my go-tos. All incredibly well written, food-god level knowledgeable about their subject and passionately munching away.
Love history? Plodding Through The Presidents gives me giggle raptures.
Want a recipe? Sophie Loves Food has the best brownies, They Called It The Diamond Blog will give you cheese and Bowie puns in one tidy package and I’ve Got Cake is a hilariously wonderful woman who combines fashion with food and no nonsense social commentary. I love her.
Writing about writing: Across The Hog’s Back is uber talented and I love to read her blog because writing is her thing. She’s also clever and I have this theory that every time I hang out with her or read her blog, my IQ jumps 5 points. I usually hammer it back down again later with wine and bad decisions.
Want some lols? Try Ericka Clay, the Tipsy Lit girl. Inside The Life of Moi is also riding the lollercoaster. Obviously if I’m looking for super famous lols I find myself heading back to 27bslash6 and The Oatmeal time and time again. They are deities in my world.
Your humour is a huge part of why I love your blog, so I'm curious - what makes you laugh?
My husband. No matter how much I think I know him and can predict his every move he can always pull something out of nowhere. He makes me laugh out loud daily. When everything else is on fire, exploding and spitting poison in my face he is there to make me smile. Usually with cheese on toast.
What is your favourite area to blog about? There's such a range of content on your blog, is there one area you're especially fond of?
Funnily enough, I think I’ve tried so many different genres at the expense of what makes me happiest and what would probably have been the most successful.
I have near enough 140 posts in drafts and I’ve frequently put off finishing these to blog about events and stuff because if a PR invites me someplace the requisite blog post hangs over my head sword of Damocles styles, so they get published first.
It’s such an amazing feeling as a newbie blogger to be invited to an event, or to review something. it makes you feel like you’ve “made it”, and you’re “successful” and on the right track as people are reading and reacting to your blog. You get the validation of this PR person who’s offering you this cool perk because of your influence. It seems silly to turn that down, especially if you don’t have a clear life plan for your blog.
So you take the pat on the back. All fine and good if this is what you want from life, but I don’t want to write what is essentially advertising copy in exchange for a couple of glasses of wine. So how did I get here?
To answer your question, I like the funny, ranty stuff that makes me feel like I’ve worked through some of life’s angst. I want to get back on the lollerskates.
What are your favourite social media apps, and why?
I went to the Instagram dark side for a while but Twitter is my jam. Especially with all the news and political shizz going on at the moment. I need to get back into chatting more instead of just reading though. Naughty Frankie.
What tips do you have for bloggers growing and nurturing their blogs?
Fuck bitches, get money.
No, in all seriousness I think it depends on what you want from it.
If it’s just a hobby, follow the fun. You’ll make lots of good friends and most likely still get offered many cool perks and opportunities along the way.
If you want to make it your professional life, I think that takes more serious consideration, because the stuff that actually makes you money may not be the same stuff that makes it fun for you.
If you start out with a defined niche, then great, your path will be a lot clearer. Otherwise you need to make yourself your niche and stay true to that to avoid a lot of headaches while you figure your direction out.
You want crazy click fame and success? I think that only comes if you are either amazing or interesting (preferably both). We’re no longer part of the first wave of bloggers, so you’re no longer a pioneer if you’re creating average content.
Your content might be perfectly fine, but if you turn up to events every week and 250 other bloggers are all writing about the same things to the same standard, why would yours stand out? You need to take it to the next level, which is much harder now than it was five years ago even.
Can you tell I’ve been having a serious word with myself?
I can, Frankie. Thank you so much for taking part in I Love Your Blog and for such a rich and interesting interview (and some great bloggers for me to check out, several of whom I haven't 'met' before!).