This week’s Spotlight On Q&A is focused on fashion influencer, blogger and model Katie Andrew.
Marketing Executive Katie balances her busy 9 to 5 with creating personal style posts for her digital platform Katie Andrew – The Blog.
The Antrim born blogger now resides in Dublin, and works to create content for her online community who anticipate her style guidance – a gift she honed in her past experience as a creative stylist.
We found out what drives the content curator – and picked her brain about her experiences in the industry.
1. Can you tell us about your beginning in blogging?
I started blogging almost 3 years ago after years of putting it off. I worked for Topshop part-time and was studying for my degree in University so there was a lot going on. However, I bit the bullet, bought a domain online and Katie Andrew The Blog was born in January 2017. I suppose it all began with my love for styling, working in one of the biggest high street stores and posting outfit photos on Instagram.
2. How did you originally become interested in fashion?
My mummy would have made clothes for my sister and I when we were growing up, plus she had a wardrobe filled with her own clothes from the 80s and 90s so we were forever playing dress up. Mix that with modelling on the side and working in retail and that’s probably were my obsession came from.
3. A lot of fashion ‘bloggers’ don’t have blogs, and begin through sharing on social media. Is there anything about having an actual blog that appeals to you?
This has become such a big thing these days and I always define what a blog is – “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.” I used to get really annoyed about working hard on a blog and going to events where a lot of people attending didn’t have a blog or YouTube channel, but I’ve got over that now because there’s no real point in getting worked up over it because the industry is constantly changing and so is social media.
The “Instagram Influencer” is seen to be more of a figure than a “blogger” and I think as long as bloggers keep their Instagram going then there’s nothing to worry about. A lot of time goes into maintaining a blog/ YouTube channel and an Instagram account, if someone is using their voice in a responsible and engaging way, that’s why they deserve their following. Influencers make a living out of Instagram instead of blogs these days and I am all here for it! I think being a full time influencer is so brave and inspiring.
4. How do you find the motivation to keep creating content online?
I recently started a new job and have thrown myself into that so my blog posts have become less frequent. I don’t want to post a blog without it being relevant or useful to readers so I have set myself the goal of at least 1 or 2 blogs a month along with staying active on my social media channels. If I come up with an idea I’ll start jotting it down on my phone, think of the best images I can take to go along with the post and work on it from there.
5. What is the most frustrating part?
Over my 3 years in the industry I have seen so much change both within myself and what’s going on with how people look at bloggers. There are still people who take the piss out of bloggers/ influencers but I shake it off and see it as jealousy. I’ve grown to stop caring about what others think as much.
One thing I find extremely frustrating is when brands don’t set aside budget for bloggers, offer to do a giveaway worth x amount and expect a lot of hard work for free. I really don’t think there’s enough of an understanding about how much work goes into posts, especially if they are for brands.
6. What are the pros and cons of being a digital influencer?
Pros for me have been growing a genuine following, working with some incredible brands that I adore, and making some of the best friends from the industry. It’s amazing to have friends who are doing the same thing because you have that bond and understanding with each other. Since moving to the South, I’ve been invited to events with bloggers I have looked up to for years and still can’t quite believe we’re in the same room and I’m trying not to fan girl!
Cons – I try not to look at the negatives of the industry, but one that comes to mind is buying followers. I am so against it and continue to watch Instagrammers do it. Being a digital influencer means you need to be patient and grow at a steady rate.
7. How do you think the Irish influencing industry could improve?
That’s a difficult one! I think the Irish influencing industry is leading the way for the Northern Irish industry in terms of events, how much influencers charge for work and how you can become someone your followers engage with. I’m a small fish here and I have worked with bigger influencers in my Monday to Friday job who have opened my eyes to how professional this industry really is.
It really isn’t about just taking outfit photos and doing nice make-up to share with your followers. It’s about setting an example to younger generations, working hard in what is seen as a brand new industry and working with brands you genuinely love!
8.Do you have any advice for people who would like to start experimenting with their style?
Wear whatever the hell you want! Dublin has some of the best style I have ever seen and it’s because people don’t give a damn about what other’s think – I love that! I always have a few influencers who are my go to style inspos, such as Lauren Arthurs, Tara May, Monikh Dale, Emma Louise Connolly, and stylists Clementine Macneice and Courtney Smith.