Nowadays, it seems like everybody has a blog. Pen and paper journals are a thing of the past, as people have embraced the internet diary to relay their opinions about current events, share a snippet from their day or just post pictures of cute animals. Cultivating a must-read blog is also a great way to catch the eye of future employers.
How do you get started? Enter Molly Ford. When Ford isn’t working for a large media company as a Marketing Associate, she blogs about all things “smart, pretty and (less) awkward” in her blog “Smart, Pretty & Awkward.” Ford shared a few tips with Ed at IU about her inspiration for posts, how to get started and how to maintain a popular blog.
Ed: How did “Smart, Pretty & Awkward” get started?
Ford: Smart, Pretty & Awkward (www.smartprettyandawkward.com) is a blog with three pieces of advice in each post: How to be Smarter, How to be Prettier, and How to be (less) Awkward. I started the blog in December of my senior year of college, as a way to have an outlet to write regularly and to break into the field of online marketing. The blog is a little over 5 years old now!
E: Where do you find the inspiration for your blog posts?
F: I keep a running list of ideas in my notebook (which I carry around everywhere), and have a giant “Save As Draft” folder I save in my inbox of potential links I might want to use. I post about 3 times a week.
E: What has the general response been to your blog?
F: I am lucky enough to have a wonderful group of women to count as readers. As I always say, I think I have the best readers on the Internet! At Smart, Pretty & Awkward’s 5 Year Anniversary party this December in downtown Manhattan, I got to meet over 200 of those readers and felt so proud of how accomplished and kind all Smart, Pretty & Awkward’s readers are.
E: Any tips for newbie bloggers looking to get started?
F: I encourage people to focus on just their writing for the first three months, and then to focus on the audience development. Having time to refine your writing style and blog voice in private gives you time to make adjustments without an audience watching.
It also means that when you start promoting the blog, your readers will have a great backlog of posts to read and fall in love with. It’s really hard to get addicted to a blog that only has one or two posts, so waiting until you have 3 months worth of blog posts to share is an added benefit to readers.
E: What have you learned from the experience?
F: If you want to start a blog, just do it! Grab a WordPress account and you can be blogging in under 5 minutes. I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities open to me because of the blog.