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the mommyhood memos: mommy bloggy friends... what are your top tips for a newbie blogger? (in other words, how in the world do you do it?!)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

mommy bloggy friends... what are your top tips for a newbie blogger? (in other words, how in the world do you do it?!)

I'm not gonna lie... although I am totally diggin' on this new world I've stumbled into for the last seven weeks... I'm also a *tad* bit overwhelmed by the blogosphere!!! I have a few questions for you regulars... Maybe you're a veteran, or maybe you're a rookie like me, but I'm sure we've all got something to learn from each other.

So... way back in May (Mothers Day actually) I "launched" this blog. I figured I should have some posts on here before I invited people and so had been writing a few things and "saving them up" before then. (You can tell by the fact that my first 12 or so posts have no comments... I was still an under cover mommy blogger then! *grin*)

I started out just writing... cause it was fun. Then I went back and started tagging all my posts (*ahem* I mean "labeling" as I'm told it's called) because that seemed like a good way to track and find stuff. I surfed around some other mommy blogs and was inspired to make mine look more personalized, so I made an original header. Then I realized I wanted a cool button, cause I saw that "everyone" had those and that's one way to share the love. :) I googled a tutorial and figured that one out. Then I decided I wanted a three-column format... and googled a tutorial on that one. (Yay for google!) Then I registered with Top Baby Blogs and Top Mommy Blogs and then my blog felt so... official.

I've learned heaps and had a great time developing the mommyhood memos, but seriously, I feel like I've only scratched the surface! (Ok, I know, I'm only seven weeks in... I've got plenty of time to keep learning the ropes... but I like to dive in and go for it.)

I'm having so much fun with this blog and have been really surprised by the friendships that have already sprung up out of it. I'm learning a ton (about motherhood and blogging) and delighted to be connecting into the world of mommies more and more. I'm also really enjoying having something that is just for "me" (not for work or taking care of the house or the family, etc). This is just mine for fun, which I love. My little blog has turned into a really wonderful hobby and great outlet for me.

I've also found so many other amazing blogs that I now look forward to checking out as much as I'm able.

But this is where I start to get stumped.

When you subscribe to so many, how in the world do you keep track? How do you not get lost? How do you find the time? These are just some of my questions.

I'm also wondering about "blog etiquette", if you will. :)

What I'm going to do now is write a list of other things that I'm pondering these days... in hopes that you will give me advice on your experience in the blogosphere! Cause I see all you beautiful mommies out there and wonder just how in the world you do it.... and do it so well!

Below are a few of my questions... I'd love your honest feedback on any or all of them! (And, if I do end up getting a lot of feedback on this post... I'll compile it and share it in a later post about what I've learned so we can share share alike... yay.)

Here goes:
  • How do you read the blogs your subscribed to?
  • How do you keep them organized?
  • How many (on average) a day do you visit?
  • How many (on average) a day do you read?
  • When you read a post, do you always comment?
  • When you comment on someone else's blog, do you "expect" them to comment back on yours?
  • When someone comments on your blog, do you always then visit theirs?
  • Can someone please tell me what the deal is with these Follow Me Fridays please? (And does it take up a lot of time? Is it worth it?)
  • What sites do you feel are most helpful to register your blog with?
  • Are you selective about what blogs you follow or will you follow anyone's?
  • How many hours on average a day (or week) do you spend blogging (reading and posting)?
  • I tend to write a bunch of posts in one day and then predate them for the week... is this normal?
  • How in the world do you manage your time online when you're busy being a mom?!!!
  • Do you prefer to read blogs where the subject matter is streamlined... or do you like a variety?
  • What are the top three reasons you will read (and go back to) a particular blog?
  • What turns you off from going back to someone's blog?
  • Do you think good blogs post everyday? Or does posting every day annoy you?
  • What's the best way you've found to boost your readership (and, honestly, do you ever feel like a sell-out for self promotion?!)?
  • What's one thing you've learned that you wish you knew when you started?
  • Do you have any blogging regrets?
  • What's your top tip for a rookie blogger?
Ok, I better end the list there. I think I have a zillion other questions... but this list has probably gotten too overwhelming to earn me any responses already. (Mmmmm, I do have a tendency to get long-winded...)

Thanks in advance mommy friends! Like I said, please feel free to answer one or as many of the questions as you fancy. (Every little bit helps!) I soooo can't wait to hear what you've got to say!!

Love from a newbie. xx






P.S. I was just getting ready to finish editing this post and found an incredible article from Cameron at the Ingenue Mom (a blog that I love and visit often!) about how she organizes her blog reading. (Can't believe the amaaazing timing!) I got some great tips from her and no doubt you will too. Read her post on How to Efficiently Read Blogs and let her know that I sent you!

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18 Comments:

At June 29, 2010 at 4:10 AM , Blogger Angel Armogida said...

