PSSSST...I'm no longer blogging here!
You can now find me at
It's funny 'cause there's several gals who started the same time I did who have oodles and oodles more followers/subscribers than I do, but when I stop to really think about what makes their blogs popular I realize they blog as a job. They're posting consistently excellent material multiple times a week, if not everyday.
That's why many have sponsors and/or advertising on their sites. I absolutely don't begrudge them this because producing a decent blog with interesting posts, pertinent information, fabulous photography, and decent writing is HARD WORK. I'm ashamed to tell you how many hours I spend doing projects, taking pictures, editing pictures, writing posts, editing posts, planning posts, fiddling with the blog itself, etc. And I honestly ask myself if it's worth it, the time away from my family's needs especially, when I don't get paid to do this and have no shop or business to promote. I love it, don't get me wrong.....it's a fantabulous creative outlet for me, but I have a hard time balancing the time I spend on blogging (and reading blogs) with the rest of my responsibilities. I'm sure I'm the only one who struggles with this. *rolling eyes*
Something else along this line.....just because I have 700+ followers doesn't mean they're all hanging on every post I write. Nay. In fact, I read several blogs with much fewer followers who get lots MORE comments on each post....comments from regular readers. Like a little tribe. I love that and wish I had more of that kind of dialogue here. I do have plans to help that along.....
Finally, this thought. I've seen gals hit rock stardom overnight because one of the ginmormous bloggers did a feature on them. Everyone dutifully ooooooos and ahhhhhhs over their pictures and clicks that follower button only to discover they either can't write, don't post very often, or just post inspiration pictures any of us can easily find doing a google search. Un-follow. Can't tell ya the number of times I've done that (and have had it done to me).
What am I trying to say here? That that number over yonder is not a true representation of the quality of a blog. I had moved that gadget to the bottom of my page because it taunted me everytime I opened my blog. I moved it back to the sidebar because I decided it's a motivator to do my best work. It helps me remember I do have interesting things to share sometimes because those little faces at one time or other felt clicking to follow was worthwhile. It affirms my hard work, and I don't think it's wrong to seek validation for the time and energy spent in blogging. It's when the numbers become your task master that problems arise. It's a constant battle, and anyone that says differently is nutty. Most days I could care less, other days I feel like a second-class blogger in the face of some of the others with 4 digit followings. Eh. That's when I go paint something.
Anyway, when I started blogging, I had a couple gals ahead of me in the follower arena do some features on me (Thank you especially Donna of Funky Junk Interiors....a professional blogger of supreme talent, kindness and humor who I think has one of the best blogs out there), and that started a small following (and helped me find so many of your wonderful blogs!). I have been meaning to do regular features on the hidden talent out there to return the favor, so besides the weekly features from Mi4M, I will soon be creating full posts on bloggers who I think aren't getting their due. :) And I won't just pick someone with nice pictures or a keen ability to post inspiration shots...nor will I feature those only blogging to promote their business (not that I think that's wrong, just that I want to draw attention to those who blog for bliss amidst a regular busy life of parenting, working, and living.)
So. How does one go about growing a blog? First you need to decide WHY you're wanting more readers. Possible reasons:
You want to be a rock star.
You have a business to promote.
You want to make some money recruiting sponsors/advertisers for your blog.
It's more fun to blog knowing someone will read and appreciate it.
I blog for the first and last reasons. There's not a darn thing wrong with blogging for the other reasons, but I can't help you much if that's what you're after. Anyway, here's my top 10 tips for us regular blogging folk looking to build a readership just for the fun of it:
1. Write consistently interesting and informative posts with really good photography and humor. Tutorials, before and afters, and all things furniture or crafts are popular. Make it easy for folks to see what you're about....for instance I posted a link to my Mission Statement and created tabs under my header with cottage style categories for readers to peruse. Others have a link or tab to their tutorials. Give readers a reason to hang around and discover your blog.
2. Something I'm not good at remembering to do is asking a question at the end of my posts to engage readers, but I appreciate when a blogger asks for my experience or opinion in their postings...it tells me they read and appreciate my comments. Which leads to....
3. Respond to comments on your blog via email, within the comments themselves, or in a post, and spend time commenting on others blogs you enjoy. Appreciate your followers with highlights or giveaways (but don't use giveaways to troll for followers....a pet peeve of mine). Also, make time to at least visit your commenter's and new follower's blogs.
4. Join blog parties to highlight your work. I would say host a party, but honestly, I think the blogsphere is too saturated with them right now unless you find a particular niche.
5. Consider featuring a blogger whose work you really admire, but has more followers than you. Ask them first! When they mention on their blog about the feature, their foot traffic will find it's way back to you and perhaps like what they see/read....which is why you must do #1 really well. This kind of networking is appropriate because it's a win for everyone...you, the blogger you feature, and readers looking for more fabulous blogs to read.
6. Contact the DIY Showoff, Better After or join a challenge over at CSI some week. If your work gets featured, you'll get many folks clicking over. Offer lots to entice them into reading and participating at your place in the future, again by paying attention to #1.
7. Make a button for others to put on their blogs. Have a section where you've listed all the blogs where you've been featured. Put an 'about me' link somewhere to introduce yourself and your blog that goes beyond the teensy picture and microscopic text allowed by the blogger gadget.
8. Be real. 'Nuff said.
9. Have a stunning header. If you're not confident in making one, get someone who can. It's the first impression and the thesis statement of your blog.
10. Enjoy what you do, do it your way and don't apologize for it. Remember, it's better to have folks read your blog who share your style or enjoy your writing regularly than hundreds of followers who only click over now and then and never comment. Ask me how I know.....
That's all I can think of right now. Basically, blogging is at it's best when it allows for community. The quantity of followers should always play second fiddle to the quality of followers. I get more thrill from comments then from my numbers going up. Numbers mean zilch if folks aren't talking to you. (nicely) I suspect The Lettered Cottages and Nesting Places and Thrifty Decor Chicks would say the same....it's all about the comments, not the numbers.
Well alrighty then. I'm up to my armpits in curricula and planbooks, trying to get organized for starting school next week. I've also got more painting and sewing projects in the works, and those featured bloggers in the wings, so I'm signing off. Thanks for all the sweet comments on my trip report to Jayme's. She's a peach and another awesome example of what blogging is all about. Relationship, humor, how-to's, photography, and.........well, yes.....bacon.