My name is Jordana, and I am the writer behind the blog White Cabana. My blog has an all-white aesthetic, and I write daily posts about topics related to design, art, and travel. I have presented at BlogPodium, Canada’s design blogger conference, and I have collaborated with numerous brands over the years.
Please tell us something about yourself. Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
I consider blogging to be somewhere between my hobby and my part-time job. It’s time-consuming, enjoyable, fun, motivating, and challenging.
When did you get an idea to launch your own blog and how important is it for you be online?
I began my blogging career as a guest contributor on a Toronto-based fashion blog called Fashion in Motion. That was in about 2008. I loved publishing weekly posts about the world of fashion, but as my life changed, I found that I wanted to share more than fashion. I was itching to write about all things white!
Did you have someone help making the blog or did you do it by yourself?
Blogging at Fashion in Motion was a great introduction to behind-the-blogging-scene. I began White Cabana with a free WordPress site, but after a couple of years, I opted for a self-hosted site. My blog design has changed over time, and I am currently using a template I purchased from Etsy. It has worked out beautifully up until this point, but I’m now considering another blog redesign.
The right domain name is important. How long did it take you to come up with the domain name for your blog?
It didn’t take me too long to finalize my blog name. I spent a few hours brainstorming possible titles, I did some serious Google searching to see if any of my titles were already in use, I consulted with family members and Johanne from Fashion in Motion (my original blogging mentor!), and went for White Cabana. It was a relatively quick process, and I’ve never regretted my choice.
What kind of Theme do you use on your blog and what are the “must have” plugins you would recommend?
I use a template that I purchased from Etsy and installed it on my self-hosted WordPress site. I still have much to learn about the plug-in scene, but for now, my must-have plugins include: Askimet (go away spam!), All-in-one SEO, WordPress Backup (it is critical to keep backing up my site!), and Google Analytics by Yoast.
What CMS (Content Management System) do you use on your blog/website? How hard is it to navigate within your CMS (making a new post, inserting images, moderating comments, etc.)?
I have no issues using the WordPress system. It’s easy to navigate.
I spend hours each week blogging! I’ve never really tracked my hours, but I would say my time commitment each week must hover around 10 hours.
How do you promote your blog? Do you use social media channels to attract more visitors to your blog?
I am active on Twitter (@WhiteCabana), Instagram (WhiteCabana), and Pinterest (White Cabana), and I am also active within the Canadian blogger community. I maintain online and face-to-face contact with local bloggers and brands.
Is there a way to monetize (make money) through a blog?
There are several ways for bloggers to monetize their blogs. Google Adsense and affiliate programs (e.g.,Etsy, Chapters Indigo, Amazon) are quite easy to get going. Working with brands (both large and small) that fit my blogs aesthetic has also helped me generate income (e.g., Minted, Land of Nod, PosterJack, Citizen Atelier).
Would you encourage other people to make their own blogs?
I would encourage people to start blogging if they are passionate about something, have time to devote to blogging, and who are interested in joining an engaged community of designers/educators/learners/influencers.
Please give us some advice for new bloggers and for people who are still not sure should they make a blog of their own?
If new bloggers are a bit hesitant about publishing their own blog, they could start by engaging with other bloggers online through blog comments and social media.
Photos ©: White Cabana