Spotlight, Tips and Advice

Spotlight on the Amara Blog Awards – talking all things blogging with The Ordinary Lovely

At, we’re dedicated to supporting small businesses. That’s why we’re proudly supporting the Best Written Blog at the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018 (#IBA18). 

We got in touch with one of the shortlisted bloggers for the Best Written Blog 2018, The Ordinary Lovely, and asked Rachel Southern to tell us a bit about her journey and how she finds being a blogger in today’s competitive industry. Whether you blog for business or as an added extra to boost your engagement and online presence, take a read through what Rachel had to say and get inspired right here with us!

Tell us a bit about your blog and how you got started/set up.

Well, I used to work in the automotive industry focusing on internal and strategic communications. I was there when social media was called ‘new media’ (yes, I really am that old) and companies were just starting to wonder what it could do for them and what the benefits of having an online presence and a blog could and would be.

Rachel Southern, founder of The Ordinary Lovely Blog

Rachel Southern, founder of The Ordinary Lovely Blog

I resigned after the birth of my second son when my maternity leave ended in order to spend more time at home and less time in the office but still wanted to write and to keep on learning.

I started my blog back in 2014 as a result, and it has grown from being a hobby to being a source of income alongside creating content for various brands and companies for their websites, too.

How do you balance blogging with work, life and your other priorities?

My two children are aged five and seven so are in full-time education now. It means that what was once a massive juggling act is a lot more manageable and I don’t have to work every evening to keep my head above water.

I treat my own blog in a similar manner to any other of my freelance projects … it goes on my to do list with a target date.

I work from 9-3 … tackling housework and appointments in-between creating content … and then sometimes an hour or two in the evening, depending on my workload. Obviously, the school holidays are a touch trickier.

The Ordinary Lovely - Amara Blog Awards shortlisted blogger Rachel Southern

Image credit: The Ordinary Lovely

What makes your blog unique?

I don’t know, really.

Perhaps it’s because we live in a pretty normal village and not in the city, and also because trends don’t feature so much in our house. We’re a normal-ish family trying to have a cool home and not succumb to the mess and chaos that comes with having two small children.

I’m not a serial decorator, I’m not trying to make a style statement, and we don’t have a huge budget to buy whatever whenever we please – maybe that makes me and my blog relatable to an average family whose homes are the backdrop to their busy lives rather than being at the forefront of them.

Image credit: The Ordinary Lovely

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to start their own blog? What are your three tips for success?

First and foremost, you’ve got to write about things that you love. If you’re not excited about your content, no one else is going to be. Secondly, write as though you’re talking to a friend. I always picture a mum that’s a similar age to me who is looking for ways to keep the ever expanding pool of Lego in her living room at bay … someone who loves to be surrounded by all of the lovely, colourful things that come with being a parent of small children but would like them to disappear in to a beautiful and well made wicker basket come 7pm when she puts her feet up with a hot cup of tea or cold glass of wine. Thirdly, find your community on social media. Working/blogging alone can be hard. You need your virtual friends doing similar roles to make you smile during the day, and ultimately keep you going.

The Ordinary Lovely - Amara Blog Awards shortlisted blogger Rachel Southern

Image credit: The Ordinary Lovely

What would winning an Amara Award mean to you?

It would potentially stop my husband from rolling his eyes at me when I insist that certain corners of the house be kept tidy at all times because they’re the ideal, well-lit places to take interiors shot for my blog.

Feeling inspired? Head on over to The Ordinary Lovely for even more!

Visit The Ordinary Lovely

About the author

Bex is our Creative Content Manager and lover of all things community. When she's not glued to her phone you can find her out cycling in the Chiltern Hills or braving the London commute on her Brompton.

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