7 Things We've Learned Since Our Early Blog Posts
At The World Loves Melbourne we recall the early days of blogging; carefree and blogging as a hobby. Hopefully we've evolved over the years.
Here are 7 things we learned since our early blog posts:
1. Keep it Fun
Blogging should always be fun. We started blogging for fun and we aim to keep it that way. It's still a privilege to visit cafes and restaurants, walking off the street at a whim. We want to celebrate the heroes and unsung heroes of our city. It's also a privilege to be invited to many exclusive events. There are highs and lows in blogging but if we lose the fun then what is the point? Sometimes we feel tired and stale; just don't blog for a while. Why should it be a chore? Early blog posts were simply fun; a new world waiting to be explored. Since those days we've expanded into fashion, travel and lifestyle. BB King had a song "when the thrill is gone." For us, we still have the thrill of blogging!
2. Visual is Everything
Visual is everything. Our early blog posts used the low megapixel cameras from smartphones; we've now learned to step it up visually. While writing style is important, the visual quality of websites is more critical in our opinion. We started with the iPhone 3 - resulting in now embarrassing grainy photos of restaurant food at night. Sorry about those posts! Today the iPhone 6 plus and 6 plus 's' are remarkable in their quality; good enough for a website in our opinion. Clarity, reasonable pixels and image stabilisation are a key. Thank God for the improvement in smartphone cameras; saving us from looking through a plethora of visually challenging blogs. Most of our photos though are taken with our trusty SLR. We've upgraded our cameras over the years; recently diving into the mirrorless SLR market. Every blogger needs to invest in a decent SLR. We also edit our photos on Lightroom by Adobe. We've learned to keep it visual!
3. Celebrate your City
Celebrate your city. Since day one we've mostly kept a positive tone; looking to celebrate the best of our city. That's our philosophy and we're sticking to it. People sometimes mistake us for food critics, wondering why we aren't more scathing on some food establishments. When we strike a dud we just don't write about it. People in cafes and restaurants can have a bad day and we choose not to mess with people's livelihood. Others can be more critical in their approach; that's cool. Our tone has been celebratory and experience tells us most people respond to that.
4. Keep it Relevant and Up To Date
Be modern and contemporary. Readers expect that we keep our website up to date in terms of look and feel. We've come a long way since the early days. The World Loves Melbourne constantly updates our CMS (content management system) and website layout. We've learned to keep up with the latest look; our logo, blog layout and CMS. We also highlight up to date cool and talking point cafes and restaurants in our city. But we're not exclusively tied to that; we also highlight establishments that have been around for a while and have a great story. We'd like to cover everything if we could; we simply try our best with our team of talented writers.
5. Meaty Comprehensive Posts
Our early blog posts were short. Just a few photos and a few sentences. We now write longer posts (usually over 500 words) and posts loads of photos for a more "meaty" experience. It's not just about quantity; but quality and quantity. Even Google seems to reward longer posts with more information for a more complete reader experience. In the early days we were keen to visit as many places as possible and get as many posts up as possible. In retrospect this philosophy is flawed; people want quality. Now we spend more time on each single post until we are happy we've done our subject justice. We've learned to keep it meaty.
6. No Gushy Language
Our early blog posts were full of "gushy" language; a common blogger trait. Then one of the world's top fashion blogs got hold of us; giving us advice that slightly understated language trumps gush language. We were told to cut the sentences starting with "Love the..." And we were told to cut the incessant exclamation marks in our sentences. Our style is to be positive, descriptive and provide people with useful information and attractive photos. We include "some of our personality" in our writing. We express opinions. But we try not to go into superlative overdrive unless we feel it's warranted on the rare occasion we are lifted by a rare experience.
7. You are a Brand
A blog is a brand. After several years of blogging the day comes when you realise your blog is a brand. While you may wish to keep a low profile and "let your blog do the talking", all the while you are building a brand. That brand needs to have a consistent message. That brand needs to understand what it allows and what it disallows. Be true to yourself. So many people give their opinion but you need to be careful about how you evolve. One thing we've learned is that you can't please everyone. You need to be bold and adventurous. The World Loves Melbourne has tried to break new ground on occasion and we see bloggers everywhere growing and doing things no one has ever done before.