Tell us about yourself and your blog!
I’m Ruth, I’m 27 and I live in Aberdeen in the U.K., with my boyfriend, and my cat, Juno. I very rarely act my age - I’m a big kid, or an old lady, and nothing in between. As for my blog, it’s my very own happy space of the internet and one of the things I’m most proud of in my life. It began in April 2018, and has been going from strength to strength ever since.
What inspired you to start your own blog?
I was beginning a journey of treatment for depression and anxiety, but had already started to feel some benefits of it. I no longer felt hopeless or worthless, so I wanted somewhere to channel my positive energy. I wanted to share with others that, hard as it is to reach out and get help for mental illness, it’s worth it.
How would you describe your blogging style?
Uplifting - everything I do and write is with the intention of making myself and others feel a bit happier.
Can you tell us about your ideal reader?
I guess my ideal would be someone who is struggling - either with their blog, as I share blogging tips, or with their mental health because the focus is to make people realise they don’t have to settle for that life. It can get better!
How do you structure your days?
Generally, I create content first thing in the morning (unless my brain inconveniently decides to give me an idea at 11pm), then I’ll spend the early afternoon on social media, before diving in to learning new things in the afternoon. My evenings are mostly set aside for time with my boyfriend.
Is blogging your profession or hobby?
I work on it full time, but sadly don’t have the income to match (yet) so I suppose it’s somewhere in between.
What has been your most successful blog post?
My most successful blog post so far has been 8 Ways To Gain Twitter Followers As A Blogger (https://www.ruthinrevolt.com/twitter-followers)
Describe your writing process from start to finish.
An idea pops into my head, I’ll write as much as I can while the idea is there, and then I’ll edit it later. I sometimes leave it a few days before going back to it which really helps me approach it with a new perspective. That’s about it. I have to write when the idea arrives, or I’ve got no chance!
Where and how do you work best?
I work best at my desk with no distractions - which is kind of hard to do these days with social media and YouTube at my fingertips! My desk was originally in my bedroom, but I found it felt like I never really left that room, so it’s now in my living room next to the window and it’s perfect. If my creativity is lacking, I’ll just sit and stare out the window for 10 minutes. It helps me clear my mind and relax, ready to get back into it.
What were the first few steps you took to get your blog up and running?
Research was the big one. Lots and lots of research. The week prior to my blog launching, I must have read hundreds of posts and articles with blogging and social media tips.
The other one was getting my blog to look the way I wanted it to - trawling through lots of free themes. The look of a blog is so important to me, both as a reader and a blogger myself. I tried a free theme for a while, but eventually, I gave in and bought a theme which did everything I wanted it to!
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your blog and attracting an audience?
Twitter, without a doubt. The more I think about this, the more sense it makes. Instagram and Pinterest are very visual platforms, and that’s not my strong point. I can do it and even enjoy it sometimes, but words are what I do best so it’s logical that Twitter would come through for me. I also find it easier to interact with people and make connections on Twitter so I suppose the fact it’s my comfort zone helps along the way, too.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Learning to put myself out there and dealing with a lot of interaction. I’m a very reserved person, so laying my thoughts and feelings out there for strangers to read is quite intimidating at times. Being an introvert also makes a lot of socialising exhausting - even if it’s only done online.
How did you overcome these challenges?
When it comes to putting myself out there, I simply kept my mission at the front of my mind, and forced myself to do it for the people it could help. I can’t very well make people’s lives brighter by sitting here and waiting for them to find me! I knew I’d have to make the first moves in a lot of cases, and more or less had to accept that. For me, starting small helped. Reaching out to only a couple of people a day and building it up from there.
As for dealing with all the interaction, I’ve learnt to listen to my instincts. For a while, I would push myself to go online every single day because I didn’t want to ignore people, or make them think I’d just disappeared. Then, it reached a point where I wasn’t getting anything else done. I was spending the entire day chatting to others and it was exhausting for me because it’s such a contradiction to my personality. It was killing my creativity which was the whole reason I started to begin with! So, now, I’m not afraid to take time away from it. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’ll take a step back from social media, and focus on creating content.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
The first thing I do when things get difficult is mope. I realise that doesn’t sound very productive, but I’ve come to recognise it’s pointless to try and work through it. I can’t get anything done with that “what’s the point?” feeling niggling inside of me. So, I’ll sit in bed, watch Netflix and drink tea. I’ll allow myself to feel sorry for myself for an afternoon, or a day at the most.
