BlogHer '12 Interviews: What Would You Tell Your Pre-Blogging Self?
Summer is officially here and the countdown to BlogHer '12 in New York City this August is on! Like we did with BlogHer Food '12, we plan on bringing you some small interviews with our amazing speakers about many things in and around the topic of blogging. (So if you have a burning question, email me and we'll try to get it answered!) We're starting off our series with a retrospective question:
If you could go back and tell your pre-blogging self one thing, what would it be?
I thought it would be a great question that both long-time and newbie bloggers could appreciate. Let's see what our speakers had to offer in the way of advice!
I would tell myself this: You are worth being heard.
Before blogging, I doubted not only the value of my own writing and other creative projects, but I doubted the basic value of my own ideas and their worth to others. Who could possibly want to hear me? And what could I possibly have to say?
Blogging is an incredible opportunity to discover the shape and tenor of your own voice, and it is both surprising and enlightening what strengths and gifts you can find within that discovery. Words are powerful tools that define and can redefine the boundaries around how we perceive ourselves and the choices that we make. It’s an opportunity for transformation, really, and your very existence within the medium is a message in and of itself.
Do you have something to say, and is it worthwhile? Will people want to listen? It’s worth a shot to start putting down words in public and find out.
Stacie Tamaki, speaking at The Professional: Ten Things You Can Do Now to Maximize Your Social Media Expertise, offers a fantastic tip that will help you master the visual aspect of your blog.
Take Photos of EVERYTHING! Once I became a blogger I found myself constantly wishing I'd kept a better visual record of my past. Because The Flirty Blog is in part a lifestyle blog, I've found it to be very rewarding to take and use my own images rather than images from others. In a pinch I'll ask permission and give photo credits but the majority of images are my own. For some stories I've resorted to creating illustrations to depict something I lack a photo of and have no way to easily recreate what happened. Now I carry a camera at all times and take photos constantly. Since January 2012 I even photograph things I'm not currently blogging about to create my own file images for future posts. I drop them into categories as I download them to my computer. It's easy and much more time efficient than having to drive around to take photos on a post by post basis. Why expend the effort to learn how to be a better than average photographer? Because it's fun and using really great images can be key SEO and viral marketing strategies that will bring many new viewers to your blog.
Kathy Cano-Murillo, speaking at The Writing: Bootstrapping Your Book's Promotion, has a lot of advice to give -- and it revolves around loving what you do.
Wow. I started blogging in 2001, so It's hard to image life before! Okay, I would say:
You don't need to dream of being an editor at a fancy paper or magazine any longer. Someday, YOU will the be the editor of your own editorial site and you'll have the power and creativity to share ideas, stories, photos and reviews in your own way, in your own voice. One tip - having people follow your blog and read your words is a blessing, so make sure that everything you share is something of value and offers some kind of takeaway or inspiration. That is the most tried and true way to keep people coming back. You have the ability to make someone's day better, someone's life change, and make the most of that opportunity. Do good with it. Pay it forward and you will be handsomely rewarded in many ways for years to come! Also, soak up as many skills as you can. Learn how to take good pictures, how to write, design, interview, even code html. Stay in tune with what is coming around the corner and see how it fits into what you do. The best way to survive is to adapt, welcome change, reinvent, strive to be better. Most importantly - you must do all this because you love it, not to get famous or make oodles of money!"
And Cecily Kellogg, speaking at The Professional: How to Price and Value Your Services, offered up a brief but extremely important point.
Don't be afraid, say it anyway. Except about family members. Leave them out of it.
So what would you tell your pre-blogging self? Chime in with your answers!