This week journalist, blogger and all round social media butterfly is answering my 20 questions.
1. What is the name of your blog? It’s just my name – Rosemary Mac Cabe. I’ve had a few different blogs over the years, and honestly coming up with blog names was one of the hardest parts, so I’m happy now to just let my name be the URL. It makes things so much easier, and means that if people google me, they find it first. Simple!
2. What topics do you cover? Whenever anyone asks me what I blog about, I kind of joke that I just blog about myself – but it’s actually true. I blog about whatever I’m thinking about that day, so it could be a blog post about Britney Spears’ new music video, my workout routine, why I think we need to talk more about periods, my outfit… If I had to describe it I’d say it’s a lifestyle blog, with strong focuses on feminism, fashion and food.
3. When and why did you start blogging? I think I first started blogging over a decade ago, which makes me feel very old. I had a personal blog for a while, then a personal style blog… I’ve kind of done everything, and across all platforms – Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr. Now I’m on my own domain, using WordPress.
4. Who or what do you get inspiration from? At the moment I think a lot of my inspiration, for content at least, comes from Twitter. There was definitely a while there when I went off Twitter, and was focusing much more on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, but I find that, for conversations that are genuinely though-provoking, Twitter is still the place.
5. What has been your biggest challenge since you started blogging? I think it’s probably the same challenge everyone has: consistency. It’s tough to come up with fresh, new content and ideas all the time, and at least for me, if I focus too much on making sure I blog every single day without fail, my content really suffers. I need to relax a bit in order to come up with good content, and once I start stressing about it, it gets harder and harder. It’s kind of a chicken-egg scenario, but actually I find that I come up with my best blog ideas when I’m totally unplugged – on a long drive, or on a plane.
6. Who are your favourite bloggers and why? I really like what Linnea Dunne is doing. She puts into words a lot of things that I think about feminism, social media, media coverage of news… She’s super smart, and funny too. I also recently discovered The Frugality, whose content is great because there’s a focus on being frugal without being cheap; I’m so tired of seeing the same fast fashion crop up everywhere. In terms of Irish bloggers, Anouska still leads the fashion pack for me. Her photographs are incredible and she has a great sense of style. I think a lot of time, bloggers think they have to do everything – write, model AND take great pictures. Whereas actually my favourite bloggers often only do one of the three, and they just do it really well.
7. How do you find motivation and spare time to blog? Well, I don’t need to find spare time, because blogging is my full-time job – and as for motivation, well, that’s it right there! If I don’t work on creating content, I don’t work – and if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. So at the moment I’m really focusing on idea generation, regular content (without pressuring myself to be TOO consistent) and coming up with content for my social media channels, too. Ultimately, though, I love writing; in the past, I’ve had periods where I’ve forgotten that, and gotten bogged down in social media, thinking that was the content I was creating… But for me, writing is my thing. It always has been.
8. What are your hobbies? I love watching TV and movies; the cinema is where I really switch off. I listen to a lot of music – at the moment I’ve got Lady Gaga’s new album on repeat – and podcasts, too. Watching Westworld is incredible; it’s a podcast about the new HBO show and I’m totally addicted. I guess I like things that kind of require my full concentration, so I can’t do or think about anything else.
9. What is your biggest blog related pet peeve? I find it incredibly frustrating when readers complain about bloggers making money. I know the number one issue is around transparency, but I am totally transparent, so when I see people giving out that, say, I’m sharing affiliate links, or doing a commercial partnership… Well, I just feel like, what do you want from me? You want to read my content, or follow my social channels; you watch my YouTube videos… you’re happy to consume what I’m creating, but you’re not happy for me to get paid for it? It’s madness! It’s not even like I’m asking my readers to pay me, like a pay per view system. It makes zero difference to you, as a reader, if I’m getting paid, as long as I’m not being dishonest about it.
10. What are your favourite make up brands? I love Rimmel foundations – their Wake Me Up is one of my all-time faves. And for brows, it’s all about Benefit; I use loads of their products actually. Beyond those two brands, I’m not hugely loyal, but I like Charlotte Tilbury’s Film Star Bronze & Glow, I’m using Bourjois mascara right now and Nars’ Orgasm is my go-to blusher.
11. Do you have a pet? Yes! Her name’s Coileán and she’s a big black mutt. She’s my BFF.
12. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Maybe Amsterdam – but I’d have to bring my friends, family and home comforts with me. I love it there, but I’m such a home bird, I hate being away from loved ones for too long.
13. What type of phone/camera do you use? I use the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which has an incredible camera – so much so that I often don’t need to bring my camera with me. But for blog pics and vlogging, I do use it; it’s the Olympus Pen E-PL7.
14. Can you cook? Yes. I’m not amazing at it, but I can cook. I like doing fairly straightforward things; I make a good bolognese sauce, and my sweet potato fries are pretty good. I used to be a better cook, and then when I was working full-time (at The Irish Times, then at Stellar magazine) I kind of got out of the habit. It’s so hard to work eight hours a day then come home and cook! Now that I’m working from home I have no excuse though, so I do need to try harder.
15. If you could find one thing that you lost, what would it be? My ability to dance. I swear I had a golden decade, between the ages of 15 and 25, when I was a really good dancer. Now, I am so incredibly bad it’s not even funny.
16. Night in or night out? Night in – I don’t drink alcohol, so I’m not a big night out person at the best of times, and I love nothing more than cosying up on the couch in my PJs to watch a movie or a good TV series.
17. What have you coming up that we can look forward to seeing on your blog? I’m working on a series called “We need to talk about…” that’s basically my way of writing about things that are annoying me! And I’m working on some commercial collaborations – I guess the next one is a Christmas themed post with Marks & Spencer that should be live next week.
18. Do you attend blogger events? Yes and no; I used to go to loads of events, because it was fun, and you got to meet people, and you got free food and drink! But now, like I said, I don’t drink, and I kind of know a lot of people, and… I guess I don’t feel like I need to go to everything any more. I think to myself, is this going to provide good content? Is this going to make a good contact? Is this going to be amazing fun? If any of those questions get a yes, then I’ll go. But at the same time, blogger events can be really time-consuming – and sometimes I think, do I really have five hours to dedicate to this brand that will never, ever work with me?
19. What social media platforms can you be found on? All of them! I’m @rosemarymaccabe.
20. Lastly, what is your favourite thing about being a blogger? Honestly? It’s that I get to write – for a living. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Everything else is just icing on the cake.