truth be told, i'm running low on new blogging ideas. i'm designing two wedding invitation suites and am in the midst of two book layouts, so all my creative juices are currently at full capacity elsewhere. but you know i love blogging about blogging. so i had an idea. why not let you in on some personal emails i've been exchanging? lately i've been answering emails from awesome people. (do you have a question for me? shoot it my way.) in this post you'll find my two cents (and then some) on helping a certain someone give more genuine personality to their design-ey / professional blog.
...now, please know that i really, truly LOVE and adore your blog AS IS. i think it's clean and cohesive and fabulous in every way. your photos are amazing and your work and style really stand out. i can tell you are an amazing designer without knowing what you had for lunch or what is hanging on your walls or if you've branched out to neon skinny jeans.
but still, you asked for getting personal blogging tips and here is my advice for you... and this is somewhat funny coming from me, because i still tend to have plenty of DOUBTS about blogging. i am only affirmed by DOING IT and hearing kind comments from people like you! it's scary to be vulnerable and show REAL photos and tell REAL stories and be a real writer / blogger. it's so much easier to just blog about the fluff stuff; the material goods we're pining over, the foodie shots, to whine about the lady in front of you in the line at target and and say nothing from the heart. (the stuff from the heart takes a lot of time and effort to write!) but i always think i won't truly care about that fluff stuff in eighty years. i WILL care about the REAL stuff. the real feelings and special moments; the routine of my days, the way my house looks, how i feel, what i did as a young mom, what we did as a family, what projects i'm working on, what thoughts are brewing in my mind, etc. so here goes on taking baby steps...
tip #1. you'll have to decide what boundaries you want to create for yourself. how much of yourself and family will you share? will you call them by name? post pictures? it's important to decide what you will and will not share openly on the internet. it's a big deal and you should be careful about what you do and don't post. decide what works for you! my most open-hearted posts are usually read by dan first because i care about his opinion.
tip #2. i think words are golden; even though i love pretty photos of bloggers and their babies in central park and on the subway and foodie instagram shots, i still think readers want to know what's inside your head. it doesn't have to be poetic or perfect, it just has to be in your own words. (i know i'd love to hear more about YOU and what your studio looks like, and hear about the behind the scenes stuff! i'd love to know how you manage your time and what your days look like.. and how you've grown your business.)
tip #3. you have to shut off the voice that says you're being narcissistic. frankly, it's kinda the name of the game in blogging. however i think you can come from a good, humble place and showcase your work / family / home / etc. without being overbearing or all lookey lookey. if your intent comes from a genuine place readers will be able to know you better. a blog is a diary and a diary is personal and being personal has the potential to connect you in new ways to new people. it's incredible the reaching power it has. (would we be emailing each other right now if you hadn't first read my blog!?)
tip #4. you don't have to be an expert in pancakes to post your famous recipe. sharing is caring. and sharing a good recipe or tip is not the same thing as bragging about how rad you are. a lot of blogs get very braggy very quickly. my advice is to post what you want; post what you want to remember, post things that you love, post whatever is meaningful to you in the moment (if you're interested in a certain topic, there is a good chance your readers will be into it too). everyone always wants a good recommendation; whether it's lipstick shades or throw pillows (i know your house decor is amazing). remember, you're not claiming that you're the next NATE BERKUS by giving us a mini tour of your place, you're just telling us what works for you in your home and in your life... and that is great. (personally i love knowing where people get great house stuff, how they're organizing their storage, what their nurseries look like. you're not bragging, you're just giving us good information that we can utilize in our own lives!)
tip #5. seek out inspiration for blogging and make lists! i know you love lists. so when a good idea comes for blogging, make a stockpile of potential posts. this is much harder to do as a personal blogger, but once you start thinking seriously about what kind of posts will matter to you (and are worth your time!), more ideas will grow. and one more thing, do not focus on stats or the total number of comments you get every day. this will absolutely kill your blogging spirit. another source of inspiration is your google reader! check out your favorite blogs and ask yourself specifically what you like about their blogs. what about those blogs keep you coming back for more? see if you can implement some of those elements in your own way to rev up your blog writing.
bonus tip. don't think about it too hard. blogging ought to be fun. whenever a writer dissects their writing–revising and editing it to death–it loses its authentic light. let your words be. let them have the spotlight. especially with blogging. this is an amazing forum where writers get to publish their rough drafts to the world. don't be too critical and try hard not to doubt yourself. confidence only grows when we use it; be bold.