Business Creatives DC DIY

Becoming a blogger? Elizabeth Carberry taught us the key steps to beginning our blogs and documenting our lives!

Elizabeth Carberry, founder of ArtSee, is not your average blogger

After reading an article about the importance of documenting your life, Elizabeth began her blog, ecarberry.com, for herself. The idea of the article was not necessarily about traditional journaling, but rather an encouragement to simply remember the little things; it was a reminder to document in your life through writing in some capacity. So, believing that sharing her work, interests, personality and pieces of life is important to her brand, she decided to tell her story through blogging when she launched her website.

Elizabeth asked Mary Elizabeth Creative to join us, since she had recently started a blog. We were very lucky that she shared additional insight to support and elaborate on the important aspects of starting a blog.

We asked her to lead a District Bliss DIY Workshop so she could share the knowledge and insight she has been gathering over the years. She began by asking us to write down four words that we’d be answering over the course of the workshop: why, how, where, and what.

What inspires us?

What do you want to write about? What else is out there like yours?

We listed blogs that we like, follow, enjoy the aesthetics of, or are interested in. We discussed what we like about these blogs, how we would describe them, and how we found them.

Everyone is different, so it’s important to know what inspires each of us. What we are drawn to tells us a lot about our style and what inspires us.

Be sure to do your research!

Like any business, or really anything you do in life, start with research. Be sure to do deliberate research. Spend time looking through InstagramFacebook, etc. and find blogs or people that publish that interest you – ask yourself why they interest you, what they write about, etc. Write it down, document it, keep it somewhere, and refer back to it periodically so you remember your goals.

Some things to consider:

– Topic

– Writing Style

– Design Aesthetic

– Visuals

District Bliss

Why do we want to start a blog?

We discussed why Elizabeth called this workshop Not your average blogger because she was not blogging to increase revenue or draw attention to her brand. So, why do we want to start a blog?

Each person has a different goal when starting a blog. Do we want to enhance our business? Make a living? Share our stories? Post our recommendations? Each of these topics or styles has value, but start at a very different place.

Elizabeth asked us to think about the name of our blogs. How does it represent us? Our business? Our goals? Our topics? What draws us to this name?

 

Where should you set up your blog? Which platform works best for you?

What do you need to launch?

Examples: Squarespace (Elizabeth’s preferred hosting platform because it’s easiest to use and most aesthetically pleasing ), Wix, WordPress, GoDaddy, Small Orange, Tumblr, Wordpress

Compare the sites you are looking into with Start Blogging.

FYI: sometimes your hosting platform may differ from your blog platform.

District Bliss

 

If you have the budget for it, hire someone to make something custom that perfectly fits your vision!

Remember your aesthetic and be sure to pick something that suits your style.

Start with a simple template that is easiest to use; don’t forget to make sure that the platform can include everything you want to share. In most cases, you’ll want to include at least: home, about, blog, contact pages.

Don’t forget to pick a name!

Creating content

– What are you going to write about?

– When and how?

– What is your blog about? Choose your niche!! Be it fashion, art, home, politics, family, food or can be general “lifestyle” – find what interests YOU!

– Know your audience: figure out who you are speaking to and what their likes and dislikes are – is it just your friends, your family, a wider audience interested in the same topics?

Some other questions to consider

Content calendar – here is the hard part: Setting your calendar and sticking to it. Admittedly, Elizabeth struggles to keep up with hers – and so do we, sometimes! It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s definitely best if you can stick to your schedule! Coschedule is a great to tool if you want to be fancy. Otherwise, good ol’ Google Doc works just fine.

Elizabeth is a big fan of Evernote to keep things separate by month in a list.

Before you launch

Create a months worth of content before launching! You want to make sure you have enough content that you are not struggling to keep up when you’re launching your blog! Stay ahead of the game!

new photo-3

Managing your blog

What do you need to maintain your blog?

One thing that is key is what you need to make your blog better – set goals. What are the next steps? Photography? Collaborations? Plan for the future to keep it fun and interesting.

Share your blog

Share your blog on social media with friends, family, and more! You want to announce that your blog and let your desired audience know that you are live1

First and foremost, use the social media platforms that you use most regularly. If you don’t use Instagram, then don’t use it to share your blog. You want to make sure you use the tools that are comfortable for YOU!

If your goal is to have the blog shared widely, ASK – make a business Facebook page, join The Rising Tide Society and District Bliss, integrate your social sharing with your content calendar, are you going to share all posts, some, and when? – Planoly, Hootsuite, Edgar, Later

Call to Action

Be sure to share what you want people to do: Is the call to check out the post? Or the product you’re talking about? Or a partner/collaborator?

Other Resources!

Looking for a platform to post to IG for free?! Check out Planoly!

Resources and Discount Codes

SEO – Google+

IFTTT

Rising Tide Society

Blog Society

Career Contessa

The Everygirl

Blog Academy

District Bliss

Squarespace: Use the code GIMME10 to save 10% on any annual plan. Discount valid for first purchase, courtesy of Elizabeth!

Evernote is fantastic for everyday life – AND, it helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote now!

Contact Elizabeth: info@egcarberry.com


participating peeps!

Elizabeth Carberry | DIY Workshop Leader
Sara of Photos from the Harty | Photographs
west elm dc | Venue
JRINK | Drinks
Stacy Kleber Design | Customized Gifts