This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organised by CGTrader.
When someone suggested I should take part in the Designing For The Future Competition, I was rather sceptical about the idea. Me?! Pretending to be a design trend expert?! Naaah, that wouldn’t make any sense! Although I am genuinely passionate about both fashion and interior design, my attitude towards trends is more of ‘I observe, I don’t chase’ kind of thing.
Having said that, I am also a fairly creative individual, whose blog, after 2 completely uneventful years, has finally started growing. I am the one who watches it with excitement and works their butt off to make it happen; the one who makes themselves uncomfortable to reach for their dreams, every single day.
So, what if we, talking about Designing For The Future, talk about designing the future?Especially, our own, blogging future? That one I might know a thing or two about!
Yes, you heard that right, we need to design:- to fall in love, have a concept, get inspired… then, go creative, drive innovations and finally, deliver.
Here are my tips to help you design your blogging future:
- Find out who you are
There are over 150 million blogs out there these days- some of them are absolutely brilliant, most aren’t. What they lack is a personality of the human being behind them. Nowadays, when everything around is so artificial, it’s not about the money anymore, the authenticity is what we crave more than ever.
My genuine advice before you start a blog (or if you want to grow the one you already have) is: find out who you are and why you are unique. Take a week or two and focus on yourself and yourself only. Get a notebook and write everything down, answer all the questions, no matter how small and unimportant they seem. What are you passionate about? What are your dreams? Your house goals? Your beloved song? Your favourite pizza topping? Write down everything that makes you you. Take your time, you will know then you’re done.
Tip: I find the ’52 lists…’ books super helpful, they truly gave me an insight on my own personality, you may want to try them as well!
- Remember the purpose of your blog
Why do you want to blog in first place? What do you love about it? What is the message you’d like to share? Do your posts comply with that message? What is your aesthetic? What colours and fonts do you like? What photo filters will you incorporate to stay consistent? Think about every single detail of your blog which will let your personality shine through and create an extraordinary experience for your audience. And again, don’t rush, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Tip: Each time before posting ask yourself whether your post: a) adds value b) complies with your message c) is aesthetically pleasing d) is authentic e) shows your personality f) represents your brand. If there are more ‘nos’ than ‘yeses’, you need to change something!
- Stay inspired
Blogging is lots of fun for most of the time but it is also a lot of hard work. There will be days when you won’t even want to get out of bed, feeling sad, stressed and overwhelmed, it’s perfectly normal when you have so much on your shoulders. It’s super easy to give up, that’s why you need to create yourself an environment which will help you stay inspired. Make a list of your favourite blogs, interviews with inspiring people, favourite TED talks, songs that make you dance, favourite quotes, articles and art pieces, collect everything in one folder on your computer so that you can always reach out to it when you need it the most.
Tip: A great way to help you stay inspired is creating mood boards. I’m sure you already know how much fun Pinterest is, however what I like the most is creating the actual thing using notebook and inspiring quotes and pictures from magazines.
- Watch your idols
Who are the blogging girls you look up to the most? What are the brands you would love to collaborate with? What do you love about them? How do you feel visiting them online? Do your audience feel the same visiting you? If not, why? What is missing? How can you create it? What do you need help with? Who could help you with that? Never forget to observe carefully, you will learn a lot this way! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, most bloggers are wonderful people, happy to share tips and hacks. Respect everyone, no matter which stage of the blogging journey each of you is, in such a fast-paced world things may change faster than you expect and you never know who you’ll work with in the future!
- Have a plan
A real, down-to-earth plan. What will you do over the next 6 months to make your dreams and blogging goals come true? Write it down, no matter how big or small these steps are. Things like ‘moving from Blogger to WordPress’, ‘updating profile picture on social media’ or ‘preparing media kit’ are perfect examples. If a step takes more than one day to complete, divide it into a few mini steps (e.g. for updating your picture they could be: finding a photographer, deciding on location, having the shoot, postproduction, etc.). Set the date for completing each step.
Tip: I like to send a copy of my plan to FutureMe- it’s a great reward to realise how much you’ve actually accomplished in 12, 6 or even 3 months!
- Observe trends
In any business profession, you definitely need to keep up with the latest marketing trends to be able to attract your audience and blogging is no different. The main thing these days is getting visual so your main social channels should be Instagram and YouTube- people tend to interact more with pictures and videos (than, for example, text) so make sure to update those two regularly. Another important thing to keep in mind is that you won’t need that massive following to be successful in the online world anymore, what you’ll need instead is engagement. I’m really happy about this tendency as it’s a nice, long, middle finger shown to all those spam companies offering you followers to buy- sorry guys, no longer the case! Another tip I have for you is, use automated tools wisely. They are surely very helpful when it comes to posting on social media on a regular basis but you need to remember your audience are real people and they want you to be a real person, too to interact with them- nothing puts me off as much as just another automated message on Twitter! If you genuinely want to tell me something, take your time to make it personal! Make me care! And realise that even the best automated tools can’t do that for you.
Tip: If you have some spare pennies to spend, hire a VA to help you with your day to day tasks.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that you’ll enjoy designing your blogging future even more- stay authentic, work hard and have lots of fun along the way! x