Help!

I’ll admit that I’m a huge sucker for design blogs and websites, especially Design Sponge, which seems to be the mother of all design blogs. I was recently listening to their podcast series called After the Jump, specifically Episode 91 on How to Create Content.

I’ve always struggled with adding “extras” to the blog (especially as I think about redesigning the site) in part because I’m a one-woman operation, and also because I’m not sure what would complement the love notes. I have to admit though that the podcast was pretty inspiring. In it, Grace Bonney, the editor of Design Sponge, goes through a simple list of how to create content:

BIG 10 CATEGORY OF POSTS (my thoughts for Philly Love Notes in parentheses):
1. How-to or Instructional posts (How to navigate the underground concourse, How to properly take home the other half of a hoagie, etc.)
2. Informational/History/Background (What is the history of some of the love note sites)
3. Reviews (New restaurants, shows, built environment — not really my cup of tea, but there are tons of great reviewers in the city)
4. List of Resources (Skyline views, best place to buy tokens when you don’t have cash, where to get Philly news, etc.)
5. Interviews (Write out some of the love note meetings)
6. Visual Tours or Photo Essays (Already got this one mostly covered with the love notes themselves, but maybe it could also include tours of places without love notes)
7. Roundups or Best-ofs (Best coffee shops to cowork in, best streets to run on, you get the idea)
8. Commentary on Current Trends (Not so sure about this one)
9. Link Lists (Great things happening in Philly, interesting articles, beautiful photos, cool Philly-made items — I’ve always imagined this as a bi-weekly email)
10. Podcasts or videos (No)

TRUSTED GO-TOs
1. Day in the Life (Sort of a Humans of NY for Philly)
2. Guest Posts (Tons of great bloggers in Philly. Would love to see how they would approach love notes)
3. Personal/Brand Manifesto (I do this every Valentine’s Day plus a couple throughout the year)
4. Favorite Place/Person/Thing (See link list — expand upon some of those mentions)
5. Sharing Your Tools (Hmmm… not so sure I have tools. It’s pretty scattershot)
6. Sharing Failures and Successes (That I can do)

Thinking about content this way opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for the site. The questions are:
Do these additions detract from the love notes?
Am I actually a trusted source for Philly-related things?
How do I link up with people who could do many of these posts better than I could (reviews, how-tos, etc.)?
How do you design a site to incorporate this all?
Is there even time?
Does anyone care?

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions about what you’d like to see? I would love some feedback.

Posted on by Emma Fried-Cassorla in Uncategorized 5 Comments

5 Responses to Help!

  1. Mikey

    There’s a lot of great ideas here, some better than others, subjectively speaking. I think all your parenthetical notes for the most are A+ ideas.

    Do they detract from Love Notes? Maybe. Is that a bad thing?
    Are you a trusted source for Philly-related things? You’ve got all the brand equity to do what you want at this point. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that.
    RE: Linking up — You could put out an open call. It will be overwhelming.
    How do you design a site to incorporate that all? Not for you to decide. That’s your designer’s problem. Two words: Information Architecture
    Is there even time? Probably not. Hasn’t stopped you before, won’t stop you now.
    Does anyone care? Of course they do.

     
  2. Her Philly

    I love these ideas! #1 & #4 in the Big 10 seem like they would be nice fits for your site. But I also love the idea of the Day in the Life – if it’s not exclusively style based. That seems like it’s being done already.

    Do these additions detract from the love notes? They might. If you did add in some new features, I would try and stick to a schedule…love notes every Friday, Day in the Philly life every Monday, etc. People who just like the love notes can pop on then!

    Am I actually a trusted source for Philly-related things? Um, I’d sure say so! #whyilovephilly is a big thing! I speak from experience, because I use it all the time 🙂

    How do I link up with people who could do many of these posts better than I could (reviews, how-tos, etc.)? I’d start with social media, blogger meetup groups (I attend PHLBloggers events), and recommendations from your Philly pals.

    How do you design a site to incorporate this all? Make it clean and organized!

    Is there even time? Be transparent with your readers and tell them you’re testing out a few things. Decide what you can commit to. There is (luckily for me as well) no blogging police to hold you to a crazy schedule you’re not passionate about.

    Does anyone care? Writing this response instead of writing on my own blog… I care! 🙂

    – Emily

     
  3. Megan

    Do these additions detract from the love notes?

    Instead of detracting from the love notes you can think of these ideas as expanding upon your current content. I vote for 2 and 5. They would fit in really nicely and there are resources for the other categories already. Ex. uwishunu

    Am I actually a trusted source for Philly-related things?
    I think so.

    How do I link up with people who could do many of these posts better than I could (reviews, how-tos, etc.)?
    There are tons of Philly influencers that are already doing a lot of this stuff — agree with Mikey, you’d get an overwhelming response if you put an open call out there.

    How do you design a site to incorporate this all?
    As long as you know what your goals are for the site and you know what content you are going to include you can leave it up to the designer.

    Is there even time?
    Sure!

    Does anyone care?
    Absolutely

     
  4. Joanna

    Do these additions detract from the love notes?
    Hey Emma!

    Am I actually a trusted source for Philly-related things? -absolutely

    How do I link up with people who could do many of these posts better than I could (reviews, how-tos, etc.)? -eventually you could put out an open call for submissions or folks who are interested in becoming PLN contributors, but in the mean time perhaps reaching out to your own personal network to see if there are people you already know and trust who want to help out.

    How do you design a site to incorporate this all? -hire an expert. especially because you seem to care a lot about things looking good, i think this is the one part where it will totally be worth it to hire someone who can take your ideas and execute them. (finding the $ is another challenge you’d have to mount; i’m not sure if this site or your artwork create revenue currently that you could or would want to use, but there’s also crowdfunding. i think you could probably run a pretty successful crowdfunding campaign for a site redesign, if that’s something that appeals to you.)

    Is there even time? you seem like a very busy lady, but this is obviously your passion, so maybe it’s worth the time you’d have to spend. the short answer is yes, there is always time, the real question is: what else in your life will you have to take time away from to make this happen, and is that worth it? questions only you can answer.

    Does anyone care? of course. you have built something great and there is a community around it. People in that community want to see this thing grow and continue to be great. also, not to be cheeky, but, um, YOU care, and that matters.

     
  5. Pingback: Brainstorming Content for Adult Ballerina Project - Adult Ballerina Project

Add a Comment