Cecylia, described by her fans as “fashion royalty”, former owner of her eponymous boutique in High St Armadale and practising veterinarian is not your average blogger. Also a trained stylist, Cecylia lives and breathes her style philosophy: “Every day is worth dressing up for”. Join her at cecylia.com as she shares stylish shenanigans and musings on life.
I am a veterinarian by day and blogger by night. I work part time as I also have a baby. Fashion blogging is my other part time job. I’m very lucky that it has slowly turned from a hobby into a job.
When did you get an idea to launch your own blog and how important is it for you be online?
I started my blog over 5 years ago when I was working full time as a vet and needed a creative outlet. I was really inspired by all the street style blogs like The Sartorialist and Jak & Jill. I compiled many photos that I loved and commented on the trends. I loved fashion so much so that 6 months later I launched a namesake fashion boutique. The blog then took a turn to support the designers and labels that I was carrying as well as feature the events I attended. In the past year, my blog has further evolved to feature more of my personal style and musings on life. Cecylia.com is designed to inspire and encourage my online readers. Their comments mean the world to me. My readers are the reason why I continue to blog and maintain my online presence despite juggling my different roles.
Did you have someone help you make the website or did you do it by yourself?
Yes. My amazing husband has a computer science degree. He single-handedly designed and built my website. I am very lucky. He is my 24 hour tech support.
People have always told me that the spelling of my name is really unique, apparently it’s Polish, so when it came to getting a domain name for my blog, Cecylia.com was a no-brainer. Once again, the credit of actually obtaining it goes to hubby. Someone else on the other side of the world had Cecylia.com 5 years ago but hubby set up a tracker on the website and as soon as he noticed that the other party lapsed their payment, he snatched it for me.
What kind of Theme do you use on your blog and what are the “must have” plugins for a blog?
I have a WordPress blog. A Spam Filter is every blog’s “must-have”!
How hard is it to make a new post, insert images, moderate comments, etc.?
I post 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I usually plan outfits, shoot them with hubby (who is also my blog’s official photographer) or other photographer friends, edit the photos (I usually use LightRoom or Picasa), write the blog posts and then translate them into Chinese. Then I schedule social posts around them. The whole process is pretty time-consuming.
How much time do you spend blogging?
I used to blog every day. But now that I have a baby, time is a luxury. I tend to do everything whilst he naps. He comes with me to photo shoots and sometimes even some events! I probably blog about 2-3 times a week now.
Yes, I’ve been blessed with a loyal following on my social media channels, I try to engage with my readers and share new stories, photos and updates. I love connecting with my readers via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. That said, there’s no greater feeling than when I meet my readers in person and they tell me how my blog has encouraged them. It can be on the street, at a cafe, at an event, at church or even when I’m overseas!
Is there a way to monetize (make money) through a blog?
There are so many and I’m still learning! There are advertising avenues, sponsored opportunities and collaborations to start with. I also do some styling work through my blog, and have recently been asked to join a talent agency. That said, monetization is not the primary focus of my blog, it is simply a bonus.
Would you encourage other people to make their own blogs?
Of course! Blogs provide people with the perfect creative outlet. For those of us with a more ‘serious’ day job, blogging give us the opportunity to use the right side of our brains and to share something worthwhile with a greater audience.
Please give us some advice for new bloggers and for people who are still not sure if they need a blog of their own?
Depending on the business, most should have an online presence. A blog is a great way to show the more personal (less corporate) side of the business. If you have a strong interest in something or have things worthwhile sharing, if you have the time and the discipline to post regularly, then you should start a blog. Concentrate on the quality of the post, not the money or the following, they will come later.
Images © Cecylia.com/