Blog On, Babe: Educate Yourself!

Blog On, Babe: Educate Yourself!

Hey, blogger babe: this is part nine of a ten-part series on blogging! (How is it almost over already?!) You can read my other tips on the subject by clicking on the blogging tag… And you can learn from me in person on The Blogcademy World Tour!

As Notorious B.I.G. might say if he had a Tumblr, “Bloggin’ ain’t easy, but it sure is fun!”

#9: Educate yourself!

In life, the only constant is change. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, things are always in a state of flux. For example, if you’re a writer, the playing field looks different from day to day. New words are being pushed into the vocabulary all the time, there are trends in writing styles and subjects, and even the Oxford comma was given the old heave-ho!

Blogging is no different, and because it’s still such a young industry, this is even more true. The blogosphere is being refined and transformed every day, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in gigantic jumps.

Just think about this time last year online. (If you find that difficult, check what you posted on this day in 2012!) Even in that short time, advertising networks, genres of blogging and design trends have switched hands, been revamped, or completely evolved.

If you don’t know what’s new on the horizon, it’s all too easy to get left behind.

Okay, I can already hear some of you saying that you don’t have time to do this… But I beg to differ. Bloggers are notorious for faffing around online — let’s not kid ourselves! So take some of those moments you would otherwise be pinning up a storm, and do a bit of research!

There are oodles of blogs about blogging — read them! Problogger and Hubspot are two of my favourites, but a lot of bloggers are writing “how to blog”-type content now, too. Keeping up with these blogs is an easy and quick way to stay ahead of the curve.

There are also lots of courses, seminars and workshops to help you update and improve your skills. I went to my first one in 2008, with Shauna. We headed to Las Vegas, with no idea what was in store for us! Back then, these events were very male-centric, and mostly attended by a bunch of middle-aged dudes wanting to learn all they could about SEO. (Yawn!) Suffice to say, we had more fun gallivanting around the Strip than we did in the conference centre.

Mercifully, the tide has turned, & now there are a slew of fun, enjoyable & educational events that are very gal-friendly. Alt Summit is a fantastic two-day conference in Salt Lake City, Blogshop is a Photoshop course & The Blogcademy, well, I can’t recommend that highly enough! (Wink wink, nudge nudge!)

If you can’t quite swing the cost of a full workshop or conference, there are a lot of lower-price events available, too. For example, next week my fellow headmistresses and I are holding a live Q&A session where we’ll be answering blogging questions. It’s only $7 — bargain! It’s your chance to get a little taste of the Blogcademy experience, and have your questions answered at the same time!

There are plenty of books available, too. Blog, Inc. by Joy Cho is a great place to start, and I’ve also really enjoyed ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income and Fashion 2.0: Blogging Your Way to The Front Row- The Insider’s Guide to Turning Your Fashion Blog into a Profitable Business and Launching a New Career, Vol. 1 (but heads up, I contributed to or was featured in both of ’em!).

There is information swirling around us all the time. If you want to know how to make the most of your blog, or if you simply want to know what the next chevron/neon/macaron will be, you simply have to look around at what’s already out there and get readin’!

Stay in school!