Our Blogger Of The Month feature is where we take the time to catch up with one of our content creators. We take a look behind the scenes of their blogging journey, and recognise what they’ve achieved along the way.
For February’s feature, we’ve been chatting to Ana De-Jesus, the blogger behind Faded Spring.
Here’s what she had to say about building her platform and being voted as our Blogger of the Month…
Please tell us a little about your blog
Hi everyone, it’s so nice to meet you all. My name is Ana De-Jesus and I am a multi-award winning Lifestyle Blogger over at fadedspring.co.uk.
People describe me as a cross between Frida Kahlo (because I’m always wearing ornate and extravagant flower crowns) and a mermaid. So I like to call myself a part-time mermaid at weekends, who likes to pretend she’s Frida Kahlo. As a colour lover, I am rarely seen in anything that isn’t bold and bright, and this translates into my writing too.
My blog is also about a variety of lifestyle topics including dating and relationships, mental health and wellbeing. You’ll even find vegan and vegetarian food and drink, entertainment, travel and real life stories.
How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging for 5 years now, which is absolutely insane! To think that for half a decade I have been sharing my world with my readers, and been able to express myself creatively, emotionally and authentically is truly wonderful.
Blogging is my solace during dark times. It lifts me up when I am feeling down. It is a beacon of hope during tumultuous periods and is a form of therapy that allows me to be the very best version of myself.
Although I work full time alongside my blog, for nearly three years I was blogging full time – my best achievement. To feel that I have created something that can help others, that is authentic, original and true to my identity is mind-blowing.
What inspired you to start your blog?
Funny story but I actually wanted to start blogging in my second year of university because I was inspired by fantastic fashion blogs such as Songs of Style. I was always told that I should share my style with the world because it was so unique.
However, I didn’t start blogging until after I graduated Uni in August 2015, and was actually unwell at the time. Frustrated at being unable to work full time, I wanted to take my mind off my health issues and create a fashion blog that allowed me to escape my reality.
However, I realized very early on that I held a lot of trauma from my past, including an abusive childhood, toxic relationships and bullying, which I wanted to share with my readers. So from fashion, I delved into my personal real-life stories.
Faded Spring & Mental Health
I was overwhelmed by the beautiful messages of support that I got from my readers, including bloggers who had similar experiences and had previously been scared of sharing their story of dealing with abuse. They said it felt like a light bulb had gone off, and they weren’t the only ones.
In my writing, I was very open about my struggles with severe depression and anxiety, and an open letter that I had received, truly touched my heart.
While I can’t say too much about it, all I will say is that their partner had depression, which they never understood or sought help for until they read my post. It is stories like this that truly make me feel like I am making a difference.
Faded Spring In 2021
Over time, Faded Spring became a lifestyle blog. I enjoyed chronicling my adventures at vegan restaurants, staycations in the UK, immersive dining and more.
These days I tend to focus on mental health and wellbeing, dating and relationships and vegan and vegetarian brands.
Who are some of the coolest brands you’ve worked with?
Where to start?
There are so many cool, quirky and unique brands like Prezzybox who have novelty gifts to suit all the family and Buyagift who have wonderful weekend getaways, wine tastings, experience days and spa breaks that are so delightful.
Fashion brands like Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo, Chi Chi London have been a real dream to work with.
Travel brands like Tripadvisor and Hotels.com, who make travelling a seamless experience are a favourite too.
I have also worked with Women’s health and wellness brands such as WUKA, who do wonderful sustainable period pants and Love Honey your one stop destination for all things sexual pleasure.
Some More Unique Highlights
And who could forget all the fantastic immersive dining experiences that I’ve had the opportunity to try out. The fantastic travel themed immersive dining experience ‘Journey’ at Chelsea Funhouse, complete with a ‘champagne spewing unicorn’ was a real highlight. I also loved the innovative Banquet of Hoshena at Westfield, and the incredible Alcatroz, a BYOB prison themed bar experience with a twist.
Other incredible brands include Quorn, Box 42, Vurger, Restaurant Kits, Patty and Bun, Missguided, Nasty Gal, Let’s Crate and TOTM.
Name the best opportunity you’ve had because of blogging…
When I look over the brands I have worked with, and the experiences I’ve had, it is honestly a pinch me moment.
From being able to sit front row for top London Fashion week shows, to winning a writing competition and being able to have a week in the most amazing Villa in Tuscany, it truly is spell binding.