This is a great post! I wanna know those answers too so I'm gonna come back and check when others have commented!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 4:57 AM , Blogger Hannah said...

Thank you for posting this! I look forward to reading your responses because I have so many of the same questions. I am fairly new to all of this too and haven't even done some of the stuff you have. It is fun but definitely overwhelming.

Http://ourhappyhomeblog.blogspot.com

 
At June 29, 2010 at 5:14 AM , Blogger Asashia said...

I think you were reading my mind?! Thanks for this post, I look forward to the comments.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 5:33 AM , Blogger Getrealmommy said...

This is near and dear to my heart. Espcially since I have been blogging for almost a year, and I only have 79 followers. You have been at is seven weeks and have 150? I guess when I started I was truly doing it for the joy of writing. I honestly don't think my blog sucks, in fact to toot my own bloggy horn I think it's pretty damn okay, especially when you see the crazy amount of bad stuff out there. I guess what I haven't done is spend a ton of time going to the different communities and getting it out there. www.getrealmama.blogspot.com ahem! While I would love to have 150 million followers, I actually dont have the time and I want to keep it fun. I don't want to lose sight of why I started in the first place. I also don't want to have a million "follwers" who are only following me so that I will follow them and who have no intention of actually reading my blog.

Okay, so what do I like about other people's blogs? I personally want them to be clever, witty thoughtful and funny. I want them to be well-written. I really cannot stand it when blogs are littered with LOL! and Ha Ha!. What turns me off is also when someone is just doing a bunch of product reviews and useless give aways. I do a few give aways on my blog, but only of local artists and friends. To be honest I don't really like the whole "Wordless Wednesday" type stuff either It isn't me. Boy do I sound mean? I don't mean to. Everyone is going to have a different idea about what they like, and you can't please everyone, so I just work on doing what I want and hoping people will enjoy it. Okay, you didn't ask for a novel... so I am going to shut up now!

Rachel
www.getrealmama.blogspot.com (once again folks)

 
At June 29, 2010 at 6:20 AM , Blogger Musings of a Work At Home Missionary Mom said...

You asked a lot of questions I've been asking, too. Not to mention the fact that you found answer to some questions I've had (headers, buttons)....guess I am going googling, too.

My question - how do stay-at-home mom's find time to do this?

I will echo Rachel - I like clever blogs that are well written. I hate it when people write in "text" (r instead of are, u instead of you, 4 instead of four). Its hard for me to read and I tend to label them unintelligent (which is probably mean on my part - but seriously, is it THAT hard to type those extra 2 letters????).

I get tired of seeing product reviews and giveaways, too. It screams commercial, not personal and I look for personal.

I will be checking back here to see the responses because I only have 10 or 11 followers *grin* and am wanting to increase my following by being a better blogger.

Rachel - great point on the "haha" and "lol". *guilty* It is a bit juvenille, huh?

 
At June 29, 2010 at 6:24 AM , Blogger This Mom said...

Well - after almost five months of blogging, here's what I can tell you:

-I just started using Google reader, love it, will have to organize folders like Ingenue Mom
-This summer I plan to go through and delete the blogs I absolutely never read, or don't enjoy
-I follow back if the blog is relevant and appropriate, but some of these blogs will soon face deletion from my reader
-I tend to return comments/visits, but I also have a select few blogs that I comment on regardless of whether or not the blogger ever visits me
-I comment on less than 10% of the posts I read
-Friday follows are semi-valuable. Here's my secret: I don't post my blog on them, but I do visit them. That way, I can pick and choose from the lists and start following the blogs I like, knowing the bloggers are into the whole 'follow' thing, and will likely visit me. I also avoid having random people following me just so I'll reciprocate. And I do mean random! I've had some weird followers...
-Personally I like blogs with lots of content (and not just the cute things the kids said, but maybe craft ideas, etc.) and also some reviews/giveaways as well. To be honest, that's one of the best ways to build traffic and gain followers, if you're interested in numbers (which some people aren't - and that's probably healthier.) Therefore, my blog has a mixture. I do not like blogs that are purely for reviews. I like seeing a few ads in a magazine, not a full magazine of ads. Know what I mean?
-There's a difference between boosting numbers and boosting actual readership. In the last three weeks I have gone from 27 followers to 162, and mostly that's by 'playing the game' - doing the follows/followbacks. Yes, sometimes I feel like a sellout, but I also like some of the review opportunities, and PR people are interested in numbers and visits, so it does matter to me. Do all of these people read me regularly? Not sure, but they certainly don't comment regularly.
-I am a full-time teacher and freelance writer, so why I spend so much time blogging for free is a mystery to my husband, but right now I enjoy the community. I also love to write, and read, so I just think of it as my hobby.
-When I first started, I spent less than an hour a day. I would write a couple of posts and pre-schedule them, and maybe visit a few other blogs. Now I spend closer to two hours in the evenings because I've started doing some product reviews and I spend a bit more time networking.
-Long story short, it's all about your goals. What are you really looking for?

