Gretchen Scotland is a TikToker, blogger, and creator of Someplace Yellow. Growing up, she loved exploring creative hobbies, like cake decorating and writing books.
She shares, “I always wanted to start a blog, but I just never had the time. School is a lot. I’m really involved with my academics.”
Gretchen explains that she is the type of person who always wants to commit fully to projects, so she put off creating her blog because of her demanding academic schedule. However, when the pandemic hit, the quarantine gave her more time to dedicate to her blog.
“I spent the whole month of May , literally 24/7, working on creating a blog. So, this is before any of the TikTok stuff started. I started [my blog] because I’m one who needs to stay busy.”
At the time, she didn’t have a specific target audience.
“I just wanted to reach everyone and uplift people. So, I did that for a little while. I got it all set up. I made my name originally Just Bee The Sunshine.”
As she narrowed her niche down, she renamed her blog Someplace Yellow.
About a year later, she created her TikTok account and demonstrated how to make a birthday card. Her first few posts took off and got about 15,000 views within a few days.
“It’s really motivating when they [TikToks] do well, but when they don’t do well, it kind of [feels] like a setback, even though it doesn’t identify your worth at all. It affects you a bit, so that was also kind of a struggle to keep going, even when the videos weren’t doing as well.”
@cardsbygretch Birthday Card #24 🎊 #birthdaycard #diy #cardmaking #handmade #crafting #fyp ♬ heart attack – Coinyes
One of her TikToks featuring a pop-up card received over 30 million views, which helped her grow to over 194,000 followers today.
She shares, “it’s hard to balance everything, like school, the blog, and TikTok, but it is really cool when you start getting brands who are reaching out to you and paying you for using their products, which is really cool. I feel like I have a lot of potential with it [TikTok], and I think origami is a huge thing too because it’s related [to card making.].”
Some of her most popular posts feature pop-up cards and watercolor cards. She also had a highly successful Valentine’s Day card series.
@cardsbygretch Valentine’s Day Card #4 ❤️ #valentinesday #crafting #diy #everykiss #howto #fyp ♬ original sound – Paravi
“I think it was the second or the third one that ended up getting 6 million views. It was a pop-up card. It had a little box in it, and I cut out hearts and stacked them over each other, and people loved it.”
Gretchen has also noticed that keeping her audience’s attention span in mind is a crucial part of creating successful content.
“I think it’s the videos that are simple and quick. That’s the thing. People get bored. The attention span of our generation is so low, so that’s also something I keep in mind when I make my videos. I try to make it concise but also not too fast. The other thing is if I do it too fast, it’s kind of good because then people are going to watch it again and again, and that’s going to make my views go up.”
She was initially shocked when her TikTok blew up but is excited about the opportunity it’s given her. Currently, she is working on connecting her TikTok, which focuses primarily on DIY greeting cards, back to her blog.
Narrowing Down Her Niche
When Gretchen started her blog, she was writing to reach and uplift everyone. However, she eventually realized that niching down would allow her to reach people more meaningfully.
“The whole thing was I didn’t want to exclude anyone. I just wanted to make everyone happy, but I finally realized that you couldn’t do that. What I ended up deciding was I was going to niche down my audience to younger teens.”
At this time, she had completed middle school and high school. Gretchen is also the oldest sibling in her family, so creating this niche for her blog allowed her to be the older sister to others and help them navigate the challenges of growing up.
One of her inspirations for choosing this niche was the lack of safe spaces for tweens and teens. Traditional media, like TV and film, often skips from children to adults, so many tweens and teens consume material geared towards older audiences.
“Preteens and younger teenagers aren’t getting a really good idea of what life is supposed to be like, and they’re trying to live up to these standards that aren’t realistic, and that can be really damaging to their mental health.”
Creating a Safe Environment for Younger Generations
Gretchen presents a well-rounded variety of content to support teens and tweens in all aspects of life.
She shares that her content is broken into three main categories: social, academic, and well-being.
Social covers topics like making friends and handling the pressure to be popular at school. Her academic content discusses school-related issues and organization. Lastly, well-being content focuses on self-care, fitness, eating healthy, and not limiting yourself.
She adds that being an older teen who has recently gone through similar challenges helps her create relevant content. Her age also helps her be more relatable to teens.
One of Gretchen’s first brand partnerships was with a company publishing a book of stickers. They reached out to her when she had about 12,000 followers on TikTok and offered to send her the sticker book and pay her to make a video featuring the stickers.
The same company contacted her for a repeat partnership with their latest sticker book this year. Both campaigns were highly successful.
Joanne Fabrics also recently reached out to her about a potential collaboration, which she is very excited about.
“It’s really fun to be able to work with these brands and have these adult relationships and connections. I’ve definitely grown a lot in that sense, just in my communication skills and all of these things.”
Gretchen shares that she is writing a new series of blog posts, which she hopes to release soon. These posts focus on college life and her recent experiences as a college student.
“I just released this blog post and a little YouTube video going over the ten big things that I learned my first week being in college…I’m writing this content as I experience it.”
In closing, she adds, “It can be good to hear things from another person who might be going through the same thing as it might just make you feel a little bit less alone, so that’s my goal in all of this, and I hope that I could even help just one person, that would be so amazing.”