Caravan Sonnet: Bloggy World Thoughts: from the six month newbie

7/27/13

Bloggy World Thoughts: from the six month newbie

Today I wanted to share some tips and thoughts that I have learned in "bloggy world". It is hard to believe that this week will hit the six 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! Three months ago I shared some thoughts as a "three month newbie" and today I wanted to share some thoughts as the "six month newbie". Here are my thoughts (in no particular order):
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1. I truly did not know that a fan page can not "like" another fan page on facebook. I thought the whole time that it did. Imagine my disappointment to learn that it doesn't count for any of my sweet friends when I like it through my fan page. Lesson learned.

2. A motto that I have had for responding to emails, typing up blog posts, etc. is a from a quote that I read by Edward Hughes (President & CEO of Aculon Inc): "No matter how small or insignificant it might seem, every time you communicate it matters."

3. Remember the drama that I mentioned last time and avoiding it? It appears (just like real life) that some girls live off of it. Avoid it. Life is to short. And it is not worth it.

4. Be nice to everyone. Seriously there is enough bloggy space for everyone to do their own thing in bloggy world and for you to still have your own say. I like to support and cheer on the women that I encounter. Some people don't do that and for the life of me I can't understand why. You do not want to be known as a blogger who is jealous & petty. Again, life is too short. Don't like a giveaway? Don't enter. Don't like a blogger? Don't read the blog. But don't be mean. Let's be women who are known as supporters! Seriously- there are so many awesome bloggers in bloggy world. Who wouldn't be honored to support them??

5. I said this in the "three month newbie post" but I still have readers whom I can't reply directly to. Please do not be a "do not reply blogger". 

6.Do you understand SEO information? Truthfully I really didn't and tried at all costs to avoid it. My excuse was that it was for "experienced bloggers" and I would learn it "someday". Imagine my surprise when I read Dana's article on SEO basics and was able to understand it and change somethings right away for my blog! Check out her post here for basics on SEO.

7. I have learned that having a media kit is important for blogs no matter what your follower count is. I had heard this from more established bloggers but truthfully I thought that I wouldn't need to consider it until I had at least 500 followers. Imagine my regret at learning that is not the case. At the beginning of July I spent hours creating a media kit and then later found this lovely tutorial by Kelley. I highly recommend checking it out if you need help or want to update your blog media kit.

8. I mentioned this last time but I try to leave heartfelt comments on each post that I take time to read. I know I love getting comments and I really think that everyone does! 

9. Going along with no.8: I want to point out that it is important to actually read the post that you are going to comment on (and bloggers feel free to delete inappropriate comments). Sometimes people are quick to leave a comment that is very generic like: "Love ya girl great post" or "You are awesome- this is my favorite post ever" and it might not be an appropriate comment to make. True story: I had a person who kept writing me comments on my very serious health update posts and she would always say something like- "LOVE this post- join my link up". BUT the crazy thing was was that girl only commented on those posts and not any others? Obviously I deleted those comments.

10. I heard a blogger(who has only been writing for a year)say last month that they have felt uninspired to write. Honestly, I was surprised. If you feel that way I seriously encourage you to step out and find some new blogs to read because I am constantly inspired by all of the amazing writers. Take time each week to grab a cup of tea (or coffee), sit back, and read people's blogs you may not normally read. I have a goal that I find five new blogs a week and truthfully- I am constantly inspired. Trust me, you will be too!

11. Going along with no. 10: Take your time to really develop your blog and your blog community. I said this to another blogger recently and it is true. I love opportunities to expand and reach out to new people but I will also stress that my main mission of my blog is not just to have a lot of numbers, but it is to develop a rich and vibrant community. I truly  pray that my blog can serve, bless, and encourage people to have a beautiful caravan(aka. journey).

12. 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!

13. Going along with no. 11: Really consider what the mission of your blog is before jumping into a giveaway or sponsorship.

14. If you write to a blogger asking questions that requires an in-depth answer (aka. more than two sentences) be courteous and at least give a simple "thank you". I am so thankful for all of the bloggers who have spent time giving me advice, encouragement, and love over these past months. But (and I hate to say this) it is disappointing and frustrating when you spend time responding to specific questions and emails and never hear a response.

15. Unless you are really really well known one of the best pieces of advice that I received was to make sure that everything "matched" in my pictures (profile, facebook, twitter,etc.) The reason for this is to help with marketing and brand typing. It helps your readers connect all of your social media platforms.

16. 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.

17. Get rid of the the requirement to prove that you are not a robot. If you are worried about spam (and I started receiving a ton of spam comments) then just simply put in a "block" with certain words. This has worked perfectly for me. 

18.  I said this in the "three month newbie post" but it still holds true today! 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.

19. Love what you do! I love writing and connecting with others so bloggy world is a joy!

20. Last time I mentioned joining groups that were of interest to you. I would also encourage you to start your own group, link up, or community. I have a heart for bloggers who have less than 400 hundred friends via Bloglovin or GFC. So I started a link up called "the petites" and have loved it! {In the coming months "the petites" is going to expand to other social media venues so keep an eye out!}Think about starting something that goes with your heart!

21. Be you. The worlds needs you.
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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 nine months at that point! WOW. What are your tips for us newbies in bloggy world? We would love to hear! 

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing these tips! I can't wait to check out the links later!

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    1. Thanks Jess! I hope that they are helpful!!
      :) Rebecca

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  2. Thanks for sharing these tips! I can't wait to check out the links later!

