It’s Monday. And if you’re currently staring down your work schedule, your social calendar, and a to-do list for your new blog, start-up, volunteer work, etc., wondering how you’re possibly going to do it all, then keep reading. Because this week’s Women We Love, Kayte Demont, has the hustle down to a science. She’s not only the community engagement manager for the popular restaurant review & ordering platform Zomato, she’s also the driving force behind one of Boston’s biggest blogs, Mass Musings.
After a day at the office, you’ll often find Kayte hosting events for retailers like Free People and Frye, planning an upcoming photo shoot, or interacting with her 12k+ Instagram followers. Below, we try and find out how she does it all (and so well, too).
YOU FOUNDED YOUR BLOG, MASS MUSINGS, IN 2012. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START A BLOG?
I was an English major and a studio art minor in college so I was really just looking for a creative outlet when I started. Thankfully, I was able to focus my vision and turn it into something legitimate that still fulfills my creative needs.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE SITE AND ITS FOCUS.
Well the tag line is “inspiration for the creative individual” and I really try to deliver on that. I believe that inspiration can come from anywhere and it’s extremely important to have multiple sources to really challenge and stretch your mind. So, I try to portray my style through the categories: Fashion, Lifestyle, Health & Wellness, Food & Drink, and Music. I have a couple of contributors who add some incredible insight to all of these categories and it’s so inspiring for me to feed off of their energy.
AFTER THREE YEARS, YOU’VE GROWN YOUR BLOG INTO ONE OF THE BIGGEST IN BOSTON, YOU HAVE 12K INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS, AND YOU HOST EVENTS AROUND THE CITY FOR BRANDS LIKE FRYE AND FREE PEOPLE. WHAT’S BEEN THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS AS A BLOGGER?
What a question! I don’t really consider myself even half way done with what I want to accomplish but it makes me so excited to be regarded as one of the biggest bloggers in Boston! Honestly, my key to success, other than hard work and tons of research, is collaboration. If astounds me when people aren’t open to collaboration. I feel strongly that it’s one of the best ways to grow as a creative professional and I’ve made some incredible friends and connections through combining forces with some of Boston’s best.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO REALLY BEGIN TO BUILD A FOLLOWING ON THE SITE?
I would say about a year and a half. When I started Mass Musings I sort of just threw myself into it. It wasn’t concerned with learning about coding and layouts, I just wanted to make a blog that served as a creative outlet for me. Looking back now I wish I had spent a little more time researching prior to the launch instead of learning as I went along. However, I’m so glad that I put in the work to learn everything myself and teach myself the business of blogging along the way. It keeps things interesting.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM RUNNING MASS MUSINGS?
That managing others is not my strong suit. I absolutely love collaborating and working with other people, but it’s very important to me to have my own timeline, especially because blogging isn’t my full-time job. Luckily, I’ve got some really awesome, driven and talented people in the Mass Musings Tribe that understand how I work and absolutely bring their A-game every time. I’m so appreciative for their patience!
WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART ABOUT RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL BLOG?
Meeting deadlines while working full time. Because I put everything I have into Mass Musings, I sometimes get stuck in wanting to make everything perfect. If I had the opportunity, I’d re-write and edit my posts a million times, but that’s just silly after a while.
ABOUT HOW MUCH TIME EACH WEEK DO YOU SPEND WORKING ON MASS MUSINGS?
It depends. Lately, I’ve been more selective about which sponsorships I agree to and which collaborations I take on. Truthfully, I’m always promoting, interacting on social media and networking which is a huge part of blogging. So, I guess I would say I’m working at least 40 hours a week on the blog.
IN ADDITION TO THE SITE, YOU ALSO WORK FULL TIME AT ZOMATO (FORMERLY URBANSPOON). WHAT DO YOU DO THERE
I’m the Community Engagement Lead for Zomato in Boston. Essentially, my job is to create a local foodie community through meeting with bloggers and influencers, planning and hosting Zomato meetup events, and generally spreading the word about Zomato. I absolutely love my job! It seriously feels like a dream sometimes.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR BLOG AND YOUR JOB? DO YOU HAVE ANY PRODUCTIVITY TIPS YOU CAN SHARE?
Ohhhhh boy! I sort of touched on this in previous questions, but I really don’t balance them. Now that I’m working at Zomato, I’m working in the blog scene all the time so I feel as though both blogging and Zomato are integrated at this point. It can be a little stressful, but as long as I try to plan out my days in advance (I make A LOT of lists), it’s manageable.
HAVE YOU FOUND THAT YOU’VE LEARNED THINGS IN YOUR CAREER THAT YOU’VE APPLIED TO YOUR BLOG, OR VICE VERSA?
Absolutely! I’ve learned that things never go according to plan and that it’s really hard to stay on top of your emails. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned so far with Zomato is how to keep an organized inbox. I’m not perfect by any means but having the tools to be more organized has helped immensely in my response time. I’ve also learned that it’s important to be passionate and proud of your work, but don’t take criticism personally. Sometimes I get a little too emotionally attached to my work and I stress out if someone doesn’t love it. But that’s life!
WHAT’S YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR ASPIRING BLOGGERS OUT THERE?
Don’t give up just because you don’t have a ridiculous number of followers! Some of my favorite bloggers and creatives have under 1000 followers on Instagram. If you’re excited about your blog, you put the time in, and you create original, fun content, you’re doing just fine!
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Don’t compare yourself to others! It’s okay to gain inspiration from others, but if you’re constantly trying to be just like them, you’ll always fall short and never be happy.
*All images via Mass Musings