By Bridger Warlick
Blogging – what a funny-looking word. According to Dictionary.com, blogging is defined as “a website containing a writer or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.”
Since computers have started taking over the world, so have blogs. Today many well-known bloggers are being sponsored and paid by different brands and companies, some earning six figures for a single appearance.
There are several different types of blogs that cover a range of topics. These blogs include lifestyle, fashion, food, sports, how-to, photo, professional and blogs that are just for fun. Often writers come together to create a blog. For example, Southern Methodist University students like Conor Lane and Sara Mullaly use their skills to contribute to sport and fashion group blogs. Other bloggers take on the task themselves.
Blogs encourage creative individuals to write, post and share their personal experience all around the world or in their own backyard. Dallas locals dominate the blog scene and keep their followers up to date on the latest styles, the current scores and the top lifestyle trends.
SMUStyle – Fashion Blog
Sara Mullaly, a junior at Southern Methodist University started writing for SMUStyle her freshman year. She and nine other students work to keep the blog up to date and always relevant.
Mullaly says the group meets about once a week, and they pitch ideas to each other for their stories. Their goal is to post about two items a week in order to keep all of their followers happy. Mullaly, a fashion-ista herself, had several blogs on her own when she was in high school. But with SMUStyle she hasn’t had time to keep up with them. Mullaly checks two blogs, The Everygirl and Who What Wear, every day as part of her morning routine.
The Hilltopics– Sports Blog
Journalism senior Conor Lane has been writing for SMU’s sports blog called Hilltopics for about six months.
Lane started blog writing after he took a sports journalism class with Jean-Jacques Taylor, the Dallas Morning New’s Dallas Cowboys beat writer. One of Lane’s classmates, Adam Grosbard, read some of his work and asked him if he would be interested in writing for Hilltopics. “I’ve always loved sports, and since I know what it’s like to be both a player and a spectator, I think I have an interesting perspective to offer a publication like Hilltopics,” says Lane.
Lane receives a list of players being recruited by SMU – they’ve either committed or have been offered – and he interviews a few of them each week to get a sense of where they’re at in their recruitment.
“My favorite part is getting the inside scoop on what’s going on with SMU sports. All the kids that I’ve interviewed have one thing in common — they love the school and the coaching staffs. Getting to hear these players speak so highly of my school is a very cool thing, and I cherish the opportunity Hilltopics has given me,” says Lane.
Donuts and Dior – Fashion and Photo Blog
“Donuts and Dior can (hopefully!) be a source of inspiration for fashion, lifestyle, design and fitness for you. I created this site as [a] place to catalogue the growth of my own personal style and taste but as it’s grown, I’ve loved seeing how others have used my content as inspiration.” – Shelly Knutson
”This site is a destination for natural, relatable, and quirky inspiration for girls around the world seeking a life full of fashion, fitness, and most importantly, fun.”
– Shelly Knutson
SMU senior and California girl Michelle Knutson started her blog Donuts and Dior her sophomore year of high school. She started her blog on Tumblr, a photo site, before domain sites such as BlogSpot and WordPress became so insanely popular.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Knutson was in for a temperature shock when she moved to Massachusetts for boarding school. She jokes that she started her blog because she didn’t want to venture outside into the cold.
“I did so honestly because I was bored and freezing my butt off in boarding school,” Knutson says, laughing, “and figured it would be a fun, inventive hobby I could pick up while staying indoors.”
Knutson says her favorite blogs include FashionToast, Cupcakes and Cashmere, WeWoreWhat and College Prepster.
As they’ve attracted followers, many bloggers have branched out to other platforms. Knutson herself has dabbled in different social media, but she never stuck to one besides her blog.
“I find bloggers these days who are seeking profit constantly try to tackle the next big thing when it comes to social media, but my blog’s never been about that.”
Instead, Knutson updates her blog daily, in most cases, with new content rather than bombard her loyal followers with the same information on different social media platforms.
