March 7, 2013

Blogging: Part 2 // growing your blog





After starting your blog, and getting into the groove of posting regularly, you may find yourself wondering how to grow and reach new readers. 

I'm going to be writing about this section while looking through the lens of authoring an informational blog. If I had to categorize this blog, I'd put it in the Hair and Beauty section. In the past I've described it as a lifestyle blog, which there may be elements of, but for the most part, it's a resource for information. 

If you write a lifestyle blog, or a food blog, or a mom blog, or a pet blog, I'd love to hear your opinions on growing your readership. 


Growing will cover:
networking/connecting with other bloggers/commenting
link parties
pinterest
content
*vlogging, if you so choose!

If you missed part 1 of my series on Blogging, click here to read it! 


source (p.s. this print is only $13.50!)



----

One of the best ways to grow your readership begins with your own blog. Not advertising on 150 blogs, not participating in 7,000 giveaways, but simply focusing on your own blog. Take time on your writing, your photos, and the layout/look on your site. Think about the first things you want to know when you come across a new blog, and make sure spend time focusing on those things for your blog.

For me, the first page/section that I search for when I visit a new blog is the "about me" page. I want to know who this blogger is. Where are they from, how they came to blogging, what they typically blog about, some of their favorite blogs, etc. 

Readers feel more connected with a blogger they feel like they know, or have something in common with.

After finding a few of your favorite bloggers, take the time to follow them on social media channels. You'll stay in the loop of what they are doing, and if they use social media often, you'll get a good taste of their personality. Also, comment on their posts--but not just for the sake of commenting. Comment in a way that shows you read it, and you are interested in what they wrote.

I've come across posts in the past that allude to the fact that "bloggers blog for comments", and while I think I understand what people mean when they say that, I'd argue that bloggers blog because they love it, and comments are a natural extension of sharing information.

Imagine you are out to lunch with a girlfriend. You recently found a lipstick that changes color on your lips. You tell her about it, why you like it, how cool it is, etc. If she replied with, "cool!" or "good story!" and then sat there staring at me, it wouldn't be conducive to a great conversation. But if she replied with something along the lines of ,"Oh, that's neat. I wonder how that would work on me. I always go for red lipstick but maybe I should try. . . " it would feel much more interactive and conversational. The comments that sound like you are discussing your thoughts in are quite meaningful. It shows that you took the time to read it, and are interested (and feel free to) share your thoughts. 

So instead of writing for comments, write for yourself and enjoy the interaction that comes from blogging. Over time, you'll find a few blog friends and not only will they be a great sounding board for ideas,they may become some of your closest friends.

One of the side effects of having a public forum available for commenting, is the occasional negative comment. I think there are specific factors that come in to play with each negative comment, but there are a few ways you can responsibly handle them.


1. Don't make it more than it is. In other words, don't give it more weight than the positive comments. Sure, it feels different to read a negative comment, it may sting a bit, but it's just a comment.


2. Don't fire back with a reply immediately after you read it. You're more likely regret it if you react too soon. Wait at least 24 hours. By that time, you'll be in a better frame of mind to handle it maturely.


3. Consider if there is an element of truth to the comment. Of course, this will depend on the comment.

If someone writes, "you're dumb and I hate you". Just move on. 
But if someone writes, "ugggg. I'm so sick of the same hair tutorial over and over. Boring!" instead of writing a hasty sarcastic response, it's more productive to look at the comment for what it is. Is there truth to it, even a fraction of truth? In that sample comment, there is. A lot of my tutorials look similar, and I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone every once in awhile. 

Constructive criticism is beneficial. It helps you grow. Use it--even though it's hard.


I'm sure this goes without saying, but comments that are personal attacks, verbally abusive or straight up evil would of course not fall into the "constructive criticism" category. 

---

Link Parties primarily cater to DIY blogs, but I've seen plenty of other great opportunities for link ups. And link parties are a fantastic way to share one of your blog posts. 

I participated in weekly link parties when I started my blog, and the topics were always something like "What did you make this week?". So, I'd share my weekly hair tutorial. It was a great catalyst for growth for my blog.

My sister runs a weekly Link Party called High Five For Friday. If you read my blog somewhat regularly, you may have come across a few HFFF posts that I've linked up with. So link parties don't need to be only DIY! Find a few that fit your content and consider linking up. The best way to find a link party is to google the phrase "link party". Maybe throw a few keywords in there like "recipe" or "this week" to expand your search. 

---

Pinterest became my top referring site in the fall of 2011, and is still my number 1 referrer. It's an excellent resource for driving traffic. Typically people search for how to do something, and primarily that involves recipes. So if you are a food/recipe blogger, utilize Pinterest to share your content. 

In order to effectively use Pinterest to drive people back to your blog, you need to give them a reason to click through. Whether it's a beautiful photograph or an image with text explaining how to do something, draw the viewer in by entice them to click through.


