Building Your Blog, and That Whole Follower Thing.

PSSSST...I'm no longer blogging here!
You can now find me at


You know, I get emails now and then about how I got so many followers so quickly.  I admit I'm sorta shocked anyone really wants to read what's going on over here, but the questions do give me pause....

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.


Cassie Bustamante said...

hi cindy! i completely agree with what you are saying- you just have to be, well, you, to have a successful blog. of course you have to make the connections, and do some bulding work, but all in all people want to know that they are reading something a real person has put their heart into. and also, love your blog and read it always even if i don't always comment. will try to start more covos with you! ;)

Get Nestled In said...

Brav-O girl! Loved this post!

Kristin @ Yellow Bliss Road said...

Thanks for keepin' it real!! Love this post. :))

Blessed Serendipity said...

You have made some good points. Comments are nice because usually they are affirming and positive and they let you know that somebody out there cared enough to make an effort to leave one. Liked your post.


Comeca Jones said...

I too love this post! While I realize I have a "different" blog. (by that I mean my title is well a lil different) so I get why they wouldn't want to follow and thats ok with me.I understand why my follower base is zero lol!! I love to look at the other blogs and the purpose for me having one isnt to obtain sponsors or earn money its just so that if a fellow blogger stops by they will get to know me in a small way. I watch my feed so I do have visitors that stop by more than once or twice. I realize that I have a ways to go with my content so your advice was well taken.

Lorie said...

So true that you have to be you. Because even if you manage to get a lot of traffic not being you, you are going to end up getting tired of NOT being you!

I love your blog and have to ditto what you said about Donna. She is a great lady and amazingly talented!

Thanks for the post!

Michelle, All Home and Love said...

Such a great post. I enjoyed every bit of it. I blog for fun, I blog to keep track of my own projects and sources (which came in handy when a friend came over and asked which book my wallpaper was out of....wait, let me check the blog! lol) but most of all I blog because there is this whole community of amazing people who share my passion.

I've thought of quitting many a time, my followers increase but comments seem to have decreased this year. But honestly, I tell myself that I'm not doing this to make money, it's for fun. So if I blog once a month or twice a week, and if I get two comments or 20, it doesn't matter. That's what I'm telling myself anyway. ;)

My mom reads and my good friends read...and that's good enough for me. And honestly I'm one of your followers who often reads but leaves without commenting. I'm going to change that!

Lorie said...

The only other suggestion I would give, especially for really new bloggers, is to get out there and make contacts!

You mentioned in your post the blogs that seem to have tribes. I think you have to go out and forge those relationships! Comment on blogs, talk to people on twitter and facebook, etc. You build online relationships the same way you do IRL relationships! The ones you work at are always the most successful!

NanaDiana said...

Hi Cindy- Thank you for this wonderful post. I started blogging just for my own family because I wanted them to remember some of the fun times we had, etc. And pretty soon a few other people found me. I am not BIG (well, I am a LITTLE big but we're not discussing weight issues here)..but I love the people that have found me and have stayed around. I feel connected to just about everyone of them somehow. At first I was in absolute awe of everyone out there...and everything out there...and then I realized that that is not what I am all about. I want to share ME (and my wacky off-beat humor) with others and get to really know those that find me. I can't take pictures worth a darn...my header isn't all that great and I'm a bit slow on getting known...So..thank you for just reaffirming what this is really all about.(for me)..and that I don't need to be the perfect blogger. You did good!!! And I will sign off with YOUR famous line...OK-Bye! Diana

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

I so appreciate this post. I enjoy blogging because it helps me with my creativity and I get things done around my home that I might put off otherwise. I love getting followers that truly want to follow me. I have never asked for a follower and never will. I have done several giveaways just for the fun of giving things away. I always state that you do not have to follow me to enter...just comment so I know you want to paricipate. I work full time and blogging does take up a lot of my spare time, but the satisfaction of completed projects that others admire makes it all worth it. It is also fun to look back when I first started blogging to see how much my blogging photos and skills have improved. Meeting other great people is definitely a wonderful reward for blogging. Not to mention the inspiration you get from so many talented gals. I will only blog for fun...never for advertising because I already have a job and this is one of my hobbies.

