Over a year ago, I was contacted by the delightful Bee Kim, founder of Weddingbee- where many brides blog about their journey through wedding planning all in one place! I thought the blog was the best thing since happy meals, so when she asked me to become the first photographer blogger on a new blog dedicated to wedding professionals, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Since today is the official 1 year anniversary of the Weddingbee Pro launch, I thought I’d share a little about my journey of being a featured blogger.
I knew Weddingbee was big, but I didn’t realize what kind of spotlight I’d be under when I joined Weddingbee Pro - to me it was just another opportunity to help brides on a larger scale- but I quickly found that it elevated me to a status I wasn’t quite ready to handle, especially after having the busiest year of my business on top of moving to a new city. I felt really guilty when I had to take an extended break from blogging and social media, just months after the Pro blog launched, in order to catch up on all the private parts of my life that had slipped through my hands over the last couple of years while my business was taking off like crazy. I had been trying to do everything myself, which I now realize is impossible if you actually want to be successful. However, I’m so grateful that taking time off allowed room for so many other wonderful photographers to become featured bloggers. Weddingbee Pro has become a collection of some of the most talented, thoughtful, humble, and loving wedding professionals in the industry and I’m so glad that I get to be included in that bunch of people.
One of the most important things we edit in posts and look for in our bloggers, is the Weddingbee tone. Because of my experience with not-so-nice sites when I was planning my own wedding, it has always been my goal to create a friendly, snark-free wedding community. Inflection doesn’t translate over the world wide web like it does in person, so I’m always hyper vigilant when it comes to tone on our sites. Basically whenever a statement is questionable, I ask myself, “Is this annoying in any way?”
With our Bee bloggers, the two biggest areas we try to be careful around are money and weight. For instance, we would never publish the following statements:
Of course these are exaggerated, but we’re careful about these topics because they often elicit emotional responses from readers.
When it comes to our PRO bloggers, we try to avoid the expert tone that you typically see in magazines. While it tends to work well for magazines, blogs are interactive so I like to relate to our audience on a much more personal level. I don’t like talking down to our super savvy readers in any way.
The point of this post is that running Weddingbee has permanently altered the way I perceive tone in everything. For instance I was watching the reality tv program Top Design, and it bothered me how Isaac Mizrahi constantly referred to the designers as “kids” and “children” because it felt like he was talking down to them. I recently started reading Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster after many rave recommendations, but put it down after a couple of pages. The snarky tone, which is understandably very popular, just isn’t my cup of tea. Of course this is all a personal preference for me and my vision for Weddingbee. I probably just see the world through Weddingbee tinted glasses.
Do you pick up on things like this, or am I the only crazy one?
ed note: This post was originally written in November 2006, but it’s still so relevant and helpful that we’re posting it here.
At first I was only going to post this on photography forums, but I realize there are quite a few photographers who read my blog but may not visit those same forums. I also know that quite a few of my friends and clients have blogs and/or small businesses, and are looking for ways to attract new readers, or to keep current readers interested. So, in the interest of making all blogs a little more addicting… (as if I don’t spend enough time reading them and writing them!!), I thought I would share some ideas with the hope that others will feel free to add to this list and to share their thoughts as well!
- To improve your search engine ratings (if your blog contains searchable text; also known as SEO)
- To keep your customers (and competition) updated on your latest news and work
- To give your customers a way to personally connect to you and/or your business
- To convey your philosophy/personality/style
- To announce new products or specials
- To make your clients/friends/family feel famous and to show your appreciation to them (aka being a lovecat)