Six things I've learned after Six months of blogging:
1. Sometimes blogging is more appealing than sleep
2. You end up reading more blogs than blogging yourself
3. Eventually you'll idolize another blogger
4. Few things get you more excited than comments
5. You check your statcounter an unhealthy amount of times
6. After much effort you loose complete faith in topmommyblogs.com
...in all seriousness...
I liked what Pioneer Woman had to say
I liked what Confessions of a Homeschooler had to say
I liked what Adventure in Babywearing had to say
I liked what A Holy Experience had to say
I hope you like what Curious Georgi had to say...
1. Write often
Personally I enjoy visiting the blogs more that I know will post daily. It's something to look forward too. It doesn't have to be a lot, or fancy, but just something to make me smile, laugh, think, or be inspired by. I'm not suggesting quantity over quality, but I'm suggesting writing less randomly so your readers keep checking in.
2. Use pictures wisely
Again, it's a personal preference, but in-as-much-as-possible try to use your DSLR camera shots verses your iPhone 4 shots. Of God forbid...no photo. *shutters in disgust* [pun intended] Use Picnik collages. Know them. Love them. Free or spend $25 for a years membership that includes bonus options. As much as your readers love pictures of your kids, it's less annoying to see your 20 shots of the same facial pose in a collage verses a list of 20 in full size resolution size.
[A.K.A. Blog Hops A.K.A. Photo Challenges.]
Simply put, people put a link on their post offering you the option to post something similar on your blog and then link back to them. They are wonderful. For sure the #1 reason why my blog sees 3-5,000 unique visitors a month. I participate in several blog hops a month as well as host on on Thursdays myself. To set up your own blog hop, check out the McLinky. The service use to be free, but is not $25 a year. My blog friend Ashley has an amazing list of several [of the photography nature] I suggest. I started with YouCapture.
The #2 reason for my traffic [I think] is because I visit others blog sites and comment. Typically they follow back from my comment to my site. Don't annoy them with your web address, they can find you without it. Say something you mean, actually try to make friends and don't just do it to get "followers".
For me, it not only eases me up to have some "easy" [not so time consuming] posts through-out the week, but it [I think] gives my readers something to look forward to. They know what to expect. More than likely, I'll always have a few same types of post on the same day every week. It's like laying your clothes out the night before...you're laying a theme out for yourself so when Thursday arrives...you have a general idea of what your blog post will wear that day. [That analogy went a little off course, but I'll leave it for kicks and giggles].
Mine lean more towards photo themes, but yours could be topic related. For example, I typically do Scripture & Snapshot picture post on Sundays, Wordless Wednesdays [although I am incapable of being wordless because I talk too much, thus I write too much], and Thankful Thursdays where I list my ten things I'm thankful for that week. The rest of the week I just write about what I feel led too.
Learn to love them. Don't live by them, but learn to use them. On blogger, under "Post Options" at the bottom of your post you can schedule a post for any date or time. So...if you know you'll be out of town or having a busy week. Schedule some posts to post when you can't write everyday. It will save them like drafts until then.
7. Share your struggles
It's a process. I'm not saying it came quickly, or I even completely honest yet...but I know that self bragging and my glory stories never encouraged any mom out there. It's been my raw, real, open heart surgery posts I've gotten the most gratitude for.
8. Stresses To Avoid
It's been nice to get the traffic from Topmommyblogs.com and I've enjoyed the businesses who have found me there and contacted me for compensation, reviews, giveaways, and such, but at the same time...they have made blogging slightly less what-it's-suppose-to-be-about. I have a love hate relationship with voting and those types of sites right now.
9. Remain in Reality
Me, typing this blog post at 1:08 AM is a classic example of how to not do that. Ha. I do have the permission of my husband to be up at this hour as we just finished a movie together, but always remember to put God & family first. As amazing as blogging is [and those you impact out in cyber world]. Your home is your first ministry. Let's just say, blogging has been a real opportunity for me to train my flesh, or better I should say, has shown me where I lack self discipline.
10. Upside Down Blog
When we use words to encourage, bless, fill—we are feeding the poor in spirit.
When we give hope, present truth, cover with love—we are clothing the naked.
When we offer grace, tear down walls, replace lies with truth—we are setting the oppressed free.