Bearded Backchat: Mel from Diary of a Jewellery Lover
Bearded Backchat is a chance for me to interview PR people and fellow bloggers. This week it’s Mel from Diary of a Jewellery Lover and travel blog Fly Drive Explore.
Who are you?
Hi, I’m Mellissa Williams, but you can call me Mel. I’m a lifestyle and travel blogger, mum and wife, eater of good food and drinker of cool cocktails from South Wales.
What is your “day job”?
My blog is my day job. Since I started blogging nearly 4 years ago I have found a real love of writing and I now consider it my job.
What is your blog called and where can we find it?
What’s your blog about?
The Diary Of A Jewellery Lover is a luxury lifestyle blog about fashion and jewellery, travel and food, home and beauty, parenting and technology and also the odd competition.
Basically, everything I love experiencing, buying, doing and reviewing. I write about what I know and love and I think that is incredibly important. You don’t want your writing to become a chore. They say write about what you know don’t they?
My dedicated travel blog is called Fly Drive Explore. Myself and my husband started the blog in January this year, and it is about our travels as a couple (and family) as we wander the world.
It features travel videos and informative posts on what to do in in a city like The Top Ten Things To Do in Cardiff.
Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging to showcase the shop I owned; an independent jewellers. Due to personal circumstances, we closed the shop 6 years after we opened and this is when my blogging took off.
Why do you still blog?
I blog because I love it. It now makes me a part-time income as well.
How has blogging changed since you started?
Obviously, in 4 years things have changed, there are more bloggers around today than there used to be, that’s for sure.
I think this is partly to do with the fact that people are starting to see it as an easy way to earn a living and get free stuff. Note the words, easy and free. It isn’t easy and it’s isn’t free. I know I put a lot of time and effort into making contacts, writing a post and promoting it.
Sometimes new bloggers and those outside of the blogging scene don’t see the amount of time established bloggers put into their blog.
They don’t realise the amount of time spent writing a post and editing it, staging photos, taking photos, and editing them.
They don’t see the amount of time that is spent on social media sharing posts and building your following. You can write the best post in the world but if no one sees it, then what’s the point?
Don’t get me wrong, though, I have had the chance to review some great products and experiences and make a little bit of money along the way, but you have to really love writing and put the time and effort in to make a successful blog.
I don’t want to put new bloggers off, there is room out there for everyone but it’s important to write about what you know first before thinking about monetising your blog, and realise if you want to do this it does require a large amount of effort.
Would you count your blog as a job or something fun to do in your spare time?
I count my blog as a job but it can also be enormous fun.
Where do you get the inspiration to write a blog post?
I blog about what I feel passionate about. This could be the food in New Orleans or the best Spring fashion. I also write the odd topical post. I wrote a post, for example, on gender inequalities in Hollywood which was widely read: http://www.thediaryofajewellerylover.co.uk/2015/05/flat-shoes-banned-from-cannes-red-carpet.html
If you could recommend three other blogs to read, what three would you recommend and why?
I think from a travel perspective, Nomadic Matt is a great read. He is one of the top travel bloggers in the world, and it’s useful to keep up with what he is up to in the blogging scene.
I also love Wolter’s World. He is a blogger and vlogger that makes great travel videos. He really says it like it is and has a real joy for life.
Lisa Eldridge is a top beauty blogger and makeup artist that makes the most fantastic ‘how to’ videos for applying makeup and getting the perfect look.
What is the single best thing that has come about as a result of your blog?
As my blog has progressed, my writing focus has changed to focusing more on travel. Exploring the UK and the rest of the world is so exciting and is a huge passion of mine. Through my blog, I have been privileged to get some great opportunities to review hotels and attractions for free.
One of these opportunities has resulted in me being chosen to become a ‘Bluestone Blogger’. Bluestone is a wonderful holiday park in Pembrokeshire and I have been lucky enough to visit a few times and blog about it for my readers.
What would be your perfect blog post?
Where I am writing about my travels.
What can you recommend to other bloggers to increase the traffic to their sites?
Social media is a must. Build your following and they will come! I use Buffer to schedule posts on Twitter and think it’s an excellent way of boosting your page views.
Which brands do you enjoy working with?
I also enjoy working with the travel brands, especially in the US as they treat bloggers well. When I went to Las Vegas I was treated like royalty by The Sands hotel chain.
I was given a number of blogging opportunities but as i was only staying a couple of days I had to turn some down as I just couldn’t fit it all in!
Everyone has that one company that they have always wanted to work with but have never quite been able to. Who is yours?
I have to admit, picking one is really hard. Having a massive passion for travel I think Virgin Atlantic would be amazing to work with. I was lucky enough to fly upper class recently on their planes and wow, what an experience! Their customer service is second to none, and the food on the plane was fantastic.
KLM is also an awesome airline. We are flying to Amsterdam with them soon and It would be a privilege to work with them in the future. They also fly from my local airport Cardiff and this is fabulous for flight connections.
Recently I have discovered the fashion brand Joy and I have a new found love for their tea dresses. It would be an honour to review their pretty feminine clothes.
What is your own personal favourite post on your site?
I poured my heart into When Your Child Goes To Uni. It maybe not the best-written post ever but it was very cathartic for me to write. I must admit, I shed the odd tear writing it.
Whose blog would you love to be featured on or write a guest post for?
It would be a privilege to write for the Huffington Post.
Lastly, if you were to interview another blogger, what question would you ask that I haven’t asked here?…
‘What are you having for tea? ‘ or ‘If you could marry anyone famous who would it be?’, as I am nosey.
… And what is your answer to that question?
Although I love my husband dearly I would have to say Hugh Jackman - what’s not to like?!
Thanks, Mel, for taking part!
You can catch up with Mel in all of the usual places:
Don’t forget to visit the Diary of a Jewellery Lover blog too.
(Header adapted from an original design by www.lucykatedesign.co.uk, with thanks)