#ecmeetup guest speaker: Megan Kelly Botha

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On the 14th of May a bunch of us bloggers, from the Eastern Cape, are getting together to do blog stuff. You know, talk about blogging, learn about blogging, meet other bloggers and then, eventually, blog about it all. We are so excited about our fabulous #ecmeetup guest speaker and Eleanor (over at JustEllaBella) and I have hooked up aaaack-worthy giveaways and swag bags! We are totally looking forward to meeting all our EC peeps! (BTW Elle chats about what you can expect at the #ecmeetup on her blog today).

Sarah of Chasing the Rainbow is the owner of our meet up venue, The Boma – a magical safari-style restuarant. I chatted more about it the other day.

We are also so excited and honored to have 2 amazing ladies join us, to share knowledge and expertise on various topics that can help us take our blogs and social media platforms from good to bestest!

One of those speakers, Megan Botha, of By Megan Kelly, has only been blogging for a short 3 years and already has a reach of over 10500. I chatted to her a bit about why she blogs and what we can expect to learn from her at this year’s #ecmeetup.

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When and why did you start blogging? 

I started blogging back in 2013, during my third trimester of my pregnancy. I was stuck on a farm in the middle of nowhere and feeling very sorry for myself – a pregnancy in summer is very glamorous, as you can imagine. I had watched videos on YouTube, but I never really understood the obsession people had with the platform until I discovered beauty vloggers. I was nothing short of consumed and fell head first into the rabbit hole of too many YouTube videos. I wanted so much to do the same thing and was especially inspired by Julia Graf’s approach. I told my husband that I wanted to start a blog and him being in web design, I wanted him to design my first blog. But he was taking too long, so I ended up creating my blog on Blogger and that was the beginning. I have always had a passion for writing but somewhere in my teens, I lost that joy. Beauty wasn’t anything new to me especially as I have had a lipstick since the age of 3, I loved the idea of being able to share tips, tricks and tutorials. Every day is a new challenge, a new adventure and I thoroughly enjoy it.

How did you manage to grow your blog over such a short period of time?
In the beginning, I was ignorant in thinking there weren’t many SA Bloggers but I slowly started seeing more of them popping up on my Twitter feed, so I would take the time to connect and engage with them. I started researching ways to improve my blog, from listening to ProBlogger’s Podcast, to reading Webfluential’s blog religiously. I still spend hours reading content from credible sources on ways to engage readers and create unique content. When it comes to growing your blog, we often make the mistake that the more posts that we write, the better chances we have of being successful. I have come to realize that readers value consistency and quality over quantity. You can be a blogger who only writes once a month, and still have a following because that one post is so worth the read!

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Whats your favorite thing about blogging?
My absolute favourite part about blogging is how it is constantly evolving. When I first started blogging, there were a selected few who had the opportunity of earning from their writing while the rest of us were hobbyists, waiting for our next big break. Nowadays, there are platforms who are acknowledging our value and who are putting us as the leaders of marketing and online influence. It’s all very interesting how certain things can go viral by our constant need to share and receive information, via social media, through our phones, tablets and laptops. In the past, world news would take long to reach the everyday person, via newspapers and word of mouth. These days, when something happens, we can follow the event live by means of tweeting or even streaming, constantly sharing our opinions but better yet, we are now able to express emotion. When the Paris attacks happened, it gave me goosebumps reading the millions of blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram clips – even though we weren’t there, our hearts were in Paris. That’s beautiful and mind-blowing.

Do you think that having an #ecmeetup is important?
YES! A hundred times YES! EC Bloggers seem to think that they’re the only ones in the region, putting them at a disadvantage at the chance of working with brands. My experience is that being an EC Blogger is an opportunity in itself. I believe that the meetup will encourage the EC bloggers to work collectively and ensure that we set an industry standard, allowing for more brands to consider working with those of us, in the region. In addition, I strongly believe that we can always learn from each other and that having a group of people who understand the highs and lows that come with being a blogger, can be beneficial. I can’t tell you the amounts of times that I have tried explaining the frustration, to my husband, when my stats aren’t hitting their targets – he isn’t involved in the community and doesn’t see what I am comparing myself to. I think having like-minded people with varying skills, mindsets and goals will only encourage growth in the industry and particularly in our little region.
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What can we expect to hear from you, at the #ecmeetup? 
To be very honest, I have so many ideas for this talk that I am going to have to spend quite some time streamlining my content. My chat is going to be focused on creating a brand for your blog: when people see you on social media or at events, what are you going to be known for? Defining your niche will fill a big part of the branding of your blog, as well as your professional approach to readers, fellow bloggers and brands alike and how your actions can make or break your reputation as a credible blogger. Lastly, I will be chatting about what it is that you need to start monetizing your blog, blogging ethics when approaching brands and how the pie really is big enough for all of us, to earn from blogging.

Check out Megan’s beauty and lifestyle blog, By Megan Kelly, for totally easy tutorials and really top tips on beauty and skin care. She keeps it real, which I appreciate, and also chats about the daily struggles and wins she faces, as a way to help encourage and empower others who may be going through the same thing. Megan is also on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Aaaack! I’m excited! Are you excited? Coz I am! :) Please hollar at Elle or myself if you’d like to purchase a ticket. We can’t wait to meet you!

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