Link Love: 9.5.13

link love

Link Love

• We deserve the clients we get.

Five reasons you’re earning more money but still unhappy.

• Interior designer Kelly Wearstler shares her personal story along with some great business advice.

• Here’s why purpose has nothing to do with what you “do”.

• If you’re planning a Kickstarter campaign, read this first.

• It’s interesting to read a photographer’s perspective on Pinterest.

• 3 simple questions to understand why your affiliate promotions aren’t working.

• How one lady decided to dream big and landed her ideal job in a up and coming startup.

• Is there really such a thing as a workaholic?

• I love the simplicity of this blade necklace.

• Lisa Devlin discusses why she’s not giving up as a photographer and it comes down to a passion for her craft.

• Storytelling will be the #1 business skill over the next five years.

• 12 unique responsive WordPress themes.

Image: Traveling Greener

Blog Log #11: Why Are You Blogging?

Why Are You Blogging

This summer, as I scanned through my RSS reader, I noticed some of my favorite blogs being overtaken by a sense of malaise. In part, it may have been a case of wanting to escape from the screen to enjoy the nice weather but I sensed something more than that under the surface.

At this point, we’ve collectively reached a moment where blogging has been around long enough that there’s a bit of a “been there, done that” mentality. And because of that, there’s a natural shift taking place.

When I first started blogging, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest didn’t exist yet — blogs were the place for breaking news and new discoveries. Now, all that information hits social media at a dizzying speed. Photo shoots are sneak peeked and teased up sometimes weeks before their big blog debuts. Some of that magic of settling into a new corner of the web and soaking up something you’ve never been seen before has been lost. Where does that leave blogging?

I’m all for embracing the new, especially when it comes to social media platforms. But at the same time, I still believe that blogs have their place and always will.

I’ve always thought of social media and blogging in these terms: Social media is meant for sharing snippets of your work and life while blogs are the place to showcase the full story. In a way, interacting on social media is the equivalent of a quick coffee date. You’re making small talk, feeling things out and getting glimpses inside a person’s world. But with blogging, you’re taking it to the next level. Blogging is about inviting someone into your living room for a deeper conversation. They have the opportunity to dig in and really find out what you’re all about.

Creatives and business owners email me all the time, asking me if they should have a blog. My response is always an enthusiastic yes, definitely! Especially if you’re just starting out, blogs are the ideal vehicle to build trust when it comes to your brand. They are the space where you can open up and share your work and life on a deeper level. While that’s just my opinion, social media trends come and go. And if you choose to put all of your eggs in one basket, especially when it comes to getting the word out about your business, you run the risk of hitting some rough patches. I’ve always felt that having a blog to anchor your brand for the long haul as people move on and explore new social media platforms is a safe bet.

When it comes to blogging, I still do so regularly because I genuinely love it and besides that, blogging indirectly supports my design business. It’s as simple as that. But, feelings and focuses do shift. It’s always good to occasionally step back and ask yourself if the effort you’re putting into your blog, business and hobbies are worth it and decide if it’s time to make some changes.

I want to know: Why do you choose to blog? Is it as a creative outlet, to promote your business or for some other reason?

Greetings From Greece!

Hello From Greece

During the past week, I’ve been splitting my time between Santorini and Mykonos. My days in the Greek islands are consumed with trying new restaurants, visiting ruins, taking long walks through town, and sitting by the pool. I can’t remember the last time I had such a relaxing vacation filled with so little work but I’m trying to relish every last moment of it before heading back to London to teach two back-to-back workshops later this week. I just wanted to check in with all of you and I’ll have much more to share about our time in the islands soon!

Lookbook #2: Excess: Fashion And The Underground In The 80s

Look Book #1: Things We Love by Kate Spade

Lookbook: Excess

In 2004, I was walking through Powell’s Books and spotted Excess: Fashion And The Underground In The 80s. I bought it on the spot.

Lookbook: Excess

The book features a tightly edited collection of hundreds of fashion photos ranging from the runway to the club scene along with countless essays on the role fashion played in 80s culture, from music to movies (with coverage of everything from Blade Runner to Wall Street).

Lookbook: Excess

The interesting slant is that while 80s fashion as a whole is covered in depth, there is a particular focus on Italian fashion (the publisher is Italian). Italian designers played a huge role in the transition to a more structured, sculptural look and a lot of their work is woven throughout the book across many obscure ads and magazine covers.

