Style

State of the Blog: February Update

Happy Valentine’s Day, Ladies!  Sadly, being single on this day of love has left me feeling morose and depressed beyond all measure.  I was so overcome by my grief that I spent my weekend neck deep in a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and didn’t finish any posts for today.  Just kidding. 

Like most single women, I intend to spend Valentine’s Day like I do every other day, working for the betterment of the American people.  However, I fully intend to celebrate Half-Price Chocolate Day tomorrow with several boxes of discounted Godiva products.  Hallelujah!  But enough about the holiday o’love, let’s talk about the blog.

Today, there will be no posts.  I let a web designer go picking around inside the framework of the site this weekend and things got messy.  Like when you decide to let your boyfriend/husband do the cooking and the kitchen winds up looking like a tornado hit it messy.  So today’s posts are being retrieved from the ether and will be posted at a later date.  But now that I have this open space, I thought it might be a good opportunity to update you on the State of the Blog.

Design.  I’ve spent the better part of six months trying to get this site redesigned to my exact specifications, and things have not worked out as planned.  But, I recently discovered that a distant relative is in the web design business, and if you can’t trust your second cousin twice removed, who can you trust? 

I have full confidence that he will be able to help me redo this site for a price that doesn’t make my wallet scream uncle like a bullied kid on a playground.  Though I have no idea how long this will take.

Frequency.  As some of you know, before the holidays, I mentioned that I was going to cut back on the number of posts.  Ultimately, I realized that posting less than 15 times per week would be dangerous for my addiction to site traffic and decided against it.  So there will no reduction in the number of posts, but there will be two changes that some of you have probably already noticed.

First, twice a week, the 10th Commandment post will feature a single under-$150 item, instead of the traditional three items. Why? 

You would be shocked at how long it takes to put the morning posts together, and this saves me a lot of time and energy.  To make up for this change, I incorporated the Three Ways posts of Tuesday afternoon, which will always feature whatever item I’m peddling in the morning post.

The second change is the addition of discussion posts.  Credit where it’s do, the idea for this change came from my Style Coalition colleague and all-around awesome chick, Corporette, and I chose to incorporate these posts for a couple of reasons. 

One, we’ve developed such a vibrant community on CHS, that I wanted to foster discussions and debates between my readers.  I always enjoy reading the comments you leave, and I thought this might be a good way to elicit more of them. 

And two, I receive a lot of e-mails from young (college age and slightly older) women looking for advice about working on the Hill, and I thought that the Wednesday post (The Hill Life) would be a good way to respond to some of those queries.  Think of it as mentoring a new generation of young professionals.

These changes have really taken the edge off of my work load, and I think they’ve contributed something valuable to the site.  But that being said, this blog is still predominantly a fashion blog, at least 13 times per week.

Fashion Week.  This season, I swore that I was going to go to New York Fashion Week.  I sent in an application, paid the fee, and waited, and waited, and waited…only to be approved one week before the shows started.  Blast! 

Unfortunately, this left me with few options for taking off of work, finding a hotel that I could afford or wrangling invites to the weekend shows.  (All but one of the shows I was invited to was on a weekday.)  But, never fear, all of the NYFW photos are available on Style.com, so I will be posting my thoughts on the upcoming trends as the week goes on.  Hopefully, I will be able to fulfill my lifelong fashion week dreams in September.

Men’s Style.  No one was more surprised than I to learn that I have male readers.  So when their numbers grew to the point where I was receiving e-mails and Tweets from men, I decided to incorporate a men’s post, The Sharper Staffer, into the lineup.  However, as the weeks go on, I’ve realized that I loathe writing these posts.  So I’m going to try to think up a new way to handle them.  Maybe I end up posting these on Saturday or maybe I bring in a man (like we did with “Beau”) to guest blog and then I can just add my thoughts to his post.

I certainly don’t want to ignore the men who read this blog, but there are days when I would rather do multiplication tables than write the men’s style posts.  And I hate math like Tea Partiers hate taxes.

New Column.  For a few months, I have been thinking about writing an interview column asking stylish women to share their best advice.  A lot of magazines do this, but they always seem to be interviewing actresses, millionaires, and assorted famous women who, while stylish, have sartorial advantages (stylists, closets full of designer duds, etc.) that the rest of us don’t enjoy. 

The first column will appear this Thursday, and I’m really excited about it.  I’ve lined up a few participants already, but if you have someone that you would like to recommend, feel free to email capitolhillstyle (at) gmail (dot) com.  I would prefer local women, but it’s not critical that they be from this area.

Thanks everyone for reading.  I couldn’t be more grateful to all of you for stopping by every day, and all the opportunities that your continued support has afforded me and for your kind words of support and thanks.  If you have any suggestions for content or opinions about what you read, feel free to leave them in the comments.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Leave a Reply to whattokeep · cancel comment

    11 comments

  1. EG says:

    Why not bring in that male intern you interviewed when you were hiring an intern?
    I liked him; he could write the male posts.

    February 14, 2011/Reply
  2. Belle says:

    Jamie is writing over at District Cut.

    February 14, 2011/Reply
  3. Legally Brooklyn says:

    Looking forward to the discussion topics. I really enjoyed reading the suggested stress-busters last week.

    February 14, 2011/Reply
  4. T says:

    The pic has me roaring with laughter. and…great ideas. Good luck Belle.

    February 14, 2011/Reply
  5. Dr. Jean Grey says:

    Hey, Belle. If you wanted to keep up the number of posts per day while reducing the work, maybe you could consider posting one of your reader's questions and just opening it for your readers to answer in the comments. That way you could drive traffic and not have to put so much time into a post. Just a suggestion!

    February 14, 2011/Reply
  6. EG says:

    On another note– I love the idea of the “ways to style” one tenth comm. item. Knowing what to do with the adorable staffer or intern level item you post is much more helpful to me than knowing where I can buy a $500+ item. Love that idea. And I also like Dr Grey's idea of having just open forum; I love reading through the chatty Corporette comments.

    February 14, 2011/Reply
  7. Ellen says:

    I have really enjoyed the blog for the past year or so, but I think the new updates will make it even better. Thanks!

    February 14, 2011/Reply
  8. Katy says:

    Would you eventually be open to contributors from other parts of the government in DC? Think lots of girls & guys working in the White House and DoD/various other agencies would have great ideas or could use the advice. For the latter, between recent college grads and military veterans, looking professional and well-dressed on a budget can be very confusing. Just a thought.

    February 14, 2011/Reply
  9. Belle says:

    Katy-

    I'm not really looking for contributors because when I've tried it the content has really strayed from my mission. But just because the blog is called Capitol Hill Style doesn't mean the advice doesn't translate to other professional arenas, government or otherwise.

    February 14, 2011/Reply
  10. whattokeep says:

    Yay! Sounds like some fun changes are in the works. I'm particularly looking forward to the interviews. Can't wait!

    http://www.whattokeep.wordpress.com

    February 14, 2011/Reply
  11. Emily says:

    So, I may have a bit of a blog obsession, but I think a great (local) lady to interview would be “Taza” over at https://taza-and-husband.blogspot.com/ . She is DC based and has great style!

    February 16, 2011/Reply