…as compared to a Personal Blog.
1. Viewers vs. Friends
Today I can look back and say quite a number of my friends, I met through my personal blog from my college years. This is not uncommon in the personal blogging world. A lot of times, friendships come when you are personable but with a professional blog, there is little or no room for that, especially with your viewers. It took me a while but I finally got a hang of the fact that in the wedding blogworld, my target audience (viewers) are not my friends. They are people from different aspects of life, locations, backgrounds all in search of something – Wedding Inspiration. Being a wedding blog editor, and finally coming to know my target audience (brides and grooms), I have found that the new relationships formed have been from other wedding bloggers as opposed to my actual target audience.
2. Interaction: Views vs. Comments
I remember when I started this blog and I could not for the life of me understand the
correlation lack of correlation between the number of views and the number of comments. Those were the times I was more “comment-driven” than “views-driven”. Just like you, I had heard a billion and one times about how not to focus on the numbers but sometimes I just could not help it especially when blogger plasters those numbers in your face once you sign in. Focusing on the number of comments was just a bad habit I brought from the days of my personal blog. Back then, just like I mentioned above, we had friends, so just like when you say hi (leave a comment on a friend’s blog), the blogger would most likely say hi too. It was just the community I was used to. You can not begin to imagine the shock I felt when things did not flow the way I thought they would here as a wedding blog editor. Finally I figured that this change was all about the new “target audience.” Fellow bloggers are no longer the target audience for something like a Wedding blog, so that “hi-hi” technique does not really work here. There are other ways to have a more interactive flow on a Wedding blog but I doubt your number of views would ever correlate to your number of comments which mostly is the measure of interaction. So keep it moving.
3. Resources vs. just being Random
Call it what you may, but the pressure is on, you just have to find a way to handle it; the pressure of having your blog stand out as being resourceful. As an editor of a wedding blog, what makes my heart flutter the most is when I get comments about how my blog helped someone (was a good resource) in my target audience; that is the point of it all. Unlike the days of my personal blog, majority of my viewers (target audience) here on EWAM are usually not trying to “kill time” or get to know me but are in search of something particular; resources to help them plan their wedding. The last thing you want is your wedding blog being cluttered by random and non-wedding related stuff. You know how sometimes you are in search of something and you run straight to Google and type it in? You have a goal – to find that answer – and anything like “personal jargon” that stands in your way would be sure to get under your skin, especially when you stop by a Blog that you expect give you just what you are searching for. At that moment a viewer is probably just plain irritated. With a personal Blog you are doing you and just you, with a professional wedding blog, I am pretty much doing you; the bride, the groom, the vendor. Of course you don’t want to come off as a robot with no personality, so it is okay to throw in a few personal posts hear and there but never get carried away with those.
4. You can not afford to be inconsistent
Like I insinuated above, my personal blog was me just doing me. I blogged when I felt like and other times I could let the cobwebs grow on the blog; it was not a big deal. I dare not try that with EWAM, thank goodness I know better. Because your viewers are in search of something, after a while of coming over to your site and finding what they need, they kind of make it “home.” By home I mean, even if when they are not in that “search mode”, they may drop by to just check on the blog. So seeing your last post dated 3 weeks ago may not really be a good look for you, humans just have it in them to want something new/fresh/up to date. However this should never be reason enough to clutter your blog with terrible content all in the name of consistency, it just means you need to spend time researching and keep your eyes on the industry; there is always something new in the Wedding industry but sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper.
5. Photos play a huge part, you can’t skimp on that
Quite a number of times people have cheered on about how great the photos are on this blog, for that, I say thank you to the photographers who submit and the Two Bright Lights community that make it possible. Because of them, EWAM has a standard. But on my personal blog, the photo life was far from that. First of all I hardly used photos but the few times I did, they were not what you would see as “easy on the eyes.” Can you remember the world with no Iphones or Samsung Galaxy phones? Coupled with someone that pretty much has no background in photography? What an appalling site my blog must have been then! Today, people are getting more and more visual, a post with photos would most likely attract more people than one without. Now put that notion into blogging in an industry such as the Wedding industry then you can probably understand why photos make such a big deal. With getting to use exceptional photos, I just have to briefly talk about giving credit. Seriously, these photographers don’t play! Always try to give credit for the photos used on your blog, it is a way of saying thank you to the owners and just a good habit to have in general (you can tell I’m trying to stay away from the legal aspect here, but it definitely exists and should be considered).
6. Your personal Facebook is not enough
Darn you social media! Believe me when I say that working with social media takes time and effort. In fact I think it is underestimated or more like “I underestimated it.” As a personal blog editor, my personal Facebook page was all the social media I needed. I never conceived the idea of making a Facebook page just for my blog, honestly I kind of saw it as a bit obnoxious; “Hey like my page and read about Me, Me, and more Me!” After a while I moved on to my personal twitter but for some reason it was also a struggle to share it on twitter too. So I pretty much just relied on my followers of the blog and that was just fine. But with EWAM I kind of feel like I have no choice. Truth be told, compared to your social media followers, those that would subscribe via email would probably always be fewer. So wanting to grab a larger audience you would have to go with the social media route. These days the media outlets just keep increasing and soon writing a post might even be lesser work than sharing it. I am learning the hard way with blogging and social media, but at least I am learning.
Note: This is all from my personal experience so while somethings may differ for some, I thought it would be nice to share from my own side, hopefully it can help someone who intends to join this fun ride of being a wedding blog editor!