There are exciting things happening in the Australian blogosphere! It seems we are finally starting to catch up to the US and there are more and more amazing opportunities opening up for bloggers. It’s super exciting!
I’m sure exciting doesn’t even begin to explain the feeling blogging superstar Nikki Parkinson felt when she was offered the opportunity to turn a popular series from her blog Styling You into a book. What an amazing achievement!
Unlock Your Style began as a 14-day challenge where Nikki took her readers through a step by step process to discover or re-create their personal style. The challenge was based on the most common questions Nikki received from readers new to her blog. Unlock Your Style recreates the huge success and buzz of that challenge and expands the ideas into an accessible personal style guide.
Tell Us a Little About You:
I’m a mum, a blogger and an author (still getting used to writing that one!). When I’m not researching/obsessing about fashion pieces or beauty products, you’ll find me enjoying time out cooking with a glass of vino in my hand.
What is on your desk right now?
Too much. I do like a clean desk but my desk is currently looking like my life at the moment – busy! Front row and centre on my desk is my iMac. You’ll also find a diary, files, six lip balms, a candle, essential oils and plenty of papers that need filing.
Describe your perfect Sunday:
A slow (no alarm) rise, a walk around my local area and brunch at a local cafe. An afternoon of napping, reading and a yoga class before a G&T on the verandah and Sunday dinner.
You just can’t live without:
My family and my iProducts.
How did you begin blogging/your career?
I left journalism 6 years ago after 20 years and started a personal styling business. My website to market that business was built on a blogging platform so I accidentally fell into blogging without even knowing that I was blogging. Best thing to ever happen.
What resources / apps / gadgets do you find essential to your blogging process?
My iProducts keep me mobile – I work from home for myself but my work can take me away from home. With everything synced, it doesn’t matter what device I have at my fingertips, I can keep things going. Best apps for this for me are: Dropbox, Asana, Basecamp (my agency uses this for work tasks), Box (my accountant uses this for work tasks).
For images on blog posts, I use a combination of Snagit, Pickmonkey and Canva. Most social media photos I take with my iPhone 5S; for the blog I use a Canon Powershot G12 with a tripod and remote.
What twists and turns have you faces in your blogging/life and how have you dealt with them?
I wouldn’t say twists and turns, more opportunities. It’s been quite a ride but one I really enjoy. I couldn’t have predicted I’d be making a living out of full-time blogging when I started but I’ve been open to opportunities along the way and just used my gut instinct as to whether they’re a good one for my business. Not every decision has been a good one but each decision brings with it a learning. And that’s how you grow – personally and professionally.
What do you consider worthwhile investments when it comes to blogging?
Paying for a professional looking site if you’re aim is to build a business on or because of your blog. First impressions are everything and it needn’t cost a lot to have a designer customise a theme for you. Also, buy your own domain and self-host on WordPress from the start. This saves all kinds of issues down the track and also makes you look professional.
What do you gain from blogging?
Blogging is the best “job” I’ve ever had – it’s enabled me to build a business that’s flexible around my family – and opened up a beautiful community of readers that give back to you every day.
What do you go online when you need a break from blogging?
I go offline, not online … reading books and magazines. Or just getting out and exercising or spending time with friends and family.
What advice would you give someone who is new to blogging?
Don’t expect to make money from the start. Concentrate on building content that is useful, inspiring or entertaining. Concentrate on building a community around that content. Then you have something from which to leverage a business. Just like any business, it takes a long time to turn a profit. Keep other sources of income or your job going while you’re building your blog business.
What do you see for the future of blogging?
Good question! Given that I couldn’t have predicted the future six years ago, who knows? What I do know is that the online space is here to stay with the take up rate of people buying and using smart phones and tablets. I guess if you keep giving readers a reason to check back in with you then, blogging will still be a thing.
Nikki has created the ideal job for herself that works with her family and lifestyle. It truly is amazing what is possible through blogging if you are passionate about what you do, work hard and are persistent!
Her book Unlock Your Style is the result of all of Nikki’s hard work, but it takes the hard work out of discovering your own personal style and dressing with confidence.
Nikki offers a couple of tips to start us on our way:
- Wear sunscreen every day. This is Nikki’s number one beauty tip. She is living, breathing, long-term scientific proof that it makes a huge difference to your skin years down the track.
- Master a two-minute makeup. It’s the key to looking fresh when you may not feel so very fresh.
Unlock You Style can be purchased at all good book shops and online and comes with a special added extra where buyers of the book will be able to join a free forum on Nikki’s blog Styling You to post styling questions and get styling help on a daily basis – kind of like having a virtual personal stylist! Yes, please!
Thank you Nikki for sharing with us today and a HUGE congratulations on the book. I wish you every success with it!
all images from Nikki Parkinson