Blogger Q and A with blogger DreamOfHomeBlogBloggers name:
Sarah Macklin

My blog:
https://www.dreamofhome.co.uk

About my blog:
I started my home interiors and renovation blog back in May 2017 when we were renovating our new (and first) home. I wanted a way to document everything we were doing. It was a tough renovation, as the house required re-wiring, re-plastering, new radiators, new everything basically.

Now, we’ve still got the 2 bedrooms to renovate, as well as the huge garden/driveway project. Whilst DIY has calmed down in the house, I write general interiors posts for budget interiors.

My main blogging category is:
Home and Garden

You can find me at:
https://www.instagram.com/sarah_dreamofhome/
https://twitter.com/DreamOfHomeBlog
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/dreamofhomeblog/

How and why did you get into blogging:
I got my first job out of university working for a digital marketing agency, as part of the Campaigns and Social team. I began to work with bloggers on a daily basis, and was inspired to start up my own. It also helped that I was in the throes of the house renovation, so that was what I wrote about.

Where do you get your writing inspiration from?
I’m a huge book reader. My degree was in English Literature and the first ‘proper’ book I read at the age of 5 was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I’ve always loved reading, so I suppose most of my inspiration comes from the wonderful books I’ve read and loved over the years.

If you could offer some words of encouragement to a newbie or frustrated blogger, what would they be?
It’s so, so much easier said than done, but be your own person and don’t compare yourself to other bloggers.

Because I had to put a lot of money into renovating our house, we didn’t have a huge amount of money to buy expensive furniture; most things are second hand. I always compared myself to these amazing interiors bloggers with huge, gorgeous homes. I keep having to tell myself that I’m an advocate for budget interiors, and that my home will look amazing some day, once we’ve finished renovating and have a bit more money.

What has changed most about blogging culture/the blogging industry since you started?
I had a blog back in 2012, a book reviews blog. I didn’t think about what I ‘should’ post, or when I should post, or who I was aiming my content at. I just read books, and then wrote reviews about them.

Now there seems to be a lot of pressure to get lots of blog views and have a niche or category. I used to blog because I enjoyed it, but now it kind of feels like you have to keep up with everyone else. You have to advertise your content on your social media. You have to be good at SEO, photography, writing, web design. You need an incredible blog ‘theme’ and an Instagram ‘theme’ to become popular.

It’s a tough world out there, and you need to keep up with people if you want your blog to get noticed.

What daily tools and platforms do you use in your blogging routine, for research, promotion, sharing and other:
I always use Canva to create my social visuals. Some people hate it, but it’s free, I don’t have any Photoshop skills, and you can create something relatively quickly, which is important when you have a full-time job and a blog to run.

Instagram is my favourite platform at the moment for social media and blog promotion. I also get inspiration on Instagram for things I can write about, e.g. how to style a shelf, or how to pull of dark walls, etc. I always edit my photos using VSCO before uploading to Instagram.

Occasionally I promote things on Twitter and use Tweetdeck to schedule my tweets in advance. I use Bitly, the link converter so that I can track which links are being clicked on which social media platform so I can see what might be doing better than others, and why.

I also use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track any visitors to my site, where they’re coming from, and what keywords they might have used to reach me.

Tell us about your greatest blogging achievement to date?
I was voted number 5 in the ‘Top 25 Lifestyle Bloggers Under 25 2018’ by HIBS100. This was apparently based on my traffic, social profiles and search engine visibility, so I’m obviously doing something right!

I’ve also been very lucky to do some amazing collaborations with brands. Valspar has helped me redecorate my home office, and are currently helping me upcycle a wooden unit we’ve got. They’ve supplied the paint for me, and there have been talks they’ll help me out with our bedrooms too! You’ll have to watch this space…

Where do you hope blogging will take you in the future?
I don’t really have a plan when it comes to blogging. A lot of bloggers set themselves goals, e.g gain 200 blog followers by X, but this is something I’ve never done. I just take my blog as it comes.

I’d love to be able to blog full-time, and have that as my main source of income, but I’m a LONG way away from that happening, and it doesn’t happen for a lot of people.

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