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.

52 comments:

  1. cute post!
    Kidding!
    I can't tell you how great these tips are! As I'm just starting out on my own blogging adventure, these suggestions are so valuable. I never thought to sign in as anything other than my name when leaving comments (I love leaving comments too)! I'll be changing that from now on! I could agree more on your point about giving credit where its due too! I have linked back to your site for sure and know I'll be doing that more in the future too because just as you love your favorite blogs - yours is definitely one of mine! I always look forward to what you're sharing!

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  2. Yup, I do wait for you to post each day because I know you will. I can't go to bed (because I'm on the other side of the world) before I read your post! Or if I HAVE to go to bed, I read it first thing because I know it will be there :)

    And I miss Disney too :( That sucked, big time.

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  3. Also I think it's the way you tell the story in your post that brings me back, as well as the projects. The language you use is important methinks :)

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  4. Great points.

    AND join http://quilterblogs.com No it doesn't really matter if you're a quilter or not. You can meet tons of people. Love it.

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  5. Thanks so much for writing this post today! This is exactly what I needed to read. I started a blog last week and was wondering how I would make it grow. This gives me a lot of great ideas! Also I love the way you post everyday. You are always my first read of the day because i know that a post from you will be there...I love that! :0)

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  6. I have been receiving a lot of questions from newbie bloggers lately and have plans to put together a tips post. I'll have to refer them here as well to give them even more insight!

    Great job.

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  7. I was really hoping when I clicked the link over to Ruffles and Stuff there would be some kind of miraculous resurrection going on over there. :o(

    I don't have a blog worthy of public consumption, but I love reading yours! The awesome variety here and that dependability you talked about is what keeps me coming back every day (I don't use a reader, I just have a billion sites bookmarked!). You're awesome! Just thought you should know. :o)

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  8. Those are such great ideas! I have only been blogging since April and have had such a good time with it. I really love this community and find all of you so generous in sharing what you know! Women rock!!!

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  9. What great info to share with others. I feel like there are alot of other bloggers that give the same great info, but don't follow their on advice. You pretty much have stuck to your guns, I always now when I turn on the computer, there will be a post from you :)

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  10. Great tips - especially the whole bit about leaving thoughtful comments. I recently pledged to stop being a Google Reader lurker and actually click through to each post and try to comment. I'd also suggest exploring other social media avenues that can help cross-promote your blog like Facebook, twitter, flickr, etc.

    p.s. I recently found your blog and really enjoy it!

    - Cara at Me? A Mom?

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  11. Thanks for the Tips. My little blog Hammer & Thread just started up a few months ago. I'm still getting in the swing of it. and thanks to your suggestion I did just change my sign in name.

    Here is my tip. Learn a little bit of HTML just so that when you refer to a link in a comment you can actually link it. I explain how to do that here

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  12. I just started a blog a little over a month ago and it was really great to read what you had to say about having a blog. I wanted a space to put my crafts and recipes, for me to look back at later. I have been a stay at home mom for a little over a year, and i needed something that was just for me. I discovered your blog a few months ago and i really look forward to reading it!!! Thanks!!!

    oh and super thanks for the idea to include your blog name in my profile name, genius!

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  13. Wonderful advice! I especially liked #5. Your blog is the first one I check every morning! and #6- a friend told me about your blog at a ward party, it was so cute and catchy when I got home I was able to remember it! which is a big deal cause my memory sucks.

    Might I add: I'm always uber impressed because I also have two boys and somehow you find the time to craft + take pictures + post. annnnnnddd make oh-so-cute things for SYTYC. *sigh* You must be superwoman. :)

    PS I also noticed you do all this before 6 am! a.maz.ing.

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  14. Those are great tips. And oh, lookie here-- I changed my name just like you said. I suppose I could learn a thing or two from my little sister.

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  15. Great tips! Especially #6. I've been doing that for a while now because at one time I had three people named "Heather" regularly commenting on my blog and had no clue who was who unless I clicked to see their profile. (this was before the days of pictures included with comments.)

    While I think tip #5 is great, I don't follow it anymore...I just post when I feel like it. Consequently, I don't have much readership outside of my real life friends. Which, for me, is ok.