If you are sharing a tutorial, or want to show someone how you did something, consider using programs like photoshop or picmonkey to add text to your images. Then, when the image is repinned, in case the pinner changes the caption below, the text explaining what it's all about remains on the photo. 


I wrote a little bit about Pinterest and using it to grow your blog here, if you are interested in knowing more.


---


Your content, no matter what it is, is the most valuable thing on your blog. More than any achievments or notoriety you've had in the past, your daily blog content is what readers return for.


Writing doesn't come as natural for me as it does for others, but a love for sharing information is the drive behind this blog. I want to teach my readers how to do things, share things I like that they might like too. And occasionally share a funny story.


So as I'm drafting a post, I think about these things:


1. Why am I sharing this?

2. Does it fall under my blog mission statement*?
3. What are some negative reactions that may come of it?
4. Is it clear what I'm trying to "say"?

-- 1. the first question is usually answered with something along the lines of "because I find it interesting". My hair tutorials are the most popular content on my blog, and those are easy to answer for. But Tuesday through Friday is left to whatever I feel like, so it takes much more thought and planning. 

-- 2. I ask myself the second question to really challenge whether or not the post fits. If I'm sharing a tutorial, it fits. If I'm writing about something I did last week, it fits. I've honed in on topics that work with my blog mission statement and refer back to those often when I'm coming up with ideas for posts.


*It may be helpful to draft a mission statement for your blog. Consider creating a Pinterest board of inspiration that fit in with your mission statement as well. Mine is, "my blog is an educational place for women to learn how to do beauty-related things, and for me to share bits of my life that are relatable". 

A question I get asked frequently is  "do you ever run out of ideas for your posts?". So far I haven't, but I imagine there will be certain chapters of my life where it is more challenging than it is now. I'm grateful that my blog is a natural extension of things I already care to talk about, instead of trying to make it something it's not.

-- 3.Consider how people may react to it. Not necessarily in an emotional way, but ask yourself : 1. is this going to leave people wondering about other things? 2. did I include all the information necessary to share the idea? 3. do I communicate what I originally intended to communicate?

Making sure you are writing clear, easy to understand posts--no matter what the topic is. Readers want to know the whole story, for the most part, instead of bits and pieces. Be honest--or atleast as honest as you are comfortable with. 


-- 4. When I was drafting my post about my husband I struggling to get pregnant, I considered for many months posting a vague "this has been a tough year" without divulging more information. But as I thought about it more and more, I didn't want to post something that left 90% of the truth up to the imagination of my readers. And as challenging as it was to get raw and emotional on a public platform, it has turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. God truly used that to open my eyes to this struggle and showed me, through perfectly timed new friendships, that He has people available for me to talk to. 

Be honest and open on your blog. Your readers feel like they know you, since they read what you write everyday, so let yourself be known.


---


Vlogging, or in other words "video blogging" is tough, but it's a great way to connect with readers/viewers on a new level. Vlogging can be whatever you want it to be, educational or informal/conversational. It allows readers/viewers to see you, hear your voice, and pick up on your mannerisms while you chat.

I've gotten much more comfortable in front of the camera in my year and a half of filming. I think there is a still a great need for improvement, but I'm happy with the progress thus far. I can't even go back and watch my original hair tutorials because they are simply too painful to watch! I was stiff, nervous, and robotic--as if my life was on the line while I was filming.

Like anything, you can be as serious or casual about vlogging as you choose. For my videos, my goal is to be clear, simple to understand, and easy to follow along with. So while I may crack a a joke every once in awhile, my videos are pretty serious. 


Here are some things I've learned about vlogging:


1. It's harder than you think. Editing takes longer than you think. Lighting is tougher than you think. Filming takes longer than you think. 


2. The tendency to ramble increases dramatically as soon as the little red light turns on.


3. Having a rough outline of what you want to say will lend to a much more successful video in the long run. It will be easier to edit, and keep you from rambling. It will also keep you from saying "um" "ya know" "so" and other phrases that will lower the quality of your video.


4. Prepare an intro and outro--either a clip you've filmed just for those parts of the video, or simply a phrase you say when you open, and one you say when you close out.


5. Using a tripod is always best! You can find them at best buy or amazon.


Melissa wrote a great post on vlogging tips here, check it out if you are interested in learning more about vlogging!

---



Alright! That about covers the "growing" portion of this blog series! Next week I'll cover "maintaining", which will include topics like making money, working with other bloggers on projects, contributing, etc.

Other random tips for writing successful blog posts:

Avoid phrases like "hey everyone!". It sounds like you are talking to a crowd, which you very well may be doing, so it doesn't grip the reader on a personal level. Use phrases that you would naturally say when you are talking to a friend. It's much more personal. 


Edit edit edit edit.

Edit.

