Hello Type A readers! My name is Sommer and I’m here from my blog Designer Garden. Thank you to Tammy for having enough confidence in me and my blog to ask me to speak on some of the in’s and out’s of blogging.
What technical things have been hardest for you?
Well I definitely think blogging is a learning curve. I remember my very first post, I think I sat and stared at the screen for nearly and hour trying to figure out what to write lol. It takes some time to get used to talking to an audience that isn't physically present. Technically the hardest thing to figure out is HTML coding. It's not a language, it's code. It's for computers and robots not humans and not bloggers! Learning to change my code so I could personalize my blog has been difficult at best. Making buttons that will link back to my page, inserting signatures, learning how to center other peoples buttons, changing the fonts etc... Just be patient and don't be afraid to ask other bloggers questions. It's not about competition out here, it's about community.
What have you learned as far as reaching new readers?
I'm still learning when it comes to new readers. I did learn early on that not everyone was going to like me, my blog or what I do on my blog. But the people who do should be acknowledged. I've gained many readers just simply by responding to their emails. Get personal with them. I realize it's not easy to know every one of your readers when you get into the hundreds but make an effort. Laugh with them, share their ideas and stories as if they were your own. People like sincerity, so be sincere and they will follow you.
What tips and tricks can you give us?
Oh I could write a book on tips and tricks. If you can teach a man to fish... we all know that one right? So I'll just leave a few links to some excellent sites that have walk throughs on the in's and out's of blogging. From etiquette to HTML. Kevin and Amanda are an excellent resource for blog design. I highly recommend you check out their tutorials here. (insert... http://www.kevinandamanda.com/whatsnew/category/tutorials/blog-design ) And the other is Sneaky Mama Blog design (insert... http://sneakymommablogdesign.blogspot.com/). I couldn't have made it without either of these blogs when I started out.
What do you think your readers most like to read about?
Well I'm going to go on statistics for this one. Based simply on page views and comments alone I would say my readers most like original work. Something that has been knocked off and made your own. Tutorials. Before and afters. And most of all they like when I keep it light. Nothing too serious, sentimental, overly gushy. We all have enough of that in our lives. Get funny, get real, get readers =) No really I think my readers like me because I'm true to who I am. I am not trying be something I'm not just to lure them here. I don't have a bunch of rules and conditions for them to be able to come to my blog and be a part of it. I say mi bloga, es su bloga!
What advice would you give newbies?
The top tip in my book would be to have a practice blog. I have a blog I test all my new stuff out on. So when I screw it up beyond all recognition I can wipe out the template and start over with the plain jane blogger one they give you when you start up.
I don't know if this is a tip or a trick but it's definitely a pet peeve of mine. Turn off the word captcha. I cannot stand to write a nice long sentimental comment only to see that word captcha pop up just as I'm clicking the x to leave the page, ahhh! Just turn on comment moderation and you can screen what stays and what goes without wasting any more time from your readers.
And finally check the settings in your profile and make sure you have your email setting marked as public. The only thing it does by hiding it is prevent other bloggers from being able to email you. When you get the email saying suzy q left a comment on your blog and you want to respond to her the email the address shows up as " NO REPLY" and you can't email her back thanking her for her kind comments.
So that's it in a nutshell folks. Thanks for taking the time to hear what I have to say about blogging and feel free to stop by Designer Garden anytime to gather inspiration, ask questions or tell me how awesome I am! LOL. Joking, joking. I hope this was helpful and good luck on your blogging journey!
Isn't my Bestie the Best! Thanks girl for sharing what you've learned with us!
Don't for get to stop by Hyphen Interiors, Kristy's guest poster this week is from Hi Sugarplum.