Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blogging - Finding an audience, finding a voice

Welcome to Week Five of the Skirted Roundtable. The Blogging Topic this week is "Blogging Without an Audience and Finding Your Voice" This intriguing topic - something every single blogger deals with - was sent to us by Victoria who writes the blog Art House Design. If you have a specific question you want us to address, please leave a comment. We are processing all the requests and will try to answer them one by one.

The Interior Design Topic this week is "Hanging and Displaying Art." A highly personal topic, we give our views on how high to hang a painting, how to display photographs and we hotly debate whether art should match the interior! Don't miss it!!!!

As always, thank you so much for tuning in - we hope you are enjoying the Roundtable talks enough to return for the next installment!!

Linda, Megan and Joni


Cole Design said...

Hi, this is a great topic. My daughters and I have just started a blog. So this topic is so important. Also I have been having trouble tuning in to the round table. Any help would be great. Thank you so much.
Have a great day.

Southern Chateau said...

This topic is very relevant to me right now. I love working on my little blog. I realized early on that a lot of people were doing it and that it is hard to get readers, so I just came to terms with the fact that it is, at the very least, a fun creative outlet in a place with a lot of like-minded people. If people read and comment, it is very rewarding, but I just try to keep my expectations realistic. Thanks for the food for thought this morning!

Linda/"Mom" said...


I've just been WAITING for "the right time" to sit down & enjoy/learn from your last several round-tables~~~~ and was SO happy "NOW" was the time! (I just REEEALLY needed a "break" from my OVERFLOWING DESK w/ a gazillion design-related things allll over it. That's pretty understandable for a layman, BUT, how do you PROS keep things in ORDER???)~~~

ANYHOOOO, I actually made myself a really LOVELY TRAY~~~ Grama's old silver tray w/ some chilled Pellegrino & fresh lime in a "VERY special" crytal wine goblet, a yummy apple, some nuts & a fab piece of Belgian chocolate (ok, I admit it~~~TWO!!!) all set & ready...

In my haste to "find/clear off" a SPACE here, I knocked over my speakers~~~~ have done that MANY times, so didn't think a thing about it, ONLY to find they're NOT WORKING NOW!!!

Aycaruba! Talk about a "bad moment"! Geez!!!

Well, so, I guess I'll see you later~~~~ MUCH later, at least til DH gets home & can ATTEMPT to fix them!

Linda in AZ *


Applause !!!!!! (that was for Linda) Excellent podcast Ladies. It's funny you should be discussing this today because last night I watched the Larry King interview (Larry was being interviewed) and he spoke of the very first time (ever) he was on the radio. He was nervous and froze and the manager stormed in and shouted at him 'We are a communications business for goodness sake so get talking - just be yourself!'....and so Larry spoke into the microphone 'Hello, I'm Larry King and that's my new name. My real name I'm told is too ethnic and I must tell you all that I'm nervous....' - well! The audience fell in love with this guy! And the rest is history. I think that is the story of blogging in a nutshell. Be Larry King. Be authentic. Worts and all. Be honest. Hug to all of you! LP xo

Sarah's Fab Day said...

I listened to this yesterday and then for the rest of the day I found myself second guessing myself and my blog. I guess I was wondering if what I'm doing is "right". Basically me just being insecure and lame. Blogging for me is just plain fun. I love looking at pretty things and talking about what interests me and if people want to follow along I'm always flattered and surprised. But why is it that sometimes you find yourself wondering if what you're doing is "right"? Am I the only one?

Megan said...

Hello Design Lovelies

I agree with Joni re: the personalised blogs - I like to read the person's opinion/views - the most successful ones to me are those that display passion and personal idiosyncracies. I also follow Desire to Inspire but flick through the pics like I might pick up a magazine and flick through. There is not much written content - so I wouldn't really feel moved to write a comment - as it would be rather inane like "gee - really like the blue chair in picture 3". Blogs like Joni's on the other hand are well researched, well written and has a respectful (to the audience) but instructive in tone - I come away feeling like I learned something - about her, the designer or design elements in the post. The difference is the passion. I also hate ones that are written just to schlep product - so disrespectful to the audience.
I write just for myself - like an online diary - my blog is not a design blog it's an eclectic mix of things I am interested in - I don't think too much about audience because I think I'd start editing myself - but then I am not one to hang all my dirty washing out there either!

Linda Merrill said...

Aw shucks, I'm speechless! Thanks LP!

OK, not really speechless, of course!

Sarah - don't second guess yourself! There isn't really a right or wrong way. It's what makes you happy and also attracts the kind of readers you want, I guess.

Megan (not BB8), I agree, I enjoy looking at the pics, but they usually don't bring out the comment from me. However, something personal or an unusual take on something usually does. As for businesses writing blogs - I'm not inherently against it. I write a blog for an upholstery company and we try to always keep it educational. It's not particularly personal, but does represent the work of real people who are doing an age old craft. I think that's a legitimate use for a blog. It's not one that gets regular readers, but it comes up in google searches for related topics. And then provides real information or inspiration (I hope!). I agree, a blog that does nothing but say "here's a great product" is dull - same as those who do that on Twitter. A little creativity is required!

Paul Anater said...