Christin@Pregnant with power tools said...

Thanks Cindy I needed that - both to remember that as a "regular little blogger" I'm not alone and numbers don't mean everything, and for the tips and inspiration to do better!

I just wish I had more time to read/leave comments/network! And my blog improvement list just gets longer. But like fixing up my house, it's probably healthier for me and better quality work when I tackle it one day and project at a time :)
Thanks again,
this post was inspirational...

Judy said...

Well said. When I first started blogging I worked myself to death over how many comments I'd get after each post....it's taken me 3 years to develop a more relaxed attitude. Don't get me wrong, I love comments, it's just not what drives me to blog anymore.

What a great idea to post about lesser known blogs. I think some of the "mega-blogs" are a lot like high school, people "like" them b/c they are more "popular" and there are so many bloggers out there that don't get the recognition they deserve.


{Vintage Sweet Pea} said...

I love what you are saying! I wish I knew more on how to add all the cool gadgets on my blog! I do love to write and decorate! Thanks again for the inspiring words!


Judy said...

...that's "worried" not "worked"!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Okay mind reader! I was just today thinking about those darn numbers. Sometimes I really don't even notice them but other days they stick out like a sore thumb. I have noticed some blogs with only say 30 posts total but have a rather large following. I don't get it. I do appreciate my followers for taking the time to leave comments. For me that is my main priority. If they are commenting, they are reading. I just want readers. And truthfully, I'm shocked that I have any! Thanks for the post :)

the cape on the corner said...

i was definitely needing this post, so thank you. i too have seen people who started the same time as me, and have practically a billion followers. but i have reached the goals that i set for myself, and no one else, and i am proud of the way i reached them.

re:Inspire said...

Hello! Thank you for visiting my blog! I really appreciate this post seeing that I am trying to get my blog rolling. It is encouraging to hear you talk about not getting bent out of shape over how many followers you have. I really just want other gals to enjoy my posts and to talk back and forth with. I will be following these great steps you have outlined! Nice meeting you,

- Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl said...

Nicely written. Thanks for the advice. It really gives perspective on the whole # of followers draw.

And a big thank you for taking the time to write this.

Brittany (who hung on your every word)

Lemon Lane Studio said...

Beautifully said. I love hearing from the same ladies...they've become friends and I enjoy popping over to their house to see what's going on. Sharing a good cup of coffee over the net is relaxing, inspiring and just plain fun. Thanks for all the tips but mostly thanks for your beautiful blog. Patty

Heidi said...

Oh Mrs. Cindy! You have been so right on point lately! I think dealing with this is especially hard when you 1st start blogging, and you want to be a "big" blog. Me, I just want to be a rock star! ha! Thanks for sharing your blog & your heart!

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you on several points and appreciate your honest insight and advice, Cindy. And, I appreciate (so much) those followers that hang in there for a quality post, although not daily, and understand the life behind the blogger (mom of infant twins in my case). I'm blogging for all four reasons (2 & 3 someday) at a comfortable pace for me and following my heart in the process...my number one reason. I love the comments, getting new followers and making new friends (and I've made some dear ones), but right now, it's just me, doing what I love to do, when I can (which is HOURS every day believe it or not) and hoping that readers understand and find a teeny bit of inspiration or laughter along the way. I was so concerned with followers in the beginning that it was seriously unhealthy. I took a step back a couple of weeks ago...if my dreams of my little blog are meant to be, then so be it.

Well said. Hugs.

shannon i olson said...

great helpful post, yeah I want to be a Rock Star, but your right, it takes a LOT of work. wow. I love blogging I LOVE followers, I guess we each have to find our own balance.
Thanks for all the good advice.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I just happened on your blog today and thank you so much for putting things in perspective. I have several friends (who are mostly writers) who blog for a book deal. I'm no one of them, but I still want to comment on life. That's my reason. I am a non-stop peanut gallerie of my own life.

