will rogers success quote besottedI had lunch with a popular blogger when I was in Seattle and she asked me why I don’t attend Alt Summit, my answer was simple, ‘I don’t consider myself a blogger’.  She laughed and we moved on, but it’s true I have mentioned ad naseum times that I am a reluctant blogger, but maybe it’s because this is not my business that I don’t feel deserving of giving myself the moniker. I also hate the name ‘blogger’, again another thing I have said a zillion times–it sounds like a bad jogger. I have nothing against bloggers, quite the opposite, I admire them immensely especially the ones that have been able to generate an income from doing it. It’s hard work and there’s many variables that go into it to make it a successful career path.  I get emails all the time about how-to launch a blog, that part is easy, but I think what most people want to do is launch a blog that allows them to quit their day jobs and blog from their Parisienne abode, making copious amounts of income or just make it their business.  I love to dream and I love to dream big, so anything is possible if you want it badly enough, but the majority of people that launch blogs may want this but are not putting in the time + energy to make it a reality. So, I figured I would offer up some insights into creating a successful blog presence.


Name your blog something easy + easy to spell. Besotted is impossible for most people, a lot of individuals don’t even know what it means. I’d like to believe that the people that read this blog are also big readers and have a more expanded vocabulary than the average bear, so I am attracting individuals that are like minded, but in reality it’s difficult. ‘Design Sponge’ may not be the most glamorous name but it is easy + unforgettable.


Do yourself a favor in the beginning and just buy yourself your own .com, they are cheap and it’s a worthy investment. While you are buying this URL remember the simple + easy from the name game above. Another tip, don’t be tempted to buy If you are planning to build this into an empire you don’t want to limit yourself to just a blog right? If you think of some of the more successful blogs out there they don’t have ‘blog’ in their URL, think:,,  I do have ‘blog’ in my url, hindsight is 20/20/, I wish I didn’t.


What is your blog going to be about?  I urge you to spend a long, long time on this one. I think my blogging life would have turned out much more differently if someone had described blogging to me like having your own magazine. Instead blogging was introduced to me as an on-line journal, people kept telling me to start one and it sounded so narcissistic, I dubbed my first blog ‘The Blah, Blah, Blahg’ since I thought it was fitting for someone talking about nothing in particular. It was fun while it lasted, but when I re-read former posts I cringe at how much I complained. Note to self, zip it on the complaints.

Choose a topic/topics that are not already out there and super saturated.  Does the world need another interior design blog with inspiration photos from the latest magazines? Probably not, BUT if it had an interesting perspective say if you were an insider in the interior design world and were manufacturing your own wares, it might be very interesting to follow you on your journey.  How are you getting things made, what exotic locations are you traveling to for research? Photographs of your wares in other creatives homes, what have your learned along the way?

Look for what is missing in the market and how you can put a unique spin on it.  Are you a Historian but have a love for fashion how can you meld these two passions into a unique + interesting read?  Always remember this is the information super highway, what information can you provide for your potential readers.  I believe everyone has a unique perspective to share, what can you provide your future readers that they can’t get anywhere else? Or can’t get anywhere else easily?


Wait, before we get to design do you have your theme down?  No. Then please go do your homework, your theme will help determine your design. If you can afford to hire a designer, I would say hire a designer.  But you are saying you don’t know if your blog is going to be a success so you don’t know if you should invest in a designer?  Okay, stop. We are talking about building a successful blog as a business. Would you start any other business without an initial investment?  You see, this is what is going to separate the ones who really want to make this a business versus those that want to hope they make it.  It’s a different time in the blogging community, if you want to stand out from blogs that have been doing this for almost a decade you are going to need to not only have incredible content, but be a looker and easy to navigate.

The d.i.y. type? Keep this in mind, ‘less is more’.  Keep your design simple, your palette cohesive and allow your content to be the star.

Okay, my friends I will continue this diatribe tomorrow with links to classes and other words of wisdom. If you have any questions or would like to add to this conversation please do so below, I love hearing from you and getting alternate insights!

P.S. Here is a great article from a woman who sold her first blog to a large corporation!

P.P.S. Please note there are exceptions to every rule. Cup of Jo doesn’t have a dedicated url, in fact it’s not even the name of her blog and she is wildly successful. Creature Comforts has ‘blog’ in her URL and it doesn’t effect her continued growth + success. Also, note these exceptions have been blogging for years my tips above are for what I feel is the current climate of blogging and how to get yourself a successful head start.

paper texture courtesy of lost & taken

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.


