Welcome back to the next instalment of Blogtacular Meets, where we chat to people who make the internet an awesome place to be! Today we are chatting to Kate Marsden, textile designer, blogger and Blogtacular 2015 attendee Kate Marsden from Made by Mrs M.
(illustration of Kate by Viktorija of And Smile)
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.
My name is Kate Marsden, and I’m a textile designer. I live in South London with my husband, son and cats. My blog is a vehicle for sharing my work and that of other designers and artists. I also post regular craft tutorials (which usually involve sewing) and reviews of books, exhibitions and the like.
2. What made you decide to start blogging in the first place?
I started my blog as an outlet for my creativity. I was working in the city at the time in a very corporate environment (despite having studied fashion and textiles many years ago). I didn’t really expect anyone to look at it, but readership began to grow so I started to take it a little more seriously.
3. Talk us through how you chose your blog name? Has it always been the same?
The name of my blog is the same as that for my business. My best friend calls me Mrs M, and she suggested Mrs M Makes – I just swapped it around. It works well for my blog but it’s less relevant to my design work nowadays as I focus more on my fabric designs. It wasn’t the first name – I started out naming it after my old flat in Tooting (which I missed) – so really not relevant to the content at all!
4. What has been your biggest blogging challenge?
I can’t say that I’ve faced that may challenges with the blog. I didn’t really worry about increasing readership when I first started, and by the time I cared it had begun to grow all by itself. It was a bit of a slow burner though. I rarely struggle to find ideas, so I often end up scrapping posts I’ve planned but which I’m not happy with. I do put a little more pressure on myself now that know people are reading it – but not too much!
5. Over your time blogging, what has been your biggest blogging success? It could be an award, a post that you think really struck a chord or just a “YES!” moment from your blogging experience?
I had my first feature in a print magazine back in December, when I was Craftseller Magazine’s Blogger of the Month. It was pretty exciting to see a double page spread all about me! I think what I like best though are the times when I meet strangers who then tell me they’re regular readers, or I meet people for the first time and they know who I am – which is a little scary but nice!
6. Tell us about your blogging routine. Do you use an editorial calendar? Do you plan in advance or blog as it happens?
I’m a planner – I always have been. Mr M think that the planning of my life is rather over the top. So, yes I have an editorial calendar and plan 1-2 months in advance. I have regular features which I try and schedule for roughly the same time each month but I’m flexible if something exciting (or better) comes up! I’ve been posting 3 times a week for the last 18 months or so and I know this would slip really quickly if I were less organised.
7. We’d love to see and hear about where you blog.
I plan posts, make and photograph tutorials in my studio – it’s a tiny room so I don’t have a computer in there (my desk is filled with art materials and my sewing machine and overlocker). The actual writing, scheduling, photo editing etc all takes place in a small study which I share with my husband.
8. What are your blogging goals for 2015?
I’d like to continue to grow my blog as I have in the past year, and try to use it a little better to promote my business. I find this hard though as I don’t want to be too salesy as I find that off-putting when I read blogs – so this is my main challenge over the next few months!
9. If you could give new bloggers one top tip what would it be?
Have fun and write about something you’re passionate about. If you’re genuine, honest and enthusiastic the readers will come (even if it does take time!).
10. What made you push the “Buy Now” button on your ticket for Blogtactular 2015?
I saw all the images from Blogtacular last year and was madly jealous! I didn’t go last year as I was saving the pennies, but soon realised that some things are worth a small investment – and events like this are one of them. I can’t wait for June!
11. How has blogging changed your life?
It was as a result of writing my blog that I found the confidence to finally go back to the one thing I’d always wanted to do. I’d worked in the city for 15 years in a very demanding, non-creative job and I was miserable. Not to say it’s not hard work trying to build a small business, but I’m so happy and lucky to now have the opportunity to be surrounded by fabric every day, and write about things I love!
13. Which 3 blogs do you read every week without fail?
1. Capture By Lucy – I love photographer Lucy Heath’s blog – beautiful imagery (as you’d expect from a photographer) which I find really inspiring alongside really nice, more personal posts featuring her young family (she also has boys!).
2. Bugs and Fishes – I’ve been reading Laura Howard’s blog for ages and finally met her (several times in the end) last year. I love her posts about days out and events and also her regular Crafty Ladies series (which I featured in back in January). She also hosts frequent tutorial link ups which are fun to get involved in and a great opportunity to get to know more people online.
3. Beak Up Crafts – Sports Journalist Kate Gardiner writes a really pretty blog with great content. She has a range of posts including DIYs alongside lifestyle posts and regular useful features such as Crafty Advice and Keeping it Real.
Thanks so much, Katie for popping by and sharing some insights into your blog-life!! You can find Katie:
Blog Link: http://www.madebymrsm.co.uk