We are so excited to have Colleen Ludovice of Inspired to Share as our Blogger of the Month! We met Colleen at Alt. Summit and we just can’t get over her genuine, spunky personality. Trust us when we say she’s a sweetheart! We have always appreciated how Colleen engages with her readers, whether it’s a wonderfully curated post or a quick tweet. Her content is always spot on and in step with her creative life. We suggest checking her out! But first, read a little more about her:
What advice do you have to other bloggers?
My advice would be to find your focus and niche. With so many blogs out there, you have to know what you want and work to make that clear to others, too. Remember that everything you do and share is a reflection of you and your brand. Be genuine, stay true to yourself, and always remember why you started blogging in the first place. There are so many people doing amazing things and it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap, but try to stay true to your voice and vision. Think of your blog as a way to live and represent the best version of yourself that you can be!
What sparks an idea for a post?
So many things! While I could easily get lost in inspiration online on other blogs and Pinterest (and often do), a lot of my inspiration comes from life and relationships. I try to live a simple and creative life that appreciates the details. This often means stepping away from the computer, getting outside, trying a new project, going for a bike ride, taking photos, or exploring a new place. Inspiration is everywhere! For me, ideas are always flowing, but the real challenge lies in refining those ideas and actually making them happen.
When you are not blogging what are you doing?
When I’m not blogging, I’m usually taking photos, cooking with my husband, practicing yoga, reading, watching a Friends rerun (I’m obsessed), or spending time with friends and family. Lately, I’ve also been working on a complete redesign of my blog and starting my freelance graphic design and styling career!
Ideally, how do you see blogging impacting your career/future?
Blogging has unexpectedly had a huge impact on my career. I majored in business in college and always saw myself as a business woman. However, after working my first corporate job, I quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. This resulted in a lot of soul searching, and blogging along the way. I realized that I love my blog because it’s something that is completely mine. In other words, blogging made me realize that I want to work for myself! When I first started blogging I always posted the work of other creatives, but over time, I’ve grown and realized that in addition to having my blog as a business, I want to be one of those creatives! Blogging has allowed me to experiment with design, connect with other creatives, and it’s given me the confidence to create and pursue my dream job. A few years ago I never would have thought that I would be designing a website and launching my own freelance career. While sometimes I wish I started my education and career with a clearer focus, I’m thankful that I’ve been able to realize what I want fairly quickly in the grand scheme of life. :)
Has Blog Brunch changed the way you blog or think about blogging?
Totally! I’ve found it so helpful to connect with other bloggers. After each Brunch I learn so much and leave inspired with a better sense of our blogging community. The blogosphere is constantly changing and it’s incredibly helpful to talk about the topics that so many of us deal with every day. We all have questions and something to offer, so why not help each other? Blog Brunch is a great way to stay current on the latest trends in blogging, meet others, and experience community.
What suggestions do you have for other bloggers on how to increase their reader engagement?
I would say to first of all focus on your content: be consistent and be true to yourself. Post about what inspires you and not what you think will help your traffic/comments/etc. Second, read and respond to your blog comments (in a timely manner!). This is something I really make an effort to do; it shows that you truly value your readers. While I don’t respond to every single comment, I try my best to respond to the ones I appreciate and value. It’s a great way to generate discussion and create a sense of community. I would also recommend maintaining an active presence in social media. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all essentials now! I have met and connected with so many bloggers and creatives through each of these mediums- they are invaluable! Use each of them to not only promote your blog and share new content, but to give others a glimpse of your life and who you are.
What routes of engaging with your readers do you feel have been most successful?
I think Twitter is by far my favorite way to engage with readers. It’s such a quick and easy way to ask questions and get feedback on new ideas. I’ve learned that, like most of social media, you’ll get out of it what you put in. If you take the time to respond to tweets and engage with others, it will pay off! Sometimes blogging and the online world can be isolating, and Twitter is such a great way for me to stay connected and feel part of a community.
Have any creative opportunities arisen from being a blogger?
Yes! A lot of collaborations have come from simply being a blogger and simply being present and open to new opportunities. One time I simply tweeted that I was looking for a photographer and a tweet and an email later, a collaboration was born! It’s moments like those that make me really appreciate blogging, social media, and this crazy online world we live in. :)
images via Woodnote Photography