One of the best ways to learn is to observe what is working for those who are already very successful. The idea of course is not to copy, but to see what you can apply to your own business. I’ve spent some time researching 8 of the top wedding bloggers to see what we can learn from them.
Kat Williams of Rock N Roll Bride
Kat is totally herself and is not afraid to speak her mind. Not everyone agrees with her, but that doesn’t stop her from voicing her opinion like she does in this post about weight loss and weddings.
What we can learn: No one is ever truly neutral and acting that way sets off people’s bullshit detectors. Not everyone is going to like everything you have to say and that’s okay. Be a human-have an opinion!
Sara Doron of Under the Vintage Veil
What we can learn: Sharing personal stories (in moderation) can help your customers feel like they know you, even if they’ve never met you. People want to know the person behind the business. Take a look at this post and you’ll see that Sara turns her personal story into advice for people who might be going through something similar. It takes a lot of guts to share what’s going on in your life online, but people do respect it.
Kelly Hood of Boho Weddings
What we can learn: Blogs are very powerful tools for building your business. Kelly initially set up her blog to show more of her style to her brides and it went on to take on a life of it’s own. Brides now tend to find Kelly through her blog and then realise she plans weddings. This means she doesn’t need to advertise at all to get business, because her blog readers already love her style and see her as an expert.
Julia Braime of Brides Up North
Julia saw a neglected local market and turned it into a successful business. Julia says, “Whilst tinkering with my first attempt at blogging, it became apparent to me that whilst the United States is home to many gorgeous wedding blogs, I was aware of only a handful of great wedding blogs in the UK and of those none were area specific. Just as during my time working on the glossies, there was a heavy focus on London and the fantastic regional suppliers that I knew and loved were being side-lined.”
What we can learn: One unique approach you can bring to your business is to make it more focused on your local area. Julia went in the opposite direction that most wedding bloggers were going in. If you want to stand out, “zig” when everyone else is “zagging”
Cassandra Hipple of When Geeks Wed
Cassandra created When Geeks Wed to help inspire couples to put their own personal spin on their wedding. She was able to create this niche blog by tapping into her love of all things geeky.
What we can learn: Finding where your interests and lack of mainstream representation collide might just be a great place for a business. After all, no one knows the market better than those who are in it.
Ariel Meadow Stallings of Offbeat Bride
The Offbeat Empire is a great example of a business evolving over time. It all started when Ariel wrote a book about nontraditional weddings and launched a site to go along with it. People loved the website more than the book itself, so Ariel took the hint and developed Offbeat Bride. She was able to take what she learned with Offbeat Bride and go even deeper into the interests of her audience with Offbeat Families and Offbeat Home.
What we can learn: Listen to your audience and don’t be afraid to evolve your business. If you see a way to add another related service or product to your business, go for it! There are likely other avenues that any business can look into and the topics of weddings, families and home all fit together nicely. This also allows the readers to stick around longer because the issues of family and home are much more permanent than planning a wedding.
Andrew Shanahan of Staggered
Men are largely ignored in wedding publications, so Andrew created what is now the top resource for men getting married. It’s not that men weren’t interested in weddings, it’s that they weren’t being spoken to by other men or even asked for their opinion on the matter.
What we can learn: Media in every industry is particularly good at ignoring certain groups of people. You can make yourself stand out by speaking to that audience, giving them a voice and paying attention to what they want and need.
Dana LaRue of The Broke-Ass Bride
Dana started The Broke-Ass Bride when she got engaged to share her journey and experience in planning her own wedding on a budget. Her blog is all about making the most of what you’re got. Her message has really resonated with a lot of couples because the issue of money in planning a wedding was, and still is largely ignored in a lot of wedding publications.
What we can learn: Dana became super successful in a very crowded market because of her unique perspective. She writes about wedding planning and wedding inspiration but she also writes about the finances of making it all happen. Dana has been able to build a large following because they relate to her and she makes them feel like it’s okay to not spend a ton on their weddings.
Notice that all of these successful bloggers have distinct target markets and unique voices. They don’t aim to please everyone because it’s impossible to do. You don’t need everyone to love you, a small loyal following is often more than enough.
Learning from others is one of the best ways to figure out what is and isn’t working. During the week of 25th February, I am hosting a free online event called Wedding Business Evolution Summit. This event brings together some of the best marketing and business minds in our industry for you to learn from.