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So here I am finally entering the Blogging world after doing so in a private little world for four years and I am totally drowning! I have moved to Wordpress ... and Hate it by the way ... and am trying to figure out what and how to do things technically. I have over 1500 hits since May 1st but feel like I will lose them if my site does not become a bit more cohesive.
I guess the reason I am posting here is to see if there is some way you all became so organized and beautiful in your blogs. I am thinking I will need to do some product reviews if I want this "hobby" to pay for itself but can't figure out how to get started there either.
Can you see me on my virtual knees begging for guidance?! :) Help!
My first advice, definitely don't worry about the product reviews, because they don't pay for you to review, you get free product, and it's more work, regardless of newbie status or not. People will come to your blog to read about you, not the products you review, so be sure to write more about you, your family, what you like, what you feel, etc.
My suggestion is to find what it is you want to write about, sit down with a good, old-fashioned notebook and come up with things you'd like to talk about on your blog, and start sketching out blog posts before typing them. That definitely helps you start to get your ducks in a row.
Don't worry about making it look fancy, make the header unique like you, or put up a personal photo up there, and just start writing. Eventually you can get a designer if you need one (or you can get one now, if the funds are available). But be prepared, most designers have a queue that lasts a couple weeks to a couple months, so you may not get 'worked on' immediately.
To get more people to check you out, perhaps start joining in on memes, like Menu Plan Monday, Tackle-It Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Thankful Thursday, etc. That helps bring people into your 'home' to give them a taste of who you are, too. Make it personal, each of those posts. I try to.
Also, visit many blogs you come across and comment, which opens them up to wanting to respond to you and possibly coming on over to visit you, as well.
Do you have a Twitter account, or Facebook? You can mingle with other bloggers there, most have their twitter usernames and Facebook account info on their blogs. Start connecting socially, just as you are here. Comment on new member's profiles here, start putting your blog posts here as well as on your blog, to intrigue members to come read you.
It will take time, it doesn't happen overnight, but don't rush it, be true, be honest, be you, and it'll happen.
Well you're in the right place! Lisa gave you some great advice (she's fantastic btw, read her blog and get to know her)
She's right about the product reviews - they are a lot of work and they don't really bring anything to your site but the free product you are reviewing. The first thing I would recommend is getting familiar with wordpress. I hated it too when I first switched over from blogger but it's become second nature now. It really makes things more comfortable if you don't feel like you're going to break the blog all the time (that took me a while!) I'm pretty sure there is a wordpress support group here on MBC so that's a great starting point.
Secondly, think about who you are and what you love. What is going to be the key theme of your blog? For example I write about creativity - a lot of moms write about breastfeeding or home decor or what have you. The point is to find something you are passionate about and have thoughts about and write! People love to read thoughtful and passionate posts that show your personality. Not just the same product review that 100 other bloggers are also writing. Know what I mean?
Once you find your focus and set your goals it will all fall into place. Good luck and don't feel shy - there are SO many wonderful bloggers here who are happy to offer support :D
Wow Ladies!!! Thank you for such a concise well thought out answer. I really appreciate your time and am so pumped to make my blog something positive not only in my life but in other's too. Thanks and to the other bloggers posting here: Good luck ladies and I look forward to walking this walk with you. I will be checking in on your blogs this evening.
Great advice! Yup, I'm new. I'm an insane mom of 3 kiddos and I have been blogging for a while on my old blog, which I closed down because I felt I wasn't very creative and felt boring. But, I want to give it a new shot, so I started a new one from scratch. I don't want to get to that point again so I am really putting my all into my new blog. I might try some doing a meme. I have seen the word mentioned here and there, but wasn't sure what it was. I hope to see more tips here! I'm Sal btw. : )
This is such a great place, I am thrilled to be here.
I have the same problem. I feel like there must be some secret blogging class I am supposed to have, but somehow I don't know what it is! I still haven't even figured out Adsense on Blogger, so don't feel bad!
Blogging is not just about writing. Have fun adding stuff, learning new things. At least for my my whole bloggin experience is about sharing my thought with you all but also having fun in the blog design part. Learning small things... So, don't drown, is have fun instead!
Hi Kathy, I am a newbie too. After seeing the beautiful blogs the other moms have, I did some research and found out that you can hire a blog designer. I am currently on a waiting list to have my blog customized by www.aprilshowersblogdesign.com. Her prices are good (im paying $100 which includes a custom drawing, and her sites are amazing. There's more out there though.. look around.