BlogPodium: Blogs & Media

Jan 30, 2012

What a weekend. I'm coming off of a design blogger high. Coming back from Alt, I spent the past week doing last minute prep with Lindsay and Shannon for our first BlogPodium. Then there was the Interior Design Show opening night gala on Thursday night followed by BlogPodium bright and early Friday morning and the rest of the day spent checking out IDS. More fun was had on Saturday at the third Canadian Design Bloggers Meetup. I was one of the organizers of the first Meetup so it was fun to see how much our community has grown. And on Sunday, I gave my weary feet a rest (and ignored the huge pile of laundry taunting me).

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Me & Lindsay. Photo by Jason Hudson.

BlogPodium was magical, exhilarating, and surpassed all our expectations. As I sat there on stage with Margot Austin, Kimberley Seldon, Kate Moore, and Leigh-Ann Allaire - each one of them respected and established design personalities (and might I add pretty darn hilarious and intimidating too) - I couldn't help but be proud of what we created.

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Kimberley Seldon, Kate Moore, Margot Austin. Photo by Jason Hudson.
As bloggers, I think we have a natural tendency to undervalue what we bring to the world of design. What we aimed to do with BlogPodium was to help design bloggers connect, converse, and collaborate with each other and with the design industry. I think we've firmly started down that road. We're at the table. We have an opinion. More and more, we're being heard.

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Leigh Ann Allaire, me, Kimberley Seldon, Margot Austin. Photo by Jason Hudson.

This event and Alt reaffirmed to me that we can learn so much if we just talk to each other. If we share what we know, then we all grow.

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Sarah, Christine, Ana, Christine
Britt at My Daily Randomness wrote an excellent roundup of the highlights of the "Blogs + Media" conversation but I thought I'd recap for those who weren't there and share a bit more about my experience and thoughts on what I think it takes to be noticed by magazines, television, and other high profile blogs. I do want to say that I have been very lucky and didn't have to pursue the opportunities that have come my way, but I don't think there is anything wrong in actively trying to get more press, if that is what you want. Why write a blog if you don't want a bit of attention? :)
  • Be Story-Worthy: One DIY project or fabulous post isn't enough to get you noticed. You will need to have a few projects of consistent high quality to convince others you could fill a TV segment, feature post, or news article. So get off Pinterest and do stuff!
  • Connect With Other Bloggers: When you are mentioned, appear in a blog roll, or write guest posts on other blogs, that creates more opportunities for media to find you. The producers of The Nate Berkus Show found me through Brooklyn Limestone's blog. Form relationships with bloggers you admire, with bigger bloggers who inspire you, with peers who share a similar taste and style - it can drive traffic to your site and also give you a sense of community.
  • Show It Off: Make it easy for visitors to find your best work. Have magazine-worthy renovations? Show them in a House Tour page. Do you have tons of inspiring DIYs and projects? Put them in a gallery like Cassie did, making it easy to see the breadth and quality of your work. Writers and producers don't have the time to dig through your archives so do the dirty work for them.
  • Personality, Please: The 'media mavens' mentioned this on the panel and I couldn't agree more. There's nothing worse than reading a blog with a bunch of pretty pictures and little else. Show who you are through your writing - are you sarcastic? Funny? Possess encyclopedic knowledge about 18th Century architecture? Put it out there. Be unique and stand out from the crowd.
  • Get A Professional Look: We all know that how you look plays a role in what type of first impression you make. I would say the same holds true for blogs. Have a nice, clean blog design, one that fits with your design aesthetic and content. Take better photographs - and make them large!
  • Make It Easy To Say Yes: Whether you are pitching to another blogger to do a guest post on their blog, or to a magazine to feature your home, think about it from their perspective - what are they looking for? What would make their job easier? How can you answer their questions before they even have them? For example, give them links to other guest posts you've done, provide some ideas on what 'your story' could be, send them the scouting shots. Make it simple and easy.
  • Be There: If you want to be on a TV show or magazine, be where they are. Follow them on Facebook and on Twitter. Engage with them, read their magazines, watch their shows. You'll have a better understanding of what they're looking for and see how you fit.
Even if you do these things and more though, realize that most times its pure luck. All it takes is the right pair of eyes to land on your blog... but if you're better prepared, those eyes might linger a while and lead to opportunities you never expected.

Did you attend BlogPodium? What were your takeaways? Or have you had some press recognition? Any tips you care to share?

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By the way, I do realize I've been a bit heavy with all the blogging talk lately. But rest assured, this is a design blog. We just signed with our contractor to do the dirty work on the basement. Demolition starts in two weeks or so. The renovations are coming, the renovations are coming!! :)

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