One of my readers, a college student in Washington (the state, not the District), is taking a class where students are required to blog. Part of the assignment is to write about a blog they read. And she chose mine. (Ahh! *sqeal!*)
To preface what she wrote, I'd like to say that if you've been thinking about blogging, do it. Just start it up and figure it out as you go along if you want to. Maybe one day a student will write about you, and let me tell you, it makes all your time and effort totally worth it! (The last line is my FAVORITE.)
Cupcakes and Shoes
When I first opened the page to my friend’s blog, my eyes were met by a tea rose pink background and a sketch of the author with her little white dog. Everything about the page screams girly. But that’s exactly what it is supposed to be. The blog Cupcakes and Shoes takes you “inside the head of a wistful city girl who loves cake and shoes she can’t afford.” The author goes by “Meppers” on her blog, but her real name is Mary El. She actually used to babysit me when we lived in Georgia and we recently reconnected when we both moved to Washington D.C. Currently, she does PR for the Army at the Pentagon. In her blog, she discusses her personal life, the places, the people and her everyday escapades of being a “hot child in the city”.
But what really makes a good blog? What keeps me and 73 other followers coming back to check her page for a new post? Is it that girly pink layout? According to renowned blogger Steffan Anotonas, effective bloggers should always write the way they speak. Mary El has mastered this art. The voice in her writing is so Mary El that it almost seems as if she were sitting with her readers in a coffee shop on U Street chatting. Peppered with OMG-YA’LL-s, her writing is a southern belle/city girl fusion. Its unique, transparent and authentic. That is one element that keeps us coming back for more.
The layout of her blog is well-balanced. It appeals to girls and there are virtually no ads on her website that would cause visual clutter. But what really hooks nosy readers like me in, is the content. She puts her life out there for everyone to know. Its all real life episodes that we can all relate to. Whether its about the awkward blind date she had last weekend, an embarrassing moment, a new restaurant she tried, or her opinion on celebrity gossip, there’s something she writes about that many women can relate to. She does not flaunt her ego but invites the reader to laugh with her at her blunders. And that’s what makes her so likable. She’s vulnerable, charming and hilarious. Sometimes when she’s in a predicament, she engages her readers even more by asking them what she should do. Should she and K drive two hours to Richmond to stalk DJ Cutie Pants? Should she die her hair red? This has a great effect and keeps her followers commenting.
Some anonymous readers have criticized her as being rude, elitist and snobby. But she addresses them respectfully and even apologizes for coming across that way. In one of her latest posts, “Gammas Who Dine”, she dispels such snide rumors and scolds the mean girls in our society.
Since it first started, Cupcakes and Shoes has grown on me and its readers. Perhaps it's her unique voice in her writing, or maybe it's the pretty pink layout. But I think to most of us, it's the peek into the diary of a boy crazy girl, who writes about dreading turning 30, her not-so-secret obsessions like chocolate and Britney Spears, and the drama and parties. For me, I think it's just nice to get a taste of the cupcakes and step into the shoes of a city girl that's got it all.