Friday, 31 May 2013

This Blogging Business

Writing this blog has had lots of benefits for my business, West Egg. That is, after all, the reason I started writing in the first place. If you run an online furniture and homewares store, or any kind of online store, you'll know all about SEO. I didn't really think this blog would last long, because let's be honest, I didn't know what SEO was back in October 2010, or why it was important. I actually remember asking my web designer how easy it would be to remove the blog link on the website in case I couldn't/wouldn't blog properly.

And now look. Blogging has become a really big part of my life, in lots of different ways. I've met so many amazing, inspiring friends through blogging, it's like a whole new group of university friends. I love it. I've heard lots of bloggers say that the friendships they have made through blogging keeps them motivated and inspired and happy. Blogging makes me feel happy! How strange. I'm sure my parents find it strange. I know my dad reads this blog (hi dad), in fact I'm pretty sure he was my only reader (together with my husband) in the early days. Anyway, why am I talking about this? I'm not sure, but it doesn't really matter because this is my blog, my space, my little corner of the internet where I can chat away about things I like, things that inspire me, projects I'm working on etc. It's spontaneous, I'm not writing a book, just a little blog post - it's quick (sometimes), thoughtful (sometimes) and in the moment (always). It's also spontaneous in that I am not a post planner as I know I should be, I tend to write and then post it. I've taken e-courses, attended workshops, meet ups, conferences, all about blogging. I know that I should post more regularly, and more consistently (I'm quite chaotic), I know I need to migrate from blogger to wordpress (scared of the unknown), I know that readers hate captcha verification for the comments (actually, I fixed that one, I turned it off. Tick).

But the thing about blogging, is that it's a bit like renovating a house with no experience (something, coincidentally, I do in my spare time); there is always so much to improve, tweak, fix, change etc. Where do you begin? I know, for me, that chatting to other bloggers and picking up tips and tricks was one of the ways I've made little improvements to the west egg blog over the last 2.5 years.

Image Credit: Present&Correct - Olivetti Valentine available here for £295.

So, if you're still with me, you get that I'm into blogging, right? Ok, so you can imagine I was pretty happy to be invited to the launch of the new independent blog network We Blog Design last week. It took place at the Vitra showroom during Clerkenwell Design Week and the We Blog Design team organised a brilliant panel event all about blogging. And there was fizz too, which is always nice.

Image Credit: Present&Correct -- Cup of Tea Card available here for £2.85.

The event was chaired by co-founder Katie Treggiden (confessions of a design geek) and featured a fantastic line up of speakers who shared their own varied experiences of blogging: Jon Vick, The Art of Bespoke - Making a blog your business // Kate Watson-Smyth, Mad About the House - From print journalist to blogger // Toni Anne Sanderson, Nest.co.uk - Using blogging to promote your business // Katherine Sandford-Anderson, Sandford PR - Getting coverage on blogs.

You can click here to read the live tweeting report from the event which is a great recap of all the tips that were shared. We Blog Design is the brainchild of Katie, Stacey Sheppard (The Design Sheppard) and Yeshen Venema (yeshenvenema.com) and the purpose is to inform, inspire and connect bloggers...
"The intention is for it to be very much of the bloggers, for the bloggers and by the bloggers(!) So we’re hoping you’ll get involved so we can all learn from each other. Blogging is such a new media that nobody has all the answers, but if we all share what we learn as we go, we can all benefit. So join us – and get involved!"
My favourite part is the forum. You have to sign up (it's free) and log in etc, but once you're in, you're in a private space where bloggers can communicate easily to share information, tips, tricks and little bits of know how. 

It's so simple and brilliant, I can't believe it's not been done before. So, for all the design bloggers out there, take a look here & sign up: www.weblog-design.com

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