When I launched Of North, I had a few very concrete ideas in my head of what I wanted the blog to be, and how I wanted to improve it from what Urban Tease was. I knew that I wanted to grow my presence, I wanted to reach out to new readers and a more diverse audience. I knew that I wanted the same amount of What I Wore posts, but more posts about other areas of my life. Formulating these ideas and executing them are two very different things, however. So, to help me, I purchased the book Blog, Inc written by Joy Cho of Oh Joy!
Joy's book is awesome for one big reason: interviews with other bloggers. A lot of the stuff in the book are no-brainer basics, but the insider tips from people whose entire income is based off of blogging is something that makes Blog, Inc unique. It was really interesting to read the words and wisdom of people who started out in the same boat as me and grew their blog into an entire career. I'm not sure if that's what I want to do at all, but I do want to expand my blog, so their creative tips and stories were hugely beneficial and made the book worth reading in itself.
The book emphasized a few things that had gone over my head in the past or which I never really understood the true benefit of. Some of those things have already been noted on the blog, actually. For example, I've made an effort to comment back to readers and create better dialogue. Urban Tease never had a "Reply" button after any of the comments, so it was always more cumbersome and confusing to reply back to your thoughtful comments. Now that I'm replying back, I'm feeling a much stronger connection to my readers than I did before. There have always been those who I chatted with over Facebook or Twitter, but it's exciting to have more in depth and expansive conversations - even if they're about our favourite Gilmore Girls characters or episodes! This has helped make Of North seems more like a community and less like some article online without a real person attached to it.
I'm so glad that I picked up Blog, Inc. It gave me a lot of inspiration and motivation. Blogging is something that I adore doing, something that I fell in love with when I started blogging at 15, and I'm excited to keep going with it. Being under-employed has been so entirely tedious, and having this blog to come to work on has been very comforting, as have been the many friends I've made through my blog. I'm so excited for what Of North leads me to! Do you guys read blogging books or articles? How do you keep things fresh and true-to-you while still encouraging growth?