But, I won’t allow it to last beyond that. Once that phase has passed, I’ll identify why I’ve been feeling demotivated. Too much time on social media and not taking enough breaks are common reasons. From there, I’ll plan the week ahead with these in mind. So, I’ll reduce my time on social media right down, or add additional breaks in.
Aside from that, I just always make a point of reminding myself of why I started. Ultimately, I wanted to help people. I wanted to put smiles on faces. Lots of people have reached out to tell me I’ve been able to do that for them, and that drives me forward.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Personally, I have no idea, so I’m going to base this on what other people have told me. Apparently, I am very down to earth, and people find it surprising that I still go out of my way to help brand new bloggers. I’ll admit, I am much busier than I was at the beginning, but helping those just getting started is something I’ll always be conscious of. I don’t ever want anyone to look at me and feel like I think I’m too good to help anyone.
When I worked in retail, I always kept in mind that the customers were paying my wages. Truth is, blogging isn’t any different. The people who read my blog, follow me on social media and share my work are making things happen for me. I realise I work very hard, but without an audience who supports me the way mine does? I wouldn’t be anywhere.
What do you wish you knew when you started your blog?
I wish I’d known how many amazing people are in the blogging community. I had this idea of bloggers being into beauty or travel or parenting, and I was terrified I wouldn’t find my place. However, there are so many wonderful people who are writing about all sorts and there really is a place for everyone.
What blogging tools/resources could you not work without?
Canva for creating my pins and Yoast plugin for keeping me on track with my SEO!
Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire most? Who or what inspired you to do what you’re doing now?
Since I started, I’ve had two main inspirations: Amie (www.thecurvaceousvegan.com) and Ell (www.ellduclos.blog).
Amie was among the first people I followed on Twitter. She seemed so lovely, and always managed to reply to everyone. I love her blog because it feels like sitting down for a cup of tea and a chat with her. I’m pretty confident we’d get along great in person!
Ell is probably the blogger I look up to the most. The things she has accomplished in a short space of time are mind-blowing - she has a fantastic Pinterest course, a Facebook group with thousands of members and an incredible blog. She has a heart of gold and has helped me so much since I started. Even though we’re more like friends now, a part of me will always be a fangirl first and think it’s the coolest thing ever when she tweets me!
What advice would you give to other bloggers?
My very least favourite piece of advice in life is “be yourself” but it’s so appropriate when it comes to blogging. It’s easy to be tempted by the idea of copying everyone else, especially when what they’re doing works, but it won’t feel right for you. You won’t attract people who you have a genuine connection with, and I imagine it will just feel lonely. So, stay true to you and your values, and the right people will come into your life.
What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?
I have two. The first is that I’m not as bad as I think I am. I made a promise to myself when I started blogging that I’d be 100% me (for the reasons I mentioned in the last answer) but I was terrified I’d be rejected. The response I had, though, was the complete opposite. For reasons which I still don’t understand, people really liked me, and it made me wonder if I’d been being unnecessarily harsh to myself for a very long time. Spoiler: I have, and I think a lot of others do the same thing.
The second is that I am a machine when I care about something. I’ve always been one to try my best with anything I do but, before blogging, I’d never really discovered anything I LOVED and wanted to pursue. I’ve never chosen a career, or put much emphasis on it, but blogging often feels like it’s what I’m supposed to do. It seemed to start a fire inside of me and I learnt about a different, driven side of myself that hadn’t been uncovered before.
Where would you like your blog to be 1 year from now?
First and foremost, I want it to still be a place where people go for a little bit of sunshine in their lives. I’d sooner walk away from it than see it evolve into anything else. There’s too much misery in the world and on the internet, so I want to retain that “ray of light” aspect, as much as possible. I’d like to still be providing blogging help for those who need it. And, of course, ideally, I’d like to be earning a full time income from my blog to reflect the time and effort I put into it. We’ll see what happens!