That was an excellent installment ladies. I'm enjoying hearing the three of you discuss this topic in particular. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Interesting as always. I guess I found my first blogger from HGTV's Rate My Space and it went from there. That first blogger, whomever it was, had links from her blog and on and on. I now have over 100 blogs bookmarked that I haven't had a chance to check out! I'd sure suggest anyone with a design blog putting their work on Rate My Space with a link to the blog right in the description of their work.
Before that I didn't even know the design blogs were out there! Anyway, one reason I'll "drop" a new blog is if they don't post every day. If it's one I really like (Eddie Ross) I don' mind but if it's not one of my favorites I figure I'll just drop it and try something else. As you said, one reason Eddie is successful is because I knew who he was but that only got me in the door. The fact that it's personal, as you said, but also because it shows things that anyone can do and find is what keeps me.
Great work ladies!

Anonymous said...

And it needs to be pleasing to the eye and it needs to be easy to read, as in type that's big enough to easily see. I just posted to one the other day that it looked like it was good but I couldn't read the light, teeny tiny print! So, on to another!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Joni, I don't know if it's my computer or what, but I tried and tried to listen to the broadcasts the other day and for some reason couldn't get them to play through for me. They would skip and act up. I will try again because I enjoyed what I managed to hear.


Sheila :-)

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Another great topic! I've been blogging 9 months and I still don't think I've found my voice. Maybe I have and don't realize it. LOL I've read a lot of blogs that say they don't care if anyone reads their blog because they are blogging for themselves. I don't feel that way. Blogging is a lot of fun and very much a creative outlet, but if no one ever stopped by or had any interest in the topic/subject of my blog, I'd probably give up blogging all together. Since your podcast are relatively short, maybe some day you all will revisit this topic for more to hear more of your thoughts on this how to reach a broader audience or attract readers/visitors to your blog. :-)Susan

barbara mashburn said...

I enjoyed listening to all the comments you made and agree with finding your voice. I just started and am figuring out what I want to say. My goal is to show what I'm about and share ideas with like minded. I guess this is a new way of connecting with people. And it will be interesting. See you again. Barbara

Antique Therapy said...

I just found your blog, and am very interested in what your opinions are about reaching a target audience. I have had my blog for about over a year now and feel like I have a small following, but a constantly trying to figure out how to get more readers. I started the blog because I became an antique dealer and wanted to direct clients to my space. It then kind of branched out into a creative outlet for me to post photography and my interior design both personal and professional. The funny thing is you guys were right when you talked about putting personal things on the blog and how people seem to gravitate towards those posts more. Recently I did a post on my two cats and got more comments on that than I did on design or antique related posts.

The other great thing about blogging is I have met so many other talented people who are a consistant source of inspiration for me as an antique dealer.

Anyway I really like what you are doing on here and I think your topics are so relavent to other bloggers.

Thanks for all the info and insight.


The Vintage Cupboard said...

Interesting topic as I have been thinking alot about this lately. Do I blog because I really want an audience or do I blog because it is fun and as others have said a creative outlet? I started out not caring if anyone looked at my blog. I started it with the intention of showing paint jobs I did for clients. Now I feel really different about it, I want followers. I want to know if there is anyone out there. I don't want to feel dissapointed when I see there are no responses but I do. I don't share much personally with my blog but do share alot of my projects and pics of my home. The truth is that I really wouldn't mind not getting the comments as long as I knew people were coming to my sight for ideas and inspiration. Thats all I want really. Then I would have more reasons to keep my post fresh and updated.

annechovie said...

All points well taken, ladies. I enjoyed it....thanks!

Petra Voegtle said...

Hello Ladies,
the photo you have chosen for this post definitely made my day! In one way or another I will always have that in mind when I write my next post!!!
Greetings from Munich, Petra

gatherings home said...

I am one of those businesses blogs that Joni says she doesn't like to read and found her thoughts regarding blogs that are promoting businesses to be a bit condescending. My experience so far has been that all of the design blogs out there are self promoting. What is the difference between showing potential customers a great product that just came in and showing potential design clients your work? No matter how you look at it it is peddling your wares. I find most businesses are, for the most part, not just throwing products up on their blogs and calling it good. I also know that I will never find a voice out there in the blog world if I do not give my readers more than commercialism. But speaking specifically to Joni's views I really take offense.

beachbungalow8 said...

Hi gatherings, In Joni's defense, I believe it was I, who said that. And I apologize for offending you. I appreciate the hard work anyone puts into creating a blog that stems from the right place.

I was referring to blogs that are thrown on, to say, a used medical supply website, or some other business website that seems to have created a blog only because they were told by an optimizing specialist that, they needed one.

I may have just offended the majority of shoe lace manufacturers with blogs on their business site. but it's just my opinion.

thank you for listening to us. Hopefully you'll come back.


Angela P. said...

I wonder if you designers would be so kind as to discuss what makes a good client-designer relationship. What things do clients do that can drive designers crazy? What can clients do to make the process go smoothly? With Joni's humor, this topic would be hilarious!

VictoriaArt said...

I am so humbled, since you took on my suggestion and now I did not even see and hear it right away....
You are lovely and I think you are so right, it has to do with being personal and professional at the same time. I feel it is also learning how to write and how to say what you want to say, yes, finding your voice!

Lauren said...

I'm loving the show & am off to listen to another one!! All of your points are really interesting... It seemed that when I first began my blog it definitely was more for family & friends but as I met other bloggers who know just as much, if not more about design than I do, my content ended up changing to things that are a little less elementary how-to/ a bit more in-depth... my posts & writing now assume a certain level of design understanding...

And I also have to say to Joni that her blog was one of my "firsts" and I was honestly too scared to even write comments in the beginning!! :) I'm so glad I did as I consider her a friend now!! :)