If you don't feel like a post is "finished" but you want to post something for the day, consider holding off. It will be worth the wait.



happy blogging! 


I'd really love to hear your thoughts, so don't hesitate to comment below! 

105 comments:

  1. I love getting comments and positive feedback but who doesn't really? I loved reading your and your sisters blog and finally got up the courage to start my own. I am so surprised by how much I enjoy just writing. I always thought my writing wasn't strong enough, but really I just took the leap and I am so glad I did. I enjoy sharing even if it is just for my family.
    Hailey @ Love, Laughter and Lipstick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. glad to hear it! enjoy blogging! :)

      Delete
  2. I've now bookmarked this post and your last one - so I can go back and read them again. You are wise, wise, wise. And I mean that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ah thanks. I'm also CHATTY. So much to say. . . :)

      Delete
  3. Kate,

    Thank you so much for posting these. I found your blog over a year a go and have been following you ever since. I think you are doing a great thing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us. Not only do you produce great hair tutorials, but you also produce logical, meaningful, and thoughtful posts Tuesday-Friday....and the occasional weekend one too. I loved everything you said in today's post and really feel like I am able to better implement what you suggested into my own blog. The one thing I struggle with is trying to come up with ideas on what to post. I know you do hair tutorials but I feel like I have anything to "offer". I want to blog, but feel........like I don't have anything to offer. Thank you for everything you have posted. In away it's helped me grow as a person too. You are a wonderful person and look forward to many more posts. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. try to think about what you love talking to your friends about. what excites you? figure out a way to work that into your blog!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for this, Kate. It can be really frustrating sometimes to feel like your blog is alone in the corner of the world, but your tips are right: stick to what you love and do it well, and you can't go wrong. It is MORE disheartening to see bloggers be unauthentic just to get subscribers. I would much rather be true to myself and what I write than have thousands of followers because of someone I'm not.

    I've been really loving these tips! Keep 'em coming!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looking forward to following this series. You present your findings in a really simple and genuine way- I love that. There are so many questions that have come up for me since blogging for a year or so now, I can't wait to see what lessons you have learned.
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for this post. I just discovered it thanks to your FB link. I can't wait to go back and read the first post. I'm struggling with making my blog a daily habit - and honestly, I'm struggling with the focus of my blog. However, I am doing my research and realize that I can make it happen. A lot of the making it happen is just doing it! I transferred over to blogging after missing writing columns as a weekly news editor (first job out of college). I now write for a living for higher education but I love to write about my personal interests. Please keep your tips and experience on blogging posts coming. They are educational and very helpful. And, inspiring. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't put too much pressure on yourself to blog daily. Quality is better than quantity! :)

      Delete
  7. Kate,

    I really needed this. Currently, blogging advice is what is keeping me going. I am a new blogger. I so enjoy writing and being creative with my posts and topics. I am frustrated knowing that I am putting so much time into blogging and no one is reading what I'm putting out there. It definitely feels more like an online diary than anything else. I am definitely going to use your suggestions of Pinterest, Link Parties, etc. to gain readership. Thank you for your insight and sharing your blogging knowledge. It came at the right time. :-)

    Katie @ www.thoughtfulology.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also forgot to mention that I am SO bad at hair and make-up...no creativity in that department. Your tutorials have been so educational. I have sat at my computer in the office watching one of your videos..paused it...ran to the bathroom to do the next part of the hair style...then ran back to the office to push play to watch the next 30 seconds...repeat 20 times. :-)

      Delete
  8. great tips -- all very true! thanks for sharing this! xo

    http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. I def. need to be better about editing, my husband always yells at me for not proof reading (im terrible at it). And, I 110% agree with you about sharing things, Im glad you told us about your preg. struggles. It makes me feel much more like a "friend" then someone your just talking to. Hope the appt. went well this week btw!

    Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins

    Mary Nichol Handbag Giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks, Katie....I'm a new blogger, myself, and these are some great tips! Hopefully, I can get mine off the ground soon! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you, Kate for this post! I am so glad that you are willing to take some much time and share your tutorials with me. I really think that people are misguided on what makes a blog successful, and you outlined wonderfully what it takes! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. These posts on blogging have been really helpful, since I'm considering spending more time blogging. But I've had some doubts. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This was so helpful, thank you for taking the time to write this. I wish I had more time for blogging, but I'm learning one good blog post grows a blog more than 20 not so good posts in one week.

    ReplyDelete
  14. These are really great tips! Another thing I did (which sounds like a no brainer, but it took me almost a year to realize it) is add the "you might also like" banner to the bottom of the posts. This will allow first time visitors (or returning) to get hooked because they can see what else they might be missing. I just googled how to do it with my blogging site (Blogger). It really helps to visit your favorite blogs and see what intrigues you about their blog to help better your own!

