What’s the name of your blog?
Where do you live?
Des Moines, Iowa
Tell us how did you start your blog and what did it take to get to where it is today?
I needed a creative outlet in the worst way and somehow, I landed on creating a blog. It seemed like the perfect escape to combine my love for writing, photography, cooking and fashion. I had absolutely no idea how to create a website, I had no idea what I would actually end up talking about, but I just went for it. At the beginning, it was a brain dump – I was writing about anything and everything, trying to find a groove. Slowly, but surely – after a lot of headaches, learning & growing – it curated itself into a rebrand and the space that Pointed North blog is today.
What’s been the hardest business lesson you’ve learned from having your blog
At first, free stuff sounds pretty great and it took me some time to realize I deserved to get paid. No matter what brands tell you, your work is worth something & learning how to stand up for myself and my side business has been the longest journey.
Take us behind the blog, what does a typical work day look like?
I do work full time, so a typical day revolves around my 8 to 5. I wake up, get ready, listen to podcasts on the way to work. Then over lunch, I typically check in with social media, work on posts or answer emails. After work, I get home and spend time with my husband and puppy. I make dinner, exercise and then reserve an hour or so for editing photos and wrapping up posts.
Weekends are usually full of blog work – photo shoots, planning, prepping the next week’s posts. I found that having more free time during the week makes my schedule feel less hectic. Having offline time is SO important, and I’ve been making that more of a priority.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone who is just getting started
Be yourself and just go for it. It took me a long time to feel comfortable just being myself. I felt like I always had to “keep up” or buy the same trends everyone else was wearing. Only after really digging deep and getting over that confidence hurdle did I see people finally relating and engaging with me. Everyone has the ability to blog, so if it’s something you’re passionate about, just start. The rest will fall into place.
In 5 years, what do you think the blog world will look like?
I think the industry is getting so diluted with the Instagram phase that eventually, we’re going to see people going back to focusing more on their website and content. Brands are getting smarter about who they work with and they want real, honest engagement. Social media isn’t going anywhere, but its importance could have an expiration date.
What’s been your most favorite project or post you’ve worked on for your blog?
My disposable camera experiment post. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had creating content. I had started seeing a trend in people using disposable cameras while traveling to have some film footage and I couldn’t resist. We ventured to SoCal in October ‘18 and I took two cameras with me. I obviously remember using disposables when I was younger but I had completely forgotten the feeling of not instantly knowing how the photo turned out or having the ability to delete! After we got our prints back, we hardly remembered the shots we took and had so much fun looking through them. It made for a really fun post and multiple followers took disposables on their next trip, too!
How do you stay inspired?
I try to stay inspired by switching up my routine once in a while. Trying a new restaurant or visiting a new boutique or getting out of town. Traveling is definitely the biggest inspiration source for me. Being out of my own bubble and into something different always makes my wheels turn. As for daily inspiration, I spend time outside, I read multiple articles per day and Pinterest is definitely my most visual inspiration platform.
Has your blog helped you in other ways with your career or day to day life?
Blogging has taught me a lot about time management. We could all spend countless hours on our blogs – writing, photo-editing, website updates – but that screen time is killer. Learning how to manage my time on a daily and weekly basis not only improved the way I run my platforms but also at work! Because I balance this and a 9-5, my free hours are crucial and I have to utilize them as much as possible. As for landing a different job, I do believe my blog helped me switch industries. I’m now in advertising (was in real estate) and being able to show my ability to confidently create something on my own definitely had an impact.
Blogger or Influencer? What do you consider yourself and why?
I think I could fall under both categories, but I definitely use “blogger”. I don’t have a huge social media following and my main focus has always been on my website and on my content creation. In that sense, I think of myself more of a blogger than an influencer. “Influencer” has negative connotations, but I don’t believe that it should. While I know this isn’t true in all cases, I do believe the majority of people “influencing” have simply chosen to share things in their lives that they use and love. People like hearing about products and services from people they trust and that’s really what influence is all about.
Which social media platform do you wish you knew more about or dedicated more time to
YouTube. I know the importance of video has increased drastically and it’s an area I have yet to explore.
We love a cocktail! If you were stranded on a deserted island what would be the one cocktail you’d take with you.
Cucumber Moscow Mule. Refreshing, light & delicious.
We love a good blog hack, what’s a secret you can share with TBS?
Since using Tailwind for Pinterest posts, the game has changed. I’ve reached over 1 million views per month by simply utilizing their posting schedule. Again, my free time is super valuable so taking this one thing off my plate has been so amazing and the results prove it!