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  16. Awesome ideas. I love your blog because you seem to post something everyday. And it's not just junk it's always something useful, even if it's just for a laugh...i.e. the one with your dad and his tie. I don't wear a tie and neither does my fiance but I sure did think the post was funny!

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  17. Your blog is the blog that inspired me to blog! I'm currently gone on sabbatical with our move but I MISSSSSSS blogging so much.

    i'm currently working on the photograph thing. I suck despite taking a class in college. LOL

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  18. Thank you SO SO much for the wonderful tips! Those are really great tips. I always love reading your posts. I think being sincere in what you're blogging about AND the comments you leave are so important.

    p.s - I think I would call you an expert :)

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  19. I love how your personality is everywhere in your blog posts, blog layout, pics, etc.
    I had a goal this year of posting daily (in a blogweek)- so far, I've missed only 3 days. Although, my friends are always saying that if they miss a few days, it takes a while to catch back up. That taught me that a)my tutorials are too long and b) regular posting doesn't mean every day by 8 am!
    Thanks for the tips, I think we all have much to improve on and it helps to have encouragement!

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  20. You are awesome. And considering how fast your blog has grown, I think we all look up to you for some great advice. Great tips--I couldn't agree more with the credit thing!

    Also, your pics yesterday with the hat were SO cute.

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  21. great tips! I am a beginner blogger, and I can't think of a name. Queen of saves is a temporary one till I can come up with a good one. (jo aka to a pretty life, is my sister. :))

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  22. Thanks for your tips! Though I've had my blog for almost 2 years I still feel very new at this. Thanks so much for sharing your blogging knowledge. :)

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  23. well said! And THANK YOU for doing this. Now I have a place to send people when they ask me these questions :).
    Great job Cheri!

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  24. I am a new blogger and I am glad I found this post. I needed that
    "blog what you are passionate about"... mukweto.blogspot.com

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  25. I miss Disney from ruffles n stuff too!

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  26. Great post! These are all things that I have been trying to do and improve on on my blog, so I know I am headed in the right direction. The hardest part for me is keeping up with regular posting, sometimes my busy life gets the better of me. Thank you for the great advice, and keep up the good work

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  27. wonderful tips that you have!
    I certainly agree with the cute blog title and photography (:

    those sure are the reasons why i follow certain blogs, and i love it when they update regularly

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  28. thank you - this is so helpful...and I'd never seen your link party tag before - what a goldmine!!!

    (ps your "odd bird" pose cracks me up every time i see it!!!)

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  29. Thank you so much for this post. I just started my own blog last week and I can't even begin to tell you how much you inspired me!

    rachel-thelifeofriley@blogspot.com

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  30. Thank you so much for all the tips. I started my blog as just a way to collect the ideas I found from other people as well as a way to record my own attempts. However, the more I get into this the more I really want to share my ideas with others. I will definitely have to apply some of these tips. Thanks!

    Marissa from craftykricket.blogspot.com

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  31. Thanks for all the great info. I just started my own blog and was in need of some good advice. Thanks again... Jeanna @ drama queen seams.blogspot.com

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  32. You're pretty much awesome. I cannot even BELIEVE you've only been up since Feb. With over 1500 followers???? Are you kidding me?!? So impressive. i want to be you when I grow up;) No, seriously.

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  33. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I have a fairly newish blog that I created without a vision or theme. Once I read about 'You Are What You Keep' (on your blog, I believe), I started writing about my adventures in cleaning and de-cluttering. Not very exciting, actually (Tabitha is much better at it). What's worse is that my blog's name is a bit lame but I can change it anytime I want...so I'm just waiting for the perfect name to find me. Eventually, I'm sure I'll also find a good theme too but for now I still blog about de-cluttering...and now packing.

    Anyway, thank you again for all these tips. I'm going to keep them in mind as I continue blogging. (Also, I think 'I am Momma' is great. I especially like that you post everyday...a lot of bloggers don't do that.)

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  34. Thanks for your post about comments. I feel sometimes that I'm just telling people a bunch of useless information when I make my comments (they tend to run long) (but look at me now with a short one!)
    Beth at Sand to Pearl

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  35. Thanks for the advice! I am just starting out and the learning curve is a bit daunting right now, but I am having a lot of fun!