And your photography is beautiful.


Gloria said...

Hi, there. I am one of your Followers and I subscribe to your new posts, and I thoroughly enjoy your blog, so you must be doing something right! :)
You will be amused to know that I have 40-something Followers, and I love each one of them and am proud of it! You know why? I know all 40 do NOT come to read my blog all the time... I don't "link" to anything, don't do any DIY's, really nothing that wonderful. But out of my blog, I have gained a friendship with a handful of lovely girls that I wouldn't trade for the world. THEIR blogs are the interesting ones! And they are kind enough to visit mine, and we will also email each other. So I am happy to be building these little friendships and I feel very blessed also. That's the reason I am grateful for blogging. Although, OK, I will admit it: sometimes I wish I had the energy (plus the big home!) to show off things that others would like to see! I don't have granite countertops or tons of rooms, I have a teeny house so, again, maybe if I had something to show, I'd be more of an interesting blogger? LOL! But that's OK, I am happy as it is. :)
Best regards,

Mandy said...

WOW!!! I found you through Coop Keeper a few days ago and added you to my favorites but didn't follow:( Your couch is PERFECT for my house!! Please tell me where and when you got it??!! And then tell me it cost like, oh $100.00 would be good;) Or better yet can you just come to Oregon and help me with my house??? I'll make you bacon!

Patty B. said...

You may like to know that I follow you on my blog-reading list and visit every time you have a new post. I may have commented in the past, I think so. Anyway, I enjoy your blog because you do keep it "real".
I started a blog when I had a bear business. I haven't been making bears for a couple years so I haven't kept it up. Maybe someday I'll change the focus and start again, although I'm so tempted to just keep posting pictures of my most adorable grandchildren and I know that's kinda boring to everyone except my family. Anyhow, thanks for all the time and effort you put into keeping us entertained and inspired!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Very honest post, Cindy. Loads of great advice on relationship building!

And I also appreciate the kind words. It's super easy to highlight what I consider 'rock stars' and saw that in you early on. :)

Something I'd also love to add to your awesome list is to get on Facebook. But not for popularity. This one's all about community.

Being on Facebook allows your comments to speak to everyone in a different way than on blog comments. Blog comments tend to get buried in a real hurry while Facebook brings your new comment in front of all viewers. It's like talking in one big room. I personally LOVE the way that works and wish blogs were built a little differently in that way.

I highly encourage all bloggers to Facebook with a PAGE, as opposed to just your profile. You don't have to approve all those wishing to follow you. They can follow you as easily as they do on your blog.


Leanne said...

Great post Cindy! I love all your beautiful pictures. I do so many things wrong. I think I'm a really slow learner. I'm trying to tweek things as I go along. I have to say I never realized the wonderful relationships you could build through blogging before I started a blog. I love the blogging community because of people like you and many others.

Terri’s workinprogress said...

Wow, what an eye opener! You are someone that I would like to emulate. I have a handicap though. When I moved to my mother's, I lost my camera in the move. I just don't have the money to replace it right now so I post pictures of what I'm working on from a copy from the company site. I don't really know how to blog effectively and your instructions are really helpful. I blog to try to reach out to people because I can't leave the house taking care of my stepmother. (sounds like I'm looking for sympathy but I'm not, I consider it a gift to take care of her) I read a lot of blogs daily in the Google reader. It gives me great joy to read what people are doing and to get to share in their life even though they don't know me. People who create such beautiful needlework and decorate their homes with such talent! Each photo you (and others) post each day is such a gift at the end of my day. Please keep it up cause it means a lot to many of us.

Anonymous said...

