Friend Friday: Blogs and baby steps

This week we’re talking about the baby steps of blogging, how we started and what advice we have for nOObs.

1. How has your blog changed over the months/years you’ve been
blogging?
When I first started blogging, I was really shy about taking photos of what I was wearing, so I’d default to Polyvore sets. Since it was pretty much only my sister reading at the time, it wasn’t a big deal. Then, about a month or so in, I took my first outfit shots. I realized it wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I first thought it would be, so I continued. I used to take all my photos indoors, but was finally bold enough to venture outside to take photos early this year. I think the natural light looks much better in photos, regardless if they’re inside or outside.

I also decided to write longer posts (or articles) on different topics I was really passionate about, like this story about the sorority dress code and this one about the maternity section at Forever 21.

2. What was one thing you did wrong in the beginning and how have you
changed that?
In the beginning, I didn’t like NOT posting, so I’d post stupid things. I snapped out of that after about a month or  so.  If you don’t have something valuable to say, don’t say anything. You’re not going to lose your readers if you don’t post for a day or so.

3. When you visit a blog what’s the greatest turn off?
I hate automatic music I can’t shut off. UGH!

4. How did you find your voice?
I’ve been a writer for years. I was on the newspaper staff in college, I was an English major and minor, so I developed my voice years ago, probably when I was still in high school.

5. If you had three pieces of advice to give to a new blogger what
would those be?
-Figure out what you like about the other blogs you read. Is it the photos, outfits, stories or something else that keeps you coming back? When you learn to dissect their work, you can figure out ways to incorporate the same ideas into your blog

– Much among the same vein, don’t copy anyone else. If you love something someone else is doing on their blog, don’t copy them. Figure out a way you can do something similar, without stealing their ideas. (If you want examples, I will give them)

-Don’t fret about comments. I’m such a lurker, as many others are. I read so many blogs, I rarely have time to comment on all of them. Comments are great, yes, but they’re not the only thing you need. Use twitter to communicate with your readers and other bloggers. (I only say this because I know many bloggers are hung up on the number of comments they receive.)

If you want to read the other FBFF posts, check out ModlyChic for a list of those participating.

If you have questions for me about this stuff, I’d be happy to help. Send me an email.

Suze

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24 thoughts on “Friend Friday: Blogs and baby steps

  1. These are all great tips! I still consider myself new to blogging but I’ve read a lot about it and you tend to hear the same tips about being authentic and not worrying about comments. It is easy to get hung up on how many or few comments you get but I don’t worry about it too much. Chances are 90% of the ppl who read don’t even leave comments, plus in the end I’m doing the blog for me, not for other ppl so, while comments are nice, they aren’t the point of the blog. Case in point, I always read your posts even if I don’t comment!! Love it 🙂

    • Thanks! 🙂
      I figure if I don’t have the time/ability to comment on every post I read, neither does everyone else, so why worry about it? I tend to keep many of my personal views off this blog, so I’m probably not offending anyone with any of my posts, which is good! 🙂

      I think too many people give others the same hints. The three tips I gave really are the best ones I’ve discovered on my own, and told some others.

  2. Ugh, auto music is horrible! I don’t need a soundtrack to read someone’s blog! LOL

    I loved the piece of advice you gave on dissecting someone’s work and then finding your own unique spin on it. That’s a great way to get inspired. Though I don’t do outfit posts on my blog (girl I still have to get a camera! I know I’m soo dropping the ball on that) I do get inspired by what you guys do and have some ideas on translating that into the beauty side of things on my blog.

    • I use music as my titles, but I wouldn’t put auto music on my blog- that would just be horrible!!

      I feel like people too often copy someone else’s work, without realizing they need to do their own thing, you know? Kendi is a GREAT example. She took the outfit posts she liked, and added her own spin using the doodles, arrows and brands on her photos. I’ve never seen anyone else do it, and you know it’s a Kendi thing to do. That’s how you gotta do it! 🙂

  3. I actually try to avoid going to blogs that I know have music on them. . .they tend to sit at the end of my blog read list for a while until I get to it. It gets a bit annoying. I like music a lot, but I don’t want it to wake my boys up if they are napping or just make me jump or if it is something I won’t like. . .so yeah.

  4. This is such good advice:

    “Don’t fret about comments. I’m such a lurker, as many others are. I read so many blogs, I rarely have time to comment on all of them. Comments are great, yes, but they’re not the only thing you need. Use twitter to communicate with your readers and other bloggers. (I only say this because I know many bloggers are hung up on the number of comments they receive.)”

