{inspired} blogging with Joy

Happy Monday friends! I hope you all had a great weekend and that your introduction back into the week hasn't been too brutal.

A couple weeks ago, I had the great honor of attending a blogging workshop hosted by Joy Cho, of Oh Joy. She was in town for Summer School, which sadly I couldn't attend. (And, there's a sentence I never thought I'd utter.) Luckily for the 20 of us who attended, Joy added an additional blogging class Sunday morning.

If you don't know Joy, hop over to her site. She's the incredibly talented author of the Oh Joy blog, and the Oh Joys Eats blog. She is the designer of a beautiful line of paper products, a line of gorgeous wallpaper and has recently published the book Creative, Inc. What interests me most about Joy's work though, is Oh Joy Rx, her brand consulting company. I have a personal interest in branding, and am completely impressed by the brands Joy has worked with and helped launch. All in all, she's an incredibly talented lady!

The blogging class that she taught felt a lot like an intro to her Rx business. The class was three hours of everything you need to know to create and maintain a successful blog, plus more. I was completely impressed with the amount of information she covered and how well she covered it: types of blogs, how to find your voice/niche, creating unique content, images, giveaways, and a the most in-depth discussion of blog advertising I have ever heard.

I'm not going to go over everything (you should hire Joy for that! :), but I thought I'd share with all you the key ideas that really resonated with me. You know, what I'm still mulling around more than a week later.

Blog Musts:
  • A great header. In fact, Joy believes this is the area that is important to spend money on in the beginning. A great header makes your blog stand out among the crowds.
  • Unique point of view. 
  • Mix in the personal. Even if just a little. People like reading about your blogs focus, as well as you.
  • It's okay to keep it simple. This is one of my favorite pieces of Joy's advice. It's okay to post a pictures and a brief description and call it good for some posts. Not every post has to be a huge and complicated.

Growing Readership: 
  • Be part of the blogging community. Read, comment actively and comment thoughtfully. 
  • Reach out to other bloggers you admire. Introduce your site, because what's the worst that can happen? This one hit me hard, because I am awful at putting myself out there.

Social Networks:
Joy recommends picking only one or two that you can manage. It's not worth doing all of them, if you can't keep up. This came as a relief. Although I admire bloggers that keep up their blog, facebook page, twitter and pinterest, but I just can't manage doing the same. In my case, I've chosen not to create a facebook page.

Overall great Joy advice:
  • Be true to your own voice.
  • Create as much unique content as possible.
  • Don't fall into comparisons. As long as your content is strong, you have no reason to compare.
  • Create a *cocktail party* speech. This way you can tell others about your blog as efficiently as possible, any time.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded people. They will help you grow.
  • Know that is doesn't happen overnight.
  • Work hard and respect others. Is there really anything else you can ask??

Fellow bloggers, what is a great piece of blogging advice you've heard recently?


  1. What a cool experience! I would love to go to a workshop like that someday :)

    I think all of her advice is spot on! Thanks for sharing, I had never seen Joy's blog before and now I have some new eye candy in my Google Reader!

  2. Oh man, I would have loved to have this opportunity!

    Best blogging advice I've heard was Scott from UnMarketing, saying "only blog when you have something awesome to say." Oh, and I took the Blogging Your Way course last fall with Holly from Decor8, and that was awesome.

  3. Sounds like you had an amazing experience!!! I am also terrible about putting myself out there even though I know I should. I often get cold feet. There are just so many amazing blogs out there with such large followings that I think I can't compete so I stay in my own little corner, terrible I know. I am not familiar with her blog although I have heard great things about her book:) The best piece of advice I received was from the BYW course taught by Holly and that was to find your own voice.

  4. Good stuff. Sounds like a great workshop. Thanks for sharing.

  5. If you ever want to have a (G?)chat/skype about such things, I'd be game. Especially for the purely hobbyist blogger vs business blogger...that's a slightly more complicated niche sometimes, I think.

    sounds like a great workshop!

  6. I agree with Emily. I am more of a hobbyist blogger yet still want to have a blog I am proud of and love being part of the blogging community (versus just writing for family/friends).

    Thanks so much for summarizing some of the best points from Joy's course. It sounds like a terrific opportunity. I took the BYW course two times (!!) and I always loved Holly's advice about being true to yourself and asking what is uniquely me that I can offer to readers...though thinking about that too hard can sometimes create writing blocks!

  7. This is such fabulous advice! =) Thanks for sharing a bit of the class with us Jenn!!!!

    I need to get better at adding more personal schtuff to my blog. I kind of hide behind my veggies but i'm getting better at stepping out a bit.. i think? haha

    love youuuuu!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  8. How awesome! I love Joy's blog, it is beautiful and often very simple so I can relate her advice about sharing only a single image or two that just speak to you. I always find the advice about finding your voice so interesting...it makes me feel pressure to understand what that voice is.... so, I have figured that to be true to your voice, you need to post without worrying about who is reading or following or whatever, write from the heart. What has fulfilled me the most about blogging is meeting like-minded people and establishing "friendships" with them...thanks Jenn!


  9. Jenn, you are so freakin' lucky to have that experience under your already well armed belt. i adore Joy's blog and have been an avid reader for a long while. the lessons you've imparted for us are stellar. thank you for sharing the wealth!

    honestly the best advice i heard was in regards to guest posting. to treat it with even more care than you do your own space b/c you are a guest and it's a true honor when you're invited in. that has stayed with me for sure. cheers! ♥

  10. Great advice! Thanks for sharing. I haven't heard any blogging tips lately (until just now, ha!), but I definitely could use some pointers on getting more followers!

  11. wonderful! "be true to your own voice!" hugs to you

  12. GOOD FOR YOU GIRLIE! Man, I hope i can get down to the states to attend some of the fantastic blog meet and greets you guys do someday!

    Amazing advice, eh? Like you said, it can be so easy to be afraid to put yourself out there, or to feel discouraged b/c it doesn't happen overnight (or my fav, remembering to keep it simple: that's the main reason I don't blog sometimes, b/c it starts to feel like work :/ ) I'm glad that your going to Joy's class gave me a crash-course reminder on keepin' it real and remembering WHY we blog :)

    How's your summer!?! I miss you!


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