I love this post! I did a quick post recently that I called "the blog clog"...you can find it here: http://littleeandco.blogspot.com/2010/08/blog-clog.html. I, like many, blog for fun and when I happen to have time. I couldn't imagine my family sitting in the living room without me while I'm trying to finish up a project or photoshop a picture just to "get that post up." Great, great post Cindy!

Thanks for the inspiration!

Claudia said...

Fabulous post, my friend. The followers widget haunts me at times...I want more and more but I also know that it is not indicative of a real readership. I also hate when bloggers use giveaways to gain followers. It drives me nuts - it is falsely loading up the followers list. I don't like when someone asks me to jump through various hoops to be included in a giveaway.

I, like you, don't blog for a business or anything like that. I do it because I love it. That doesn't mean I don't want more followers though.

It is a tricky balance. I try to regularly visit blogs and comment. Sometimes I get behind.

Great food for thought!


Shari @ My Cottage of Bliss said...

Great insight and info here.

Personally, I think the "follower" gadget is very misleading and should never be used as an absolute indication of readership. There are probably 200 blogs I love and visit almost daily but I don't formally "follow" any of them through the widget because I have my own method. I'm sure there are many others out there like me.

Also, low numbers of comments can be discouraging to some bloggers when it shouldn't be. Somewhere I read that only a very small percentage of blog readers leave comments...something like 5% or 7%. I feel this is pretty accurate because if you look at some of the really popular blogs, the number of comments they get are often low in relation to their thousands of followers. There are so many great blogs now. I think many people are trying to visit as many as possible but due to time constraints, they are commenting less.

I love my followers and people who take time out of their busy day to comment but I rely more on my stat counter for judging how many people are visiting my blog on a daily basis. Even 'tho the number of my "followers" could be considered low, the stat counter numbers indicate I have far more daily visitors to my blog than the follower widget (or comments)would indicate to the casual observer.

Unknown said...

Really great tips! I've been reading a book about Blogger and how to have a successful blog and one of the main tips that many of us don't follow is to reply to comments. I try to reply to as many comments as I can, but sometimes, there just isn't enough time. It is important though, because it lets readers know you appreciate their input. One of my pet peeves is someone leaving a comment that they are following me and they'd like me to do the same. Urg... I'll follow a blog if I like it, not just because the person is following me. To me, blogging is about so much more than racking up numbers or people that you don't really connect with. What's the point of following someone if you can't relate to or don't read what they have to say?

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

I did a giveaway not to long ago, and made following a requirement without really thinking about it very hard. After wards, I decided I'd never do that again. I realized people were just following hoping to win a prize, and I only want followers who like what I do. So I'm with you on not using giveaways as a way to troll for followers~learned the hard way.

Thanks for this post. I read most blogs through reader, and don't usually know how many followers any given blogger has. I looked on a few blogs once, and was surprised that so many really good blogs weren't as big as I'd assumed. Thanks for all your really good advice.

Unknown said...

Oh.This is a fantastic post.You have said so many things that I have been pondering on and more.I have a fairly new blog and a minuscule number of followers and I will be honest ,that bothers me sometimes and I question why I even bother keeping a blog.Still wondering that.But like you said I would appreciate people who actually read the stuff that I write and enjoy that than just a large number of followers anyday.

Thanks a ton for the very useful tips.Very well thought out post.I feel motivated to continue blogging.:-)

Seawashed said...

When I began blogging it was such a smaller community. Then Julie and Julia came out and everyone started blogging. I have been disheartened at times by all the blogging for business and popularity contests. But I've continued on by remaining true to the reason I blog and that is 'to give beauty'...not just for others but also for me. I have been slowing down on blogging because it does take alot of time and I don't get one penny for doing it. Alot like being a full-time homemaker...a 24/7 job for no pay. But am I here to live for money...no...life is about love...and I want to spend my days loving, giving, caring,and beautifying.

SZM said...

This post really resonated with me! I am not blogging for a book deal, but I check my blog multiple times a day for comments. That isn't why I started blogging. It is nice to see someone stopped by. I vow to be a more regular commenter on the blogs I read daily. Thanks for this great, thought provoking post!! And your header is THE BOMB!

