March 9, 2012

Blogging Lessons Learned-Living In Yellow Style

Hey you beautiful messes you. So {so} happy to be here today. First off-my name is Erin and I write over at Living In Yellow.
{Just for clarification-I'm on the right. If only I was that cute...} One thing you need to know before we begin. I love Steph. Any girl who can pull off hot pink, zebra, and cowboy boots year round is legit. So Steph, thanks for having me to your humble abode. Mwah Mwah and Mwah. Awhile back I wrote this whole set of blogging lessons learned, and well--a few readers liked it. So I thought why not share it with all of you beautiful creatures as well? My hopes is that it will teach you a new thing or two. And if it doesn't--you obviously are a smarty pants, so my hat is off to you. Anyhow. Without further ado, I present to you:
1. So you wanna grow your readership base?
Unless you are the Momastery,
your blog is not going to go viral by staying confined to your own blog walls.
So what am I saying to do?
Sponsor other blogs.
Don't have the funds to pay for sponsorship currently?
Do button swaps with blogs similar in size to yours.
You give them your button, they give you their button.
Free of charge.
Just get your blog out there.
I started paying to sponsor other blogs six months into blogging.
My monthly page views grew by more than 40% immediately.
I now am a firm believer in sponsoring 1-3 other blogs on a monthly basis.
For more information on what you should look for when you are choosing what blogs to sponsor,
2. Give your readers more than one way to follow you.
Let's face it peeps.
Not everybody and their mom has a gmail account.
Meaning, not everybody and their mom can click on that handy dandy "Follow" button on your sidebar.
With that being said--you must give them other options.
Living In Yellow allows others to "follow" through these avenues:
Email Subscription
If I could tell you to do one thing immediately it would be this: Create a Facebook page & Twitter account for your blog.
You may feel foolish because you only have 5 followers.
Trust me, I felt those thoughts.
Do it anyway.
People want to know YOU.
The person behind the blog.
And Facebook & Twitter are a great way to allow your readers to do this.
Wanna know if I am eating Twizzlers 24/7 or see what shoes I am wearing to work?
Your right.
Probably not.
Buuuut, if you do--Facebook & Twitter would be how you would learn this.
Second part to this--
These social media outlets are a great way to communicate with your readers.
Some of my favorite evenings are spent on my Ipad conversing back & forth with blogging friends.
You can't do that through your blog.
3.    Reach out to bloggers you admire
This is something that I did in the beginning.
I spent time researching my favorite blogs and shops.
And then I emailed each and every one to see if we could "collaborate" in some way.
I will be forever grateful to people like Heather at {Just.Lovely.Things} for giving me a chance to host a giveaway for her back in the beginning.
Don't be afraid to ask others for help.
Some people may so no.
But some may say yes.
Be thankful either way.
  4.    If you want to make your blog posts funnier,
don’t allow your husband to proof read your posts.
 If you want to remain married, allow your husband to proof read them.
If you want your blog posts to be funny and you want to remain married, “accidently” publish your post and tell your husband it can’t be re-done.
It will work.
 One time.
But after that, you must decide between options 1 and 2.
 Take your pick.
Oh, and only use the most flattering pictures of your man that you can find.
He'll appreciate it.
5.    Let’s talk about comments for a minute.
Leave em’.
And like I mentioned in part one of these blogging tips, if are you going to say something-make it nice.
There is enough negativity in this world, don’t bring it into blogging yo.
And if you do leave a comment, I beg you for the life of me…enough of this
“I’m your newest follower…come follow me back” crap.
Chances are real high that if you say that, I will not click on your blog.
This may sound harsh, but it is true.
People hear me out.
It is not about the quantity of followers, it is the quality of followers.
If you want to attract a blogger to your blog—leave a comment that means something.
Something that will intrigue the blogger reading it and will make them WANT to come to your page and follow.
Say for example a comment like this:
“I love, love, LOVE your blog! I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon it, but I'm so glad I did! I can be having THE MOST craptastic day at work, but as soon as I read your latest post, I can get out of fetal position, resist the urge to smack the crap out of my co-workers and get my work done :) You have a fantastic sense of humor and a great outlook on life. Heck, you can even talk about poop, which in and of itself is pretty awesome!!! Keep up the great work!!"
Thank you The2Dees for brightening my day with that one.
Moving on now.
6. Pictures. Again, like part one said--always use em'.
Two things to add to this.
Make them big, bold, and beautiful.
I don't want to have to squint to see that picture you just posted.
As far as making them look beautiful--take time to edit your pictures.
It makes a huge difference.
I use Google's Picasa/Picnik and sometimes Pixlr.
Others may use Photoshop.
And those others are a heck of a lot smarter than I.
7. Word verification.
Take it off.
Like now. 
 I get excited when I about to leave somebody a comment, and the minute I see that stupid box with words that I can’t read staring me in the face, my head gets full of cuss words.
And I don’t even cuss people.
Make it easy for us commenting folk and remove it would ya?
To do so-follow these instructions:
8. Don’t let others fool you.
Blogging takes time.
This is something I didn’t really plan for when I started blogging.
Sure, I knew it would take me a solid ten minutes to whip a post.
But what I didn’t realize is that it takes an additional 10 minutes to upload pictures, 20 more minutes to edit, 5 minutes to arrange the post,
5 more minutes to bold certain words or make em’ big,
5 more minutes to blog and tweet about your new post,
and then 30 more minutes to respond to the nice people who comment on that post.
Oh, and then another 2 hours to read all of your favorite blogs.
Here is where things get difficult for me.
Remember that blogging takes time---
but don't let it take up all your time.
99% of us, started blogging as a "hobby".
Something extra to do in our "spare time".
Don't neglect the things you love the most because of your blog.
The minute you make your blog a chore, the minute blogging sucks.
Because let's face it--Chores Suck.
So yes, if you find the perfect balance-
Please, do tell.
I am all ears on that one.
 9. Content Yes, numbers 1-8 are important, but it all comes down to this.
People will read your blog if they like what you have to say.
That's all there is to it.
So my word of advice on this one:
Write from your heart, from your head, from your hyper bones.
Just write.
And don't overthink it.
Write what you want to write about when you want to write it.
Find your writing voice and use it to the best of your ability.
God gave us all our unique special "voice".
Don't try to imitate somebody elses.
Oh and another thing as far as content goes--
Remember variety is important in blogging.
People will get bored if you talk about the same thing.
Over. And over. And over again.
Mix it up.
This will keep your readers engaged and interested in coming back.
10. Last but not least-
 Support one another
Blogging is a community.
We are here for one another-to encourage-to help each other out-
to show love-and to become homies.
Give shout outs just for the heck of it.
Don't be afraid to help grow one another's reading base.
One other thing--
Be humble.
Remember, we all started in the same place.
Now get your hot little buns over to my blog and say hello.
I would love to get to know you :)


