1.07.2014

On Blogging :: Game Changers

As some of you know, I started this little blog here in the fall of 2010 with the name Where We Love is Home. Since then, my blogging journey has taken me places that I honestly never thought possible. Looking back, there are a few distinct steps that I took that took Something Charming to the next level. I was hoping I could share those things with you today.

In no particular order...

1 // I BOUGHT A CAMERA. In the summer of 2012, I decided it was time to upgrade the pictures on my blog from iPhone photos and images I found on Pinterest. I have a basic DSLR (a Canon Rebel T2i), one that isn't really all that impressive, but it's made the biggest different in the quality of images on my blog. Not only that, but I feel a lot more confident pushing out more original content, meaning more tutorials and recipes, since I have a camera to take nicer pictures with.

2 // I FOUND MY PERSONAL STYLE. It was sometime during 2012 that I also realized how much my personal style has evolved over the years. I proceeded to throw out the vast majority of my closet and built my wardrobe from the ground up, focusing on items that were innately me. By doing so I was able to discover my personal style even more, and made changes to my blog that reflected that style. 

3 // I LEARNED PHOTOSHOP. This is probably the single most important thing I did for my blog. I remember it well: it was January 1, 2011, and I wanted a new blog design. Before then I was just using one of the templates that came with Blogger, but I was over it. I sat down at our old desktop, and within a day, I taught myself Photoshop and basic HTML and CSS. Doing so has allowed me to create my own blog designs, as well as collages and graphics I use on Something Charming. 

4 // I JOINED TWITTER. Okay, so I was actually on Twitter long before I started my blog, but it was when I actually started engaging with people on Twitter that I saw my traffic and readership increase. Participating in social media is essential if you want to have a successful blog, but I truly believe that Twitter is the cornerstone to this. Instagram and Pinterest are great, of course, but Twitter is much more engaging. I've met some of my best "blog friends" on the platform, and it's a great way to interact with other people and push out your content. 

5 // I STARTED A CREATIVE BUSINESS. Now, I don't think this is essential to have a successful blog, but I do think that everyone should have some type of creative endeavor that they work toward. What I mean is that a blog isn't self-sustaining. You need content, whether it be outfit collages or book reviews or recipes or tutorials, or any number of things. I like to do a little bit of everything, but it wasn't until I started my creative business that I realized my potential as a creative human being. Every single day I'm challenged to think critically and to come up with new and exciting ideas. Owning a creative business means that I'm never stagnant, and my life is one big creative endeavor. It's pretty awesome.

These are just a few of the things that have helped bring my blog to the next level. I'd love to know what your thoughts are, or what you did to help your blog succeed!

19 comments:

Joelle Duff said...

Great post! thanks for sharing these great tips

Joelle Duff said...

great tips! i need to start using our dslr camera! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

Joelle Duff said...

I can really see how all of this is true - as I've been reading since 2011 (before the name change even!) and have watched your blog evolve organically since then. Thanks for sharing with us! xo

Joelle Duff said...

love it when people teach themselves photoshop! Its overwhelming at first but it really isn't hard to learn. I began my blog as a photography blog so I started with the knowledge of photoshop and a good camera, but I totally saw a difference in twitter as a blogger - I met some awesome, lovely fellow bloggers via twitter that I probably wouldn't have otherwise! I love that having a blog keeps me creative...I recently decided to give calligraphy a go and I love it! Probably wouldn't have done that if I didn't have a blog.


woah, sorry for the essay :P

Joelle Duff said...

You're very welcome! Hope they help :)

Joelle Duff said...

Yes, you do! It's probably THE biggest thing I've done for my blog! xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

I can't believe it's been that long! Crazy sauce. Thanks for sticking around Eliza! xoxo

Joelle Duff said...

Photoshop can definitely be overwhelming at first, but it's pretty easy to figure out the basics. I don't know everything (yet), but it's always fun to learn new things!

Joelle Duff said...

I don't know everything either and I've been using it since grade 9 in high school! haha, granted thats only about a decade, lol.

Joelle Duff said...

It's been such a treat watching your blog evolve! I can definitely see how all of the above contributed to the overall vision and aesthetic of your blog - so true!

Joelle Duff said...

How come the camera helped you so much? I want one so bad but haven't thought it was worth the investment...until I have kids yet.

Joelle Duff said...

I do wanna find my personal style and I love twitter too. I think these are amazing tips.

Joelle Duff said...

Basically, you rock, Joelle. Items 1, 2, and 3 are on my list of things I want... no, NEED to do this year. You took the words right out of my mouth!

Joelle Duff said...

Thanks Caroline! Every once in a while I'll go through my archives, and it's kind of crazy how much has changed. Blogging really has taught me so much!

Joelle Duff said...

It means I can take my own photos, instead of having to use stock photos or images I've found on Pinterest. I think it's just one more step to creating original content, rather than curated content.

Joelle Duff said...

You should totally do a "personal style" purge. It felt awesome!

Joelle Duff said...

<3 you Lindsay ;) And let me know if you need any resources for Photoshop! There are a ton of great tutorials and classes out there!

Joelle Duff said...

Great points Joelle. One more post just confirmed I need to learn photoshop. Thanks for sharing.

Joelle Duff said...

These are seriously so true. Social media and Photoshop make all the difference!