The Business of Blogging – Backstage

So. Tait and I spent the holidays quietly at home and actually managed to take a full week off (gasp). Sort of. It wasn’t what I would call relaxing…the fridge broke down, the nanny got locked out with the baby inside so had to break a window then bust down a door to get back in, we had a few brainstorming sessions that ended up stressing both of us out, we discovered a few bugs on the blog that needed tweaking, you get what I’m saying. BUT. We did manage to watch some great movies (the hangover…super funny, 500 days of summer…super cute, 8 episodes of Glee…LOVE), explore a few neighborhood restaurants, spend some QT in a bookstore, things like that. So all in all, it was a lovely little break. Minus the busted door.

The break was intended to clear our heads and give us some focus with the blog. Which it very much did. We came up with 10 immediate goals for Style Me Pretty, all of which we are getting started on today. Here are our top three:

1. Improve Navigation and overall Site Cohesion.

2. Complete our submissions tool that is going to make it insanely easy to submit weddings and content to us.

3. Incorporate new writers into the site in a really seamless and fun way.

We will also be changing over the secondary page thumbnails into full posts to improve user experience and we will be rolling out brand new vendor listing pages that kind of kick some serious booty. Click here for a sneak peek of the new pages.

Now here’s my question to you guys! What would you like to see here on BACKSTAGE?? More blogging tips, resources and ideas, business tips, marketing tips, behind the scenes at SMP, personal and family stuff? You name it, we’ll tackle it.

Lots of love and luck to all in the new year!

21 Responses to “Our Week Off”

  1. juliana says:

    “the nanny got locked out with the baby inside so had to break a window then bust down a door to get back in”

    That EXACT thing happened to me when I was a nanny. Luckily, the baby was napping, so I didn’t have to worry about him crawling into something dangerous…but it was still terrifying!

    Anyway, as far as Backstage goes:

    Love the “behind the scenes” stuff, the stories about your business experiences, and the personal/family stuff. Please keep that up.

    Looking forward to SMP in 2010!

  2. KRISTINA MEGAN says:

    I would love to see a name dropping post! An insiders look into the products you just LOVE to support for your blog. You could include companys for making collages, your photos big on the blog, or your website server. Any product you adore for keeping stylemepretty running smoothly!

  3. Sounds like a crazy holiday break!

  4. Yes on the blogging, marketing and business tips, please! I just stumbled onto backstage a few weeks ago during my own “time off” and I’m hooked! I also love that you’re so honest about the site and how you put your whole heart and head into it. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  5. Shannon says:

    Family stuff and behind the scenes of SMP!

  6. Glad you had a (semi)relaxing week off! Sans the nanny-broken house incident. I could tell you quite the tale of my two-year-old (at 19 months) locking me OUT of the bathroom with the water running in the tub and the flood that followed. Needless to say, not quite the same, but I know the sheer panic feeling.

    To the point! I would love to see behind the scenes (personal/family) as well as business and marketing tips. I would also love to hear any “mistakes” you’ve made along the way that you wouldn’t mind sharing (you know–so that I may avoid them like the plague!)

    Thanks Abby! Happy New Year!

  7. I LOVE those vendor pages! They’re very clear, easy to read and have just the right amount of information. Hope you feel better for your break….heres to a Happy 2010 for SMP!

  8. Cara says:

    To answer your question, ALL of it! That is what I love about BACKSTAGE-the personal mixed with the business topics-Keep it up! Happy New Year!

  9. Ashley says:

    I think the variety of content in “backstage” is what keeps it fresh. It is awesome to read great blogging, marketing and business tips…Do’s and Don’ts…but I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it is great to hear about how you try to balance this ever-growing empire and your lovely family. I honestly feel like how you divide this up keeps it new and refreshing…and do I dare say it…even-more-so than the main SMP blog/website.

  10. elaine says:

    Hi Abby! love the business/marketing tips and behind the scenes! your backstage blog is a great resource! thank you and Happy New Year! :)

  11. Hi Abby! So glad backstage is not going away! I love the business and marketing tips as well as behind the scenes. Love to hear about office products you love as well! I wish you the very best in 2010!

  12. Robin says:

    Sorry you had such a crazy break! welcome back!

    I would love to see more tips about blogging, marketing, and just the crazy wedding world we live in 365 days a year. Also, maybe share some insight on all the polls you run with the brides. More insight as to what they are thinking.

  13. Cathy Skraba says:

    I love it all Abbey. Backstage is a perfect blend, from the blogging tips ranging from technical to best practices, from the sharing of resources and ideas, business and marketing tips while keeping the family happy … priceless. Keep doing what your doing, you inspire me! The new vendor listings are first rate too.

  14. tara says:

    Hi Abby,
    Back stage is a great forum for those of us who love the business of weddings. It’s great to hear your thoughts about the operations and strategy of SMP.

    * Anything and everything marketing and social media related would be fabulous.

    * It might be interesting to see a dialog with your followers who are running their own small business and what they are seeing and doing regarding local and anecdotal trends. Maybe you could do a monthly webinar like gotomeeting.com where interested followers could pay a “subscription fee” to connect with you. Have people send in questions have an agenda that could be discussed etc. I would pay for that. It would be great to be able to bounce ideas of others in the community in real time without having to leave the office.

    * I also agree with Robin above about poll data you collect. Maybe you could send out a monthly trend alert to interested vendors about real time trend feedback you are getting from brides to be. Again, I would pay for that.

    *I LOVE LOVE LOVE “inspiration to reality – the film” by Meg Simone. Seeing the board come to life was great. How about “connecting” some of your LBB vendors and seeing if they can pull of your storyboards on a monthly basis. Maybe you could give them a challenge and budget to see if they can do it. See the “rough” dollar estimate on these projects. It would be a great way to promote your vendors and keep the audience engaged especially if it is filmed.

    Keep up the good work. You are a great role model for little Audrey! A true SMP fan and fellow Bostonian.

  15. Jeeryn says:

    Thanks for creating “backstage”! I love reading about SMP behind the scenes. I am especially drawn to the business tips, your thoughts on blogging and the wedding community, and LOVE reading about your family life. As a mommy with a daughter about the same age as yours, I admire all that your able to do in a days work. Keep it up!

  16. bethany says:

    ah! bookmarked this entry and wanted to throw in some feedback but forgot to. i kind of agree with cara that it’s fun to see the random mix of things posted here… but for me personally, i think the business/marketing/site-management type of discussions are the most interesting :) especially because a lot of the comments/feedback are insightful. when else will you get a bunch of wedding pros & fans discussing this kind of stuff? i wonder if you’d want to start a more personal blog for the people who want to hear about your day to day & home type things?

  17. Lian says:

    I’m a little late… but I love what you guys have on the backstage now! It’s so inspiring (along with everything else on your site). Reading all this stuff makes me want to go redo mine. :p

  18. Tait says:

    As shucks….Thanks! We’ll get backstage going strong again. We’re wearing too many hats right now so I’d expect posting might be a little slow for a while.

  19. Howdy this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

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