The world of blogging has evolved so much over the last few years, lifestyle bloggers are some of the foundational internet entrepreneurs that gave us all the confidence to hustle on the internet.
So it only made sense for us to introduce you to one of our favourite bloggers, Elvira. Her site is rich with brilliant content, consistent, new, exciting and affordable looks plus out of the ordinary interviews with smart a$$ people. Keep reading for blog tips and more from Elvira.
Let’s start by getting to know the real BdBlogger, who are you and tell us more about what you do…
I’m a 27-year-old, Nigerian-Italian living in London. I’m hugely passionate about people, whether writing up interviews, chatting with strangers or having deep convos with friends – I just want to understand people. Hence why I undertook a psychology degree, gained experience working in the NHS and was a manager at a mental health centre up until a year ago. Then – having grown up with entrepreneurial parents – I developed an itch to test out other passions in life. I started a blog as a means to express my interests, I changed jobs a few times to find something that would stick: modelling, creative direction, brand and content strategy, copywriting, etc.. So it’s hard to describe what I do in one sentence because I’m still figuring it out. Perhaps jack of all trades for now.
I really wanna talk about your Italian and Nigerian heritage, what a sick mix! How much do you think your heritage has influenced your aesthetic?
Both my cultures love high quality looks. It’s not necessarily about labels or brands, but more about individuality and good taste. However, what I think has had a greater effect on me and my aesthetic is my parents’ mentality more than their culture per se. Both love to travel and as such, I’ve lived briefly in several countries across Europe and Africa, as well as different states in the USA. Because of these experiences, I’ve developed a love for encountering different ways of living and perceiving the world and my aesthetic is a reflection of that.
I’m never able to stick to one particular style for too long before I’m bored and looking to channel another part of the world that I’ve been exposed to.
I think bdblggr is such an interesting name considering the fact that I actually think you’re a very very good blogger! Where did the name come from?
Ha, thanks! I redesigned the blog a year ago because I was feeling frustrated with my original site, lacking inspiration from my own work and hating the copycat look I had created as a reflection of everything else I’d seen online. I was posting pictures that everyone else was posting and while it looked nice, it wasn’t me. I was also suffering from a lot of anxiety around inadequacy and struggling to express myself in the right way. I wrote about all those feelings a while ago in a post called ‘Confessions of a Bad Blogger’.
I honestly don’t want to follow any unspoken rules of what it means to be a blogger, of how many times I need to post in a day to be successful, or the type of content I need to produce in order to be noticed. I just wanted to do what I wanted, how I wanted and not feel bad about being different, whether it garnered likes or not. Essentially, I claimed the idea of being a bad blogger to promote individuality and remind myself about the importance of experimenting, even if does go wrong sometimes.
What inspired you to want to start a blog?
It was really about finding a new creative project to busy myself with. I had identified as an academic during my school years, even though I enjoyed creative subjects as well (a product of having a Nigerian mother, no doubt). After university, whilst trying to find a job, – and in order to engage in something productive that would keep me sane – I decided that I wanted to create a platform to share the different interests I had: everything from fashion to music, to reading, to travel.
Talk to us about the Expert Series you did, it was honestly so sick. Who was one person you really enjoyed speaking to or what was your fave tip out of all the ones you shared?
Yay, so happy you enjoyed it! I really loved working on that series but picking a favourite is hard! Honestly, I learnt something important from each person I featured, such as the need to support independent brands as an influencer, the fact that people spend too much time fixating on numbers when creating good quality content is more advantageous in the long run, the necessity of planning and strategising and the value of building meaningful relationships with your community.
What’s it been like juggling blogging and working? Do you do both? How do you do it? Or how did you take the leap away from working to blogging?
That’s the hardest question ever and even those I ask who are more established than I am still don’t have a set answer. To be honest, I doubt whether there is a straight-forward answer. Obviously, as a freelancer, I get to manage my own time so I can balance my work/blog life more effectively. When I was working 9-5, my blog suffered – mostly because I was uninspired. When working all day in an office, sourcing creativity is hard and even when you do, by the time you get home in the evening, you’re probably lacking the motivation to actually blog.
I would first encourage people to be kind to themselves, you’re not superwoman and it’s okay to fall short sometimes. However, try and do something small every day. It does depend on the type of blog you have, but scheduling time to do the work and being strict with yourself is so important, whether 45 mins every evening or 4 hours every Saturday. And keep a notepad with you at all times to jot down ideas you have throughout the day. Finally, when it comes to making that jump, go slow and steady. It was a large adjustment to my life, one I do wish I took a bit more caution with, in terms of building up a stronger network base to help make the transition smoother and keep paid work coming in regularly.
Do you have any tips for anyone who wants to start a blog? e.g. hashtags, monetising your blog, working with photographers?
Endless tips – I could write a whole book on it (watch this space!). Generally just do whatever you want to and don’t get distracted or deterred by what others are doing. However, don’t underestimate the power of COLLABORATION! It’s the best way to learn, grow your community, make new friends, expand your network base and just have some fun. Reach out to the people whose work you like and create something cool together, whether with other bloggers, photographers, brands, etc… Blogging can be isolating, so making connections IRL is just as important as URL. And read my blog for more tips 😉
Where do you want to be in 5 years and how can we (the RONIEBOND community or anyone reading this) help you get there?
Running a sick platform that provides insightful information to other women, editor of my own print publication and just happy in whatever life throws at me. Most importantly, I just want to continue growing and learning so please keep engaging with me and my content, and let me know what you like or don’t, what’s working and what’s not, etc… I’m all about getting better so your thoughts mean everything.