  1. I agree with you on all of this! I hate the "follow me back" crap and word verification the most!

  2. I love Erin. She's so bold and honest. This is the first month I'm a paying sponsor on Erin's page and its deffinatly paying off. I'd love a follow back:

  3. Great tips!!
    Love both your blogs :)

  4. I just love all of these tips. The most aggravating this is blogs with that darn word verification. It seems every blog I go to lately has this on it. Have a wonderful day!

  5. I love Erin! And I completely
    Agree with everything she just said!! Word verification is a killer! I love when pol leave their links in a comment but HATE when try ask to follow back. Most likely I will look at your blog unless you say that lol!!

  6. I've seen other blogging advice posts, but I have to say this one is the best! It's hard to not get caught up in the "numbers" game, and that you need to remember why you started blogging. For me, it was to let my family know about where I live and what I do-I live on a farm outside of a town with a population of 1,000 people. They live in L.A. HUGE difference! Almost 2 years later and less than 60 followers. I don't mind, cause I love to share my story!

  7. Steph, you blog is great! I love reading it everyday! My fav. so far was the blog vacay!

    Erin, you are now on my read everyday list. Not only did I enjoy reading these tips, but I was freakin laughing out loud on some of these!

  8. I just nominated you for a blogger award :)

    And I am looking for some sponsors for my blog. I was curious if you were interested in swapping buttons?

  9. As someone who just entered the blogging world, this was SUPER helpful! Thank you thank you thank you!

  10. This is an excellent post!!! I always appreciate bloggers who are willing to offer sage advice. So much to learn, no matter how long or short you've been blogging. Thanks for all the wonderful tips! :)

  11. I just started blogging and this post is beyond helpful! I love the way you write- so honest and very funny! I already agree with you also about the "I followed you, please follow me back" line! I don't even know if I have word verification, but I'll be changing it if I do- how annoying! Can't wait to check out your blog now!

  12. great tips! Loved this guest post!

  13. I gave you a wee baby shout out today :)
    Also I am wanting to do a link up with a few ladies who's blog I love about "Your favorite things around your house" ... to give some bloggers a sneak peak at other bloggers houses and their favorite things! Would love for you to be a part of it! Email me!! XOXO

  14. This was such a great guest post! I am a newbie to the blog world and love these tips! I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago and love it!

  15. Omg this was an amazing post. I actually started blogging not too long ago and have been really thinking hard about what I think I'm doing right, and what I think I'm doing wrong. and then said what the hell its my damn blog I'll do whatever I want!! KEEEDING. thanks for the tips!

  16. I've also been thinking on how to increase my readership. And yes, making friends in the blogging community is a great way to pull it through. They will not only give you the much needed tips but will encourage you to still write when you think no one's reading your posts. Thanks Erin,you're really awesome!~


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