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

10/27/13

Bloggy World Thoughts: from the nine month newbie

Today I wanted to share some more tips and thoughts that I have learned in "bloggy world". It is hard to believe that this week hit the nine month mark of writing on this blog! While time sometimes seems to move slow, I at other times, like when I read that I have been blogging for nine months, feel like time is flying! 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 have and 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 bloggy world such a wonderful experience in my life! Three months ago I shared some thoughts as a "six month newbie"  and six months ago I shared tips as the "three month newbie". Today I wanted to share some thoughts as the "nine month newbie". Here are my thoughts (in no particular order):
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1. Make sure that your email is highly visible on your blog.

2.  Really be careful about the comments you leave on a post. It is probably not the best idea to ask for a "follow back" on a very serious and personal post. In general it is best to leave your blog's URL instead of asking for a "follow back".

3. While I don't care about numbers, it is generally not good blogger etiquette to ask a blogger (who is much larger than you) to swap ads with you & then to ask them for a bigger swap size because you feel that the swap size is to small. 

4. Be a classy blogger. It is truly not classy to share email disagreements, twitter arguments, etc. that you have with other bloggers. Do you really want to go back six, nine, or twelve months from now and re-read that post and remember all of that drama? I would hope the answer would be "no"!

5. One of the the best articles I read about different things to do for your blog was this article HERE! While I haven't done alot of those tips, if you are looking to really help your blog grow it is a GREAT article to check out!

6. If you haven't already been pinning your posts/pictures/ect. to pinterest start now. Pinterest is a wonderful way to generate more traffic to your blog. I don't have time to pin things everyday so I spend time once a week going through the previous weeks posts and pinning things to pinterest. It is definitely worth the time investment. {Also, to be a good bloggy friend pin other peoples posts!}

7. Guest posting is a great way to get your blog out there, but don't say "yes" to every opportunity. I unfortunately learned this the hard way a couple of months ago: I was asked by a blogger to write a guest post on her blog and she gave no direction on what she wanted or was looking for. I sent her a topic and shared that it was a topic that I had written about previously on blog, she said it looked wonderful, and then I carefully crafted the post for her blog. To be honest I was very taken back when she wrote me a very long email filled with tips and things that she thought I needed to know to (as she put it) "improve my writing". She also went through and offered "grammar" corrections (as she called them). In addition to this she also informed me in a round about way that no one would want to read this post because of my poor writing. Honestly, I wasn't offended (be a writer for any period of time and you have your fair share of rejection letters *smiles*) but what did surprise me was that the post happened to be one of my highest read and highest commented on posts of all time. (Yes, I also admit that it surprised me that she took the time (without me asking her to) to critique that much of my writing. *smiles*) In addition to this a couple of different versions of the post have been printed in online magazines. I say all of that to say that I did what I should have done at the beginning: I went and read through several months of posts of her blog, did some digging, looked at the bloggers following and spent another day reading through her posts, and realized that I should have politely said "no" from the beginning. It wasn't because she had a smaller following than me (which she significantly did), I should have said "no" because as I read through a few posts I realized that our blog tones were incredibly different. I truly like to have a conversation and create a rich & vibrant community with Caravan Sonnet. I have made wonderful friends. I love the way that the conversation ebbs and flows in and out of the blog. And while I like to share things that I hope are helpful, I don't ever like to preach at my readers. I realized (with some gratefulness) that this girl turning me down was actually the best for me. And I learned an important lesson along the way. Don't say "yes" to every guest blogging opportunity. Do your homework and really research to see if you are a good fit. 

8. Back up your blog**. it's actually a good idea to do it every once in a while. And, yes, when you lose something like that people do tend to go in to panic mode! As long as you have a backup somewhere you should have a good restore point.


To back up the design: Template > Backup/Restore > Download Full Template
To back up your content (posts & comments): Settings > Other > Export Blog > Download Blog
**this tip was given to me by a dear friend! Thank you Carrie from: Carrie Loves Design**

9. While it is not required or seen as taboo if you don't do this, it is still polite to "follow" certain people on social media sites if you are sponsoring them, interact frequently with them on a particular social media site, or if you have requested that they follow you. (yes, the last one is a true story. *smiles*)

10. Want to make a button for your blog WITH a grab code? Click HERE for the best and easiest tutorial. 

11. The blogging community is WONDERFUL! There have been so many people who have been so supportive of me quietly behind the scenes. Y'all are have been such a blessing!

12. Take time to really develop relationships. I am so blessed by the women that I have met and who have been so incredibly supportive during some very difficult months. 

13. Make sure that the links on your blog work! *smiles* I just discovered some issues with mine yesterday and will have to fix those!

14. Don't think that you can make a difference in bloggy world? Think again. Words can't express how much it meant to me to have Caroline from In Due Time run Rebecca's Run for me. And the countless people who stepped up to participate in "8 Hours on the 8th" and who have donated money to my "Go Fund Me" page. While these things may seem little- they have changed my life!

