Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The New Blogger Blues


I don't think it is a secret that I am a new blogger.  (And by new, I mean that this blog has only been around for a few months, which means I have been blogging for all of 2 seconds in the blogosphere.)  It's aways inspiring to read some of the more established blogs that have been around for awhile (and by established, I mean that they've been blogging for a few years, and know exactly what their blog is, or what they want it to be.  That kind of thing shows! )  Love Taza - the Rockstar Diaries, Radical Possibility, and Story of My Life are a few blogs that come to mind when I think of "established blogs"that I enjoy reading, and I am learning from them every day.

I hope to still be around a few years from now, and hopefully I will have settled in and made this blog what it is supposed to be.  However, starting a new blog can be daunting, and I wanted to share a few things that I've been learning thus far!  (Again, I'm not saying I'm an expert, but these are things I now know to be true, even with my limited experience.)


1.  NETWORKING.  Oh my goodness, networking.  Prior to this blog, I thought that blogging was about putting some great thoughts out into the web, people would come across them, be dazzled and intrigued by your thoughts, they would tell their friends, and BOOM you'd have a blog.  Um, naive much?

There are probably millions of blogs our there, half of which are trying to do the same thing as you, so if you don't get off of your butt and make an effort to reach out to other bloggers and individuals, the only people who will come across your blog will be bots or VampireStat.com.  (Don't go to this link or google it - just trust me, it's bad.


2.  YOU HAVE TO READ OTHER BLOGS.  Duh!  Not only can you be inspired by what others write, but to blog well you have to be aware of what is going on in the blogosphere.  What is that blog doing for promotion?  Who is doing what kinds of linkups?  Wait, that blog also knows that other blog that I also read - what a great opportunity to connect!  Etc etc.


3.  FOLLOWERS DO NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT.  At least they haven't for me, although I have heard that for some blogs that this does seem to happen.  I'm not sure what they are doing differently than the rest of us, but for the majority of blogs, I don't think you should expect this, and that's okay.


4.  BLOG FOR YOURSELF, NOT FOR YOUR FOLLOWERS.  Your blog shouldn't be about how many followers you have.  Your blog should be about YOU and what you want to put out there; how you want to express yourself.  While you want your blog to get found, at the end of the day, blog for yourself.  Anyone who does end up following along will be able to connect with you on a much deeper level, which is the whole point, isn't it?
5.  DON'T GO CRAZY WITH SOCIAL MEDIA.  I might be standing alone here.  I've read a lot of "beginning blogging tips" on other blogs, and most of them say things like "if you aren't on Facebook or Twitter, you are losing followers!"  So obviously, one of the first things I did was sign up for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

However, after only a couple of weeks, I felt like these multiple social outlets were just vehicles for wasting my time.  I'd get confused - what would I post on Twitter but not on Facebook - is it okay to post the same thing on both?  If I share a photo on Instagram, should it also go on Facebook?  What exactly was I trying to do with these accounts?  I had no idea, so I ended up taking these off my blog.

Now, I am only actively using Pinterest, Google+, and Bloglovin', none of which confuse me at all.  I know that a lot of blogs (most, probably) have mastered exactly how to use multiple platforms of social media to connect with people, but I'm just not one of them yet.

Eventually, once I've built up Google +, maybe I'll get back on Twitter or Facebook - but for now, it was just too much.  (Quick note - I really love Google +.  I know it's the newer of the social media platforms, but the way it allows you to connect with communities and new people is really awesome.  Plus, I blog via Blogger, which is built into Google and Google +, so… bonus!)  :)


6.  TURN ON YOUR COMMENTS!  One of the blogging tips I read about a month or so ago was to turn off the comments on your blog until you have built a bigger following, since seeing the "No Comments" at the bottom of your blog posts is a turn-off to potential readers.  So, I turned off the comments on my blog.

Thankfully, one of the bloggers I had recently connected with (shout out for Sofie from Little Green Sofie - thanks again, Sofie!) sent me a message that comments was one of the best ways to connect with other bloggers, and recommended I turn them back on.

Obviously, I did, and have met several new people since then that I never would have otherwise.  I'm not sure why this blogging tips post recommended that new bloggers turn off the comments on their blogs for awhile, but for me, this turned out to be bad advice.

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So far, I think these have been the real "Ah-Ha" moments of my 3 month blogging journey.  Are there any other new bloggers who have anything to add?  After all, we all want the same thing, right?  To share parts of ourselves and connect with others doing the same thing?  Best of luck to all the new bloggers out there - hang in there, I hear that it really does get easier!  :)

NOTE:  All of the images used in this post - aside from the Word Cloud, which I made via Wordle.net - have been taken from royalty free websites such as Morguefile.com.  Thanks!

11 comments:

  1. Woah, so sweet that you mentioned me! You're welcome :)
    I love commenting on other blogs, and if someone leaves me a comment on my blog, I will always check out their blog and thank them for visiting mine. I think that's the best way to get connected with your readers and discover new beautiful blogs.
    I hope you're having a wonderful week!

    Sofie x
    Little green Sofie

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    1. Hi Sofie! You were so right - I'm very glad you brought the comments issue to my attention! :) Thanks again, and I hope you have a great week as well...! :)

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  2. Great tips. I think the one important one that you mentioned is "blog for yourself". It's difficult because you want readers/followers, but people will follow if you write about what you want... You just have to put it out there and trust that everything will fall into place.

    One other thing that is helpful with the comments is using Disqus over the blogger version. It is much easier to get the replies to your comments.

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    1. Hi Lauren! I completely agree - blogging for yourself should be the first and foremost concern of any blogger. Thank you for the Disqus suggestion - interestingly enough, I have been having some trouble with Disqus lately on other's blogs, including your own! I tried to make a comment last week and was not able to - it won't let me sign in to google or another service. It's really too bad, as I've noticed quite a few blogs use it! I need to get it sorted out. When you say that it is much easier to get replies, do you mean that you are notified in a better way?

      I appreciate the feedback!

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    2. Two thumbs down to that!! I don't know why it would be buggy, but hopefully it's just a minor glitch? Oh I have an actual Disqus account, so maybe that is one way to get around the glitches? I don't use the other options to sign in with Disqus.

      Yes, you get a notification of responses to your comments, whereas on Blogger you either have to go back and to the blog to see if you received a response, or check the 'notify me' box. If you choose to be notified, you get notified when anyone comments on that post, not just to your comment. So if it is a particularly popular post, you get notified of the 50+ responses and then finally the one response to you (which is usually a one or two word response! lol).

      I hope that is helpful! Oh and I liked how you pointed out to not click on Vampirestat. I hate that we can't just go about our lives without someone making up a website like Vampirestat.

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    3. So true - getting all of the notifications for everyone's comments is pretty annoying. I'll have to dig in deeper and see what it going on - in the meantime, know that I did want to comment on your blog! :)

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  3. taza (originally rockstar diaries) was one of my first favorites too :) such a great blog, right? i've been blogging a couple months now too, and i definitely agree with your points - esp. about reading other blogs and blogging for yourself. seems like you're off to a great start :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer! I have really been enjoying your blog - glad that we (and plenty of others) have taza in common. :) You've inspired me to look into sewing a scarf for a future DIY…!

      Have a wonderful week!

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  4. This is a lovely list... You have come so far... totally impressed with everything about your blog, your purpose! You are on your way, off to great things! Inspired!

    Debbie @http://ordinary-creative.com

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  5. This is a great list! I should probably start using google+ more . . . Thanks for a super informative post!

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