Sunday, October 21, 2012

Let's Talk about Blogging

I am NOOOOOOOO expert. I don't understand SEO's or much coding. I don't go to blog conferences. I'm not one to network. But I LOVE blogging and it's been an amazing blessing in my life - so I would love to share what I do know.

I told y'all I spoke last week at a MOPS about blogging. I let y'all ask me questions so I would have an idea what to address.  I'm going to answer your questions now.

If you have more questions - put them in the comments and I'll answer there or update this post.

I got started 6 years ago - almost 7.  I just started out very small. A lot of you ask me how to start. Go to Blogger or Wordpress - sign up and just start writing.  It's really that simple.  I had no readers and no comments for YEARS!!!! My blog obviously grew after Harper was born sick. So many spread the word to pray for us and that's how it grew. Somehow it has stayed "big" and I just say all the time - it's God - clearly NOT me.  I view my blog as a ministry.  I often pray that the day I start making it all about me and don't use it to glorify Him - I hope He takes it away.  I also love being able to blog about my family and have all of our memories recorded. That's HUGE for me.

Here are my top tips for blogging and then I'll answer questions:
1. Blog for yourself!!! Don't blog to be a "big blogger" or to be famous or to make money. Those can be great things - but if you don't enjoy it - don't do it.
2. Pick something you love and find your niche.  It could be decorating, homeschooling, food, or just a lifestyle blog.
3. BE REAL. BE REAL. BE REAL.  That's is #1 to me.
4. Blog frequently.  If you don't blog at least several times a week - you will lose readers.
5. Use pictures.
6. Social media is your friend.  If you do want to promote your blog - use facebook, twitter and pinterest to help you!
7. Participate in Blog Carnivals. Leave comments. Network. Make blogger friends.
8. Did I mention BE REAL?

1. Safety - keeping those you love safe and choosing what to keep private:
This is a number one concern for most people and I agree. I go back and forth on this all the time. I think you have to find your level of comfort.  If you want to blog but are worried - keep your blog private for just family and friends.  Don't give out too much information.  Be careful what kind of pictures you post. I recommend putting watermarks on your pictures (something I haven't been great about lately but need to work on).  This is SUPER simple - you can use any kind of editing tool out there to watermark.  (I wrote more here:
As far as privacy - some members of your family and/or friends won't want to be blogged about - you must respect that. I don't write a lot about my marriage. I have a good one - but I want to keep it sacred and not write about it. I have family members I don't write about out of respect for them.  I write about MOST of my life but there are things that are just not meant for everyone to know.

2. How do you find time to blog with a busy family and life??
This is not that hard for me. I think I've been in a groove for so long - it doesn't take as much time as you think.  I think of posts in my head and take a lot of pictures and I blog only during nap time or after kids are in bed and it honestly takes me very little time.  I don't spend hours editing my pictures. The thing that takes up so much time for me is extra blog stuff like emails, etc. That is something I can't seem to keep up with no matter how much I try. I could spend HOURS a week answering emails. I need an assistant. ha!

3. How do you deal with negative comments?
Part of "putting yourself out there" means you have to deal with criticism.  It's not easy. My skin is much thicker these days but hurtful comments can REALLY hurt my feelings deeply.  I can get 100 sweet comments and one mean one will just ruin my week.  I try to never respond unless I really need to  and then I do it in private through email.  There have been a couple of times I feel like I snapped and I regret that.  OVER ALL - the blogging world is an amazing place. I have found SO much goodness and kindness and that is the reason the few bad eggs don't ruin it.  And I know that hurt people want to hurt people and if someone says something ugly - it may be true and I don't want to hear it or they may be hurting and I have to realize where they are coming from.

4. How to make money from blogging?
You CAN make money from blogging. Obviously - the more page views you have - the more you will make. You can get ads from ad companies such as Google Ads or Blog Her.  A lot of bloggers are now doing sponsors. You can work with companies like Passion Fruit Ads to help you.  You can charge more if you have more readers. You can do affiliate links.  When you link to something - if you are working with an affiliate company - you can be paid a % if people click and buy from there.  Companies may approach you and want you to blog for them or promote products.

Anything I didn't cover - that you want to know about (about blogging?)

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