-- I launched GracieCarroll.com almost 5 years ago after returning home from two years of living abroad in London, UK. When I was moving to London I started my very first blog (London Snog) as an easy way for friends and family to keep up with my adventures across the pond. It was while I was working in PR and at British ELLE that I started to realize just how serious blogging was becoming. When my Visa was ending and I was moving home, I decided to launch the blog that I thought was missing in the market (a stylish website that was user friendly) and the rest is history.
With the increase of bloggers in recent years, how do you distinguish yourself against the others?
-- I think that consistency and unique, authentic content is really key when it comes to blogging. There are a lot of people that pop up out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly. Blogging is a lot of work, and many people drop off once they realize how much time and effort it takes to produce content on a regular basis. For me, standing out from the crowd is about having a unique style, an authentic voice and content that's interesting and helpful to the reader.
Tell us a bit of the backstory of your blog, what kind of brand are you trying to portray?
-- I'm not sure that I really thought of myself as a brand back when I started. At the time, I really just looked at the blog as a great way to showcase my writing and styling portfolio that would help as I ventured into the world of freelance back in Toronto. To this day, my brand is still 'me' and I try to stay as true to who I am as possible.
Do you feel your personal style has evolved through the lifespan of your blog?
-- Yes, definitely! For one thing, when I launched my blog I was 23, single, and had just moved back from London. I think my style was a little more adventurous then, but, I still like to have fun with my clothing and always stay true to pieces that are a signature of my style like a good moto jacket. I think now my style is slightly more 'grown up' in an appropriate way for someone who has gone from their early twenties to late twenties.
What posts do you find generate the most positive response with the online community?
-- Lately I've come to realize that people respond really well to content I share that highlights my life as a young entrepreneur, or #girlboss as we all like to say! It's really flattering to hear from followers who admire my work ethic and my career; if I can create content that helps inspire them to start their own business, or try something new, that, to me, is the most rewarding thing about what I do.
What's the best part about being your own boss?
-- By nature, I've never responded well to people telling me what to do. It's probably best for everyone that I work for myself! haha. I love having full control and freedom at the same time.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
-- Normally I get the most inspired from talking to people. Especially fellow entrepreneurs. I get really excited learning about people's stories, their careers, and what they're working on. It always gets me fired up to create new content and push myself even harder. I would encourage everyone to take time to meet with people face-to-face.
What blogs are you obsessed with? Are there any blogs that have influenced your work?
-- Refinery29 is essentially my online Bible.
Who is the most interesting person you've gotten to meet through your career?
-- That's a very tough question to answer! I've been extremely fortunate to have met a lot of incredible people over the years. I loved getting to interview Giles Deacon a few years ago. He is insanely talented and very nice, and funny.
What are some of your other career highlights?
-- Getting to travel to Mexico, Portugal and Scotland last year to shoot the FLARE x Air Transat 'Style Jaunt' web series was definitely a career highlight. I always love getting to travel for work! Also, sitting on a plane and seeing people reading about you and watching you on TV is pretty surreal.
What advice would yo give to someone who wants to start a blog or grow their following? -- Do some research and figure out what will make you unique, and stand out.
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