For me, using social media gave me the opportunity to meet like minded, smart, talented individuals like Monica who uses her passion to share her talent with the community.
Check out our Q&A with Monica and get to know more about what drives her and gives her that knack for creativity and ingenuity to come up with such remarkable work.
- What inspired you to create a Monica Wants It?
I decided to create Monica Wants It in early 2009 because I was constantly emailing my friend links to stuff I wanted. I wanted to stop annoying her, so I decided to post those random things I wanted on my blog in April 2009. My husband and I got married in May 2009, so naturally after that my interests changed. I started blogging more about wanting to buy a home, DIY projects, weight loss, and recipes. Those are pretty much the 3 things I focus on the most even 3 years later.
- How do you balance your professional-life with your blogging life?
I do work about 50 hours a week as a public relations officer for a community college. Ever since I got this job in May, my blogging has definitely declined, but it is something I still truly love. Rather than post regularly, I post blogs when I have time. I think my readers understand that, and they know they can always easily find me on Twitter (@monicabenavidez). While I am still trying to juggle my 8-5 job with my blogging, I try to devote some time to it every week. It truly makes me happy and relaxed to write to my readers. I consider every person that visits the pages of my blog to be a friend of mine, and that’s how I approach every single post. For bloggers that also work full-time I think it’s key to realize that you can’t do it all, and what may be working for some bloggers won’t work for you. It’s all about balance.
- How did you know you wanted to create a lifestyle blog?
By creating Monica Wants It as a lifestyle blog, I left myself the opportunity to blog about topics that mean a lot to me. Sometimes I am all about DIY projects and other times I am all about shopping. I didn’t want to fit myself into a box; it was important to me to be able to blog about whatever is most important to me at that current time. In the next few months my posts will likely be all about crafts and food. And then of course in January I’ll write about weight loss! I’m all over the place at times on my blog, but in my real life that’s really what’s happening. My blog is truly a reflection of my lifestyle, so there was no other road for me to take.
- Where does your inspiration to create such amazing DIY pieces and renovation ideas come from?
I think it comes out of necessity! I have a champagne taste on a beer budget, and I am just incessant when it comes to obtaining something I want. If I can’t have that exact thing, I try to think of a way to create myself. Once I’m obsessed, there’s no turning back. A lot of it also stems from watching HGTV, and immersing myself in the interior design magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens, Elle Decor and House Beautiful. I’m constantly ripping pages out of magazines that inspire me, or I’m snapping pics with my iPhone when I see something that I could DIY at home. I think my ability to create DIY pieces and renovate my home stems from my inability to afford all I want (my husband would agree!). Overall, I’ve proven with some smart shopping and some elbow grease, any design I think of can probably be mine. And I want my readers to feel the same way, too.
- What advice would you give an up and coming Lifestyle blogger who has tons of ideas and creativity but aren’t quite sure where to begin?
Just do it! So cliche, but honestly, that’s how I did it. I think so many bloggers try to find a niche, and that’s great, but just allow yourself to wander around a bit when you start up a blog. Once you get into a groove, you’ll naturally weed out the topics that don’t quite light up a spark within you. All the topics that are left should be what you focus on. It’s also imperative to network– I wish I did more of it! I’m a bit shy, but that’s one area that is so key in blogging. Above everything else, just be yourself, write as if you were writing to your sister or BFF, and know that what you have to write/share on your blog means something. Your blog value isn’t determined by popularity, so don’t get discouraged by numbers and analytics. Those are the things I wish someone would have told me when I started out– what everyone writes, matters. Period.