Monday, April 8, 2013

The Secret Society Of Bloggers

I just finished reading the book Blog Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho of Oh Joy! I picked it up because I'm always trying to learn something new and I've been fascinated with the business of blogging since my friend Kate (back in 2008) introduced me to the blog formerly known as "my charming kids" (then became "MckMama") and the Pioneer Woman who can now be seen on Food Network.


It seemed to me that a blog was pretty much an online journal slash scrapbook. The notion of being able to journal the goings-on of my family was an appealing idea especially since writing was something I'd been doing both as a hobby and professionally for years. And I could add photos? Awesome, I took photography in college and knew the ins and outs of a darkroom.

But HTML and digital photography? I was a novice. All I had was a PC and a simple digital camera that I had gotten as a Christmas present so I could upload photos to eBay.

Fast forward --> nothing like a few hundred hours of Googling and looking at code to give you a lesson on coding, templates and the inner workings of a blog!

I've gone through some growing pains with blogging. Blogging with friends (City Mom, Country Mom and Gracenotes 95) to the pains of moving (Mommy Moves Again) to staying incognito (Sharing The Wonder) because of nosy employers!

So although it may seem like this blog is a baby (2 years old) I've got plenty of blogging experience behind me. I've gone from a point-and-shoot camera to a Nikon SLR (half paid for by blogging) to leaving my crummy PC to a Macbook Pro and an iPhone. (I was blogging when it was popular to have a music playlist on your blog and Pinterest was just a glimmer in Ben Silbermann's eye.)


But back to Joy's book, I loved that she interviewed other bloggers (very famous ones) and that she gave lots of pointers, because when you start out blogging, it's like a secret society.

I remember wracking my brain wanting to learn how to center links and create blog buttons. I joined every link party, got on all the blogging networks, commented my head off and at times burned myself out. Blogging was work! And it was work I wasn't getting paid for!


Although I am not a "big" blogger, I think I am like many other bloggers out there. I do fine, I've learned a lot. I do think one of the secrets to success in blogging is longevity. Sticky with it is the best lesson you can teach yourself.

Blog because you love to write, blog because you love digital photography, blog because this is your creative outlet or blog because you want to contribute. If your heart is in it, the rest will come.

Here are a few sites and links (that I trust and have been using for years) that might prevent sleepless nights and help newbie bloggers:

  1. Need to find the perfect color with automatically generated code? Try Colorpicker
  2. Could use some help with HTML specifically for blogging? Go to Blogger Sentral
  3. Want a new FREE template for your blog? Here's where I go: BTemplates
  4. Do you want meta tags in your blog? Blogger Tricks makes it easy
Anyway, like I said, I've learned a lot about blogging, so if you have any blog related questions I can answer, leave me a comment and I will reply to it, or at least lead you in the right direction!

Happy blogging and welcome to the club! :)


26 comments:

  1. I just stopped by from SITS to say hello...found your blog to be very helpful! Have a good day and hope you find time to return the visit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eva! Don't you love SITS? I'm heading over to your blog right now...

      Delete
  2. Blogging is continuous journey and I think it is fun! I learn as I go and keep striving to improve.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post. Blogging for me has been such an evolution. The best part has been meeting so many interesting people. I really enjoy your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pam! I have to admit, it is fun to meet other bloggers who sometimes even become your friends in real life!

      Delete
  4. Hey Suzanne! Great post, and thank you for responding to my discussion on Bloggy Moms. I really like the free templates. I am now following you via Bloglovin'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks Sarah! I've used a lot of different templates from BTemplates. It's also a great way to learn HTML in a fun way!

      Delete
  5. Awesome post, just love reading posts like these. Blogging is a creative outlet for me, and since I have children it is definitely a scrapbook. I think looking back at my blog posts from years back is so satisfying because I can see how I've changed :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! My mom and I couldn't remember what we were doing in March last year, so we looked back on my blog and realized it was the time our tiny town was on every national news station because we were experiencing earthquakes! In Wisconsin! Crazy! This is where my blog was definitely being used as a scrapbook!

      Delete
  6. Awesome! I've been blogging for three years and I've only recently gotten more active. I mean I used to just do it for myself with no sense of design or community. I wouldn't say I'm very successful, but definitely more so than last year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the neatest things about blogging for me (when I started) was knowing that there were regular moms out there just trying to pay the bills and raise kids. There was and still is a sense of community. As for design, that's just the creative part of me, I like to putz with logos, headers and templates etc. Your response about blogging for yourself is probably the best answer, because then you do it because you enjoy it, not because you're obligated! :)

      Delete
  7. Wow. You are a seasoned blogger. I've never thought about reading a book on blogging. I'm definitely a novice and can't find enough time to really dive in like I'd like to. I'm nibbling bit by bit and I hope one day to totally get the hang of it. Awesome info.

    ReplyDelete
  8. very cool post. I have googled my head off to learn as much as I can about this blogging thing. I kinda love it. You've pointed me in the direction of some resources I didn't know about. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for sharing! I just started blogging a few months ago and saw your link to this post on BloggyMoms. Great info and a book I will be picking up for my upcoming vaca!

    Thanks a ton!
    Shannon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will definitely enjoy every page! :)

      Delete
  10. Thanks for all of these tips. I am going to check out those links!

    Amy
    http://bestlifemistake.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Suzanne,

    I LOVE your post! It's very informative for a newbie like me! As I'm reading where you said blogging is hard work, I am there with you! The link parties, twitter, FB, pinterest. That's a lot! Good thing I LOVE it! Thanks for linkin with us at the Show Off Blog Party! We look forward to seeing you, again next week!

    Jessica
    The Wondering Brain

    ReplyDelete
  12. I like the mention of "stick with it". This is so important. This is my second time around with having a blog. I am definitely more committed now and just simply enjoy blogging...plus I love when people check out my blog and appreciate the hard work I put into it. It's definitely a "joy" now. Saw you on the Favorite Posts Show Off.

    Sharon
    http://makeitorfixit.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you so much for writing this. I couldn't agree more with blogging because you love it and with sticking with it. I tried a couple of years ago but just wasn't that into it and dropped out. It's been a couple of months now and I feel much better about what I write. I'm actually proud enough of it to show it off now!

    Check it out my latest creative post on Mule Wrestling..... :)
    Amanda*
    http://modernhippiemomma.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Suzanne ~ I really enjoyed this post. Before I really tried my hand at this, I pick up the same book. Read it cover to cover. I love writing, love learning codes and I truly enjoy taking pictures. Although I have only been doing this for a short bit, I have learned that it is Work. Thank you so much for linking up at Show Off Blog Party.

    Jules
    A Dose of Jules

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for all the tips. Blogging is new to me and quite overwhelming at times, so I look forward to any helpful hints I can find. I am stopping by from the Show Off Blog Hop.

    Karen
    http://www.sofabulouskids.com/blog

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi! Found you on The Wondering Brain Blog Hop. Thanks for sharing! I think I am going to buy this book as I am a newbie blogger trying to figure it all out and am constantly wondering how big bloggers, such as The Pioneer Women go to where they are at today. Now following you on GFC.

    Jackie @ The Non-Martha Momma

    ReplyDelete
  17. thanks for sharing these tips! and thank you for stopping by the Show Off Blog Party!
    Brittany of oh my darlin & i

    ReplyDelete
  18. I just read that book!I love that we are on very similar paths, I am you, two years ago. I am really getting into learning code and how to take better pictures. I keep reminding myself, to be patient. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

    ReplyDelete

What are your thoughts?