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  3. This truly was a great post, although I cringe when typing that because it sounds so generic! This is helpful and I don't think only newbies should read it. Some people that have been blogging for years need to realize these truths! I'm working on a social media kit now and I'm sure it'll help TONS.

    You have a typo in your post though ( just pointing it out as it's TOTALLY easy to do) you have 2 number 20s.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Hahaha! GREAT catch!! Thanks!! :) Just fixed that! *smiles*

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  4. I love this series! I love that so much of it is stuff I can apply RIGHT NOW :-) And you have definitely proven yourself to be a natural blogger and networker - it's really sweet of you to share your wisdom with those of us who need the nudges, reminders and tips. :-)

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    1. You are always so sweet friend!! Thank you so much for your kind words!! Love you!
      :) Rebecca

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  5. The whole 'do not reply' blogger thing being a pet peeve seems rather annoying to me, because it encourages comment replies via email rather than actually returning comments back to the blogger's site OR replying via your own blog and making a thread comment. To me, it takes away what blogging once was... I really miss that. :(

    Something else to pay attention to inline with SEO is SCO - SCO is content optimization, and it's just as important as SEO, something not many bloggers are familiar with. Perhaps you'll get a jump start on it! There aren't many articles about it, but it's important for page rank (which you want!!).

    8 & 9: YES AND YES

    I think that my top tips for newbies are:

    1. Don't lose yourself. And you will almost lose yourself with blogging, because it's easy to fall into that pool of "OMG THEY LOVE MY BLOG AND FIND ME AWESOME" and soak up the sun whilst you float around in the water. Don't be afraid to rethink your blog and make some changes to make it better for you. I did that, and although I lost a LOT of followers, I am so happy that I did that because I no longer feel like I'm lying to myself whenever I blog.

    2. Don't apologize for not blogging. It'll make a lot more sense later on.

    3. Don't feel bad for wanting/needing to go on hiatus. The Blogging Blues hit me at least twice every year, and I almost always just want to disappear and start all over again in a place where no one knows my name. Just go on a break. When you return, you'll most likely feel refreshed. If not, then perhaps something needs to change.

    4. The people who are your friends now may not be in your life next year or two years from now. Sometimes, it's really heartbreaking to lose a friend. But it happens, and you have to figure out how you can become a better person from that.

    ...Maybe I should just make my tips into a blog post, too. LOL :p

    Anyway, your blog is cute for a n00b. c;

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    1. Liz, Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. I do agree that while the "no reply blogger" aspect may seem like something that is annoying I really do strive to create a close knit community (or tribe as I like to affectionately call my close friends *smiles*) and in doing so I like to be able to have a direct reply opportunity with my bloggers. Many times, although unfortunate, despite the fact that I do reply directly on a post many of my readers do not come back to the original comment that they left for an answer.
      Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts and tips with us! You have shared some great things for us to all think about!
      Have a lovely day and thanks again for stopping on by!
      :) Rebecca

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  6. Love all these tips girl . I am so amused to see that you're at a small milestone but have LOADS of good tips to share ( I wish I did so at 6th as well).
    No-reply bloggers : How thousand many times I have said/shared but seems like some peeps just don't wanna connect .
    Noor @ Noor's Place

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  7. So helpful! From one newbie to another :)

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  8. I am so impressed with what you have done in 6 months! I have been going about 5 months and haven't experienced near as much success as you have. I love your take on blogging as building a community and developing relationships with people rather than gaining followers and readers. That is extremely refreshing! Very impressive that just 6 months in you have all these great tips to share! Imagine where you will be when you hit a year! Keep it up, you are great at it.

    Shannon

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  9. Great tips! I'm confused about the Facebook one though - I "like" other blog pages via my page, and I can also comment on their page posts via my "page" identity...am I missing something?

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    1. Never mind this comment...I figured out what you meant. How weird that page to page likes don't "count"! Facebook should change that!

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    2. Isn't that strange Gina??! I was so confused and surprised because I thought- well I can see it and it says that I have "liked" it but it doesn't actually count towards the "likes" for the person. SO strange I know! :) Thanks again for commenting and for stopping by Gina!
      :) Rebecca

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  10. Thank you for the tips! It will be really helpful for all the newbies (me included). :)

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  11. Hello!

    I found your blog through your post on Blogs for Christian Women about singlness. What a GREAT post! I'm only 18, but I have always been single. Since I'm entering my sophomore year of college, it seems that all the time more and more of my friends enter into dating relationships, and I'm the last one single. Sometimes I do wonder how long I will be single for. I hope to live my single years with a joyful heart, and your post really inspired me! I also enjoyed your tidbit about all of the Christian authors/leaders who say "make the most of those years!" but how most of them are married so young... I have thought about that before too and it is interesting!

    xoxo Miss ALK
    http://missalk1994.blogspot.com

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  12. Excellent list. I've been drafting a very similar one myself about how to be a better blogger today. Commenting and visiting your sidebar swap partners daily are high priorities on my list of blogging activities.

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  13. This is AWESOME!! I am so guilty of thinking my blog is too small to worry about things like a media kit or SEO. Thank you so much for the resources! It will be something I need to read more about.
    Girl, I appreciate how genuine you are. You develop relationships and aren't afraid to be vulnerable. I have been so encouraged by your "heartfelt comments" that extend beyond the general "love this" comment. Thank you for your love and commitment!!

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