Friday, August 5, 2011

10 Things I've Learned About Blogging

Kelly is hosting a carnival today about blogging and I thought it would be fun throw a post into the mix.

For what it's worth, there are days when I think I am the world's worst blogger and do all the wrong things.  But I have been on this journey for 3 1/2 years and it's been a great one.  Here is what I've learned!

1. If you're not having fun - it's just not worth it.

Blogging should only seem like a job if it is your actual full-time job.  In which case, I still think you should enjoy it!  If you are feeling overwhelmed, take some time off, re-evaluate and change your habits.  It makes a huge difference.  Don't worry about your numbers or stats dropping while you take some time.

Sanity > Blog Stats - all the way!

2. Blog often.

You only get better at things that you do on a consistent basis.  Practice doesn't make perfect, but practice does make your writing more concise and the process of putting together a post a little bit easier.

3. Post photos - lots of them!

Photos break up hard-to-read text and give readers lots of delicious eye candy.  There is definitely something to be said about giving the folks reading your blog something to visualize.

4. Post photos as LARGE AS POSSIBLE!

There is a huge difference between posting this:

And posting this:

Photos are eye candy - make them as big and delicious as possible!

5. Decide what type of blogging genre you fit into - and make it clear so first time visitors can quickly understand what kind of blog they've stumbled onto.

I noticed a huge change in my blogging when I started focusing on food.  There were many reasons for my leap into food blogger-dom (work being one of them but that's a post for a different day), but all in all it has focused me in a way that I wasn't before.

6. Don't let yourself be confined by your blogging genre.

Okay, okay.  I know that counteracts what I just said - but blogging is a neat way to chronicle your life.  If you only let yourself blog about certain things, you might miss out on some neat conversations.  There may also be times when there is a lot going on in your life that will prohibit you from blogging solely within your genre.  For example - if I start posting a lot of pictures about my cat, it generally means that work is crazy and I haven't had time to cook anything interesting. :)

7. Be real.

A few weeks ago, I put it all out there and wrote a post about the fact that I wasn't taking care of myself.  I was raw, open and probably the most honest I have been in awhile.  It was hard for me to hit publish, but the out pour of love and support has been incredible.  I've learned through this experience that no one is perfect.  Sometimes reading other people blog about the good parts of their lives makes it seem that way - but it is not true.  Be honest about who you are - you may help someone to do them same!

8. Don't be inappropriate.

This is my husband and I love him.  We don't have the perfect marriage.  I don't pretend we do.  But I also don't hop on here and blog about every argument or disagreement we have.  It is inappropriate and an invasion of his privacy.

I think there is being open and then there is being inappropriate.  I always try to land somewhere in the middle.

9. Always seek to strike a balance between blogging in real time and letting things sit.

The Holy Book of Ecclesiastes says, "To everything there is a season."  And that's true for blogging.  There is a time to say, "Hey!  Look what I made for my potluck/meeting tonight!" ...

... and a time to say, "Lately, I've been going through some things and I am finally ready to process them on here."

If you blog too soon, you might end up saying something that you don't want the internet to read.  And the internet doesn't let you take things back.

10.  Tell the people who read your blog that you love them as often as possible.

There are a lot of blogs out there to read.  Love the people who read yours.  Thank them when they tell you that you've spelled something wrong.  Engage in respectful conversations when they don't agree with you.  Speak with humility.  Don't refer to them as 'readers' but as 'friends'.  They are as much a part of your blog as you are.

Blogging is an awesome journey and one that has changed my life in so many positive ways.  If you're on the fence about starting one up, I would strongly encourage you to do it!  I can still remember sitting in my first apartment in Atlanta, watching football with Bruce - the Packers lost that night :( - and saying, "You know what?  I'm going to try starting one of those blog thingies."

And what do you know?  Here I am.


  1. great list Sarah! I too have blogged about some hard topics (anger), and while it took me being SO humble putting it out there, it is one of my most searched/clicked on topics. What I am finding is that it's one of those things that EVERYONE struggles with, but NO ONE wants to recognize it (which is a HUGE pet peeve of mine).

  2. I love your advice to keep it appropriate. I blog about my (nameless) children, but never about my husband. I do think being yourself is the best advice in blogging and in life!

  3. Such good lessons! It's amazing what blogging can teach us within our blog or about life itself. Loved this post. :)

  4. This is a great list!!! I agree with every single one of them 100%!

  5. I love the picture of your kitty and that you love your husband so much. My niece is an ordained minister! Thanks for for your great tips, I love learning from other bloggers.


  6. I like how you said that "the internet doesn't let you take things back". What a good reminder. Great tips :)

  7. yep, like this list a lot. all of it, in fact, but especially KITTY! : )

  8. Really love this post. The one that hits home the most is "being real." The more honest and sincere I am on the blog the better the response. That's not to say I'm airing all my dirty laundry for the world to see. But sharing experiences and lessons learned from hard times hopefully provides someone with inspiration or at least feel like they're not so alone.

  9. I really love this post too. The balance you metnioned is something I have tried to work on too.


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