Emma Jane Palin was the star of the 2017 Amara Interior Blog Awards as she not only went home with her category award (Best Colour Blog) but she also received the Best Designed Blog Award for her spectacular blog design! Effortlessly cool and quirky, Emma’s eponymous blog had the judges’ swooning with her exceptional use of colour in every blog post and here the IBA Blog catches up with her to see what’s next for 2018…
What inspired you to start your blog?
I’d been out of university for about a year after studying for a degree in graphic design and illustration. I knew I didn’t want to work in a studio designing for others but I was adamant that I wanted to make an impact on the creative world in some way. When I started working at a boutique PR agency, the Amara IBAs winners were actually shown to me, as the company wanted to start a journal on their website. After exploring and covering events like Clerkenwell Design Week, I thought it would be wonderful to start my own blog looking directly at creative lifestyle, which of course has grown over time to include travel and interiors.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
Always stay true to who you are at the beginning of your journey and only write about things you are absolutely passionate about. Blogging isn’t about freebies or making money so if you’re in it for either you’ll probably be sorely disappointed unless you can stick at it for a few years! Develop your interests along with your blog and never say yes to anything that doesn’t immediately make you excited.
I think another key thing is to put yourself out there. Connect with other bloggers and make yourself known to them. Don’t sit in the shadows and wait to be discovered. I was incredibly lucky that I started working with Kate (Fabric of my Life) and Daniel (Atelier Tally) whom both helped introduce me to the community and I know for a fact this sped up the process for me in both terms of relationships and finding out the answers to all those little questions about SEO and stats etc. I always encourage new bloggers to come to events and even run a blogging network (weblogdesign.org) to help introduce new bloggers to the world of design!
Where do you think your blog will take you now?
I like to think of my blog as a personal portfolio and of course I would love it to bring me more opportunities for writing and styling in 2018 – it’s certainly been a whirlwind so far. The IBAs has provided me with a lot more eyes on the blog but, in all honestly, I just love to pen my thoughts and I’d absolutely be happy to plod along creating content, just being open to anything new that comes my way. I 100% believe in experiences and living life to the full which writing a blog certainly brings.
You won awards for Best Colour Inspiration and Best Designed blog, do you find the two go hand in hand? Has your love of colour and art influenced your blog’s design?
Of course! I’m a firm believer in a well-designed site that is easy to navigate and I certainly spent a long time searching for the right design, although there are still template aspects to it so I can’t take all the credit! I re-designed the site in early 2017 and I think the graphic layout and use of colour perfectly encapsulates the EJP brand. The logo I created has been with me through it all – first making a debut in July 2015 – and I do a lot of graphic design work in the body of the posts to showcase products and trend updates. I still absolutely love everything about the site and I was thrilled to win Best Designed Blog to mark the effort I put into this side of things.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far through blogging?
Not to compare. It can be SO tough to be unique in such a saturated market and it is extraordinarily easy to find yourself wanting to be involved in campaigns that other bloggers are working on or going to the events they are going to. Of course with social media such a vital part of the blogging world, you can sometimes feel the pressure and wonder why you weren’t asked to be a part of a brand’s strategy. However through this, I’ve learnt that I like to fly my own flag and ensure that I’m aways aiming to create unique content that’s not driven by anything other than my own passions. I always think you can tell when someone is truly into something and I hope this comes across with everything EJP!