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February 07, 2017

Interview with lifestyle, DIY and food blogger Sofia Clara

Interviews

Her Facebook page's description reads the following: "Sofia Clara is a Swiss lifestyle blog focused on creating a happy handmade home: scrumptious recipes, easy DIY decor ideas for your home and general lifestyle tips." 

We think she's even more than that: ever since we've known Sofia (and her blog), we've always been amazed by her very thorough blogging style, offering a combination of very acute observations and detailed descriptions when it comes to writing. 

As you'll learn in this interview, her blog helps her showcase what she can do, and how she can work. 

That is exactly why we decided to interview her. 

Let's jump right in.

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- On your blog, we can read DIY, recipe and lifestyle blogposts, how do you plan your content for the weeks/months to come?

I aim to vary my content so I don’t post two recipe posts in a row but cover those three main topics one after the other.

I would like to post content more regularly but I’m still finding the right balance between freelance work, my work at Le Pointu and blogging. It’s sometimes hard to prioritise posting blog content when it’s normally the other things that pay most of the rent!


- On average, how long does it take you to create a blog article (idea, creation, publishing, sharing included) ?  

On average I’d say something like 7-8 hours but it really depends on the type of post. My lifestyle posts are mainly thoughts on life and entrepreneurship so it’s a few shots of a typical day taken by Hannah and a write up which would take about 2-3 hours in total. DIY posts like this one can take days from coming up with the idea, making the piece, taking the photos, editing them, doing the write up and sharing the post on social media.

- You've had a pretty good success so far with your blog. According to you, what are 3 essential qualities a blogger must have to succeed online?

Authenticity, consistency and positivity.

"Living in a country with four national languages, you’ll never please everyone"

- Why did you choose to communicate in English in a French-speaking environment? 

I think one of the most important qualities in a blogger is authenticity and being true to oneself. English is my mother tongue and I know I’m a lot more myself writing in English.

I have considered translating my blog before (and had various requests) but living in a country with four national languages, you’ll never please everyone, so English seemed like a good way to please and reach the most people.

"I have one golden rule – I only promote a product or service that I would be happy to pay for myself"

- Social Media platforms offer great opportunities for quality bloggers to attract brands, for product placement purposes. How has it been working for you so far?

I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about product placement. I have one golden rule – I only promote a product or service that I would be happy to pay for myself and that I have had time to test and create my own opinion of. I have turned down more paid collaborations than I have accepted mainly because they just didn’t feel right.

I feel like people are starting to see through product placement on social media and bloggers need to change how they are promoting products. I’ve been thinking a lot about what the next “movement” will be. I’m not sure I’ve come to any big conclusions but I’ll let you know when I do ☺.

"I capitalise on other online platforms to share my content"

- How do you capitalize on other bloggers/personalities to share your content?

I don’t. I started to connect with other bloggers because I wanted to meet people with similar interests. We support each other just as friends would by giving each other advice, sharing inspiring content, tagging each other in photos but I don’t see them as a resource whatsoever.

I capitalise on other online platforms to share my content. I have had my content featured on websites like Apartment Therapy, IKEA hackers, Kptn Cook and other interior décor or food sharing platforms. I think this is where much of my international audience comes from.


- Your last video on YouTube was your most successful, with nearly 8000 views. What would attribute it to?

It’s a combination of things… choosing a trending and original topic (embroidered clothes and accessories are huge right now), explaining it in an easy way so people feel they can reproduce it easily and picking a good thumbnail so people are drawn in.

"I really didn’t think I’d find a life long friend after exchanging just a few words on Instagram"

- What’s the best thing that ever happened to you on Social Media? And the most unexpected?

I actually met my photographer Hannah Shan on Instagram. We met for coffee and quickly became really good friends. I love working with her and just hanging out, and we’re always supporting each other in our work as independent creatives. That’s probably also the most unexpected thing that happened – I really didn’t think I’d find a life long friend after exchanging just a few words on Instagram.


- When you first launched your blog, did you have in mind to make it your "work" or was it only to express yourself on your spare time until it gets serious ?

No, not really. I started my blog as a creative outlet to share things I love and inspire people to make things with their own hands and build a life they love. I did know of people who did blog full time and I liked the idea but it wasn’t my original goal.


"My blog has become a showcase of the work I can do"

- You started your activity in 2012. Do you manage to live off your blog now? 

I started a personal blog in 2012 but started my current blog in 2014. I do live off my blog but not through the typical blog “business model” that we see which is predominantly made up of a combination of sponsored content and advertising.

My blog has become a showcase of the work I can do and all my freelance work comes through my blog so in that sense, yes. My freelance work is very varied – I manage corporate social media platforms, produce content for brands, do some photography work, cater events and consult for restaurants.


- Finally, what are you plans for 2017?

In 2017 I plan to find my focus. 2016 was my first year as an independent freelancer and I took on pretty much any work that paid the bills. Now I’m a little more stable, I hope I can focus on the work that makes me happiest, particularly my blog.

- Thank you very much for your answers, Sofia! We wish you all the best with your blog and your projects!

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