Welcome to another installment of the highly popular Tweet-a-Tete series, where you get the chance to learn a little more about some of the members in this community. Today we have two incredible bloggers who are sharing a bit of advice as well as some insight into their personal lives. Let me introduce you to Megan of Glamour and Grace, a blog for the modern vintage bride. From gorgeous inspiration to popular series like Etsy Finds and Steal Worthy ideas, her blog is a must visit for the planning bride or for anyone who loves pretty inspiration. She was joined by Lauren of Every Last Detail, a modern wedding blog filled with gorgeous details and incredible advice. Megan and Lauren actually live near each other and we able to actually meet in person to do this interview. Without further ado…
How did you get started blogging?
Lauren- Wow it’s kind of a random and at times long story. So I got married in 2009, and in a nutshell, even though I had a wedding planner, I had no clue what I was doing. I was the first of my friends to get married, so I didn’t have anyone to ask for advice, and my planner was pretty useless. I discovered blogs with about 3 months left in my planning, and by then the design was set, invitations were ordered, and I really couldn’t implement any of the cool things that I found on the blogs I had been so inspired by. So I decided to start a blog to try and help other brides from making the same mistakes that I did. I ended up taking a wedding planning class to just learn more about weddings and how they were supposed to be. Part of the wedding planning class was that I had to intern/apprentice (aka work for free) with a wedding-related company for a certain number of hours. So I began working in the industry, seeing things that happened behind the scenes and getting experience- all the while, using this experience to write my blog of course. Shortly after starting to apprentice with an event design and decor company, they offered me a job and I was able to start working with brides, helping them to design their weddings and doing some planning and coordination as well. Around this same time I re-branded my old blog to Every Last Detail, with the hopes that it would become the name of my planning company sometime in the future. I had no idea it would be what it is now. And so that’s how I got started in blogging!
Megan- I have my degree in photography and had interned and worked at a local magazine for a bit. After my own wedding and my magazine job ended, I just couldn’t get weddings out of my mind. I desperately needed a creative outlet so I combined all my loves into a wedding blog and Glamour and Grace was born. I actually had the blog made and set up for over a month before I wrote my first post, I was so nervous on how to begin! Just like you, I really never imagined it would turn into what it is now!
What do you think makes a good blog?
Lauren- What makes a good blog? I think what makes a good blog is when someone has a niche and has content focused on that niche. There are so many blogs out there, and readers by no means ever have to pick just one to read. But when they have a direction to focus their reading, it’s more beneficial to them.
Megan- My favorite blogs are the ones that have their own voice and know who they are and the direction they want to go in, like you said, a niche. There are so many blogs out there and if you really want to make it work and last, you have to define yourself. What kind of blog do you want to have? How are you going to separate yourself from the crowd? I made a little thought bubble chart right when I began of what features I wanted to have and what style I wanted to show, I think this really helps in finding your voice. Every once in a while I look back and see what I had and make sure I am still on that same course and strengthen my vision.
Lauren- Hmm, well I usually only read blogs a few times a week- I’m a horrible blog reader! But I would have to say of course you Megan, duh! But I also love Brit of Landlocked Bride, Rhi of Hey Gorgeous, Alexandra of Heart Love Weddings, and Summer of Grey Likes Weddings. Something about they way they write and what they write- I think they must have similar styles to myself.. and I’m pretty sure if we’re not already, we would be friends in real life.
Megan- I am very visual, so I always find amazing inspiration from Postcards and Pretties, Once Wed, Love and Lavender, and Grey Likes Weddings. If I want to read and be inspired, I go to Hey Gorg and you, Every Last Detail!
What’s one piece of advice you can lend to new bloggers?
Lauren- Back to what I said makes a good blog- have a niche. Know your audience. Don’t stray from that. And be nice to other bloggers.
Megan- I kind of ended up answering that in the above question too. Having a vision is so important! Otherwise, your blog will not seem cohesive and your readers will be left wondering what they are actually going to get from you each week. Have a schedule so your readers know that when they go to your blog on Monday, they will see ‘x’. Don’t feel tempted to post something that someone sends you that is outside your vision. Don’t make excuses and try to make something fit. Own your blog and go with your gut! If you like something, you like it, if you have to think a second about it, move on. I have to tell myself this all the time!
