Some days ago one of our friends, Inge, came to me and told me about the difficulties she experienced with her Simply Fabulous Chic blog (it’s in Dutch). Since some months, the writes articles on interior design and lifestyle. Two topics she likes a lot and with which she would like to expand her professional life as well in the near future. Or at least, that was the feeling she gave to me.
The difficulties she experienced were some technical Blogspot matters which were common for Blogspot users in the last weeks (but nowadays, who is still using Blogspot anyway? 🙂 ).
So, she was looking for another solution and in the meanwhile she asked me for some feedback on her blog.
On the technical solution, I proposed her to work with WordPress. It’s a tool I am used to work with myself on one side and which is not too difficult to learn on the other side. Although the installation might seem a bit of technical magic for beginners, the tool is pretty straight forward in use once installed. And especially the latter part seemed most important for me when advising the tool to Inge. It’s important she finds her way through WordPress easily and she can go out and discover all nice plugins written for WordPress and which are installable with 2 simple clicks of the mouse.
Next to the WordPress solution, I also advised her to buy a domainname and some webspace at One.com, some of the cheapest guys out on the Internet, but with a good service (or at least, that’s my personal opinion on them so far).
To make her life a little bit easier, I decided to make the installation for WordPress and to do the migration from the Blogspot-blog to a nice WordPress blog for her. That’s also what I am currently working on. The result will soon be visible on www.simplyfabulouschic.com.
On the “advice” part things get more difficult: when giving advice to someone, you reflect your own ideas on the work done by the other and you share that as feedback. This might be a good thing when the ideas in both heads are the same or at least in line with each other. However, advice might be a bit dangerous if the ideas in the heads are very different.
What makes it even more difficult in this case, is that I often (if not, always) try to find business opportunities in whatever I’m seeing/hearing, even when ideas are only meant as a hobby for example. But when Inge gave me the feeling she wanted to build out this blog in a professional way, I was reassured again that I understood her ideas right. I gave her the advise to do some more interactive things with her readers, especially in the domain of interior design. She could go out to friends who needed some advice, take some pictures and post her comments online. She could make proposals on how to change things in the interior and which attributes to add in a certain place. And then she can compare the situation “before” and “after”. When taking into account the various parameters that build or break an interior (like: light, colors, furniture…), I am sure she will find a lot of opportunities in this field.
One more advice I can give her right away in this stage: Internet is a very fast medium. People tend to spend only a little time on the same webpage, even if the content was very well written. Now, I know that Inge is passionate about telling her ideas and is very good in writing them down, but I would definitely recommend her to keep her blogposts short. If they tend to become too long, she just needs to break them up into sub-posts. This will also give her some additional stuff to post for the following days. One of the nice functions of WordPress is that you can write all of your posts today and make them appear at any day you like in the future.
Breaking up long posts will avoid that readers will leave her blog before they have finished reading, because the text is too long.
To keep a good overview on things, she could also start working with the “Read more” function that most modern blog tools have. Then readers don’t have to scroll through an entire post they like less, only to read the previous one they might like more.
And if ever Inge would like to use her original long blog posts, she can always do so in a book! Writing a book will allow her to combine her posts and make them a nice whole by transforming them into longer texts, that are better suited for long reading (like books are and unlike the Internet is).
Good luck with your Simply Fabulous Chic blog, Inge!