Monday, February 25, 2013

10 {HELPFUL} Things I Have Learned Since I Start Blogging

Is it just me, or does it seem like GFC is merely an ego boost?
Personally I rarely actually use GFC to browse new posts. Yet it seems like we all rate
ourselves by the number of GFC followers we have. Don't do that. Don't let GFC numbers
determine how you rate your own blog. There are SO many other ways people read.

 If you are a new blogger and aren't aware of this. You want exposure?
You want to connect and make friends. You need to have twitter and instagram. Most group
conversations and communication in general seems to happen on twitter. And instagram is a
constant way to not let people forget about you.

Now naturally this is my own personal opinion, but giveaways involving more than 
six or seven people are obnoxious. I'm talking about being involved in one  (and entering them too, I guess.) I've been involved in giveaways where there were 50+ prizes and I think I got one fb like...maybe. And giveaways where there are 4-5 people and have gotten like 50 followers. 

Well, here is the thing. I like to be supportive, but I don't have a lot of extra money lying around to pay for ad space. So really it's all about what you want. Are you wanting more readers and exposure? Or just to be a good bloggy friend? I've done both. But as far as wanting more readers, again I go for people that don't have an insane amount of sponsorship "spaces" available on their blog. If I'm one of six in a group giveaway or feature I'm a lot more likely to get exposure as opposed to
 if I am one of thirty.

Not everyone. But we just have to deal with it. Either because they realized they are not really into what you do on your blog. Or because they simply they just wanted the free stuff. Personally I always get deleted whenever I write about God. It's inevitable. As soon as I post something, as I hit publish I tell myself "Here it comes." Sigh. Any person that followed me because they like me or they find me inspiring always stick around no matter what. But people the follow due to a giveaway or blog hop aren't always going to stay.

I've been in tears over blogging. I've threatened to quit completely. I've taken six week long breaks because I get too overwhelmed with trying to please people. Having sponsorship on your blog is great for extra money if you need it, and I know some people live off it. I just can't do it. I'm way too emotional. I really am. And I want to be able to quit blogging for a whole month if I feel like it. And I do...a lot. But if I have sponsors, I feel obligated to be supportive. Haha that sound's horrible. I love to be supportive, because I want to be, not because I have to be. I recently took my sponsor spaces down and am trying to work that all out as to what I can and can't handle. 
Hopefully I will figure it out soon.

Again, this is a matter of opinion. But there is no way on this planet you will ever find me trying to do DIY posts or Recipe posts  just because...My blog is mainly inspirational writing, throw in a little humor and a tad bit of fashion and photography intermixed. I've tried the "being who I am not thing" to get more people to like me. It's so pathetic. I'm so pathetic. I'm done with that. Do it because YOU love to do it. Not because other people will love you if you do. Not to say you can't venture out for fun, but my personal experience is I'm a lot happier doing what I love and loving what I do.

The business of blogging is very time consuming. But blogging in itself its fun if you are passionate about it. For whatever reason you are. There are days where I can spend hours on the computer editing photos and writing and love every moment of it because it's my creative outlet. And that is just one post. But again, that moment you feel like you HAVE to do something because someone else is expecting it...or you WERE PLANNING on linking up, or you comitted to co-host something before you had that minor nervous breakdown, then it becomes a burden.
You are in control of what your blog is. If you don't want pressure. Let it go. And just do what
you started out doing...blogging. I've really trying to watch myself, what I commit to lately.
Mainly because I am so emotional and I know it. If I commit to something, be it a guest
post or a giveaway or co-host spot, etc...what if that week I have a bad week? Haha
Yes, I plan that way. At least now I try to. I am a cross between wanting to support 
everyone and their mother and wanting nothing to do with anything. That's a weird place to be in,
but at least I know myself well enough to know I am like that and work around it.

If you have a blog facebook page that people can "like," You get WAY more views on your fb posts if you write up your description "as a status" and then post the actual link inthe comment section. I'm not sure how Facebook works exactly, but I know they want you to pay to promote your advertising. I'm guessing if it "looks" just like a status then it's not advertising and more people see it.

Unless blogging really IS your source of livelihood, i.e. it puts food on the table, textbooks in your backpack, tires on the car...then don't let it consume your life and thoughts. Sure when something crosses my mind or I am at an event that might be blog worthy, I make a mental note of it, capture a few pictures. But don't let go of that moment because you are too busy thinking about getting the perfect photo for your blog or how you are going to write about it. You will miss experiencing a lot of your life's precious moments while you are blogging about them. Life first. Family first. God first. 
Your blog is your journal about those things, not to take the place of those things. 
Sounds silly. But I've been there.


Annie said...

This is all fantastic advice! I've had to learn a few of these lessons the hard way myself.

Allison said...

great advice! sounds like you are at such a balanced place in your heart with blogging...i'm still working on that one! miss you friend!

Jacy Pulford said...

Exactly what has been on my mind! I actually took a month long break and it was great. Yes, I'm emotional too like way too much haha Maybe we are just sensitive beings for God's Kingdom ;)

Rachel said...

