Image: Apron Strings
I’m not the best housewife but I made this for dinner on Monday night and it was flipping delicious and SO EASY. It look a whole ten minutes. I actually added some chopped up sausages to it after it was cooked too, Gareth is a hardcore carnivore and a veggie dish for dinner probably wouldn’t have gone down that well. Oh yeah, I’ll be winning that wife of the year award in no time!
But onto much more exciting things, lovely business learning clicky links:
♥ How to make a good first impression
♥ 6 tips for managing multi-author blogs without losing your mind
♥ If you’re looking for a new WordPress theme for your blog or website, Shauna has laid out some of the best places to get ‘em.
♥ Stuck on what to blog about? Use these awesome prompts (88 of ‘em!)
♥ Darren Rowse of ProBlogger spoke at World Domination Summit all about dreams and how to make them your reality. It was great. Do yourself a favour and take a 40 minute break to check it out…
Dear Kat, I have a massive dilemma and I really hope you can help. I’ve been blogging about a certain topic for the past few years and I’ve really loved it. I’ve made some great connections within the industry, built up a decent readership and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. But I have a problem… I feel like I’ve kinda fallen out of love with it – not with blogging, but with the topic I’m writing about.
I know you say that the key to successful blogging is having something different to say and a unique voice to say it in, but right now I really feel like I don’t. I used to wake up every morning full of excitement and new ideas around the topic I write about and now… nothing. It’s a massive struggle to come up with anything new and I’m certainly not excited about anything I’m writing.
So I guess what I’m asking is what should I do? I don’t want to give up blogging and all the hard work I’ve put in but I also don’t want to keep plodding along for the sake of it. Do you have any suggestions on how I can re-find my passion?
For most of us, starting something new is a really exciting time. We’re motivated more than ever and, if you’re a blogger, churning out more content than you know what to do with. Your head is full of ideas and your passion is at an all time high. But like with anything, over time monotony and even apathy or resentment can start to set in. You get bored, you find new interests and you might even consider moving on to the next thing… after all, getting that ‘new project high’ can be kind of addictive.
The thing is, when you’re a blogger, however big or small your readership might be, when you go through this you can also start to feel very… exposed. As bloggers we’re expected to really have our shit together. Our readers count on us to churn out regular and engaging content, no matter how we’re feeling about it. It’s at this stage that a lot of bloggers quit, or bring on an intern to do a lot of the work for them, but that isn’t the only option.
Considering I don’t have a sweet tooth at all, I sure do pin a lot of pretty sweet treats… hum, I wonder what that says about my psyche? I hope you’ve all had a brilliant and productive week. I’m really looking forward to this weekend because I’m going out – not once but twice! Sheesh, what a party animal. Now excuse me I better go and grab a quick disco nap before the chaos commences. I’ll see you on the other side!
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♥ Strategic plan: doing things
“The day when artists could build platforms for themselves simply by being on social media has turned into myth. And the glut of “social media experts” and “content experts” who offer proven strategies for building a tribe is growing tired.
So how do you build a base for your work? Kevin Kelley once proclaimed the principle of “1,000 true fans,” where he stated that only 1,000 customers were needed to build a sustainable career. In this new “maker society” where your livelihood comes from your followership, how do you stand out in the long tail?”
I was never very popular at school. I had a group of four friends who I stuck pretty close to and we were delightfully nicknamed ‘the bods’ (our school’s name for geeks/ nerds/ squares) by our much more popular peers. As a teen, popularity is such a life-defining thing. If you don’t act a certain way or fit in with a particular group you’re ostracised or bullied and you spend your days saying “Well who’d want to be like them anyway!?” while all the time wondering what you ever did to be so despised.
As soon as I left that horrific school, I unwittingly shed my unpopularity pretty quickly. In college being an outsider was considered cool and at university pretty much everyone was best friends. I have since learned that when you get past those awkward teenage years, it’s actually your idiosyncrasies and differences that make you more liked.
One of the questions I get asked the most (by far!) is how to get more followers on social media. So while I can’t claim to have always been someone that people wanted to follow, here are a few little tips I’ve discovered along the way about what makes people want to on social media.
1. Be interesting
It’s sounds pretty flipping obvious, but look back at your last 10 or so tweets, Instagrams or Facebook updates… are they? Would you follow someone who posted those things? If not, why not?
Share things that are funny, engaging, happy, sad, inspiring, quirky, colourful, useful, entertaining. Be kooky but considerate, be funny but not sarcastic, share personal stories but don’t be boring. Don’t just tweet the fact that it’s raining or post yet another photo of your lunch. Come on now, who wants to follow that?
2. Vary your uses
The social media platforms are all very different beasts so don’t treat them the same. If you’re cross-posting the same things everywhere it’s going to be repetitive and boring for anyone that follows you in more than one place, and you’re also not going to be getting the best out of each platform. Similarly, the kinds of people that follow you in each place will be different. I’d say that the majority of my Twitter followers (or at least the ones that engage with me) are people in the wedding industry, whereas my Facebook is chock-full of brides. So why would I post wedding industry specific updates on Facebook? It wouldn’t make any sense!
Photography: Marla Meridith Photography
This week has been busy but delightful. I signed off on my two big projects (one of them will be hitting the blog on Monday – watch this very excited space!) and spent an evening with Gareth at a spa (yes, it was just as wonderful as it sounds). Then today I’ve hotfooted it to London to speak at the fabulous Papergirls Paperfest conference followed by one to many cocktails with Debs, Lucy and Abbey. Despite speaking to them all pretty much every day I haven’t seen them in forever and it’s just beyond magnificent to catch up in person.
Also Gala kindly just reminded me that we have less than two weeks until we fly out to Austin for the final US Blogcademy of 2013! Waaaah, I have so much to do before then! Can’t stop to chat, I’ve got too much blogging to do…
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♥ Seven minutes with The Sartorialist
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT IN BLOGGING NOW?
“Have a point of view. That’s the hardest thing. Most people don’t have a point of view. They’re not willing to say what they believe and I guess they want to do it for different reasons than I did. They want to make money. They want to get famous. They want to sit in the front row. I didn’t think any of that stuff when I started the blog. I just wanted to communicate and talk about fashion and the way that I love it.”
When it comes to valuing your worth, something which I am a fierce advocate of, it’s not just cold hard cash that can be the deciding factor. While the thought of working for free might initially seem like something that no-one in their right mind would want to do, on the contrary, doing some pro bono work can actually be a really good investment in your business. If you chose your projects and collaborations wisely and correctly use that work as part of a larger campaign or as a stepping stone to something else, it can be a hugely beneficial exercise.
The very best way to get paid work is to show potential clients that do you do the kind of work that they want. If you’re approached by a company to do something but they don’t have a budget to pay you, ask yourself, will the experience or portfolio content you’re going to get out of this make it worth your while?
Don’t just sit around waiting for these offers to come your way though. It’s up to you to make sure you have the right body of work to show your clients. If you don’t then it’s time to get proactive. If you’re a wedding photographer wanting to shoot alternative weddings but all your current clients are at the traditional end of the market, a great way to do this might be to offer discounts or host a free wedding photography contest that targets the exact market you want to attract. If you’re a designer it’s easier – simply take some time to design some items that will be appreciated by the clients that you want to work with. Just because you’re not getting paid to design something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing it in your own time!
I get a lot of companies wanting to work with me but who only offer exposure in exchange – i.e they’ll mention me in their newsletter, link to me on facebook or write about me on their blog. While it’s very flattering to be asked and all press is good press, I have to consider whether this exposure is going to be a fair exchange for the time and effort I need to put into the project.