1)Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
Pretty much everyone calls me Gerry here, so it made sense to call my blog Gerry loves film (gerrylovesfilm.com) because it’s all about my personal opinions on film, TV, books
and anything entertainment. And frankly, I do love it all. I don’t discriminate between any genres and my motto is that there is always a right movie or a show for you depending on the mood you’re in. I can binge a drama like nobody’s business, but I don’t feel like watching a serious piece all the time and sometimes a silly comedy does the trick. Rather than criticizing I aim to praise the good bits, research background information, and curious facts about the director’s inspirations and cast involved. I would rarely write about something I genuinely hated, but I do try to be as honest as I can. There are so many trolls online and I’d rather be building people up, not tearing them down. I also don’t like to rate the pieces, I feel like so much work goes into every film or series that condensing it to a pitiful 5-star box is not the best and kindest way to go. Most of all, I consider myself a writer because I just like to weave beautiful words until a delicious text pops up on my screen. I’m an aspiring novelist as well. However, what you’ll see on my CV is a lot of PR, Marketing, and Event management experience, so that’s my professional background. I’ve studied both in the Netherlands and the UK, though I’m originally from Bulgaria. The film is truly my passion and I’ve doubled in production, acting, film festivals, screenwriting, and entertainment marketing. And what should I say, it’s an elusive industry that I’m still very much chasing.
2)Describe how you first got into blogging?
I remember having to create a blog for university and it felt like a painful process because it wasn’t really about a topic I enjoyed. However, it was a while back and one day after a year or so in the PR world, I realized that influencers and bloggers can get early access to content relevant to them (like pre-screening and premiers). I knew I was watching pretty much everything out there and loved to share my thoughts on the film, so in a way, it was a very easy decision. I explored different platform and design options, came up with the name and concept, designed my logo, bought the domain and besides a few technical hiccups it was fairly straightforward from then on. And I did start to go to press events and festivals eventually… Some dreams do come true and it might be easier to achieve them than you think.
3)How would you describe your blogging style?
I think I covered quite a bit of that in the intro, but I would also say that there is no particular structure to it. I write about stuff that inspires me and moves me, things I feel like I have to share with the world, so more people go and watch them. There is a certain sense of freedom to just being able to write about anything you want because it’s your website and no boss can tell you otherwise. So if not for anything else start a blog because you can truly be your boss.
4)What would be your ideal working environment?
I would love to be given early access to everything and first watch things independently, so I can form my own opinions. Then I would like to see them with an audience or with other writers. After that, I would research the piece to try and find some nuggets of gold content that other reviewers might have missed. Occasionally, I like to write quirky list articles or something more fandom-based, so mixing and matching short and long-form is great. Sometimes, it’s all about what’s trending but I don’t necessarily like the pressure of jumping on board with every single fad or new obsession.
5)What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
As much as I like writing it can be a very cerebral process that can take a lot out of you. So, perhaps I’m not always in the mood or I’m mentally too tired for it. Keeping it up is probably the biggest challenge.
6)How much time do you spend blogging?
It varies from month to month. I do try to utilize social media a lot more when I’m struggling to find time or motivation to write long stories.
7)Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
At the moment it’s more of a side hassle, but I’d love for it to be my job. I think it would be slightly easier to throw myself into it completely if I had financial backup from somewhere or not having to support other family members myself. I think that’s why a lot of teenagers have boomed as influencers, simply because they don’t have to worry about paying rent or their bills. Of course, they do have to put a lot of effort into it, so it’s not completely down to financing.
8)Describe your writing process, from concepts to publishing?
When it’s about reviews, I would try to make some notes during or immediately after a film/TV series. Then research and read other pieces. Finally, I would try to write my take on it in one go and I would make a structure based on all the key points I want to talk about (whether that’s to do with the cinematography, plot, performances, etc). If it’s about anything else, inspiration can come at any time and from anything. Occasionally, PRs would reach out to me and I would develop an article based on the pitch they’ve given me if I feel it’s relevant to my website.
9)How Would you encourage other people to make their blog?
Honestly, it’s so simple and even if no one reads it, it gives you a great sense of achievement. You might also surprise yourself with the number of people willing to read your stuff. Have a look at Julie & Julia (the film with Amy Adams and Meryl Streep about a devoted Julia Childs fan and blogger) – you never know who might be watching and listening to what you have to say or do and how your life might end up changing for the
better. There’s not much to lose (the few quid for a domain aside – it is very affordable) and if you no longer enjoy it you can always stop. However, if you do, like me, aspire to be a writer, it’s a great way to showcase your skills.
10)How often should you update your blog?
I would say at least once a week, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself (because you’ll start resenting it otherwise). You can always write loads when your inspiration strikes and just space out and schedule that content. Always include social media, because that’s your biggest marketing tool and it can be easier to manage and create short but engaging pieces that can keep your audience happy. This is the easy route though. If you do want to make a living out of this, you’ll have to dedicate a lot of time and effort and the more you invest the more it pays off in followers and demand (especially if you want to establish professional relationships with brands as an influencer and get paid for your posts).
11)What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
That first idea spark. Also when coming up with a funny/punny title.
12)Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging?
There are no two ways about it – you have to have your style of writing. Don’t try to copy anyone else’s, it just won’t work because they already exist. I found mine and I carved out my niche – after seeing what was missing out there. Creativity Is also key because you have to come up with new stuff or people will get bored. I do have to say that film & TV is so broad though that there is a very small chance of that ever happening. Moreover, if you ever get to talk to industry professionals you have to be a confident and ever so slightly charming speaker, and pretty much be able to pull stuff out of thin air. I once interviewed a director about a film I hadn’t even seen. It was pure improvisation and perhaps some sheer luck I wasn’t the first one to go.
13)How do you motivate yourself?
I tell myself this needs to come out now or it won’t be relevant. You do need to be timely with your posts. Also, I remind myself that I would particularly enjoy writing about this film and that story must escape my body before it disappears somewhere in the mists of my brain forever.
14) Where would you like to be in blogging five years from now?
I would love to be a professional influencer with a much larger following and potentially get more exposure to interview A-list directors and talent.
15) Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog?
There are different ways to monetize your blog in addition to doing sponsored posts. You can always utilize ads, though, of course, that might turn some viewers away if your website seems a bit too busy. Some bloggers ask for donations and some offer paid services. Nevertheless, if your ultimate goal is money be aware that it’s not a quick thing. You need to build a large audience first, which will take a while (there are a few who make it fairly quickly but for others it takes years). Even for the ads, you’ll need to have a certain number of followers to qualify. I did not go into this for the money, so I can’t say much more but it can be tough if you are because the competition out there is fierce and you need to constantly be switched on and promoting yourself (which is a huge pain on its own, if you ask me). Just do it for fun first, the money will come later if you’re persistent enough.