As much as I love writing blog posts for you full of blogging, search engine optimization, and Pinterest tips, it’s also important to me to build a platform that helps other bloggers/digital business owners grow as well. As a blogger, it’s important to always find new ways to be visible online and to find opportunities to be discovered by new readers.
That’s why I decided to start a recurring item on She Can Blog called Meet the Blogger! I will interview bloggers/digital business owners about their blogs/businesses and experiences. Who are these bloggers/entrepreneurs, what type of blog/business do they run, what drives them, how do they drive traffic to their websites and what else can you learn from them?
Featured on this Meet the Blogger:
Sarah from SunshineSarahxo
Who are you and what type of blog do you have?
Hi! I’m Sarah from SunshineSarahxo which is a lifestyle blog where I feature posts on everything from mental health, sustainability, veganism, running, and the occasional Netflix recommendation!
I try to write posts which are relevant to not only myself, but my audience as well. One of my favourite quotes is one by Cyril Connelly, which says “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self”. It reminds me to write posts for myself rather than for my audience.
Blogging for me has always been to write posts which I love to write rather than writing for the sake of it. That’s why there have been gaps on my blog because you never produce good content when you’re forcing it!
Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2012 after I began playing an online fashion game called ‘Fantasy Shopper’ where I thought I could share the outfits I was creating. Alas this didn’t happen but the desire to continue writing was still there so I tried to become a fashion blogger…..then a beauty blogger…..and finally a lifestyle blogger which fitted me better because it meant I could encompass all of these without giving anything up.
I went through a few name changes too as I continued my blogging journey. Eventually though I wanted something better and I was seeing other bloggers also go through name changes so thought it was a good time to do it myself. ‘SunshineSarahxo’ was my online persona so I thought this was a good fit for my blog, too.
Earlier this year (during lockdown!) I also completely changed my website by going from Blogger to Wix as I was outgrowing my old site and really disliked it! It was time for a change so I enlisted the help of a wonderful woman called Laura from Accent Digital (who I highly highly recommend by the way!) who made me the website you see today! It totally fits my aesthetic and I couldn’t love it more if I tried!
I then also hired an SEO expert to audit my new site and then implement said changes. I believe this also helps me to stand out because all of the changes will help my blog to stand out from the others when it comes to being searched online.
What makes your blog stand out compared to other blogs in your niche?
Well, I believe that my new website really helps with this because Laura captured my whole brand aesthetic perfectly. It makes me stand out because now my whole online presence, brand is aligned and so visitors to any of my social media profiles and my blog would instantly know that it’s me and not any of the other lifestyle blogs out there. It’s hard to stand out but I believe that once you have consistent branding then people will know what to look out for when searching for your content.
More than this though, I think I stand out because of the content I create. I write more mental health, sustainable and fitness posts which readers also associate with me and can come to my blog for. They know what kind of posts I will produce and what they’ll find on my blog. Consistency is key in blogging and I’m pleased I’ve managed to keep it going for 8 years. My blog has grown with me and I feel I’m finally in a good place with it, I love producing content for it because it genuinely makes me happy!
Which aspects of blogging do you like the most? Which aspects do you dislike?
OK so I love writing for my blog, I love producing the content, sharing it with my audience and talking about it! I’ve recently hired a VA which has been the third best thing I’ve done for my blog after changing from Blogger to Wix and then hiring an SEO expert to audit and then implement the changes needed.
So that would be the side of blogging I don’t like so much because I don’t really understand it all that much! If I can hire someone to do the menial tasks for me, then I will! I’m sure if I took the time I would understand it, but my mind doesn’t work that way which is something I’ve come to accept over the years.
I mainly use Twitter as that is the main driver of traffic to my blog, other than organic search. I use my blog’s analytics to help me decide where to push my content and where to make changes if necessary. I make use of all the Twitter threads to share all my posts as well as getting my VA to schedule tweets for all my latest posts too which helps a lot too.
Sometimes you find that people will find your blog naturally through organic search or by searching for something that you happen to have written about. This is where SEO comes into play and was one of the reasons I hired an SEO expert for my blog. If you can leverage it, SEO is one of the best ways to ensure your blog posts are seen by people who may not necessarily be searching for it.
Which strategies do you use to get more eyes on your content?
I always advertise with other bloggers to get my blog seen by a whole new audience. I try to ensure I’m advertising with a few bloggers each month to maximise the amount of eyes on my blog each month. I also like to have a mix of advert tiers with each blogger so some may just be the basic package, but then others are the premium tier which means that my blog may get mentioned in a newsletter or have a permanent link on their site. I like to ensure this mix so that plenty of people are seeing my blog who perhaps aren’t necessarily on Twitter but are still signed up to blogger’s newsletters.
I also guest post on blogs and have guest posts on mine too, which all helps my blog be seen by other readers too. Being interviewed like this helps too!
Also interesting: 20 inspiring bloggers to follow in 2022
Which SEO tactic has helped you the most to improve the SEO of your website?
Like I said previously, I hired an SEO expert to go through, audit my blog and then implement all the changes. When I hired them it was because I didn’t have the time to do any of the changes myself, as well as not really understanding how to do them either! For me, it was just easier to hand it off to someone else who knew exactly what they were doing!
Any advice you’d like to pass along to beginning bloggers?
Absolutely! I’d like to refer back to that quote I shared at the beginning “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self”. You should always produce content which you want to write first and foremost because it will come easier to you and *hopefully* you’ll not get bored too quickly either!
Follow other bloggers who interest you and engage with twitter threads. Ask for advice and don’t be afraid to ask silly questions because we’ve all been there! Don’t rush to monetise straight away either, if you’re doing it for the money then you’re doing it wrong basically! That’s not to say don’t monetise at all but get your blog off the ground first before you start running a load of ads on it!
But most of all, just enjoy it because blogging is by far the best and most enjoyable hobby I’ve ever picked up!
Discover: Interview with blogger Shane McDaniel from The Country Executive
What’s in store for the rest of 2021? What can readers expect if they start following you?
OOOO well I’m currently working on a few more AD posts and also have a Christmas Gift Guide in the works too which is always fun! I’m also looking to keep creating content which makes me happy to produce but also makes readers happy too.
I want to keep documenting my journey with running, regaining my confidence and write more posts about mental health and sustainability. Blogging changes all the time so what may be relevant now may not be so in the next few months or even next year. But the one thing which doesn’t change is my love for it and the joy it brings me every time I get a new comment on my blog or someone messages me to say how much they loved my latest post!
Other bloggers to follow
Looking for more inspiring, amazing bloggers to follow?
Read last week’s interview with Charlotta Eve here or read all the Meet the Blogger interviews here!
Angie is a blogger and creative entrepreneur from the Netherlands who is currently residing as a digital nomad in Serbia together with her husband and 2-year old daughter Ana Milena. She is the creator of She Can Blog and works as a Pinterest manager for several Dutch companies.