Hello! I hope you’re all having a lovely week? We’re very busy here again this week, we’re working with our web designer on the site which is very exciting- it’s all starting to come together now!
Some of you may have noticed the ‘Blogging Your Way 2.0’ (or BYW 2.0) student badge on the homepage, well this week I officially became a graduate of BYW 2.0! BYW 2.0 is the blogging e-course brainchild of Decor8’s Holly Becker. To any of you familiar with blogging & interiors you almost certainly will be familiar with her blog, ‘Decor8’. Not only is her blog HUGE but she has released a brilliant book, ‘Decorate‘ too, which is another favourite in our house. The second book is also on it’s way, so look out for that!
Some of my previous posts in the last few weeks have been ‘homework’, however we were set our very last homework which was due in on July 2nd & unfortunately I’m only just finishing and posting it today. The homework was to write about the course, what we’ve learnt and what blogging means to us. So I think I should probably start at the beginning…
I started blogging as a means to an end really, just something to have in place until our site is live. As a place to share news on our launch and a little bit about what we do. But blogging has turned into so much more than that and I have really fallen in love with it. Having never even read a blog before and having no idea what it was all about, and of course never one to do anything by halves, I signed up to BYW 2.0 and also bought a few books on blogging to try and immerse myself in it and learn as much as possible about this alien field before unleashing my words onto the world.
I instantly loved BYW 2.0 and the fantastic camaraderie between students, with forums for us all to interact and with my first few posts written, all of a sudden, blogging began to make sense to me. I remembered how much I used to love keeping a diary and how much joy writing used to give me. Unfortunately I haven’t kept a diary for years now owing to my brothers friends making their way into my bedside drawers and reading them all (without him knowing of course and needless to say he isn’t still friends with them), but when it inevitably came out that they had done it, I was absolutely distraught. All of my most personal, innermost thoughts had been read by teenage boys and I couldn’t ever even think about keeping a diary again after that experience. It may sound dramatic, but I hope that some of you out there can appreciate how I felt on this one?
So I haven’t really written anything for years, though I’m always the person to write the wordy cards and ridiculously long emails! But then there was blogging… and because it’s SUPPOSED to be read by other people, it’s OK! Quite the opposite in fact, you actually WANT people to read it!
I have learnt so much from the course it’s hard to name just a few things, but top of the list are the creative post ideas which are an incredible source of inspiration that I’ll always be be able to look back on if I’m ever stuck for an idea. The invaluable technical help (of which I need a lot!) has been fantastic; all of the collages, borders, labels and shapes are a direct result of the course and I think you’ll agree they do a wonderful job of prettying it all up and making it look dare I say it ‘professional’. We’d love your feedback on this, so do leave us some comments below. The flower images below were taken at The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh and gave us a good opportunity to practise what we’d learnt on BYW!
The most important things I’ve learned are actually not from direct lessons, but what the lessons have inspired within me. To make me really understand what blogging is all about and why it’s so important to me and the business. It’s made me realise how important a blog is to an online shop. In a faceless space, where you don’t get to meet your customers and they don’t meet you, I think a blog is crucial to forge a relationship with them, to let them into your world, let them meet you and for us to do the same. After all, how can we know what our customers want to buy from us, if we don’t know our customers? So the blog is their way into our world and the comments section is the equivalent of chatting in the store, which is crucial, I believe to a successful business.
When I started the course I visited lots of fellow students blogs and felt pangs of jealousy at how amazing their blogs were, but after Holly’s lessons on learning from others’ success and not comparing yourself , I realised that they weren’t there to be jealous of, but to learn from. Now that I’m officially a BYW 2.0 graduate and with every new post, I look at our blog and smile and feel a little bit more proud of ourselves for what we’re achieving. We’re getting there… slowly but surely! A fantastic quote that Holly told us and one that helps me not just with blogging, but with setting up the entire business as a whole, is by a Chinese philosopher, Laozi:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
I love this quote and it helps me to remember that everyday, we’re getting there!
I would also like to mention at this point two books which have been great for blogging help too, both for inspiration and for technical help are, Blogging for Bliss, by Tara Frey and Pro Blogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income, by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett. Both of these are fantastic books, so if you’re looking for blogging help they’re a great read (this coming from the girl that actually doesn’t read!).
So there we have it, an exceptionally long post about Blogging Your Way! I hope you all made it to the end and didn’t get lost along the way, it’s my blogging story in a not so small nutshell. Have any of you got a blogging story to tell, a book to recommend or can you relate to anything in this post? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
What Blogging Means to Me- By Hollie Brooks
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