Meet The Blogger: Creativity In Doses

Monday, January 26, 2015

Looking for new reading material? Not sure how to get started as a blogger? You might remember the Young PRofessional series from 2014. Coffee and Cardigans' monthly Q&A series is back for the New Year, but this time, there's a twist. I'm excited to introduce some of the bloggers that inspired me on a daily basis.

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Hannah is the lovely and talented the blogger behind Creativity in Doses. She's also a dear friend and old college classmate. You can find here on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Here's what Hannah had to say about juggling a fashion blog with college, work and life in general:

Tell us a little about you and your blog

My name is Hannah, and my blog, Creativity in Doses, is where I share my personal style and adventures in DIY and sewing. I started reading Selective Potential, Kendi Everyday and What I Wore in 2009. At the same time, I was getting tired of my teenager-in-suburbia uniform of Uggs, jeans, Hollister tees, and North Face jackets. I had always loved fashion from a distance, but reading those fashion blogs inspired me to start exploring my own personal style and to begin blogging about it as well.

What's daily life for you - blogging included?

Outside of blogging, I am a senior at the University of Oregon, majoring in journalism and public relations with a minor in business. In addition to classes, my job, internship and involvement with my school’s chapter of PRSSA keep me on my toes at all times. I will be the first to admit that I constantly struggle balancing my blog with daily life. Each week has its own deadlines and commitments, making it hard to establish a blogging routine. I do my best to fit in blogging, but, at this point in my life, I have to put my work and studies first. If anyone has advice on the school-work-blog balance, I’d love to hear it!

What keeps you inspired as a blogger?

I love watching how Elsie and Emma at A Beautiful Mess grow their business. They are a constant inspiration for how blogging can turn into a real career. Another blogger who constantly inspires me is Elise at Enjoy It. I love how she combines blogging with running a small business, and she’s always so open about her behind-the-scenes process. Some of my favorite posts of Elise’s have been Anatomy of a Blog Post Part One and Two and her small business story. To see more of my favorite resources, you can follow my Pinterest board devoted to blogging here.

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What's your quirky blogging ritual?

Since I live on a college campus and take the majority of my outfit photos with a tripod, I typically end up shooting outfits in the cemetery on campus to avoid too many awkward encounters. It’s a rare peaceful place in the midst of a bustling campus that’s surprisingly not morbid at all, just a little unexpected and quirky.

What advice would you offer other bloggers?

I would honestly say to just go for it. There’s really no harm in just starting and figuring the rest out later. I have huge plans for the future of my blog and, although I’m not in a position to pursue them now, that doesn’t stop me from plugging along when and if I can. If you keep waiting for the perfect time or to have the perfect plan, you’ll never start. Blog because you love the content you’re creating and the rest will fall into place.

Answer one question you had as a new blogger.

The number one question I had when I was starting out was just how to drive traffic to my blog and become part of the blogging community that I had been following for so long. To answer that question now, I would say that it’s important to consider how you can offer value to readers. Also, don’t be afraid to take risks and put yourself out there.

Life as a "Double Tweeter"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

personal-branding

I'm pretty sure any college student or recent grad has heard the "personal brand" spiel before. And I'm a firm believer in the philosophy. But when it came to managing my personal brand and a blog, I knew pretty darn quick that I wanted flexibility. It's what inspired the idea of life as a "Double Tweeter."

When Coffee and Cardigans first started, it was a style blog. As a soon-to-be grad, I didn't want to be just a fashion blogger. I wanted to present myself as a young communication professional who was also a blogger. My personal brand (@calliegisler) is one side of that. And my blogging presence (@coffeeandcardis) is another. Both platforms serve different functions, reaching different audiences with different sorts of content. Of course, both also contribute to who I am as a person and a professional.

How does that work?

It's a totally valid question - and one that I received recently! Tailor your content to your audience - a social media basic. My personal Twitter focuses on my work and industry - relevant news and articles, clients and professional organizations, networking and career. My blog Twitter focuses on all things Coffee and Cardigans - new posts and blog announcements, sponsors and features, daily life and chatting with readers. Working together, both channels give me the room to share all my content with the right audiences.

In addition to Twitter, Coffee and Cardigans also has its own Facebook and Pinterest page, while my Instagram is all encompassing. Coffee and Cardigan's channels carry a look, feel and focus that is fairly different than my professional channels. Think about Target's main Twitter, compared to Target Style.

What about down the road?

As we move further into the New Year, the division between Coffee and Cardigans and my professional presence will become a lot more clear. While it was never intentional, I'm really glad that I made the decision to separate my personal brand from my blog - at least a little bit. It created the flexibility I needed for a new project in 2015 - more on that coming soon.

The power of a personal brand? It's a personal thing. Which means there's no right or wrong way to build one. What are your thoughts on creating separation between your professional self and a blog you manage?

Life Lately: Starting The New Year

Sunday, January 18, 2015

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The fact that we're already three weeks into January bothers me a little bit. The minute I wrote down those goals for the New Year, it felt like Life blew its whistle and shouted, "Ready or not, here we go!" Though after a two-week Christmas break, maybe it was time to get my butt moving again - literally and figuratively. So, what's life been like lately?

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January is packed. Between full work weeks and weekend trips, I'm already clearing my calendar to spend the entirety of February 1st in bed with wine and Netflix. But this month did mean lots of time back in my college town with old friends. I hadn't been back since graduation... nearly seven months ago. It was great to catch up with everyone and visit my favorite bar in the state.

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Despite the whirlwind that is my calendar, I'm still trying my best to make time this little blog and upcoming projects. But with even an hour here and another there, it's amazing to see just how much progress you make make. Guys, I'm so excited for the things coming this year. How has 2015 treated you so far?