Last week’s Creative Diaries: Why You Should Be Blogging panel revealed several tips on starting a blog. Below are the takeaways from guest speakers Pippa Lord, Katie Sokoler, Hui Min Lee and Dara Adeeyo, along with photos from the event by Galo Delgado. Were you there? Tag yourself in our Facebook photo album. Special thanks to Thinkstock/Getty Images for graciously hosting us and providing swag.
We’re also excited to share a great resource with you to get started on your own blog. Register here for access to a free image download from Thinkstock each week. Their images are awesome (we use them ourselves), you don’t want to miss out.
How did you gain followers and grow your audience?
Katie It “blew up” to 20,000 views a month with fun, original content. I met someone who worked at Glamour and that networking experience changed the traffic dramatically.
Dara The power of blogging is persistence. Just keep writing.
Pippa We launched with Momofoku Milk Bar, and from there it just grew organically.
Hui It picked up when I started curating instead of compiling a random collection of posts, and one post was featured by the blogging platform in a section called Spotlight.
How do you choose a platform?
Pippa We chose WordPress because it looks like website, and we needed something more visually appealing.
Katie I like Blogspot for having a clean, simple format. It helps me focus on the pictures in my blog.
Hui I picked Tumblr because it helps meet my goal of having the simplest way to collect images, tag and archive posts.
Dara I’m an original blogger/baby blogger. I started with Livejournal and now use Blogspot for HTML reasons.
How do you build great content?
Dara I love blogging, I have a voice and a lot to say. It comes naturally. I also blog on weekend for the week ahead so I can focus on my job.
Katie Once I started getting a lot of followers, I started feeling a lot of pressure and blogging for the followers…I would often ask, “Do I censor myself or do what I do and ignore what I think my readers want?” It’s tough to find the right balance.
Pippa We started with one post a day, which grew to three a day. All the while, we listened to audience comments and tweaked posts. Essentially, it’s like building community.
How do you manage your desires for self expression?
Dara It’s my blog and I’m gonna write whatever I want. In my case, it’s ok as long as don’t blog about work.
Pippa I’m very conscious of brand identity. All content must somehow address my reader and reference the organization manifesto.
Hui I think of my blog more as a hobby and a habit. There aren’t really risks.
What are your favorite blogs or tools?
Dara Youtube, Daily Grace, and the fashion blogger Chrishell.
Pippa I use my Blackberry as a post it to capture ideas.
What blogging mistakes have you made?
Pippa Mistakes with grammar and spelling.
Dara In the beginning I wrote a lot of long posts and wrote several times a day. Later I learned it’s more important to have good quality over quantity.
Katie I don’t want to be too hard on myself or take myself too seriously. Be yourself despite the attention, it goes back to “What would I write if no one was watching?”
What’s the best piece of advice you can offer to new bloggers?
Pippa “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Katie Simplicity. Start small.
Hui In the end it’s your blog.
Dara Be different, do it because you love it and be consistent.
Any other questions you have for our panelists or other creative bloggers? Leave a comment.