Sareeta Lopez is the blogger behind Flight & Scarlet, an Edmonton-based blog with the aim of making feminism and related topics more accessible and less elitist, as well as helping fellow survivors of rape feel less alone. In her spare time, Sareeta likes watching Netflix, reading, going for walks, and playing with her little cat, Matrix. She also loves meeting new people and helping others, so if you would like to connect with her, leave a comment or find her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest! Read our interview with the lovely Sareeta below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I didn’t like my job as much as I wanted to, so I actually started my blog for fun. I only decided to take the leap about a year later, because I realized the potential of what I was doing and decided that instead of feeling trapped in a life I didn’t want, I would do something to change it.
Tell us about your business.
I run a feminist blog where I aim to make feminism simple for those who might not have a lot of background in the topic, or who feel like it is inaccessible. I write about issues like sexism, racism, queer issues, and sexual assault. I’m a rape survivor and I experience all of those things as a queer non-white woman. It makes me so happy to help others experience the same things! I also run virtual services through my blog: I help fellow feminist and lifestyle bloggers with social media, graphic creation, and workbook/worksheet creation.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I am! Right now I’m currently offering a limited-time deal on my Virtual Services. I’ll either manage your Pinterest or Facebook for 1 month for only $200 including graphics creation, OR I will do 5 hours on any project you need for only $150! 🙂 If you’d like more info on what services I provide, you can visit my services page. You won’t see the deal there though – this is a secret deal! Feel free to email me with any questions!
Where is your business based?
In Edmonton, Canada.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The very first thing I did when I decided to take blogging seriously was sit down and make a business plan, complete with all my goals for the next year and a fleshed out ideal client/reader. It’s so important for me to have a plan – I don’t stress too much if I stray from it or if I don’t reach my goals, but it helps me stay focused if I’ve got something to work towards.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
I started sharing my posts to my personal Facebook account. It made a HUGE difference and actually helped me feel supported as well, because I share a lot of personal things on my website. I also find that meeting other bloggers in person and in niche-relevant Facebook groups has helped a lot as well. Facebook all the way!
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I feel sometimes that I get distracted by all the voices telling me to buy courses, read ebooks, and listen to THEIR story. It makes me lose focus and feel like I’m not doing as well as I think.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I usually end up shutting out all the voices, turning off notifications, and unsubscribing or leaving a lot of groups. I feel way more productive listening to only my mentors or my best course (which, by the way, is Elite Blog Academy)… and myself.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I have to admit, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have a day where I plan to do a bunch of work and instead I watch Netflix all evening and drink some wine. But I find – weird as it might sound – that it helps me to do that! If I’m burned out or feeling down about my business, I need to get away from it all so that I can get excited again and remember why I started and why I love it. When it’s forced like that, when my body shuts down and makes me do nothing all day or all evening, I know I need it so I take it. Then the next day I’m ready! (I also feel slightly guilty so it drives me even more to get back to being productive!)
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
My experiences are specific to me, and that already makes me different. But the biggest difference between myself and many of my fellow feminist bloggers is that I don’t come from a place of knowing so much more than my readers. I think that helps people connect with me. I know a lot more than I did when I started blogging a year and a half ago, and I have lots of information to share that they might not know about, but I’ll never stop learning and I’m really honest about that. A lot of other feminist bloggers have a lot more “official” background like a degree or a job at a nonprofit, and while I don’t knock them, I think my inexperience helps me distinguish myself for sure.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
To allow myself to change and not feel like I’m not being true to myself.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
This is going to sound weird, but: know that there is a possibility that you will fail. Know that it is up to you to make it not fail. You are what you do, literally, if you’re an entrepreneur. If you give up, you will fail. If you keep fighting, if you believe it, then you won’t.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Right now CoSchedule is saving my life. It’s an editorial calendar with the ability to schedule your social media for each post within WordPress and do it for however far in advance you want! It also lets you recycle old posts so it saves me a TON of time. But for resources, definitely Elite Blog Academy above all else! It’s what helped me get where I am now.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Actually I’m going to go with magazine – I’ve recently subscribed to Bitch Magazine and I LOVE it. It’s a feminist publication that’s doing something similar to what I’m doing, which is making feminism accessible. Each issue has some fantastic articles and all of them always point to more resources. I’ve just been thoroughly enjoying them!
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m trying to get better at prioritizing. I have a book about productivity from Ruth Soukup of Elite Blog Academy (again with EBA, I know, but I swear by it!) and I’m planning to read it over the next few months.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
I’m planning to focus on my email list as well as diversifying the categories that I write about. I’m working on a new incentive for my readers that they are going to love and since I’ve taken The InDesign Adventure Guide I’m excited to revamp the ones I already have!