After moving into her grandparents’ house Rose Cottage, Instagram Influencer Jill Maginnis began to capture her renovations with a picture diary. Since then her blog has expanded to cover everything from interior design to lifestyle, fashion and family life.
Mum to two-year-old Harry, Jill has worked with top brands from Tommee Tippee to Primark to SparNI.
We recently caught up with Jill to chat about her blog and how she has developed it into one of Northern Ireland's key interior and lifestyle Instagram accounts...
How did you first get into blogging, and how would you describe your blogging style?
My blogging journey started over 3 years ago when we were renovating and moving into my grandparents’ house. I was posting photos onto my Instagram to show friends and family what we were getting up to; I couldn't believe it when other people (that I didn't know) wanted to follow along too! I decided to create an interior design based blog as that was what all our energy was being focused on at the time, but it has since developed to include family and lifestyle too since my little boy came along. I would say my blog is very much an informal chatty style, as I hope to make it as easy and accessible as possible...For me a lot of the time I let the photos speak for themselves!
What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Definitely using all the social platforms available. Direct people from Instagram to your blog, from you blog to Facebook, Facebook to Pinterest etc. This helps to cover all audiences available. I try where possible to chat about topical subjects and also like to either entertain or educate people with my content - helps them to come back for more!
What inspired you to start your blog?
I wanted to use my blog to document the renovation journey of Rose Cottage, it was the best way I felt I could keep all the memories in one place. The blog is a real creative outlet, a bit of fun and a little something for me; it’s a way for me to let my hair down and a hobby which doesn't involve needing a babysitter!
How active are you on a weekly basis? How often do you communicate with your followers?
I am active daily on social media - mostly Instagram as it’s my favourite platform and where I have the biggest audience. Instagram stories I feel is the best way to connect with people and show your true personality.
What is your biggest challenge?
I would say juggling (!!!) Being a wife, mum, working a part time job, keeping a house and having the blog can be demanding - often there just isn't enough hours in the day.
What’s your best advice for handling criticism on social media?
I think if you put yourself out there on social media you have to expect to get a little bit of criticism - not that this excuses it in any way. I have never responded to anyone who has been unkind to me, I simply ignore and delete.
Have you ever worked with any brands/businesses through your blog?
I have been so lucky that organically the blog has grown (it’s been so unexpected) and I have got some amazing opportunities through it. I have worked with some big brands such as Tommee Tippee, Asda, Sainsburys, Primark, M&S, and local business such as The Boulevard, Spar NI and Roe Park Hotel.
What is important to you when working with brands?
When working with brands I think the most important thing is good communication on both parts. The collaboration should be mutually beneficial, therefore a good discussion agreeing expectations insures everyone is getting the most out of it.
What advice would you give to a brand/business who wants to work with an influencer?
Do your homework! Make sure you follow an influencer and watch what they are up to before you choose to work with them. Make sure they are a good fit for your brand, and you haven't just chosen them based on number of followers. Ask them for their audience insights and check they are in line with who you wish to target. Follower numbers are definitely not the be all and end all - check their engagement levels (number of likes and comments) to ensure they have a loyal audience.
What social media site do you feel is best for you to reach your target audience?
Instagram has definitely been the best site for me personally. My target audience are Mums aged 25-45, and Instagram is where they all currently hang out!
Instagram - @homeatrosecottage
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org