The business of blogging: Styling You wins Best Australian Blog 2011

Nikki Parkinson Life 31 Comments

I picked my youngest son up from school yesterday afternoon.  Like I do most afternoons, by driving through the pick-up line … a bit like a drive-thru at Maccas, but without the fries.  He jumped in the car, beaming.  As he does most afternoons.  Probably because he’s stoked to see that I remembered to pick him up.  I amaze even myself on that one.

Anyway.

I told him I’d won an award* for my blog – the Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2011 Best Blog (*do click on the link, there’s a video of me making a lot of shifty, sideways eye movements).

Styling You wins Best Australian Blog 2011

“Another one? Why do you keep getting rewards (sic)” he asked.

That’s a good question.  As I sit here in overwhelm, with the champagne chilling, I’m wondering the same thing.

I started this blog as a way to keep writing after leaving my journalism career.  As someone who likes to write, it seemed like a logical way to also market my business.  Over the past three years, I’ve come to realise that if you are in business – any business – then writing a blog is a must.

(I started out blogging to a handful of people and in the past month this blog received more than 25,000 unique visitors and more than 100,000 page views.  That blows me away.)

A blog is the key online marketing tool that offers you the ability to broadcast your message – whenever you want.  For free, or a very low cost.

I’ve been asked by mainstream media what makes a successful business blog and here’s my take on it – from personal and observed experience.  It’s not gospel but it’s learned at the school of try and try again.

1.  People are information hungry.  Give them information that will help them make their life easier.  In doing so you are establishing yourself as a credible source for information in your business niche.  Some people shy away from doing this as they don’t want to give things away for free.  Trust me, if your readers (potential customers) don’t find out information from you, they will just go elsewhere.

2.  Sell yourself by not selling.  I don’t write specific posts about my styling services or memberships.  They’re listed on the blog permanently for anyone to access, should they want to.  Instead I write advice-driven blog posts that offer real solutions for busy people.

3.  Be yourself.  The key thing that blogs have over mainstream media is that their writers are more accessible.  I write as I would talk to you in a conversation (yes, I am THAT crazy at times!).  There’s a photo of me on the banner and I subject you to a weekly video blog on youtube.  All these things work to help me connect with my readers.  What you see, read and here on the blog is exactly what you’ll get if you met me in person.

4.  Build your community.  A blog does not sit in isolation on this thing called the internet.  Well, it can do.  But it will be a very lonely blog journey.  A blogger needs to reach out to his or her readers.  A blogger needs to visit, read and comment on lots of other blogs.  And they need to be active on social media.  I network online the same as I do offline.  Well, ok, when I’m networking online, it’s most likely to be in my pjs not my stilettos.

My advice, if you’ve been thinking of blogging, is to JUST DO IT.  Just start. Don’t expect results overnight but keep at it.  The “rewards” are not in the accolades (although I do like an excuse for some bubbles), they are in the relationships, the new friends, that you make by reaching out to the big, wide world.

And that’s what keeps me blogging every day.

You.

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This post was chosen to be a part of the IFB Links a la Mode: Tech Weekly Roundup

Fashion Is More Sociable Than You Think!

Edited by Christen Rochon

Being fashionable is not for the timid or weak at heart. Its ever-evolving, rapidly changing and new trends are born every minute! With the information age we currently live in, it’s only natural that social media platforms become launching pads on how we interact with fashion and share our fashionable lives with others. Fresh from last week’s Fashion 140 Conference in NYC – it is apparent that more and more companies and bloggers are using social media to connect with consumers & readers in intimate ways like never before. Here are a few examples on how sharing fashion has become more sociable than you originally thought…

LINKS À LA MODE: TECH – May 10th

If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links. Deadline is Sunday, May 15 — get posting here and grab the code for your blogs here.

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      Hi Valerie
      It was when I started to connect with other blogs and followers on social media that I really got what this community is all about. And I picked up some great new readers along the way!

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  1. Congratulations Nikki, on winning the blogging award, well done, you are an inspiration! Happy Mother’s Day, I am sure you won the ‘best mum in the world’ award today as well.

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  2. Congratulations!

    I visit your site for all those reasons you listed. I recently completed putting my winter wardrobe together (although it’s never really complete) by reading through your blog to get pointers, tips, advice, ideas. It was great! And there was a face behind all that, which made it much more personal for me.

    I know you sell a service, and I might still consider using it even though it would be long distance. So that element of you site is great because I know you are ‘there’ at different levels.

    I won’t be surprised if you get next year’s prize too!

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  3. Congrats Nikki!!

    I had a question and would love your opinion – I blog about hair because I love it, but I’m not a stylist with a service to sell. I’m currently blogging 30 hairstyles in 30 days. I was thinking of selling an ebook with how-tos of all the styles. Do you think this is a good idea? I don’t make any money from my blog at the moment but I’m learning how to move to wordpress and maybe have ads in the future.

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      Hi Christina, I LOVE the sound of an ebook based on your 30 hairstyles in 30 days. It will work if you are helping others make their life easier. I would buy it! And yes, moving to wordpress or a template that allows ads is definitely a good idea. You can apply for affiliate advertising through Clix Galore – companies that are selling similar to what you are writing about are a good fit. In the case of affiliates, you get paid when a direct sale is made as a result of someone clicking through from your site. Good luck and let me know how you go!

  4. A huge heartfelt Congratulations to you Nikki, I love your blogs. Well done, you deserve every accolade that comes your way, enjoy the celebrations x

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  5. I’m late to the congratulations party (I had to run off the CR and Saba, remember!)…. Nikki – my congrats to you! I hope that you enjoyed the champagne and I look forward to many more award winning posts from you! x

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