blog, blogging, bloggers.

 (not really sure why I posted this picture with this post, haha. maybe because blogland can feel crazy sometimes? or maybe cause I talked to Jamie my bestie last night &I miss her haha)

So when I had my "ask me anything questions" post, I got questions that hit all different areas. Some about blogging, some about beauty/fashion, my life. So I thought I should just group them and address them separately. So I thought today I would start with the blogging questions I got. Here we go!

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 What made me decide to start a blog?
I figured I may as well address this very important question first. What made me decide to start a blog? Well I have actually talked about this on my blog before. So first let me send you over there! So that is the longer version, let me give you the shorter version. I started a blog because everyone in my family had one, and my dad was giving me a hard time about not having one, and that he wanted to be updated on my life since I was away at college. So I started one. I hardly ever used it. It was called "Alycia's World" original eh? haha Then when I got engaged I started searching online for wedding ideas/etc. and got sucked into wedding blogs, and from there blogging in general. It wasn't until after I was married that I really started blogging. I love the world of creativity that blogging fosters, sharing ideas, and stories about each others lives. Blogging can be such an inspiring and uplifting pastime, and I am addicted to the "happy" it provides!

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Blogging Tips
Now usually when people ask for blogging tips it means they want their blog to go "somewhere." When I started blogging, I was in it for the journal keeping aspect and sharing my life for friends and family. Little did I know that my "family & friends" would grow to include people from all over.  ---that's YOU guys by the way! ;) Some people blog just for that, and others want to find some form of "success." Success is different for everyone, it is all about how you define it. What do you want YOUR blog to be? Do you talk about food, crafts, fashion? or do you not want to be defined and want to blog about whatever you feel like? I guess that is me, the "Lifestyle" blogger? But just like with anything, if you have a goal, you need to make a plan to get there. So if you want a "successful" blog, however you define that as being, then you need to set little goals to get you there. Here is some insight on what I think makes a big difference in blog-land.

1. Presentation. We have heard this all of our lives right? Your blog layout and design is the readers first impression, so you want it to be attractive. We all define attractive differently, but I have found that the less clutter someone has on their blog, the more appealing it is. Try and keep things clean and organized. Presentation is 50% of blogging in my opinion (maybe more!). Also, it doesn't have to be expensive. 99% of my blog layout I taught myself how to do through google search, and didn't pay anyone anything to design it. Now they have that great template designer, so there is really no excuse anymore when it comes to blog design!
---- Part of the presentation when it comes to blogs is PICTURES! We all LOVE pictures on blog-land, am I wrong?! While people love to read good content, a picture says 1,000 words. So try your best to have great quality pictures. Not everyone can afford a really expensive camera, and I am a big believer that you don't have to have one to find success in the aesthetics department of your blog. However you must understand people will judge your blog based solely on the quality of the pictures! Most cameras today are great quality, your point and shoot should be just find. Read up on how to actually use your camera so you are getting the most out of it. It amazes me how little people know about their cameras! (trust me I still am learning too! haha)! Just be aware that people like pictures :)

2. Blog for YOU. A lot of people start blogging and think it is going to happen faster then they expected. Well for some people their blogs just might, but for most of us gaining followers or getting comments takes time. I was blogging for almost a year before I got significant people commenting or following my blog. That is why it is important to be blogging for YOUR happiness, because if you are trying to blog for other people, that is no fun, and you will just end up being disappointed.  So don't get discouraged, if you are having a fun time blogging and you are enjoying it, others will start to enjoy it too! Stay consistent and put forth that effort and eventually the readers will come, if having readers is your goal.

3. Be consistent and sincere. You can't blog once a week and expect people to keep on coming back to your blog. When you are consistent, readers are engaged in your blog!  Some people say they run out of ideas to blog about. I am not really sure how to answer that one, except see above. Know why you blog, and where you want to go with your blog, and your content should follow. If you are really starving for ideas, see what it is you like to see in other people's blogs. What are they writing about that you love and are interested in or inspired by, and find ways to do that in your life and blog. Back to being consistent, some people find that a blogging scheduled helps. I have kind of applied that to my blog, but have also found I don't like being tied to or limited to a schedule that has been set. That goes right back to blogging for YOU and making YOU happy :) When you are happy blogging, you will also be sincere. People like to relate to other people, and by being genuine and sincere people will connect with that. This is the best part of blogging anyways, the connections we make with other people! Show people you are human, trust me, chances are... they are human too.

