Lifestyle blogger Sue, from CherrySue Doin' the Do, is heading to BloggerConf 2017 to discuss her work with brands and all that it entails. We caught up with the working Mum to find out how she juggles it all.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sue, from CherrySue Doin' the Do, one of Ireland's most successful lifestyle blogs. It started out with just beauty but has since evolved to encompass travel (by my sister), movie reviews (by my son) and beauty, lifestyle & blog help from me.
While I still have the day job, I have also created a successful sideline in both freelance writing, digital consultation and media work - both TV and radio. This sideline has enabled me to put both of my son's through college and has seen me work directly with some of the largest brands in the world.
BloggerConf 2017 - how are you involved and why?
I'm hosting the Blogger Panel, 'Working with Brands, Authenticity & All that Entails'. This is my second year hosting the panel. Emma asked me to come on board because I've been a blogger now for six years, one of the originals, and have not only carved out a successful niche, but I've earned the respect of the community by consistently and truthfully sharing my secrets to success.
What are the things you do that help you do what you do so well?
Scheduling! It's not easy being a single mum with a day job and a busy blog with freelance writing and consultation thrown in, something always gives.
I've found scheduling both online posts and real life one on ones in batches has saved years of my life in stress. That and engagement, my engagement is one of the things I'm most proud of, that's because I actively chat with readers and reply to comments on all platforms, it pays dividends.
What are three new Blogger related news updates that you've learnt in the past three months?
The update & rise of Instagram Stories is definitely one, the functionality in the app is now second to none with the ability to find and tag brands & fellow bloggers.
Snapchat won't go quietly though, they reported an 8% increase on Wall Street this week, it remains hugely popular with Irish content creators and agencies (a huge portion of my online work is on account of my Snapchat following). If you are interested in monetising your blogger brand, that's still where the euros are.
Finally, an umbrella over both of these platforms is the ASAI releasing stern reminders of content creators' responsibilities when it comes to disclosure of paid content. As a blogger, your word is literally all you have, if readers and viewers lose faith in your content, you may as well give up.
Name the top 3 blogs you go to each morning?
- Sarah over at www.icomeundone.com
- Yav at www.makeupmonster.ie
- My Sis-in-Law, Cath, over at www.battlemum.com -they've just moved to Portugal so it's a great way to keep up.
What's your favourite day and time to blog read and why?
Sunday morning, while there's no rush. I catch up with all my faves then get to work scheduling my own content for the week ahead.
You've gained a lot of success to date - what do you put that down to?
Hard bloody work. It takes an awful lot of effort to make it look effortless. That and luck, though the harder I work, the luckier I seem to get!
Who are your inspirations?
The powerhouses in Irish blogging: Sue Jackson and Pippa O'Connor. While they're not bloggers per se (they have teams that write their content) they've used their platforms to springboard into multi-faceted, ever evolving businesses. You can't but be inspired by that level of tenacity.
Monetising blogs/social is the big focus now - what are your views on the whole thing?
I teach bloggers exactly how to monetise their blogs (among other things) so it's pretty clear where I stand but I'm all for bloggers doing exactly what they want to do with their own content.
Blogging for business or pleasure is not mutually exclusive. I've been seriously and consistently successful with my platforms but still, I love every minute. I don't publish posts I'm not passionate about.
The key is in finding the balance. There is a lot of money to be made from sheer hard work & adaptability in blogging, and if you do it with passion and integrity, you'll strike gold every time.
Being self-employed - how do you protect yourself in all areas from work/life balance to finances etc?
I still have the day job because, in Ireland, it's not an easy feat to do this. It can seem like all glitz and glamour flitting from one event to the next but I've never once met a landlord that will accept rent in cupcakes.
While I cut down to part time hours last year, I have since been promoted and undertaken a stint full time again. It's a juggle but I'm managing, with my second site on the horizon (a 'How To' Blog practical guide to bringing my consultations online) I have my sights set on a full career break.
What do you love most about what you do and what is the most challenging part?
The most challenging part is the juggle but, as I mentioned, my eyes are always on the horizon, you have to be willing to adapt in this game and I'm nothing if not adaptable.
I love the social aspect the most. I started in 2011 as a creative and social outlet when all of my friends were settling down and having babies (mine were already teens). I've met some of the warmest, most incredible people I could never have hoped to meet without the blog.
Managing to make my creativity a success? To change our lives and have opportunities I could only have dreamed of? That's just the cherry on top.
Missed MoJoCon 2017? Catch up on what happened here.