Welcome back to another ‘Be Inspired By’ blog post, with the gorgeous Gabriella Manchester. I’ve followed Gabi for the last few years on social media and her blog and met her a few times at events and the like and can confirm she is one of the sweetest, most genuine people in the blogging world.
I thought she would be a great person to interview as she has been in the blogging game for the past few years after moving to Manchester from Yorkshire, and has recently started working for herself, and even launched her YouTube channel earlier this year – she is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Get ready to be inspired by – Gabriella Manchester
1. Hi Gabi, thanks for joining us today for the Be Inspired By series. Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
Thanks for inviting me to take part, I’m honoured! So a bit about me…I work for myself in Digital Marketing, and have a blog and now a YouTube channel where I share my travels, life and style content. I’ve lived in Manchester for eight years and grew up in a small town in West Yorkshire. I live with my boyfriend of five years in our apartment in Ancoats.
2. You’ve been blogging now for a few years: How have you seen the industry change over that time?
It’s been almost 4 years now since I began blogging. The main change I’ve noticed that has been brought about by the saturation of blogs, is that to grow an audience today, you need to be just as committed (if not more) to other platforms, as they hold just as much weight and feed each other.
It’s one of the reasons I’ve started a YouTube channel, because if I consume most of my media from YouTube videos and Podcasts then I can assume other people do too. I don’t have as much time or inclination to read lengthy blog posts anymore, and there’s so much choice out there for what to read/listen to/watch/scroll through. I think that’s the case for a lot of people so it’s important to diversify and try new platforms.
3. What are your favourite and least favourite things about blogging?
My favourite thing about blogging is documenting my travels and as cheesy as it sounds, getting to taste experiences twice. It’s given me a really good excuse to take a million pictures, to seek out interesting things to see and do, to eat in wonderful restaurants and to thoroughly research each place I visit so I squeeze as much out of a trip as possible. I love to flick through old blog posts (skim reading my terrible writing from when I just started out) and remember lots of wonderful experiences I’ve had. I also love nothing more than to pass on the baton when I’ve found a really cool little bar down some side street in a city that you’d never find in a guidebook. It’s rare to find those gems these days, but I’m always on the lookout.
My least favourite thing about blogging is that I’ve always felt pressure to portray myself and my ‘blogger brand’ in a certain way, and it’s not the full picture of me. I’m only sharing a small amount of my interests which happen to be the fairly skin-deep things like fashion, new restaurants, travelling to nice places, and skincare products. I never really share anything too revealing or too political, and I worry that anyone who doesn’t know me in real life, just scrolling through my Instagram or flicking through my blog posts or videos would get the impression that I’m one-dimensional and trite. On the other hand, I worry that people that do know me in real life, who maybe don’t read blogs or follow fashion and travel influencers on Instagram, and so maybe don’t quite ‘get it’, would think me vain and narcissistic for even having a blog in the first place, let alone posting lots of pictures of myself on Instagram. But I don’t let that stop me from doing what I’m doing.
4. You’re Manchester based: What do you think is the future of the blogging scene in Manchester?
To be truthful, I’m not particularly engaged in the Manchester blogging community. It’s because I don’t have a lot of spare time to go to events, so I’m missing out on meeting other local bloggers. I know there are lots of brilliant women who are doing brilliant things and building this supportive blogging community here and I hope that continues to grow. Content creators in Manchester, in general, are absolutely killing it, and it’s exciting to feel like a (very small) part of this large creative community here.
5. You’ve recently started your own YouTube channel – what made you take the plunge?
The realisation that I’m watching YouTube more and more, and so the audience I’m trying to reach probably are too. As well as this, a lot of my clients are really intrigued about video and working with YouTube influencers, so I really want to be able to understand the channel inside out, and be able to advise my clients accordingly. Lastly, this is a big year of travel for me, and I want to document it and share my experience. I think video is the best way to really capture the vibes of a place, and so I intend to create lots whilst I’m on the road. I’m still going to blog a lot too, but I’m really enjoying making videos and learning new skills.
6. Are there any words of advice you would give someone just starting out in the blogging world?
Think carefully about the content you want to create, and what your angle on it is going to be. Choose the best vessel for that, which may not necessarily be a blog, but could be an Instagram channel, or a Podcast, or a YouTube channel, or a combination. Just start, ask for support from friends and family, don’t be shy when it comes to self-promotion, be true to yourself and your personality, your style, your tone of voice. Be inspired by others but try not to imitate. Don’t get analysis paralysis, just begin.
7. Travel is a huge part of your life, and you’re heading around the world at the end of the year: What would be your ideal trip if money was no object?
I really want to do a tour of India. I would love to visit Delhi, colourful Jaipur, Jodhpur, see the Taj Mahal in Agra of course, and then on to Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Kerala and finish up in Sri Lanka. I think it would be around a six-week trip, and I probably wouldn’t be able to work on the go, so I haven’t quite worked out how to make it feasible yet!
8. And finally, what is your biggest achievement in the blogging world?
On a personal level, my biggest achievement is sticking with a hobby that I enjoy and merging it into my career. What has spurred me on is that every time a reader engages with me on any of my channels, I get a little boost of encouragement that what I’ve created, as inconsequential as it may be, has resonated enough to compel someone to reach out to me.
I also get to meet lots of likeminded people who are also content creators, both online and in real life (when I get the time to go to events). I just love people and thrive off making new connections, so that’s what keeps me motivated.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the next instalment of the ‘Be Inspired By’ series.