- Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your blog? How did you first get into blogging?
Well, let’s start at the beginning. There was darkness and in that darkness there was ooze. Primordial ooze, if you will. Lots of stuff came sloshing out of this ooze. Hamsters. Side tables. Magic eight balls. Ramen. Various cucumbers of all shapes and sizes. Eventually, a series of events that inevitably lead to me stumbled out of the ooze, and that’s how I ended up living on Earth.
One day I was sitting around minding my own business, probably eating toast. I was considering doing something truly important with my life – something like changing my vocation and becoming a helper. Becoming an important being. Starting a counselling service for the kittens who’ve had a traumatic experience at the top of reasonably tall trees, that kind of vital service. Obviously, I’d leave the kittens who’d been terrified at the top of extremely tall trees to the true professionals. I know my limitations.
Anyway, I looked down and a vision of St Rose Gold, the Patron Saint of Bloggers appeared in my toast. She told me that I must get on the internet straight away, and start sharing my good thoughts in post form. She demanded that I keep it wholesome, with a pre-watershed vibe in case one day a blog outreach and engagement specialist wanted to interview me in their weekly newsletter. I’m a little bit rebellious and don’t take kindly to anyone – patron saint or not – interrupting my toast so you may find some less than good thoughts on there as well…
- You’ve had some fab opportunities through blogging – what’s been the best opportunity you’ve had so far?
Once I went to an event and they gave me five large glasses of wine and very little food. Against all the odds I made it home that night. And I mean straight home, no jumping on the wrong bus and ending up in Peckham for six hours yelling at a tree. This opportunity made me realise that even if the blogging and the 9–5 don’t work out, I have a promising future as a pigeon.
- What do you think is the best “service” a blogger can provide their audience?
You have two choices: Be insanely useful, or, be insanely interesting. Your audience is generally only interested in what they can get out of your blog, and they’re probably either there for practical information or to be entertained and inspired by your awesomeness.
I also think it’s important that you love writing. I don’t understand bloggers who hate writing and force themselves to do it. My dudes, in the year of our Lord 2k17 you have options. If you hate writing, do YouTube. Just focus on photography or social media. Start a webcomic. Be the best morse-code-only blog on the block and annoy the pus out of passing ships with your highlighter reviews.
“I wen to the restaurant and ordered the chicken burger. Hypothetical Steve opted for the ribs. It was nice. Steve like it and the staff were also nice and did nice stuff like bring us food from the kitchen”. This is not compelling, proofread content. Your audience deserves better.
“I visited that new restaurant just to get my hands on that ridiculous chicken burger that’s been taunting me from Instagram. At first spicy bite, my white girl sensibilities felt a twinge of panic that soon turned into a buttock-clenching thrill as I made my way into flavour town. FYI, that’s the biggest suburb in Funky Town, just east of Chinatown.”
Now, that ain’t gonna win any Pulitzers and it’s not a master class in grammar or anything, but at least it starts to weave a freaking narrative. We’re all over here now wondering what’s going to happen to this white girl’s buttocks next. We haven’t even got to Steve yet and how his bottom feels about the current state of affairs. I’m just saying, I think that’s more interesting to read, especially if you’re not going for the super, super, professional “useful” angle.
- Do you have a full-time job as well? How do you find the time to run your blog so professionally?
I freelance, so I’m insanely busy all of the time. I spend many, many weekends and early mornings sitting on the couch, laptop on lap, in only my underwear with yesterday’s mascara-streaked across my cheeks excitedly vomiting out a post. If that’s not true professionalism then I’ve probably worn the wrong thing to “Casual Fridays” in the office I’m working at today…
- How has your blog changed since you first started it, to now? What was your first post about?
I started out not knowing what to blog about but knowing I wanted to write stuff. So I blogged about what I thought I had to blog about based on what everyone else was doing (food, makeup, travel) until I realised that I had my own little niche of crazy to mine for content and the world doesn’t care about my thoughts on that new pho restaurant.
- Do you have a favourite post that you’ve written? Does it differ from your most popular post?
To truly answer this I’d have to look at my stats, and I don’t do that anymore. When you start blogging your numbers seem to grow steadily every week, and you get that confidence boost that assures you that this will just keep happening every week until you take over the world and set your sights on Mars. But then it doesn’t. At some point it mellows off, might even dip a little. The overall trend might be going up, but the numbers aren’t getting bigger at the same rate they were and you get that sick feeling in your stomach.
Before you know it you’re sitting outside the train station at 7.30am, drinking cider and begging passersby for a few clicks. Chasing them down the street. Holding a hand-drawn sign with your URL on it and looking forlorn. Flirting with random strangers until they ask for your number, grabbing their phone and sneakily putting your blog badge on their home screen instead. Then running off gleefully while they look confused. Emailing giant spam lists, promising them enlarged phallic appendages and a mail order bride and swapping the links out with your latest infographic post. Ignoring the angry comments from the lonely dudes with the teeny weenies because you got that precious, precious click nectar.
It’s a bad road to go down. So I stay away from that rabbit hole.
- What’s been the best thing about your blogging journey?
It gets a lot of the crazy out of my head, which in turn clears up space for new, improved crazy to take up residence.
- We all know you’re a frank and sarcastic blogger, but if you could do it all again, would you choose a different style? Why/why not?
I once had a boss who requested a chat with me, some sort of work performance annual assessment. He started off by saying “let me be Frank”. No. Let me stop you right there. The position is taken. There can only be one. I had no choice but to enter into a battle to the death to cement my position, eventually climbing atop the photocopier with his still bloody scalp in my hands, raising it above my head to show all my colleagues my grisly trophy and to swiftly put an end to any mangled ideas about who the true Frank is.
I shall always be Frank. There is no turning back.
- A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money, but we all know it’s not that easy. What advice would you give new bloggers?
I’m glad you asked me this, coz I know all about making money. Frankly, I’m sitting here in my gold castle eating diamonds wondering where I’m going to store all this extra cash. The bank just doesn’t have the room in its vaults, you see. It’s quite the problem.
Look, I make money from my job. That pays my bills. My blog is more… therapy. I used to make a bit of money from it, but it didn’t make me happy. So the blog is now just there for my happiness.
I would say to people who do want to make their blog their career that they need to spend a good chunk of time pandering to their audience and building a really, really big audience. Brands are paying you for access to your audience. Maybe it’s not worth taking every £100 offer that comes along if the resulting post isn’t gaining you any new readers. If the resulting post is just a big ad that turns readers off, then really consider if that hundred pounds is worth it. If you need to pay your rent, hey you do what you gotta do. But if you’re thinking long-term then grow your audience first.
- And finally, we want to share the love, so who would you like to see us interview in the next newsletter?
Connie from Connie Consumes. She talks a lot. It’s usually quite sensible and entertaining.
If you’ve not died from laughter and still fancy a chat with Frankie, hit her up on Twitter now!