Since becoming a journalism and English student, Lauren Caton has discovered her hidden passion for writing. In light of this she created the popular Bits and Bobs blog, which receives hundreds of views each week.
Lauren was originally from Barnsley. She studied English, psychology and sociology at college there, and had every intention of doing a sociology and criminology course at Sheffield University. However before the course even started she decided that it wasn’t for her.
Over the following year Lauren continued with her English at college, and in September 2010 she moved to Coventry to study journalism and English at university. Amongst many other things, the course involves finding and writing news stories and presenting them on a professional blog that can be accessed by potential employers.
Blogs are becoming increasingly popular, both for personal use and in the media and businesses. As Lauren enjoyed the process of using a blog so much, she decided to set up a separate blog for her own personal things, and Bits and Bobs was created. On it she regularly reviews beauty products and clothes, and put pictures of her latest fashion purchases.
As well as having lots of reviews on it, Lauren also updates it with a weekly ‘happy list’. This is basically a diary documenting the highlights of each day of the week. While the premise of this feature doesn’t sound all that exciting, Lauren has found that her followers very much enjoy reading these particular posts so much so that other bloggers are starting to do similar features on their blogs.
Lauren was happy to answer some of my questions:
Why did you start your Bits and Bobs blog?
I already had a professional blog that I use for my university work which I really enjoyed blogging on however it’s a place to showcase my work as a journalist and I wanted somewhere to write about what I wanted when I wanted, somewhere to write about fashion, beauty and everything in-between. That sort of thing didn’t really fit in with my other blog so Bits and Bobs was born!
How do you decide what to put on your blog and who is it aimed at?
I write about a variety of things so it’s whatever comes to mind. There are a lot of blogs out there that focus solely on fashion or beauty and that’s fine but I didn’t want that to be the focus of my blog, I do reviews for products and have wish lists but that’s not just what my blog is about. It’s sort of an online diary for me so I write about everyday things too. Besides I don’t have the money to make my blog just about fashion or beauty. As for who is it aimed at…well anyone who’s interested. I write my blog for me, the followers and readers of my blog are just a lovely little bonus who doesn’t like getting a nice comment every now and again so it’s always lovely to see people’s comments on my blog.
What are the advantages of blogging?
For me both of my blogs have become a sort of hobby so that’s a big advantage for me. My professional blog is a great place to showcase my work and improve my writing. However Bits and Bobs is purely for fun, I really enjoy writing stuff for it. There are some lovely people out there creating blogs and taking the time to read mine. It’s a nice little community to be part of.
What are the disadvantages of blogging?
Personally I haven’t had any really bad experiences with blogging. When I first started my professional blog one article did get some criticism and was told I wouldn’t get anywhere with my writing which set me back a little but now I can see my early work wasn’t so great, it’s improved greatly since then and it’s nice to see the attention certain articles get now. As for Bits and Bobs I’ve had nothing but nice comments but I do know some people who get quite nasty comments on their blogs for no reason. It’s just bullying, if you don’t like someone’s blog don’t read it simple.
Are there any other blogs out there that you enjoy reading?
Since joining Blogger I’ve found some great blogs which I really enjoy reading. I love discovering new blogs. I tend to veer towards one that have variety on them but I do follow some beauty and fashion one’s because it’s good to hear about new products and have a good old nosey at people’s outfits.
What are your other interests?
Oh I always find these questions quite tricky which makes me seem so boring. I love reading which is why you’ll find a lot of book reviews on my professional blog. Also like most girls I love shopping. Aside from that there isn’t much else I can think of except from the normal things like listening to music and watching films. Basically it it’s got anything to do with the Beatles, animals or its pink I’ll be interested!
What are your plans for the future?
Again tricky question as quite frankly I haven’t really got a clue. I wish I was dead certain on what I wanted to do but I’m just not. I’m just one of those people who really doesn’t have a clue. I know my mum will kill me when she sees this but I just don’t have a plan. My career ideas have ranged from wanting to be a vet (that idea lasted quite a long time), to applying for university to do sociology and criminology (I quickly realised that wasn’t for me) shortly after that I contemplated nursing for a very short time and finally settled on a Journalism and English course at university which I’m doing now. There are aspects of it which I really enjoy but somehow I can’t see myself writing for a newspaper as I think it would bore me or a magazine which I would actually enjoy but I don’t want to move to London so who knows where I’ll end up. I wonder if I could have a job just blogging that would be perfect!
Thanks very much.