This Blogger Helps You DIY Your Personal Branding
There's beauty in the moment one's creative endeavor inadvertently becomes a part of a person's purposeful living.
Lizzie Benson has been documenting this evolution for the past almost-3 years.
Over at her adorably named OctoberJune blog, Lizzie lets us in on her daily exploration of actionable blogging and personal branding tips, real-life fashion, doable beauty looks, yummy recipes, and DIY for days. (This is really where I fell in love: 6 Must-Subscribe Newsletters for Bloggers and Entrepreneurs.)
Consider her part of a next-gen Cupcakes & Cashmere set but with a helpful dose of blogging and branding breakthroughs AND a level of accessibility that doesn't make you feel as if you need to immediately run out and whitewash your entire life.
I'm all about celebrating people's passion pursuits and wanted to peel back the curtain on OctoberJune. Hey, learn by example, right?
(Also, in the process of getting to know her, you'll get some serious inspo on how to zhuzh up your accessories collection in the process of getting to know her. Added bonus.)
When you started October June, what did you set out to accomplish? How has that vision changed now that you've been at it for a while?
I started it originally for a creative outlet. I had just started college and I'd fallen in love with the fashion and beauty blogs as well, and having always been a fashionista, I liked the idea of sharing my style. Now that I've been doing it for nearly three years, a lot of things have changed. It's still a creative outlet for me in a lot of ways. I haven't shared as many fashion and beauty posts lately, but I'm starting to get back into it. I really hit my stride with DIY projects and blogging tips, that's sort of the focus of my blog now. It's always growing and changing but I feel more like I've found the right niche.
What would you say is the key to your blogging success? And how do you define that success?
I think the key is to just create consistent, quality content that you're in love with. There have been a few times over the years where I found myself writing a post just because I thought it would be popular or on trend, and I always hated those ones. I've found that it's important to stay true to yourself in the process. And as far as how I define blogging success, it's not so much about page views and affiliate ads and followers, although the those things are nice. It's more about creating a community around my content. I always feel so happy and grateful when I have people email me or message me and tell them how much they loved a post or something, and getting to connect with the people actually reading my content makes it so much more real and rewarding.
How do you stay consistent and make sure everything on your blogging to-do list gets done?
It is hard, let me tell you! I recently set up a little office space in one of the spare bedrooms in my apartment, and it's helped tremendously. Other than that, I use a combination of phone apps like Evernote, Asana, and Google Keep as well as paper planners and a dry erase weekly calendar on my wall.
Who was the first sponsor you worked with and how did that partnership come about?
I worked with Kotex actually, and I was paired with them through the Clever Girls Collective Network, which is really great for bloggers.
What has been the biggest challenge so far in your blogging career?
Honestly, just finding the time and balance between being a full time college student, a part-time barista, a blogger, an Etsy shop owner, and still trying to have a social life and find time to sleep as well. It can be a real struggle, but after nearly three years, I think I’ve finally managed to get a schedule down pat (sticking to it is the next hurdle to clear).
Best advice you've ever received?
I’ve heard a lot of great advice, so this is a hard one to answer! I’d have to say the best advice is to just be true to yourself and your vision and never mind what other people think. It’s very good advice for blogging, in a market that is oversaturated by near-identical blogging lookalikes. It’s very refreshing to find someone who is completely authentic in their vision. I strive to be that way, I hope I succeed. And in life as well, it’s so much more freeing to not get caught up with what people think and say about you. Because you’re never going to please everyone, but you have a much better chance at coming across as genuine if you worry about pleasing yourself first and foremost.
You call yourself a daydream believer (love it!). What's one daydream that's currently on repeat?
Right now, I’ve been dreaming more and more of full-time blogging. I’ve been getting more and more serious about my blog as a business venture as opposed to simply a creative outlet, and it’s been steadily growing as I’ve done so. Now that college graduation is looming ever closer, I’d absolutely love to be able to focus on my blog full-time. So, fingers crossed!
Reveling in a relationship, single and loving it, or Tindering?
I’m currently in a long-term, long-distance relationship with a very wonderful guy who was actually my “high school sweetheart” back in the day.