FAQ


Who am I?
My name isn't Steph...well not all of it anyways.  I haven't ever revealed much more than that. I'm currently studying Journalism and Media & Communication at a tip-top, very secret university in London (you can read more about that here). I've also just moved here from Sunny South Africa although I have some Greek mixed in me somewhere (I'm something of a cultural fruit-salad).
                                              
   What was your inspiration to start blogging? 
I was on holiday with my cousin, in August of 2015, and my cousin received news of a mutual friend’s suicide. My cousin remarked at how seemingly happy the boy who killed himself had been on social media. I was angered. Social media leads us to create a life that is so untrue from reality. I had to voice my concerns and I found that I instinctively created a blog to do this. If you’d like to read more about this, you can find the post here (https://socialspying.blogspot.co.za/2015/08/having-down-day.html). Before my current blog, Social Spying, I had another blog. I think a passion for words, communication and writing led me to create it. Hence, when my cousin found out about the suicide, I found that returning to blogging, to voice my opinion on the matter was as natural as coming home.

Do you have any advice for beginner bloggers?
My advice to any bloggers starting out would be to create content that is unique. It’s very easy to follow trends of what other people are writing about, but being a pioneer and veering off the travelled path is what will distinguish a blogger from others. I would also suggest creating good quality content, consistently from the start of the blog. It’s important to take care in the way that one writes so as to set up a personal brand and expectation for oneself and a standard to which one can be held accountable. 

Do you believe blogs need a purpose or a focus? How did you find yours?
This is an interesting question and one which I do not think I have the answer to. I have often thought about whether a blog needs a niche or not. A part of me thinks that a niche would help guide the content of the blog in a specific direction and make it easier to write, however, I have not discovered my blogging ‘niche’ as of yet. There are a range of topics which I find important and bring out the curiosity in me which I blog about on Social Spying. If I limited my blog content to something specific, then my voice and opinions would be lost on so many issues which I think are worth talking about. I personally do not think that it is a problem if one does not have a blogging focus. If writing something makes me feel proud and fulfilled afterwards, then despite the topic, I’m going to write about it.

When you first started blogging what were the challenges you had to overcome?
When I first began blogging I had a lot of difficulty overcoming comparison. I would visit several blogs a day and each time I would compare how this more established blogger was better than me. As time has moved forward, I definitely have become more comfortable with my own writing style, layout and overall blog. I still compare, which I think is totally natural, but I'm not as critical of myself and my blog as I was at the beginning.
Another aspect that I battled with at the beginning is finding my writing style; I had no idea about what I wanted to write. I would write about beauty, and then more humorous and ugh-hearted posts about tea and then jump to politics and globalisation! I struggled to find what I enjoyed writing about and what people enjoyed reading. However, as time went on I found which posts I enjoyed writing the most and stuck with that.

How did you overcome the different challenges you had to face from when you first started blogging to the present?
My challenges from the inception of Social Spying to now has drastically changed. Now, I am very involved with the marketing aspect of the blog. Marketing and upholding a brand can be difficult, especially when I have other commitments, like to school.  I also take the growth aspect of the blog, across all social media platforms, more seriously than I did before. I invest a lot of time into my blog, more so than I did at the beginning, but my school obligations is always a more important priority. Scheduling blog posts and drafting blog posts is also a juggling act, especially when uni rolls in, but I only manage to do what I can do- I don't put excessive pressure on myself to churn out content.

Want to know more?
Here are the answers to some questions that I get frequently asked. If you'd like to ask any other questions yourself, feel free to contact me on any social media. If you're looking for a more formal or more detailed answer, emailing me  at socialspying@gmail.com would be the best way to go.






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