How blogging can change your life: Susannah Conway explains.
October 26, 2009
Hearing about the amazing ways blogging has changed people's lives is one of the best things about
working on TypePad. Incredible stories of breakthrough, success, connections, new friends, discoveries and much more.
One story I love is Susannah Conway's, which she kindly agreed to share with us along with some tips and tricks for others.
Susannah started her first blog in 2006. She had lost her partner a year prior and had moved to a new city, and she began blogging as a way to connect with others, discover herself more deeply, and heal.Fast-forward three years. Susannah’s blog,Ink On My Fingers, has a devoted following around the world and has spawned a series of online courses called Unravelling that are now Susannah’s primary business. “I’ve always been a very personal blogger,” Susannah explains. “My blog is about the intersection between life, photography, and healing. The courses were a natural extension of that – taking my own experience and using it to help others.”
A skilled photographer and writer, Susannah’s blog is not only gorgeous, but is also a treat to read. Her posts feel like letters from a friend – warm, chatty and intimate. She writes candidly about her life, and her transparency has fostered a sense of community and trust with her readers.
When she launched the Unravelling courses in January of 2009, she set up a separate private TypePad blog, where participants can access course material and interact with each other. “People form friendships during the courses,” Susannah says. “They often stay in touch afterwards.” In less than a year, Unravelling has attracted participants from over 25 countries, and has turned into Susannah’s full-time job. “The success was unexpected,” she muses. “I’m really delighted; I’m on my path here, and it’s so nice to mix my passions together as a business.”
Susannah kindly shared with us how she builds her blog traffic and provided some key tips for other bloggers:
Susannah’s Methods for Building Blog Traffic
- Building relationships with other bloggers. Susannah regularly reads and comments on other blogs, and spends time building relationships online. “Connecting with others is absolutely vital,” she says.
- Featuring other artists on her blog. Susannah runs features on other photographers, designers, and artists, which expands her blog focus beyond herself and adds a rich layer of content that readers value.
- Giving back to the blog community. Susannah often participates in giveaways on design and photography blogs, offering photographs from her Etsy store as a way to raise her own visibility and contribute to the culture of sharing in the blogosphere. She also frequently links to other blogs – giving back in another way.
Susannah’s Tips for Other Bloggers
- Be yourself. “Don’t waste time trying to copy other bloggers,” she says.
- Be authentic. How much you choose to reveal about yourself is up to you, but readers can always sense whether you’re being real or not.
- Check your grammar, spelling and punctuation. “There’s nothing worse than reading a post by someone claiming to give business advice and finding all sorts of spelling and punctuation errors,” Susannah says. “Craft your posts well, and take pride in your work.”
- Have a good "About" page, and give people a clear way to contact you.
- Keep it simple. Don’t clutter up your sidebar with every widget that has ever existed. Keep the focus on your content.
- Use images to add interest. If you don’t have your own photos, use some good stock photography images to keep your blog interesting.
- Focus on a few social media sites to grow your readership. Don’t try to join everything – it spreads you too thin. Focus on 2 or 3 that deliver value to you – such as Twitter and Facebook – and use them well.
- Remember that your blog is your home online. Of all the activities you do online, your blog should be your top priority. Contribute worthwhile content everywhere you go, but put your best into your blog.
We’re so glad Susannah took the time to chat with us – and we hope you’ll discover her blog if you haven’t already: Ink On My Fingers.
Let us know how blogging has changed your life in the comments below.
It got me a husband! We were featured in your celebrating 5 years of Typepad because we met through our blogs, me first finding Jon through Typepad's Recently Updated list. We got married in May.
Posted by: Katherine | October 26, 2009 at 04:12 PM
Well... thats a great question!!! I have been so affected by blogging that I need to start a new blog to handle the overflow... speaking of... I need a really good blog designer that is familiar with typepad... is there ANYONE out there that can recommend someone??? I would really appreciate it!
Posted by: Amanda Rettke | October 27, 2009 at 04:29 PM
Thanks for the comment Amanda. Yes, we know a few designers - check out our list of TypePad Experts for some suggestions
Posted by: Claire Alcock | October 27, 2009 at 04:36 PM
Ink on my Fingers is one of the most beautiful and well-written blogs gracing TypePad. She has been on my daily troll for a year now! Thanks for featuring her.
Blogging does change your life. The connections made with people! The impact on my business! The fun and challenge!
Posted by: Shannan Sinclair | October 27, 2009 at 06:19 PM
Blogging did not necessarily change my life, but made it richer with friends! I was already a fashion lover and a geek at the same time. It allowed me to express myself and connect to other people who share my interests! It feels like a warm and welcoming community any day any time. It's an online home open for friends and visitors!
I love being online and being able to connect to people anywhere in the world. There is always somebody awake somewhere posting fun and beautiful photos or writing!
Posted by: Bobbin Talk | October 28, 2009 at 09:53 AM
I've just started up my own blog with the help from my sister-in-law. She does this full-time as a living.
She lives in New Brunswick, Canada but easy to contact.
email : [email protected]
Here's a link to her blog
Good luck! Colette Bouvier
Posted by: ELAN...Health & Wellness | October 28, 2009 at 07:12 PM
Seems like blogging does help to express ourselves. I am trying my best to learn how to use typepad blog but harder I try more its becoming impossible for me to use or apple the tabs or how to setup my blog...I will really appreciate any help from any one who can understand my excitement & disapponitments.
I will look forward to any ones messages or e-mail on this issue..thanks .
Posted by: Account Deleted | October 28, 2009 at 09:07 PM
how does it take to be a featured blog/blogger here?
Posted by: Account Deleted | November 01, 2009 at 05:22 PM
you have to ask the customer support. write them a ticket about your problem.
Posted by: Account Deleted | November 01, 2009 at 05:26 PM
I have found many times that it is easier to express myself in writing than it would be verbally, in face-to-face interactions. I have a lot to say, but since I have always been slightly shy and self-conscious, I have found blogging to be the best way for me to get my name out there, and toot my own horn. Susannah's tips are very helpful and I couldn't agree more with her recommendation to connect with other bloggers. Things are just starting to happen for me, and I'm so excited!
Posted by: Mitzi Curi | November 02, 2009 at 02:29 PM