This past weekend I got together with a couple of my favorite Atlantian ladies Lauren and Faith. Lauren is the amazing blogger behind The Rosewater Edit and Faith is a world famous designer in my estimation. We gathered together at Atlanta’s finest French bistro and brasserie Bread & Butterfly to catch-up, laugh, and talk all things blogging. Lauren and I were super excited to hear that Faith was finally considering starting her blog and that she wanted to pick our brains before she dives in to such an endeavor. Now neither Lauren nor I would ever be mistaken for hugely successful bloggers, but we do enjoy what we do, it brings us a lot of joy, and we’ve definitely learned a few things along the way that we could pass along to our dear friend.
While we sipped on the frothy cafes, cool teas, and delicious cocktails that Bread & Butterfly offers and devoured our chosen pastry basket, we had several key pieces of advice that we wanted to make sure we imparted to Faith. And in case any of you are thinking about starting your own blog (I know I have several other friends out there that I wish would start their own little creative space on the interwebs), I wanted to give you those same pieces of advice.
Blog for you and you alone. A blog, at its most basic level, is all about your perspective. You should always be blogging on things that matter and relate to you because they are the things that you care about. Readers can tell when you aren’t really engaged with a topic so there’s nothing gained by blogging based on what you think other people want to see or read.
The rules are that there are no rules. If there was only one piece of advice I could give to a new blogger, this would be it. There is no set rule about what you have to blog about. How many times a day/week/month/year you have to blog. There is no minimum or maximum to how much you write or how many pictures you include. There is no rule about how you brand yourself or how your blog should be set up or function. You set your own rules and there’s nothing that says you can’t break those rules either. 😉
Be kind to yourself. Lauren and I both admitted to falling victim to this one. I have actually always had trouble with this concept. In some ways, it’s just easier to concentrate on the flaws and the things you wish or want to fix instead of concentrating on your strengths and what’s working. Blogging is definitely an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself as well as your passions. I look back now on some of my earlier posts and cringe at my some of my photography. But those pictures helped me learn and I continue to learn with every post.
Set real and realistic expectations. You’ve got to crawl before you can walk and you’ve got to walk before you can run. Setting goals for yourself and your blog that are achievable and that have action plans for you to reach them is very important. You’re not going to have hundreds of followers, like, comments, and clicks within weeks of your launch. Your favorite brands aren’t going to be knocking on your door in the first month of your launch. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get to that point. First, you’ve got to know and visualize what “success” means to you in terms of your blog. Then, it’s all about crafting a way to get there.
There’s no such thing as too much research. Nowadays there are a ton of resources out there for bloggers to use in a million different ways. Take some time before you hit that “Launch” button to really look around at some of your favorite bloggers to figure out what you like and what would work best for you whether it’s what topics you’ll focus on, what sort of template or design you’ll use, and of course there are plenty of optimization how to’s and checklists out there to help set you up for success. The more you research in the beginning, the better prepared you’ll be as you start to progress and grow into that big beautiful blogger butterfly I know if there.
Just do it. What are you waiting for? Will you make a mistake? Sure. Will you grow to hate your design or layout? Of course. Is there a chance that a friend of a friend will tease you about being a blogger? Probably. But if you follow all of the advice above, none of it will matter. All of those things will only help to make you that much better as a blogger. Circling back to the first point, this is all about you and you alone.
I realize that none of what I have said above is revolutionary in the slightest, but they are still important to keep in mind. Lauren and I both could think of several instances where we needed to take a step back and remind ourselves of these little nuggets of advice. Now we’re all set for future Atlanta blogger extraordinaire Faith to light up the scene and the screen (the computer screen).
Bread & Butterfly was a great little place for just such a meeting of the minds. It was small, welcoming, warm, and absolutely beautiful. We all agreed that the tile floors on the patio simply begged for a shoe selfie (which I definitely took advantage of). The simple marble tables and bar, the tiled walls and the leather tufted benches and stools all form this beautiful little french alcove in the Old 4th Ward of Atlanta. B&B keeps their menu simple and short but always delicious. We settled on a pastry basket that included a chocolate croissant, a chocolate muffin, and a some sort of spiced and almond pastry that I inhaled (I’m not ashamed). Now that I’ve had a taste of their brunch, I’ve absolutely got to try their dinner service. Mais oui!