  1. Love what you do… Yes, I love when I get to do what I love to do and I’m super thankful
    When I have the time to invest on doing it. I just launched
    My blog and I am elated to journal about what I love to do,
    Which is designing, crafting and giving. Thank you for reminding
    Me WHY I launched my blog! For a bit I became semi
    Obsessed with my meager stats and day dreamed of generating an income
    From journaling on my blog… Your words are a clear
    Reminder that as a designer, putting myself out there is because
    I am excited to share what I recently discovered I loved
    To do… Crafting, party planning and sharing my little finds
    Online. Big thank you for spelling out so clear the reason why
    I launched my online journaling: sharing with the world
    My sparks of creativity, be genuine and clear without deviating
    To grandeur dreams and simply opening a window to my work
    And ideas.

    1. Thank you Ursula! I rarely ever look at my stats, honestly. I figured since I am not a professional blogger what was the point for me? It just made me anxious and since I had nothing to compare them to besides very big blogs I just felt like a loser. I want my space here to always come off as authentic + genuine so I don’t want to build my posts to move stats BUT if I was aiming to build a blog for business I believe you would need to analyze your stats and review what was popular to see if you could come up with other posts in the same vein that would appeal to readers. To me it just makes me uncomfortable to read the stats so I ignore them. This site is an exercise in creativity + discipline for me and I love the interaction with wonderful people I get to “meet”, that is my success which makes me very happy!

  2. Oh, this is so true, especially the part about choosing a domain name. I wish I could go back in time and redo mine! I picked it on a whim, and it was a random nickname. Now, I wish I had picked something a little more timeless. The only thing holding me back is the reputation I’ve built on that domain name – I’d hate to switch and leave people hanging.

    1. I have to agree, I think ‘blog’ in a url doesn’t lend itself to growth beyond a blog (and I so hate that word), but that being said I don’t think it would stop a blog from being successful;)

  3. such good perspective you offer. i love my day job, which really has little to nothing to do with what i love and write about creatively, but do daydream about what it would be like to be a creative resource (as a real blogger, etc.) to the world. when i began my little tumblr a couple of years ago, i did so with that site just to see if i would keep up with it, if i’d have enough creative stuff (or ‘likes’) to talk about; and like you, i’m quite shy, though finding a few other really wonderful blogger virtual friends like you has been a side benefit i did not anticipate! i look forward to checking in with besotted every single morning. and as a big reader myself (i am a complete geek when it comes to vocabulary, to words), i love the name besotted. :) xx, jill

    1. Hi Jill! It is always lovely to have you some visit! I agree meeting wonderful people like you on-line is one of the biggest perks of doing this for me!

    2. P.S. Thank you on the name, I thought it was quite clever, lol, but it seems that others (my Mom + husband included) are ‘wha?’

  4. Thank you for posting this. As I get more and more into using my blog as part of my business and (hopefully) full time career, it’s always important to keep these things in mind. I do have to say though, I LOVE the name of your blog, and I don’t think it’s so bad that it has blog in it, as it’s part of your brand — but I will admit that I am AWFUL at spelling out “besotted” …I always, always end up typing in bessoted, and have to correct myself when my browser tells me that’s not a website.

    Have you perhaps thought of just “” if available?

    1. Oh, and also, perhaps would you do a part 2 of this and touch up on photography and its importance? (and would you be willing to do a tutorial on how you go about it? I LOVE your product photos and I’m awful at my own, so anything helps. Maybe photos of your set up for photographing..?). Also content editing — I’ve learned more and more that just because we have things to show and say, doesn’t mean we should show or say them. good thing to remember.

    2. Thanks for sharing that link (and such beautiful cup, btw!). I’ll go read up on it, and am looking forward to seeing the rest! I have your part ii open in another tab.

      Also, shame that besotted was not available (hey, I’m getting better at spelling this!).

  5. Thank you for the great post. I’m relatively new to blogging and I love posts like this because they really help me refocus on the important parts of blogging and make me reflect on what I’m doing/what I’m doing wrong. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s post. :)

  6. Being a blogger would really require commitment like you are saying in your first tip. One cannot become a successful blogger overnight. Although if you want to earn a substantial effort from your blogging, you must really learn from the best. Make sure you are always updated on the different internet marketing activities that will help make your blog very popular with search engine.

  7. I love this post. Can’t underestimate the power of good design. I’d been blogging since 2005 but I only invested in design two years ago. It gave my blog (hate that word too) a new image. It felt like a more established brand.

    1. Daphne, I stopped by your blog and you did a beautiful job on the design making it very cohesive, inviting and original:)

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