Each issue, we select a member of our Blogosphere Network to interview. Meet Jasmine Cecilia Jonas…
What inspired you to first get into blogging?
I’ve been an avid reader of lifestyle and fashion blogs ever since they became a bit more mainstream in 2010. I remember religiously checking the blogs of The Anna Edit (then Vivianna Does Makeup) and llymlrs (Lily Melrose), hoping that they’d have something new for me to sink my teeth into. I always dreamt of creating my own but never really had the drive, nor the confidence, to do so. That was until last year when, in true cliché fashion, I was feeling increasingly uninspired in my 9-5 job. With a degree in Creative Writing, I desperately craved a way to unleash my creativity and so I finally took the plunge and launched Jasmine Cecilia Jonas.
What is your favourite topic to write about and why?
If you’ve read my blog, you’ll notice that I dabble in quite a lot of topics but the posts that I love writing the most are think pieces, where I discuss topics that are close to my heart – and can be somewhat controversial. For example, last year I wrote a very personal post discussing how I felt growing up as someone of mixed heritage and it got the most amazing response from my readers. That support, understanding and genuine connection with my readers is something that really gives me the momentum to keep creating content that hopefully resonates with people.
How has the blogging landscape changed since you first started your blog?
Everything has changed. I think it’s becoming increasingly apparent that people are much more interested in “fast” media, hence why platforms such as Instagram – and especially Instagram Stories – are doing so well. Although many bloggers are now more hesitant to spend time creating content for their blogs, this hasn’t deterred me because my passion will always be for writing.
What’s your favourite social media platform and why?
I would have to say Instagram because that’s where I tend to connect with my followers day-to-day on a more personal level via comments on my posts, replies to my stories and DMs. I love that Instagram has fast become such a hub for inspiration – not only as a blogger, but also as a personal user – and I tend to close the app feeling very motivated.
How do you use social media to compliment your blog?
Let’s just say, without social media, less than half the amount of traffic would hit my blog. As someone who’s not overly confident in mediums such as SEO, I rely very heavily on social media for promoting my new blog posts and for creating excitement for up and coming series. You have a series on your blog called ‘Blogging BTS’.
What one piece of advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?
Be passionate. Although it looks easy, blogging – and everything that comes with it – is hard work and you’ll take on more “job roles” than you ever imagined. If you’re not passionate, you won’t have half as much drive to keep trudging on when things are a bit challenging.
What resources do you find useful for enhancing your blog posts?
Apart from the words themselves, I’d say that imagery can be a great way to stimulate an audience so I try to invest in great photographers and have also taken a few online photography courses myself to gain more confidence when using my own camera.
Do you think brands are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of working with micro-bloggers?
Let’s hope so! I’ve definitely found that more high profile brands are keen to invest their money into micro-bloggers and I really hope that trend continues. I think as brands are becoming more aware of the existence of fake followers, they’re much more interested in high-quality content and genuine engagement.
Lifestyle blogging is extremely competitive – how do you make your content stand out?
Dare I say it, I’m very simple in my approach and try to stay as authentic as possible. I think the industry is over- saturated with people either trying to be too aspirational or who are too eager to please their readers, whereas I try and just write the kind of content that hopefully people can relate to – and that, most importantly, adds value.
What do you hope to achieve with your blog in the next six months?
I’ve been very lucky so far to have worked with some really great brands so I’d love to continue maintaining those relationships – as well as building some more fruitful ones. The last quarter has seen some new developments in terms of content series for my blog, including “From beginning to brand” where I interview fellow entrepreneurs and also “Let’s hang out in”, which is an insider’s travel guide to different parts of London – I hope that these series grow from strength to strength and people leave Jasmine Cecilia Jonas feeling inspired.