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

You have the perfect balance of content, pics, words n humor. I really admire your blog and appreciate this post. I'm still very slow at finding my real voice as I haven't been sure who my audience is or why I'm blogging...I have a local business I should be promoting, but prefer to use my website for that and just enjoy the camraderie of blogland. I'm kinda schizo (sp?) as my banner quote captures! I need to get a lot of thinkin time in on all your great tips. Thank you ~ you ROCK! :-P

Marilyn Holeman said...

Hey Cindy,

I don't comment often, but I do read just about every post (except about how to make a blog, 'cause I don't have one.) But I love that you're real, and you make me chuckle. And the photos in this post are KILLER! Your style is right up my alley--just beautiful!

My kids are grown, but I home schooled. Have a great year!


nell ann said...

You are SO right! The followers box usually just stresses me out and I'd so so so rather just have one or two commenters than 40 new followers (which happened to me overnight!). Those empty followers bother me so much that I try to not follow blogs at all, but rather comment on the ones I actually love, yours included. : )

At Home in English Valley said...

Hi Cindy, Loved your posts on your visit to Jayme's. You two know how to have a good time. I blog because I want to remember the beautiful, everyday miracles of daily life. If someone wants to enjoy them with me, wonderful. I have met the sweetest, kindest people blogging. That includes you and Jayme. I'm inspired by your many talents but especially your sense of humor. We can't take this too seriously. Life is short, let's have some fun! Love, Penny

Jayme Goffin, The Coop Keeper said...

This is why you have so many followers. You are a rock star darlin' - fo sho. I have trouble with responding to comments - it's so time consuming, and I've considered stopping blogging cause of it. Oy. I'm a bad bad blogga.

Anonymous said...

hi Cindy! What an excellent post! I completely agree...I'm not a writer so it's hard writing "quality" posts, but I've still made some connections and I appreciate those that I have...I've been wanting to write a post about how followers does not equal readers, but you nailed what I've been thinking! :-) Great job!

Oh, also, I know how you feel about the following then unfollowing a blog, so I've started following blogs privately until I get a better sense of a blog, which has really helped!

Unknown said...

I was just saying that you are spot on with this post.
Everything I have been feeling but was afraid to say...LoL
I think offering up gifts for followers is not cool, even tho I have done it twice. It's ok if bloggers take that route, tho. To each lovely one their own. This blog talk can swallow up your little old life if ya don't watch out.Giving gifts in gratitude is vastly different than fishing for followers.
I best hush now...

Brenda Pruitt said...

Amen, amen and amen! I've been doing Welcome Wagon Fridays for close to a year now to feature new bloggers. I've met so many talented "youngsters still wet behind the ears" this way! My post today was on questions and answers for them. I will add my own observation here and I will then link to here to send my readers over to read your very informative post. TURN OFF word verification, is what I want to throw into the ring. Hate the darned thing. Makes me half cross-eyed. And you listed most everything else I would say your own self. I can tell you why you're so loved: it's your personality. It wouldn't matter if you were listing what you're headed to the grocery store to get, we would read it. Because it's your "voice" we listen to.

CHERI said...

Hi, Cindy...just found your blog through Brenda @ Cozy Little House. I absolutely LOVE this post! (See a recent post of mine on BLOG ENVY.) You have really helped me to put all this in better perspective. I have quite a few friends who read my blog but never comment because they don't have blogs or a google account, but they do email me and comment. I haven't been into blogging very long and lately had been feeling very inadequate. You have helped me rethink things and for that I thank you. I applaud your willingness to open up and say what you did. I plan to come back to visit you often!!!!

Leo said...

Hi there - Very informative post for me. I am a new blogger - and am doing it for fun and to meet new people - who have the same interests as me. I have met some great ladies ...and I have really enjoyed that.

