What is your blog called?
When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging in 2010, shortly after getting married. I loved writing, had lots of time on my hands (I was just about to embark on a PGCE) and was keen to document it somehow. Back then it was all about cupcake recipes, crafty ideas and little write ups of days out, I cringe so much looking at my photos and my love for the Hipstamatic filters! More recently, I’ve relaunched my blog under a new name, and am drawing my focus more to the things that I love most – interiors, reading, travel and crafting.
Was there a particular blog that inspired you to start?
An old friend used to write a Livejournal and she definitely inspired me. I loved how she ‘owned’ her little space on the internet, where she could write what she wanted and post images she’d created. It made me realise that I could do that too, and that I could cover whatever things I was most interested in. I did actually start a Livejournal myself, containing some of my (bad) poetry. The less said about that the better…
How do you curate your content?
I blog about things I truly love, and that fit the general feel of Gathered Cheer. Anything that doesn’t make me stop in my tracks doesn’t get past the first hurdle. There are a few different categories on my blog (Read, Travel, Home&Design, Life and Create) so that allows me a fair amount of freedom in terms of what I post. The ‘life’ category is super handy for those weird miscellaneous posts!
Where do you find inspiration?
From so many places! I spend ages online (as most bloggers probably do!) and often fall down the rabbit hole on Instagram – following through hashtags, scrolling through the feeds of new-to-me people and so on. But when I’m not head down and sat at my laptop I find it so refreshing to get out and find inspiration around me – whether that’s at a museum (you can’t beat the V&A), at a local market or in a shop, for example.
How do you stay motivated?
Well, I’m not always super motivated truth be told! But I find motivation comes with connection – if I’m feeling a little depleted a quick Twitter chat with a fellow blogging friend can perk me back up. Day to day, I try to stay organised with the mother of all to-do lists, as this also helps to keep me motivated. It’s when I have too many shoots to plan, photos to edit or words to write that I easily feel overwhelmed and want to nap for the day.
Which blogs do you read regularly?
Too many to mention! Aside from the blogs my friends write, my top read is Design for Mankind. I love Erin’s way with words, her passion for good design and her blend of life/family/product posts. She also replies to every single blog post comment she receives which must be a huge task on such a busy blog!
How long does it take to write a blog post?
Far too long! Sometimes only an hour, sometimes I dither and it takes a couple of days. I wish I could be more strict with my time, but I like to take time to make it just right – often writing, editing and then editing again a day or so later. When you factor in styling, shooting, editing photos as well it becomes quite a lengthy process. But each step is fun so I try to stay in the moment, enjoying where I’m at on any given day.
How do you promote your posts?
Generally just through social media – posting links on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’m also on Bloglovin, and my posts get sent out to subscribers too. I’m sure I could be doing more (especially by promoting older, evergreen content) but so far I’ve not got to that bit on my to-do list!
How did you grow your social media following?
Pretty organically. Initially, I just followed accounts I loved, and some followed me back. Then, as I made friends at events we then found each other online and followed one another to stay connected online. Aside from meeting people and making friends, I love using hashtags on my Instagram images. Projects like stylingtheseasons, floralfridaycompetition and aquietstyle allow me to be creative, join in with a lovely initiative and find new people to follow (with some hopefully finding me too!).
Which is your favourite social media platform?
It’s hard to pick! I love the chatter on Twitter and how easy it is to catch up with friends and to find out about local events etc. But as a creative I have to say Instagram wins the battle – finding inspiration, capturing it and sharing it is so rewarding. It’s where I go when I have a quick five minutes and will be found an hour later, still scrolling and liking…
Keep tabs on the lovely Ruth by following her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, you won’t regret it! Want to have 3 minutes with We Blog Design yourself? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you all the details.