Grace Bonney - Designsponge.com
Andrew Wagner - Dwell; American Craft; Readymade; krrb – hyperlocal, cursiously global classifieds; Columnist for NY times – What You Make it.
Tolly Moseley - Austinevesdropper.com; Austin Evesdropper TV
Camile Styles - DIYnetwork.com; Camillestyles.com
Tools Used: twitter, facebook, klout, pintrest, instagram, wordpress, flickr, youtube, and Vimeo
Four Hot Button Issues
1. Starting Out
Keys: 1)Moving from curation to creation and 2) Trying to figure out your voice.
On Moseley’s blog, the posts that got the most activity were the ones that she created not the ones that she curetted or passed on from other sources. Because of pintrest, etc, everyone is a curator. If you want to have a voice and to gain readership/followers is to create your own content. Content is key.
So how do you keep that quality of content with a constant demand from the internet? Let it come organically. Sometimes you will want to say a lot and sometimes there wont be much out there so you will need to know when to stop. It is better to wait to say something until you have something important versus just saying something to say something.
Take your time; don’t rush it and especially, be a good editor of yourself. You have to be your harshest critic. Ask yourself, “does it suck?”
2. Adapting to the tools
pintrest, issuu and apps, oh my!
Be yourself! If it works for you then great. Find the tool that works for you and allows you to use your voice.
Area17 – All about exploring and getting off the Internet.
If you are going to use all the different tools, be purposeful. You don’t have to have all the tools listed. It comes off as desperate. That isn’t attractive to readers. So just like content, do it well; quality not quantity. Facebook make not work for you, and if the tool doesn’t work for you then don’t use it.
3. Let’s Talk Revenue
banners, sponsorships, freelancing
The most important is that to make sure that whatever you do is beneficial and works for your community that you have grown. It needs to be something that your audience would appreciate and find valuable. It should be something that better helps your community interact with each other.
The idea should come first and then how to make money off of it. Whether it is a blog or an idea or whatever. And don’t be afraid to move on to a new model after a year. You do not have to use the same model over and over again. If you are all about money, you are not going to be attractive to people long term.
Think about a speech series.
When the audience was surveyed, almost NO ONE sells ads on their sites. There has been a shift back to going ad-free on lifestyle blogs.
Allow your revue stream to evolve each year: banner ads, sponsored content, speaking opportunities. It may change year to year and be totally different because unexpected opportunities come along. Your blog is one thing but it can become a huge platform for other things.
4. Beyond the Blog
what’s the big vision?
Bringing these three things together is the key to successful lifestyle blogging: Content community commerce.
What is the big vision you have? What impact do you want to have on community and the world? Figure this out and let it help guide you.
If you are making tools for lifestyle bloggers, think of how can you give tools to creative people that help them diversify their revenue streams that are based on an advertising model.
Your vision will continue to grow so allow that to happen. You need to be open to where the community goes and then decide if that is where you want to be. But things will change. Follow where your passions lead you, even if it is away from where you have been. You should be able to travel to different niches and that be ok whether it is music, design, etc.
Mentioned the article “Keep The Internet Fun” by NY Times – Just make sure you are having fun. When you are having a lot of fun and enjoying what you are doing, that is going to shine through.
Community – What ways are building community and creating things that will be of interest to them? Identify what your muse is and then allow that to bring your ideas to light; Identify your muse whether that is a vision or audience or topic or specific community and then go after it. But Beware! Don’t completely cater to an audience at the cost of your own desires!
How do you get readers with a visual impact when you aren’t married to a web designer or know how to use photoshop?
Imagery is crucial; If you don’t know photoshop, learn it! Up your own photography game. Layout can be easily done by buying tumblr or wordpress template. Let it speak to who you are and that is clean and simple. Once you know what you want and have started to see who your community is and know what your voice is looking like, then barter the hell out of it! (to get your site up and looking cool) (Bonney)
Definitely check out Tumblr and blog spot.
What do you do when you are writing a book or working on a project that requires a ton of time and still need to keep up the blog?
A lot of people try to juggle it all but end up wishing they took a break. While people may leave if you take a break from the blog, they will come back.
What did you do to get the opportunities you have?
It is all about putting yourself out there. Make a presence for yourself; Do it because you have something to say, not because you are trying to get something specific.
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