OK so that’s not strictly true. I love to get feedback from my readers and it’s awesome to see so many encouraging words after I’ve published something. However, recently there’s been a massive shift in how people interact with and read blogs, and for the most part, these factors mean that across the board blog comments are going down. If you think of your comments as some kind of indicator to the success of an article, then this diminishing validation can be incredibly discouraging.
When I started writing online, leaving a comment on a blog was pretty much the only way to communicate with the blogger. Twitter hadn’t reached the mainstream, Facebook didn’t yet have business pages and Instagram was nothing but a twinkle in Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s eyes. A lot of bloggers didn’t even publish their email addresses for fear of spam or Internet weirdos.
However, these days blog readers have so many ways to contact or leave comments for their favourite bloggers. Conversely, many of these options are a lot easier than having to log in and leave a message on the website. If you’re on Facebook and you see something you like, it only takes a second to click ‘like’ or to leave a little note of approval. Clicking through to the post, logging in or registering, leaving a comment and maybe even having to pass an intelligence test on the actual site is a lot more effort.
Of course it’s nice to get that external validation when you’ve done a good job and I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t get a little bit excited when they see someone writing something nice about them on the internet. But, forgive me because this may rub you up the wrong way, blog comments (and how many you get) are nothing but vanity. There are so many other ways to judge whether something you’ve published has been popular or resonated with your readers.
If someone comments on your site it stays right there, locked in the comments section under the post. In my opinion, any SEO ‘help’ from comments is marginal. Yes, they create more content, which search engines love, but they can’t be controlled. If the comments start to go off on an irrelevant tangent this can actually hinder that post’s searchability for the terms you actually want. However, if someone retweets, links via their own blog, leaves a Facebook comment, likes or shares it, the content is going to reach many more people than it might under it’s own merit. It’s free viral marketing.
Can I let you in on a secret? Ideas are pointless. How many people do you know that have ‘brilliant new ideas’ all the time but never actually do anything with them? How many people have you heard say “Well, if I did that, I’d do it sooo much better”? How many Pinterest boards do we see full of amazing recipe ideas people will never cook or home décor ideas they’ll never implement?
If you’ve been sitting on an idea for a while, today I’d like to encourage you to actually do something about it. Maybe you just need to start some research, or send a few emails. Remember the first few steps are often the hardest. If you don’t, well that’s fine, but maybe it wasn’t such a brilliant idea after all.
♥ How to manage your business for results, with an iron fist
♥ On shortcuts and being an overnight success
♥ Science reveals what really increases Twitter followers
“Expressing negative sentiments in tweets is the second most harmful factor to growing a Twitter audience. This might be because Twitter is a medium dominated by very weak social ties, and negative sentiment from strangers may be unpleasant or uncomfortable for a potential new follower to see.” – Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology
In any industry – creative or otherwise – there is competition; from your peers, from seasoned professionals and from amateurs. It’s a fact of business life. Far from being something that you should see as a threat, I am a firm believer that a little bit of competition never hurt anybody.
Competition forces you to be creative in order to stand out, but it also makes you push yourself and your business forward and keeps the industry fresh and exciting. Without new blood coming through the ranks with their crazy ideas, brides would all still be wearing 80s ivory meringue dresses and photographers would still be raving about the beauty of spot colour.
The best chance you have to succeed in an industry rife with competition is to stand out. If a client is faced with ten very similar options at the same price, they’re likely to pick the one that resonates most with them. Never underestimate the power of marketing yourself to a very niche client. Embrace what makes you unique. If you try to be liked by everybody, you’ll end up being loved by nobody.
I think I can safely speak for my fellow headmistresses when I say that this year has been a non-stop whirlwind of epic proportions! Since last October we’ve taught ten classes, with three still to come before the year is out. When we launched The Blogcademy in August last year we didn’t know if anyone would actually want to come, so the fact that today we’re announcing our SECOND world tour is pretty damn exciting indeed!
If you have no idea what I’m harping on about, here’s a little reminder. The Blogcademy is a two-day workshop for bloggers and small business owners that I host with the amazing Gala Darling and supremely talented Shauna Haider. Hop over to theblogcademy.com where you can find out all about our curriculum and what we teach, get answers to your frequently asked questions and read some testimonials.
The wait is over and here we have it, our workshop locations and dates for the whole of 2014 are… (deep breath)
May 10th & 11th
May 17th & 18th
We are the Barkers
June 7th & 8th
Proudly presented by Calgary Fashion
June 14th & 15th
Hotel Le Germain
July 22nd & 23rd
Curtain Road Studios
July 26th & 27th
August 2nd & 3rd
The Thinking Hut
September 27th & 28th
October 5th & 6th
November 29th & 30th
December 3rd & 4th
The Establishment Studios
December 6th & 7th
Cara Delevingne By Walter Pfeiffer for British Vogue, September 2013
It’s the same old song and dance. I got to Australia for our final leg of The Blogcademy 2013 tour in a little under two weeks (cue major freak out!) and so I’m spending most of my waking hours desperately trying to get as much blog content written and scheduled for while I’m away. This is no mean feat when you have at least two blog posts per day for three and a half weeks to do (not to mention the blog posts before I go as well!) ARGH.
So why, when I’m working so hard to get this done, do I still feel that stupid pang of guilt that I’m not doing more? There’s a big project that I really wanted to start on this month but I just haven’t had time… actually, that’s a lie, I could have found the time, I’ve watched plenty of crap TV in the evenings, but I haven’t had the mental capacity to do it!
I know I’m a crazy work obsessive and am always looking to push myself and Rock n Roll Bride to the next level but why can’t I just give myself a break already?
So I’ve decided that however much I really wanted to crack on with this project, it’s actually OK that I haven’t. The world will not end it it gets pushed back a little while!
However much you’re doing do you ever feel guilty that maybe it’s not quite enough? I think we all need to get over it.
♥ What’s better than getting something for free?
♥ I’m so glad Lucy’s business tips with Ryan Gosling is back!
♥ What every creative person with a product or service needs to know
♥ Three steps for giving up the guilt
“Decide here and now that feeling guilty about what you have/haven’t achieved is a waste of your mental and emotional energy… use your energy reserves more wisely. Instead of acting from guilt or obligation, choose your actions and reactions from a place of authenticity, knowing what your biggest values are and what definition of happiness you’re striving for.”
Back in 2011, acclaimed wedding photographer Lisa Devlin started The Photography Farm. The idea was simple – a residential wedding photography workshop over three days. Included was a spectacular styled shoot, invaluable processing techniques and business school with special industry guest speakers. Since then, the farm has gone from strength to strength and with the edition of Farm Elements, a two-day class travelling the length and breath of the country, it is reaching and teaching more wedding photographers than ever.
This month sees an exciting new addition to The Farm family with the launch of The Barn, an online resource for wedding photographers. Alongside FXMedia, Lisa has been filming tutorials for over a year, pulling together an amazing tool for wedding photographers wanting to fill in any gaps in their knowledge. Easy to digest video tutorials show Lisa working with a real clients all the way through from their engagement shoot, the pre-wedding meeting and then at the actual wedding.