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love your blog! I am a new follower. My 9 month old daughter has a very rare disease and I originally started my blog in Oct. before she was diagnosed soley to find someone somewhere that could relate to her because the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong (I figured she couldn't be the only baby in the world). And it worked before I knew it people were writing me saying her symptoms sounded like someone they knew with disease x, y, or z... Now we are diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease. I still want to keep my blog mainly about her and her journy with this devestating disease but I find I want to transition into more about the family as a whole and make my blog more, happy. I try to keep a positive tone but let's be real it's hard when your writing about a sick baby! Sooooo long story short thank you for writing this!! I will reference it as I try to revamp my blog away from a cloud of seriousness and medicine and slide,just a little, closer to sunshine and lightheartedness.

    ReplyDelete
  16. As always, thanks Kate! I think it says a lot about your character to take time to help us newcomers. These are really great tips. I especially love the idea of the mission statement. It will certainly keep me on track. Thank you for being an inspiration to us :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is really really helpful! I loved your first post on blogging and this is just as helpful. I was really struck by a blog mission statement -such a great idea! And then I read yours and thought "well that is spot on!" I'm still a budding blogger getting into the grove of blogging for myself but keeping it cohesive. Developing a blog mission statement will fix that problem, I'm sure! Thanks for the great advice!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great post that gave me a lot to think about. This is my 4th blog that I've started and finally feel comfortable with--the others were too much of a niche that I didn't want to settle into. I struggle between loving others' blog designs and wanted to change every week and really making my blog my own. How important do you feel it is to keep a blog design for a period of time?

    ReplyDelete
  19. How did you design your blog? What programs did you use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I designed/picked out the elements and had a friend install it. Google blog design, or even DIY blog design, if you want to do it yourself!

      Delete
  20. Thanks so much for sharing tips from your own experience, it is super helpful for someone like me who just started my blog (5 days ago)! I found your blog via pinterest about a month ago and haven't missed a post yet!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I really liked your points about making comments more conversational. Definitely something I'm going to be working on :) I was just thinking lately about how I would want people to feel like my blog was my virtual living room - that we could have real conversations and truly engage with each other. So this post was really helpful, thankyou!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yay! I was waiting to read this! I am brand new at this blogging thing so thanks for the great tips Kate! You always deliver!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Kate-

    I love your blog!! I discovered it about 8months ago, since then I have ready EVERY blog post you have ever written!! ;)

    I have thought about starting a blog of my own...what camera, camcorder do you use?

    Thanks!! Jamece

    ReplyDelete
  24. LOVE LOVE LOVE. So glad you're doing a blogging series. Do you have any advice on blog revamps? Currently I'm in the process of revamping my blog, in the hopes of monetizing it and actually making a sort-of living -- looks, content, etc. -- and I'm possibly thinking of even changing my URL/blog name. But I wonder if this is dangerous, like, will my current readers follow me?

    Sorry. That's really specific. But you're knowledgeable and the bomb-dot-com so I thought I'd ask. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you for the amazing tips! I've been blogging for years but have never been very consistent in posting until recently. I've been looking to grow my readership and expand my opportunities, and your experiences and suggestions are incredibly helpful! I'd love to see a post on your recommendations for the visual side of blogging (layout, design, etc.) that you think really help draw in readers and make a blog friendly to navigate.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You are awesome. This is awesome. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you for the great tips, Kate! I have been blogging for about 8 months now and am slowly starting to get the hang of it. It definitely takes time but patience and persistance are definitely keys I think. It's totally fun! My husband thinks I love my blog more than him.. haha ; )

    Kayla
    www.lovelucygirl.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. yay! i've been looking forward to 'part 2' since i finished 'part 1'. i really appreciate the tips and love that bloggers have built a community to encourage and educate fellow bloggers. thanks for this!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love the post, as always :) I am SO glad you mentioned edit, although I only wish you had mentioned it sooner, like at the beginning. I might be in the minority, but I am extremely turned off by misspellings and unclear phrasing and all that. Not everyone can be an editor or fantastic writer, but when there are minimal mistakes, it shows you are semi intelligent and that you care about your work. I think YOU are a great writer, and it sounds like it comes natural, so keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you so much for posting this series! It's really helpful and I hope my blog can be as successful as yours one day :) Do you think that a blog ought to have a primary focus (like hair tutorials, or recipes, etc), or is a "general" blog also valuable? I go back and forth on this almost daily :) Happy Thursday!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Kate, I've been following your blog for quite some time now; and have tried several hair and style tips out. I write my own blog with my bff - and we'd love for ours to be as crazy successful as yours is - but we honestly love the outlet of writing about our various haphazard {mom-friendship-husband} adventures and crafts. I should tell you - I watched a couple of your videos with my girls the other night (they're 5 year old twins who are way into hair and makeup) and they thought you were A-MA-ZING. "She's so pretty momma." My one daughter's name is Kate, so she thought it was the best ever that you had the same name. Anyway, glad you're here giving style to girls like me. Ethne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so cute. :) Thanks for the support!

