Interview: Shannon Clark
Shannon Clark runs an amazing blog and website called Sweet Serendipity. I was lucky enough to have an interview with Shannon about her career plans and blog.
Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
Hi! Thank you for interviewing me, I’m excited to be a part of your blog series!
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’ve just graduated from the University of Reading, having studied English Literature for the past three years and I’m now working as a content creator in a local marketing company. I’ve also had my own pony for the past nine years and while it is tiring (and costs me a fortune!), it is definitely worth it!
Describe your style.
Relaxed and comfy – You will nearly always find me in a pair of shorts, a fitted top and a jumper.
I adore your blog posts. What inspired you to create your blog?
Thank you, that is so lovely of you! I started my blog about five years ago as an online diary. I’ve always loved writing but I never managed to regularly write in a traditional diary as I would just forget it was there. My blog gave me somewhere to put all of that writing and over the years it has developed into something that I put a little (a lot!) more thought into!
What is the reason behind the name of your blog?
When I was younger my favourite book used to be called Serendipity – the name sprung into my mind one day and I decided to do a google search to see if I could find the book. I did, but I also found that what I thought had just been a name for the little purple dragon was actually a word that means “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way”. I adored the meaning and I love a bit of alliteration so Sweet Serendipity was born!
Why did you choose a green design for your logo?
A lot of my photos are taken in the countryside and they obviously feature a lot of greenery in them so green just seemed like a logical colour to go with for my blog design as it works well to tie everything on my blog together!
What is an important design element to have for a blog?
I think an important part of any blog is the visuals – I like to see photos on blog posts that I read so I always include them in any posts that I write.
What equipment do you use for your photography and Instagram page?
All of my photos are taken using my Olympus EPL-7 or my Iphone 5S. So nothing hugely fancy!
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
I have the most followers on Twitter but in all honesty Instagram is my favourite platform and definitely the one I put the most amount of effort into! I’m a very visual person and I’ve come to realise that my lifestyle, in the countryside, isn’t as normal to everyone else as it is to me so I love sharing snippets of my life that city-dwellers don’t get to see!
Who inspires your blog and Instagram page?
Oh gosh this is hard! There are so many people that I find inspiring. I absolutely love @me_and_orla, @allthatisshe, @freyadowson, @creativecountryside, @pollyandbooks ad @monalogue’s Instagram accounts. Blog-wise…www.hollylovesthesimplethings.co.uk, www.nishantishu.com, www.ciderwithrosie.co.uk, www.meandorla.co.uk, www.sophieetc.com, www.neverendingfootsteps.com, www.thetravelhack.com and www.wonderful--you.com are all blogs that I return to time and time again. They’re all very different but they are all run by incredibly passionate women!
How many posts do you aim to put out each month?
I try not to be too strict on myself as I like my blog to feel fun but typically I will try to put out at least two posts a month.
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your blog?
I’ve just got back from Cornwall and I’m heading to Bali in a few weeks so I will be sharing plenty of outdoorsy posts from both places! I’m also going to be sharing some new finds from my local area in Buckinghamshire so there is plenty of content to come over the next few months!
When did you start getting into blogging?
I started blogging about five years ago, I think…!
Why did you decide to set up a countryside and lifestyle blog?
I didn’t intend for my blog to be a countryside blog when I started, in fact it was only really last year that someone pointed out to me that it was quite a fitting title! I started off just blogging about my day-to-day life with my horses and then it has grown from there, but I live in the countryside so it is only natural that a lot of my content is based in the outdoors.
What do you include in your countryside and lifestyle blog?
I cover quite a wide range of topics – my blog is largely filled with all things nature, animals and anything ‘outdoorsy’. I share photos from the countryside and write posts about anything from travel to adventures with my horse. I also blog about the ‘cosier’ elements that come from living in the countryside so you will also find book reviews and crafty posts from time-to-time.
As well as your blog, you have your own shop. What do you sell in your shop?
I do! I sell decorated horseshoe wall-hangings – some are pre-made and others are custom orders.
When did you set up your shop?
I set it up last summer, it started as a little bit of fun and then people started to comment on them so I opened up the store.
Do you use your shop and blog together?
Not really, my blog is definitely my priority and the shop is a bit of fun on the side but with owning a horse and running a countryside blog, the two do share similarities!
What could you not live without?
It sounds awful, but my phone. A lot of my family lives abroad so I like to be able to stay in contact with them and with having a horse I like to be contactable at all times in case of emergencies! I also love that the cameras on the iPhone’s are now incredibly high quality so having my phone with me is like having a mini camera at all times too.
Do you have any career plans?
I’m currently working in marketing, which I love but long-term I want to work for myself – freelance writing, social media content creating, pretty much what I’m doing now but with a bit more freedom.
Where would you like to be in blogging three years from now?
In the past year I would say my style has changed quite a lot and I’m now really happy with the content I’m producing. In the next few years I would love to just keep pushing myself to see what I can do next, especially now that I have a style I’m happy with.
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to set up their own blog?
Just do it! Don’t overthink it, don’t compare yourself to anyone else – just blog about things that you are genuinely interested in and if your blog grows from somewhere genuine, you can’t go wrong!
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
Give it a go. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. It’s better to have tried and failed than to not have tried at all.
You can follow the lovely lady on her blog and website ‘www.sweetserendipityblog.co.uk'. She is always posting amazing articles and posts.