Thursday, December 8, 2011

Are You Doing This in Your Blog?

This week, we'll wrap up our series on blogging. I have to say, I learned so much at the Design Bloggers Conference I attended last month and I'm so glad to have this opportunity to share it with you all! I'll spend this last article focusing more on the basics of blogging, sharing some of the most valuable tips that I picked up from the various presenters at the conference. So here's my short (well maybe not so short) list:

Don't apologize for your absence in blogging. We all have a tendency to feel bad when we've committed to blogging and then fall off the wagon so to speak. Just pick up right where you left off and skip the apologies. Your readers want content not apologies.

Be aware of what's above "the fold". Make sure the content that people first see grabs their attention. Don't make your readers have to scroll down to get to the heart of your content. You want to avoid your blog read like that book that starts out slow and is hard to get into. Capture their attention from the start.

Pictures are everything! Give your readers lots of eye candy and sprinkle with your own comments or tips. Make sure your pictures are of professional quality and post well to your blog.

Speaking of pictures, always make sure to give credit where credit is due. Publish source, designer and photographer if available. Too frequently people post without giving proper credit and this can very quickly sever relationships you've worked so hard to create within the blogging world.

Always keep in mind that when you blog, you are also marketing your business. Make sure, as I've mentioned before, you blog aligns with your brand and speaks from the same voice.

Leverage your posts on other social media platforms. Make sure you utilize the power of Facebook and Twitter to get your posts out there.

Comment and repost. Nothing helps establish your online relationships more than commenting and sharing posts from other blogs that make an impression on you. In the blogging world, that's the ultimate compliment you can give someone.

Blog "must haves" include:

An "about me" section that briefly describes you and your business

A "contact me" option so people can connect with you directly

A "sign up" box so people can subscribe to your blog posts.

That's it! I hope this series on blogging has been helpful for you. I'm just getting my feet wet with blogging myself so these tips from the conference have really helped give me direction and realize like so many things, we are the ones that over complicate the process. Just keep blogging simple, consistent and speak from a place of passion. That's really all there is to it!

Action Steps:

Start blogging! Don't keep saying "someday" just dig in and get started. Go back and read through the past few ezines I've devoted to blogging and most importantly, implement those action steps. They will guide you step by step in how to get started. Blogging is really about finding your passion and then sharing it with others. Let your personality shine through and don't focus on impressing others or "getting it right". Blogging can really be relaxing and fun if you don't over complicate the process. In terms of the process, remember KISS - keep it short and simple. Let the pictures inspire you and talk to how those pictures inspire you. Share you passion and the conversation will follow. Good luck!

Karen Dunlap is an interior designer, business owner and creator of the Design For Your Success NOW System?, a unique training and coaching program specifically created for design professionals. Using specific strategies and systems, Karen coaches design professionals on how to simplify their business, attract ideal clients and get back to their original passion, designing and decorating.

Karen Dunlap - Interior Designer, Student Member ASID, Trade Partner AIDP
KMD Interiors, LLC, 43283 Thaddeus Lane, Lansdowne, VA 20176
p. 571.218.6531
f. 571.333.7641

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