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What did you want to be when you grew up?
My aspirations were: fashion journalist (not far off), solicitor (I watched too much Ally McBeal), and Hollyoaks cast member (WTF). My dreams changed depending on the day of the week and the direction of the wind, and I was a terror for spending more time thinking about who I wanted to be than actually working on being it.
I think it’s wonderful to have dreams, to shoot for the moon and be happy in the stars. I still have them now: I want to write a book, have one of those beautiful new pink MacBooks, take my children on loads more holidays. Big or little, dreams make my world go round.
Which is why I’m always so inspired by others who have achieved their dreams. Those who have really put themselves ‘out there’ to accomplish things that might have felt impossible once upon a time.
Alice Audley is one of those people. As Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the brilliant Blogosphere magazine, Alice took her love for the online publishing world and turned it into a sterling offline publication. At a time when even the mainstream media were getting cold feet over the future of magazines, she had the balls to step out and independently launch her own. It’s genius when you consider it – a magazine about the online world? Amazing.
With coverstars such as Lilly Pebbles, Fleur de Force and Liberty London Girl and sections for all facets of the blogging world, Blogosphere is the only magazine out there to advise and inform those of us invested in this wonderful world of blogging: a blogging bible, if you will.
I spoke to Alice recently to pick her brains and discover exactly how she went about launching her own publishing and events powerhouse, Blogosphere:
1. It must have been a really big – and brave! – decision to start your own magazine. What prompted you to set up Blogosphere, and how long did it take before you were able to work on the business full time?
Blogosphere was the result of feeling completely overwhelmed by the blogging world. I loved reading blogs – and indeed writing my own – but the market, even back in 2013, was saturated. While there were plenty of great blogs, there were also plenty of not-so great blogs and trawling through the web trying to find new, good ones (and not necessarily massive ones) to follow was a nightmare. The lists that were out there were mainly written by the mainstream press and the majority of those were out of date, too.
While the beauty of online is that with the click of a finger you can be anywhere, on any site, people often forget that that’s if you know what exactly you’re trying to find. Don’t know exactly what you’re looking for and who knows where you’ll end up and how many tabs you’ll have open on your screen. It can be a chaotic experience.
Blogosphere is the opposite of that – it’s a safe pair of hands, which isn’t going to disappear should you accidentally click on a link and forget where you’ve come from. It’s an offline guide to the online world.
More importantly, it’s written by bloggers and who better to tell you what’s going on in the blogging world, than bloggers themselves?
I think there’s a common misconception that print and online cannot work together and that online was created to destroy print. I don’t think online was created to destroy, but rather to give more people platforms and more people voices. We’re highlighting some of the best of them. Our value is in curation (and amazing smelling paper!)
Furthermore, I think that online is brilliant for breaking news/being the first to experience something or review something. But print has a place for timeless, reflective pieces (slower news). Though one of our blogs featured might be writing about the launch of a brand new pram, what we’re showcasing is the style in which they write and should our readers enjoy it that – now they know where to go online to read some more. Blogosphere is used in conjunction with online.
The magazine started as a hobby and ran for two years before becoming a full-time business. So it all still fels very new and exciting!
2. What would be your top three pieces advice to someone looking to step outside the box and launch their own business?
Have one clear idea. See if you can integrate some form of a subscription model into the business. Work somewhere else first.
3. What’s been the scariest (and perhaps most unexpected) situation you’ve had to deal with since launching Blogosphere?
Resigning from the my job at The Telegraph. Though I had gone down to a part-time contract, which enabled me to run the magazine, I knew that it wasn’t fair to the magazine not to give it everything and that it was time to leave. My dream had always been to be writing for the paper, and I was doing it. But dreams change. Realising that and acting upon it took a while and was definitely scary.
4. You’re now working on issue 10 of what is undoubtedly the definitive ‘bloggers’ bible’. How have you seen the blog world change since issue 1?
That’s a very nice description of Blogosphere! Thanks!
The blogging world has grown exponentially in the last few years. In terms of the changes, there’s definitely been an increase in sleek, editorial looking blogs.
There are more professional bloggers and there’s been a shift from it being seen as purely a hobby to now being a viable career. Brands have realised the power of blogs and are taking them far more seriously, too.
5. As a huge blog fan yourself, which are your favourite blogs to read, and why?
I have too many blogs to list and, without wanting to push the magazine too much, this is largely down to Blogosphere. It introduces me to a range of blogs from a whole host of different sectors and I love the variety.
For example, I don’t have children, but now love reading the parenting blogs you’ve recommended.
Before starting the magazine, I’d say my favourite blogs to read were travel focused. But now, I like dabbling and reading across loads of genres.
6. What’s next for Blogosphere?
We want to concentrate on creating great stories, finding awesome blogs and interviewing amazing bloggers. We have started doing events, so will look to grow these and to host them regularly across the country. We’ve also just launched a subscription service, which has lots of perks, so will be looking get the word out about that. There are so many things that we have in store…definitely stay tuned!