Monday, May 24, 2010

The perfect example...

I came across the perfect example of how blogs are doing some of the key points we went over in the last post...

Ruche, a beautiful site with beautiful products, has posted a competition on their latest entry. Paste their lookbook on your blog, twitter, etc, post them the link to prove it, and you go into a competition to win the coolest nautical themed bag I think I have ever seen. So here we go...and in doing so, I make you aware of this great site out there for you to subscribe to. Surely that covers several of my all-important-key-points!

Here is the stunning Ruche summer 2010 Lookbook - enjoy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And good luck if you decide to enter the competition.

What a great way to get people to send out your product guide! I am very inspired.
PS. You get an entry for every link you include!! That is why 'all links lead to ruche'! 

Day 10: 23rd May 2010
Tip 3: Learn from those who do it well

Friday, May 21, 2010

Does my blog know I am blogging about blogging?

Would you believe that one of the courses I took at university was Neuroscience? I found it fascinating - all the parts of my brain that instruct all the parts of my body to do all the unique things my body does. I loved it. I remember telling my boyfriend at the time that my finger doesn't actually feel 'pain' if I put it in a flame - that a signal is sent to my brain via my neural pathways and that part of the brain sends a signal to another part of the brain telling me to move my finger urgently because it is being damaged, and I perceive that as pain! He looked at me...paused...then asked, 'Does your brain know you're learning about how it works?'

That...that did my head in.

And so I lead into the message of this blog - how to blog and get people to read your blog.  My first stop for info about blogging was books. Ironic. Books about blogs. Written by the converted for those seeking knowledge on conversion. Luckily for you and I, most of the information held in the 73 books I got out of the library can be summarised into the following masterfully summarised points:

Number One. Go to other blogs and engage in the discussions happening. Not just 'Oh, I also make great hand-embroidered cushions. You should have a look and buy one at'. One blogging hero, from the book Blogging Heroes, parallels it to a party. You can throw a party and hope that because you are throwing it, people will show up. Not a good strategy, he says. First, we should go to other parties, with great bottles of wine, engage in the conversations taking place, mingle, smile, laugh, dance well (if able), actually be a great guest. In doing this you become popular, other guests enjoy your company, find you interesting and when you throw a party, they'll probably show up. I love that analogy - it totally makes sense! As another of my blogging heroes told me, it's blogging karma. We want people to read our blog and leave great comments, so we should be reading other blogs and leaving great comments.

Number Two. Have a point of difference - if aiming to attract more followers. I certainly enjoy blathering on about my day and my opinions, I am very interesting after all. But it may not attract followers as much as sharing something I am passionate about and expert in (as this blog obviously does). Part of this, as well, is using your own style and way of communicating.

Number Three. Be professional. This applies when trying to sell a product or not. "Think about a potential shopper and how they will feel about buying from you after reading your blog" (also from Blogging Heroes). Fair enough. I guess this goes for replying to comments as well - statistics tell us not to tell people to flop off and keep their opinions to themselves. Which leads me to my next point...

Number Four. Reply to comments left on your blog. I love that about Design*Sponge and Seattleite Imagery.

Number Five. Post as often as possible - but not too much. And keep the posts a good length, but not too long. Confused? Obviously, I'm happy for you to follow my example - write enough to keep people looking forward to your next post, and not overwhelmed because it blocks out the sun.

Number Six. Ask questions for your readers to answer and run competitions from time to time.

Number Seven. Pretty photos. We like pretty photos.

So lovely, loyal readers...what do you think about my blogging blog? I promise not to tell you to flop off.

Day 7: Thursday 20th May, 2010
Tip 2: Please see above...

Friday, May 14, 2010

A bright idea

That's how these things begin isn't it? A bright idea. I'm sure this could become one of those famous moments. You know the ones. The moments where you could have followed the idea that preceded or followed on from 'the' idea. The moment when loved ones look at you, pause, look down to the right, up to the left, pause. The moment when you could have (should have?) selected one of those 'other' ideas. Or, perfectly acceptable also, would be to shrug it off, pick up your knitting (or beer, why not both together) and tune in to Home and Away.

Well, it's done! I have started a blog, not just any old blog - a blog with a mission: a challenge to make my craft business a hit within the next 12 months. I need to be accountable to others - I need the fear of public humiliation to spur me on! Is that a bad thing? Tough. 'That's how I roll'...

It's a little scary, writing the very first post in this mad series. When I hit 'publish post' the countdown starts! It starts! What if my friends and family are being kind, telling me my creations are lovely, and I end up like the fill-in auditions on American Idol? The people who have been told they have nice voices and end up on International TV, sounding awful, really awful...

Stuff it - here I go. 

Day One: Friday 14th May, 2010. 
Tip One: Create and maintain a blog.