Hi Alex! What’s the name of your blog?
Where do you live?
Tell us a little about you and your blog and what you mostly blog about?
ABA is a Houston-based lifestyle and style blog which strives to give the busy millennial woman the tools to feel confident and empowered through style. Married for three years, with a rescue pup named, Lucy, my blog has been an outlet to write (I was a journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin), share my travels and outfits and lately explore more in the realms of home decor and cooking. When I’m not working on my blog (it’s my full-time job), I assist my husband with marketing for his home renovation and remodeling business, go to spin classes at SoulCycle, watch cooking shows or read books (I’ve been addicted to WWII fiction as of late).
How many years have you been blogging?
Almost 9 years.
Give us your best tip to staying on top of the blog work/life balance?
It took me quite some time to realize this, but for me staying on top of the blog/work/life balance means understanding that I’m not perfect and that I won’t ever be able to do it all. So instead I stay on top of it all by writing a daily to-do list with the top three things I want to tackle for the day. This simple action has helped me find a much better blog/work/life balance.
What people don’t realize about blogging is….
it’s not all about your follower count.
What are three things you wish you knew about blogging before you started?
- Basic coding
- Shooting with a camera in manual
- How to be my own boss (although I’m still learning more on this last one every day!)
What’s your favorite WordPress plugin?
Lately, it’s the WP Recipe Maker – since I’ve been posting more food content, this has been a great plugin to get familiar with.
What skills and qualities do you think are necessary for a successful and professional blogger?
It’s so simple, but proofreading your blog posts, Instagram captions and emails is a huge aspect when it comes to being a successful and professional blogger. Taking those extra few minutes to read, sometimes aloud, what you’ve written, can make the difference between silly grammatical errors and professional sounding content!
What has blogging taught you/given you that no other career or job has before?
I’ve met a number of women who I would’ve never met otherwise due to living in different parts of the country. Blogging has also taught me to grow a thick skin. Of course, this isn’t a quality solely found in blogging, but running your own business and being your own boss has a way of making you realize quickly that taking things personally is not worth it!
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in the blog world?
Don’t be afraid to delegate or not be able to do it all. You aren’t superwoman, and it’s perfectly okay to be good at one thing, such as writing or taking travel photography and not as versed in other things. And with that, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Is there an app or business tool that you swear by?
The Lightroom app.
What is your main focus, blog or Instagram?
What makes your brand different than other bloggers?
I like to think I am an approachable, kind and honest person. What you see is what you get, and I want my audience to feel like I am there for them in return. In terms of exact differences, while I love fashion and clothing, try-ons and fast fashion really aren’t my thing. I much more enjoy sharing staples or classic items that can be re-worn in multiple different ways and for years to come.
What topic do you most enjoy writing about?
Lifestyle content – lately it’s everything from travel to cooking.
What would your dream partnership look like? From the brand, the content, all of it! Dream up your perfect collaboration.
My perfect collaboration would be partnering with a well-regarded hotel chain like Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons. Traveling is one of my favorite pastimes, so a partnership with one of the aforementioned dream brands and reoccurring to different locales to create content and travel guides and tips would be an absolute dream come true of mine!
What is a current blogging goal you are working on?
Growing my page views and re-building my blog readership through high-quality content and newsletters, since I lost track for some time and put all my eggs in the Instagram basket.
What does a typical workday for you look like? Whether you’re a full-time blogger or not, we’d love to learn what your schedule looks like and how you manage it all.
I’m not going to lie, 3+ years of blogging full-time and I’ve just recently figured out how to manage my day-to-day schedule. I tend to do a bit of quiet time first thing in the morning with coffee and a devotional. Wish I could say I didn’t look at my emails or Instagram first thing upon waking up, but that’s still a habit I’m trying to break.
I try to block my days out with 3 days at my desk for calls, writing and emails and 2 days for photoshoots, errands or appointments. I like to take my calls before lunch and then my afternoons at my desk are reserved for writing, scheduling content, turning in drafts and working on clerical items such as my P+L statements or proofreading content. My biggest goal for 2020 is to use scheduling tools for my social media content, so I can stay off my phone in the evenings and actually disconnect somewhat, like a normal 9-5 job!
What’s your most recent WIN with your blog?
Growing my page views back in a positive direction and towards the numbers, I had before Instagram became such a heavy focus!
What is one thing in the blogging industry that frustrates you that you wish you could change?
The low barriers to entry. Anyone can start a blog or create an Instagram account and begin calling themselves an Instagram influencer or a blogger, but just because they call themselves that, it might not really mean they have the experience and wherewithal to make it in this industry.
How has your content changed since you first started blogging?
I have a much heavier emphasis on lifestyle content (home, cooking, travel) as opposed to style, which is what my blog began as, a style blog.
What’s your guilty pleasure TV show?
Real Housewives of New York
What do you have on for background noise when working? Music, TV, or silence?
Mostly silence, but when I am writing I listen to my close to perfectly curated Hipster Cocktail radio channel on Pandora.
What’s your favorite blogging memory or highlight?
Partnering with the Bahamas Visitors Bureau and BahamasAir to highlight the inaugural Houston to Nassau non-stop route and what there is to do in Nassau for a long weekend getaway.
What’s your Starbucks order?
Almost always a tall skinny Vanilla Latte with Soy Milk, but lately it’s been a tall Chai Tea Latte with Almond Milk.
Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met in the blogging industry?
Amber Venz of RewardStyle, I’m fascinated by the platform she’s built and grown.
If you could do brunch with any blogger, who would it be?
Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam