11 March 2015

Hannah says something: 2015 is the year of the blogger


It's nearly half past 12 on a Thursday and I'm stuck behind some ambling tourists on a side street near Oxford Circus.

I'm mid-way through texting Hannah Gale to let her know I'm almost outside when I spot her instantly with a top knot and the most oh my god, all of the fur white gilet. Any worries that I'd have nothing to say to one of my blogger idols vanished as soon as she started talking, proving she's as chatty and warm as her online dialogue.

I've never seen a blogging success quite like Hannah's: after a viral post in March 2014, she's gone from part-time blogger, part-time reporter at Metro (and former Digital Editor across Look, Marie Claire and InStyle) to full-time blogger and Queen of Shareable Posts. She's particularly memorable for her lists. More than impressive for a gal turning 26 (soz, Hannah) this year.

I've spoken about her before in my Super 8 Blog Reads, but I need to reiterate how much I admire Hannah for her candidness and honesty in her posts; from talking about a really crappy Monday, feeling like she isn't good enough, and her experiences of depression.

After demolishing a pizza double the size of my face [me] and an impressive bowl of pasta carbonara [her] I got stuck in to all things BLOG. And her insights were pretty darn interesting.


What do you think is the biggest challenge facing bloggers in 2015?

It's such a saturated market, but also a lot of people think bloggers are doing it for the freebies. They might think the blogger sees themselves as the next Zoella, when actually they're really passionate about what they're doing.

Do you see the influence of bloggers increasing or decreasing? 

Definitely increasing. At the end of 2014 when Zoella brought out her book [Girl Online], suddenly everyone knew who she was. I think 2015 is gonna be a massive year for bloggers. More and more I see on my Facebook timeline people who aren't journalists or in the media writing blogs. It's a normal thing now, everyone has them. I feel like PRs and brands are taking them more seriously compared to when I was a journo.

What do you do to keep motivated as a full-time blogger?

I incentivise. I say, "if I do this, I can go to Primark, or watch Girls, or play Theme Hospital." If I have writer's block, I'll go to Costa and get a cappuccino, and all of a sudden I'll get a load of ideas. It's actually there (Costa) where I get most of my lists done. I believe in a change of scenery. I tend to do my more heartfelt posts at home, whilst I plan out lists somewhere different.

What's the one piece of advice you'd give to people trying to increase their blog's status?

[Has a think] My blog traffic can reach up to 20,000 views per day [at this point I can't help myself. PER DAY?! THAT'S INSANE]. It's so important to show off your personality - through photos, writing, ideas. Little bits of your life that make you like other people. Be relateable. Write what's in your head. No one cares if you say "Here I am in a smock dress", but if you say "God, I look 9 months pregnant in this dress", suddenly you're funny and real.


What's the weirdest experience you've had to date as a blogger?

People coming up to me in the street, even Gatwick airport! Having people recognise you in everyday life makes you realise your blog is real and see your blog as an actual product.

What's been the biggest highlight?

I've always loved holidays because hey, who doesn't, but getting to travel more is definitely one of my favourite things to come out of blogging. Last year I visited Washington D.C. and Baltimore as part of a press trip and was also able to take my boyfriend on a weekend up to Yorkshire to review a hotel (and eat ALL the afternoon tea).

This year I've reviewed a cottage in Norfolk (I stayed on my own and it was kinda scary but so refreshing) and am heading off to Tuscany in a few weeks to review a spa. I've also got a few more adventures lined up for later on in the year - so yeah, my emails have become even more exciting to check than my Instagram page. It's insane.


How do you handle the trolls?

I ignore them [laughs]. One thing you shouldn't do - which I do - is Twitter search yourself. One person actually said they had "mentally burned the contents of my blog in a wheely bin on a derelict wasteland." When I see any trolling or negative comments, I do something to pick myself back up. Something relaxing and positive - have bath or get out of the house for some air.

Do you ever miss journalism/working across Time Inc's online titles?

I was taken more seriously as a journalist. Sometimes at events I'll still say I'm a freelance journalist because it feels weird saying I'm a full-time blogger. I miss the buzz of an office but I'd never go back to being someone's employee. Because I always think that I know best, y'know?

What's your blog goal for this year?

I want to grow my social media following - at the moment it doesn't reflect my page views. My blog gets traffic because it's shared rather than read through tweets. Facebook brings in the most traffic, so I tend to use Twitter to show my personality.

Who is your biggest inspiration? Do you have any blogging idols?

Kate from Gh0stparties - her photography is incredible. And Zoella has done incredibly well - she's 6 months younger than me and I always forget that! She was in the same school year as me. I don't know how I could handle the same pressures she does. I think the only thing she could have done differently was say that her book was ghost-written from the start.

What are your favourite spots in London for food/drinks/catch ups?

Duck & Waffle - the views are incredible, the food is incredible. The Ham Yard Hotel is amazing for afternoon tea, and loads of lovely themed rooms. And I love all the restaurants owned by Drake and Morgan such as The Folly and The Drift, they do amazing cocktails!


To find out what the (rightly deserved) fuss is about, check out the lovely Hannah over at www.hannahgale.co.uk

Images all courtesy of Hannah's instagram hannahfgale.
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8 comments

  1. This is a great interview. I read Hannah's blog religiously and yep, all her answers are just as I expected. I adore how real she is. Great post Sofie! xx


    www.kirstytalks.co.uk

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  2. Sofie-Eliza Price12 March 2015 at 12:37

    Ah, thank you for your kind words, Kirsty! she is indeed lovely :)

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  3. Ah I love Hannah! A fab interview, and I love your style of writing :)

    Frankie x

    joieandthevivre.com

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  4. This was a really interesting read - I like the questions you asked, and it's great to hear Hannah's thoughts. Lovely post! xx

    Toasty

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  5. Sofie-Eliza Price13 March 2015 at 23:34

    Thanks Beth! That means a lot

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  6. Sofie-Eliza Price13 March 2015 at 23:35

    Ahh that's so nice to hear, thank you :)

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  7. Loved reading this post! Is so interesting to read the insight of someone with that amount of pageviews!

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  8. Sofie-Eliza Price22 March 2015 at 18:42

    Thanks Carla! Glad you liked it :) I was pretty impressed at those stats, believe me!

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