Advice from a blogger (part XII).
May 27, 2013 § Leave a comment
Today’s set of tips comes from vintage fashion blogger, Lora. Lora and I went to high school together, and I reconnected with her last month when I started reading her blog, Hungry Heart Vintage. Lora’s blog covers her love of vintage fashion finds, her career, and cute photos of her dog.
Here are her words:
I began my blog as a personal writing project. I wanted to write more often, and I found that when I had an audience and received feedback I was more motivated to do so. Because fashion plays such an important role in my life, I began to incorporate daily outfit photos along with personal essays about my love for all things vintage, my family, my friends, and my career path. While I try not to ever take my silly little corner of the internet too seriously, I take the relationships I’ve formed because of it to heart, and love how blogging pushes me to be more creative every single day. Hungry Heart Vintage is far from where I would like it to be, but here are some things I’ve learned along the way:
- Be yourself. I can’t stress this enough. I can tell within the first few sentences of reading someone’s blog if he or she is really being themselves, or is trying to create what they believe is a likeable image. Reality is always more interesting, relatable, and charming. If you allow your blog to be an extension of your true personality, you’ll not only gain loyal readers, but real friends.
- Design matters. I actually need to work on this one. Blogs that are visually busy (a dozen different fonts, various photo sizes, too many colors) are hard to look at, let alone read in-depth. There are tons of HTML and Photoshop tutorials online if you want to design your blog yourself, but if you’re like me and only want to know your computer well enough to shop online and watch cat videos, hire a graphic designer. They’re more affordable than you might think, and will make your blog polished and accessible.
- Don’t sell out. If you’ve gotten to the point where companies are sending you free items in return for money and/or reviews, congratulations! But approach the freebies with caution. I turn down most of the free stuff I’m offered because I feel icky if I encouraging my readers to buy something I wouldn’t have bought myself. If you do except a gift, make sure your readers know you didn’t pay for it, and then give it an honest review.
- Take a photography class. Professional looking pictures make all the difference in the blogging world, and they aren’t that hard to make if you know how to use your camera properly. Most cities have a photography studio or two that offer day-long workshops which will help you learn your camera’s technical functions, plus a few artistic tips. It’s a small investment for what will make a big difference on your blog.
- Take criticism gracefully. If you’re sharing things on the internet, it’s only a matter of time before someone feels the need to tell you that they disagree, that your outfits suck, or that you’re going to hell because you support Obama (that reader was such a joy).When this happens, I try to think of the Mitch Hedberg joke that goes something like, “You can’t please all the people all the time, and last night all those people were at my show.” Unless you’ve written something truly offensive (don’t do that), don’t take the hateful comments to heart. If people are providing you with constructive criticism, thank them and really consider it. Of all the blogs there are in the world, they came to yours and gave you their time. Taking in helpful suggestions will only make your work even better.
Thanks for reading! And thank you, Holly, for letting me pretend like I know what I’m talking about for a few minutes. For more snark, vintage clothes, and pictures of my dopey dog, Ramona, head to hungryheartvintage.com.