I was recently interviewed by Barcelona Metropolitan (the May issue) about this blog and Barcelona blogging in general.
I was one of a number of Barcelona bloggers so they only used a small, edited piece. As my answers were so brilliant and enlightening I thought I’d publish the whole thing here for you to read.
I hope it piques your interest about blogging. They say writing is good for the soul.
Please could you tell us a little about yourself: e.g. where you are originally from and when you moved to Barcelona?
I was born in London and first came to Barcelona nearly 5 years ago. I share my time between the two. I run a London-based search marketing business and all my clients are in the UK. But Barcelona is such a beautiful city to be in and much more manageable than London.
When did you set up Homage to BCN and why?
About 6 months after I arrived. Blogs and content were always something I pushed my clients to do yet I wasn’t doing one myself. That was part of it. But another big part was I felt it would help me to keep my eyes and ears open and discover the city to a greater extent than I would do otherwise. And that has certainly been the case.
How do you find new places in the city? What’s the secret?
There is no secret, it’s called the internet. It really is great for people new to the city as well as those who have lived here all their lives. When I got here I started following Barcelona Miniguide and of course Barcelona Metropolitan. Then because of the blog I built up a following on Twitter and Facebook. And there are tons of other great blogs out there by people like me. I have a huge list of places I want to check out.
Do you get to meet new people through your blog?
Yes I do! And I love that part of it. It is definitely the most rewarding bit. It sounds terribly geeky but I have met a lot of people through Twitter. But it’s nice when you actually meet these people in real life. Twitter allows you to build up a relationship and when you actually meet for real you feel like you already know them and you know you have things in common. And of course there are all the people who write for the blog…
Who writes for your blog? Do you have contributors?
I’m the main writer, it’s my blog. But about 40% of the posts on there are by other people. I get people to write their ‘perfect days in Barcelona’. I ask people I meet or come across (often on Twitter) if they’d like to write theirs. These aren’t necessarily days they have had but are more an amalgamation of all the things they like to do in the city crammed into one day. It is by far my favourite part of the blog. The blog is about discovering Barcelona and what better way than to ask the people who live here what they like to do. In return they get a short bio at the end to explain what they do and publicise their projects. I’m always looking for more contributors!
What’s your favourite thing about Barcelona?
There are so many. It is a fabulous city. But I think for me it comes down to two things, the size, and the weather. It is so easy to get around the city and you can go from one side to the other in no time. Yet it has everything you would expect from a modern metropolitan city and each area is very distinct. And then of course there’s the weather. It enables you to live life outside to a greater degree. And I don’t mean sitting on the beach at the weekend, but simple daily life.
Is being a blogger your full-time job?
God no. It doesn’t pay well. It is purely a hobby and a way to discover the city. I get some nice experiences and meet a lot of interesting people because of it. But there is no income at all. My day job is as a digital marketing consultant.
Do you have any advice to people who want to start a blog, but they’re not sure where to get started?
Yes lots. Go to WordPress.com and set up a site there. It’s by far the best and easiest platform out there to get started on. And easy to migrate to a fully fledged WordPress site at a later date.
Do not do it to make money. You won’t. Only a very small percentage of people do. Start a blog because you want to write and express yourself about a particular topic. Any benefits that may come later will be a bonus.
Let your online voice develop. It might take a while. And also the direction of the blog can change. But just write. Don’t try to get these things completely nailed down before you start or you never will.
Be active online. If you just concentrate on your blog your readership will undoubtedly stay low. Create an accompanying Facebook page and Twitter account and be active on them. Share other topic related articles as well as your own. And follow and like the pages and profiles of your peers. Become a voice in your niche. And write, often, more often than I do!
So that was it. A little bit more than was published. But do make sure you read the Barcelona Metropolitan article so you can get to know some of the other bloggers in Barcelona too!