I’m lucky enough to have won multiple awards for my blog, and have been named in the top 20 UK blogs and websites which is pretty crazy. To think that I am an award-winning blogger truly is insane.
I have also been able to be a host at huge blogging and affiliate marketing conferences, have been invited to webinars, workshops, and events to be an interviewee which is so wonderful. I have even been able to set up multiple freelance businesses.
All of this has led me to be able to set up multiple freelance businesses; from co-founding a podcast and an events company, to being a Creative Copywriter, Freelance Journalist and Content Writer. None of this would have been possible without my blog.
My blog has allowed me to travel to Amsterdam, Italy and Spain through blogging, and I have been able to live life to the fullest.
A True Blogging Highlight
And, by far the most incredible experience I have had from blogging I have had from blogging, is the people that I have met along the way. I have met life long friends who are kind, warm and funny, who have my back 100%.
Other people’s life stories have surprised and inspired me. Most of all, meeting other bloggers has given me encouragement, support and a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
What are your tips for bloggers who want to make money with their side hustle?
Blogging is so rewarding, and I might be biased but to me it’s the best job in the world!
Being able to work for yourself, carve out a career and follow your dreams feels so good. Which is why, with the right amount of preparation, research and hard work, you can make money from blogging.
Whether you want to blog full time, want to turn your blog into a side hustle or want a passive income, here are three key steps to make money from blogging.
My Top Tips
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This is the mistake that I made the first time that I started blogging full time. I should have looked at profitable ways to diversify my income. While I did have diverse income streams, I did not place enough emphasis on paid work, like I do now.
For example, you could create an online product such as an E-Book on ‘Keyword strategies’, helping your readers get a clear understanding of SEO. There are lots of different ways to make money!
- Know your self-worth. Don’t be afraid to pitch higher rates. Bloggers are not just writers, but we are also photographers, entrepreneurs, editors, marketers and creatives. We are multi-faceted professionals who should be treated like any other worker.
Whether you look for sponsored posts, want to make money from e-marketing campaigns, your own product or anything else, don’t let someone else define your perception of self-worth. You are worth so much more.
- Do your research. A great way of finding paid work is through a variety of digital outlets. These include Facebook Groups, paid blogging websites like Get Blogged who offer regular work, Twitter, newsletters, job boards, freelance websites and through websites like Journo Requests.
Every time I work with someone who is reliable and meets my rates, I put them into a database, so that I can work with them again in the future.
You can also use the hashtags #bloggerswanted #prrequest #journorequest to look for blogging and freelance work on Twitter.
Facebook Groups such as UK Influencer Opportunities, NO 1 Freelance Women and The Freelance Content Marketing Writer are helpful too.
Tell us your favourite blog post
My favourite blog post and possibly one of the hardest to write was on ‘What not to say to someone struggling with depression’.
My mental health issues were often trivialised, downplayed or people didn’t understand what I was going through. It was important to show people that mental health is difficult to deal with, and you should never undermine someone else’s experience. There have been times where I have felt like I had to struggle on my own, and I never want anyone to feel like they don’t have someone to speak to.
But, when we don’t say anything, that person can feel misunderstood and more prone to feed into their destructive behaviours.
Please bear in mind that I am not a mental health professional, I am simply someone who has experienced her own mental health struggles.
In my daily life, I deal with extremely high levels of anxiety and depression on a daily basis, and I am on medication and have CBT therapy.
Writing is a healing outlet for me that allows me to express myself far more than I could in person, and helps me feel confident to share my story in the best way possible.
What are your top three blogs?
Ooh this is a toughie because there are so many wonderful bloggers that I love for so many different reasons!
I love Colour Me Courtney, for colourful, creative and bold fashion inspiration.
Thoughts on Life and Love is great for tips on mental health including anxiety and depression, personal development and relationships.
Cookie and Kate, for wonderful vegetarian recipes that help me plan out meals for the week.
How do you feel about being chosen as Get Blogged’s blogger of the month?
From the bottom of my heart thank you so much for choosing me as your Blogger of the Month. You have no idea how much that means to me! To feature me on Get Blogged, is such an honour!
When I started my blog, I never believed that it would grow as exponentially as it has today! But most importantly, my blog has given me opportunities beyond my wildest dreams.
From meeting fantastic bloggers, brands, PR’s to making lifelong friends. I’ve been lucky enough to try out new restaurants, new products, travel, go to events and so much more. Blogging is my true calling.
Share your links for everyone to follow you!!
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fadedspring/
Many thanks to Ana for taking the time to catch up with us and share her blogging journey!