The actual definition of a blog is...
blog[blawg, blog] noun, verb, blogged,blog·ging.
I started reading blogs in 2007...mostly crafting, quilting and cooking blogs. I just read them and enjoyed them, never commented. I truly loved the inspiration!
Then in 2008, I left my first comment. You remember the feeling...
- am I doing it right?
- why am I doing this?
- will they think I'm crazy?
- I'm not part of the "in" crowd, because everyone seems to know each other
- I live in Rhode Island and I swear all the blogs are out west, so I'll never meet any one.
After that first comment, I guess the rest is history, as they say. I started my own blog in January of 2009 and have never regretted a single moment. Well, maybe a few...when the old Blogger was a bugger to load pictures, when I cried when whole posts would disappeared and God only knows where they went or when I thought HTML codes would send me to an early grave etc. Thankfully, blogging has changed so much for the better and for my sanity too!!
Blogging has changed and I have changed because of blogging. It has created an outlet for me to share the ideas that flow through my head on a daily basis. I love the "sharing" aspect of blogging. However, the most important part is really the friendships that I have made over the years. Friendships that last for just a moment or friends that will last for a lifetime (even though you live 3000 miles away and I still owe you an email!!) Jodi from Pleasant Home is my very first blogging friend I would have never met if it weren't for this little thing called a blog. Hi, Jodi!!
Why am I writing all of this. Well, my husband asked me yesterday as we were driving in the car..."do you ever feel obligated to write something on your blog, like it was a job?" Absolutely not. It has become second nature for me and for my family as well. My husband and my 2 daughters are always saving something and asking...could you use this for Tool Time or is this idea good for a post? (chocolate cream pie idea from hubby, for example) They also know that if I am snapping pictures of them, there is a chance it will be on this blog.
I've also had many emails asking how do I know what to write about, do I plan things, what inspires me, do I write posts ahead of time etc. With all that in mind, I thought I would write a few things down from what I have learned along the way.
To begin, I am NOT an expert on blogging. I am a 100% self taught, many mistakes along the way, blogger. We all start out with zero followers and that first post that no one is reading. You have to start some where, right? My best advice is to blog what you know and love and the rest will come on it's own.
"If you build it and they will come"
~Field of Dreams~
Here's what I've learned...
- Blog about what you love. If you don't, it will become a chore and not a pleasure. My blog is about pretty much everything, because I love a little of this and a little of that!!
- Don't blog because you "have to", do it because you "want to".
- Just be yourself. If you try to be like other blogs, you'll lose that special something that you have to share. Your blog is about YOU...what you think, what you make, what you do.
- Almost everything you do in life can be a post and helpful to someone. Any moment in your day can be blogged about. For example, I was baking one day and sprayed the pan with cooking spray over the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, like I always do. Hmmm, I thought, this is a quick post that might be helpful for even one person out there. There are people out there just like you, so mention one thing in your life and someone can connect with it. You'll be surprised! Which brings me to my next point...
- Take pictures of everything...from the dog walking on the beach to how you fold your fabric. If you have pictures, you have a post. You may think the way you fold your fabric is pointless and mundane, but it may be a "light bulb" moment for someone else and change their lives for the better!!
- Keep your pictures organized and stored on your computer and they will be there at the ready. Pictures are worth a 1000 words. People love pictures and with busy crazy lives, they can browse through your blog and look at pictures rather than reading a 1000 words. (this post is not a good example of that! Holy mackerel, I think I have 2000 words and NO pictures LOL)
- If posting every day is too much for you, take one day and write all your posts and pre date them. Having a regular posting schedule keeps your readers involved, your content fresh and visitors stopping by your blog often.
- If you have a question about blogging or your blog...research, research, research. I am constantly learning new things all the time. Whether it be about blogging, photography, computer questions etc...look it up. Use your search box on your computer and type in whatever you want to know. There is an answer out there somewhere. If you can't find it...ask someone, email, comment or blog your question. Someone will listen and will be willing to help.
- Have an "About Me" section near the top of your blog. People need the connection to the blog. They need to see you and know you. I know people have fears about the internet and creepers out there, but give as much as you feel you can. The connection is where it starts.
- Don't be afraid. Just do it!! Start that blog, leave that comment, write that post. You can do it...I just know it.
I know I could write forever on this, even breaking down each topic into subtopics, but I think I've broken my 1000 words with no picture rule. Ok, here's one picture I had "at the ready".
If any one has more to add on the topic of blogging, please share it with us in the comment section. Sharing is what it's all about!!