Apologies for the delay in posting tonight!! - I just scraped in there in time for it to count still as day 5... :) It's black Friday in the Flutter.Kat house today - our version of black Friday means that my hubby left today for another 4 weeks working away - so it's been a busy/sad day with a trip to the airport & packing etc... Thankfully I had the most awesome friends cook me dinner & keep me company for the evening so I had no time to wallow in self pity at the prospect of spending the first Friday of a few by myself :) Thank you kind friends - I love you guys!!! (They have great etiquette ;) ) But all this did mean no time at the computer today... Anyway enough about me...
Today we hear from another talented Flickr friend Emily, otherwise known as Emedoodle. Check out Emily's Flickr pool if you want to see the craziest, teeny tiniest quilt blocks ever - they are so cute!!
Thanks Em for your great ideas!!
Hello! I'm Emily from Mommy's Nap Time, and as a part time stay at home mom I understand how time consuming it can be to try to learn even the most basic blogging etiquette. I've been blogging for just over two years now, and here are some little things I've learned (slowly) over that time.
The first thing I'd like you to consider is the reason for your blog. This will greatly affect a whether or not you'll be putting any of these tips to use. Here are some of the many reasons one might keep a blog:
I'll be sharing with you tips that are most useful to someone in that fourth category. If you're looking to be social and make friends these tips are for you.
Know what you want. This is one of the hardest things about blogging. Do you want to post every day? Is your blog spontaneous or planned? Depending on your reason for blogging you may end up feeling bad if you can't keep up with other bloggers. Keep in mind that some big/well known blogs are run by more than one person, and/or have been blogging for a lot longer. Remember your blog is yours, you make the rules, and you can change them too.
I'll dive right in here. My first suggestion is to be genuine. With being genuine you'll find that most of your posts will be about your own work or your creative process (and of course occasionally something cute your kid/pet did). There's something to be said about bloggers who write mostly about their kids, or those who write most of their posts about things other bloggers have done. It can become a touchy subject if you're only posting pictures of other people's work. Being yourself will generally solve this issue.
Make friends. The easiest (and most fun) way of making bloggy friends is to be a friend first. If you find a blog that you enjoy, follow them through your blog (or of course through google reader which is a huge time saver!). When you've got some time you'll have those blogs handy to read and comment. Don't be afraid to comment, and comment often. It's pretty easy to do and you'll realize as people start commenting on your posts that sometimes the most random meaningful comment can really brighten your day.
Reply to comments. Now I won't go too crazy on this topic. I'm sure many of the other guest posts will mention this, but it's something that I went a year before realizing. It's general blog etiquette to reply (usually via email) to comments made on your posts. Blogger has a great tool to make this easier for you, they'll send you an email with the text of each comment (conveniently with the commenter's email attached, you can just reply right there). Here's how to set up email notification on Blogger: go to your dashboard, next to the "new post" button, click on the link for "settings," under the heading of "settings" click the link for "comments." Scroll all the way to the bottom, and enter your email in the box. Some people set up a separate email account just for those comments, I don't. By doing this it makes replying to friends, family, and new followers easy.
Leave links, but don't be too crazy about it. If you share a picture of a recent project on flickr or facebook, leave a link back to the blog post that you wrote about it. Those links will allow your friends from other areas of your life to also be a part of your blogging world. Leaving a link below your flickr photo will give swap friends etc a chance to get to know you a bit more.
Schedule posts. If you would like to keep your blog running like normal while you're on vacation or any other busy time, schedule a couple posts to be used as needed. (I don't do this regularly, but it comes in handy sometimes). To do this on Blogger, after writing a post to be scheduled, click the "post options" link directly under the text box, to the right you'll see "post date and time" click on "scheduled at" and fill in the date and time.
Share pictures. Use your own pictures within your posts. If you are using an image that is not yours it's best to get permission first. I generally don't use anyone else's pictures unless it's in the form of an inspiration mosaic (many pictures together in one mosaic, like those made at www.bighugelabs.com). BigHugeLabs gives an HTML code box that includes the links for each picture. If you copy that code, and click the "edit HTML" button on the top of the text field (while writing a post on blogger), then paste the code into the text field, and click "compose," the links will show up properly.
Share links. Be generous about your linkage. You'll realize by reading other blogs how helpful they can be! If you write about a wonky star you're working on and mention that you were inspired by someone else's work, or used a tutorial online, post a link to that person's star. They'll like the increased traffic on their blog, and your readers will love the exposure to tips, tricks, and inspiration too.
And to sum it all up, play nice & don't be afraid. There is so much that we can learn from each other. The blogging community is really amazing. You'll get encouragement and inspiration from your fellow bloggers, don't be afraid to give it back. Also, don't be afraid to jump in. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Most of us bloggers aren't professionals, we are here to have fun, to make friends, and to share life. Happy blogging!