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Creative Careers: Live Colorfully with Livecolorful.com

Monday, April 25, 2016 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Launching a blog today is quite different than years ago when you could utilize the online space as a personal diary of sorts. Today, blogging has grown into a full blown business industry. It has become an incredibly competitive space to try and carve a place to fit. Yet, it can also be an incredibly gratifying and creatively fulfilling opportunity to pursue your passions while sharing your voice with the world as a whole. It's always refreshing to find a blog that goes beyond just trying to sell you something, but rather creative an experience and offer it's readers inspiration akin to the early days of blogging. It seems that as bloggers continue to brand themselves, the same popular brands, projects and things are shown on repeat. So, when a blog comes along that inspires you to live creatively and live colorfully outside of the confines of what's "popular" - it's not a surprise that people fall in love with it.

Images courtesy of livecolorful.com


Livecoloful.com is one of those blogs that's taking its readers on a creative adventure. The best part? Other than it's fantastic DIYs, is that the fact that it is a bilingual site looking to connect the dots between the Spanish and English speaking readers all the while inspiring them to live a colorful lifestyle. Launched by the creative duo and sisters: Elba Valverde and Lali Valverde, Livecolorful.com was created for all those people looking for crafts, creative projects and cheerful products that will bring color and happiness to their lives.

Sisters Elba (r) & Lali (l)


Elba has a background in Interior Design while Lali has a background in Fashion Design. Therefore, it's no surprise that they combined forces to create a blog that is about DIY, fashion, lifestyle, family and so much more. Halfstack had the opportunity to connect with Elba about the journey into the crazy world of blogging and what it's been like following their creative dreams! Read on for the full interview.



1. Elba, can you share a bit about yourself, your journey and what led to you launching livecolorful.com?

My name is Elba Valverde. I was born in Mexico City and raised in Tabasco, Mexico. Just after graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Interior Design, I started a small company that designed themed parties for quinceaƱeras. I left that adventure when I moved to North Carolina with my husband. I was craving a creative outlet, so I started LiveColorful.com and soon I discovered a passion for sharing my projects and inspiring others to live with more color.

2. Can you tell us more about your blog and what readers can expect when they visit the site? 

Live Colorful is all about color and creativity. I share lots of DIYs, crafts, and other projects to inspire others to live colorfully and be happy.

3. What does the development/design process look like when you are creating for your blog and has it evolved since you initially launched?

Yes, it has evolved so much since I started. At the beginning, I didn’t have a system for creating the content on the blog. I used to post once a month or whenever I felt like it. Then I had a phase when I posted every day, and it was just about random things.

Then one day I decided to get more serious about it and think of it as a business. So, I sat down to write down a plan. I decided to create a schedule, a theme and a series of categories that I wanted to cover on the blog. Since then, I’ve started seeing how Live Colorful has begun to grow. Now, it feels like I'm working with a purpose and a goal.

I'm getting faster and more productive. I plan the DIY and craft projects at least 4 weeks in advance. I work on the projects mostly on weekends when my husband is home and can help me take care of our baby. While I work on the projects, I also take pictures and film videos. I leave writing the article and all the editing steps for weekdays. I also have one day a month exclusively dedicated to analyzing and working on bills, invoices, and stats - just to make sure everything is going as planned.


4. Where do you all find the inspiration behind your projects and how do you work to innovate in a field that is so competitive?

It’s hard to be memorable in such a competitive field, but the important part is to be unique, authentic and pick a theme for your blog that represents YOU. I find inspiration in my culture a lot. I love traveling through Mexico, visiting the mercaditos and buying handicrafts. The inspiration behind the places I grew up in has inspired me to pick the colorful theme of my blog. This is reflected in the overall design that features bright, bold and vibrant hues and patterns.

5. Were you prepared to take on an entrepreneurial role when you launched your blog? Did you face any obstacles when you first started (or even still today) and if so, how did you overcome?
 

Not really. I started the blog as a hobby. Actually, my blog used to be called blog.elbavalverde.com and my mom and sister were probably the only ones that knew about it! I started thinking about making it a business after I moved to California. I was invited to a blogger conference in San Francisco. That day I met a few girls who were blogging professionally. It definitely opened my eyes to the possibilities.

I struggled with being consistent at the beginning. I used to write about lots of different things like fashion, crafts, culture, decor, etc. When I organized the categories that I wanted to cover better, the blog started to get noticed and I became more productive since I didn't have to think about so many different things at once.

6. Are there any people that have influenced you as you have pursued your current career journey, if so how? 

Yes. Some of the most important inspirational people in my career were other bloggers! I met them at my first conference. That's when I discovered the power of networking. They invited me to join the latina bloggers community where I got support, contacts and pushed me to dream bigger. I felt inspired and empowered.

7. What are your goals for Livecolorful in the next 2 years? 

I have always wanted to design products. Right now Live Colorful is more like an online magazine. I create projects and share them on the blog, but some day I would love to design my own products. Things that will put a smile on people's faces, super colorful, bright and fun.





8. What is the hardest part of running a blog as your job and what is the best? What are some realities that people don’t realize as an outsider looking into the blogging world?

The world of blogging always moves at a fast pace. Everything changes so quickly and you need to keep yourself motivated and prepared to stay in the business. One of the hardest parts of running a blog business as your job is that the market is really crowded right now. You need to push yourself a bit more to be authentic and find your community. For me, the best part is being able to see my projects on the Internet, the creative and editing process is so exciting. I also love reading comments. Those are the kind of things that keep me motivated.

People don’t realize how much time is involved and the cost of producing each article. It's not as simple as it looks.

9. Blogging has transformed immensely in the last 4 years – where do you see the industry going in the next few years? Do you find that growth has been easier or harder as a Latino blogger and how has the Hispanic/Latino community worked together to build up content for bilingual and Spanish speakers?

Yes, the blogging industry has changed so much in the last 4 years. I believe that right now, the key is to not just focus on your blog, but diversify your income and call yourself not just a blogger, but a designer, writer, social media expert, content creator, etc. Think about your blog as a marketing tool for a bigger dream.

The latino blogging market is interesting because it’s somewhat small, but at the same time is hard to grow because of the cultural variety between Latinos and other languages barriers. You need to work double, and most of the time you don’t always see double rewards. Yet, the great thing about the market is the support and the community involved.

10. Finally, where can our readers learn more you and livecolorful.com ?

They can visit livecolorful.com/about-me/ where they can read more about what inspired the blog, and about me and my sister, who recently joined me on this adventure. We are both designers - I’m an interior designer and she is a fashion designer. We have always wanted to collaborate in some way and the blog has become that space for us. You can also visit my personal site elbavalverde.com, where I started to share more details about my freelance personal projects.

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