      Delete
  32. These are fabulous tips. It is really hard to grow a blog. Some people just naturally take off, others are turtles like me. Over time, more and more people will come to appreciate what I have to say.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Kate,

    I really appreciate this series you've started. I've been following your blog for about a year and you have truly been an inspiration for me. I've been very interested in blogging myself but it hasn't been until recently that I've started my own blog. There are days where I feel so confident in my blogging future and days where I wonder why I'm even doing this. I saw via one of your Facebook posts about the Influence Network and after checking them out, I love their mission and vision! I'm super excited to join that community and use my talents to bring glory to our King.

    Thank you for being so encouraging, seriously!

    Dayleen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. glad to hear you've been inspired!

      Delete
  34. Thank you so much for this! I've been searching for ways to grow my readership and this will definitely help :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love this post! I've found out so many "tricks". Thank you for sharing with us! :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thanks for sharing! I've been looking forward to the 2nd installment! I feel like my blog is on a bit of a hiatus lately, so this was definitely helpful. Originally, I planned out "topics" for 3 specific days of the week. Teaching Tuesdays (some kind of DIY... I'm a teacher), Wardrobe Wednesday, and Friday Foodie. Plus I usually have a H54F on Fridays as well. Mondays and Thursdays are my "random" post days usually including something inspirational or random. Having a sort of schedule has definitely helped me a lot!

    The more I've started blogging, the more I've realized that I LOVE writing about my recipes. I have considered vlogging on cooking/recipes and started to research other food vloggers a little, but haven't settled on anything. I get really excited thinking about sharing food with others through a video!! So fun! Hopefully it'll work out!

    Thanks again for your words and guidance!

    ReplyDelete
  37. These are all fantastic tips! I'm totally guilty of the "Hey, everyone!" intro, so this is a good reminder to quit that habit. :)
    http://thegrassskirtblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am really enjoying this blogging series! there are some things that you mention that I think I already know, but the reminder is so important (especially edit edit edit :))

    thanks for all the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm loving this series! I'm a fairly new blogger and I really enjoy all of the tips. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks for the blogging tips.i have a blog, I guess I would call it a family blog? It's nothing but a memory keeper for my family. The days of scrap booking and photo albums are over ;) I think a really important thing to draw readers in is your blog layout/design/template whatever it's called (see I'm no professional) could you maybe talk about that a little bit?

    Also, here are some linky parties that I can think of off the top of my head:
    The Pleated Poppy - every Wednesday she has 'What I Wore Wednesday' outfit link up
    Life Rearranged - she has InstaFriday. This could be easy because it seems everyone has Instagram these days
    For mommy bloggers:
    3 bloggers host the same link up called Trendy Tot Tuesday.

    ReplyDelete
  41. What a treat it is to read your advice on blogging! After following your blog for a few months now, I was inspired to give it a go for myself. I have no idea what I'm doing but it's quite fun! I will surely refer to your blogging posts on a regular basis to help me along my journey. Especially the tips on connecting with other bloggers and gaining readers (the hardest part). Thank you for "holding our hands" through the mysteries of blogging. Looking forward to future tips and tricks.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I am also a beginning blogger and have fallen in LOVE with not only my blog but reading other blogs too. I discovered you through pinterest and am amazed by how easy you make styling your hair look. I've tried some of your do's but they never quite turn out as beautiful as yours!

    Does anyone know how to easily add a pinterest widget to their blog? I am struggling severely with it and can't decide if it is really tricky or if I am just missing something...If anyone knows how to do this and would be willing to help I would greatly appreciate it!

    Thanks for all your advice!

    www.smileandwrite1.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. As always, great post Kate! LOVE this new series!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hey Kate,
    I just started a blog and am honestly having a few doubts. Its just going to be about everyday life, marriage, kids, and my walk with God, maybe some recipes and crafts. Are blogs like these really successful? I feel kind of silly thinking that people would be interested in my life/blog, especially since I don't have a particular skill to offer.

    However, I would like to say I love your blog, it has revolutionized my hair routine, in fact on my google profile picture I used your hair curling tutorial.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Love this series so far! You and your sister actually inspired me to start a blog. It's only been up for about a week, but I am loving it even if I don't get exposure right now, It's still a lot of fun. So thank you!
    Another thing I would recommend, is to double check spelling. That's my little pet peeve :)

    Darcie
    www.itty-bits.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. This post is great! You are right on so many points. Am going to really take this into consideration as I have recently started a baby blog which am still working on the lay out because just like you the first thing I do is check the about page....when its ready maybe you can check it out for some suggestions :)

    www.prettylittledahlia.com

    Now of to read part 1 of this series

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks for these great posts! I especially like the advice on leaving good comments. I am very guilty of leaving the "cool!" comments, but you are right. I've found myself leaving more involved comments sometimes and it will lead to other comments either by the blogger or other readers.

