This week on The Big Interview we have the top tips for aspiring bloggers from award-winning lifestyle blogger and journalism student, Scarlett Dixon, while we talk to her about her site, fan base of nearly 17k, events, and juggling her degree.
Edited by Natalie Whitmore
Bournemouth University final year, Scarlett Dixon (known as Scarlett London) is no stranger to the limelight. Scarlett has become a very well-known lifestyle blogger during her university years, while building a loyal fan base of nearly 17k on her Instagram, her blog, and various other social networks. Scarlett has had a wonderful journey so far such as organising events for bloggers, winning several awards, appearing in a TV advert for We Are Transform and even attending the BAFTA’s! We wanted to speak with her about her experience, and if she had any tips to give us about how to become a successful blogger:
Q: What inspired you to get into blogging, and how do you hope to inspire others with what you do?
Scarlett: I just loved to write and I loved photography, and so blogging was an opportunity to merge both of my passions together, while practicing them online with an audience. I still absolutely adore writing, but my blog has enabled me to experiment with fashion and get involved in the most incredible (and surreal experiences – such as attending the BAFTAs a few weeks ago) so hopefully the genuine excitement I have for everything I do inspires others and encourages them to come on all the adventures with me!
Q: What would you say is the most important skill you need to be a blogger?
Scarlett: I think being able to write and use a camera is definitely important because they are the two main aspects – but you definitely don’t need to be a professional. I think the beauty of blogging is that it’s raw and it’s not always as carefully constructed as glossy magazines. It’s become more ‘glossy’ as the market is so saturated, but there’s still a sense of personality behind the blog. Being open to sharing your life online is something you have to bear in mind because I suppose it can be quite intrusive if you’re a private person.
Being open to sharing your life online is something you have to bear in mind because I suppose it can be quite intrusive if you’re a private person.
Q: What was your biggest setbacks/failures and what have you learnt from it? Or what is your proudest achievement?
Scarlett: My biggest setback was using the wrong platform to develop my blog on, as the website later went bust and I nearly lost my site, my content and everything I’d worked so hard for. However, this pushed me to move my site over to its own domain and server, meaning that I had ultimate control over it. So it was definitely a learning curve! I wouldn’t say you needed to be a tech genius to blog, but knowing a bit about code and general domain/server stuff definitely helps!
Q: What was the most surprising thing you learnt about the blogging industry that you didn’t know before?
Scarlett: To be honest, the most surprising thing for me was that it actually existed. When I began my ‘blog’, I didn’t even know there was a name for it – I thought I was just sharing my opinions online. In 2011, blogging looked very different to how it does now – but the community is such a friendly, welcoming and supportive place. I know if I have something to share, there will be so many people behind me – and I’d like to think I do the same for others too.
In 2011, blogging looked very different to how it does now – but the community is such a friendly, welcoming and supportive place.
Q: How is using social media essential to blogging?
Scarlett: I guess the way to look at it is that the internet is such a minefield, you need to publicise and promote your blog – otherwise, how is anyone going to be able to find it? Engaging with the blogging community is also key because interaction helps develop your social standing, and in many cases you make friends with other like-minded people!
Engaging with the blogging community is also key because interaction helps develop your social standing, and in many cases you make friends with other like-minded people.
Q: Did you find it hard juggling your University life whilst trying to blog, any tips on how to do so?
Scarlett: I did find it really tricky admittedly, but my blog was my escapism in among the chaos of university and so for me, it never felt like a chore. I think setting aside a day a week to put together a couple of posts – and then scheduling them for the week definitely helps – because you then always have a backup if you get lost with coursework and exam revision. The key is always to enjoy it, though – because if you start to dread having to put a post together, the lackluster will show.
I think setting aside a day a week to put together a couple of posts – and then scheduling them for the week definitely helps.
Q: How would you describe your personal style and is there a person who is a fashion inspiration to you?
Scarlett: It’s an eclectic mix of everything really. I love feminine fits and girly dresses but I also enjoy mixing things up. My wardrobe is predominantly black – and then pastel colours for the summer. Fashion inspiration wise, I love Blake Lively – I think she always looks incredibly classy and feminine, while still pushing the boundaries of fashion and experimenting with new trends. She totally stole the show at Cannes for me this year!
Q: After having reading your recent post about your nose job it’s clear you’ve has been been very courageous and strong for doing it. What were some of your worries behind posting this story up? What comments have you received back?
Scarlett: Initially, I wasn’t going to post anything, because I was so happy with my new nose and I didn’t want any negative comments affecting my new found confidence. But the friends I told in private were so supportive and many of them, who I didn’t even know had had a problem with their nose in the past, confided in me that my results had meant that they’d been for a rhinoplasty consultation themselves. So I realised that it wasn’t anything to hide and that it could actually help people in a similar situation. I also worried that people would think I’d undergone the surgery purely for the aesthetic value – or that I’d felt pressure from celebrities. But this totally wasn’t the case. Since sharing my story, I’ve become even more aware of the misconception surrounding cosmetic surgery and how people think it’s so that we can emulate Angelina Jolie or Kim Kardashian. But for so many, it’s just not the case. There’s no ‘media pressure’ to do it, we just want to do it – for us! I’ve had a couple of comments saying “what’s wrong with just being happy with yourself?”, but if you had the opportunity to change the one thing you absolutely hated about yourself – would you take it? I’m sure the majority would.
I’ve had a couple of comments saying “what’s wrong with just being happy with yourself?”, but if you had the opportunity to change the one thing you absolutely hated about yourself – would you take it?
Q: I’ve seen on your Instagram that you recently attended the BAFTA’S, how did you feel about that? (By the way, you looked absolutely gorgeous in that scarlet dress!) Did you encounter any of your favourite celebrities?
Aw thank you, that’s so kind of you to say! To be honest, stupidly, I forgot my glasses so I couldn’t actually focus on the faces of any of the celebrities presenting or accepting awards (the perils of changing from a huge handbag to a clutch bag) but it was very surreal to think that I was in the same room as so many talented TV stars.
Q: You’ve recently turned into a full-time blogger, how excited are you about this and do you have any future plans (collaborations with brands, fashion shows, new aspects for the blog)?
I have, I’m so excited! It’s a dream come true as it truly doesn’t feel like a job and I love every minute. Being your own boss is an incredible feeling and I feel very lucky I can give it a go! I have some very exciting future plans, although I can’t talk about them just yet! They do include television and fashion, though!
Q: What are your top tips for aspiring bloggers?
Just to go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose by starting a blog – and you might find that like me, it becomes the hobby that you love! I’m publishing a post soon about extending your blog’s reach and social following, so if you’re interested in doing that, keep your eyes peeled on my blog for that!
Just to go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose by starting a blog – and you might find that like me, it becomes the hobby that you love!
Thank you so much, for agreeing to do this interview for Nerve. We are all looking forward to see you flourish in your new job as a full-time blogger and wish you all the very best! Check out Scarlett’s site at scarlettlondon.com