Who: Hillary Dixon
What: Style in a Small Town
Where: Central Illinois
Hillary is a fashion loving, puggle-obsessed thirty-something who’s biggest thrill is hunting for great bargains. Her enthusiasm for finding a good deal is clear when you browse her blog. Unlike many blogs out there that showcase fancy designer-wear that most of us only dream of buying, her blog features outfits that won’t break the bank. She hopes to inspire everyone and to provide a new way of looking at our closets.
Read our interview with her below to find out how blogging has helped in her day job, her favorite thing about blogging and her insightful tips for new bloggers.
- When did you start your blog and why?
“I have a degree in fashion and have always had a passion for it, but no longer work in the industry. So, I started Style in a Small Town in 2014 as a way of staying in touch and keeping up with it. Also, I have been reading blogs for quite a while and my friends encouraged me to start my own.”
- How did you you come up with the name?
“I have always lived in small towns, but I love the big city trends, just not the price points. Style in a Small Town was a good name for achieving the big city style on a small town budget.”
- Do you blog full time or do you also have a day job?
“I also have a day job. I work from 7:30-4:30 and do my blogging at night. I usually try to post Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays but that doesn't always happen.”
- How do you manage to fit blogging into your schedule?
“I am super organized and try to schedule all of my blogging tasks along with any other things I have planned. I would be lost without my editorial calendar.”
- How did you first become interested in fashion?
“I can't say for sure, I have always had a passion for fashion, color and design. When I was picking a major while choosing colleges, I decided it was either going to be something in fashion or interior design. I went with fashion!”
- How would you describe your style?
“My style changes often and is always evolving, but I would say that for the most part, it's pretty classic. A little preppy, a little trendy, but mostly classic. I love to get dressed up, but I'm most comfortable in a pair of distressed jeans, sneakers and a v-neck tee.”
- What are your favorite spring trends?
“I recently wrote a couple of posts on layering and the concept of the third piece. Right now I love adding a vest, lightweight trench or a statement piece to an outfit. It pulls everything together and makes it look more cohesive.”
- How do you use social media, and what role does it play in your blogging life?
“There are two things that I love about social media. First, I get inspiration from all different places; magazines, other blogs and other people’s social media posts. Second, and the best part, you get to connect with so many people that you wouldn't have otherwise ‘met.' Social media is a great way to network and interact with thousands of different people. It's also a great way to support others in the industry, which is something that I'm very passionate about. I believe that when you lift others up, you're bettering yourself as well.”
- How do you monetize your blog and your brand?
“There are several ways that I monetize my blog. I am a member of a few affiliate networks, I do sponsored posts with retailers that align with my brand, product reviews and some, but not much, from advertising.”
- What is your favorite thing about blogging?
“I have a couple actually. One is the networking aspect, as I mentioned before. I love to meet new people, hear people's stories and make connections. Having my blog has allowed me to do just that in ways that I never would've imagined. I also love to learn. The blogging world is always changing. There is always some new widget, strategy or tool to learn. I love that there is never a lack of something new to learn. It definitely keeps me on my toes and wanting to learn more!”
- Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?
“I have a few in the works right now, you'll have to read to find out what they are!”
- How has blogging affected your career?
“I actually work in IT, so they both have affected each other. I have learned a lot about coding and things from my blog and have been able to use it in my job and any technical things that I do at work, I've utilized in my blogging. Also, I have a very creative brain and IT can sometimes get a little dull, so using the creative side of my brain in my blogging definitely gives me a much needed outlet.”
- What advice would you give to aspiring fashion bloggers?
“Not to steal from Nike, but ‘just do it.' It took me so long to start mine. I thought that I needed to have everything figured out before I actually launched and all you really need is a name. You will learn so much and so many things will change in the first couple of months after launching that most of your planning will be for nothing. Also, keep in mind how much time it takes to have a blog. You will be amazed that a post that will take you two minutes to read will take a heck of a lot longer to create. You may become overwhelmed at first, but take it in stride. You will have your ups and downs, don't expect everything to happen right away. It takes time to establish yourself. Finally, don't compare! The blogging world is pretty saturated and there are thousands of bloggers who have been doing this for a very long time. To quote Jon Acuff, ‘Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle.' No words have been truer. Trust that what you're doing is the best you can, remember that it takes time and patience to get established and most importantly have fun with it!”