Happy Wednesday! Guys I am so excited to bring you one of my favorite blogger friends this week! Everyone, this is Ana from Faded Spring!! I met Ana through a Facebook group for bloggers perhaps a year or more ago. However I never really had a one-on-one conversation with her until March when I had planned a trip to London. I always like to meet other bloggers in person, so I reached out to her to see if she wanted to meet up. Of course she did. We also met up with Mal from Mal Into the City.
We had the best time laughing about everything. Ana from Faded Spring is such a sweet and down-to-earth person. Like me, she wears lots of dresses. The thing I love most about Ana is how real she is. Over on her blog Faded Spring, she’s not afraid to talk about anything. Abuse and bullying are part of her past. Instead of hiding these things, she writes about them. Through that, others who have gone through the same things can relate and connect with her. It’s really wonderful when you find others who have experienced the same things. You suddenly don’t feel so alone.
Guys I am so excited to share this with you all. I hope you will follow Ana from Faded Spring as well.
Age, where you’re from and where you live now
Hi my name is Ana De-Jesus, I am 23 and am originally from a small countryside village in Surrey. I now live in East London, after moving here last summer. In the past 5 years I have moved 8 times due to personal circumstances.
What is Faded Spring all about?
Why did you start Faded Spring?
I had been following blogs since the age of 16 but it wasn’t until I was 21 after I graduated from university that I started my blog. Faded Spring became an outlet through which I could express myself and vent about particular issues like toxic friendships that had affected my mental health.
At first, like I mentioned above, my original intentions was to ‘create a fashion blog’ but it was my more personal posts that garnered more of a response and so as a result, I began to share more with my audience and I am glad that I did. Two years ago when I first started my blog, I was chronically ill-both physically and mentally- and was unable to work, so I started my blog as a means of ‘distraction’ and now it is my full time job. Blogging is honestly the best decision I have made in my life and something I have never given up on, even when I am not earning enough to pay my rent. Because the truth is I would rather be poor and happy than sad and rich. And that’s the Godamn truth.
One of the things I love about your blog is how real you are about sharing your life experiences with abuse and bullying. Has writing this blog been healing for you?
Honestly blogging helped me more than ‘pills ever did’. At one point I was on so much medication that it ended up making me feel more depressed than I was to begin with and I was not good person to be around. I was crying all the time and angry at the world and the people I loved. I felt numb but at the same time I felt intense emotions that I did not know how to deal with. I was being sick all the time and in a lot of pain. I couldn’t sleep and was barely functioning. I had lost so much weight that I did not even appear to be the same person that I once was and struggled to remain positive when my world seemed to be crumbling around me.
What sorts of responses have you gotten when you write about those experiences?
The response has been absolutely incredible. I am so thankful to all my readers for believing in and supporting me. I mean its crazy, I am such a perfectionist that half of the time I am not even happy with the photos or the content that I publish, but my readers show me that I am far better than I think. I get emails, messages, dm’s and sometimes even gifts in the post. In fact my best friend was someone who has been following my blog from the start and her support has made all the struggles worthwhile.
Of course friends like yourself are just as important, you were so sweet to me both online and in person and it is overwhelming that people can be so generous with their words. I used to struggle with taking a compliment because I never thought that I was good enough but day by day I am learning to love myself a little more and it feels good. Shoutout to all my readers, you truly make my day and I can’t wait to see where our journey will take us next!
What sets Faded Spring apart from other style blogs?
How would you describe your personal style?
That’s a tricky one as I have quite a varied sense of style, but if you ask my friends they tend to tell me I dress like a ‘princess’ half of the time, which is probably true. After all its probably not normal to go to Tesco’s in a prom dress but then again I am a little extra haha. I guess the best way to describe my personal style is that there will either be a hat or a flower crown of some sort involved in the look and lots of floral. Oh and embroidery too. Then again if you looked at my style 5 years ago, it was completely different to how I dress now so you see fashion is always evolving.
What advice do you have for people wanting to start a blog?
I would say go for it. Do you know how many times people have emailed me saying they have been thinking about starting a blog? Don’t even think about it just take the plunge, because it might just be the best decision that you have ever made. It changed my life and it might change yours too.
But I will say this, don’t start a blog ‘purely to make money’ or because you think it is going to be easy because its not. Blogging is physically demanding but I wouldn’t have it any other way, just make sure that it is the right decision for you. Most of all have, the minute blogging becomes a ‘chore’ is the moment that everything falls flat. When you are starting out its ok to test the waters, to take things slow. I only started making money earlier this year and it was a few months ago that I realized I would be able to quit my full time job. Just be you, that’s all I can say.
I know you’ve transitioned into blogging full time and have written about it. What advice do you have for bloggers looking to do the same thing and monetize more?
- ensure your blog is well presented and designed. Have a clear set up and a contact and about me page. This is very attractive to brands and demonstrates to them how you ‘write’ and how strong your entrepreneurial skills are.
- Work on generating backlinks for your blog’s site. After all the higher your DA, the more well paid opportunities can be. For example I have a DA of 40 and although age does factor in to how high your DA is, backlinks play a huge part too. Creating guest posts, being featured on blogs with a higher DA and interacting with other sites- and by that I mean creating genuine thoughtful comments- will all help you earn more money
- Diversify your income; relying on blogging alone can be difficult. What other skills have you got to offer? Are you good at social media? Maybe you can create engagement and growth packages? For me because I come from a journalist background, I sometimes get freelance clients who I write for.
Where do you hope to take Faded Spring?
What’s the best part of living in London?
What’s the most challenging part?
What restaurants do you recommend for anyone visiting London?
Oh well I love Indian and Thai food, so my favourite restaurants are Dishoom in Convent Garden (the chickpea curry is lush as are the mojitos), Needos (the mango lassi and chickpea curry is so good) and Eat Chaopraya Thai (The vegetarian green Thai Curry is so good as they let you customize it too).
What off the beaten path things do people have to see or do in London?
Well naturally as a street art enthusiast, that would be my first point of call. Of course everyone knows about Shoreditch and Brick Lane but there are other areas in London that have street art too; try Hackney Wick, Old Street, Hoxton, East Croydon and Peckham. If art is not really your thing then may I recommend Eltham Palace or Epping forest they are both as equally as beautiful and its hard to believe they are both in London. Great for those who are history and nature lovers like myself. Another pretty cool spot is Crystal Palace gardens, they have amazing ruins from Crystal Palace, Dinosaur gardens and so much more!
What are some of your favorite local shops or boutiques in London?