Frugal Foodie Mama: What I Have Learned as a Blogger & a Few Tips for the Newbies...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What I Have Learned as a Blogger & a Few Tips for the Newbies...

I by far do not consider myself a master blogger.  I have been at this blogging thing now for a year and a half.  And I have learned so much.  If you care to see just how much I have learned and grown, please feel free to click on over to my blog archive and look at a few of my posts from January or February of 2011.  It took me a while to find what they in the blogger world call your "voice".  But I found it, and haven't shut up since. ;)

So, what is my advice?  
First and foremost, let your blog be a reflection of who YOU are.  Not what you think other people want to read.  But what you want to write.  If your writing isn't genuine, if it is forced, do not think for one second that your readers will not pick up on that.  They will.  If you are loud and brash and that is what is comfortable for you, then be that.  If people don't like your "voice", then they do not have to follow you.  I know we all want followers.  But want followers for the right reasons.  If your writing is genuine, people will read.  

Your blog is allowed to EVOLVE.  It is okay.  You grow.  You change.  You evolve.  If your blog is a true reflection of you, then it should also grow and change with you.  So yes, that may mean a blog title change.  I have changed mine three times in the past year and a half!  But it needed it.  I changed.  My purpose for blogging changed.  It might also mean redesigning your blog to reflect the new you.  That is okay too.  Yes, it is possible that you may lose followers when you change blog direction.  But you will also gain new followers and make new friendships in your journey.  

If you are a brand spanking new blogger, I wouldn't suggest jumping right in to having ads on your blog.  I know it is tempting because a little extra cash would be nice, but you may find yourself in way over your head.  Find your voice.  Get your bearings.  Find your blogging rhythm.  Once you feel comfortable and a bit more established, then start out by adding a few ads to your blog if that is a blog goal for you.  I just started accepting ads on my page last month, and even though I felt like I delivered all that I promised (if not more) to my sponsors, I realized I also felt overwhelmed.  I had to reevaluate that for this next coming 30 days and scaled back on the ad spots I now offer.  

And lastly, if blogging isn't enjoyable, if you are dreading writing posts, then it is time to stop and figure out why.  Blogging shouldn't be a burden, right?  If it is, then something isn't quite right.  Have you lost your focus?  Your inspiration?  Have you started blogging for the wrong reasons?  Have you not allowed your blog to grow and evolve with you?  Just WHO have you started writing for anyways?  

My "experienced" bloggers out there- What are some things that you wish you had known or  wished that maybe another blogger had shared with you when you were a newbie blogger?

This blog post is part of the Summer Blog Challenge.  To see my other posts in this Challenge and to find other bloggers who are participating in this Challenge, CLICK HERE.

8 comments :

  1. Yes! This comment seems to be in direct opposition to my post - I suggested keeping readers in mind when you are posting (ie - don't post about work tactics on a Mommy Blog), but it is also so important to make sure you remain yourself. Thanks!

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    1. Oh, I hope you didn't think I was writing this to debunk you. I actually haven't had a chance to read everyone's blogger tip posts yet in the Challenge, and haven't seen your's yet. This is just what I have learned the past year and a half. Of course, this applies to personal blogs. If you are blogging for a business, that is an entirely different thing altogether! ;)

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  2. I agree with you about rushing into monetizing your blog. I am firmly of the opinion that you need to build your audience first and foremost.

    I have only just learned how to do an attractive recipe page with thumbnails - I used pinterest to do it and so far it is working well. I know there are more sophisticated ways to do it. If anyone wants to have a gander it is on Carole's Chatter.

    What else - I wish I had found n relate (which puts related post thumbnails at the end of your posts) much earlier - I think you can also use link withing. I wasted so much time putting manual links in - which I haven't still got completely rid of!

    Great idea to give people tips.
    Have good week.

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    1. That is something I need to look into as well at some point- how to better organize my recipes because I actually almost have enough of them now to make better organization a necessity, lol! ;)
      Thanks for the tip, Carole!

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  3. I saw the Twitter convo regarding requests for follow backs. *raises hand* Guilty. I've done it. But I leave a comment, let them know I've followed and then ask for a follow back if they like what they see, or something along those lines. Now I am thinking maybe I shouldn't do that.

    These are some great tips! Thanks so much for sharing them. :) I thought I was doing a little much by changing my blog name and design but you are right; if it is what you feel needs to be done, then go for it. I feel so much better now that I changed mine. I feel like I can finally move in the direction that I want to - to be a fun food blog. And now my audience will know I'm all about food when they first visit my page.

    Have a great evening, Carrie.

    Julie

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    1. I think it is so important to leave a MEANINGFUL comment if you are truly wanting a follow back. If a comment just says, "Hi, new follower here! Follow me back at such and such...", I usually just regard that as spam and rarely follow back. I feel as if they didn't even read my post, or wasn't interested in what I wrote. :/ And just because you follow someone doesn't mean they owe you a follow back. If your blog, your writing is something that resounds with them & are you not just commenting begging for a follow back, then you will gain new followers. It will happen. :)

      And Julie, I love the look of your new blog. I think it flows a lot nicer. And I think your new blog name is a better reflection of you too. :) Sometimes those kinds of changes are necessary for you and your blog to grow, in my honest opinion.

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    2. You are right, Carrie. I have received some of the "Hi new follower follow back comments" without any regard to my post. That just irks me. I don't mind if you ask for a follow but at least say something about my post - let me know that you actually read it and are interested in it. And asking for a follow back does not mean you will get a follow back. I have to like what I see on your blog. :)

      Thank you so much, Carrie. I am very pleased with it. I even like my simple, minimilistic header!

      Have a great day. :)

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  4. I think you can write about any type of thing that you want, regardless of your type of blog. I have many, varied, random interests and would feel totally constrained to think 'this is a craft blog' I must blog about craft. Due to being abroad for 2 months, I have had nothing to craft with and therefore my blog changed to reflect that. I released my creativity in other ways - cooking, refreshing my blog design (twice!) and writing about my life a bit more. I will, of course, when I'm home do some craft blogging - but there will be more variety.

    In essence - I agree with you! Ha!

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