    I have a personal blog, but I am soon going to launch a public blog. This insight is very helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thanks for writing this Kate. I totally agree about the good About page. I'm in the process of growing my readership, and I think your advice -- to write like you're talking to a friend and to edit, edit, EDIT -- is the best way to gain an audience. I love coming to your blog because I know I'll find something pretty and maybe a cute story too. You're an inspiration to budding blogger like me!

    ReplyDelete
  49. What great advice! I have definitely saved this post and your last one about blogging. As someone who has recently started a blog and is trying to gain readership, these tips are invaluable. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    Kristen
    Radiating Splendor

    ReplyDelete
  50. I should probably start with a confession: I hardly EVER read long blog posts. I am not sure why, but I guess that they usually don't capture my attention. Not this time. I read every word of this post and loved it. My blog is still very small and I love looking to better bloggers for advice. I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a well thought out post. I really hope I am able to learn from your ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I just commented on your first post about getting started with a blog. I am new to this blog thing and have so many questions. After reading this, I honestly feel so much better that I am not the only one who feels so overwhelmed! I want to learn everything about blogging but I know that patience is key! I am trying to link my Pinterest to my blog but Pinterest keeps saying "website not found." And I dont know how to add the link to pinterest on my blog. Please Help!

    Jessica

    lifesbetterbeingsouthern.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. This is a awesome post!! I cant wait to use some of these tips!! So happy i found you through the crush linkup!i always see you on pinterest and im excited to be a new follower!!
    XO

    ReplyDelete
  53. Great advice, especially about how to take a negative comment. They do sting but if you think that someone is actually reading and then taking the time to comment it helps talk the sting away, a little.

    ReplyDelete
  54. What I love about your two blogging posts is that they are honest. It's tough to maintain momentum with a blog and even tougher to get readers in an already saturated online market. I'm still relatively new to this whole world, so I really appreciate people like you, who have had success and have an idea of what works, sharing tricks of the trade.

    Oh, and I also just love your blog in general (I used your tips on the messy bun yesterday and got tons of compliments at work!)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thanks for the awesome advice Kate! My best friend and I have been blogging for two years (2 years as of today!) and we love it. Our blog is nothing big or famous, but it is such a fun little outlet to share the bucket loads of crafts we do. I love this series you are doing! It keeps me motivated. :)
    Megan

    ReplyDelete
  56. I really enjoyed this post. It was super informative. I have been blogging for over 5 years but its mostly just my little family blog (and I've taken some significant breaks too), and I struggle with how to transition to a lifestyle blog. I feel like your tips were really well thought out. I'm excited to read your Pinterest tutorial too. I use Pinterest all the time but I didn't think if it at a way to promote my blog. I'm definitely interested in earning more about that! :)

    ReplyDelete
  57. thank you thank you thank you for taking the time to write up these posts.. I am a new blogger and still learning .. so this came at the perfect time! Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am seriously saving this whole series... so helpful for a newb like me. Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi Kate,
    I've been following your blog for a while, and you've seriously inspired me to be more creative with my hairstyles! I also have to say that I can't thank you enough for writing these blogging tutorials; I've blogged on and off for years, but I wanted to get really serious about it after I graduated college last spring. These tutorials are awesome! Thank you again.

    Amanda

    ReplyDelete
  60. This is such an incredibly helpful post. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Kate,
    Thank you so much for writing these posts on blogging. I started getting into blogging because of you. After you changed the way I view my hair forever...I was inspired by your blog life. I just started in November and it's great but I definitely some guidance and I was so excited to see that I was going to get it from you.
    Keep up the great work!
    Blessings,
    Ashley Rane Sparks

    ReplyDelete
  62. That's it. You're perfect. I'm thoroughly convinced. Thank you thank you thank you for these posts on blogging! I'm in a 'blog funk' of sorts with mine & you've got me puttin on my thinkin cap.
    ❤❤❤❤❤LOVE YOU LADY❤❤❤❤❤
    I'm too chicken to vlog (hate my Southern twang) but who knows? Maybe someday.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I love that you take time to blog about blogging:) so great for us "newbies" out there. I am still at a stand still with the look and layout of my page. I do not know a lot about coding but I have a free template that makes it hard to work with. Any suggestions on how to educate yourself on updating your blog and making it look "like yours" or more professional?

