This is the third in a series of several posts about the amazing eye-opening things I learned about blogging at the Texas Style Council Conference in Austin over spring break. Click to check out part one and part two.
The second panel of the day was titled Careers: Using your site to sell your goods or launch a new career. The scheduled panelists were Brooke from Fashism, Janette from Store Envy, Pamela from Market Publique, Kendra from DBA, and Nora from Burdastyle. The panel was moderated by Pam from Swap.com. There was a special “celeb” last-minute addition to the panel- Kelly from famous blog The Glamourai made an impromptu appearance.
Although I’m not currently looking to start a business through my blog, their advice truly expands above just that and gave me lots of insight into how I can blog beyond myself, in order to help other people and my community as a whole. I can’t wait to implement some of their thoughts so I can reach out and impact others through my writing. Here are some of the pearls of wisdom I learned from these amazing women.
1. Nora from Burdastyle said “If you want to be successful, build a platform for others to succeed.” This statement had a very profound effect on me- as if an “ahah” moment had appeared. It has become evident to me through all aspects of life that we set ourselves up for success by helping out others as much as possible. I had never thought about applying this simple idea to blogging, but it seems to be true. The most successful e-ventures and websites not only promote themselves, but allow others to share in the growth. Ultimately, Nora’s lesson gets down to the very essence of why I started my blog- not only to share my ideas to everyone else, but to write in hopes that others will be inspired and take something more away from my writing, and make it their own. I want to help people, and blogging is the most powerful platform available to me. I haven’t yet figured out what the best way for me personally to help others succeed, but now that I am aware of this deeply personal need, I can begin to focus my efforts in this direction.
2. Janette suggested looking at innovation as “hey guys, let’s build something together,” rather than “hey guys, here’s something new to look at.” I feel like this differentiation is especially important, because so much of blogging is “what can I think of to post today…” and “what’s something new I can put out there…” and there’s a lot of emphasis on creating unique original content. And, while these are all valid concerns and are important things to keep in mind, maybe we’re relying too much on ourselves. Blogging is a community effort. And it’s not all about you (or me.) It’s about us, and what we’re creating , and what we put out into the world together. If you’re looking to launch a career using your blog, I think this is an important lesson to take away. You don’t have to do it on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be afraid to involve other people. 2 heads are better than one, and often 100 brains might be better than just yours. Don’t sacrifice the quality of your potential project because you’re afraid to share or concerned your idea might not be good enough. After all, it takes a village, right?
Do you blog to help others? How can bloggers make a profound impact on the people and world around them? Did you launch a career through your blog and if so what do you think of this insight?
P.S. One especially neat thing I loved about this panel is all of the women are entrepenuers who started their own businesses. Brooke founded Fashism, a community where people post and give advice on other people’s outfits, so that she could get the advice of thousands on an outfit she was trying on- like having many friends in a dressing room instead of just yourself. Janette started a line of organic, ethically designed shirts, and partnered with her husband to create Store Envy, a service and interface to help new businesses create online storefronts for themselves. Pamela created Market Publique to sell vintage clothing online and allow others to open vintage boutiques, creating a sort of more highly curated, professional “ebay” for vintage lovers. Kendra from DBA helped start one of the world’s first social media management companies. She represents bloggers and connects them to brands in a mutually beneficial partnership, as well as consults with brands on how to utilize social media in their business. Nora helped create Burdastyle because she wanted an online community of sewers who were interested in fashion and creativity. The community shares patterns and helps each other create new projects through inspiration. The moderator, Pam, helped found Swap.com because of her interest in being sustainable and eliminating the materialism and waste of buying things. Swap is an online community that allows you to trade your things for other people’s, they even host in-person swap events in cities across the country!