I don't know about you, but I don't know many bloggers in real life. Sad, I know. In fact, most of my close friends can't imagine ever starting a blog and don't know what they could possibly have to say and how they'd possibly find time to post. (Which by the way is pish posh in my opinion.) And when I was first starting out in the blog world, I had no one to go to with questions or for advice concerning blogging.
While I am by no means a professional blogger, I have learned a thing or two about how this whole blog thing works, and today I wanted to take a minute to answer some of the questions that I continually get asked about blogging.
1. Is it time consuming?
It depends entirely on you. Writing and coming up with ideas is very easy for me, so to me no, it's not time consuming to write and upload my posts; 90% of the time I am just writing about and documenting the life I am already living. However, it can be awfully tempting to browse other people's blogs and spend hours oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over their newest craft or latest recipe or oober cute children. Just like anything else, you make time for what it important to you, and if blogging is something you desire to try, I think it's safe to say that in the time you spend watching one TV show each night, you could have written a post. The choice is yours.
2. How do you find things to say?
Well, in case you've noticed, I talk about lots of different things here on my blog, from my family to food, activities, etc. In order to blog about your life, you have to be out living it. But I believe that everyone has a story to tell; it's just about being comfortable and confident enough to do so.
3. What does it mean to follow a blog?
Following is a very nice way to show the writer of the blog that you like what he or she has to say. If you read a blog daily or even a few times a week, you should follow it. The more followers a blog has, the more likely it is to get to offer giveaways, grow to gain sponsorship, etc, and the better the writer will feel because when someone follows your blog, it's safe to assume they like what they see.
4. Do I have to have a blog in order to follow?
Of course not! You can follow via e-mail or feed subscription to places like Google Reader. If you DO have a blog, then any blog you follow will automatically show up on your homepage when it's updating, putting all your favorite blogs in one place. You can choose to follow publicly (where people can see you're following) or privately (where people can't see you're following).
5. Should I leave comments on blogs?
That's up to you, but I will say that it's always nice to hear someone likes something you have done or relates to something you have said. Comments are like compliments, and who doesn't enjoy a nice pat on the back every now and then? And if you're trying to grow your blog, commenting is often a nice way to get followers, as many people will often follow you back if you take time to comment on their blog.
6. Have you ever received a nasty or rude comment?
Thankfully, no. All of my comments have been positive and nice thus far; however, I'm sure it's bound to happen eventually, and I know some bloggers have lots of trouble with this. However, as a blogger you have the option of accepting or not accepting comments from anonymous readers. While I do accept comments from anonymous readers (this allows people without a blog to comment more easily), I do have to approve all comments before they appear on my blog. This is not because I fear the all-dreaded negative comment, but rather because certain information such as my last name and the city in which I live is not something I put on my blog, and if a friend accidentally mentions one of those things in a comment, I can catch it before it's made public knowledge.
Plus, my take on negative comments is this:
We all each entitled to our own opinions. Do I always agree with everything other bloggers say? No. Therefore, it's foolish for me to assume that everyone will agree with everything I say.
7. Do all bloggers make money, and can you make money as a blogger?
Yes, it is entirely possible to make money as a blogger. However, it's rare that family blogs (which is what I consider my blog to be for the most part) gain sponsorship in that they usually only apply to a certain market of readers. While I would love for my blog to bring in some extra dinero each month, I realize that not everyone is interested in reading about my kiddos and what I crafted or listened to or watched or read last week. But some blogs do make it big in the blog world, specifically those blogs which target mass audiences, and I could not be happier for them.
8. What is some advice you'd give to new bloggers?
Well, if you do your research you'll hear the same few tips repeated in a variety of ways:
-try to post often, as readers will get bored if you keep them waiting too long between posts.
-try to include pictures whenever possible, as people like something pretty to look at while reading.
-the more professional your blog looks, the more seriously your readers will take you. If you're only blogging for your mom and family, then you will probably be perfectly content with a free template that you can download. However, if blogging is going to be a serious hobby for you, you may want to look into getting your background custom made so that it has a more personal feel.
- choose a catchy title or name for your blog, specifically one that represents what you plan to talk about on your blog. This is something I wish people had told me before I chose mine-- what happens if we ever have a son? Lee, Me, and the Girls won't really apply anymore, you know?
-don't be afraid to be real and honest. I find that the blogs I most enjoy are the ones where the author is real and writes in such a way that I feel I can personally connect with him or her.
9. What's the point/ why do you enjoy it so much?
I think there are many reasons why people blog. For me, it started as a way to document the adventures of my growing family and has since grown into the hobby I most enjoy. I love having an avenue where I can express myself, an excuse to write, and a place where I can share thoughts and ideas. I often find myself referring to my blog for recipes we love or what we were doing this time last year. I don't keep a journal; I do blog, and I love, love, love it.
10. How many hits do you usually get each day?
Well, usually I average about 750-1200, but lately it's been more like 2500-3200. Thanks for the boost, Pinterest. :)
I hope this has helped answer any questions you may have....if not, please ask. I'll answer any questions I get via comments in the comment section, so if you ask a question please check back soon for a response. Or, you can always e-mail questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Speaking of questions, is there anything you want to know or see more of? Any questions about me or my family? Anything you want more details on? Send those my way too, and I'll see what I can.
Here's hoping your Wednesday doesn't feel like a Monday, like mine has all. day. long.
On that note, here's a picture of me and Rachel (aka El Ray Ray).
It makes me happy, and today calls for something happy.
It makes me happy, and today calls for something happy.
Don't be jealous of our 'staches, mkay?