Lookbook: Excess

Lookbook: Excess

It’s always fascinating to see the key trends of a decade and how art, politics, movies and music intersected to influence it all.

This book does a great job of navigating the complicated world of 80s fashion (with everything from Armani powersuits to New Romantic looks getting starring roles) while retaining a diplomatic tone — there are no clichés, only a realistic glance back at how things were.

Lookbook: Excess

Featured book: Excess: Fashion And The Underground In The 80s

The Week In Pictures: 8.30.13 | Santorini

Week in Pictures

Week in Pictures

Week in Pictures

On Monday afternoon, I had my first EasyJet experience (So. Much. Orange.) as we flew from London to Santorini. The island is extremely rocky and mountainous (you’d kill yourself in heels). Our cab parked at the base of the town square and a very sweet man, Visillus lugged our luggage up the hill and then down dozens of tiny, uneven, winding stairs to our villa. And thank god for him — we’d never have made it on our own!

Week in Pictures

The villa was unlike anything I’d ever seen. Encased in the side of a hill, it was equal distance from the ocean as it was the top of the town. Our private balcony gave us a crystal clear view of Oia, made up of mostly white-washed buildings.

Week in Pictures

Many of the restaurants have a few flights of stairs and it’s always worth the climb for the view you’ll get. If you order anything with cheese, be prepared for massive blocks of feta placed on top!

Week in Pictures

We ate at so many great restaurants. One of our favorite spots for dinner was King Neptune, which has been around since the 1950s but we also enjoyed the smaller cafes all around town. I loved Pelekanos in particular which had jars and colanders as light fixtures (and a very strong wifi signal, which is hard to come by on the island). Plus, their food was great; check out this fruit and yogurt combo!

If sweets are more your style, there are tons of dessert places with crepes, ice cream, gelato and coffee drinks. The real star of the show when it came to sweets though was Lolita’s Gelato. Modern, stylish and with a killer identity to boot, we ended up here at least once a day.

Week in Pictures

This was our view from one of the restaurants — pretty amazing, right? Ironically, the clock on the side of this tower doesn’t work which basically sums up the pace of island life. Prepare to slow down. A lot.

Week in Pictures

The white buildings are meant to reflect the intense sun. The mornings and evenings are breezy but mid-day, prepare to roast! Drinking tap water is not recommended so remember to carry your own.

Week in Pictures

While most of the buildings are white, there are some surprises, mostly in pastel tones. And colorful doors are everywhere.

Week in Pictures

There are a ton of small, private resorts tucked away down side alleys.

Week in Pictures

Week in Pictures

The signs and menus in Santorini are a mix of Greek and English. None of us knew any Greek and still, we didn’t have any trouble getting around or ordering food.

Week in Pictures

Week in Pictures

There’s a richness of textures, patterns and typography everywhere. Even with all the tourists, shops and roadside stands, nothing felt overly commercial or Americanized. I didn’t notice any chain shops at all and that made me appreciate the island even more.

Week in Pictures

Santorini is somewhere that was never on my radar to visit but I came along because Gala wanted to experience it for her 30th birthday. And, I am beyond glad that I did. It’s one of those places that transports you to a different time and place and out of all the traveling I’ve done, this rates in my mind as the most unique. If there’s a way you can make it happen, go. Believe me when I say that there’s magic around every corner.

Week in Pictures

Not content to just experience the magic on land, we set out on the Aegean Sea last night on a sailboat. Five hours later, as we watched the sun set, I felt incredibly thankful to be experiencing this trip with two of my BFF’s.

I have more to share about Santorini but in the meantime, you can follow along with my adventures in real time on Instagram and Twitter.

Link Love: 8.29.13

link love

Link Love

• A great reminder that comparison is the thief of joy.

• 20 creative and useful about page examples.

• Here’s how to create a launch strategy that does the selling for you.

• A foreign correspondent shares his culture shock of going between London and New York.

• Here’s a look back at what the very first issues of 19 magazines looked like.

• Artist Lisa Hanawalt sketches big company logos with alternate slogans and the results are hilarious.

• The Movie Stills Collection documents the intro titles of films from 1920 onwards.

• DIY your own leather studded bracelets.

• The world’s best mugshots are from Australia.

• There’s a trend of selling houses with everything and the kitchen sink.

• If you had to write a book, what would you title it?

