August 25, 2010

How to Plant a Blog and Make it Grow

Since I started this blog back in February I've had a lot of questions regarding how to start a blog.  First of all, I do not claim to be an expert, but today I'm going to share several ideas that I think are crucial for a successful blog.

1) Blog about what you love and love what you blog.

Pick the things you are most passionate about.  Blog because it makes you truly happy - not because you want a lot of people commenting about how brilliant you are, not because you think you'll make millions from sponsors, and not because you want a billion followers.  Would you do what you're doing if nobody was there to watch?  Do you love it enough?

2) Give credit where credit is deserved.

This is something I feel extremely strongly about.  If you didn't make up the tutorial DON'T pretend you did.  No one is asking you to be Martha here.  If you used someone's tutorial but changed it a tiny bit, why not link it up to the original one and praise the other person for their great idea?  Invite them to see how you added to it.  A wise man once said that withholding praise that could uplift another is a form of pride.  Let's build each other up, eh?  I love trying out other people's idea and that's why I do Feature Friday.  I like to share those great ideas with you guys.  It's not Plagerism Friday and no one wants it to be.  It's dishonest and ugly.

3) Find the good in others.

I have read some posts from other bloggers about how to make your blog grow and there is one thing they all say.  Leave comments and be sincere, honest, and specific when commenting.  If someone says, "cute" as a comment that's very nice.  If someone says, "I like the way you used two opposing colors and added the extra touch with that floss," then there's a good chance that blogger will go see who it was that left such a thoughtful comment.

4) Link parties.

If you click on the tab under my header that says, "Link Parties" you'll see some great blogs who host blog parties where you can link up something you've made.  These are a great way to meet new people and share your work with others.  (Be sure to follow the rules of the party you're linking to.  Most of them want you to link back to the party in your post or on your blog somewhere.)

5) Post regularly.

I'm not saying you need to post everyday, but if you want others to follow what you're doing you need to be doing something.  I've erased blogs from my google reader because they drop off the face of the earth for a couple of weeks or a month.  When I started my blog I had been reading Ruffles and Stuff and I loved that she had something up almost everyday.  (Yeah, I miss her too!)  It was always the first blog I'd check because I felt like I could depend on her.  I have tried to emmulate that same dependability in my blog because it's something I myself appreciate.     

6) Have a memorable name for your blog.

I picked my blog name for a lot of different reasons, but especially because I felt it was memorable.  If your blog is titled, "Crafting is Cool" it may not be as memorable as "The Purple Paisly" or "The Red Knee Sock."  Okay, yes those are totally random but that can be a good thing.  Make sure when you leave a comment on someone's blog that it says your blog name with your name.  For example, if you're signed in as Judy @ Jars and Junk then people know who that is or want to find out.  If you're signed in as "Sarah" then people won't know who that is.

7) Learn to photograph well.

Your blog will look a lot more professional if you spend a little time getting to know your camera.  Use natural light for your photos.  Click on photography in my sidebar for a week's worth of tips on this one.  Use large pictures.  There are some blogs I love purely because of the great photography.  Don't feel left out if you don't have a fancy camera.  You can still take great pictures.  You just have to learn how to make the camera work for you. 

That's all I've got for tips right now.  As I mentioned, I'm not an expert, but I'm happy to help.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Want to pitch in on today's subject?  Tell us all what your favorite thing is about your favorite blog.  Thanks for sharing! 

See you tomorrow with the leather purse tutorial from SYTYC.  Yup, it's finally here!  Thanks for being patient.


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