TALKIN SPONSORSHIP

Last Saturday was Blog Brunch - huzzah! - and we were talking alllll about sponsorship. What a hot blog topic, wouldn't ya say? I noticed there seemed to be some strong opinions about it... some feel accepting money from a sponsor can seem "spammy" or like you're selling out or you're bothering and even deceiving your readers with insincere content for the sake of getting those dollaz.

Whoa, friends! While that can be the case, I'm here to say once and for all that sponsorship is not the enemy. If everyone follows the, I'd say, #1 rule of blogging: only blog about what you love, then we'll avoid this whole negative side of sponsorship altogether. It's simple really: never sacrifice your voice, your brand, or your blog design and only work with brands and sponsors you truly love and believe in. Just like dating - you know if you like the guy within 5 minutes (or 30 seconds if you're like me and unusually decisive when it comes to love). If a brand or sponsor approaches you and you don't feel attracted right away (if you don't say HELL YES!) then send them on their way. Period. No regretsies. You'll be glad you said no and so will your readers.

Clearly we all blog because we LOVE it. There's no get-rich-quick scheme and it takes lots of time and dedication to build up a blog. So of course we should get paid! Be proud of what you're putting out there and all the hard work you're doing... and if you can get paid to do what you love? Ain't no shame in that game.

Plus sponsorship done right can enhance your blog. One rock star blogger who always fits sponsorship in seamlessly with her content is miss Bri Emery of designlovefest... this post was pretty rad (and notice it's in partnership with smartwater... this girl is so clever). At times when I'm a little unsure of how to incorporate a sponsor in a unique way, I just ask myself: What would Bri Emery do? So cheesy, right?? But that's what I do... and it totally makes me think outside the box. There aren't any rules to blogging, so let's get creative with our sponsorships huh? Push yourself and HAVE FUN, most importantly.

Were you at Blog Brunch? How do you feel about sponsorship?

PSST - I started a blog happiness project and September is collaboration month. If you're interested in a collaboration or sponsorship, holla at your girl: artsocialonline@gmail.com

 

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Blog Brunch-y Thoughts

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:

Amy Anderson ‏@ParkerEtc: Original ideas come from original sources. Read a book, visit the park. But never search other blogs to overcome creative funks.

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!

 

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Au Revoir Le Week-end

Happy Monday, friendies. Let's dive right into the weekend roundup, shall we? First up is this spicy little numero uno...

1. Spicy orange margarita. Oh yeah. It exists and it is delicious. Now I hate to admit - as a closeted hipster - that I had this drinkeroo at a restaurant inside the mall. I know, ew the mall. But whatevs, I grew up in the suburbs of Denver and basically the mall is the only place to go shopping... anyhoo the restaurant is La Sandia - and the mall is Park Meadows in case you want to hit up Orange Julius with me??

2. While at said mall, I picked up these polka dot shorts from Urban Outfitters. A-DORBZ and so comfortable. But my reason for shopping was to buy work clothes, whoops... showing some upper thigh is appropriate for work right? Maybe if I pair them with a cardigan? Get yourself some Kimchi Blue Printed Yoke Shorts, ya hear. (not asking, telling)

3. Have I already talked about the giant art crush I have on one Paul Octavious? Well in case I haven't, Paul Octavious is a Chicago-based photographer who can do no wrong. He may even have magical powers like a superhero, that's how awesome he is. Ok, that's not true (I don't think)... but he does have the cutest dog in the world named Gizmo who could arguably be his sidekick. This new print, The Fourth, over on 20x200 needs to be on ma wall...

4. Basically this weekend was referred to as "Blog Brunch weekend" because of this delightful little Twitter party for bloggers where very important things are discussed... Here's how it works, every first Saturday of the month, bloggers from all over the country gather on Twitter (by following the hashtag #blogbrunch) to exchange ideas and inspiration about different topics. This month's topic was post content. Man, that's a tricky one for me. Since this blog started, it's evolved several times (ok like 234 times), which means the content has evolved a bit too... check back tomorrow for a whole post on my Blog Brunch-y thoughts.

5. Guys. I think I'm a cat lady. I first started noticing signs of this condition quite a while ago... I started taking more pictures of Meowmers, I noticed an increase in the frequency I discussed Meowmers with others, and THEN someone got me a Cats in Hats calendar for Christmas. Now I thought this was a joke, I laughed it off (while secretly really enjoying my new hilarious calendar). But after pinning this cat art on Pinterest along with this and this, welp I think I can finally admit it. My name is Erin and I'm a cat lady. CATS by Cake with Giants.

6. My Drunk Kitchen: Quesadillas. This needs no explanation.

7. Brooch-a-topia. Brooches Bitches. The Brooch Coach. These were the alternative names me and Kevin came up with for the brooch stand at the Aspen Grove street fair. Oh they had oodles of awesome brooches (this is tray 1 of approximately 500), but I don't think they had a name... I vote for The Brooch Coach.

8. It rained so much this weekend! So unlike Colorado... and such a great excuse to curl up on the couch and watch the entire last season of Breaking Bad in anticipation of the new season. Eeeep! So excited! If you're a fellow Breaking Bad fan, please leave a comment so we can discuss the crazy awesomeness that was last season's finale. Cool image found here.

9. Cutest shoes ever. I basically live in flats. I'm short, there's no point in trying to fool anyone by wearing uncomfortable heels... These shoes (called You Rebel) from Shabby Apple are pretty boss. Psst check back here next Monday for a little giveaway with Shabby Apple...!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I've been thinkin' a whole lot about this little blog lately. I think we're getting serious, like run away together serious. I have some upcoming blog-related projects that are just so exciting I can hardly stand it. Soo I think I'm in love - and dare I say it? I think I want to be a blogger when I grow up. Eep!

Oh! and if you haven't heard of and participated in the flood of inspiration that is Blog Brunch, I highly recommend it. It's like a graduate seminar on blogging conducted all on twitter... which means it's free, you can wear pajamas, and don't have to write any papers. Win-win-win. Last Saturday I learned so much from fellow bloggers about  blog design. Needless to say there will be some changes-a-comin to artsosh...

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