Ashleigh Keith of 9th Wonder Collective has created a her own brand, based on the art of successful branding, a feat only few can claim to accomplishing. 9th Wonder Collective has captured the attention of many, including myself. Recently, I had the chance to chat a bit with Ashleigh about the success of her blog, her photography, and what’s to come in 2017.
After browsing around the 9th Wonder Collective site, this website seems to be more than just a typical blog. As you state on your homepage, it is a “resource for bloggers of all niches.” What exactly inspired you to create this space for fellow bloggers?
I wanted to make sure that bloggers of all levels and genres had one common place to get answers to some common questions about social media and their brand’s online presence. I wanted my resources to apply to everyone: from the stay at home mom that wants to start a food blog, the fashionistas wanting to show their lifestyles, and to the ladies and gents that want to sell courses and teach others. 9th Wonder Co will be a place to read about social media and SEO strategies, website design and creation, and staying sane on their journey of entrepreneurship.
Your own blog posts on 9th Wonder Collective all offer tips and suggestions for running a more successful blog. In your opinion, what is your best tip for running a successful blog?
I can do you one better! I think there are two tips for running a successful blog: patience and consistency. These two things are essential to making anything work whether that be offline or online. When you're just starting out, things will be slow. But if you're consistent and attentive, you'll be exactly where you want to be.
Why did you choose blogging as your outlet rather than writing in a journal, making podcasts, or other creative outlets?
I'm currently doing blogging because writing has always come naturally to me. I loved writing papers in college and when I couldn't find any outlets in my jobs post college to express myself, I had to find something. I wanted to help people, and show them that their voice matters.
Did you originally plan to fall into this crazy world of business/blogging, or was your plan for life a completely different one?
I completely fell into this! I knew that I wanted to help other business owners and bloggers navigate this big world of ownership just like I was. I started my photography business and fell in love with marketing and engaging with other photographers, and I knew that I wanted to connect with other creatives outside of that.
Inspiration seems to come and go for me all the time, and I have definitely had my fair share of writer’s block. How do you deal with these creativity killers?
Take a nap! I truly mean that. I'll put on whatever TV show I'm currently binge watching and I'll either watch and completely clear my mind or I'll fall asleep. After I wake, I come at everything with fresh eyes then I'm usually good to go. If I'm at work and I can't take a nap, I'll take a break from my computer and play some games on my phone. Anything to completely clear my mind and focus on something funny or repetitive always helps.
On your about me page, you tell us that you actually own a photography business! How does your photography business, Exposure 8 Creatives, play into 9th Wonder Collective?
I have such big plans for E8C and 9th Wonder that I get a headache sometimes just thinking of it. The optimal goal is to truly be a resource for all bloggers/business owners in all aspect of business: social media graphics, social media management, website design and management and photography! I want to be known as "the Creatives Photographer”: someone known in the blogging world as a one stop shop for photography needs. Do you and your team need headshots, videos, and other behind the scenes visuals? I'm your girl. Do you need stock photography? I'm your girl!
Also on your about me page, you mention how moving was a regular occurrence in your military family. How do you think your military childhood has impacted the way you approach life, and specifically, the business world?
I think it's allowed me to be really appreciative of the people around me and the sacrifices people make for their loved ones and for their dreams. My mother hated moving us around, but I knew she did it to better her career and to show my brother and I as much of the world as possible. Mainly I think it's made me a well rounded person and communicator: being forced to make new friends and networks in new places over and over is something that I've been doing for years.
What projects are currently in the works at 9th Wonder Collective? Anything big and exciting that we should look out for?
Yes! 2017 is going to be so expansive, exciting, and scary (but the good kind!). As my reach grows and so does my photography business, 9th Wonder will be offering a multitude of paid services on top of the valuable free content I provide. I'll be offering a stock photography subscription service, social media management services, premade graphics and logos, website design, SEO consultation and more! Definitely stay tuned! I want to make the ins and outs of running a business/blog for creatives so easy that they can get back to the CREATING.
I'm a firm believer in finding bliss in the little things: falling leaves, best friend dates, and making the perfect cup of coffee. There's little in this world, I believe, that can't be fixed by a Taylor Swift song. Typically, you can find me with my nose in a good book or in the kitchen, baking some recipe that I found on Pinterest. I'm a textbook case of an INFJ personality, dreaming of professionally helping others find happiness and providing unconditional support.