Monday, January 7, 2013

The Secrets to Blogging Happiness

Ok, I have been a blogger for about 3 years now and over the course of this journey I have learned a few things about blogging. And about myself. It's been a neat ride. I can definitely see a difference from when I first started blogging and how I blog now. No matter the reason why you blog, you open yourself up to the world when you start (unless you are a private blogger and have to issue invites for people to read your blog...that's a whole different thing). Anyway, here's what I've learned if you want to have a successful blog...

1. Post regularly
The blogs I love to read, I admit, I check them daily. During my little computer time I allow myself, I treat them as old friends, lending me some sanity to my crazy days. I look for their bright pictures, their witty satires, the awesome tutorials or new ideas I must "pin" and try for myself. If they skip a day I have to wonder where they are or what's going on that they couldn't post that day?
Young House Love...these guys post TWICE a day! Love it. 


 Which brings us to item number....

2. Be willing to share lots of personal information
That's right! I was missing their posts because I wanted to know how their kids were doing in school. I wanted to hear how the pregnancy worked out or how the move went or what was going on with their new job. These bloggers are willing to share their whole lives with us. And that's what brings me back to their blogs each day, because I sort of feel like I know them and we're friends. Like we could meet at a little pastry shop and have a good laugh. I know everything about them and so I feel closer to their situations. And it helps to....

3. Take good pictures
I'm always drawn to that artistic shot or that different angle of a picture. I love seeing how people look at the way through a camera that's different than my perspective. I'm also in constant photo-envy because I'll admit, even though I have that fancy camera and have taken a couple of classes, I still have no idea how to use aperture and focal distance or whatever you need to know to take a good picture. So I live vicariously through those who do know. And lets be honest, it's easier to look at a good picture as opposed to those tiny, un-focused, taken-with-your-phone pics. Sometimes you need more than good pics. Sometimes you need....
Making it Lovely

4. Have good giveaways
....a good giveaway. There are some sites that host amazing giveaways each week or month or day. Giveaways for Kenmore stand-alone mixers, Nikon cameras, Silhouettes, etc. How the heck do you get those guys to sponsor a giveaway for you? And really, what are the odds of you winning when there are almost 1,000 - 10,000 entries? But, hey, you MIGHT win! There's always a chance! So, you enter and cross your fingers that the planets will align and the giveaway gods will pick you. Because, sometimes, they do! And people love a good giveaway....
MADE

5. Write entertaining and informative posts 
In this I mean using spell check, logical thoughts and infuse lots of your own personality. Sometimes I find myself just writing the how-to's for a post and leaving it as free of personality as I can. Not on purpose. Just trying to get the info out to you, but forgetting to make it fun and easy instead of like a text book. Those blogs that have the feel of being in the room talking to you are the best and easiest to read. The ones that grab people and make them feel like you know them.

6. Don't worry about numbers
This is always in the back of my mind, and every time I see that "so-and-so unsubscribed" email or see my numbers dip on the sidebar, I wonder what I've done wrong. I go to those sites with 5,000 followers or 10,000 followers and immediately compare and think I need to get something going to increase numbers. It's a game we all play because if those popular blogs didn't have followers well, then they wouldn't be popular, would they? Wow, I just got all "what came first, chicken or egg?" on you. It's a conundrum.

Now, how many of these rules do I keep?

Not nearly enough. In the beginning I started a non-private blog because I felt my family members were tired of seeing pictures of my furniture re-do's instead of my children. And I kind of wanted to know if I was doing anything good. It was a rush when I got my first comment. I was totally addicted! I had to make more stuff so I could blog every day! I had to find sponsors so I could have a giveaway each month! I had to buy a new camera and learn how to take those cool and edgy pics that were on those high-traffic blogs. I had to link to every party I stumbled on! I had to be them! Maybe I could make money off of this! Stay at home job! Maybe I could end up on TV!!!

But, here's what I've come to terms with....

I am never going to be them. I can't blog every day. I have 4 children one of which is a newborn and man, do they need a lot of time or attention! So, not only can I not blog every day, I can't even do projects to blog about! I wonder sometimes, if I could ever be that mother that totes her camera to the park and the grocery store and during random activities to always end up having something to blog about. And I've decided I just can't. I need to tote a diaper and a sippy cup around instead. I need to make sure my kids don't wander around or beat up another kid (ok, they've never done that but it's probably because I'm around to make sure it never happens. Heh).

I hold giveaways when people come to me and I think that it will appeal to you guys. Sometimes I turn people down. It just doesn't make sense to have a giveaway for say, a deal in storage units. In that same vein, I don't usually agree to have guest posts by people who want to share something about the real estate market or cough drops. I know there are a lot of people in different situations who read this blog and maybe some of you would really dig a post about real estate or medicine. But, I want to keep this blog about home decor, easy crafts, kid-friendly activities and things I would be interested in reading as well. So, a lot of requests for guest posters get turned away. And I'm all right with that. I hope you are, too.

So, there's my thoughts. My insights. My 2 cents. I hope you enjoy and good luck! Maybe someday, you will end up on TV! Or with your own book! I wish you much luck on that endeavor because it never hurts to have goals and aspirations. You can do it! I'm rooting for ya. Seriously!

And Happy New Year!

7 comments:

  1. I could have written this whole post myself! I have been a loyal reader of your blog since you started and have loved watching you grow. I'm looking forward to celebrating 3 years of blogging myself next month and want to do a massive giveaway. I could have written the whole "I only host giveaways when they come to me" part. So true! I don't know where to start. Keep on posting awesome stuff. You are doing a great job!

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  2. This is one awesome post, so insightful

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  3. Ok, so I meant to say something witty too, but commenting on an IPad gets tricky sometime!

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  4. Loved this post because you told it like it is!! I do not advertise on my blog because I like the personal feel without all the ads. I can not blog every day because that then becomes a full time job and I already have one, I don't need 2. I can't always visit a lot of blogs because i have a full time job.
    I too wish those people well who want to end up in a magazine or TV or want to "grow their Blog". I don't need to "grow my blog" because I am not making any money off of blogging nor do I care to. I make enough money at the job I do have...
    I blog because I love the people that I have met online through blogging. I love showing what I have done to my home and I love seeing what others have done to theirs. That is it, pure and simple, why I blog.
    Great post!!

    Happy New Year to you and Yours!!

    hugs,
    Deb

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  5. Hi Meg,

    I am so glad you have found success with your blog. I was in such a rut and my blog took a back burner for a while and I'm ready to get back to my passion. This post was just what I needed to help fan the flames in my blogging heart! Thank you for being so candid and providing great tips.

    Always watching your blog for something new!
    Jen @ Noting Grace

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