Welcome to the third instalment of the ‘Be Inspired By’ series where today we are joined by one of my favourite bloggers, Sophie Cliff.
Sophie lives and works in Leeds, but is originally from my side of the Pennies, growing up in between Manchester and Liverpool before moving over for university. Her blog is a mixture of Lifestyle, Travel and Fashion but she shares heartfelt, personal posts and shared a lot of her wedding with her audience last year which was an absolute joy to read.
She has been nominated for a number of prestigious blog awards, has launched her own e-course and worked with some incredible brands from Jet2 to Dorothy Perkins amongst many more.
Get ready to be inspired by – Sophie Cliff!
1. Hey Sophie, thanks for joining us today – can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi Ellie, thanks for having me! I’m a travel and lifestyle blogger based in Leeds. By day, I work for a tech startup in the beauty industry, and by night, I share my life with the world via my blog, SophieCliff.com. I live with my husband, Sam, and our cat, Lola, and I’m a big fan of holidays!
2. What were your reasons for starting a blog?
I started my blog just over 3 years ago. I had just moved to a new job and while I loved it, I missed the creative elements that my previous role had offered. I was looking for a creative outlet, and as I was a massive fan of reading blogs, I figured blogging would be a good hobby for me!
I was also really keen to have a bit of an online scrapbook of everything I was up to too – looking back now, I’m so glad I decided to start. Not only have I learnt tonnes and met some brilliant people, I also have a record of some really exciting moments in my life, such as buying my first home, getting engaged and getting married.
3. You’ve recently started an e-course alongside having a full-time job (find it here) can you tell us what motivated you to do so?
One of the questions I get asked the most is how I manage to run my blog with a full-time job. I realised that over the past 3 years I’ve picked up quite a lot of hints and tips and I was keen to share them with anyone who was interested. I knew that a blog post wouldn’t quite be enough to cover everything, and so I decided to start my e-course “How To Grow Your Blog With A Full-Time Job“.
It’s been a huge learning curve as I’ve never really taught anything before, but I’ve really enjoyed it too. It’s incredibly rewarding to see people falling back in love with their blogs as they work through the course, and there’s a lovely community of bloggers taking part.
4. You got married last year in what looked like the dream location; did you have any hesitations about sharing such an intimate part of your life with your readers?
In a nutshell – no! I know for some people it would seem really strange to share such a personal day with the world wide web, but my blog has been such a huge part of my life for the past 3 years that I always knew I wanted to share our wedding planning process and the day itself on my blog.
I’m so happy I have all of those emotions and thoughts captured somewhere – just 9 months on it’s hard to remember some of the little details, so I’m really glad I wrote about the day while it was still fresh in my mind. Plus, we worked with some really fantastic suppliers who helped us to create our dream day, and I wanted to share them with my readers!
5. I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now and seen you grow massively in that time. Do you think not having a specific niche has helped you write about such a wide variety of topics and attract a large audience?
Thank you so much for being a long time reader!
I’ve always been very wary about having a specific niche as my blog is very much a hobby first and foremost, and I never wanted to put too many restrictions on it. It’s a space for me to exercise my creativity, and I knew that setting rules would only demotivate me.
Instead, I’ve always just tried to be as authentic as possible. I know that the word authentic gets bandied around a lot in this industry, but I’ve always written my blog as if I was writing to my best friend or my Mum, and I think that helps me to be as genuine and relatable as possible. I guess it also means that there is a lot of variety in my content as no two weeks are the same!
6. You focus on travel a lot in your posts; which three places would be on your bucket list if money was no option?
Oooooh, this is a fun question! There are so many places I’d love to visit, and in fact, I’m not sure there is anywhere I wouldn’t visit if annual leave and money weren’t a constraint.
Japan is high on my bucket list at the moment, and I’d love to visit somewhere tropical, like Bali or Thailand. I’ve always wanted to visit the West Coast of the USA, and I’m very excited that we’re finally going this year for our belated honeymoon!
7. You recently started a new job just before the end of last year. Do you mention your blog in the world of work?
I certainly do!
My blog is a big part of who I am and I’m incredibly passionate about it, so it would feel strange for me to keep it a secret. Plus, there are so many skills that I’ve learnt through blogging that are really relevant to the world of work – above anything else it shows self-determination and drive which is important for any job.
8. And finally, what is your biggest achievement in the blogging world?
Ooooh, this is a toughie! I’ve been afforded some incredible opportunities through my blog during the past few years, and I’m proud of every brand collaboration and award nomination.
However, nothing makes me happier than when I receive an email or a DM from a reader telling me that my blog post has resonated with them or helped them in some way. It sounds super cheesy, but it really does feel incredible to know that people use my travel tips to book their holiday or feel a little less sad because of something I’ve written.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the third instalment of the ‘Be Inspired By’ with Sophie.
Find her here on Twitter, Instagram and on her blog.