Last Saturday was Blog Brunch aka the best Saturday of the month. Discussing bloggy thangs with talented bloggers from all over the country is a pretty powerful experience - and super overwhelming. It's like being in a room with hundreds of people all talking at the same time. I have zero strategy for trying to keep up with the barrage of hashtagged tweets that stream into my tweetdeck. I basically just hang on for the ride, respond when I can, and try to favorite or retweet every bit of inspiration that comes my way. It's almost like a meditative exercise, you have to be completely in the moment... no? Not a good comparison? This month's topic was all about content. This is a tricky one for me. I feel like I'm still trying to find my niche...
Everyone talks about how important it is to define your blog brand and/or identity and then stick to writing posts that reflect that identity. Welp, artsocial has gone through many changes since it first started. Me and a friend started artsocial as a social media marketing biz for artists, something she knew a lot about. After about 6 months we both decided social media marketing wasn't the right path for either of us. She went on to pursue other passions and I was left with the realization: holy wordpress, I'm in love with blogging.
So, after months of building a brand around social media marketing I shifted the focus of artsocial to "just" an art blog. But after a while I didn't want to write solely about art, that just felt too limiting... I recently started incorporating more of myself into the blog, my experiences with art, my art crushes, the prints I buy for the house, thoughts on becoming a blogger, etc., and this honesty and transparency feels much more exciting than what I was posting when artsocial first started.
So that's the journey. After nine months of blogging, I feel like I'm just starting... which is kind of exciting, but also makes me think "what the heck have I been doing for nine months!" Finding my blog identity has been a process, one that I'm still going through. I'd love to simply fast forward to being an awesome veteran blogger with a boss website! I guess it's the journey not the destination this time... so if you're wondering why the site looks slightly different every time you visit, that's just me trying to find the perfect look for this little brand I'm building :)
AND that's the story behind my blog name, I'm sure if it hadn't started as a social media business for artists, I would've called it like Chai Tea & Gangster Rap or something...
So this month's Blog Brunch was really helpful for this stage of my blogging journey... here's some of my favorite advice from this session.
What rules you should follow...
Golden rules: 1) Only post what you love. 2) Don't post if you're not inspired. If you're inspired by what you're writing about, it shows. Never post just to post. This also goes for every other form of social media - never tweet just to tweet, or 'gram just to 'gram... everyone can tell.
From the tweetdeck:
Jamie Wyckoff @JuliasPoppies: Posting for the sake of posting is just as boring to a reader as it is to you.
Jenn Elliott Blake @scoutrentals: i also listen to my gut 1st and foremost. i ask myself "why am i blogging this". if can't wait to blog it, it's a goodie.
Kristin / Krissy @_kristinb: Post topics you truly love and want to discuss. It'll shine through over fluff.
When you're feeling uninspired...
If you're feeling uninspired, UNPLUG! Walk away from the computer (and that doesn't mean just switching to the iphone). Get outside, give yourself a real break from the interweb.
This next point surprised me, but I agree: don't look to other blogs similar to your own for inspiration. Looking to other blogs can lead to the dreaded envy monster, which can be super discouraging. OR, even worse, looking at other (bigger/flashier/cooler than my own) blogs can lead to the temptation to do some content stealin'. Don't do it. There are an infinite number of ideas out there, you just have to tap into them... and that usually happens with some downtime.
From the tweetdeck:
Juliette Gold @Juliette9Gold: Usually, inspiration comes if you don't stress about it.
At the end of the day...
Blog for you. You've chosen to blog because you enjoy it, right? So be yourself and have fun. That's all we can really do.
From the tweetdeck:
Poppy Magazine @poppylindsay: If I don't like what I am posting, then it shouldn't go up. Never post to please your followers, it's your blog.
Olivia Ramirez @0liviaDee: my only rule is to be myself. there's no need to be someone I'm not in my posts.
Were you at Blog Brunch?? What did you think? I'd love to hear from you!