I’m regularly bombarded with questions relating to my blogging journey, photography tips, product recommendations, and life in general, so I thought an FAQ page would be helpful.
If you have a question you would like me to answer, feel free to get in touch.
Blogging & Photography
How did you get into blogging?
I started blogging way back when I was around 15 years old on a hosting platform called Soul Cast. The blogging industry was nothing like it is now, and most people used their blogs to journal everyday life. I used to write about some issues I was going through growing up and I’d use a pseudonym so no one really knew who I was, but it was a really great way of expressing myself and getting advice and support from others online.
At the same time, I was really interested in graphic design, web development, and coding. Eventually, I combined my passions, along with my interests in fashion and beauty, to create my own blogs. A couple of which I went on to sell before I eventually started writing Joannesherrell.com in 2015.
Why did you quit your blog before relaunching it?
I was going through some personal issues that majorly effected my mental health and my confidence. It was one of the lowest points in my life and I lost all determination and motivation to do any of the things I loved. In the end, I just gave up. It’s as simple as that.
These days I’m more of the mentality that learning to take a break and coming back with a fresh outlook is far more beneficial than just quitting.
What blog photography equipment and software do you use?
I mostly use my Canon 600d with a 50mm lens to take photos, although I’ll take the odd picture with my iPhone if I need to.
I edit with Adobe Lightroom and I also have a Canva subscription. I’ve made a few of my own Lightroom presets over the last couple of years which I use on my images for both the blog and Instagram.
Canva is great for creating Pinterest pin graphics or any type of graphic that you need to create in bulk as it’s a lot easier to use than Photoshop, but I love Photoshop for more intricate, creative designs.
Other equipment I use is a tripod, ring light, and a remote for when I need to shoot photos of myself, all purchased from Amazon.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out with blogging?
I’d say only write about things that genuinely interest you and always be transparent, whether that’s being honest when reviewing products or disclosing ads, for example. It’s so obvious when someone is pretending to love a product just because they’re being paid to say it.
I’d also say look into going self-hosted as it’s the only way you will ever truly own your blog and content, and do your research on SEO as it will have one of the biggest long-term impacts on the success of your blog.
I may consider incorporating more helpful blogging and photography-related guides and resources in the future. Let me know if it’s something you would like to see!
Who designed/ built your blog?
I’m really particular and like to be in control so I did it myself. I already had all the basic knowledge and skills as I taught myself web development, design, and coding when I was a teenager. I also used Elementor which made it really easy! I saved a good few grand by not hiring someone else to do it for me.
Is blogging as easy as it looks?
Not at all! It actually really annoys me when people say that it’s basic or not a proper job. I try to post twice per week, and writing a blog post consists of planning, research, photography, SEO, etc, which can take days per piece of content. Then there’s social media to contend with which takes up so much time and energy. I spend hours each week replying to emails alone… It’s super fun but by no means is it easy.
How do you make money from blogging?
There are lots of ways to make money from blogging, but the main ones are sponsored content (where a brand pays you to write about a product), affiliate links (where you make a small commission per sale you generate) and ad placement.
Do you accept gifts?
Yes, but only if I’m genuinely interested in the product or I likely would have purchased it myself anyway.
How did you and Alex meet?
We both worked together for the same company for a couple of years before we started our relationship.
Do you want to get married?
We’ve both discussed the possibility of getting married in the future but I can take or leave it, to be honest. I just don’t feel like people get married for the right reasons anymore. I’m not religious and we’re happy the way we are anyway. I’d love a big country/ chateau-style wedding as it’s a great excuse for a party and to get everyone we love together, haha! But right now we’re working towards other things, such as buying a house, which is a much bigger priority.
Do you want more children?
I’m happy with just TJ for now but if Alex wanted kids in the future, I would definitely consider it if the circumstances were right. I think I’ll probably be an older Mom and have another child in my mid-late thirties providing we decide to and I’m still able to. But I also love the idea of it being just TJ and us, moving away from the typical ‘mom life’ responsibilities which, although people don’t like to admit it, can actually be really hard and taxing – both physically and emotionally! I love the idea of being impulsive and making spare of the moment decisions like booking a holiday at the last minute or just going for a day out without having to plan every detail, which just isn’t possible when you have young children. Besides, we have 4 cats which we always joke is the equivalent to having another kid, so there’s that!
TJ always used to ask when he could have a little brother or sister and I felt so sad for him being an only child. Then my sister gave birth to my nephew (TJ’s cousin) and he doesn’t really mention it anymore because he’s basically like a little baby brother to him.
What are your long-term life goals?
Buy a big house. I’m a home-body so it’s where I’m most comfortable, plus I’d love to work from home in the future. I also really want to travel. As soon as TJ is done with school before going to college, I’d love to take a year out to travel as a family.
What’s on your bucket list?
1. Buy a beautiful big family home
2. Buy and renovate a project home to sell on
3. Set up a charity supporting homeless people
4. Go on safari
5. Travel America, especially the Cowboy states in North America
6. Launch my own business mentoring and providing resources for female entrepreneurs
That’s just a few off the top of my head.
How old are you?
I was born in 1991, so I’m currently 29. I’ll be 30 on the 27th August this year!
Do you have a day job besides blogging?
Yes, I’m a hairstylist and hair extensions specialist. I still dabble in web development here and there, too.
How many cats do you have and what are their names?
We have 4 cats. Mama Willow and her babies, Luna, Blu and Mylo. The neighbours cat kept jumping into our bathroom window without us knowing, just before she was due to be neutered, and the rest is history. We decided to keep them because we’re obsessed with cats. I grew up with cats and always wanted to be surrounding by a ‘handful’, haha.
How tall are you?
I’m 5’2, so pretty diddy!
What are your skin and hair types?
I created my beauty profile page which outlines my skin and hair types & characteristics. This allows me to be completely transparent when it comes to using and promoting certain products.
What hair colour do you use?
The silver shade I use is Wella Colour Touch 8/81.
How did you get rid of your acne?
I’m not 100% sure. I’m not certain whether my acne was from a hormonal issue as it seemed to disappear as soon as I gave birth to my son! Over the years, I’ve got to know my skin better and learned about skincare ingredients to concoct a routine which is perfect for me. I did previously see doctors about my skin, who either recommended the pill or other prescription lotions and potions, but my acne always came back once I finished the courses they prescribed.
What is your favourite type of beauty product?
Definitely skincare! Healthy, glowy skin can elevate your look and is the best foundation for flawless makeup, too.