Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On Blogging

A big, huge thank you to Melissa at MaMe Musings the Blog on Fire Award. And thank you for mentioning Mama Loves!

If you never have, you should go check out Melissa's space over at MaMe Musings, where she celebrates her life as the twin mama to Emily and Drew. Melissa is funny, honest and a little bit rock n' roll! You'll love her! You should definitely check out the black and white picture of her family in her header--it's just breathtakingly beautiful!


I decided to share with you seven helpful blogger tips. Some of you will know this stuff, and I am not (!!) an expert, not even a little bit.

1. You know what makes me sad? No-Reply. Let me explain.

When someone comments on my blog, it comes to my email, and I hit reply to send a message back to her (I've met so many great bloggy friends this way!). Sometimes, I'm type-type-typing away when I realize that the reply email address is noreply-comment@blogger.com. Boo! That means I don't have a way to send them a message back.

To make sure people can email you back, go to your dashboard, then edit profile (right there by your little thumbnail picture), make sure the "show my email address" box is checked. That's it. Easy.

2. A while ago I turned off my word verification for people leaving comments. I had it turned on, because that's what Blogger suggests that you have. Then I read this great blog post, and decided to turn it off.

I'll say this, I've only had a few spam comments, and I just delete them. Most of the time, the spam comments just go into the spam folder, and not onto my blog anyway. It's easy. And--it makes commenting so much easier for your readers!

3. Add pages to your blog--the tabs across the top: About Me, Contact, My Favorite Blogs, etc. (you can get creative with the titles). Ashley at Little Miss Momma has a great tutorial on how to add pages to your blog.

This way, when people happen upon your niche of the Internet, they can quickly find out who you are, and how they can get in touch with you.

4. I just read a statistic the other day that said 1 in 12 people IN THE WORLD have a facebook account. Isn't that amazing?! All that to say, consider creating a facebook page for your blog. Sometimes people want to follow you, but they don't want to create a blogger account to do so. Chances are (1 in 12) that they do already have a facebook account, and wouldn't hesitate to "Like" your blog page.

To create a facebook page--go to the bottom of your facebook page, there's a tab there for "Create a Page" and follow the directions. You manage it out of your personal facebook page, so it's easy!

Also consider getting a Twitter account. I'm still very new to Twitter. It scared me for a long time--it's kind of its own beast (with its own language that I still don't understand completely). I'll be the first to say that I'm still not sure I know what I'm doing, but it's definitely another way for people to follow you. And, you can have some pretty fun conversations on Twitter!

5. Contact bloggers you enjoy reading! I "met" one of my very dear bloggy friends, because I emailed her about the play kitchen she bought for her twins last Christmas. And, because of her, our girls will be getting that kitchen this Christmas! Thanks, Mandy!

Another dear bloggy friend emailed me with sleep advice for the girls, just when I thought I was going to keel over from lack of sleep. I thank God every day that she did!

6. Natalie at Mommy of a Monster and Twins has two great articles on blogging that you definitely should check out. Blogging Must Haves (And Have Nots) For Newbies and More Blog Tips.

Natalie is fun, and very approachable if you have questions, she's more than happy to help you out!

7. Link up! Often blogs will have opportunities for you to link your blog post on their website (called a meme). For example (shameless plug!) each week, I'm hosting Mama Loves.

Manic Mother

Write about something that fits into the topic of the meme, and link your post! Your post gets all that blogger's traffic. It's a great way to get new readers, and to find some new blogs to read!

*Just a reminder, if you haven't already, there's still time to link up your Mama Loves! Can't wait to find out what your mama must-have is this week!*

I hope this was helpful to someone. I've learned a little about blogging in the past year and a half, I thought I'd spread around the few things I've figured out.

Now, to tell ya'll about some hot little blogs I enjoy reading!

Sara at To This You Were Called. Sara writes about being a mama to 20-month-old Silas, a nurse and a wife to a pharmacy resident. She's witty and fun--I enjoy stopping by her place!

Liz at Sweet Simplicity Designs. Definitely check this blog out! Sweet Liz was the designer behind my new look, and she generously offers free backgrounds and printable downloads from time to time, as well as blogging tips. There's still time to enter my giveaway for a Simple Blog Makeover from Liz.

Melly at Taming Monsters. She is hilarious! Mama to Phin, wife, daughter, sister friend, and she is one classy gal! Definitely worth a read!


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Julia! :) [I've said it plenty of times before, but I hope you know I'm so glad to have met you, too...and all over a toy kitchen! :)]

I am so glad I turned off word verification, too. It really does make it easier to comment on blogs, and I [knock on wood] haven't seen any ill effects from it.

And a couple of things on my to-do list...to write more "About Me", and to create a FB page for my blog. That's how I clicked over to read you this morning! :)

championm2000 said...

Oh, thank you for the kind words. I love your blog and always appreciate your insight.

Great tips here! I am working on building my "About MaMe" pages. As with most things these days, it's a work in progress--icluding my Mama Loves post:-)

Wendy said...

Thanks for the suggestion to create a FB page for my blog. I just created one and hopefully I did it right!

I still need to submit to Mama Loves for this week. Hopefully I can get it written today~my Twinkies are little (sweet!)monsters lately!

Sara said...

Oh Julia, you are ever-so-helpful! Thanks so much for the link-up!

Twinside Out said...

I never think about these things - so this is a very helpful post for me. Thanks!

And I, too, am thankful every day for a sweet bloggy friend who emailed me sleep advice. You saved me! :)

whitney johnson said...

i've been wanting to do tip #3 for months now but i keep procrastinating! thanks for the tips! :)

reanbean said...

I can't tell you how many times I've written a comment, hit publish, and then gone up to close the page just catching a glimpse of the word verification box that popped up after I hit publish. And by then it's too late. My comment is gone, and 9 times out of 10, I don't go back and write it again.