Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Be Your Own Blog

When Heidi and I talked about this concept and started getting the project rolling with the blog, our main focus was to have a blog that not only helped with blogging in general, but to be original when blogging. That is essentially what B.You is all about {take a look at our URL!}; to be your own blog. We are very passionate about being an original blogger and not a copy cat for many reasons. And because we are so passionate about it, creating this blog for that very reason, I thought I would share some of those reasons. Here are some guidelines to be your own blog and not a copycat.

Authenticity. Chances are that if you're a blogger, you want to have a blog that people want to read. And if you want people to read it you want to be trusted. If they come across your site and see the same thing that someone else just posted a few days prior, they're not going to stick around. Why? It's not authentic. Blogging is a rad community of girls {and guys} that support one another, but you will not be supported if you're not authentic and are a copy cat. Actually, I was following a blog that had content I genuinely liked to read... until it was brought to my attention that this particular blogger was ripping off a few of our posts. I headed over to her blog and yes; her content was just about the same as what we had posted in three different categories just a day or so before. No hard feelings or anything, however; I did stop personally following that blog because the content wasn't authentic. If what you're writing about isn't original and isn't you, your readers will soon catch on and then what you set out to blog for isn't there anymore; readers. 

Making it your own. There will be things out there that you will blog about that has been covered by other bloggers. I'm sure even as I write this post there is another article out there similar in topic. Maybe you've found inspiration in a post you saw, or want to complete a project from Pinterest and would like to blog about it. As long as at least 60% of your content is authentic and original you are in the clear. However, with that said, how do you manage that other 40%? By making it your own. Take your outfit of the day inspired by another fashion blogger and switch up the accessories, handbag, or shoes; change the backdrop for your photo; style your makeup differently. Write about why you love that particular outfit so much. Or if you found a really cool dreamcatcher to make from Pinterest and you want to write a tutorial for your readers, make it your own. Change up the size, colors, beads, etc. Photograph it differently. Even if the materials are the same, you've made the project your own in all other aspects and therefore it is your post, not theirs. By making a post that is the same topic as something else that's been covered your own, you've managed to stay true to yourself, stay authentic, and keep your readers. Let's face it; we cannot avoid wanting to blog about the same things. So be sure to make it your own.

Design. There are about 5 blogs I can think of right off the bat that I would love to steal their design. Seriously! I won't, but I love them so much and wish I had thought of that. There's nothing wrong with finding inspiration in those blog designs, though. The best way to avoid not copying a design is to just not copy it. Aside from that, you're guaranteed to not copy a blog design if you hire a designer. They will ask for blog inspirations, but will take elements from them to make it your own {along with the other 100 questions they ask you, too!}. If you're designing your own blog, take the same lead and just draw inspiration from rather than copying exactly. Especially, and I cannot stress this enough, especially if the design or design elements are their own. I purchased a clip art set from Ink Nest called 'Blog Elements'. I am pretty positive that I am not the only one who purchased this set. I bought it to use for the design of my personal blog A Fox & A Wolf, but I made what I purchased my own. Yes, someone might have the same graphic as me in their header too, but my fonts are more than likely different, the placement is probably different and all of the other little elements I used are used differently; I made it my own. So mine may be similar to another bloggers design because of the purchased elements, but it is not a copy cat. Much like your content, you want your design to represent you and be authentic.

Connecting. Like mentioned above, blogging is a community. Who want's to be a part of a community of fakes and copycats? No one? If you're authentic in your personal connections with other bloggers, you'll be able to build lasting blogging friendships, which will build this blogging community even more. But more than that, your friendships with those bloggers will benefit you as well. When you're you, bloggers will be more willing to share your blog with others. When you write an email to a blogger, address them by their name, don't just say 'Hey!' or 'Hey you!'. Or when you leave a comment on a bloggers post, make it personal, be engaged, be you. Don't just write, 'following you from the ________ hop, would like a follow back. Thanks!' or 'Your blog is cute.' and leave it at that. No one is going to read your comment and follow through to your blog. No one is going to read that email and think 'I want to stay connected with this person.' and add your button on their sidebar. You want them to feel connected and you want them to want to read your blog.  Isn't that what you wanted in the first place? To have people read your blog? Now they'll want to be your blogging friend too! Trust me, authenticity and being real when connecting with other bloggers has given me the opportunity to have support in the blogging community as well as making a few amazing blogging friends. All of the contributors have become amazing blog friends, even more than just them. And it really makes blogging that much better.

So if you follow these simple guidelines you'll be sure to have an authentic blog, true to you, with a following that fits you. It is so important to be your own blog and not be a copycat!
Have a blog you'd like to share with us? Leave your blog in the comments below and be sure to follow us so we can come and check you out!

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  1. Excellent post! I see to many copycats in the blogging world.




  2. New GFC follower from the hop! Looking forward to reading all these fantastic tips!



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