I also love blogging as a creative outlet and also as a stress outlet. I travel quite frequently for my work - so instead of getting annoyed with delays - I use the extra time to work on my blog. This has been terrific positive outlet for me.

Thanks for these tips. I have found this very helpful.

Leo said...

Hi there - Very informative post for me. I am a new blogger - and am doing it for fun and to meet new people - who have the same interests as me. I have met some great ladies ...and I have really enjoyed that.

I also love blogging as a creative outlet and also as a stress outlet. I travel quite frequently for my work - so instead of getting annoyed with delays - I use the extra time to work on my blog. This has been terrific positive outlet for me.

Thanks for these tips. I have found this very helpful.

Heidi said...

Hi Cindy,
Nicely said, well done! My blog has changged a lot in the past few weeks, and I've been going through a kind of mindset change and thinking a lot about the number of followers and comments on my site, interesting to read your thoughts.
I'll be attending a blog bootcamp this weekend, (just when I was losing some steam - I hope it inspires me to get creative again!) I'm curious what they have to say about BALANCE! Because that's become more and more important to me as I spent more and more time on this here blog...anyway I'd love to see more of it (by that I mean Balance) in my life!!
Have a great weekend. I will read your guest posts with interest!
Heidi - Heart and Home

Stephanie said...

Hi Cindy - I am one of those people you refer to a lurkers.....I do follow a few blogs and have been inspired by many of the articles. I do not blog myself as I have an old computer that fails me frequently. I do not generally make comments or log on as a follower, but that doesnt mean I dont LOVE the blogs that I follow and you are one of the few I love. I read blogs for decorating inspiration, every day humor and just to see what is going on in other parts of the country.
Keep up the good work. I do love following your blog.

Amy Kinser said...

Thanks for the great info and insight. You sure touched on things tonight that I had been pondering.

God bless, Amy

Angie@Echoes of Laughter said...

I just found your blog today! You are so talented!!
What a wonderful and insightful topic! Thank you for everything that you have so willingly shared with your readers!! Your post and the comments are such an interesting read. I have been blogging since 2006. There have been times that I have taken a break for months from my blog. Then I get passionate about it again and start posting. I only recently found a real 'voice' on my blog..where I am enjoying it as a true creative outlet...sharing my ideas, inspirations and thoughts. This I know: I will never blog to make money. I will never have giveaways on my blog.
I will never sell ad space on my blog. And the reason is: Those are not my goals.
I blog for the fun. I blog to improve my writing. I blog to improve my photography skills.I blog because of the deep sense of soul satisfaction when I write a good post. Blogging is a creative outlet for me. I just enjoy it!

commoncents said...

THANK YOU for posting! I always love visiting...

Common Cents

ps. FOLLOW??

Unknown said...

Cindy, you are a queen of keeping it real. Great tips and great insight.

I think I could divide the blogs I visit regularly into two camps. One camp would be the pretty picture blogs. Lots of pretty on the outside if you know what I mean. Then there are the ones where I read every word and look forward to their next post. These are the people I can identify with, email and comment regularly too. They go deeper than just pretty pictures or selling their wares. I follow lots of blogs, and from my reader pop in now and then to catch up. The minute I find that someone I follow (on my sidebar or through reader)is rude, I don't go back.

I admit I like seeing my followers numbers grow, if ever so slowly. To me there is the validation factor you mentioned, but also I think it is a great way to meet other bloggers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Barbara Matson said...

WOW thanks for that. I sometimes get too hung up on the followers thing - but have enjoyed the few that really stick by and are friends! I blog for fun and need to remind myself I am not trying to win a popularity contest.

Thanks for the tips.


Classy Clutter said...

I absolutely appreciate every word in that post! I recently started a blog and I loooooove to blog and share my thoughts, projects, insights, etc. My goal is to enjoy my blog and perhaps inspire at least one person
out there to be creative! Your blog is BEAUTY-FULL and Thanks again for this post!

Mallory @ Classy Clutter

Dianna said...

