Studio 5 contributor Courtney Orton talked with some bloggers about sharing your voice through blogging.
Some of the blogging world’s biggest names were recently in Salt Lake City, at the Altitude Design Summit (www.altitudesummit.com), a conference for design and lifestyle bloggers and we asked them to help us explore the blogging world.
Heather Armstrong, the woman behind Dooce.com says blogging has transformed her life, “even if you only have 10 or 15 readers, you know that can change your life. Those relationships are really, really strong. I have a large readership but I’ve met a lot of people through this.”
Armstrong is a well-known Salt Lake based blogger with a worldwide following. She started her blog in 2001 as a hobby. Now, she says, “it’s just a story of our crazy lives, living here in Utah.”
Her hobby is -now her full-time job. She writes about almost everything. “I like to write as if i’m talking to my girlfriends,” says Armstrong, “you know on a friday night or I’m relating a story to my brother and I want to make him laugh. It’s just kind of exploring what your passionate about.”
It’s worked for her. She just landed a deal with HGTV and last year was named one of Forbes Magazine’s most influential women in media.
Gabrielle Blair of DesignMom.com and Kirtsy.com says she writes about what she loves. She’s a St. George native who now lives and blogs in New York. “This was absolutely an outlet that I could do in the middle of the night, in my pajamas with my new baby, just to have something creative to do,” says Blair.
Her posts are a mix of design and motherhood. “Not all bloggers feel they’re writers,” she says, “I think i was one of those where I was going oh, I like the visuals and I like the pictures, and I don’t think of myself as a writer and so the idea of finding my voice hadn’t really occured to me. Then you do realize after you’ve been blogging for a while that oh, there’s a tone to my writing and I do have a voice.”
Grace Bonney of DesignSpongeonline.com fell into the blogging world after her husband suggested she use her art and writing background and give it a shot. “I sort of found my voice along with everyone else reading the site,” says Bonney, “I think i tested things out, got reaction from readers. You figure out, there are other people like me, you get more confident and I think the voice just grows naturally from that.”
All of them say, it doesnt matter if you have 5 readers or 5 million, everyone has something to share. Here are some of their tips:
1. Be Passionate
You can write about food, you can write about your kids. It doesnt matter, as long as youre passionate about it.
2. Grow as You Go
Learn by doing. Figure things out as you go. Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge said she found her voice as she was going by testing things out and getting suggestions and feedback from readers.
3. Be Authentic
A blog is the perfect outlet to be yourself. Dont waste your time trying to be something youre not. Readers will see right through that.
4. Be Self-Motivated
Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom put it best, “There’s no boss, no one saying it’s due today, it needs to be X number of words and published by 3 o’clock.”
5. Love It
Blogging is fun. Enjoy it.