Best Design Inspiration Blog Award Winner, The Design Sheppard, Talks to the IBA Blog

The Design Sheppard took home the coveted Best Design Inspiration Blog award at the 2018 IBAs as the judges couldn’t get enough of her inspiring blog content. Stacey talks to the IBA Blog about what inspires her blog and shares her best blogging tips…

Image courtesy of The Design Sheppard

Where do you find inspiration for your blog content?

It sounds so corny but everywhere really. I mostly find inspiration online. I read a lot of other blogs, I spend an inordinate amount of time on social media and I’m a little bit too fond of Pinterest. However, lately I’ve been finding that I’ve been getting a lot more inspiration from my local area. I never used to write about Devon much on my blog as I didn’t really consider it to be a design hotspot. But recently I have happened across so many fantastic little companies based here in Devon that my blog content has shifted somewhat to showcase all these great designers, makers, and retailers right on my doorstep.

Image courtesy of The Design Sheppard

What’s the best blogging tip you’ve ever been told?

Be yourself. The reason why blogs became so popular in the first place is because they are personal accounts. Readers feel like they are getting to know a blogger on a personal level. So it’s no good trying to be something you’re not. Be authentic and be true to yourself. The blogosphere is a really crowded place these days and you can bet that there are hundreds of other bloggers covering exactly the same topics as you. What makes your content different is your voice, your experience, your background and your opinions. Nobody can do you like you can!  

Image courtesy of The Design Sheppard

How did you feel when you won the IBA18 Best Design Inspiration Blog Award?

I actually wrote a whole blog post about it if you’d like to read it. I had been nominated a number of times previously but never made the shortlist. I don’t like campaigning and begging my readers for votes so I always felt like this was a massive stumbling block to me making the final. I was overjoyed to see my name announced on the shortlist this year but the competition was tough so I didn’t have high expectations.

On the night, I didn’t feel nervous at all as I’d convinced myself someone else was winning and I was just there to mingle and enjoy myself. It wasn’t until my category was announced and I saw my name up there that I realised that I was actually in with a chance. As this realisation hit me I felt a bit funny and as I heard my name announced as the winner I was in total shock.

Winning this award means so much to me. I’ve been writing this blog for nine years and I’m frequently nominated for awards, but I’d never won one. So to finally get that recognition was just so fulfilling.

Image courtesy of The Design Sheppard

What is your biggest blogging achievement?

I think that my biggest blogging achievement has been being shortlisted for three different blogging awards this year in the space of a couple of months. The Amara’s, which I won obviously, the Vuelio blog awards, which I didn’t win, and the UK Blog awards, the results of which will be announced next year. There is nothing like being shortlisted for an award to make you realise you must be doing something right.  

Image courtesy of The Design Sheppard

Where do you hope your blog will take you in the future?

I’ve always had a dream that one day my blog could be my full time job, and to be honest I’m probably in a position where that could happen quite easily. However, the thing that always hold me back is the question of whether I would fall out of love with my blog if it became my sole income. I currently work on my blog part time and this gives me enough flexibility to be really selective over the brand collaborations that I do and the content that I feature. I’m really happy with this balance and don’t see it changing any time soon.

What I would like to see though is more opportunity to travel, especially to some of the big design shows. And a few more awards to keep my Amara trophy company wouldn’t go amiss either. 


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