What does it take to be…a successful blogger? Catherine Balavage

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Catherine Balavage is author of The Ultimate Guide To Becoming a Successful Blogger – here she shares her insights into creating a thriving digital diary

 

  • Tell us about your career so far

I started off writing poetry, songs and short stories, then I became an actor and worked in the film industry. I always loved writing and magazines, so in 2010 I started a blog/online magazine called Frost Magazine. I thought it would just be a hobby but it really took off. It helped that I got interviews with people that I knew like Alain De Botton and Zac Goldsmith. We had an amazing launch party and it just became successful very quickly.

For the past six years I have run Frost and I have also written three books. The third book, The Ultimate Guide To Becoming a Successful Blogger, is everything I have learnt from starting Frost and turning it into a success.

  • How did you first get into blogging?

I started off reviewing theatre for blogs and then moved on to interviewing people and attending events for Memorable TV. I was also an editor and writer for The Fringe Report. While doing this I had a live journal blog on which I wrote about people I found inspirational or reviews of print magazines like Glamour and a wordpress blog I blogged about my acting career on. I took all of this experience of writing and editing and launched Frost in 2010.

  • What was your first post about and what response did it generate?

It was Glee: Road to Sectionals DVD Launch at Lucky Voice (www.frostmagazine.com/2010/04/glee-road-to-sectionals-dvd-launch-at-lucky-voice).

I never knew that until I just checked, but it is really interesting because that article was a turning point. I got invited to that event by Channel 4 and I built a really good relationship with the people there at that time. I got exclusives and I met a lot of contacts at their parties and industry events.

It was amazing to just start a little blog and then party with Angela Jain who was the commissioning editor at Channel 4 and be surrounded by journalists from all the big publications and all of the actors in the shows like Misfits.

  • What’s been your biggest blogging moment?

There have been so many. From being front row at London Fashion Week, reviewing hundreds of restaurants and hotels or flying to Toulouse first class for a press trip. It has given me so much. That feeling when you capture the zeitgeist and write an article which captures the attention of your readers and goes viral, it is just amazing.

There is no other feeling like it. I also have such amazing writers and editors. Some have been with me since the beginning and we are like a family. I also got to meet Jo Elvin, editor of Glamour magazine, and I was floored when she said nice things about Frost Magazine. She is one of my role models and ultimate girl crushes, I’m still getting over it.

  • What’s the secret to making a blog commercially successful?

Hard work and perseverance. Always remember: content is king. If you have good content, nothing else matters.

Of course that content also has to be read, that is where social media and social bookmarking sites come in.

  • How important is vlogging?

It is very important. It is possible to make a living from vlogging. It is best to have diverse ways of creating content for your readers. Podcasts are huge at the moment and are only going to get bigger. Vlogging is important as so many people just watch videos now. Each different type of media captures either another audience, or keeps the one you have stimulated.

  • What do you think is the future for blogging?

Good question. Podcasting and vlogging are two ways. Vlogging is already huge but it is not going away anytime soon. The thing about blogging and technology is that it moves fast. There will always be new trends or ways of moving forward.

Another important thing to remember is that what works for another blog might not work for you. You have to find what works for you and build on that. Be unique. Innovation is important but the thing is not to get caught up in what’s new because it comes back to the most essential thing: content is king. As long as you have good content, you will always have readers.

To find out more visit www.frostmagazine.com

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