As a new blogger, who in all honesty, never read a blog before, I made many classic mistakes. The first few posts on my men’s blog were simply text, as I didn’t yet understand the importance of images. I kept them short and simple, and gave them a catchy male-enticing title like Hot and Bothered and The G-Spot. What I didn’t initially realize is that search engines use the post title to direct readers to your blog. My titles were probably getting linked to porno searches! I learned it’s better to write titles that clearly describe the content. Boring, yes, but more effective in reaching your targeted audience. In hindsight, I am laughing at the audacity of my first two blog titles! I am a fun person, but not that fun!
Images are very important. I noticed that a catchy image made a big difference in blog traffic. People gave me regular feedback and the consensus was my images grab their attention and draw them into the text. I understand this better as a viewer, now that I read hundreds of blog posts each week. The Internet is an endless sea of text. It’s the images that provide an anchor and help us stay focused.
I love to write and thankfully, it comes easily. At this point, I have a seemingly endless list of ideas for new posts. The dark cloud you are sensing is the hours and hours I spend trying to find the right images to go with each post. I currently have a collection of complete blog posts that are relevant, and ready to go with the exception that I gave up on the search for “the right picture.”
While trying to find a “better way,” I decided to try and capture images impromptu on real men I see in public or through men I know. This was another interesting learning experience.
The first time I stopped a man, I was so nervous, I didn’t even mention my blog’s name and just snapped a quick photo of his shoes after asking his permission. What I learned from him was I need context in the photo to help illustrate my point. I liked his vintage sneakers and his leaner denim hem line. However, I needed to capture his entire outfit (neck to toes) to demonstrate how good he looked and why. I also learned most men are flattered to be asked by a woman if she can take a photo of his clothing!
The next time I did better. I took two full body shots and got the man’s email address so I could send him a link to the site to see his fame and glory. However, I learned full body shots alone weren’t good enough. I also needed close ups to illustrate my points. The third time, I got it all right, including a short interview.
In hindsight, I realized I wasn’t applying my previous research experience and expertise to my new position. Interviewing, assessing and photographing people in a research setting is second nature to me. I just had to remind myself I was doing essentially the same thing for a different reason. Now, I’m confident (no more embarrassed pink cheeks!), and I have a growing team of Lady Detectives working for me who know what images I want and are happy to help me capture them “in the field.”
My latest assignment is from the CEO and founder of Trunk Club; Joanna Van Vleck. She asked me to share all of my blog posts from Wasabi Nights with the Trunk Club Blog. I am honored and inspired to take my blogging to the next level. Starting this week, I plan to find and interview successful business men to feature what they wear and why. I want to know what successful men in different business sectors are wearing right now, down to the minor details; like what brand of undershirt they prefer. Where do they buy their clothing? How do they feel about their clothing style? What influence or impact do they feel their appearance and clothing choices have had on their current success. Hopefully these men will be gracious and share a few minutes with me. Ideally they will allow me to take a photo or two to include with the article. I will let you know how it goes.
If you know a successful man you’d like me to interview (perhaps its you), I welcome your suggestions and contacts. As for you successful men out there, if I contact you for an interview, please recognize it for what it is; a compliment.
Lisa Bruckner is a consultant for Trunk Club – a first class service which revolutionizes the way men buy clothing. She writes for two men’s blogs: Wasabi Nights and The Trunk Club Blog and spent twelve years in the research sector before switching gears to follow her passion for fashion.