Wednesday, 10 April 2013

blog envy

do you ever read other blogs and just think to yourself - this person has - without a shadow of a doubt - an absolute, uninterrupted, never ending, clear as a bell direct line to the source of all creativity!! 

there are four blogs that i absolutely love and that i go to when i am in need of a bit of inspiration or as i am a very visual person - just to look at some nice pictures! 
the thing is sometimes i feel inspired and then other times i just think - how do they do it? how do they always seem to come up with such interesting awe inspiring posts day after day after day? where do they get these never before seen beautiful images and their constant stream of original content. 

to be fair my favorite blogs are some of the most successful design/creative blogs out there and clearly there is a reason why. and they do it full time which does help. but sometimes (only sometimes) i look at their blogs and then look at mine and think - oh dear. love, you really do have a long way to go.

i think that most 'creative types' get these thoughts from time to time. i think it's only natural to compare yourself to others.
i suppose there will always be someone 'bigger and better' than you. i guess the trick is to accept this and try not to let your own sense of style be influenced by other blogs - this is very easily done. it's a part of life that there will always be certain people that you wish you could be 'as good as' and it's healthy to have a bit of competitiveness and dare i say jealousy. oh no! i said the dreaded word. but let's be honest - that is all that it is.

do you ever suffer from any of the above? or is it just me?

now i am no expert on blogging and running a creative business but through my own trial and error i have stumbled along some tips of my own on staying true to your own style/uniqueness

  • read other blogs and admire other peoples handiwork and be inspired but don't copy

i have seen other people do it and have even seen stuff of mine blatantly copied and listed on Etsy.
now i am one of those strange people that was flattered by this. but one thing i will say is that when you copy something it will never do as well as the original - it just won't. it's a universal law of life and you will just waste your precious time and energy doing so.
it's fine to take inspiration here and there and then create your own take on it. but to directly copy is just a little bit lame and you are way better than that!

  • what is your style/brand/etc..
when working this out ask yourself the following -
what are your favourite colours?
whats your favorite era?
what subjects are you most interested in?
what is your passion?
what really inspires you?
what do you love to read about?

  • who are you?
what defines you?
what sort of personality do you have?
how willing are you to share your thoughts with your readers?
do you have anything that people could really benefit from hearing about you and your life? what can they learn from you?
what are you skills/talents? is there any way you can share these with your readers by way of tutorials/articles/guides etc?.
i love reading about peoples day to day lives, their families and even what they wore that day. (i love those what i wore today posts) are you prepared to share a little bit more of yourself with your readers? they will love you more for it. we all like to know the person behind the product / brand. why do you think reality tv is so popular/ because people love people!

  • don't be afraid to speak your mind!
okay, this is some advice that i need to take myself. do you ever write a post and think. no i better not post it. it's a bit controversial  depressing, daring, negative etc. just post it! as long as you are not feeding your readers with negative depressing  stuff all the time i think it's good to show that you are human every now and then. it's interesting to read about other peoples trials and tribulations, problems, gripes and irritations etc.

i read one such post on one of my favourite blogs (which i won't name) i originally thought that her blog was lovely. inspiring, beautiful etc.. but the blogger herself came across (to me anyway) as maybe a little too sickly sweet and almost too inhumanly perfect to be true. then she wrote a post about something that had happened to her about some nasty piece of work who had basically 'poured water' all over her bonfire. and it was one big long negative rant that seemed to go on for eternity. but it made me warm to her and see her as a human being.
she hasn't written any more posts like that since but as far as i know she hasn't removed it either which is brave. i think to share your dark moments every now and then will make your readers feel a connection to you that none of the most amazing pictures. tutorials etc.. ever would.

  • try to stick to one or a couple of subjects
it's best to have a general subject that your blog is based on. mine is clearly weddings. 
it's not that i dream about weddings all day long - far from it. it's purely because it's the industry i am in. 
it's because i love paper goods
i love the aesthetic beauty in all things weddings.
and for me the main reason i went down the wedding stationery route was because of the money. i make more money from making wedding stationery - there is a market for it. it took me a while to work that one out but i am glad i did.

i also love interiors, my family and travelling. not that i do a lot of the latter - that's why i don't mention it a lot but it's something i am interested in. 

try not to veer onto too many different subjects. stick to one main subject and then talk about the other ones every now and then to add a bit of variety. people like cohesive blogs. a 'go to' blog when they need information or inspiration on a certain subject.

  • have a theme/brand
i finally have found a branding style and 'theme' that suits me and my blog. it took me a while and if you look at older posts you will see that i have changed my branding and styling many times over.

this is normal don't worry if you do the takes time to find out what suits you and what will stick. 

even the best bloggers change their branding every now and then. huge corporate's do it - but not all the time! once you have found your branding stick to it and don't be too easily led by other peoples amazing new logos and layouts - it can make you crazy. if you are happy with what you have created keep it for a while and let it grow on you.

if you have no idea how to create your own logo then get a designer to do it for you. you will be surprised at how affordable some of them are and it will free up time for you to do what you do best - writing your blog!


image credits - clockwise left to right
melissa mercia
salon simis - the gorgeous Natalie Portman
robert kaufman
melissa mercia