• Joy shares her thoughts on keeping up with social media.

• These four sisters were photographed every year for 36 years.

Image: HUF Worldwide.

Blog Log #10: How Often Should You Post?

Blog Log

One of the questions we get asked every time at The Blogcademy is, “How often should I post?” And, I’m not surprised that it gets brought up so often because it’s an important one. But there’s a lot more that comes into play before you can land on that magic number. So today, we’re going to cover the ins and outs of determining a posting schedule that works for you.

Set Attainable Goals

When it comes to setting goals, a lot of us (including myself) tend to set the bar so high that it’s nearly impossible to reach. And when we don’t reach it, we feel like we’ve let ourselves (and our readers) down. Remember, it’s much easier to start out slowly and build your blogging empire in small but achievable increments than the alternative, which is to post so frequently that burnout sets in.

Think of it this way: how would you feel if you fell in love with a new blog that posted once a day and a month after your discovery, it suddenly dropped down to once a week with no explanation? Even if the content was still really high quality-wise, you’d probably wonder what happened. But, if your favorite blog that consistently posted once a week announced that it was growing and would now be posting once a day, you’d probably be over the moon.

The mistake a lot of bloggers make in the beginning is to set goals that they’ll never have the time for. It’s better to just dive in with a schedule that you can manage now (even if it isn’t that often) and roll with it — as you grow and are able to carve out more time for your blog, you’ll already have a solid foundation to build on.

Also remember, posting too much can be as bad as posting too little! If your frequency is too often, it can leave your readers feeling overwhelmed. So finding that balance is key.

Define Your Blog’s Purpose

Some people blog strictly as a creative outlet while others blog for income. Still, others like me blog to support our businesses. A lot of business consultants claim that blogging once a week is enough for a business to post and then, when it comes to personality-based blogging, it’s common to post much more often (3 to 5 times per week). The more often you post, the more potential “doorways” people have to discover your site — but frequency depends heavily on your goals and niche.

Be Aware But Don’t Obsess

A lot of bloggers observe peers in their niche posting every day (sometimes twice) and consistently making the rounds on their social media accounts. Competitiveness starts to sink in and they think that they have to do the same to climb the ladder.

But when it comes to blogging, you need to step back and remember it’s not about them, it’s about you. If your current schedule allows you to post three times a week, that’s perfectly fine. If it only allows you to post once a week at the moment, that’s fine, too. The point is work at a pace that fits into your life and not dig yourself into an obsessive, friendless, lifeless hole in the process!

Some of my friends including Kat post twice daily and sometimes even on the weekends. I usually only have time to post once every weekday. But instead of beating myself up for not posting more, I remind myself that full-time blogging is her job whereas I’m a full time graphic designer (and most of my day is dedicated to my clients). I’m aware that some bloggers post much more than I do. And others post less. I just do the best I can, when I can and focus on keeping my routine steady.

Create Regular Features

While some bloggers feel that setting a regular rotation of features is creatively stifling, think of them instead as a framework to give your ideas structure and cut back on stress. What are you already posting a lot of or really interested in? Define it and create a column. For instance, in 2008 I realized I was taking a lot of photos of my projects, surroundings and daily life but most of them went unused. I thought, why not round them up every Friday and share my Week in Pictures? Now, it’s one of my most popular columns and I never have to scramble to come up with a post idea for that day of the week. If you post multiple times a week, it’s easy to start feeling the drain of ideas a few years in — but those staple columns keep your regular readers coming back and allow you the opportunity to fill in your other days with exciting, unique content.

Stay Consistent

If you announce that you’re going to post three days a week, do everything in your power to hold up your end of the deal. If your posting becomes too spotty, your diehard readers will probably stick around but the influx of new readers will probably move on. Building an audience for your blog is based on trust. Just like you’d show up to school or work, show up to your blog. Of course, sometimes life’s circumstances get in the way and we’re all human — some things are just out of our control. But if you do have to take an extended absence, make an announcement so your readers don’t think you fell off the face of the earth!

In Closing

As a blogger, there is no right answer when it comes to your posting frequency — it comes down to what works for your lifestyle. It’s much more important to stay consistent. It takes time to build an audience and brand you believe in and there’s no one posting schedule that will work for everyone. Make blogging work for your lifestyle — not the other way around.

I want to know: How often do you post new content and how did you determine that number for yourself?