Some very pertinent questions for Friend Friday today, along with a gratuitous shot of my over-the-knee red suede boots (they first garnered a mention in my New Year’s Eve post).
1. Have you ever looked at someone’s blog and thought yours will never measure up?
I’d love to pretend that I lived in a Bossa-shaped bubble, blissfully unaware of ‘better’ blogs…but it just ain’t true. I think it’s natural – especially for those of us with a competitive spirit – to compare your own blog to the those with larger readerships, sleeker designs or truly original voices. But in the end you’ve got to keep your head, and use it as impetus to keep your own blog going from strength to strength. If I ever need a boost to the old ego, I look back on my earliest posts – it reminds you how much you’ve learnt so far, and how much more potential you have.
|My very first post – very succinct!|
2. Do you (did you) feel pressure to meet some kind of undefined standard for fashion bloggers?
Definitely – when I started blogging life was easier, as I had no idea of the sheer talent knocking about! A lot of the offerings on IFB’s Links a la Mode, for example, make me more aware of a standard I want to reach. But ultimately it’s my favourite blogs – those that are knowledgeable, engaging, often witty and occasionally vociferous (Veshoevius, I’m looking at you) – that make me want to up my game. I believe that’s healthy. My sister would say “that’s a Capricorn”.
3. Many established fashion bloggers are also extraordinary DIYers, bakers, and crafty people. Do you think you need to combine all of these things to be successful at blogging?
No, I don’t think it’s essential – how overfacing would that be? Success surely comes from blogging on subjects that you have a passion for, and those alone. Of course, there’s no denying that showcasing any special talents can give your blog an edge. It also gives your readers an insight into your lifestyle, which most people seem to enjoy, and can help to differentiate you from the tons of bloggers out there. I occasionally include posts on art (sometimes my own!), but I’ve actually been wary of doing so in case it dilutes the tone of the blog. Maybe I’ll make some further forays in that direction this year… What you have to remember, though, is that everyone else’s blogs contain carefully-edited elements of their lives – and what you do and don’t include in your own blog is your choice. If you start trying to incorporate elements that aren’t you, it’s easy to lose your feet. And you need those for wearing nice shoes.
4. The most successful blogs are the ones that have their own personal voice – how are you developing your voice or how did you find yours?
Ah, the ‘voice’ question. I think it’s a little like love – you know when you’ve found it, but until then it remains an elusive and intangible goal. It strikes me that the blogging world is often like a large party with all the social interplay that entails: there are those for whom ‘socialising’ seems effortless – they can speak to many people and remain popular; there are those who are more tentative, and need a while to ‘warm up’ and hit their stride; and there are those who stay in the corner, determinedly being themselves and attracting gradual yet loyal attention. Having said that, I do think it’s an organic process, and it’s natural that each of us will develop a voice, and continue to develop that voice. The key is to keep writing posts – even if you don’t publish them – as I think it’s the only way to hit on your special brand of magic. And if all else fails: I heartily recommend a dry Manhattan to loosen up your inhibitions…
5. Toot your own horn… what’s one thing you do that is unique to you and your blog? What gives your blog an edge?
Can I even answer this?! Last year I felt all brave, and sought out feedback from bloggers I really respected. One of them told me they liked the “Does the Do” vibe…! Now that isn’t obviously definable, of course, but I like it! Topics and outfit posts aside, I still believe the unique personality of a blog is its initial ‘hook’. In an already saturated world of blogging, showcasing some personality in Mrs Bossa Does the Do is what I’m aiming for this year. That and more photos of pretty vintage dresses…
What do you think is the most important way to keep your readers coming back?
And do you ever succumb to the ‘measuring up’ curse?!