Very interesting post. I was expecting to read steps on how to build a blog.

You bring up some very valid points.
It always comes down to being at the right place at the right time.....or whom you know or is it whom you can stroke??

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for leading me to your blog, and for commenting on mine! Great information! I can't wait to snoop around your site... ;)

Nicole @

Miss G said...

Cindy, this is a great post. I came over from be different act normal and I look forward to poking around your blog. Kelly

Unknown said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this post. I know I've felt a little upset about not having more followers, not being able to comment and visit as I wish, or even responding to comments.

But in the end, I realize what I started this for - ME. With all that is going on in my life, a 17 month old and a 3 month old, I would rather enjoy my time with them than in front of a computer. It would be nice to be a ROCK STAR, but for now I'll just settle for mom. ;)

Have a great weekend, thanks for your inspiration!
-Ann Marie

Unknown said...

What a great post! It's so easy to get caught up in the numbers and followers. I would much rather have 100 faithful, quality followers than 1000 who just followed me b/c I followed them first or make it a stipulation for a giveaway entry. I often add a blog to my blog list rather than follow it b/c I don't always use reader.

Blogging does take up so much time and there have definitely been moments where I wondered why I did it in the first place. I started my blog as a place for me to post my projects and it's grown into some other things (good things) but I definitely do miss the reason why I started it in the first place: sharing my projects. And there is also the pressure of feeling like you have to post every day b/c so many people "depend" on you. Ahhhhh!!! lol

Anyhow, great, great post. :)

mel@livvyloowho said...

I just followed you:) Love the blog, keep up the great work!

Kacey said...

Great tips! I've been so busy lately that I've been neglecting my blog as well as commenting on blogs. I feel terrible! I blog because it's fun and a great way to interact with others - I just love sharing projects and seeing what others are doing! But sometimes it can be more of a chore, when I'm trying to come up with a topic. That's when I have to remind myself I'm doing it for fun!

IVY said...

you really inspired me, agree on what you said, I'm new on blogging and your input made me feel really good, I'll be reading all your post from now on, is worth reading, your pics are awesome and I'm a cottage girl any way... thanks

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Wow, thank you so much for this. I've really been struggling with how much time I invest in my blog and whether or not it's all worth it (I'm not promoting a business or trying to make money... I do this for myself). I pay way too much attention to the numbers. Thanks for giving me a new way to look at things.

Elisa said...

Cindy - These reasons are exactly why, I, after having to take a blog reading break & "un-follow" your blog, now that I have more time to read, I remembered it. I like how you "keep it real", and are a person that is really "there". I consider a lot of the blog authors my friends, you included =) Thanks for keeping such a great blog that really inspire & help people like me (with little interior decorating sense) make my home a nice place to live.

Southwest Cottage Designs said...

You know what I like about you and your blog? Your #8 - Be Real, 'nuff said. That's what I see in your post. You are real. Thank you, thank you. I began a blog over a year ago. Due to devoting my time to work and writing and publishing a book, my blog just existed. That is, until weeks ago. You are inspiring!

Crisp Interiors said...

This is the best advice EVER! Thank you for being so honest and real and so willing to help those of us who are new to this world :) What a blessing you are to us all !
Thanks again!
Would you mind if I linked this up on my blog?
I'd be honored to feature you.

Custom Comforts said...

Just found your blog and I love it! There are many I love and for many different reasons, but yours is unique and real and that is a quality that always seems to shine through. Your pictures are gorgeous and your advice invaluable. I'm a new blogger and love learning from you experienced ladies. I'm nearly done with my design class and look forward to having more free time to sit and read your posts. I'm a true fan of cottage and I like how you've divided it up. So glad I found you!

Brooke @ Finding Home said...


I am soooo happy that I stunmbled upon this post. I would love to ask you some more questions about this topic but I do not have Microsoft outlook on my computer so I can't get your e-mail address. I understand that you are busy but when you find a spare moment if you could send me and e-mail so that I can ask you a couple of questions I would be in your debt! Please and thank you!

