Thursday, February 28, 2013

behind the blog: coast with me

For this week's Behind the Blog we have Rita from Coast with Me. Rita has legs that were made for skinny jeans, a closet with pieces I want so bad, and a style sense that I'm pinning constantly. I'm so happy to hear all about her blogging experiences. 

Tell us what motivated you to start blogging. Were you following a lot of personal style/fashion blogs before you started blogging?
I needed a creative outlet to express myself, so I started a blog. It was also one of my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions. I was not following any blogs at the time, but I most definitely am now!

Which blogs do you read every day? 

So many....too many to name...and I would hate to forget or leave a blog out. I follow mostly fashion and baking/cooking blogs. I would say Blair Eadie from Atlantic-Pacific is my main source of inspiration. I think she is the blogging queen!

Who takes your pictures? What camera and lens do you use? Have you ever been caught in the act of taking these? mama takes my pictures:). I do not use a professional camera. The one I have is a Canon SX260. I have not been caught in the act of taking my pics (yet)...probably because most of my pics are not taken in public.

Do people in real life know about your blog? What were their reactions when they found out about your blog?

Yes, my parents, sisters, extended family, friends....they were happy for me:).

How do you balance your growing blog and your “real” life?

That’s a tough question. It’s hard to find balance. I definitely need help in this area. I try to limit my blogging time to a few hours before bed. I have the same issue with my real job since it’s not a regular 9-5.

Many fashion bloggers hop from one trend to the next. How do you manage to stay on trend without breaking the bank and just blindly following each trend?

Well, when it’s a fad...I try to limit the amount of $$ I spend on an item. If I don’t love a trend...I’m not even going to bother with it. And I try to stick to more classic pieces that won’t go out of style quickly. There are two quotes that I love, “Trends fade, but style is eternal” and “trends come and go, but great style is timeless.”

Putting yourself on the internet comes with the expectation that not everyone will always love what you are wearing and writing. Have you encountered any of these criticisms, and if so, how do you handle it?

I’ve had a few negative comments. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I respect that. You may not like an outfit I’m wearing one day...and that’s okay. OR....You may not like me, my writing style, or my fashion sense in general....and that’s okay too. I can’t please everyone. As long as I’m staying true to myself and doing what makes me happy...that’s all that matters. Having said that....I’m always open to constructive criticism. As for the negative comments....of course they hurt, but I try to look at the bigger picture. Maybe that person was having a bad day, is unhappy, etc. Who knows what’s going on behind closed doors. My motto is to always be kind...even when people are unkind to you. 

What has been the best thing to come out of blogging?

Building relationships, meeting wonderful people, and being able to express my creativity.

When it comes to promotion of your blog, what methods do you use? Do you spend a lot of time commenting on other blogs, pinning your looks, doing link ups?

I pin my looks, but I’ve seen such a change over this past year (less traffic). I use chicisimo, chictopia, fabsugar, and lucky. I post on twitter and facebook sometimes (trying to do more often). I don’t use instagram (definitely need to start). I comment on blogs. That’s about it.

What tips or suggestions do you have for your fellow bloggers?

I’ve been doing this for about a year now...but I still feel like such a newbie. There is so much I’m yet to learn about the blogging business. Some suggestions.......I would say blog because you love it and everything else will follow. Let your personality shine through. Find your niche. And of course, when it comes to promoting...use as many social media outlets as possible and comment on as many blogs as possible.  

Thank you Rita! I totally agree with your notes about blog criticisms - we all have things we can improve on but we can't take it all too seriously. Please go check out Coast with Me and then come back next week to hear from Marion from Marionberry Style.