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28 March 2012

Blogging MY Way: Mirror Mirror On The Wall

 

So, as you will hopefully have realised, I’ve decided to take my blogging a bit more seriously in the last month or so.

Would you believe I’ve been pissing around in an unfocused and inconsistent way on this blog for about seven years now?  At the beginning of this year I decided it was time I either put up or shut up, which was one of the reasons I attended Holly’s class and have been thinking deeply about what I’m doing here.

 

buds-sakura-blossom

 

Can I take this blog to the next level, make it more professional and maybe start earning a bit of money off it?  I’ve taken a couple of online classes on monetizing blogs and it seems I’m currently at the bottom end of what an advertiser would be looking for in terms of monthly page views and unique visitors, so my first priorities are to bump up blog traffic, redesign the blog so that it better accommodate some curated advertising and put together a press pack.

I’ve also been giving some thought to the ‘elevator pitch’ for my blog ie. a short, succinct way of encapsulating what I’m trying to do here.  I found the section of Holly’s class where we talked about this to be enormously thought-provoking, as the one thing I’ve struggled with over the past few years is knowing and communicating exactly what this blog is about.

This is what I’ve come up with so far:

elevator-pitch

Does that float your boat?  Does it sound like the sort of blog you would visit often and comment on?  I’m a chatty, opinionated extrovert, so the things I love most about blogging are chatting, sharing opinions, hearing what others have to say, learning new things,and making new friends,

And all that can only happen if there’s an engaged commentariat.  Which is where you guys come in.  I love it when you stop by and take the time to comment and chat and I’d like to make this a place you want to visit often and settle in for a cosy chat with a glass of wine and your gossip knickers on.

So this bit’s all about you.  I’ve set up this Urtak questionnaire to find out more about the incredibly intelligent, stylish and forward-thinking people who read ‘mirrormirror’. Some bits of information concerns the sort of demographic stuff that might be helpful for advertising in due course, but most of it is so I can help develop content that you guys want to read.

The great thing about this Urtak format is that you can answer as few or as many questions as you want, and you can also add your own questions for commenters here to respond to.  The questions I’ve seeded it with are delivered to you randomly.  And obviously feel free to share further information about your deepest, darkest personal secrets in the comments.  I won’t tell.

   
mirrormirror readership survey
   

Update:  It has been brought to my attention that the mighty Urtak won’t let you add questions without making you register etc. Stuff and nonsense.  If you have a burning question for the ‘mirrormirror’ commentariat, please add it in the comments and I’ll make sure it gets asked.

   

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Comments

the only other blog you mentioned that I read on an occasional basis is notmartha. Please don't be like those other design blogs. Frankly - they are all the same and bore me to tears. Please be you: my pink chaired snarky Brit.
My question is this: Even though they are indisputably adorable, don't you think it's time to put the owls away for a season - or 7?
I would also like to clarify that I enjoy cooking - you cooking for me. Thanks ever so.

I'm not the most regular reader in the world, but you might like to know that yours is the only design blog that I still read out of the many that I used to read several years ago when I kept one of my own. I like the fact that your blog is wider than just design and that your posts are brilliantly entertaining.

@eM I asked the questions about the other blogs to get some idea of the sort of aesthetic/tone of voice people respond to.

And you should be able to see a space for you to add your undeniably pertinent question about owls at the top of the survey.

@Jo. THANK YOU. Your comment made my day. Possibly my year.

i was going to add my question, but it requires that I register and log in. Bothersome nonsense. xox

@eM Oh does it? Bothersome nonsense indeed. I shall add it for you.

oh, you are so good to me!

are you going to post about short middle aged lesbians who love cartier and hate same sex marriage posts?

I LOVE YOU and am happy you are blogging about things that I care about - london, chocolate, style, cooking, instagram and blah blah.

I do not care for cats.

nm

I have been enjoying your blog since you arrived in Seattle. You are almost always amusing, and sometimes you make me laugh out loud. That post about misreading the time and making breakfast in the middle of the night had me howling. I like reading about different aspects of your life and I'm a little worried that you are going to go all slick and trendy on us. It looks to me like blogging in general may have passed its infancy (people just writing whatever takes their fancy) and is moving into a more self-conscious, organized and packaged phase. Please don't lose your unique voice, because I would miss it.

love the tag line! I've been playing around with ours, too, perhaps will reveal it soon :)

I've stopped reading all of the big design blogs you mention. There's nothing that turns me off of a blog more than tons of ads and giveaways. I much prefer the slice of life, personal blogs from people who make their living from something besides their blog. And I love that yours is all over the place and follows your interests.

