As a journalist, Caroline von Bibra definitely believes content needs to be well written. When it comes to websites being interesting; original and personal count the most when it comes to readership.
Caroline von Bibra
Fashionista and owner of Fashion GC
What’s your story? Tell me about your background and what you’re doing now.
Before starting my website I worked as a television reporter for Channel Nine and NBN News. It’s a job I was absolutely passionate about and can honestly say I loved going to work every day. I really wanted to continue doing it but, although I went back part-time after having my first baby, once I had my second child, I found the hours too demanding. Most of my immediate family live overseas so I would have had to rely on day care, sometimes having to put my children in for over 10 hours a day. I decided I had to something for myself where I could control my work hours and environment.
Tell me about your business? Where did the idea come from?
a) My business is a fashion website that showcases the trends on the Gold Coast. I take photos of locals wearing outfits that are either up with current trends or highlight a particular look. I also write posts on local fashion news, from events to profiles on designers.
b) I got the idea from seeing “Street Style” type websites overseas and felt that our local fashionistas were just as stylish as our foreign counterparts. I also believe there is a movement away from newspapers and magazines towards online content and with that comes the potential to make websites a lot more personal and relevant to the target market (in my case, fashionable ladies on the Gold Coast).
What do you love the most?
I love that I am free to put whatever content I like on my site. I also love that I have my own hours (although to be honest, when you work for yourself, you often end up doing a lot more hours than you would ever do if you worked for a company).
Have you always been into fashion?
I have always loved fashion and have always been an avid “people watcher”, taking inspiration from what other woman around me are wearing. Ever since I was young, if I saw someone dressed really fashionably, I tried to remember what they were wearing so that I could re-create looks I liked (far more so than I ever did from models on fashion pages). The great thing about this job is that I don’t have to remember what people are wearing anymore, I now just take a photo of them!
Content is kind of fashionable at the moment! Tell me why you think having great quality content is important.
I believe great content is really important, but what I have learned from having a site is that actually anyone can have a website and many people don’t put up the best quality content. Often these bloggers end up more popular than ones who write well and put up quality information.
The most important lesson I have learned is that when it comes to websites, readers prefer sites that are about subjects that are personal to the blogger and written to show that.
The posts that I put up that are about me or my opinions are often more popular than the ones I have written on more general fashion news no matter how well written they are.
I think people want to see personality in posts as they are bored of the formal/faceless nature of newspapers, which is why they are switching to online sites in the first place. At the end of the day though, I definitely believe you need to keep your content interesting and well-written to succeed in the long-term.
What is your definition of awesome content?
As a journalist, I definitely believe content needs to be well written. As I mentioned above though, when it comes to websites being interesting, original and personal probably count the most when it comes to readership.
What do you always try to do with each piece of content you create?
The most difficult thing about having your own website is that you are responsible for your content and you don’t have an editor or proof reader to check the quality of your work. Every time I write a post, I read and re-read it numerous times to ensure there are no mistakes (which, believe me, are so easy to overlook no matter how many times you read over a post). I then make sure I re-check my post once it goes live to make sure it is running properly, there are no spelling errors, etc. Even then, things can still slip through the cracks, I swear computers are very temperamental!
When creating content – what is your number one tip?
My number one tip for writing content is keep things concise. Unlike print, there is not much space to ramble, so try to keep things simple with all your important information at the beginning of the post. Websites are also very visual so use a lot of pictures to make your content more interesting.