    Planning in Between

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi Kate. I absolutely love your blog! Keep up the good work. I am new to blogging and was wondering if there are any rules about how long posts should be?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Thank you, Kate. This is a wonderful blog! I am new to blogging -- started to help promote my Etsy shop and then decided to incorporate bits of my own life into it. Your tips are on target. I'm going to give the link parties a try and maybe redesign my blog. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thanks so much for shring this Kate! Your tips have been really helpful and I really appreciate it!

    xo
    Caroline

    lovecarolineblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  67. Thanks for sharing this series about blogging. I wasn't able to read this yesterday and it was killing me! I've been thinking about starting a blog for awhile and find this to be very insightful.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Gosh, vlogging seems so scary. Not only the editing part but the fact that I'm talking to everyone. Yikes! I just know I'll ramble. The outline, intro, and outro is great advice and I see that used in a lot of other videos. Great ideas!

    xoxo,
    Katie

    www.katiefloreshealthblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  69. Thanks for sharing this info on blogging! It has really helped me start thinking of ways to improve my blog! Great job elaborating on video blogging as well, you do a great job if getting down to business and I love that! Bloggers who chat meaninglessly for ten minutes before starting their tutorial drive me insane! Especially when I just want to know the best new way to tease my hair or apply my foundation!!!! Ain't nobody got time for that ;)

    ReplyDelete
  70. Thanks for sharing your ideas! You have some great insight and experience with such a successful, fun-to-read blog. Your personality and openness keep me coming back to read! Also, I'm pretty new to the blogging world, so it's always great to see what is working for other people!

    ~Rachel from courtingcontentment.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  71. I really love the suggestions you give for blogging. I thing they are very 'real" and so is your blog!
    x

    ReplyDelete
  72. I have loved reading your posts on blogging. I started a blog a few years back for my photography business but could never keep up with it how I wanted {as a promotional technique... sooo that ended up being contradictory needless to say!}. I started making a new one a few weeks back and stumbled on your first post just in time. I realized that I have a lot of random interests that I want to share. I've always been the journaling type so it made sense that I was wanting to not only talk about photography, but also what it's like to be a teacher, organizational obsessions, and how the little things in life can make you smile and inspire others. Lightbulb. I didn't need to write for others. I was wanting to write for the purpose of getting things out of my cluttered brain and to maybe brighten someone's day along the way. Thank you for helping me clear that up! And thank you for saying that it's okay to comment as if it were a conversation. This feels way better than a short "Thanks!". You're an inspiration : )

    ReplyDelete
  73. Thank you thank you thank you such helpful info. I'm bookmarking this a an excellent reference. You posted some links with additional info I want to read as well. I just recently started blogging for me and so enjoy it, I've had dear friends and acquaintances tell me they so enjoy it. Yay! That's just a bonus. Would love to use this platform for really encouraging and enriching others lives. So your info is well timed for me.

    QUESTION for anyone -
    I blog on blogger but would love to play around with a template I have more control over but still maintain the same features as blogger any suggestions? Can I use a free template from another site that allows more creativity on blogger?

    ReplyDelete
  74. Thx so much for all the info.it was helpful as I am currently working on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I LOVE your blog! I have tried many of your hair tutorials and they have completely changed the way I do my hair! I also love these advice articles about starting/growing a blog. I'm starting a new blog soon, and I'm curious about managing my identity/safety. I would like to establish credibility and transparency, so I'm not sure that it makes sense to use a pseudonym, but it makes me a little nervous to put my full name out there. Do you (Kate or anyone) have thoughts on this? What have you guys found to be successful but also safe?

    ReplyDelete
  76. The information in these posts is truly helpful! Thank you so much for sharing! One quesiton, could you expand a little more on what a link party is? Do you post links to other blogs on your own blog and they do the same? I'd love to hear more about how these work.

    Thanks again!

    SL

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi Kate,

    I wanted to thank you for your blogging series! I have been reading your blog for quite some time now, and really respect you as a blogger. I have recently decided to bite the bullet and start my own blog, and reading your posts helps me to ensure I am on the right track and not overlooking anything. It's scary putting yourself out there, but hopefully I get as much positivity as you do! One can hope, right? :-)

    Have you written the 3rd part yet? If not, no worries (I'm not trying to pressure you). I just want to make sure I didn't overlook it!

    Take care,
    Katie

    ReplyDelete
  78. I really enjoyed reading the posts in this series. I've been blogging about my wedding planning journey for a few months now and have maintained a pretty consistent voice, so now I'm trying to focus on how to grow my audience. Your tips are really helpful--I had never even heard of link parties before reading this so thank you!

    Martine
    Primp My Bride

    ReplyDelete
  79. I totally read this series backwards, but definitely needed to hear it. I've blogged for over 4 years and most of my views come from my Pinterest recipes. I love what you said in post 3 about lighting and where you take photos, I'll definitely be considering it. The biggest problem I have is getting those 100,00 pages views from a single month due mostly in part to Pinterest to actually subscribe to my site...which would then open more doors with my affiliates. Honestly, sometimes it drives me nuts to see a 3 month blogger with 4x as many subscriptions. Oh the life of a blogger:)

    ReplyDelete
  80. thanks for this series, it has really solidified my blog concept. I have recently become a sahw, no kids by choice (but i have 3 step kids 16-26 y.o.) and I looked to the internet for guidance. I literally googled "how to be a stay at home wife" with very little success. Everything was geared toward moms or women planning on children with advice on preparing a home for parenthood and such.

