Monday, January 14, 2013

the art of blogging


I get all kinds of email and asked TONS of questions about all sorts of creative things and once in a while I will take the time to answer many of the frequently asked questions here on my blog!

Something I get asked more than anything (besides questions about my sketching process) is about my blog- my blogging schedule, inspiration and ideas, how to start a blog, etc. So I put together my top 5  blogging tips- these are the things that are most important for my blogging routine and keep me on track and inspired as a blogger. Please keep in mind that these are my opinions based on my own experiences. 

Back in 2005 I was working two day jobs and pursuing my career as an artist in my evenings and weekends. I was taking on a lot of creative side jobs, projects and art commissions in my free time and I decided that a blog would be a fun way to document everything I was doing. At the beginning my purpose was to simply document my journey as an artist for myself and friends. Over time, as doors opened and opportunities came my way, I found that my blog was a great tool for marketing, networking and sharing my work with others. Over the last 7 years my blog has grown and changed with my creative goals. Back when I was working a day job I wasn't able to give blogging as much attention as I desired but as soon as I went full time as a creative entrepreneur I began changing the way that I blog. I set out to create a space that would always be inspiring and uplifting to visit, where I would share my journey but more than anything I would share all kinds of ways to "redefine creativity". My little blog has grown into something I never could have imagined- I currently have hundreds of thousands of readers all over the world, many of my posts and projects have "gone viral" or been picked up by a variety of sites and magazines but the best part is that I have been able to connect with amazing people! I live a whirlwind of a creative life and having a platform to share my artistic philosophy and inspire others has been such a joy!

4701428505_e62ef74012_b copy
I am a big believer in being true to yourself and your strengths. This also applies to keeping a blog. I have found over time that it doesn't make any sense for me to make art, create projects, teach classes/retreats, write or share things that don't feel "like me". Instead I work within my skill set and my strengths. For example- I am not comfortable sharing a lot of personal or emotional information on my blog. Once in a while I will indeed share from the heart but I know this is not one of my strengths. Instead, I made the decision for my blog to be a space where I show- not tell. I am much more comfortable expressing myself through photos, art, sharing DIY projects and inspiration.  I can't tell you how many times I have read blogs where bloggers reveal their heart, their personal life and experiences and I have wished I was comfortable doing this. But when it really comes down to it, I know that I have to be true to myself.

Tip- When you set out to create a blog post try to forget about feeling pressure to write or share the way others are doing it. Instead take some time to really identify 1 or 2  of your strengths and find creative ways to express them in your posts.

Unfortunately with Pinterest, websites, blogs and the internet- keeping things fresh and original can be a challenge and sadly there seems to be a lot of copying and "idea borrowing" going on in cyber space. The #1 rule that I live by as a blogger is to be as original as possible. In order to do this I try not to look for blogging inspiration on Pinterest or other blogs. Instead (like in my art) I challenge myself to use my life, my own experiences and creativity when it comes to ideas and things that I share on my blog. With that said- its hard to be original and chances are there is someone out there with similar ideas or style. When I have an idea for a post (DIY or craft projects) I will first search to see if my idea has been done. And if it has been done- I will not move forward OR I find way to really make my idea unique. In the end I would rather share my own concepts, projects, and ideas than use something that another blogger spent their time and effort creating. 

Tip- When looking for inspiration for your blog stay off the computer! Instead try challenging yourself to look for blogging ideas in your everyday life.

I get asked all the time how I come up with my ideas and where I find inspiration for many of my projects and posts that I share. The answer is that often I can't seem to turn my brain off when it comes to creative ideas!  At any moment (in the grocery store, going for a bike ride, cleaning the house, etc) I can experience a flood of inspiration and creative ideas for projects and blog posts. While I don't always have time to put my ideas into action I will write them down. I have detailed lists of things to make, photograph and share that would take me years to actually complete. I keep my lists on hand when I am preparing to blog and select topics and projects that are timely. 

Tip- Don't underestimate the power of a little idea. Something that starts small can be material for a blog post. Some of my best posts are things that began with something simple and evolved into a tutorial or project.

The only way that I can run a business, be a mom and manage to blog consistently is to stay VERY organized with my blogging. For me it is helpful to keep a good record of all my blogging ideas and inspiration. All those lists that I keep end up in my planner or even up on the wall (see above) where I can see everything. I also keep a blogging calendar on hand- this is where I organize and schedule all of my blogging ideas and posts. At the beginning of each month I will take a look at the calendar and assign a blog post to each day of the month. Then I dedicate 1-2 days to creating, photographing and writing as many posts as possible for that month. This helps me stay ahead of blogging so that I don't feel pressure every day or the day before to come up with something to post.  

I cannot tell you how important it is (in my opinion) to take the time and thought to capture good photos for your blog. I am a very visual person so photography has become the most important way that I can express my ideas and inspiration on my blog. I find that it is helpful to always have a camera on hand (even if it is just the phone on my camera), so that I am able to build a library of photos that I can use for a variety of posts. 


Use natural light. I never use flash, instead I make use of daylight to capture my subject matter (including art and craft projects). I have a different locations, next to large windows around the house and my studio where I can set things up to photograph.

Play with angles- try moving around in all sorts of different ways and positions to capture interesting angles and details. 

Keep your eyes peeled for color, pattern, texture and details around you and in everyday life- these kinds of photos can always be used to accompany a blog post.

Take photos of everything! I bring my camera everywhere and try to photos. Even if I am photographing a craft project I will take photos of my supplies, my paint palette, my studio. I file these photos and use them for future posts.


Related Posts with Thumbnails