This week has been a long time coming friends. Cathy and I founded The Blog Societies (formerly Southern Blog Society) 6 years ago this month. For those of you who don’t know, her and I met almost 7 years ago through social media and connected in Atlanta. We didn’t realize how essential it was to have a friend in the industry. Just like you may have co-workers to lean on, have peers to chat with, we didn’t have that 6 years ago in the blog community. It was way more of the Wild West back then than it is now. It’s what drove us to create Southern Blog Society. A network of influencers to connect with and provide resources to help grow their businesses. We were pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. Great conferences, a workshop series, and a network of influencers who have become friends and truly formed a community.
Fast forward 6 years and I think Cathy and I can both humbly admit, we lost a bit of focus and drive. We hadn’t changed a thing content wise for 6 whole years. Which isn’t ideal for any business. We put a ton of focus in our conferences and workshops as they were a huge learning curve and very time consuming. But those are now sort of on auto-pilot. It was time to refocus and get back to our mission which has always been to connect influencers with the resources necessary to grow their blogs. We always had big dreams for this little idea, but we honestly never knew how to get it where we wanted.
Soon we realized that we weren’t offering much to our members outside of our Instagram features, Facebook group and yearly conference and workshops. We wanted a place that members were excited to be featured on TBS and where members and non-members alike can come to grow their business. We also wanted our members to get more out of it all. Personally, I always had big dreams for “The Library” but nothing ever happened after the one week we got excited about it. Bottom line, this meant we had lots of changes to make.
Cathy and I teamed up with Wayfarer Design Studio who was recommended by one of our favorite people, Lindsay Humes. We loved her aesthetic and after a call with her we were pretty excited about what was to come. We truly needed a full brand and content overhaul. She sent us a questionnaire to fill out and it was one of the first times we had to answer some serious branding questions. It was exactly what we needed to refocus. When we received our first round of visual branding concepts we were beyond excited. One of my favorite things was how intentional Abbey of Wayfarer Design is in her design process. The logo is a key that symbolizes the tools and community you unlock when you join. And if you look closely enough, there’s a T B and S within the key.
What was soon to come was sure to be amazing. After weeks of tweaking, countless work sessions and phone calls, we finally went live this week with the brand new look and feel of The Blog Societies. Now let me tell you why we’re so excited about it.
My Favorite New Features Of The Blog Societies
What was an idea years ago but never got much attention after a week or so is now one of my favorite pieces of this site. It’s only available for our members to access, for easy downloadable resources to better their blogs. You can apply to join today to access those here. A few things you’ll find in there are sample media kits, sample revenue and expense Excel files, Pinterest trends and so much more. We aim to add more Library resources to our members quarterly and are always listening to their feedback on what to add next.
While chatting with Lindsay Humes, she brought something to our attention that we couldn’t believe we hadn’t thought of before. Member Spotlights. Yes we featured a member every single week in our MEET posts, but they included two sentences. Instead, we now are featuring our members in a new light in Member Spotlights. You’ll get to learn more about them, their personal blog tips, guilty pleasures and more. It’s a fun way to get to know our members!
Real Blogging Tips
Head to The Blog Societies as a member or non-member to read articles on how to do things for your blog better. We’ll be sharing tons of great articles from how to add your blog to your professional resume (a personal favorite) to finding the right photo size for your blog’s layout and so much more. If there’s a topic you want covered, let us know! We’re all ears and want to help answer your questions. There’s also a possibility we may work with some experts in the industry to help get your questions answered too if we don’t know them!
If you’re a member, you’ll be able to easily browse fellow members by region instead of just states. Plus discover any brand members as well as resources. If you’re not a member, you can always browse our member features under “Our Members” to find new people to connect with! You can even browse by region.
Lastly, I want to touch on our memberships. We’ve been fairly strict about only accepting influencers who post consistently 2x per week in addition to great content. Cathy and I realized that with the ever changing industry, and people who may not be able to post that often, may still want to be a part of TBS. We’ll be working on approving influencers who have active blogs and post consistently with great content.
We believe our resources will only help you get to the next level. Denying memberships as often as we were seemed counterintuitive. It’s part of our mission to help you grow, learn and connect and we can’t let that happen if we have such strict rules. TBS will still always look for consistency, original and good content. Many brands come to TBS looking for influencers to work with and use the features as a discovery tool of possible talent to partner with. With that, it’s still part of our mission to create a group and community of like-minded quality influencers. We believe that these requirements are going to be more in line with everyone’s goals.
Before we go, I’m excited to share that our big 6th Annual Conference will be held right here in Atlanta August 9-11th. This event is open to members only so be sure to apply to join today! We also hope to host 1-2 TBS The Workshops in 2018 so stay tuned for that. TBS The Workshops is a mini condensed version of our conference and is open to anyone, you can see our D.C. and Atlanta one here.
Photos by Sydney Bruton Photography