Blogging and Life Chats with: Steph from Social Spying

by - 26.3.17

One day, I got this idea for a series of posts where I interview fellow bloggers and ask them about their experience with blogging and some other random life questions. Hopefully, it will be interesting to see all the different takes on these questions. I would also love to include some questions that you guys have so comment them below and I'll add them into the next one! I love you all to pluto and beyond. I mean it from the bottom of my heart! xx 

If you would like to be a part of the series, then please email me or message me on any of my social media. I'd like to now hand over to Steph to talk about her thought and experiences. You can check out her blog HERE. Thank you Steph for being a part of this series!
1. What inspired you to start blogging?

When I began my first blog, in 2013 which has since (regrettably) been deleted, I began blogging because of a natural 'pull' to write. I felt that I had things to say and that the best way to express myself was through writing. I created a gmail account, signed up to Blogger and had a good run with that blog. 

Half way through 2015, I was visiting my cousin in Greece who had just found out that a friend's brother had committed suicide. She proceeded to exclaim that "he looked so happy on social media". I was outraged- partly at my cousin and partly at the world we have created through new media. People saw this man's life online and presumed he was 'living the life' but in fact was so far down a deep dark hole that he thought there was no way out of it. But because his social media said that he was fine, he must have been, right? 

Once again, I felt an involuntary 'pull' towards writing to express myself, which ultimately led to the creation of my blog as I know it to be today, Social Spying. Blogging became a place to practice my passion for writing and communication whilst expressing myself.

2. What do you think is the biggest misconception about blogging and why do you think that people have that misconception?

The biggest misconception about blogging is that it's easy to get going. In the short time that I've been around the 'blogosphere', I have see countless blogs which have a good run for a while, but inevitably end up inactive; An educated guess usually suggests that the author didn't have the heart for writing but had eyes only on perceived 'fame and fortune'. Blogging is difficult. A blogger wants to simultaneously produce content that they are passionate about whilst reaching out to an audience. Admittedly, it was dis-heartening when I initially published content and no one was reading it. Established bloggers are largely the inspiration for new bloggers, which is great but simultaneously problematic as we begin to compare ourselves to someone who has thousands of views and earns an income from blogging, forgetting that they have probably been doing this for a while.

3. What do you love most about the community?

I have made a handful of blogging friends since Social Spying's inception in 2015. I love that there are a group of people out there who take time out of their day to immerse themselves in something that I have to say. I am honoured that people give up 3 minutes of their day for me. The blogging community is incredibly supportive. Fellow bloggers are also navigating the corners of the blogging world and choosing not to go on that adventure alone which I think is so special. I know that if I ever had a problem, I could voice that on my blog and it would be met with positivity and guidance. Rarely, and I really do mean infrequently do I see 'hate comments' towards authors. I've also noticed a bit of healthy competition in the blogging community...but I don't think that's a bad thing. It's enlivening to see that so many people are trying to co-exist as opposed to eliminate and out-compete one another.

4. Have you been teased or bullied at school/work because you blog? What would your best advice be for someone who wants to start a blog/has just started a blog and is worried about the teasing?

I like to think of myself as Hannah Montana- living the best of both worlds. I have intentionally kept my blogging life separate from my non-blogging life. Mainly, I chose to do this because I know how friends have been judged or mocked for starting Youtube channels and I believe that any idea is most fragile in its beginning stages. I am so optimistic about my blog and don't want anyone bringing me down. I also felt that if I wanted to express myself, I would have to be careful of being politically correct. Although I always aim not to offend, I am more expressive and revealing knowing that no one knows me in person.

My advice would be to start it off as a secret. Immerse yourself in a world where you can let your imagination and creativity run wild-without holding back from fear of mockery. Eventually, if you choose to do so, you may reveal your blog URL to others that you know, or you may not. Keeping your blog a secret to begin with doesn't prevent you from always keeping it a secret. Let it be your own space until you feel confident enough to reveal it to the world. Similarly, I know that my blog will not always be a secret. My goal is to eventually reveal my content to those who know me in real life, because I'm proud of the space that I've created, but that moment isn't now. And it doesn't have to be.

If you've already revealed your blog URL and you're being teased then my advice to you is keep going! Others who have the time to mock and be mean have too much time on their hands. You should be proud of yourself for having the courage to create your own space and furthermore for having the bravery to tell others about it. You go! Keep creating! Those who stick it out usually get the best results.

5. What is your opinion on sponsored content? Do you like reading it or not and why?

This seems to be a big debate as of late. I understand that bloggers get the opportunity to make money from their content. I don't see that as a problem. People always say that their ultimate goal in life is to 'be happy'. Happiness is combining one's passions with monetary value. To get sponsored content, the creator has obviously worked hard and if a brand recognizes their efforts then why not get paid. It seems like people have issues with sponsored content, until they get an offer.

I have no problem in watching content that has been paid for, as long as I enjoy the product that is being sold to me. The only time that I don't like reading sponsored content is when it feels forced or not genuine. That's the worst. But, that's also up to the the content creator to decide.

6. How do you keep your life organized with work, blogging and spending time with friends/family?

I would love to say that I have a highly organized system going with diaries or notepads but I'd be lying. I don't see blogging as a job, hence, I blog when I can, without pressure. I also have what I like to call 'pockets' of inspiration- when I get inspiration to blog, I get a truck-load at once. Due to the dumping of inspiration, I can write several posts in a short while and then keep them in my drafts for a 'rainy day' when my pockets empty and the truck backs away. I think the balance of work and play is so important for mental health and happiness. I spend time with my family and study with time to blog. I think it all comes down to time management and priorities!

7. Have you ever thought about quitting blogging? If yes, why?

I have quit blogging before! So, yes, I've thought of it and then I've deleted every post and the whole blog to go with it! However, on my most recent blog, Social Spying, I've never thought of quitting. I have history of never posting...but that was never because I was quitting. I just wasn't as involved in the blogging world as I am now. 

I've been taught to see things through right until the end. At first, my blog was getting minimal views and I felt like I was writing to a wall- which isn't a problem if that's the author's intention, but I had hopes of having a living, breathing and respiring organism interact and possibly enjoy what I write. If I were to ever have quit this blog, it would probably have been whilst it was a new-born blog. 

For now, I plan on seeing this blog right until the end...wherever that end point may be.

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  1. Nikita! It's up!

    It's so so exciting to see my answers on your blog! Massive thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer some questions!

    Good luck with the series! I can't wait to see who comes next!


    1. Thank you so much for taking part Steph! I wanted to email you before but I was having some issues. It's thanks to bloggers like you, that we can share our message and opinions! Thank you! xx Nikita

  2. This interview was so good I loved how Steph compared herself to Hannah Montana!To me this is exactly what blogging is like,no one knows I have this blog apart from one friend as I'm afraid of any mockery :) xx

    1. Me too! Steph had some amazing and super interesting answers. I completely understand what you mean. I would say that the key thing is to be proud of what you do and don't let other pull you down. They could never do what you're able to do, just remember that! xx Nikita

    2. Nikita is right, Daisy!
      Keep creating content for yourself barring fear of mockery. Just be like Hannah Montana- make it big and then reveal who you are! You've got this :)

  3. I really loved this interview with Steph, her answers wer so genuine. You picked some really good questions though, I must say! x I agree with steph, blogging is difficult but we soldier on! Loved this Jas,
    Marina Rosie x

    1. The ones who stick with it, come hell or high water, get the most reward.
      Keep going, Marina!


    2. Thank you so much Marina! Steph's answers really hit home with me and I would love to do more of these soon! Thank you for reading Marina! xx Nikita


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