Ronke Adeyemi, from pop culture blog The Musings of Ondo Lady has a huge passion for fashion, travel, magazines, books and property.
She works in marketing and is based in Kent in South-East England. She has been blogging for five years. You can follow her via http://twitter.com/#!/ondolady and Facebook.
Tell us about The Musings of Ondo Lady.
The Musings of Ondo Lady is a blog that offers readers a slice of global pop culture in the form of fashion, beauty, films, books, TV and magazines. The name is inspired from a town in Nigeria where my parents are from, it is called Ondo and is in the South West of the country.
What are its most popular features?
Oooh interesting! I find that the fashion pages are very popular especially the special features that I do such as Fashioning February. International Chick Lit Month went down very well too.
Describe your typical reader.
Most of my readers are based in the UK, US and Nigeria. They are mostly women, a lot of them are other bloggers but the majority of them are interested in fashion, entertainment and social media.
Why did you start blogging?
I took up blogging on New Year’s Day in 2007. I wanted an outlet for my writing and ideas and a blog was the perfect way. I had no idea where it was going to go or if I would be able to sustain it but I vowed that I would write at least one post a week and I have more or less kept to that. It is really funny to look back to that time because it was before Facebook had really took off and I don’t think Twitter was around then, so there was no social media community. We were just posting blog posts, commenting on other blogs and swapping blog rolls as a form of engagement.
What has blogging taught you?
It has taught me that I am a pretty good writer and that I can create an audience from scratch. Also I have learnt how to project manage and also to be very creative – not just cover a story that has broken but to find a new spin on it.
What is the best and worst thing about being involved in the blogging community?
There are many elements to being part of the blogging community; the good parts are being involved in a community that is creative and proactive as well as passionate. The social aspect is great because we get to interact with various brands and PRs and often meet each other at events. Also blogs are a great source for impartial information. The worst side can be the reputation of bloggers being nothing more than blaggers who are only in it for freebies. Another thing is writer’s block when you have lost your mojo and cannot find anything to write. This is very annoying and the only thing that you can do is ride it out till you get some inspiration, the worst thing you can do is knock out a lacklustre post. No one wants to read that and it will only damage the quality of your blog. One of the most annoying thing about blogging is the growing competitiveness between bloggers which seems to be caused from some bloggers getting more media attention that other bloggers and more love from PRs. I find it all very petty and unnecessary. People need to get over themselves.
How has your design evolved?
Slowly. I started off on Blogger with a basic template which I used to update regularly and then I introduced a three-column template because I felt that it looked like a real site. A few years ago I felt that I had outgrown Blogger due to their limited templates and also their tech issues were getting on my nerves. There were a few downtimes and also I heard stories about bloggers having their blogs shut down for various reasons and having to fight tooth and nail to get it back. I decided that enough was enough and that I needed my own domain and a brand-new design. I hired a web designer to create my website for me and we worked on various looks in order to get where we are now. I wanted something that was fresh and feminine and I think we have achieved that.
What has been your site’s biggest success?
Recently I won an award as Blogger of the Year for the Precious Awards which is something that I am really proud of.
What are your plans for the site for the next year?
I would like to expand my readership, grow my Facebook page readers and Twitter followers. Of course I would like to monetise the site and grow the brand so it is recognised in the mainstream. Some more awards would be nice too.
How important do you think social networking is?
Social networking is very important as it allows us to interact directly with our readers as well as other bloggers. Twitter is a great source of information and Facebook allows us to extend the brand by posting extra content on the platform. I would say that social networking has been crucial for bloggers and anyone else in PR and marketing to promote themselves and their products.
What are your favourite websites?
I have a long list of sites that I love. Coco’s Tea Party, Mad News, Girl With a Satchel, Disney Roller Girl, Liberty London Girl, Le Blow, Brown Girl Gumbo, Harlem Loves and Yoruba Girl Dancing. God too many to mention.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a blog?
A few years ago I would have said just do it but now I would also add make sure that you have your own point of view. This is because blogsphere is now so saturated that you need an angle in order to stand out so people want to read it. Try and make sure that not too many people are doing exactly what you are doing. I see so many blogs out there covering the same events and the same products and sadly the content is the same – they have just copied the press release. The ones I would read are the ones that have covered the event or product from their own stance.
Which celebrity would you most like to interview?
I don’t really do celebrity interviews, I did one recently with Estelle which was very popular so I am thinking about doing more. I have a long list of people that I would like to interview but they would have to be right for the blog.
What were the big pop culture stories of the past year?
OMG I have to think back – Beyonce’s pregnancy was a biggie as well as Adele’s ground-breaking album, of course the weddings of the two Kates a la Moss and Middleton plus the overnight success of Pippa Middleton. The success of the Facebook movie and Ryan Gosling breaking into the A-list were huge too. The loss of Steve Jobs, the explosion of UK reality shows like The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea. It is so strange because although 2011 has gone really quickly, an awful lot has happened over the year.
Who do you think will be making news in 2012?
Beyonce and Jay Z’s baby, Kate and Prince William will hit the headlines again and anyone who wins a gold at the Olympics.