Today I wanted to share some tips and thoughts that I have learned in "bloggy world". It is hard to believe that last Sunday I hit the three month mark of writing on this blog! It is also amazing to me that I have received some emails and facebook messages asking me for tips on blogging. I am truly humbled. Despite the fact that I had planned and thought through the idea of Caravan Sonnet and where I would like it to go I still had so much to learn. I am still A.M.A.Z.E.D. that y'all read my little corner of the internet world! Thank you! Also, thank you so much to all of you lovely ladies who have made this blogging experience such a wonderful experience in my life! So here are my thoughts (in no particular order):~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Do not be a "do not reply blogger". If you don't know how to fix this then read Kristine's post on how to change it! There are some amazing people that comment on my blog but then they are a no-reply blogger and I truthfully do not have time to find a way to reply back to them. It is such an easy thing to fix so read Kristine's post if you are not sure how to change it!
2. One thing that I was surprised to learn was about the "link in text" change option. Basically you can post a link and click on "change" and change the wording of the link to any words you want it to be.
3. Don't hesitate to ask questions. There are so many lovely people that are willing to help you.
4. I have met some of the nicest and sweetest gals in bloggy world. If you would like to know some of my other favorite blogs you can read about them here!
5. I am seriously inspired by all of the amazing writers. I encourage you to take time each week to read people's blogs and be inspired.
6. Spellcheck. Spellcheck. Spellcheck.
7. Thank your readers (I don't do this enough). I am incredibly humbled by those of you that stick around and read and leave such sweet comments on my posts. I am honored.
8. Blog design is important. Make sure that your blog reflects who you are.
9. If HTML and blog design doesn't interest you then invest in a blog designer. I couldn't afford the amount of money that was needed for the blog design I originally was considering. I spent over 40 hours over a couple of weeks investigating all of my different options. I was thrilled to discover on Etsy several options and fell in love with Carrie Loves Design and her Etsy options. And for those of you who are like me that don't want to install a design she will even install it for you for no additional charge. (UPDATE: as of August 2014 my design is created by THIS Girl Design! The link can be found at the bottom of my site!)
10. Leave comments that you would want to read. I so enjoy the interactions and comments that my readers give to me that are heartfelt. I try to leave a thoughtful comment on every post that I read and I love how that gives me the opportunity to connect with other bloggers.
11. Reply back to comments on your blog. I will admit that when my blog was smaller it was a lot easier to quickly reply back to comments. I have learned to set aside time and try to thoughtfully respond back as soon as possible to each comment on my blog. If you want to create a community I would highly recommend replying to comments!
12. Get rid of the the requirement to prove that you are not a robot.
13. Blogging for the numbers is not what blogging is about. Blog for the community. I love the relationships that I have made in bloggy world... while I am amazed and honored by the numbers it is the relationships that really matter.
14. Blogging takes a ton of time and lots of hard work to make those relationships and to develop your blog to be the way that you want it to be. I spend hours and hours on each post writing, re-writing, and re-writing it to truly reflect me and my heart. I have definitely learned in the last few months the hard work that is required for bloggy world. Truthfully though- it is SO much fun to me. I definitely only recommend blogging if you love it!
15. Post at least 3 times a week if you are trying to build up your blog and your audience. Think about coming up with a schedule for your blog that works for you. I personally have all of my blog writing schedule laid out for me in my planner that I use. You can find the planner that I use HERE or read all about the different items I purchased for the planner on the RESOURCE page which you can find HERE.
16. The reality is that bloggy world is just like real life. There are some drama queens in bloggy world but just like in real life you can pick your friends. Choose the joy. Choose the MANY wonderful ladies that are in bloggy world and ignore the stuff that really isn't that important in life.
17. On that same note: I am SHOCKED at what I have read some people writing about other bloggers. Do they really want to go back and read that in the future? Again, my simple advice is to avoid the drama and choose the good. Life is way to short for all of that kind of silly stuff.
18. Lots and lots of bloggers say this but keep a small notebook with you to write down ideas of future blog posts. This can help you on those days where you are having writers block!
19. If you only reply to comments through your blog your reader/commenter might not receive your comment. This was such a shock for me to learn after I had been blogging for several weeks! I was sure that I was creating the sweetest community by replying to each comment on my blog. The problem was that unless those commenter's came back to check their post area they never saw my reply. I still reply to some comments on my blog posts but in general if you are looking to create a community and deeper relationships you need to reply by email.
20. Join different groups that are areas that interest you just like you do in "real life".
21. Love what you do! I love writing and connecting with others so bloggy world is a joy!
I can't wait to share more tips and thoughts from bloggy world in another three months! It is hard to believe that I will have been blogging for six months! WOW. What are your tips for us newbies in bloggy world? We would love to hear!