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  36. Thanks for these tips! Sometimes it's easy to forget that I started my blog for myself, not so I could fish for comments from family, friends, and strangers alike. :)

    And I can't believe this blog has only been around since February! I've been a loyal reader from close to the beginning and have never commented until now. You've inspired me. Thank you...for everything!

    Jodie
    thecountrychronicles.blogspot.com

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  37. Thanks for the tips!

    I have a question. Sometimes when people comment me, at the end of their comment they have the name of their blog that includes a link. How would I do that?

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  38. Thank you! I am learning more and more about blogging and this post has given me a wealth of helpful information. I just changed how my name shows up on comments...great tip!

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  39. Thank you for this post. I love the tips you shared (can you tell I'm trying to use one right now? ;) Ha ha!)! I especially love your advice to love what you blog about, sometimes it seems overwhelming to come up with a post that others will want to read... but that's not really the point, huh? Thanks!!! And I LOVE your hat make-over!! SO Cute!! I especially loved the idea to not stitch the ribbon down all, such a great idea!
    <3 Christy @ agapesou.blogspot.com

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  40. Thanks for your tips! Much needed.
    www.appleyardart.blogspot.com

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  41. I realize I'm pretty late on this one, but I want to thank you for this! I've actually had a blog for about two years now, but I'm just getting the hang of things. These tips are wonderful! I'm definitely going to start trying them out.
    Sierra@SignatureCreationsbySierra
    :D

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  42. Oh! PS...I love your sister's room!

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  43. What a great post Cheri! I love your blog and your boys stuff is to die for! I seriously am in awe of your creativity! Thank you for teaching me how to freezer stencil!


    Also, I recently got a "fancy" camera, well for Valentine's Day, but for those who have a point and shoot, Funky Junk Interiors has an AMAZING series on how to take fantastic photos without a "fancy" camera. Her photography is amazing, one of the reason I love her blog! So you're right, no need for a "fancy" camera to have great photos! http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/

    Thanks so much,
    Mallory @ Classy Clutter

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  44. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I am just starting my own blog, thanks to my hubby who's been pushing me for so long to have my own. I've been following your blog since way back, you're such an inspiration. :)

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  45. I just found your blog yesterday and I am IN LOVE!!!! You are so creative and I love everything you do!!! I am sooo excited to keep up with you. I have a couple questions on starting my blog and dont know the best way to ask these questions and respond back and forth. I would like to leave my email so you can email me. I hope that helps. I have my blog up but I want to add to it. I need to know how to get the HOME button and all the other buttons you have after that. I also want to know the best way to get followers and how to link your blog to mine and the other blogs that I love. Thank u so much, Brooke
    brookedouglass@yahoo.com

    Girl Boy Girl Inspired

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  46. Thank you!!! These are so wonderful. I can't tell you how inspirational you are and how much I enjoy checking in on your lovely family and all the fun stuff you've been up to. Please don't go anywhere! LOL. :)

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  47. Thanks again for sharing. Really insightful and helpful. Plus now I know how to sign this comment ;)
    Jess @ OlyMomma

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  48. Thanks for the tips :)

    I started blogging so out of town family and friends could keep up with my family. Then I started sewing stuff for my baby. Then I started cooking because my baby has multiple food allergies.

    I'm working really hard to be more consistent and find things to write about, and to write about them in a way that people will want to read, lol.

    ~Brittany @ B-Fab

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  49. Thanks for the tips. I have two blogs and want to start a new one. You have really helped me. Now to decide on a wonderful blog name.

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  50. Thank you SO much for the advice! I'm a new blogger and appreciate the tips. Keep on bloggin, it's wonderful to read :)

    Brooke

    brookehasablognow.blogspot.com

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  51. As a new blogger, I am always excited to find tips from "experts" of any level of expertise. Your tips are extremely helpful and user friendly. Commenting seems like the most effective way, universally, but then posting regularly also is of utmost importance. I don't like seeing un-updated blogs in my blog roll. Thanks for the tips!

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  52. Thank you for sharing these tips! Especially the thought on the profile name when leaving a comment. Never thought of that and makes complete sense. And now, I've updated my profile name :) Thank you!

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Thank you so much for leaving a comment! If you are asking a question and you do NOT have your profile linked to your email address, I will respond in the comment section, so just come back to check it later. Thanks!

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