If you’re a regular blog reader, you’re probably well aware how much the industry has changed in the last year or two! What started as a place to slap up some inspiration and maybe tell a personal story or two have turned into quite the machine – bloggers now regularly churn out expertly styled content, work with brands and act as independant media platforms. It’s certainly something I never anticipated – I went to college to study politics for heaven’s sake!

But I think blogging’s evolution is pretty cool. Now a cross between creative outlet, news source and a personal journal, you, dear readers, now get to connect with someone, their personal story and perspective on the world, while the blogger gets to follow a passion. It’s such a cool connection, don’t you think? I get a thrill out of being in the middle of this crazy industry and there’s no telling what the next “big thing” will be {I think this article really chronicles the evolution well.}

But transitioning from “just a blogger” into a full-fledged business owner has come with all kinds of challenges, many of which I could never have anticipated. So I thought why not share some of those experiences and lessons-learned with you! That’s where this brand new series: A Peek into the Business of Blogging comes in. With the goal of offering tips, tricks and more of a “behind the scenes look” into what it takes to get what’s in our heads onto your screen, we want to lift the veil on what is really required to make a blog a business! I hope you’re as excited as we are.

We’re starting with: the Art of a Good Meeting!

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One thing that always drove me nuts about corporate life was meetings. You had to have meetings about an upcoming meeting! Now don’t get me wrong, the best work is well planned, but I always thought there had to be more fun ways to do it. Rather than be stuck in an ugly {often windowless} room with bad lighting, horribe food and usually a tired energy just drags you down. Asthetics matter people! I knew there must be a better way!

So when I wanted to hold a 2014 planning meeting to set the wheels in motion for a fantastic year, rather than fill it with boring old note taking and bad coffee, I tried instead to fill it with beauty, good energy and tons of visual inspiration!

The first thing to consider when designing a great meeting is picking your space. You cannot underestimate the power of your surrounds. Aesthetics matter people! As I know many of you are well aware {or you wouldn’t be reading this site!} your environement can make the biggest difference in how you feel, think and work.

Rather than trying to be creative where you work everyday, I recommend finding a new space to hold a major meeting. Getting out of your day to day environment feels like a bit of an adventure, keeps the energy up, and can spark new ideas! Thankfully, the lovely Natalie Bowen has an incredible meeting space at her florist studio here in San Francisco that was the perfect spot for Team Apartment 34.

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Secondly, it’s all about creating a productive space – beautifully of course! Who wants to sit at a boring work table all day. When you pay attention to the details, a fresh Polka Dot Notebook to jot down your thoughts, a clean 2014 planner for a lovely start to a new year, a set of colored pens to help color-code your ideas and washi tape to hang favorite ideas up on the wall, make the business of business meetings more fun! I head to the Japanese office supply Muji for most of my desktop goods. Their design is simple and chic.

The third, and possibly most important component to a productive day is great food! You just cannot think if you’re not well fed! So I partnered up with local roaster, Wreaking Ball Coffee to serve fresh cone-brewed brew. I also whipped up a batch of my own green juice to get good energy flowing from the get-go.

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Marla Bakery provided delicious pastry along with protein-packed homemade yorgurt with huckleberry compote! Team Apartment 34 certainly can’t say I don’t feed them well!

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I love bringing unexpected and playful moments into a work environment. I have to thank the uber-talent Myka of Modern Sequins for that killer garland! As we held our planning meeting mid-holiday season it was the perfect festive, but still chic touch!

Well fueled and fully inspired, we were able to spend a fantastic day dreaming big for little ole Apartment 34. Fab ideas were discussed, plans were made and now the best is yet to come!

If you have things about the business of blogging you’d like to know please tell us. Email or comment, tweet or Facebook. We’d love to know what you’re curious about!

original photography for Apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // styling + art direction by Apartment 34

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16 Comments

  1. It’s very interesting what you say … recently started my blog and blogging has evolved! continue blogging! 🙂

    1. I actually found the bottles at Anthropologie Brandi! You can find them online here: http://bit.ly/1dFXwdr. And as I big juicer you’re giving me a great idea for our next Tasty Tuesday series – all of my favorite juice recipes!

  2. I am so excited for this series! I am always eager to learn more about the “business” of blogging as I myself try to expand my blog into a more profitable business. I love the tips, especially the little things like the notepad you write on or pen you use…I’ve found making small changes like using pretty paper and pens can make a huge difference in the energy and motivation you have to work on things. Can’t wait to read about more of your advice! xo

  3. Great idea for a new series Erin and I’ll be an eager beaver to read and learn from the pros. I often wonder, where do all these part-time bloggers who have demanding full-time jobs get their time and energy from for their posts. Do they have more than 24hrs in their day? Are they all single and don’t have any friends? How do they find the time to promote their posts on across all the social media channels? Ok, I’ll stop now and play nicely. XO

    1. Well, I can speak from my personal experience Annie and say that before I ran this biz full time both my relationship and my sleep suffered greatly! It was a real challenge to find balance – although it’s probably still just as hard. When you love what you do you just want to keep doing it!

  4. Hi Erin,

    That was a great post, very informative for something so simple like a meeting!

    I recently started a blog and was wondering what your suggestions are for getting more visitors/readers? I know that’s kind of a vague question (which you probably hear a lot) with several different answers, but aside from posting each blog post on Facebook and Twitter, as well as pinning them on Pinterest, and trying to post new content on at least a weekly basis, do you have any other suggestions?

    Maybe the answer to this is already in your plans for another part of this series, for which I will wait patiently, but in case you have any simple ideas I might have missed going through my internet marketing strategies, I would greatly appreciate your input.

    I’m a web developer and internet marketer by trade, so I have access to lots of tools in case you recommend anything. I’m pretty new to the blogging world though, surprisingly, so I’m not as knowledgable about the audience. My blog is pretty much for fun right now, but I’d like to turn it into a sort of small online magazine and business if I could.

    Thanks for your time and keep up the great work!
    Ben

  5. Really enjoyed this article. So much so I shared it!

  6. Great piece of work, Erin. It’s so wonderful to hear about this new series. Am all ears! Thanks for coming up with it. It’ll help hundreds of new-bies out there. Loved your idea of planning out great things in such a pretty manner. Thumbs up and good luck with the plans. 🙂

  7. This is such a great new series, and I love that you started on meetings! I’d also love to hear more about how you create and plan styled shoots for the blog (definitely something I want to conquer in 2014!)
    xx Lexi, Glitter, Inc.

  8. Thanks Erin for the reply. It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one struggling to keep a good work/life balance. Maybe next time you interview a pro-blogger ask them how many people are involved in the smooth running of their blog, including the cleaner and the nanny. Often a far too perfect life is being portrait making women feel that that’s achievable. After all ‘she did it AND had six children at the same time’. Bust the myth I say. Sorry… ranting again, must save that for Twitter. Happy vibes from London XO

  9. Thank you so much for this. I’m a newbie and will be looking forward to the series :o)

  10. I am so pleased to have found your blog and look forward to updates on your new series on blogging. I was especially happy to learn about the Alt Summit. I am one month in to my new blog which I am thoroughly enjoying and am amazed at how much I learned during this short time. I am trying to grow the blog organically (without going after friends and family on social media) and this is my biggest challenge. I am building traffic through stumble upon and twitter but like Ben mentioned above, would like to hear other unique ways from your experience.

    Aside from the blogging series, I love your style and look forward to following your blog.

    My best,

    Elaine
    http://www.OMGLifestyle.com

  11. Great idea, it is great inspiration to read how more experienced bloggers tackle the work! Thank you for adding these series!