This Daily Golden Nugget is my 1,276th in a row. When I started this blogging journey nearly 5 years ago, I never expected where it would take me. Truthfully, every blogger begins their writing journey for personal reasons and we never know where we will end up.
Blogging is huge. The word blog has become the general term to represent all types of content creation that involves written words. When I started writing these Nuggets, I envisioned them only as email newsletters that would be archived online. I even set up the website to use the "/newsletter/" URL structure. Within 6 months of picking up my pen and paper, I started referring to these Nuggets as blogs and myself as a blogger. I still mail these out every day if you'd like to pop on over to http://www.jwag.biz/join and sign up for the email version.
Most people view blogging as a way to boost search engine optimization, but those bloggers who dare invite a challenge by putting their points of view out in the open, quickly achieve much more than the SEO benefits for their website. They become a recognized expert for their chosen blogging topics. Eventually this opens a lot of doors.
I've attended many seminars explaining how and why you should blog, and I've even given a few blogging seminars myself at trade conferences. I was a little skeptical to see a 2015 JCK Talk on blogging. The seminar was scheduled for 45 short minutes, which is not much time at all to convey the importance of blogging and how you should do it.
I was happily surprised by the format of this JCK Talk. Instead of explaining too many how-to details of blogging, each of the panelists shared their personal reasons why they started blogging along with a few other simple tips. This session was really good to help jewelers who feel they are not motivated to take up blogging, and for those who are afraid to put their name on what they write.
My notes below can't replace the experience of seeing this session live, but I hope you can glean a few Nuggets from this.
From left to right:
Diane Warga-Arias, Monica Stephenson, Barbara Palumbo, Danielle Miele, Katerina Perez
She started blogging in 2008 because her children were young and she needed something to do. Monica has broad experience with jewelry after 20 years of buying and selling. In the early 2000s, she even helped Amazon.com launch their jewelry section.
Her desire to start blogging began because she felt there weren't enough places where people could read sincere information about jewelry, and she knew she could write about topics that would most concern the consumer, like value and trends. With this in mind, her initial editorials were directed at consumers.
Her popularity has grown greatly through social media. She can't underscore the importance of social media enough, and no one should ever think that their blog stands alone. In order to become a recognized blogger, you need to present yourself constantly as a package through your blog and all throughout social media.
She's most proud of her designer interviews and how she can get inside the minds of new and established designers to present them through her blog. Above everything else, she values the connections she's made because of blogging. Her connections have changed her life.
After 19 years in the industry, she was inspired to start writing an industry blog in August 2013. She writes her blog to be different, and because we all take ourselves too seriously all the time. She writes her blog to be lighthearted in a serious industry that always worries about money, weddings, inventory, and blood diamonds.
She goes on to share the points that have worked for her:
- Honesty works in the blog. Millennials respond to honesty.
- Humor works in her blog. She talks about crazy stuff and even calls people out.
- Bravery works in her blog. Be brave with ideas because it will get you noticed.
- Humility is huge. She is very appreciative of everyone who reads her blog and hopes that she forever maintains that humility.
- Diplomacy doesn't work in her blog. She doesn't use it.
- The element of surprise works in her blog.
Her blogging style is certainly ambitious, but it's also her personality that shines through in her blog.
For the last 7 years, Danielle's blog has focused on jewelry trends, antique jewelry, celebrity jewelry, and designer interviews. She's the one responsible for the hashtag #ShowMeYourRings.
She had just moved to Nashville, TN with her family and recently finished her masters for teaching. She was having a hard time admitting that she didn't like the career she chose, but she was passionate about jewelry. She would obsess about jewelry all day and send things she found to her boyfriend throughout the day.
It was her boyfriend that told her she should start writing a jewelry blog to connect with other people who also love jewelry.
Throughout the years, she has worked on several amazing jewelry projects. The idea for #ShowMeYourRings came about because she was trying to write a blog post with photos of hands wearing multiple rings.
She attributes her success to the power of blogging and even admits that she didn't even know what JCK was when she started blogging 7 years ago.
Katerina used to be the jewelry editor of a magazine, but she felt that there was so much she wanted to share about fine and precious jewelry that wasn't available online, so she started a blog. She only started blogging in 2013 and eventually left the magazine to dedicate full time to her blog.
She perceives jewelry as art and there's not enough information online to explain what's behind the design and how much effort it put into the artwork of every piece. When she worked in the retail side of jewelry she always felt frustrated by customers asking her why a particular design was expensive when it was just metal with gemstones. She felt it was challenging to educate consumers of the value of the artwork.
She tries to make her blog look more like a magazine than just a blog with images and text. She believes that the content is the key for the success of a blog; this includes good photos and good writing. People will appreciate what you write and pay attention more often as a result of the extra time you put into your blog.
The personal touch is important for the success of your blog. You have to put your name on the blog for it to be successful; it can't be anonymous or posted as a staff writer. Make sure to incorporate your personal writing style into the blog so your readers become familiar and appreciate your work.
Diane considers herself an accidental blogger. She didn't set out to write a blog, but one day her mom called her and told her to start blogging. She took her 89 year old mother's advice and started blogging. It's now evolved into a lifestyle blog.
Wherever she travels, she wears a retail or wholesale brand. You can see photos of her travels on her blog. Her blog has become a documentary of her life, and she feels better when people connect with her.
Brands connect with her to find out where she will be and if she'd be interested in wearing their fashions and jewelry. The publicity gained by her blog helps support sales of those fashion and jewelry designers through retailers.
Diane agrees that the blog give her the ability to make the connections.
Although I wasn't on the blogging panel for this seminar, I'd like to throw in some of my own comments about blogging. I started in July 2010 because I wanted to provide reliable internet marketing, SEO, and website information to the retail jeweler. I made the commitment to continually research and update what I write about to benefit the industry as a whole.
For some people, it seems contradictory that I would willingly write a blog to give away all my best ideas, but I also believe that good ideas are worthless unless people know about them. I'm only 1 person, and my company is not on a quest to acquire every retail jeweler as a client; however, I am on a quest to help as many people as possible... and that's why I blog.
Blogging was the springboard for my monthly tech column in The Retail Jeweler Magazine, and it's the reason many editors of other publications contact me for quotes and insights.
Fashion bloggers gain a lot of attention, and any retail store could develop their own fashion blog to attract a lot of attention. Although my jwag.biz site specializes in jewelry, it doesn't have thousands of followers because my focus is B2B.
One thing to realize about blogging is that you can achieve success no matter how large your target market is. Danielle Miele @gemgossip has 15.4K rabid twitter followers interested in fashion. Millions of people are interested in fashion but only 15.4K follow her. You might have the same level of success if you try and tap into a topic that millions of people are also interested in.
One thing is for sure; your blogging success will never be known unless you pick up the pen and get started. Just make sure you have a lot of ink.