The Q&A; Blogging Sessions: Rob Sampson of ‘Lineage of Influence’

For the third post of The Style Examiner’s ‘The Q&A Blogging Sessions’, a series of interviews with bloggers that I admire, I have interviewed Rob Sampson, the author of the blog Lineage of Influence.

Q. Why and when did you start your blog?
A. I started the blog four years ago for a number of reasons: I’d stopped working in fashion for my day job and missed the industry, plus I’ve always had a strong interest in clothes and loads of my friends said I should write a blog about it. So it started as an escape from the day-to-day, and as somewhere for me to ramble about clobber.

Q. What are the topics that you cover the most?
A. The blog is predominately about men’s fashion and I rarely deviate from that, although there’s the odd post about vintage guitars (which are a huge passion of mine) and also occasional pieces about skateboarding, music and design.

Q. How do you find stories and ideas for your posts?
A. At first I just posted about things that interested me, thoughts I had and clothing/brands I’d seen and liked, plus bits of advice I’d picked up along the way, etc… Now that’s shifted to receiving press releases and being asked to feature things, so it’s not so much looking for posts as them coming to me and me sifting through them to find what’s right for the blog. I’ve always stuck to the basic principle of only ever featuring things I like, would wear, or find interesting and that’s never going to change.

Q. How often do you publish posts?
A. I try to post as often as possible, so usually every day during the week, with a break over the weekend. I normally have a few half-written posts at any one time and I write whenever I get the chance.

Q. How many people work with you in your blog and what do they do?
A. There’s only myself who works on it. It’s very much a personal project, although everyone who sends me images and is featured on it, contributes to, and is a part of it.

Q. How would you describe your average reader?
A. Like me I suppose, similar age, tastes and mind-set.

Q. Do you write for other publications? If yes, which ones?
A. I do the odd guest post here and there, but between the family, day job and blog there’s not really much time for anything else.

Q. Have you developed any partnerships with brands because of your blog? If yes, tell us more about those partnerships.
A. I’ve been fortunate enough over the last few years to have developed good friendships with many of the people behind the brands I love, and that’s all down to the blog. If there’s one thing I really enjoy doing with the site, it’s introducing new labels to a wider audience, and especially so if they’re UK-based.

Q. Do you consider yourself a blogger, a journalist or a publisher?
A. In all honesty, I don’t consider myself any of them. I’m a deputy creative director in an advertising agency and I also happen to write a blog about men’s clothes. That’s not to say that I don’t take the blog seriously, but if anything defines me professionally it would be my career.

Q. What do you think of the comments by people who regard blogging as a form of communication that is not to be taken seriously?
A. I don’t think they understand blogging’s worth and the influence it can have when done well.

Q. What are your future professional plans?
A. Well the career is the primary concern. But the blog is a labour of love and it’s something I take a lot of pride in, so I’ll continue to work hard at it and hopefully it will continue to grow. I think its main strength is in the fact I don’t need to make any money from it (or have any desire to) and won’t compromise in what I feature – I think people appreciate that, and can see I do it because I really enjoy it.

Q. What was the nicest thing that anyone has ever said about your blog?
A. In a Radio 5 interview earlier this year, Oliver Spencer said that Lineage of Influence was one of his favourite blogs. I was pretty chuffed about that.