A friend of mine launched a brand new, from scratch blog TODAY! I asked her to write, a few days before launch, how she was feeling and share with us the things she had done to launch her new blog with flair, and visually express her brand! And so I hope you will support Stephanie by visiting her new blog at The Joy Parade!
Today, I’ve consumed 5 shots of espresso, sent approximately 62 emails, and now have a raging backache from sitting in front of this screen so long.
Tomorrow, I’ll be spending the night with a bottle of champagne, finally ready to click the button at midnight and reveal months of sweat and tears that have gone into The Joy Parade.
But let me go back and explain a bit better.
Last year I began to realize something: somehow, and for reasons I still don’t fully understand, I had built up some serious social media collateral. I received regular emails from people following my Facebook feed, people who felt a deep and personal connection to my story, but who I had never met and had seemingly no obvious social links to. I had joined Instagram less than two years ago and had embraced a number of beautifully authentic mothering and photojournalism communities on the platform, only see my followers exploding into the thousands seemingly overnight. My children were regularly being asked to serve as models and brand representatives from everything from t shirts to moccasins. Why? Because the companies had figured out something I myself was a bit slower to catch on to: people listened to me. They cared about what I had to say.
When I finally got my head around the idea, a question rose to the surface – Was there a way to really DO something with this? I mean sure, I had communities of people responding to my writing on Facebook, and other communities responding to my photos on Instagram, but was there a way to bring all of that together on some sort of unified platform and really begin to share myself in a meaningful way? And perhaps even monetize it somehow?
And so the idea for thejoyparadeblog.com was born. I had the domain name reserved soon after, bought an armful of books on the topic of blogging, and began pouring myself into researching. And for awhile, thats about as far as it went. I knew this was where I was feeling led, but I felt overwhelmed by how much work it would take to really do this right. Where to even begin?
While attending a national conference for women creatives last fall, I was able to connect with some incredible bloggers and speakers and finally flesh out this grand idea into something tangible, a brand I could really grab hold of and call my own. As soon as I returned home I took the single most important step in this whole blogging journey: selecting a designer. Whitney Vass of Heart and Arrow Design stood out to me head and shoulders above other options I was considering, so I pulled together the design fee and we got to work soon after. I cannot stress enough how important that one decision was. A designer is probably the most pivotal choice you will make in the life of your blog, and mine was able to take my crazy dreams and chaotic cloud of thoughts and random snippets, and somehow bring them all together and birth a cohesive brand with a beautifully chic design. She combined the whimsy and joy I wanted to keep present with the clean lines and editorial flow I knew would give my blog the professional edge to help future advertisers and brand liaisons take me seriously.
I’ve spent months building this brand, researching strategies, and building a site I can really be proud of. And when I finally push that button tomorrow night, the construction page will be gone and The Joy Parade Blog will be visible to the world. Im simultaneously excited to see our hard work come to fruition and terrified to be pushed on the internet’s global stage. But there is a reassuring confidence in knowing we took our time and really did the work to do this RIGHT. I have a cohesive brand, I have a clear vision I have tangible goals I can hold myself accountable to this year, and I have confidence in my voice and the content I have to share. So I’ll raise my glass, enjoy a champagne toast to fruits of this labor, and I’ll put my heart online for the world to see. Will it be a wild success? Will it ever make a single dime? Will its only regular subscribers be my mom and my 6th grade teacher? Stay tuned to find out.
The Joy Parade blog officially launched at midnight PST this morning. As of noon today it has already surpassed 1,000 page views and 250 unique visitors. Congratulations Stephanie on a successful launch!