Sarah, Three Boys said...

Gotta love linkwithin! I am so glad I found this post. You spoke from such a sincere place and I TOTALLY identify with what you were saying. Thank you so much for your advice. I too blog for bliss! And I love your tutorials. I recently re-did a buffet and the entire time I was thinking "paint like a drunk person." Thank you it turned out great! I do have a question for you. How do you keep the balance between life and blog land? As I am sure you know, blogging can quickly suck you away from your responsibilities so how do you keep true to yourself in your post (humor, creativity) while still taking care of your responsibilities? Maybe this should have been an email... so sorry:)

Cindy said...

Just read this post, and i want to thank you! I've been wondering why i I felt the need to blog in the first place...narcissism,? wanting to be one of the gang?, bored? I finally figured out that maybe it's just fun to be with like minded people, and that's ok. Your comments really help me understand and put the whole thing in perspective, plus... it's really informative regarding what people are looking for in a blog.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad YOU BLOG. I also don't think my comments are as interesting as your blog ,& so never realized comments are important & how you get your main feedback.and your connections to your visitors.
I live in rural Oregon USA and really LOVE getting to see such nice photos and artistic creations. So Thanks !you do a great job.CS

Megan @ Restoring the Roost said...

Thank you for this awesome post!! Great advice for folks like me who have just started blogging and don't have many followers. Everything else on the web regarding blog growth is so general but I love that your advice is tailored to the "cottage" blog niche. I am blogging simply for pleasure and also to provide a resource for cottage bloggers and historic house enthusiasts on restoration/preservation activities. I've yet to have my "breakout" momen blog world...but I appreciate the readers I do have :)

Anonymous said...

Hola, Interesante, no va a continuar con este artŠ½culo?.

Sheri said...

I know this is an old post but I LOVE it - you are awesome. I'm new to blogging - just started at Christmas time. It's so much fun to get ideas from others, inspiration, etc. It's like getting a new magazine in the mail. :) Have an awesome day.

Rachana Saurabh said...

Great tips.. Thank you so much.
I just have a question for you.
How can I create "Button" for my blog. Please guide me.

Rachana Saurabh said...

I forgot to add in my previous comment, how can I get Linky party button..:)

-Rachana Saurabh

Anita at Cedar Hill said...

Well said. I thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on blogging. I am new here myself, but I am loving it. I love your style too.

Erin {Lavender and Lemon Drops} said...

Wow! I just found your site due to your link party button! I started browsing around and read your tips. I just want to tell you that you TRULY inspired me. These were all honest tips and every one of them was encouraging. I just started a new site and I've been so focused on getting the "follower" number up. Thank you for sharing all your tips. I really appreciated them!

karah said...

This is great information, thank you! I am just getting started with my blog at thespacebetweenblog.wordpress.com. I came here looking for a link party, do you still host one? Congrats on your daughter's engagement, what fun planning you have ahead. Enjoy it!
Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

Well, said, thanks for the tips. Sometimes I start to panic when I haven't written a post for a long time and I get all down on myself and cranky and can't figure out why. Then I remind myself that I just do this for the simple fact that I love to write and share my life and pictures. I don't have many followers but a few regular commenters who feel like friends though I've never met them. I really need to get a person to come in and help me update things on my site (I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm afraid to push any buttons). But - I do this for fun, so what do I get so worked up about? I think I love the interaction and you can't get that without writing a post, right? Keep on posting, cause I love your blog.

Marita said...

These tips for building a blog are wonderful and much appreciated! I only recently started blogging because FB friends have been encourating me to write a book about my antics I get myself into. But, now that I started it, I want to post more about DIY projects and decorating, etc. Right now I'm trying to weigh the time with the amount of traffic. My friends say they go read stuff, but will still post comments on my FB page about it instead of on my blog page.
Anyway - thanks so much for the tips - love your blog!


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