In the truly competitive and popular blogging field, it is indeed not as easy as it seems to run a successful blog and make it stand out among the crowd. So, I wanted to share with you the interview I did with Barbara Dolgova, a successful Russian lifestyle blogger based in London, with over 5 years of experience in blogging.
To find out more about her blogging journey, and some of her amazing blogging advice, tips and secrets, keep on reading! :)
D: First of all, how and when did you decide to open a blog?
It started about five years ago, when I moved to England for the first time. Because I was quite young, I needed something like a diary to write my experiences , I wanted to share it with everyone because at the time in Moscow, it was very rare for a student of my age to go to another country to study. I wanted to share my experience with the world , so this is how it started.
D:What has changed since then until now?
First my blog was about my experiences at high school, I was just sharing ordinary stuff such as “OMG I had my first English tea”:) And then I started getting so much attention as a young person that is living in another country, so in time, I made it more about my experiences not as a school girl but as a young person who lives in another country. So I started writing about the places that I explore, how I deal with different situations , events that I attend like conferences and so on. It evolved to a social platform addressed to anyone around my age who has moved to another country or seeks advice on subjects such as how to live without your parents or how to save money while you’re living on your own.
D: What does blogging mean to you?
B: The thing that fascinates me the most about blogging is that a person can be in New Zealand or in Brazil or in Antarctica, basically anywhere in the world, and they can just access my blog whenever they want, they can read my thoughts and this is pretty inspiring to me. There are times when I tend to write less but it depends on the amount of events and work that I have to do on a daily basis, but because my blog is my personal ‘photo album’ with pictures and stories, and it is good to be able to look back and re-live the moments.
D: What are your favorite topics to write about, and how do you decide on what to write?
B: I want my content to be interesting and therefore the themes should be catchy, the title and the first three lines are really important because you want to start the story in a way that the person reading it would be interested and want to read further. Basically I write about the huge events that are happening in my life, such as the conferences, lectures that I attend or the parties that I go to, and luckily I live in London, something interesting happens almost every day!
D: How many followers do you have? Do you have more Russian or British followers as far as you’re concerned?
B: At this time I have 200.000+ followers! The number of followers is growing constantly. I would say that most of the followers are from Russian-speaking countries but because I am writing in both languages, I also see that a huge amount of my followers are from all around the world.
D: How do you decide in which language (English or Russian) you’re going to write your posts?
B: It’s weird but every time I decide to write a post, I start writing in English, I guess it is the way that my mind works! :) I feel that I can express my thoughts better in English than in Russian. When I finish writing an article, I just translate it to Russian from English. In Russian my writing gets a little bit more serious, in English it is more relaxed and ironic.
D: Since there’s a huge amount of blogs out there, what can a blogger do if they want to make their blog last for a long time and not disappear in the crowd?
B: Well, of course there are two key factors to consider – the design and the content. I would say that all of that is very close to the marketing strategies – your blog is your product, your audience is the consumers and you want to make your content desirable and noticeable. The content should be frequent, interesting and informative and of course grammatically correct, while the design, preferably, minimalistic, and easy to use for your audience.
D:What are the common mistakes to avoid in blogging in your opinion?
B: One thing I personally keep in mind is avoiding exposing my personal life – this is something I’d like not to share through the Internet, and in my opinion, nowadays it’s the right thing to do. Also avoiding strong language when describing any events you have attended – even if you didn’t enjoy it, does not mean you have to mock it in any way, because you never know who is behind the event and how are you possibly going to meet in the future! :)
D: What are your tricks to make your blog more interesting and catchy? Do you do anything particular to get more followers?
B: I guess it just comes naturally. I try to keep my content regular, neat, bright and positive, but at the same time without looking unreal, if you know what I mean. Everyone understands that behind every pretty picture there is a deeper story and I try to let people into mine, without over sharing of course, and I guess that is what attracts readers. I can also say there is a particular formula on how to make your work, regardless of what it is, more attractive for the public…but I would not give up all my secrets! :)
D: In your opinion, what are the qualities that are necessary to become a blogger?
B: There are no limits, ha-ha! Literally, one thing I can think of is – one would want to share something, and that is it! :) It doesn’t matter who you are, how you are and where you are, as long as there is a desire to do something, everyone can!
D: Finally, what would your suggestions be for someone new in the blogging world?
B: I would say just be yourself and don’t try to write for the public, write for yourself, obviously don’t write too personal stuff because that can be weird! :) Don’t pay attention to those who laugh at you or try to bring you down. Just do what you love. It is not only for blogging. Doesn’t matter what you do, just be true to yourself. Follow your dreams!
Be sure to check out Barbara’s blog, full of her inspiring writings and experiences, and amazing photos!
Follow Barbara on social media:
Facebook: Barbara Dolgova
I hope you enjoyed it, thanks for reading! :)