We are so honoured to have the incredible Scarlett Roitman as our Arts & Culture judge. This inspiring and intelligent blogger can be found at – Diary of a Londoness. Blogging about all things cultural in the city of London and beyond. Scarlett’s story is VERY interesting, so if you do have 5 minutes click on the link above to have a read.
We wanted to get to know Scarlett a little bit better, and we had the opportunity to interview her…check out her answers below!
Q1) How did your journey as a blogger began?
Once upon a time when I was in college in the US, I wanted to be a writer. I came from a family of artists and wordsmiths and it just seemed natural to carry on with the trend. But life got in the way (as it does when you are a young mother at 21!) and I found myself falling into cinema and theatre software marketing, then property marketing and design. After 20 years, I decided it was time for a break. As I’m a cultural busy-bee anyway, I thought it would be fun to combine my love for London, for writing, art, cinema, theatre and design, and presto – Diary of a Londoness was born.
So, what’s the DNA of the Diary? She’s a woman, now in her 50thyear, who loves all things cultural, mostly about London and beyond. She searches for the quirky, the historical, the fun and the whimsical. Her BFF if she could choose one would be Oscar Wilde. They would dine in Kettners, skip over to the Royal Opera House and then go for a cocktail in Rules. She loves the beat and shape of her city, her Rhodesian Ridgeback Sahara (who incidentally has five legs on her logo!) and she says it like it is. What she loves most about her Diary is telling tales, have a chat about the goings on in her London. For her, London is personal.
I came up with concepts for the brand, and my niece who is a graphic designer helped me with the logo design. My daughter built the website for me and she still helps me with any techy issues. The day I started Londoness, I didn’t know what SEO was, how to take a photo, and I had never stepped foot inside Instagram land!
What has been the number 1 challenge with building/growing your blog?
The technical aspects have been a huge challenge. The website backend, social media algorithms, SEO… these are aspects of blogging that I dislike. It’s very noisy out there – you have to shout to be heard, but sometimes what you say has to be whispered with confidence and clarity: what is it that makes you stand-out enough for someone to want to either follow you or read what you’ve done today? This can only be achieved with a steady output of excellent, unique content. And you have to put yourself out there, warts and all sometimes!
Do you think it’s ‘pot luck’ for a blogger to become a success and get paid for it?
I think it’s much easier to get paid for blogging if you are a beauty or a fashion blogger. If you’re writing about the arts, it’s much more of a challenge, as so many organisations have limited funds and rely on charity and fundraising. Any blogger who thinks they are going to “fall” into blogging may end up seriously disappointed. It’s hard, hard work.
Do you think it’s easy for a blogger to break into the big time these days?
It depends if your professional life dovetails into your blogging. For example, if you work in a gallery or a museum, chances are you already have access to a huge resource of contacts to grow your blog quickly, and perhaps, with little effort. But if you’re starting from scratch, it’s difficult.
What’s your opinion on the conscience of content creators these days and the controversy around buying engagement?
It’s easy to detect a blogger who buys followers, likes or comments. This leads me to think the PR companies do as well. I suppose provided a blogger works hard and provides a return on investment, the PR companies will always be willing to overlook the oftentimes grossly inflated followers. I come from a marketing background, and I understand the importance of image and about projecting confidence in a brand. But, personally, this cheating drives me bonkers. I work hard, my growth has been slow and organic, and I think it’s a crying shame it happens. It makes even harder for authentic, genuine and hardworking bloggers to be taken seriously.
Is there anything else you want to talk about/tell us?
I’ve been blogging for two and half years, and I am here, talking to you about what makes by blog tick. Which makes me really excited about where I might be next year and the year after that. Don’t start a blog unless you’re prepared to work hard, don’t cheat, and most of all, HAVE FUN!
Beautiful words from Scarlett, we hope you can feel inspired and energised about your blogging, no matter where you’re at in your journey!