It’s hard to believe that just one short year ago, something that’s such a big part of our lives today didn’t even exist. Our blog, Newberry Sykes, was nothing more than a vague (but exciting) idea. In June 2013 we took a huge leap of faith and became Bloggers, a title that felt awkward at first. Since then, we’ve written over 200 posts and grown a loyal following with over 32,000 page views since the day we launched. Along the way, we made a few discoveries about blogging – and about ourselves.
Number One Thing We Didn’t Know: Blogging is time-consuming! It’s not just writing. There’s research, setting up photos, taking photos, editing photos, compiling mood boards, and more. You can’t fully appreciate the work that goes into planning and producing a great post until you’re doing it for your own blog. We had SO MANY great post ideas, but as the months passed it was hard to keep up the pace of posting 5-6 times a week. We’ve since settled into a more manageable schedule of 2-3 posts per week, with lots of flexibility for when life happens.
Number Two: Great photos don’t just happen. We’ve taken online photography courses this year to improve our eye, our skill and our composition. Light has been the biggest challenge to overcome, but we’ve learned that Manual is the only way to shoot and flooding the room with natural light makes photos that capture attention.
Number Three: Comparison will get you nowhere. There are loads of fabulous lifestyle and décor blogs and bloggers out there. We love their awe-inspiring DIY projects, stunning renovations, incredible photos and hilarious or thought-provoking posts. They can inspire us, but they shouldn’t define us. Your blog’s greatest strength is your unique point of view, and there’s no quicker way to lose yourself than trying to be like someone else.
Number Four: You have to get out of your comfort zone. When we met Sara from Para Paints at BlogPodium last year, she encouraged us to try out for the 2014 Para Blog Crew. It seemed like a long shot, but we’re so glad we didn’t chicken out. Not only did we end up being chosen to work with a great brand, we also learned a new skill (video editing) and got to collaborate with a super talented team of bloggers.
Number Five: Readers don’t just stumble upon blogs. Nope. You have to work hard at attracting new readers and spreading the word about your blog. Cutting down the number of posts we were writing each week helped to free up time to work on reaching a broader audience.
And just one more thing we didn’t know…blogging is REALLY fun! It’s not like we were expecting it to be drudgery, but we couldn’t have anticipated how much community, creativity, personal growth, and adventure that blogging would bring to our lives. BlogPodium 2013 gave us the push we needed to hit publish on our first post. A year later, Newberry Sykes has enriched our friendship and our lives in ways we never imagined. We can’t wait to see what year two will bring!
Connect with Susan Sykes at BlogPodium during her round-table session, How A Blog Can Help Your Business. As a PR & communications specialist turned professional interior decorator, Susan knows a few ways to connect with customers — including the blog she co-writes, Newberry Sykes. In this roundtable, Susan will share how the blog has been valuable in marketing her business and will explore ways to build your brand, image, and reach through blogging.