Have you faced any challenges related to one of your blog posts?
Lauren- Oh my, yes. It was with a Thursday Tips post that I wrote that I really didn’t think would cause such a controversy, but it did. I kept getting negative/pissed off comments, mixed in with positive comments, and I was so upset about it. I literally spent two whole days obsessing about it and adding in editor’s updates to the post. But it was a learning experience for me, because I realized that the people who were pissed about it were people who had experienced the opposite of the commonly normal situations that I was writing about. Lesson learned: there are always going to be haters. Just keep doing your thing.
Megan- At the end of last year, I had my first mean comment. Someone pretty much yelled at me and said that me and my ‘followers’ were horrible for sharing a unique idea (which was submitted to me from the bride). I was devastated and so incredibly thankful to be a part of TWIPS and having the support from other members. I’m not sure how I would have faired had it not been for the support of this group.
So we’re both professional bloggers, and I know we talk about this all the time, but what is your biggest pet peeve associated with blogging?
Lauren- Hmm, I think my biggest pet peeve is when I get emails or submission and they haven’t read my blog to know what I write about and what I feature. It’s such a waste of time for me to tell people X, Y, and Z, when it’s so very clear in just a week’s worth of posts. I feel like so much time would be saved if people would just do their research.
Megan- You are so right, it’s those PR people who email me for free publicity about their random, not really wedding related product. To me, a blog is like an online magazine. You would never go asking a magazine for a free write up, I don’t understand why they think it is ok. Or at least direct the email to me, Megan. If you want me to take time to look at your product, take time to find out my name. It really is all about networking and creating relationships. If you find me and comment and tweet with me, I am much more apt to give you my time and help you because you’ve become a friend.
What inspires you?
Lauren- Details of course! And the following: couples that WANT to reflect their personalities in their wedding, beautiful typography, happy brides, excellent customer service, and Diet Coke.
Megan- I am inspired visually by amazing photography and gorgeous wedding gowns; stylistically by Audrey Hepburn and my Nana (who passed away last year, but was really the definition of Glamour and Grace); and soulfully by people who take chances on themselves to get everything they want out of life and make their dreams come true.
What is something that your readers don’t know about you?
Lauren- Well I already told you that I have an addiction/potential allergy to carrots… I also have an addiction to Diet Coke. Oh and here’s something not many people know- I wanted to be a dentist. Got about halfway through the college courses and once I hit (and couldn’t pass) Organic 2, I knew I was supposed to do something else. Had no idea it would be this though!
Megan- A dentist, I love it! Gosh, probably for me it’s that I am really just a nerd! I was always the A student, quiet girl. I would give anything to be best friends with Oscar de la Renta and be glamourous and graceful all the time, but alas, I am just in a small town in Florida with nothing exciting going on. I guess that’s why I have my blog, to have some excitement and glamour in my life!
How do you take your coffee?
Lauren- Black with English Toffee flavored liquid Stevia- it’s seriously amazing! When I’m not being calorie-free with my Stevia, Skinny Caramel Latte.
Megan- With a lot of crap in it, haha! I’m not a big coffee person so it has to be frozen and caramely that I don’t actually taste much of the coffee, so pretty much a frappuccino.
PC or Mac girl?
Lauren- Mac, but it happened by accident! My PC flipped out and pretty much died right before I was launching ELD (the first version), and so I “borrowed” my husband’s MacBook because he still had a desktop he could use. And I’m still using it…
Megan- Mac all the way. It’s all I’ve been using since my senior year of high school and I don’t think I can ever go back!
What’s your current obsession(s)?
Lauren- Any color combination with gray, cover songs by Boyce Avenue, Maroon 5, gin and cucumber martinis, Evernote, and of course Pinterest and Diet Coke.
Megan- I’m currently obsessed with Pinterest and period romance movies. I could seriously watch Pride and Prejudice a million times!