Blog Crush – Note To Self, Design Is Mine & The Chalkboard

by G.B. Oliver

I have a lot of small businesses asking me if they need a blog. I usually respond the same way. It can be a highly effective marketing tool, if it is done right. Blogs are a great way to show your personality, your expertise, both of which helps customers get to know you and gain trust in buying your products and/or services.

Blogs can be a challenge because it is difficult to write something fresh everyday and keep people coming back. But it also doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think. Here are three blogs that I think are doing it right.

Blogs I Love

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 11.27.55 AM
One of the Mood Boards at the blog, Note to Self

Note to Self 

Sarah Tolzmann is the writer of the blog, Note to Self. She is a web marketing designer at Ralph Lauren and she also has her own shop, accessible through her blog, where she sells her art prints and very cool iPhone cases (via Society6). She has regular categories such as Advice, where she gives advice relevant to design and branding, Color Trenda fashion inspiration board around a specific color, Words, where she posts an inspirational quote, Worth Noting, where she recommends a book, movie or product, and Playlist, which is the music she is listening to right now. There are more categories, but Sarah really manages to use her blog to show her personality, her style and her knowledge in her field, all of which is so important if you were looking to hire her as a designer. The blog is well designed with lots of great images, and the text is kept to a minimum, except when she is giving advice.

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 11.46.14 AM
Inspiration board at the blog, Design Is Mine

Design is Mine

Design is Mine is a blog by Summer Allen – a baker, illustrator, design-enthusiast, and mum. Her blog is all about sharing her daily finds in photography, art, typography, vintage, modern design, and handmade goods. Like Sarah, she has an inspirational quote of the week (readers can never get enough of these), her own fashion inspiration boards (readers love to “Pin” inspiration boards), and lots of great vintage photo pictorials. One of her best features is her Friday, Best of the Week, where she has sourced out the very best blog posts from a variety of different sources, whether it is DIY, recipes, fashion, weddings, Summer finds it for you. If you are having a tough time writing something new everyday, there is nothing wrong with saving one day of the week for curated content (content from other sources, but letting your audience know it is from another source).

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 12.08.44 PM
Everything you need to know about living healthy at The Chalkboard

The Chalkboard

The Chalkboard is the lifestyle blog for the company, Pressed Juicery which sells fresh cleansing juices. Their blog covers everything about healthy living, which ties back nicely to the juices they sell. From recipes to articles on mental and physical health to interviews with experts in the field such as herbalists and green chefs, they really show the reader that they are completely engrossed in the business of healthy living. Categories range from food to garden to home to kids to travel, they cover it all. A few articles incorporate their products, which is perfectly acceptable, but the whole blog is a very informative read that will keep you coming back.

FINAL NOTE: The biggest thing to remember if you are planning to do a blog for your business, is that your content should be something your target market is interested in. Keep it simple, write blog posts that show your expertise, use curated content when needed, and always include high quality images to get your point across.

GB OliverNeed Help Marketing Your Online Business? 

I offer a variety of affordable marketing services. Just contact me at or use the contact form below. Also, check out my Ebook Shop for more marketing advice.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.