Blog Out Loud Interview
Erin Vale of Vale Design

I discovered Erin's pretty blog and site a few weeks ago and her "The Dreamy Blog Topics To Post List" caught my eye. I had to share with you her free template to download. After an email exchange, I asked Erin if she would donate a few of her designs to our BOL goodie bag and she sent over 20 of her "Freakin Never EndingTo Do List" (yes, I can relate!!!). Her designs are gorgeous and her blog is loaded with pretty pictures, recipes, design ideas and tons of *free* things to download. As a business owner and blogger, she has experience with how a blog can be a helpful tool to enhance a company.

1) You have your own design and package agency, Vale Design. How has blogging helped your business to grow? Have you found new clients because of your blog?

My site has allowed people to be exposed to my business, portfolio and myself in a more well-rounded capacity. They are able to see my inspirations and how those inspirations find their way into my design work. As a freelancer, I am particular about who I choose for my clients, but yes, I have found new clients from blogging.

2) How do you "edit" your blogging? i.e. what topics do you choose to blog about or do you cover almost everything?

I look at my site as a personal vault of all my design influences and references. Everything I love and utilize for work is all in one place. If I find something I think is interesting in the design world, on the homefront or if I have a DIY I want to try/share, I will write a post about it. I simply write about what interests me.

3) How did you decide your "voice" for your blog? (i.e. the tone of your writing) What are some tips you can share for this?

To be honest, this was very hard in the beginning. I was not sure I wanted to be "in the system." I was happy to be under the radar. Then one day I was wandering through Target and saw one of my favorite designers, Orla Kiely, on an endcap. I came home and was so excited I wrote a post about it. That was it. It hit me. I wanted my site to showcase my business and personal work, and my love of design. My advice: I think it is best to just be true to yourself and write about what you love. Some people will have the same taste as you and some will not. As my site represents my business, I am very conscious about what I say on the internet. I try to put only good out and I do not respond to the negative. I am still genuinely humbled/amazed if someone likes and features my work. I try to follow up with a thank you to as many people as I can.

4) How often are you blogging and how have you found balance in your life with work, blogging, family, etc?

I try to write a new post Monday thru Friday. Some weeks that works with my freelance schedule and sometimes it does not. If I am working on a project, I just post a sign stating I am working and thanking readers for their patience. I try to keep blogging/work/Etsy related design between 8:00 and 5:30 when my husband comes home. He goes to sleep early so if there are loose ends I wait until he is asleep. I have been a freelancer and running my own business for almost four years now. No day or time is off limits for me when it comes to work. That is just the standard that I set for myself. Blogging is a networking extension of my business and my husband, family and friends are aware of my schedule. I am not sure I have found a balance yet...and I am not sure I want too! I am truly fortunate to love what I do for a living.

Thanks, Erin



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