    I don’t think that 150 comments on every posts makes one blogger more credible than the other…some bloggers have just caught a lucky break, or their geography enables them to network with fashion insiders, which pushes their blog. Sure, comments speak to the quality of a blog, to some degree. But I have seen blogs that get loads of comments on some pretty lame outfits and content. It’s mutual appreciation society stuff…”I’ll comment on yours because you commented on mine.”
    I automatically know when I see mundane style and a lot of comments, the blogger has spent HOURS commenting all over kingdom come to generate the same on their blog. That does not impress me. If people want to be a part of that, fair enough. But I’d rather spend my time interacting with people who interest me, who actually have compelling style and some intelligence. Like you.

    ♥ V
    http://www.gritandglamour.com
    twitter: @gritandglamour

    • V!
      Ugh- I will admit, I find myself getting annoyed when someone has tons of comments on a post that don’t really warrant them. I don’t have the ability to leave comments on every post I read (it would take DAYS!), plus, sometimes I don’t have anything helpful to say.

      And I feel the same way! I think it’s great when you can get tons of comments on your posts, but I don’t think a few comments vs. hundreds means your blog isn’t worth reading, you know?

      Hell, I remember the first time someone that wasn’t my sister commented on my blog and I was so excited!! I couldn’t believe someone thought I was writing something worth reading. That’s helped me continue to post A LOT!!

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  6. Totally agree with #2. Some people doing Friend Friday this week have been saying that posting very regularly is a must – but I’m with you, I’d rather not hear from someone for a few days and then have a worthwhile post come up after the wait, than to read crap every day because the blogger was forcing it.

  7. I loved your thoughts! Even though we kinda talked about a lot of this already 🙂 I really liked what you said about the comments, I always try to keep the lurkers in mind (I’m totally guilty of it myself!)
    -Tess

  8. I lurk a lot. 😀 Partly because of my broken English, partly because I’m just a small fish in the pond. It’s just recently I’ve decided it’s time to start commenting. 😀

    I don’t like the music on blogs too. I don’t even read any, because it’s so annoying.

    • I think almost everyone is guilty of lurking! 🙂
      And, I wouldn’t worry about your broken English. You sound fine to me! I think if you like the post, leave a comment! The writer will appreciate it 🙂

  9. Hey, fellow Friend Friday-er!

    Good point about ‘lurking’ – when I was worrying about no-one commenting, I had to remind myself that just because I didn’t comment on people’s blogs, didn’t mean I hadn’t enjoyed them. You can get to caught up with these things, and it stops you enjoying it.

    It made me laugh when I read your comment about your sister – I was so excited when my first ‘stranger’ commented, especially since they were actually starting a discussion with me (as opposed to those generic ‘Like your blog, follow me’ posts).

    • Hey!! 🙂
      I loved my first comment! It wasn’t generic either, and I think it was from one of the bloggers I now love (I find most blogs I subscribe to by the comments they leave on my blog).

  10. But you do post regularly. NOT daily but on a consistent enough basis I know when I have a minute to check out Vinyl Ahoy’s universe, there will be something new and solid for me to appreciate.

    There are peeps, a couple of my Sacto friends who really think it’s all right to post randomly, monthly, or even less so, but are sad they don’t have a readership. For me, consistent, not-daily, but weekly posts are key for me to want to follow. 3 times a week seems ideal, but I don’t mind a single weekly post if that post is crazy good.

    Ah, comments. You are right I shouldn’t worry. But some days, after working hard on a story, and I get three comments, and 2 of them are: GREAT POST!!!! Come Check out my blog and join my giveaway!!!!!!, I feel a bit disheartened.

    • Well, yeah, I guess you’re right. LOL. But when I first started, I didn’t have as much stuff to post about, so I’d post about nothing just to post and it was baaad!

      I think if you’re on a consistent basis, as you say, even if it’s weekly or monthly, people will know you’re going to post and will be excited for your posts.

      Comments like that can suck. When I actually leave comments, I try to take a few minutes and leave something that shows I actually read what they wrote. And I know how you feel. Sometimes I feel like my best posts don’t get the response I want, but then again, I should take my own advice 🙂

  11. At the start of my blog I was the opposite about posting, I only did it a few times a month! Then when I started getting readers I was feeling pressured to do it everyday, but now I’ve got my schedule and I’m content.

    And UGH AUTO PLAY MUSIC!
    When I read blogs, I like to open them all up in tabs. Sometimes music will start to auto play on one, but I don’t know which. Then I have to HUNT for this player among 30 different blogs – so frustrating! I started to keep a list of blogs who have them and avoid them.

  12. Yes, yes, yes. What is with the music??! Turn it off!!!

    I used to obsess about my number of comments all of the time – not anymore!

    Great answers 🙂

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