Running your own race + taking time to dream – a blogging masterclass

Two weeks ago today, I packed up my laptop and headed down to beautiful Stockbridge for Online Stylist Amanda Start and Laura Turner, founder of Hero Stockbridge, Laura Turner’s advanced blogging workshop.

What’s a B2B PR doing attending a lifestyle blogging session? Blogging is blogging.  It’s about sharing your expertise, finding your voice, being relatable, bringing a coaching mindset and speaking to your audience’s desires.  I’m also a firm believer in stepping out of our own little worlds to open ourselves up more. That’s a note to myself, by the way.

Somewhere between a blogging mastermind and life coaching session, Amanda and Laura truly opened up their worlds to us.  Amanda shared how she transitioned a passion-project into an aspirational career becoming the Online Stylist (“I’m there,” she said, “I don’t want to be bigger – I love where I am”) while Laura has launched an incredible lifestyle shop ( and just announced her second!) from her blog.

It’s such a cliché to say “I can’t capture it all here” but in this case, it’s so true. Affiliate marketing, media kits, working with brands – they’re posts for another day. For now, I’ve pulled out the key take-aways that will help elevate my blogging game – and yours too, I hope!

  • Run your own race
    As with so much of the workshop, this can be applied beyond your blog. Be clear on the race you’re running and how you show up as the person behind your brand. Don’t look to the side, to see what your competition’s doing. Create a style that’s true to you, from your branding and blog aesthetic through to your voice. You might not be the fastest, but you’re doing it your way. Authenticity rules.
  • Get to the core of your customer
    Spoiler alert. Your blog is not about you, it’s about your reader. This is absolutely how I coach my own clients on all things content marketing. Putting your customers’ aspirations, challenges, concerns at the centre of what you do makes it so much easier to serve them with the right content.  Being clear and specific on who your customer is is vital too. Amanda references Jenna Kutcher’s attract and  repel theory – you can’t be all things to all people. Not everyone will love what you’re doing. And that’s ok. If you talk to everyone, you talk to no one. Know who you want to reach and build your audience from there.
  • Develop a long-term content strategy
    Amanda says this was the game-changer for her for growing her following, and ultimately, becoming an influencer. Content has to inspire, entertain and educate. Create distinct categories and sub-categories into your strategy to build that authority, credibility and trust. Take a seasonal approach to planning and get intentional. List posts, Q&As, round-ups, behind the scenes and creative series all work well.
  • Mirror your content through social media
    Whatever platform you use to get your content out there, make sure your social media presence is consistent with your blog. Build this connection into your content plan. Be consistent on and offline. Instagram stories and vlogging open up more opportunities for authenticity, expertise and integrity to shine through. And they work the other way.
  • Take time to dream
    • Batch processing and putting tasks together
    • Scheduling creative time
    • Planning social media
    • Build in learning days
    • And my favourite – take time to dream. Get closer to your aspirations and write them down. It’s the starting point to making them happen.
  • Amanda let us in how she elevates her everyday through Online Stylist:

Hope you found these tips as useful as I did! As always, email me with any feedback See you next week x

Photo credits to Hero Stockbridge