    I decided to turn to blogging to help me navigate this new life and started a series of draft posts on varying subjects but I didn't want to "launch" (if one can "launch" a personal hobby blog, not that I had/have hobbies because I was constantly working) until I had a concrete vision. I have started and closed numerous blogs with varying degrees of success but I wanted this one to stick. As soon as I read about having a mission statement, the whole thing just crystallized immediately in my mind. Thanks for the advice!

    ReplyDelete
  81. Thanks for this series of posts, Kate! It has really helped me with focusing my blog, and I look forward to implementing all of your advice as I keep journeying into the world of blogging! Just wanted you to know that you are appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  82. This is great advice! I just drafted my mission statement and it's been so helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    ~Taylor

    www.liveandmoveblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hi Kate! I just wanted to say thank you for making this series. After months of saying "Maybe I'll start a blog," I finally have (in May -- I'm only 3 wks old!). I am currently in the development stage -- figuring out what I want my content to be, if I'll have regularly scheduled posts or just write about whatever I'm doing that week, and learning my way around WordPress. I am very excited to participate in some link parties this week, per your suggestion. I have also been debating about starting a Pinterest account for my blog, so I will definitely be reading your post about Pinterest. Again, thank you for the advice. It will be very helpful in the coming months as I learn more about the blogosphere.

    P.S. Congrats on the good news! I'm so excited for you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  84. I love your information. Thanks for all the great advice :) healthycraftymommys.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  85. So very very helpful. Just came across this post and it's good to hear this advice doled out so clearly and frankly. Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  86. This is a great resource! I will link back to it in a post I am doing for two reasons: so I can find it again and so others can benefit too. I'll mention you on twitter when I finish the post. Great and thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  87. Thank you! I started a personal blog in October...what a bust..I couldn't keep up with it. The interest is not all the way there yet...nor is the time. However, my husband and I have recently started a pool business. One of the best ways we were told to expand our business is by blogging. Pools are not my forte, but they are interesting. I like to inform and help people. Keeping up with it has been tough, especially because a lot of the info about certain products, or DIY pool clean, etc has to come from my husband. Hope I can add some of your blogging wisdom to our business blog to make it more personal! Thanks so much for all the wonderful tips!

    ReplyDelete
  88. This is so helpful, thank you so much for sharing your experience in getting started with blogging along with everything else that you share! You are definitely an inspiration to the little people out there like me who are just getting started. :)

    ReplyDelete
  89. Kate,

    I'm new here-- just found you. But wanted to say that this article is so well written. So refreshing compared to the typical "grow your blog by blogging every day, three times a day" stuff! : ) Thanks for the encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
  90. INCLUSIVE SALVATION

    Who are those who are included in salvation? All men who believe and obey what the apostle Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost are saved. It does not make any difference what denominational name is written on the church building where you worship, if you obey the gospel preached by Peter, then, you are saved, you are a member of the Lord's church, you are part of the church of Christ, you a member of the body of Christ, you are a Christian.

    What did Peter preach?
    1. Peter preached that Jesus was a miracle worker. (Acts 2:22)
    2. Peter preached that Jesus was resurrected from the dead by God the Father.(Acts 2:24-35)
    3. Peter preached that Jesus was both Lord and Christ.(Acts 2:36)
    When the three thousand believe Peter, they asked "What shall we do?"(Acts 2:37)
    4. Peter told them to repent and be baptized in order to have their sins forgiven.(Acts 2:38)

    This is the same message Jesus preached. (Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved....)

    THE TERMS FOR PARDON ARE: Faith-John 3:16, Repentance-Acts 2:38, Confession-Romans 10:9-10, Baptism (immersion in water) 1 Peter 3:21

    All who meet the terms for pardon are saved regardless of the denominational name on the church building.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Wow! That was super helpful! Looking forward to part 3!! What I took away was just be yourself and write from your heart! Thank you for keeping me inspired! Xo, Kathy www.thedailynest.com

    ReplyDelete
  92. Kate ~ Thank you so much for the time you took to write out your blogging tips & experiences. I've been reading your & Lauren's blog for about a year now and I look forward to reading them both each night! I started a Facebook page in December offering daily encouragement in the ways of life-lesson posts and Bible verses, intended to inspire. My sister has now jumped aboard with me and we had our launch day today of our blog! We feel encouraged to be a place of grace & inspiration for women.

    I never knew how much went into blogging - set up, design, figuring out the host site (that's been the most challenging so far!), and growing your blog. I have your referred to your posts on blogging often throughout this process and appreciate so much your thoroughness & helpfulness!

    ~Sarah
    www.unbecomingeve.com

    ReplyDelete