I never knew that that what why everyone on FB started posting updates like that. That's funny. I do read blogs with gfc, but hey, it appears that I'm not really completely in the loop as far as blogging goes. And I'm having fun doing it that way, so that's happy! :)

Alyson McMahon said...

Such a great post. So many truths! And, it sounds so much like what you, Lisa and I talked about over lunch that day. I love that you're always honest. :)

Jelli said...

I agree with your points. As much as I sometimes enjoy entering million prize giveaways, they really are kind of obnoxious. Admitted, I've also joined in a time or two. Glad you're being honest & sharing some pretty blatant truths about blogging.

AbsoluteMommy said...

Such great blogging advice! It took me awhile to learn many of these points. I will say I do use GFC to keep up with some favorites, but I don't read all the ones I've followed via GFC. Word on the giveaways for sure. And on sponsorships. I've just about killed myself on sponsors. I've pulled back a lot this year!

Kelly - TheNODramaMama said...

This is the second time I've read a post like this today so maybe I seriously need to hear it! Thank you so much for this post! I find myself comparing all too often and I know it just cuts me down. I also agree with you about giveaways with too many people involved. I'll admit, though, I have entered them. LOL

Thanks again and God Bless!

Leah said...

Oh gosh, the giveaways with like 30+ are very overwhelming. it's not even worth it!
i've started gettting the hang of twitter and it's quite fun actually. all great points!

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Very good advice!

There is a certain blogger who POSTS giveaways nearly every day and it drives me nuts. It's always for random gift cards and I just get to the point where I don't care. And it always involves a zillion people, which I care about even less.

And I adore Twitter. I do. I love having it open and chatting with friends, readers, etc. Whenever I tell "real life" people I have Twitter they always ask why. Well, it's an easy way to connect with blog readers of course! It's like having a conversation with a big group of friends.

aimymichelle said...

i follow through google friend connect cause i read through google reader.

Jessica Who? said...

great post, julie! i have to constantly remind myself of these things. it's so easy to get wrapped up in numbers and giveaways and blah blah blah. thank you for this!

Cody Doll said...

Oh man how I know just about everything you said. I am just like you. I love it and hate it. I get caught up in blogging for others and forget I do it for me. I just recently went down to blogging three times a week because five a week was HARD. Now I can just relax and not worry so much. I am so happy that I am not alone in this.

Annelise @ Aunie Sauce said...

I posted about God today. I lost followers immediately. But the thought of the ONE lost soul that might be touched by that post? That's why I did it... and I know that that same spirit moves within you, Julie. It's beautiful!

Tranae said...

I agree about the huge giveaway thing.

Hanna said...

Such great advice Julie. I have been guilty of all of the above but always end up coming back to myself. I find the less I pay too much attention and the more I just post whatever I want, the much more I enjoy myself. I too feel obligated when I have paying sponsors a then there's too much pressure. And it's so easy to get caught up in the followers game, of course we all want mote followers but it's so unhealthy to obsess about it.
I don't actauallu read any o the blogs I follow on GFC.

Amber Cease said...

Have I ever mentioned how thrilled I am to have stumbled upon your blog? Because I am... I'm thrilled! :) Only being 3 months into blogging, I really appreciated your honesty in regards to all these things! I've never really understood GFC (probably because I use WP and don't have it), but agree that it seems like the only way anybody measures their impact :/

Janna Renee said...

I was just telling my husband that being involved in the big giveaways makes me feel dirty. I see results, but I feel like it's cheating. Problem is that it's always someone's Blogiversary giveaway or Birthday giveaway, so I feel bad turning them down. I even tried to tell someone no last week and they STILL talked me into it. Haha. I need to learn to say no. Awesome tips lady!

Gloria A said...

Great blogging advice! I'm still learning at the moment, and this has given me some things to think about!

Madeline Millburn said...

Thank you so much for the advice! Currently, my blog sucks because I have no idea what I'm doing but I know I want to do it! It can be so frustrating because I am still trying to figure out the design. I will definitely be using your tips! :) Thanks again.


TicoTina said...

once again, I feel like we're practically the same person in most of what you wrote, particularly the time consumption section. I just find myself not wanting to commit to anything anymore =) thanks for explaining the facebook thing, I had been wondering why I saw people putting "link in comments" instead of in the description but hadn't bothered to try to figure it out.

Sandra said...

Great post! Thank you for all the advice!
I found you through Jessica Who and just saw the promo for March ads... think I'll give it a shot, I'm new to the blogging world and trying to get my new online ArtFire studio out there so this is wonderful!
Great meeting you and looking forward to reading more!

Aubrey S. said...

I just visited your blog because Miss Angie from My So-Called Chaos mentioned you in her Weekly Round-Up post, and I'm so glad she shared it.

There is some fantastic advice in this post. I particularly agree with your thoughts on sponsorships...It's the obligation thing that has kept me from ever adding them to my blog. It would nice to have a little extra money, but If I need to put the blog on hold for real life, I don't want to let sponsors down.

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