Thursday, October 17, 2013

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Blogging...


{Speaking about Blogging and Social Media at Design Camp in Orange County Last Week}

Well, I may not have all of the answers, but in the past week, I have spoken on two panels about blogging and social media. First, I shared the stage with Julie Thigpen of Belle Maison and Christian May of Maison 21 at Design Camp in Orange County. I felt nervous before taking the stage, but once it was my turn to speak, I felt energized, empowered, and excited to share what I've learned since I started blogging over six years ago. Not to toot our horns, but I think our panel was a favorite at Camp. The crowd was really into it and we received many compliments and had many people share how much they'd learned afterward.

{Sam, Meg, Me, and Lauren Before Our Panel Discussion | Photo Courtesy of Sam's Instagram}

Just yesterday, I had the honor of speaking at the Decorative Center Houston as part of the opening day of Fall Market's Afternoon Keynote. Joining me on stage to discuss social media, blogging, and how these mediums have helped us to promote our design businesses were my friends Lauren Haskett, Meg Lonergan, and Samantha Penner along with esteemed Houston designer, Sarah Eilers and social media expert, Leslie Carothers. I am a firm believer that the thing that makes social media so great and so powerful is the element of community and collaboration. A lot of you have asked me for tips on getting started as a blogger over the years and I figured it was about time that I share more of what I've learned along my path with all of you. If I had to narrow it down to the "Top 10 Things You Should Know About Blogging", this would be it:


             1. Ask yourself why you really want to start a blog.
             2. Blog only about things that you absolutely love and are passionate about. Keep the tone positive!
             3. Content is king. Post as much original content as possible and remember that while a blog is a powerful marketing tool, your blog shouldn’t feel like an advertisement for your design firm or business. If content is king, authenticity and transparency are the queen!

4. Post regularly. Otherwise, don’t even bother getting started. Do you have the time and desire to dedicate to a blog and social media?
5. Maintain an Editorial Calendar to help you stay organized and focused. An Editorial Calendar will also help you to establish content that is on-target and on-brand.
6. Collaboration is key! Reach out to other bloggers at various levels of their careers as well as to people in your industry/niche whom you admire. Guest post on other blogs and invite people to guest post on yours.

7. Remember, authenticity and transparency are critical in blogging. If a post is sponsored, you should disclose that to your readers. The reason advertisers turn to bloggers is because our readers trust our opinions and endorsements.
8. Before you consider taking on an advertiser, make sure that the partnership makes sense for everyone involved: you, your readers, and the potential advertiser.
9. No man or blogger is an island. Blogging is all about community. Get out there and leave comments on other blogs and engage with people in your social media circle. If you’ve featured someone on your blog, reach out and let them know. Organize a meet-up with other bloggers in your area.
10. Think of your blog as your digital calling card and ensure that everything is consistent in quality and style and reflects your brand.

This is just a fraction of what we discussed at these two events, but if I had to explain my top tips for blogging and social media in a nutshell, these are the most important things I would want to convey. Another very important thing that I'd like to leave you with is to set realistic goals and enjoy the ride. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Building a large readership will not happen overnight. Most successful bloggers have been doing this for years! I started my blog in July of 2007 and it definitely took time for me to build an audience and to start seeing opportunities as a result of my blog, though that was not my goal when I started out. You have to really love it. Remember, everyone’s journey is unique. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I am living proof that social media can have a tremendous impact on one's life and career. As most of you know, I was a high school Spanish teacher when I first started writing La Dolce Vita and in the past six and a half years, I have been able to carve out my own unique path, enjoying some amazing opportunities along the way. Ultimately, if you decide to delve into social media, you will get out of it what you put into it. The possibilities are truly endless!

12 comments:

Anita K said...

Great post, thank you!

willowinteriors said...

Paloma,
Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed this morning. I just started a blog (after reading yours and many others for years) and after 6 posts I am realizing how much time it takes. But it encompasses 2 things I love-design and writing so I've got to keep at it. Thanks for the needed encouragement!

Lily L-M said...

Thank you so much for sharing these tips! I started my own little blog project last spring, and I have been loving it -- but it IS a lot of work to really keep up with it. The advice and encouragement is so appreciated :)

xo Lily
http://whilemyboyfriendsaway.blogspot.com/

jackie jade said...

great blogging tips and thanks for sharing. also looking for new advice to continue to grow my blog.
-- jackie @ jade and oak

Emily Davis said...

Love the way you have laid this out. Thanks for sharing your expertise! Totally agree with all of the above.

cantinhodacasa said...

I agreed with all you wrote on this post, the reason why I visit you every day.
Thank you, Paloma.


Dawna Jones Design said...

This is so great Paloma, thank you for the up building points. I have to constantly tell myself that it all takes time.

Anonymous said...

Hello Paloma,

I was very fortunate to have watched your presentation at the design center yesterday. I'm the one that asked if you guys set your blog up or hired someone. Very informative --since it ran over, I wasn't able to introduce myself.

Andrea Elliott

maison21 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maison21 said...

you were a rockstar, paloma! so inspirational to all, and it was honor to share the stage with you and julie!

ps trying this again without 600 typos. ;-)

Brittany Reynolds said...

Well put! Blogging is a labor of love for sure but so worth it for the community you're a part of!

Brittany
www.loveofgold.com

Brandyn Latham said...

This is wonderful advice. The work involved in a blog can be a bit overwhelming at first, but I love it and look forward to the adventures it may provide.