A Disney fan, Flake fanatic and drama series devotee, Hit The Floor recently sat down to chat to blogger and fashionista Michelle Chai. Proud founder of style journal Daisybutter, we were eager to find out what made Michelle start blogging and how her life has changed since. No, we’re not taking about her wardrobe expansion – although that could have happened judging by her success – we’re talking about the nitty gritty of the online world and how opening up to a blogging community has both it’s upsides and downsides. Here’s what she had to say.
HTF: Hi Michelle! How’re you?
MC: Hello! I’m very well thank you, I’m in full (British) summertime swing.
HTF: For our readers who haven’t heard of you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog Daisybutter.
MC: I’m Michelle, I like twice sweetened teas and ChloÃƒ© perfumes, and I write plenty of oddments on my blog. Daisybutter is a blog full of fashion, lifestyle, food and more, sort of an overspill of thoughts! On a more serious note though, I’m a 23 year old fashion and culture journalism graduate now working in editorial and copy for online fashion.Source: DaisyButter.com
HTF: What encouraged you to start blogging?
MC: I’d been reading blogs after seeing them featured in Teen Vogue way back in 2006/7 and they quickly became a staple in my everyday routine. Once I started my degree, I realised I wanted (needed?) a place to write my own articles that weren’t for an assignment or to a brief.
HTF: Do you think blogging helped when it came to your degree in Fashion Journalism? If so how?
MC: At first, blogging was very much seen as the Z-lister’s journalism. It wasn’t until my second year (in 2011) that digital, SEO and online journalism was introduced on the degree that I realised it would be invaluable to me. As my blog grew and I began working with brands both for my blog and freelance projects as a direct result of blogging, it certainly helped to give me a good grounding of how the industry worked. I don’t think I would’ve “got” that from my degree alone. In fact, my degree even introduced a blogging module in my final year which I passed with a First!
HTF: What about getting a job after you graduated? Did it help when it came to applying etc?
MC: I selectively omitted my blog from job applications and from my CV when applying to jobs. While established in some respects, I still feel that blogging isn’t relevant or obviously useful to job hunting. I tend to talk about it in interviews where relevant.
HTF: For you what makes a good fashion or beauty blog?
MC: Witty, engaging, personable and varied content. Having blogged for nearly 5 years, I’m still a huge advocate that blogs are a chatty, engaging, self-written and ‘real’ platform. I try to keep my blog full of different types of posts for different readers: I write lists, opinion pieces, posts that pose questions, simple outfit posts, wishlists for fellow shopping lovers, and more.
HTF: What blogs particularly stand out for you? What ones do you always find yourself reading?
MC: While I’m no beauty blogger, I love Vivianna Does Makeup. It’s really set the scene for an editorial led beauty blog in the UK, kinda like what Into The Gloss does in the States. I also adore Being Little, written by Lyzi. It’s a really lovely homegrown, lifestyle blog with all sorts of content and she writes awesome recipes too.Source: DaisyButter.com
HTF: Do you feel there are any drawbacks to blogging? Perhaps pressures which surrounding the phenomenon or negatives to the blogging community?
MC: A drawback for me is the stigma still attached to blogging: sometimes I’m reluctant to chat about my blog offline. Aside from that, I’m fairly positive towards the community – it gets a little competitive but that’s just something that comes with the territory!
HTF: What about positives? Tell us about the benefits!
MC: Writing my blog, planning content and always looking to do a bit more has certainly helped me look for more in every situation. I’m one of “those” guys who takes a photo before food and then takes a hundred more so they can be used differently on my different social media networks! But it’s made me much more creative and able to think outside the box. I’ve also made some amazing friends via blogging: once you’ve done a press trip to Morocco with four other bloggers AND experienced a traditional Hammam together, there’s no going back!
HTF: Is there any advice you’d like to give to bloggers who are just starting out?
MC: Be consistent in your content and believe in what you’re writing. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were Fashiontoast, Style Bubble or even The Sartorialist. Don’t feel pressured to blog like everyone else or feel like you HAVE to create daily posts and take part in Monthly Favourites, etc. If you love what you write, that’ll shine through and people will be hooked.
HTF: Finally what’s next for Daisybutter?
MC: Next on the cards for Daisybutter is the annual site makeover! I like to streamline the design of my blog to keep it feeling new because I’ve been at it for so long. I’ve got lots of exciting projects to share and I’m also hoping to make my blog more of a style and lifestyle destination, where my readers can share tips and links as well as comment, and where they can shop, watch videos (!!) and be inspired all in one place.
To find out more about Michelle read her blog DaisyButter.com.
Interviewer: Emma Matthews