Feel free to delete this if it takes too much space! Just wanted to answer as many of your questions as possible. Good luck!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 6:25 AM , Blogger Teresa said...

• How do you read the blogs your subscribed to? Most of them I get in a feed reader…if the posts interests me enough I then click on the page and read it there.
• How do you keep them organized? I have them separated by different categories. Cooking, Mommy blogs, Helpful tips, Memes etc.
• How many (on average) a day do you visit? That truly varies depending on what is going on in my day.
• How many (on average) a day do you read? Can’t give a number
• When you read a post, do you always comment? No, not unless I have something that I feel will further their post…but I understand that’s not really good netiquette.
• When you comment on someone else's blog, do you "expect" them to comment back on yours? Nope….hope they will but don’t expect it.
• When someone comments on your blog, do you always then visit theirs? I always try to…I may not explore in depth but I do try to at least visit them.
• Can someone please tell me what the deal is with these Follow Me Fridays please? (And does it take up a lot of time? Is it worth it?) Can’t help with the FMF thing…this is the first I’ve heard of it.
• What sites do you feel are most helpful to register your blog with? Not sure I understand what you mean by “register with”.
• Are you selective about what blogs you follow or will you follow anyone's? Yes I’m selective. The blog has to be something that I’m interested in or at the very minimum catch my interest with their writing style.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 6:26 AM , Blogger Teresa said...

con't

• How many hours on average a day (or week) do you spend blogging (reading and posting)? I spend way more reading than I do posting…I’m definitely not a regular blogger. Need to work on that.
• I tend to write a bunch of posts in one day and then predate them for the week... is this normal? I think a bunch of people do this for posts that are not really time sensitive and I think it’s a very good idea because that way you can spread your “creativity” out over more than one day.
• How in the world do you manage your time online when you're busy being a mom?!!! I only have a 9yo at home so it’s different than having an infant in many ways. And I must admit to being addicted to the internet so it’s really hard for me to balance the online and offline duties.
• Do you prefer to read blogs where the subject matter is streamlined... or do you like a variety? Both…if I expect a blog to have content based mostly on one subject it throws me when they change it up…but if I like a blog based mostly on the writing style of the blogger I don’t mind the change in subjects because it’s not the subject that hooked me as much as it was the writing style.
• What are the top three reasons you will read (and go back to) a particular blog? Can’t really give an answer on that one unless maybe it’s because you “connect” with the other blogger somehow…there are some that I really by all rights should not have any interest in yet I return time and time again.
• What turns you off from going back to someone's blog? Foul language. I understand every now and again everyone wants to “vent” frustrations…but I always have to wonder just who they think is reading their blogs. If I wouldn’t want my mother or preacher reading it it doesn’t generally go over well with me. And no, I’m not overly religious and I do sometimes say words that aren’t that clean.
• Do you think good blogs post everyday? Not necessarily….as long as they post regularly Or does posting every day annoy you? No, posting every day is good as long as the posts are not just random posts in order to have content.
• What's the best way you've found to boost your readership (and, honestly, do you ever feel like a sell-out for self promotion?!)? I have hardly any readership I think and that’s because I am really not a self promoter.
• What's one thing you've learned that you wish you knew when you started? I’ve learned that it is okay to self promote…and most importantly to be yourself.
• Do you have any blogging regrets? Oh soooo many!
• What's your top tip for a rookie blogger? Be yourself, be regular about posting and check out as many other blogs as you can. And one piece of advice I just saw the other day….when you write a post, sit on it for 24 hours, then go back to it and see if you can improve it further. Can’t give credit for that…sorry.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 6:32 AM , Blogger HMCinCali said...

Hello and Welcome!

I am a newbie too! Love the ideas and resources and will be reading more.

I know from a fellow veteran blogger that bloggers LOVE comments. So I usually do comment, but I don't force it because it will not be of any good.

Sorry, getrealmama, but I love when blogs have a theme day such as Friday Foodie. I would like to incorporate, but too restrictive at the moment.

I enjoy short clever postings (about 500-800 words) and many pictures/videos.

I joined blogged.com - will let you know how it turns out.

Best of luck to you in blogland! And look forward to sharing Mommy life with you via our blogs.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 8:06 AM , Blogger Cameron said...

Okay I started writing a comment on this & then it got majorly out of control with length because I am a talker! So I posted a response to you on my blog!! I hope that's okay.

http://www.ingenuemom.com/2010/06/for-newbie-bloggers.html

 
At June 29, 2010 at 1:31 PM , Blogger Sarah @ Hippie Mommie said...