I too like to see the "real" person behind the blog. Like Heidi, the giveaways and sponsored posts are a bit of a turnoff. Esp. the giveaways. Sponsored posts I can stomach on occasion but only if they are written with the blog writer's voice.

I figure that the continuity behind all the varied interests is that particular blogger. If it becomes too narrow or too generic then it loses all of it's zing.

Snark is good. Very good.

Paola, I have been reading your blog since you first moved to Seattle and I LOVE IT! It is def. one of my favorites (and I read many, though few that you mentioned). What I absolutely LOVE is your delightfully wicked quick wit and sense of humor...something sadly lacking in Amercians. Brits seem to be able to "cut through the crap" and get to the point.

I used to read Holly's blog, but it is too messy/busy and lacks the HEART and INTELLIGENCE of your blog (sorry--keeping it real)--See...you would have a way of saying what I just said and not having it come out all "offensive" and lame.

I love that you are a mom and a wife...clearly your number one focus, yet you are continually learning and growing yourself, and inviting us into your world of beauty and great taste! I would be THRILLED if your blog did not change at all (!!!!) but I understand your desire to make money off of it. Just continue to be your UN-pretentious, witty, British self and I will keep reading.

P.S. - I said that I love knitting, but the truth is I do not knit....I just wish I could! The bottom line is: YOU INSPIRE ME!

Thank you and keep up the great job! I love it ALL!

More travel log posts please. The cooking and travel posts are my favorite, interspersed with the design ones of course. ❈

More thoughts... As far as design posts go, my favorite to read are the ones where the feature is somehow related back or fits in or appeared (you get the drift) to the writer's world. I like my blogs personal, not just re-postings from someplace else. I like a story to go with the featured design trend.

I weirdly agree with every single one of the comments above. Including the comment about cats.

Love you 'dissecting' the way that design images work - and also having the balls to critique stylists and suchlike. perhaps more 'i wonder what they did behind the scenes like adding flowers and clearing away the detritus of life' elements could be interesting too? I love the recent Mad Men post too about dissecting the sets. The idea of informing the way you look at images and understanding what is being 'done' to make it cohesive.

It's a really hard balance between monetising and 'keeping it real'... Ones that I think work Oh Joy... Making it Lovely...Many do not. And it's not necessarily a science either. Not sure how that helps. But thoughts are freeflowing...

And perhaps a question about users of Ravelry too?

In a way, I understand why there aren't too many comments on your blog...Most sites that have lots and lots of comments (in my opinion) tend to be 'oh you're just so fabulous/brilliant/*insert vomitous adjective here*' or flamewars ago-go.... Maybe.

When I click "preview" after writing a comment, it is only showing HALF my comment. It is also very hard to edit in the comment box, as in, it will not let me go back and insert text. I'm not sure what is wrong, but just wanted to let you know there appears to be a glitch. Thanks!

Paola, I have been reading your blog for years and years (nearly 6 to be exact - I know this because I discovered you when my 2nd daughter was days old and I could do little except surf and I read up to date in hours).

Yours is the only blog I read regularly and I am always bereft when you don't post for a while.

I love your design comments, the beautiful things you find, I love hearing about the courses you're doing and the people you're meeting. I love the travel. I just love your voice - you are so entertaining and inspiring.

I miss hearing about mirrormirrorontheweb (which was how I found the blog) because as you know I'm also running an online boutique, but other than that, I like the unfocused nature of your blog. I know that's not what advertisers want but I like not knowing what I'm going to be reading about when I visit mirrormirror.

I just found your lovely blog (after reading your nice comment about The Waffler) and I intend to come back! I'd love to feature you on my site.

I am amazed at the number of people who took your survey. Honestly, I have sent out surveys to whole organizations and never gotten half the number of responses. Did I miss your answer my survey, get a 5 dollar starbucks card promo?
Good work and I still love you if you have ads or no ads.

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