---another aspect to this is people who blog simply to make money, get famous, get free stuff, or get invited to places. Those who get into blogging solely for those reasons are destined to be disappointed. As mentioned before, people can tell when you are being genuine or not. Readers can tell if people are blogging for the joy or are solely in it for the perks. This isn't saying people can't enjoy the perks that can come from blogging, but it shouldn't be the only reason they do it! Also don't rush into accepting sponsors! I didn't even think about accepting sponsors until I had over 1,000 or so followers. Even then I was afraid, I mean why would anyone want to pay me to put their buttons on my blog?!  But people had started to ask about it, so I figured, if there is a need for it and people want it, I can provide that for them. I still feel weird about it today! When you start to put a price on your blog you're also turning it into a business. People are paying for something and expecting that in return, you can't blog whenever you feel like it if you have people counting on you. You have made a commitment with someone. That doesn't mean you have to post every single day, I take days off all the time. But I usually never go 2 days without blogging. At the start of this year I was so busy with school work right before I graduated. I probably went two months without hardly blogging.  I just did NOT have the time.  Trying to blog and do school and managing it all at that point was too much for me. I took a much needed break, because trying to get things done because I thought readers wanted it, made blogging not fun for me anymore. That would not have been a good time to have sponsors on my blog, it wouldn't be fair to them, right? I didn't get sponsors until I knew I could commit the time for my blog, me, and for them!

4. Be Respectful. Your readers and sponsors are the ones who come back every day and read your blog! Don't write them off or treat them poorly! You can do things to show your gratitude with an awesome giveaway, or guests posts. Not everyone can do this, but who doesn't love a good giveaway from time to time?! If you have the time, respond to questions and comments. I really do try to do this, but it can be hard when you get so many and have things to do during the day. But people like to know their not being ignored. (I swear I read every single comment people! THANK YOU!)

5. Source Content. Part of the "respect" mentioned above is sourcing where you borrowed or took anything offline. Sometimes people are worried they will loose followers if they have links to other people's sites and blogs, but your readers are not going to leave you because of that, in fact they will probably appreciate you sharing the wealth with them! If you don't know the original source for your pictures, etc, be open to someone sharing it with you. Then link appropriately!

6. Network! Get your name out there! Don't be afraid to say hello or email your favorite bloggers. If there is someone you want to interview, ask them! Go ahead and trade buttons with someone with a similar readership as you and even taking out sponsorships on larger blogs that have a following you wish to have! Don't be afraid to branch out to other "genres" of blogs... crafting, recipe/food, fashion, mom blogs, etc. The more the merrier! Pass it around! If you are not active in the blogging world, commenting, talking, sharing, how do you expect anyone to know who you are? Very few people will just "find" you!

7. Don't be annoying. Don't spam people's blogs with your link. No blogger likes when people are just trying to get you and your readers to their blog and leave their links and other sites attached to their comments. Just by leaving a comment you leave a trail to your blog if people want to read it. I don't think it is necessarily bad to leave links in the your comments leaving, BUT just make sure you are not coming off as trying to fish for followers! It all comes back to being genuine. If you leave comments, you should be genuine as well! Another aspect of being annoying, is some people are turned off by auto-music playing on blogs. Some people don't care, others do. I say, do what YOU want for your blog. Just a tip if you are trying to take your blog "somewhere"--- it does bother some people. So if you care what other people are thinking, you might not want to have it, but change the setting so it doesn't just start. But again, let me reiterate, do what YOU want!
  
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Sorry for the novel people, YOU asked remember! haha I hope this helps people to find/achieve whatever it is they are looking for when it comes to blogging. I know that for me, blogging became an outlet at a time of my life that I didn't even realize that I needed it... and boy did I need it. I throughouly enjoy creating, reading and being inspired by all of you. I enjoy the friendships and words of encouragment, jokes, just all of it. I think you know what I mean, or you wouldn't be here right now reading this, right? haha

So since I just yabberd on for forever (this has probably been one of my longest posts in terms of writing!) haha Why don't YOU guys share some of the tips/frustrations/whatever you  have to say when it comes to blogging or people's blogs?!

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42 comments

  1. I love this. Everything about it! The most annoying thing about blogging is seeing people get so caught up in the number of followers they have. Clearly they're blogging for the wrong reasons.

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  2. I just started a blog... great advice!

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  3. great advice. Thanks from us newbies!

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  4. hahahaa i agree, i hate it when people keep spamming with their blog links.

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  5. nice post :)
    So funny, my husband has recently decided to help me with my blogging-hobby by trying to fix a nice lay-out and such, so this post came in handy!

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  6. I loved this!! I agree 100% about the annoying link thing...I have people leaving at least 3 sometimes 4 links in my comment box..so annoying..and they get deleted.

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  7. This was such a helpful post. Thanks for sharing all the tips. X

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  8. I always love reading tips from well established bloggers ... it makes me feel better about starting out and what I'm doing over at my small little blog. Thanks for posting this - I needed it today! :)

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  9. Thank you for sharing! I am so new to all of this and I don't know all the rules or what is taboo! :)I started blogging over a year ago when some of my friends started. But they are mom's and really into photography and I thought that was the only things you could blog about. Now that I know it is about home design, fashion, food and so many other things it is more fun for me! :)

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  10. what great advice! i am still somewhat new to the blogging world and always appreciate learning about what worked and didn't work for others. that's for sharing!
    xo TJ

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  11. Okay I can back to read this again haha!! Seriously one of the best blogging tip posts I have read in a long time.

    I also completely agree with the sponsor thing. I see people hit 200 followers and are like "Please email me asap for sponsorship info." Totally turns me off. I think what you did was wise..when people started asking is when you approached the idea. Love your blog girl! Kepp up the great work!

