Friday, March 1, 2013

Celebrating What I've Learned

Today I want to give a short run down on some things I have learned about blogging this last year but first......welcome to March! Yay! Oh, why am I so happy about March? Well those of you who know me and read this blog know that last month was terrible - so happy to see it behind me. And best of all....March is my blog anniversary month! I can't believe it has been two years since I first began. (2 1/2 really, you will have to read my about me page to understand that) This last year, I really stepped it up by posting better content on a regular basis, and started two link parties...Wow Us Wednesday and Grandparent's Say It Saturday. 


I also changed the direction a bit, and learned to take better photos. I updated the look of the blog, and opened a Facebook page. A lot of changes and a LOT of learning! I really love getting to know you all too; it has been quite a year! Thank you for being here with me :)

I'm going to kick off this month by going back to the beginning. I want to re-posting some of my favorite post, (ones that I feel didn't get enough attention because I was new and no one knew about FHL yet) along with new post and some guest post. I hope to have a post every day and I still have my fingers crossed that I will have a giveaway or 2 included now and then. 

So hang on and celebrate with me! 
I haven't attended blogging conferences or camps, taken a course or purchased a "How to" book. I learned by reading what other bloggers have written about blogging and took what I could use. Here's my short run down on what I have learned about blogging!
  1. Photos are everything! Ok, I have a cheap point and shoot camera. But I have researched how to take better photos, use lighting, and then pretty them up with PicMonkey or other editing. Use your best photo as your lead photo and use it to link up with. Bad pics won't make it to Pinterest even if your post/tutorials are great. Oh and make them big! No puny little pics....unless they are not so great. Also name your pics. When someone is Googling for info on furniture refinishing, your great pics won't register with a search engine if they are named IMG2472. 
  2. Do find link parties and link up. Linking is the best way to get exposure and traffic. I have a linking schedule and a link party page. It keeps me on target so I don't forget whose hosting what each day.
  3. Write good content. I know I know, everyone says that but it is so true! Think about the purpose of your blog....why you blog in the first place, do your post reflect that? Show good, clear and simple tutorials. I struggle with this next part because of time issues but do try to post things that are relevant for the season; Christmas post before Christmas, not after.
  4. Be consistent, let your readers know what to expect. I have a rather large circle of topics I write about here but mostly you will see tips and tutorials related to family and home making. I do try my best though to always give you easy, simple, and inexpensive ideas. If I started posting about shopping for high dollar furniture and clothing it would be a jolt wouldn't it? You might not follow me any more. Also, I have always posted my link parties on time thanks to post scheduling in blogger. The day may come when I forget or have an emergency and can't post, but you know when you come by to link up, my party will be going on.
  5. Check out other blogs. I lurk.... snoop....I check out what successful blogs are doing and then re-interpret that for my blog. Nothing wrong with that. If you want to be an artist you spend time studying and copying great works of art. Want to improve your blog? Then see what is working for others. 
  6. You will have content theft! More than likely, somewhere along the line you will have content theft! I am often ask how I know a post has been stolen. The best way to find out if you have a stolen post is to Google a phrase or sentence from a post and enclose it in " ". Such as.... "The best way to find out if you have a stolen post is to Google a phrase".....see what comes up and if it's from your blog. Do your research and find out the best ways to stop or prevent theft from your blog. Have you noticed that I write part of my tutorials on my pics? That's because pics are not often stolen ( because it is an automated theft) and then my entire post/tutorial isn't taken, only the written content. 
  7. Find a couple of blogging buddies. Having a blogging buddy or two that I could email with a question or complaint has been the best thing for me. My friends and family just don't get my blogging obsession; blogging makes no sense to them and they don't want to hear about it. The really great thing is that my blogging buddies are now my friends! Friends that get my blogging obsession! Doesn't get much better than that :)
  8. Just Do It! I have a can do attitude, have you figured that out yet? I will tell you a little secret here, promise not to judge me ok? I have a learning disability. I didn't graduate HS because I couldn't pass the English or Math classes. So when you read me and you see all those grammar errors? Well I am very sorry about that but I don't even know if I made an error or not. Apparently, you all don't mind my errors too much or you wouldn't stick around! Once I over came my fear of writing post for this blog, I was on my way. I can't begin to tell you how afraid I was in the beginning, I  was so terrified sometimes hitting that publish button! I am SO GLAD I JUST DID IT! Keep trying till you find your voice and your style.
There you have it, my little bit of hard learned info about blogging! I hope you can use it to help with your blogging.

I link at these parties. 





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48 comments:

  1. Congratulations!! I just found you from Diana Rambles Pin Party. Very good points ... and I'm looking forward to seeing more!

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  2. Happy Blog anniversary! I reached one year in January, and have had trouble getting new readers, but I'm working on it. Your linky party is one of the helps!

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  3. Happy Blog Anniversary! I'm fairly new to blogging, so thanks for your tips!

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  4. Congratulations! And, thank you so much for hosting Grandparent's Say It Saturday!

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  5. Congratulations on your blogiversary! This was a great post and so nice of you to put together for all those bloggers who haven't learned any or all of this yet! I am so thrilled to count myself as one of those friends. We do not judge you and we never will. We appreciate everything you have done to encourage all of us. And I am so glad February is behind you! Hug!

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  6. Congratulations on two creative years, Connie! Your tips are excellent ones. I really enjoy your blog. What people might not know is how generous you are with helping other, newer bloggers -like me!- get started and solve problems. I will never forget your kindness to me and the time you spent making sure I got some things done right when I began posting. I'm glad that February 2013 is OVER for you - and now let's just let the New Year begin today, dear friend!