15. Along with #11 & #14 comes a story that truly touched my heart and changed my life in bloggy world. Last March as my health continued to deteriorate I was still participating in many online blogging communities and mail swaps. One swap I had participated in for several months and signed up for April's swap. Unfortunately shortly after I signed up (and the day after the names were exchanged) I made the decision to go out to the Whitaker Wellness Institute for treatment. Due to this I knew that I needed to focus solely on my health and emailed the organizer of the swap (and my partners) and explained the situation. To be frank the organizer of this particular swap had been very open about her struggle with one of the diseases that I have and I had emailed her just a few days prior to this asking her a couple of questions about the disease which she had politely answered. I had no reason to think that I would receive anything but support from her in this time of crisis that I was having. I apologized for any extra work this would cause her and said that I appreciated her understanding. Unfortunately, instead of being empathetic or compassionate at all her email to me was very short, unkind, and implied that I was being irresponsible in the situation. I also received "instructions" on what I should do and she never once offered any kindness to me. I honestly was shocked and hurt as this was a blogger who I had been getting to know for months. I couldn't believe that someone who claimed to have struggled with the disease that was literally killing me could be so callous. (I do want it to be stated that my partners were amazing and wrote me the sweetest emails and even sent packages to me in California!)  I share all of that to say that in August when I signed up for a nail polish swap with the sweet Mrs AOK and was paired with the lovely Ophelia I was brokenhearted to have to send my package late due to an unexpected hospital visit. I also, to be frank was a little hesitant about the response that I would receive after what had happened in April. BUT Guess what? These ladies were amazing. SERIOUSLY I received the sweetest support, twitter love, and amazing grace in the knowledge that there are more important things in life than swaps. People are more important. And honestly, that is what truly was the biggest lesson in bloggy world in all my months of blogging. Just like in real life people will be unkind and caught up more in getting things accomplished, their own life, and getting things done but there are others who are going to touch and change your lives with their kindness just like those ladies did to me. Look for those type of people in bloggy world because honestly friends those are the ones that are making HUGE differences - not just in bloggy world but in their real lives. 
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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 a year at that point! WOW! Can't wait to celebrate this little blogs 1 year birthday at that point with y'all! What are your tips for us newbies in bloggy world? We would love to hear! 

12 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing! I had no idea that I could even back up my blog until you mentioned it. And kindness, of course! So very important. I think the biggest piece of advice is to remember that whatever you put out there will be in cyberspace for forever, so be very careful in what you post. (Nothing ornery or inappropriate!)

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  2. Thanks lady for your comment!! DEFINITELY agree with you- blogs are out in the open and all we write is seen by LOTS of people! :) Love your heart and what you share on the blog!! :)
    :) rebecca

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  3. Fantastic tips. I'm in month 3 of writing my blog and am having a blast, but there's definitely a learning curve :). I recently wrote Is There Anybody Out There and recently wrote Is There Anybody Out There in the hopes of helping other new bloggers like myself find their way. Keep up the great work and thanks for the advice!

    http://brasshoney.blogspot.com/2013/09/is-there-anybody-out-there.html

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    1. Shannon- Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your sweet words! I am excited to head over and read your blog post! A quick note- I couldn't respond to you directly because you are a "no-reply blogger"! Hope to connect with you soon!
      :) Rebecca

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  4. I agree I've learned a ton in the last couple month in blog-land, many the same as these. However, if the guest post issue had happened to me, you can be pretty sure I'd be airing my grievances with this anonymous extremely rude blogger, JEEZ!

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    1. Hey Lauren! Thank you so much for your comment!! I couldn't reply back directly to you because you are a "no-reply blogger" but I did want to let you know that I did appreciate your comment! I also smiled because honestly it was tempting to air that grievance! hahaha BUT seriously I learned a VERY big lesson that I should have done my research FIRST before jumping into the situation. DEFINITELY a lesson learned!
      :) Thanks again for stopping by!
      :) Rebecca

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  5. Rebecca,
    I am honestly the lucky one here. My life is more full knowing you--

    I cannot imagine anyone being rude to such a sweet woman! Sometimes, I am awe of how loving the bloggy community can be, then there are times I am ashamed, with the ruddiness and back-bitting.

    I choose to surround myself in a circle of awe-inspiring women with big hearts and no judgments.

    I think your tips are great. I'm glad through some kind of bloggy magic you and I have crossed paths. As always noting but love!!
    XOXO

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    1. Aww thanks lady!! SERIOUSLY I am soo thankful for you and for your kindness!! It is a shame that there are rude people in bloggy world- just like in life. It was definitely hurtful, but honestly I feel sorry for the person that acts like that ya know?? SO THANKFUL that there are people like YOU who are touching peoples lives EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. You are a treasure!!
      :) Rebecca

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  6. I love your tips and think they are so practical! Especially number 1! I can't wait to share this with everyone!

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  7. These are great tips! And thank you for the how-to back up your blog. I would be so upset if I lost the past two years! I found you through Caroline at In Due Time and have been really enjoying reading. Thank you so much!

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  8. I can't believe it's only been 9 months! I feel like I've been reading your blog for so much longer. I've been so behind with my daily reads lately, but hope you're doing well and having a great day! Happy 9 Month bloggiversary <3

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