I'm so glad you posted these questions! I feel like I'm in a blogging rut and have many of these same questions myself! :)

www.treyshippiemommie.blogspot.com

 
At June 29, 2010 at 1:39 PM , Blogger Lilac City Momma said...

These are great questions!! Thank you to all the responders!!

 
At June 30, 2010 at 1:20 AM , Anonymous susie @newdaynewlesson said...

I comment on blogs I like, posts I like.

I read blogs I like and ones where I like the person.

I only subscribe by email.

I personally blog every day but that is my committment to myself. Some blogs I like only blog once in a blue mooon. but they are worth the wait.

By the way you were the surprise clickee on mombloggers today.

Welcome to blogland. (I also started blogging in February)

 
At June 30, 2010 at 1:21 AM , Blogger Kris said...

What a great post! I have been blogging for about 2 years now, but it has been for family and friends. I am now branching out a bit and checking out more blogs and networking sites. There is still a lot to learn, but I am having fun with the process. I will definitely check back to see other bloggers' answers.

And kudos to you. I would have never guessed you have only been blogging since May! You are a great write and your blog looks great.

 
At June 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM , Blogger Mommycrat said...

You have so many of the same questions I do. I will definitely be following the answers.

As for some of the stuff I'm doing so far, and some of my early thoughts(though I've only been blogging a bit over a month):

- I don't like blogs that just do giveaways. That turns me off. I like personal blogs. I'm looking to follow blogs where I feel I can relate to the writer and their stories - whether I learn something or not (though learning is good too!). Poorly written blogs and ones with lots of typos also lose my interest, as do ones with too much going on re: different colours/texts etc... Finally, I don't like the ones that automatically start playing music at me when I arrive. I find it distracting.
- I visit all blogs that comment on my blog. If it's a first visit, I comment and follow back. After that, they'll come up in my reader, and then we're into the realm of "if your post interests me, I'll read it and if I have something to add, I'll comment." I am finding there are some blogs I tend to comment regularly on, and that also have commented more than once on mine. So I would think this is the beginning of community/bloggy friends, which is part of what I'm looking for.
- As far as who to follow/how to get readers etc... I think I have some of the same questions as you. I currently follow all blogs that follow me. I am also in a few groups that help encourage following and have done a few blog hops. The challenge with this is that while I am selective in who I seek out to follow and ask to follow me back (if they like my blog) sometimes the blogs that follow and ask me to follow back don't have a lot in common with my blog and after the initial contact, I don't hear from them again, and I haven't seen much to interest me in my reader from them. I know this is about numbers to a certain extent - but am a bit torn how to proceed re: this as I move forward. I know it's different for PR blogs - which mine isn't. So will be curious what is said on this front here.
- on Follow Me Fridays and blog hops - I think someone said this above, but when I looked I couldn't find it. I found them useful, suspect I won't be doing them too often in a few months time. I have found some good followers, and some good blogs to follow through them. But they took a lot of time. I spent a large chunk of last Friday surfing through various blogs on the hop to find some that I'd be interested in. But again, I did pick up some followers who have left some substantive comments (eg: not just "Hi great blog, follow me back!" - though I got some of that too).

 
At July 1, 2010 at 3:56 AM , Anonymous tulle said...

I also want to know the answers. please keep us posted.

 
At July 1, 2010 at 4:37 AM , Blogger flyrish said...

It is definitely overwhelming in the blogosphere! As a working mom, I find it really difficult to not only "market" my blog but to stay on top of writing more than once or twice a week.

I'm sort of disorganized in my blog reading. Most are in my Google Reader, but sometimes I'll just type in the URL for the ones that I'm anxious to see right away. I don't visit blogs everyday, more like a few times a week, and the number varies depending on how busy I am.

I read more than I comment and I never expect a response to my comments, although that is a sweet surprise.

I blog mainly to have a creative outlet for my writing and as catharsis, so while the notion of advertising on my blog and making a little money on the side is tempting, that's not my goal. So the whole following just to get followers and build my numbers doesn't appeal to me either. I would rather have followers who enjoy my content. The bloggers I most admire are great writers, witty, and the ones I can relate to in some form.

Hope that helps! I'm enjoying reading the responses, so thanks for posting this.

 
At July 3, 2010 at 3:39 PM , Blogger adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

WOWEE! These are AMAZING comments! Thanks so much for your feedback!!! I'm working on a post to compile all of this stuff, along with a few other things I've been learning. Will revisit this topic soon! Thanks again fabulous mommies... It's so much fun to help each other!
much love, adriel xx

 

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dear friends... i really love and appreciate your comments. thanks so much for taking the time to add your thoughts and opinions.

PLEASE NOTE: if you do not have your blogger account set up with a reply-to email address, i am unable to respond to your comments... and that just makes me sad. boo!

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