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  7. Congratulations! And very good points. I've been doing it almost 5 years and enjoy it just as much now as when I started. More actually because of all the grand friends I've made along the way - many more than I could at home with all the caregiving issues I'm busy juggling. It's definitely been a sweet blessing. Have a great bunch more years to come and thanks for all your fun linkys and grand tips! :)

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  8. These are great tips, and you have a fine blog. I've found out after the fact that someone was printing my devotions in their church bulletin, but (as far as I know) I've never had anyone re-post my posts without giving credit. That must be annoying.

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  9. Great tips! Happy anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. Congratulations on two years of blogging! ... & great advice! Have a blessed day!
    xoxo,
    Allie (http://framedbygod.blogspot.com/)

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  11. These are some great tips. Thank you for sharing and HAPPY TWO YEARS!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    www.raising-reagan.com

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  12. Thanks for the great tips, and happy BLOGIVERSARY! :) (visiting from Sunny Simple Sundays)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas
    www.taylormaderanch.com/blog

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  13. Today is my blogiversary too! My favorite help you listed was #5 reading other blogs. That is how I found you. I was reading other blogiversary posts to help write mine. Great tips and Happy Blogiversary!

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  14. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.
    Leslie

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  15. Congrats, and I think if you just have fun with it bklogging is great

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  16. What a great post, Connie! You really do have a wonderful blog with such inspiring ideas and I've enjoyed perusing it. I'm so glad a terrible month is behind you and hope for a much better March!

    Thanks for sharing at A New Creation link party!

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  17. Great blogging advice! I agree that having great pictures really does make a difference. Happy blog anniversary! Stopping by from Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop--thanks for linking this up!

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  18. Congratulations! You have made great progress in your blog! I am just having my first anniversary and like you I have learned so much by just stepping out and doing it!

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  19. These are great tips! I like the blogging buddy idea!

    hugs x
    Crystelle

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  20. Congrats on 2 years! whoo hoo! Great advice you give here on this post! Thanks for sharing at Show Me Your Plaid Monday's!

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  21. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  22. Happy blogiversary - looks like you've got this blogging thing all figured out.

    Visiting from ISBMTF

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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  23. great tips!!! thanks! I popped over from Project Inspire... I host a Tasteful Tuesday Party that I would love for you to join! http://www.nap-timecreations.com/2013/03/tasteful-tuesday-link-party-and-features.html

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  24. Congrats on your Anniversary! Thanks for sharing these great tips, I am new and would like to make my blog a success but I know I have a lot to learn!

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  25. Happy Blogiversary! I'm about to celebrate my one-year blogiversary and like the list you made. Like you, I haven't attended conferences and am a self-taught blogger, but I think your blog looks great!

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  26. Happy Blog Birthday! We're about the same age - I, too, began in March 2011 without a clue of what I was doing! Not sure I know much more now, actually, but wow, the number of friends and information I've gleaned in that time. Here's to the next year(s) of blogging - for both of us!

    Isobel: www.Coldhamcuddliescalling.blogspot.com 9having visited via the Fluster Buster Muster today!)

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  27. Happy Anniversary....now I am amazed, truthfully because I thought that you'd been blogging for far longer ! : ) See, you already seemed to have so much going on and were so experienced when I started blogging and came across your site and all of the grandmother related activities etc that I guess I thought it had been longer! :)

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  28. Great tips, Connie! I'm glad you just did it too :) I have met so many wonderful people through this journey and I treasure the friendships I have made! I especially love your tip #7 - it is so true! It's like my family thinks I'm speaking a foreign language to them .... but my blogging buddies totally "get" my obsession! Pinning this!

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  29. Very good blogging advice! Thank you for sharing this with my readers at It's a Crafty World linky party!

    Jessica
    myworldmadebyhand.blogspot.com

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  30. Congratulations, Connie! I love this post, and am going to send this link to my friend who is considering blogging. When I began, I had no idea what I was doing, and your journey sounds similar to mine.

    Have a super weekend,

    Kathy M.

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  31. Happy Blog Anniversary!! Great advice! Thanks for linking up & sharing @ DearCreatives.com Hope you are having a great week.

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  32. Time to shine! Share your favorite post of the week at Friday Flash Blog Hop with The Jenny Evolution! Visit http://www.thejennyevolution.com.

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  33. Happy Blog Anniversary!! Thanks for sharing

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  34. Happy Blogiversary! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday!

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  35. Happy Blogiversary! Your tips are very good! I follow many of the same rules myself. This is the first time I have visited your blog. Thank you for linking up at Tending The Home Tuesdays at Road to 31!

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  36. Congrats! Thanks for sharing your talent on The Creative HomeAcre Hop!
    Our next party goes live Sunday morning at:
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/03/the-creative-homeacre-hop-6.html

    If you have a blog hop, please check out The Linky Love Party...a place to share your parties with other bloggers! Grab the button for an easy way to search for parties every week!
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/03/lets-party.html

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  37. Congratulations! Happy bloggy birthday! :)

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  38. Congrats!! I love this post :) Thank you for sharing at Pretty Things this week :)

    xo, Tanya
    twelveOeight

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  39. Very cool. Thanks so much for linking to my party. You helped make it GREAT! Linda

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  40. Congratulations!! These are some great tips. I've never googled about content theft before, but I think I will now. Thanks so much for sharing it at Romance on a dime!!

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  41. Happy anniversary! I am going to come back and read this post better. I have come a long way baby, but still have alot to learn. thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  42. Thanks for linking up this post to The Best Blog Recipe’s Weekend re-Treat #7!

    Wanted to stop by and pin your image to My Link Parties Craft/DIY & Recipe Boards while I was here.

    Hope to see you again at the party this weekend!
    Shauna
    http://thebestblogrecipes.blogspot.com/
    http://ready2loseweight.blogspot.com/

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