After our second blogger interview went live, I was contacted by Giada, A.K.A Miel Cafe.
Giada’s style interested me, as did the fact an international blogger was keen to get involved with Aura’s blogger interview series. I emailed Giada questions after I reviewed the site. Here’s how the interview panned out.
Our blogger interview series aims to give insight into some of Scotland’s top bloggers and how PR practitioners and brands can work more effectively with them.
Blogger interview #4 with Miel Cafe by Aura’s Laura Sutherland
#1 Tell us about your blog
Miel Café is, what I like to call it, a life and personal style blog. But it doesn’t necessarily fit under one single category: it’s a sort of personal diary where I like to share all the things that makes life great. It’s a mixture of life experiences and stories, style and natural beauty favourite finds, freelancing behind-the-scenes, recipes and baking experiments and everything in between!
Well, thank you! Being a web designer and illustrator, I of course believe a blog’s aesthetic is fundamental and, I’d say, pretty equal to the content. We all love a well-designed blog, one where you can immediately get a feel of what you’ll find, of the blogger behind it. Plus a high quality design shows your audience you care and are serious about your blog in a first place, and about them and their experience on your website too!
I believe a blog design in particular should be your business card – visuals especially in blogging are so important nowadays and you want your design to both enhance your content and reflect your personality!
#3 I love your blog toolkit! Take us through what that includes and what you use everything for
Blogging is a bit of an amazing hobby to me, one I like to invest time and a bit of money in, but where I try and do things on a budget. My toolkit is nothing fancy really, but works wonders for me!
It includes a Nikon D3100, which, believe it or not, it’s still my first DSLR and, although it might not be the most advanced camera, I can’t think about replacing it really! I updated my lens a couple of years ago to a 35mm f/1.8 and that made all the difference to me. I use it with a wireless remote and a tripod, and these two are my blogging best friends! I also use an iPhone camera SD reader, especially when travelling, to transfer my camera pictures to my iPhone and post them on Instagram right away!
Other than my photography equipment, I’m a bit of an organizing freak and love notebooks for noting down ideas so much – I have a different one in every handbag. I also have a little selection of iPhone apps I can’t imagine managing blogging and life without: such as Evernote, Dropbox (you gotta have a quick way to transfer those pictures from one device to another!) and Sunrise Calendar (although I believe they’re shutting it down, better find a replacement soon!).
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#4 Anywhere, anyone can read blogs. Do you find you ‘meet’ new people through your blog?
I believe blogging can be such an amazing way to connect to like-minded people all over the world. I can’t say I have met a lot of people through blogging, but I surely have connected with a few, and to find creative, inspiring, talented young women you can measure yourself with and have a healthy comparison, is always such a thrilling experience!
Social media is my daily challenge and I guess every blogger can relate. It’s always such an unknown world, so difficult to understand you’re doing it right or wrong really!
I use Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram both for my blog and business. I have been on Twitter for years and it’s my go-to way to connect with readers and fellow bloggers but also PRs and brands. I love Twitter for sharing my blog’s content when I have something new, and I’m trying to be more involved and share some personal opinions on there too, which is proving to be pretty efficient!
I have started using Pinterest a little bit later than the others, but today it’s actually the main source of my blog’s traffic between social media! I can’t still quite believe it, if you ask me, as I have spent years wondering what the heck Pinterest was all about. Turns out, creating content with Pinterest in mind can make all the difference, because if something goes viral on Pinterest, you’ll get traffic from that single pin even months, years later!
Instagram is my big dilemma: I put a lot of effort into it, I create unique content for it and also use it to share my latest blog posts. However it’s the most challenging social media to me, as growing my profile over there is proving to be quite difficult. I believe interaction is key on Instagram, and it takes a lot of time and effort, but that’s the only real way I saw a bit of a difference up until now!
#6 What’s the blogging community like in Milan, Italy?
Well, let’s say I have blogged in Italian for Italy-based readers mainly for a couple of years before starting Miel Café. It surely was a bit of a different experience, but nowadays I’m glad I decided to expand my audience and make my blog more international because it opened up the way for so many amazing opportunities!
Blogging in Italy, as I think also in other European countries besides the UK, is very different: being an international blogger can put some brands off, you get a lot of disappointing emails, plus all the events are of course far away. I am very very lucky to live so close to Milan that is where most of the major blogging events are usually located over here: that gave me a chance to be introduced to some brands as well as other bloggers!
#7 What’s been the most popular post on your site and why do you think that it was the most popular?
My all-time most popular post was surely my How To Cook Pasta Like An Italian feature! I pondered the idea of putting that post together for months, I wasn’t sure it was going to go down well and I felt so passionate about the subject that I guess I was afraid of that happening because I’d have felt so disappointed!
But in the end, yes, it’s still my most popular post! It’s an article where I share one of the things we love the most in Italy, cooking pasta and how we *really* do it. I know a lot of my readers are based outside of Italy and I also know people love Italian cuisine, so I guess that’s why it’s very popular! I’m talking about pasta very passionately in that article, now that I read it a few months later, but I believe that’s why Italian pasta is so popular outside of Italy. I guess readers where able to tell that too, but most of all, I wanted it to be useful.
It was so popular that I decided to start a blog series on the topic!
#8 You mention in your ‘work with me’ section that you’re PR friendly and would like to collaborate. In particular you say you’d rather review something and give a ‘trustworthy review’. How important do you think being trustworthy is, to your readers?
I believe there’s a reason why blogging is so popular and why brands have started considering them like a powerful media, and that’s because of the personal and honest way they write about things. I have always been honest about what I feature on my blog and all the things I share and suggest are things I loved myself or I would buy myself as well.
I believe honesty is such a fundamental aspect in blogging, we want to be trusted by our readers and once they do, we don’t want to lose it. That’s a good basic philosophy for blogging in general, but I also think that’s what will attract brands and make them want to work with your blog!
#9 You’ve collaborated with some fabulous brands, including Lush, Maybelline, Romwe and Lindt. What sort of things work for brands in your experience?
As I mentioned before, I believe honesty is key in blogging: brands are looking for someone people can trust, to share their experiences in a very personal way that can help and attract new customers on their ends.
What I think is working for me, is taking blogging very seriously, trying to create awesome content I’ll be proud of for months or even years. I like to be creative with my articles, I like to provide ideas that are different and useful, I take blogging photography very seriously as well! Brands can notice when a blogger is passionate about what she/he is doing, and creativity and hard work always pay off.
I have worked and still work with amazing brands, but I have also received a lot of brand promotion offers that didn’t value my work or blog and were almost offensive. But if you do put love into what you do and make, there will be brands that see that and will love to work with you – and those are the brands you’re really wanting to promote!
Photography is my favourite and least favourite past of blogging at the same time! I love it and I hate it: I am so demanding and fussy about visuals that it can be quite frustrating sometimes and it surely takes a lot of time to put together a nice selection of photos for one blog post, since I like to have at least 5-6 for each and they *have* to be perfect!
But at the same time, it’s so satisfying when you find your way through it, to have your own photos you planned so hardly and in advance. I love editing pictures as well!
Just do it! Blogging is so very popular and it can be difficult to emerge in the sea of endless blogs springing up like mushrooms everyday, but a blog it’s such a creative outlet, a way to always prove yourself you’re capable of creating amazing things, a chance of putting yourself out there and challenge your abilities.
There’s no magic formula or a way of doing it: because everyone can do it, there’s no rule. You can aspire to make blogging your full time work, or just have it as the most fulfilling hobby ever, you can post daily or just once a week or month and find you own rhythm. But if you have a passion for writing and documenting and photography, it’s surely something I’d suggest to try!
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