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  12. I love that you took the time to do this. When I started blogging it was all by the seat of my pants. These are great tips and ones I would definitely share with any blogger.

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  13. I totally agree. My blog is private now but it used to be public and I hated it when people would comment just to leave their link. I also cannot stand music that automatically comes on and I totally judge a blog by it's layout. Simplicity is the way to go!

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  14. Oh, I forgot to add that I will not read a blog if the person writes like they are writing in their journal... (sounding like a teenager-using lots of OMG, lol, like, etc.) does that make sense? I'm in no way saying I am a perfect blogger but bad grammar also makes a blog unattractive in my opinion!

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  15. thanks for all the advice dear! ;-)

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  16. Lovely post, filled with lovely blogging tips - thanks girl! ;)

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  17. good tips! I remember when I first started blogging and wanted to comment on peoples blog who I didn't know but I was too scared and so I was just like * anonymously follow* hahaha

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  18. Great tips! I think I am far from becoming a famous blogger but I do love blogging because I have so much to say! I miss my friends and fam in Southern Alberta so blogging is the best way to 'talk' to them! And I always love a good inspiring blog to read!!

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  19. Great tips, could not agree more! You're a rockstar! xo

    P.S. Going to San Diego tomorrow... I will say hi to the beach for you, sister! xo

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  20. Yes! I'm immediately turned off by people who live comments with just "I followed you, will you follow me?" or something along those lines. Ack

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  21. I happened to stumble across your blog and this is the first post I read. This is some great advice and I totally agree with all of this.

    Your blog is lovely btw so clear and fun to read :)
    x x x

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  22. I'm so glad you commented on my blog so I could find your blog!! :] I love it!

    Ha do I have questions!!! Only a gazillion but I wont bother you with all of them. Maybe just 20... haha jk.

    First off what photo editing software do you use? I LOVE your header and your about me pic!

    Second... love the yellow hearts. How do you do that? I notice you have some on your posts and by your URL. That's sweet! I'd love to do something like that.

    Third... I guess I don't understand "following" blogs. I have my list of friends and sites that I visit on the side of my page so that's how I "follow." What's the difference between that and actually following someone. Does that make sense? You're the first person I've actually "followed" Ha if you're confused that's totally fine. :]

    Anyway love the blog and can't wait to keep reading.

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  23. Thanks so much Alycia! This was so helpful!! Love your blog and can't believe you designed it yourself. Can we get a small tutorial on that too? How do you get the tabs at the top that say about ,etc? Thanks!

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  24. Great post! Totally resonated with me. I do have a quick question though: did you design your blog totally on your own?I'm wondering how you got the tabs at the top, i can't seem to change my font! x

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  25. Such great advice! I've read a lot of posts about "How to Blog", and yours is definitely one of the best!

    Speaking of sponsors...I would LOVE to sponsor your blog one of these months. Can you shoot me some info?
    ♥ Kyna

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  26. great advice! i loved it!! i only have about 200 followers but i had people email me about doing ad swaps and so that's why i started doing "sponsors" but they're not paid sponsorships. so maybe i'm a total fake or sell-out or lame blogger for doing that.... but i definitely don't think of it as a way to earn money (since i don't charge) but just as a way to make new friends while doing what i love. i dunno... maybe you can give me some advice on that aspect about what you think about it :)

    but truly i loved this post and it is very helpful! your blog is so amazing and it has been excited to see it grow in such a short amount of time. so proud of you!! :)

    and i LOVE that picture!!

    and this concludes the end of my novel :)

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  27. the "hi nice blog, follow mine please" coments upset me more than anything. i hate them. i also don't like when people leave hate comments. luckiy i have never had to deal with them but when other blogs talk about the crap comments they get it breaks my heart a bit.

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  28. Awesome blog advise!!!!
    Thank you!

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  29. Thank you so much for the advice ! It is much appreciated to this somewhat newbie blogger! <3

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  30. Love your blog advice! Hope you guys are having fun in Provo...we just left there for SLC. Go eat at Guru's...that is our most favorite place to eat!

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  31. I love this post :) it was really interesting to read and you gave great advice, thank you xx

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  32. such great advice! You are so right about being genuine and blogging for yourself. thanks for the tips! I love your blog :)

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  33. Great tips thanks! I agree with them all :)

    M x

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  34. Love the new tips! I am a new blogger so this helps a lot!

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  35. This is a really good post. I am still pretty new at blogging myself and trying to find my niche where I fit in. You were right on with the staying true to yourself bit. Otherwise, blogging's gonna be a chore and it's no fun for anybody!

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  36. as a newbie (of a few months) i LOVED this post! thank you. all the advice is all pretty logical and obvious, but is easy to forget i think. and also love your blog. x
    Matina

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  37. As a new blogger, this was VERY helpful! I am still trying to figure out the quirks, I don't even have "buttons" yet LOL. I'm gettin there!
    Thank you for taking the time to share this awesome info!!!

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Howdy Ho :) Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have enabled the forum feature on my comments so we can all interact in conversation. So if you leave a question, look back for a reply!