Lauren is a blogger and YouTuber that I have admired for many years now, so I was excited when she agreed to answer some questions about blogging for my readers. You can find her on Instagram @LaurenOLauren and on YouTube as LaurenOLauren. She is super genuine, funny and tells it like it is. Check out our interview below.
Tell our readers about yourself and your blog.
My name is Lauren, I started working in television purely by accident and along the way I became LaurenOLauren. My Blog www.LaurenOLauren.com came after as an outlet for my thoughts and interests. I became known for saying things, women just don”t say out loud.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated I think by other women who I consider to be Boss’s. I think there is this template that most women follow, it’s ingrained in us and how we operate. Even the way we as women judge other women. I like a woman that can take a non-traditional path and really focus on herself. I mean after all there was a time when all we were allowed to do was stay home and have children.
How do you attract new readers?
I have never really thought about attracting new readers, I’ll be brutally honest with you. I have always just tried to be myself and allow the traffic to grow organically. I was never someone who was caught up with numbers. I feel like it can get distracting and then it ruins the product. I always felt like my blog was a niche market and not mass produced. Obviously this way of thinking is not for everyone, blogging has become many people’s bread and butter. In no way I’m saying you have to give up your authenticity to grow a following. I mainly use my blogging as a key to opening many other doors.
What strategies do you use yo gain new followers on social media?
I’m the same with social media, I don’t pay attention to the score board. However I do believe that as opposed to creating a digital life, that looks nice and pretty on social media. Influencers should try to keep a real world presence that they can document on their social media. Go out and mingle with people, participate and volunteer, it shouldn’t just be pretty pictures. I think most of my followers, especially those who have been following me for years before Instagram, when it was just twitter and the follower number didn’t really matter. Follow me for my relatability, honesty and my audacity to do and say certain things.
What made you start a blog and how long have you been blogging for?
I started blogging as a place to voice my opinions on certain topics that no one was talking about. I always wanted to be in print media, but felt like there was no place for me there, and had no way to get in to be honest. In high school, I used to write stories in “exercise books”, Jamaican’s know what I’m talking about. They were passed around and sometimes I would be writing ten books at once, because my school mates loved them so much and a story was constantly in the hands of someone, so I kept starting new stories and passing them out to get the other ones back to continue . I wanted to be heard and traditional media publications weren’t writing about things that were interesting; they were playing it safe. When my blog started, people loved it, they still love it; but I think at the time it was so different and I was more open about a lot of things. The internet and the world today has changed a lot. You can’t say a lot of things openly anymore.
What challenges have you faced with your blog when you were just starting out versus now?
When I just started I made a lot of mistakes that I’m paying for as we speak. I had no idea that blogging would become what it is today. I have re-done my blog so many times and at one point my entire website was lost, long story. A lot of the blog posts that I have written that were really big hits don’t exist anymore. My domain name has stayed the same, but my blog has kind of been like a gypsy band. I have moved it around and changed directions so many times. At one point, I was trying to appeal to a market that I didn’t understand and could not keep up with. I have learnt to stay true to myself, because doing something else might not fail but when it does it has a domino effect.
How do you manage time to run a blog effectively?
Time is something I truly wish I had more of. I am constantly running behind. I overbook all the time. I’m always trying to fit as many things into one day so I can have more time tomorrow. An agenda and a notebook have been my secret weapon for many years. once I write something down and I’m able to see it on paper it puts things into perspective for me. I have days dedicated to making content, days dedicated to editing content and there are days when I just engage with my followers. I recommend putting a day aside to several blog related things, create enough content at once so you can slowly release it.
What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time, I wish I had some. But I do read a lot, I use books for inspiration. I compulsively clean and I shop online.
Do you have any tips on how one can monetize their blog?
Monetizing your blog can take several forms, I think the easiest is using Google Adwords, Affiliate links and of course paid blog posts or collaborations. Let’s say you collaborate with Johnsons baby shampoo, they would pay you to review their product and talk about what you like or use the product to do. Of course stick to collabs with products you actually like, otherwise it would be unethical and untruthful and that could come back to bite you. Also don’t be afraid to say what you don’t like about a product, you don’t have to drag them but honestly will pay off more than sugar coating and lies.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is minimalistic. Less is more for me, I stick to about four colors, my wardrobe is considered a capsule wardrobe. Everything can be worn with everything. I like Neutral colors, white sneakers, strong jeans and designer purses.
What advice would you give to new bloggers?
My advice to new bloggers would be to think about their blog as a stepping stone. Obviously the world of blogging has changed a lot, there are many blogs out there now. However that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start one. There are a lot of companies that make white t-shirts and they still sell. I think if you’re creating a blog right now you have to think past the digital space. Think about how people will connect to your blog, always think about the people, how can you bring them closer.
What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
I’m glad you asked this question. I think my greatest failure is assuming that you can do business with someone and still be friends with them. It’s a lesson I had to learn three different times. When you’re doing business with someone, whether you are related or married to that person, just trust me when I tell you put feelings and past aside. Written contracts, emails and paper trails are very important. People change and sometimes when they do, you realize you’ve been scammed out of thousands of dollars, sleepless nights, created enemies all for nothing and literally have nothing to show. The contract doesn’t have to be drafted up by a lawyer, just google a template online and that will be enough to help you in a court of law If the situation arises.
These are some really great tips that new bloggers can use as a guide to build their blogs. Let me know in the comments what you thought of the tips that Lauren shared with us. Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out Lauren on Instagram, YouTube and on her blog LaurenOLauren.com. xoxo