“The most rewarding part is when I get reminders from friends or even random people around campus to post more,” she say. “People get more excited and behind my content than I do myself sometimes, and it definitely encourages me to want to post more.”
Sanford Standard – Fashion and Style Blog
“With a passion for fashion, my sources of inspiration are endless. I’m continuously influenced by architecture, interior design and my surroundings. I am a student at Southern Methodist University studying Fashion Media and Business and plan to pursue a career in fashion. This blog reveals my ever-changing personal style and the constant standards by which I live my life.”
– Mary Sanford McClure
Memphis native Mary Sanford McClure has always been interested in fashion. A junior at SMU, she started her blog, Sanford Standard, about eight months ago. She was inspired by another blogger, Justine McGregor, who told her to just bite the bullet and make one.
McClure’s ultimate dream job would be styling, so she uses her blog not to show off her clothes but as a portfolio. She says that if she is one day applying for a job, she can use her blog to show her potential employer what she has done.
Friends and family were McClure’s initial following. However, one day she decided it was time to put herself out there and post on Facebook. Since that day her following base has continued to grow, and she noted that her largest post had about 1,000 people looking at it from all over the world.
“I like to be visual,” says McClure. “I don’t like to read a lot of mess, so I will write a couple sentences, but I try to keep the pictures as the main focus of the blog and each post.”
McClure notes she was very good about posting on her blog last year, but with her busy schedule this semester she hasn’t had as much time as she would like to post. She says being consistent is the hardest part.
“It’s hard to find time to devote to writing and taking pictures. People who write blogs professionally have people to take photos for them. But for me, I have to find friends to take photos, and I have to find time to set aside for myself to work on it as well.”
McClure says she enjoys exploring with her blog. She loves playing with the clothes that she has. “A lot of times you wear the same outfits and you need to mix and match,” says McClure. “It’s fun experimenting what would look good and working with what you have.”
She would love for her blog to become successful, but for now she will continue working toward her goal to become a stylist.
Sarah Fun – Lifestyle and Food Blog
“I have found that if you love life, it will love you back”
– Sarah Fun
Currently studying Art Therapy at SMU, Sarah Fun is a project-based artist for Susan Graham Designs and in-house photographer for Rachel Nash Gallery. Fun, who identifies herself as a “coffee drinker, picture taker, and life liver,” has had her blog Local Dreamer since February of 2015. She started her lifestyle and food blog because many of her friends wanted to see more of what she likes to do.
Being a photographer, Fun has filled her blog with colorful, bright and artsy photos that people love to look at. She has over 2,000 followers from multiple countries, and her base continues to grow every day.
Fun herself follows mainly fashion bloggers, but she decided to make her blog mostly lifestyle and food based. She explores restaurants all over Dallas and posts photos of the treats she enjoys.
Fun promotes her blog through her Instagram, HeySarahFun, and she also has her own personal website where she displays more of her photos.
“I like that it’s more personal and I can write the way I speak so my readers feel like we’re having a conversation,” she says about her blog.
“The Real- Life Serena Van Der Woodsen bringing stylish to a whole new level”
– Town and Country
“If you like ladylike looks with a touch of edge, this girl’s for you”
– Who What Wear
SMU graduate Krystal Schlegel started her fashion blog Krystal Schlegel in 2010 while still a student. Today the site has over 400,000 unique viewers who visit it every day.
“My personal style is pretty simple. Classic but modern. Southern but edgy. Comfortable and casual. I keep my home decorated in all white and my closet full of neutrals,” says Schlegel.
Schlegel has remained up to date with ever changing social media. Instagram was not around when she started her blog, but now it is Schlegel’s main form of social media.
Like many other student bloggers, Schlegel started as a young woman with a dream. Now she enjoys working at her ultimate job. “I have met so many amazing people and love being my own boss,” she says. ”I am putting in more hours than when I had a 9 to 5 job, but I love what I do, so it is all very exciting and worth the hard work.”