January 1, 2014

Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire): Mid City Love’s Nichole Kladder

Photograph by Rick DeVos

I discovered Mid City Love via a tweet by Furnace Creative’s Sergio Salgado(1). The charming blog is about the Kladders, their love and loyalty to living in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. There’s also a Midwestern zeal, which I also share. Here, Nichole Kladder shares her thoughts about web-based publishing that may help you engage blogging, or further inform your current work in it. She can be found on Twitter: @NicholeKladder.

Why did you create a Website of regular entries?
I went to school for journalism, sports broadcasting specifically. My senior year I took an awful internship at a local news station that changed my attitude towards that profession. After switching gears, I landed in Detroit working for the Pistons in promotions and multimedia, and had lost all connection to writing. Shortly after I started my blog (then titled Miss Defined), I haven’t stopped writing since. Blogging reconnected me to being verbally creative.

What Web-based solution did you select and why?
For years, I worked off WordPress by recommendation of a friend. It was easy to use and had so-so templates to chose from—at the time, I was nowhere near creating my own designs. Last spring, when I launched the newest version of my blog (joined by my co-writer and husband Jeff), we switched over to Squarespace. Partly because they were new and shiny (and I have a weak spot for startup companies), but mostly because their designs and user experience are beautiful and seamless.

What is your definition of a good blog
and what are three good blogs that you frequently visit?
Pulling from my journalism background, a good blog is similar to a good book, magazine, or article… when it’s over, it leaves the reader wanting more. Blogs I visit frequently include: Like Knows Like, a site that profiles creative humans through film. Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth, a very personal health food blog. And, Young House Love which is all about DIY-home renovation. We don’t even live in a house! We are in a loft downtown… now that’s a good blog if I read it and it doesn’t even pertain to me.

Design by Julia Jamieson

How do you create content for your blog?
There are nearly a dozen unpublished drafts sitting on the back end of our site waiting for their 5 seconds of fame. I’m creating new content in my head constantly. Because our blog centers around lifestyle, typically entries come to me when we are out experiencing things. I’ll see a moment that needs capturing and sharing, and then it snow-balls from there. Most often the entry is written (or at least framed) in my head before I can get to my laptop.

How do you stay organized and motivated
to contribute to your blog?
I’ve had a schedule of a post per week since the very beginning. Five years later, now it’s just habit.

For those aspiring to make a Website composed
of regular thoughts and/or images, what is your advice? 
Readers love imagery whether it be photos, graphics or other. Another rule I made for myself was to always include imagery in every post I publish. Getting into a routine of taking photos in whatever it is you are writing about is key. Build your library of imagery… you can never have too much.

What is your quest in blogging?
Mid City Love was created to share about a midwestern couple who live, work, and play in the mid-sized city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mid City Love is about us, our city, and our lives within. Our quest is to share, entertain, and connect with our world. Go humans, go internet, go life!—Not quite sure where I was going with that. The end.

(1) To complement Nichole’s highlight of Like Knows Like, I strongly recommend Sergio Salgado’s film series Practice & Space that looks into “people’s commitments to their craft and is filmed on location in their unique spaces.”

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Images courtesy of Nichole Kladder.

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Typeface of quote is Nexa designed by Fontfabric in 2012.

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Read more of the Design Feast series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire).

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