I Want Your Job: Fashion blogger Amanda Shadforth
As part of our career Q&As series, the woman behind the blog Oracle Fox shares her tips to success in the blogging world.
Amanda Shadforth, of the Australian fashion blog Oracle Fox, began blogging as a small, private project to store her favourite images. Three years later, her blog commands a devoted audience and has evolved into one of the most frequented style blogs in the world.
Along with a to-die-for career, Shadforth stars alongside bloggers such as Margaret Zhang of Shine By Three and Sara Donaldson of "Harper & Harley" in E!'s new series 'Fashion Bloggers', documenting the lives of top Australian bloggers.
Amanda shares her tips and tricks to success in the blogging world.
Why did you first begin blogging?
Before Oracle Fox I was a visual artist and had my own boutique gallery. During days in my studio when I wasn't painting, I would spend my time searching the internet for inspiration and beautiful images.
I needed an outlet for all the beautiful things I was finding and started Oracle Fox as a giant mood board. Before long, I started posting personal style images and I have never looked back.
Your best advice for young people wanting to break into the blogging world?
First and foremost, the key ingredients are dedication and passion - having a site is all-consuming and you have to completely love and be authentic with what you create for your readers. Having a unique and interesting point of view either through words or images is also really important; you want to translate your personality across in a genuine way with what you do. Also, a sense of imagination and adventure never go astray either.
Is there anything you wish someone had told you when you first started out blogging?
When I started out the industry was very new, I had no idea what to expect or that it would even lead me on this amazing path. Along the way I found that it's important to have a rough idea of what you want to achieve with your site and to have faith in your own style. There are many external influences out there so make sure that the energy and passion you put in will translate your aesthetic in an honest way for your followers.
How did you get to where you are today?
I am a visual artist by trade specialising in super realism artwork, throughout my career I have been lucky enough to exhibit in Australia and internationally. The site simply started as a place for me to store my inspiration and imagery so it's almost an accident that it has ended up where it is today. I think Oracle Fox was a natural progression for me as an artist and is a wonderful way to engage with a different audience as well as the artistic community.
What does your typical day entail?
There really is no typical day in the Oracle Fox office, the role is always changing and evolving with different projects and shoots. No two days are the same and I love that about what I do.
Best and worst parts about your job?
The best part has absolutely been the people I have met through Oracle Fox, there are so many talented creative minds out there with endless passion for what they do. Also, being able to engage with my readers is a really fun part of the job, I am so humbled by the support they have given me throughout the years, even from the beginning I have always had very loyal and encouraging followers.
One of the few downsides of my job would be trying to find a work-life balance; I post six days a week which is quite a lot, I like to keep my content fresh for my readers, so maintaining that pace can be quite demanding but I love what I do.
There are thousands of fashion bloggers out there, how has your blog become so popular?
To be honest, I don't really know and still have to pinch myself at the success of the site. I think consistency is very important along with originality, I work very hard to keep things fresh and interesting. My style and aesthetic have really evolved over the years and my readers have been right there with me the whole time, I feel like we have all grown together. I wouldn't be where I am today without them.
What is the most challenging part of being a blogger?
Managing the growth of Oracle Fox has been a challenge but it is also really rewarding, the industry is growing exponentially and it's key to stay one step ahead. A year and a half ago, I employed a fulltime business development manager and we have recently employed an office manager to assist with the day-to-day running of the business. My team is amazing and we always have a great time together in the office.
Three things you couldn't live without when you're working?
It's very hard to narrow it down to just three ... I may have to give you five.
In no particular order:
1. A sense of imagination and adventure.
2. A good camera.
3. Strong internet connection.
4. A drawing tablet for general computer work and digital illustrations, I'm currently using a Wacom tablet and can never go back to working with a mouse.
5. A relaxed attitude - don't take yourself too seriously.
Oracle Fox readers are intelligent and loyal, so it's very important to be organic and honest with what I post.
Three top tips for success in your industry?
1. Research what you're passionate about and the subjects that you share with your readers, make sure that what you put on your site is translated with the best imagery and literature possible. Essentially, you are starting a conversation with every post so it's nice to educate yourself as much as you can before you engage with your readers.
2. Quality over quantity.
3. The fashion industry is based on relationships, this is also one the most fun aspects of the job as you are constantly working with your friends and connections. It is really important to be professional and represent your brand with integrity - if you always put your best foot forward you can't go wrong.
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