Monday, January 16, 2012
What I've learned: Year 1
I started this blog a year ago. I had moved from Maryland to Texas, but hadn't made any close friends yet and I was missing my old ones. I wanted to invite them over to hang out, talk about our kids and books and for them to all say "Oh Pretty" about my latest project. My youngest had started school, and I found that without park days and play dates I wasn't quite sure how to make new friends. I've had a family blog for years-which is mostly about the kiddos, but I thought it was about time that I have one of my very own. So here's what I've learned over the past year.
1. This blog has given me a huge sense of accomplishment and purpose. It has really helped me to try new things and to finish projects. I have always felt fulfilled in my role as a wife and mother, but have also really enjoyed having something all my own.
2. Link parties: I participate in a ton-maybe even too many. The larger ones bring the most traffic to my blog. However, I enjoy the smaller ones more. The host will usually actually visit my blog and many times even leave a kind comment.
3. $$$$$-Making money has never been my goal, but click here to see what's worked for me:How to make $
4.What annoys other bloggers-Click on the link to read the entire list, but word verification (turn it off people!!!), music auto-play, "comments like-"I'm a new follower, follow me back" and being a no-reply bloggers are top offenders.
5. How to make a button
6. How to search yourself on pinterest-I don't remember where I first saw this, but if you want to see what has been pinned from your blog type in: http://pinterest.com/source/insert blog address/ for example, I just need to type in http://pinterest.com/source/trophyw.blogspot.com/ and it shows me all the stuff people pinned from my blog.
7. How to fix weird margins: When I redid the blog, everything looked great-except for the posts w/my linky parties. The margins were all messed up and instead of my sidebar stuff showing up at the top of the page, it wasn't showing up until the middle of the page, and then it was overlapping unto the links. I contacted Brent Riggs of Linky Tools and he replied:
Sounds like you have a theme with some style sheets that aren't playing
nice with the column count...
If you are using "IGNORE COLUMN COUNT" and still getting this effect,
then uncheck that, and manually set a column count that fits.
If you are already using a manual column counts, sounds like the body
area of your new skin is more narrow than the previous.
You might try just making the blog post area wider first before having
to manual adjust your linky list column counts.
Not a lot of this made sense me to, but I went into the last linky party and unclicked the box that says "Ignore column count" and the problem was solved!
8. How to add a pin button to your blog- I tried to use the method in the "goodies" section many times but failed. Then, just a few days ago Clickin Moms posted how.
To add a pin, switch to "edit HTML" and add the following code to each post:
9.Water mark your photos: Have you ever tried to click on something you pinned and not be able to trace it back? Now I watermark every picture with my blog address, so people can trace it back here (also I get all the credit).
10. In the past week, I've had trouble with pages not loading. I switched to Google Chrome as my browser, and so far no problems.
11. Use "link with-in". It will automatically put a few more posts at the bottom of each posts and will increase the traffic to your site.
Here are some things, I'm just not sure about
1.Features-I truly love when one of my projects is featured on a blog. I'm not sure what to do with that button to show my appreciation. For a while, they were all on the sidebar, but it started looking crowed. Than I put them on the bottom, but it felt a little like bragging. Now they are on my link page. Suggestions?
2. Following-I only use GFC to follow other blogs and honestly don't know how any other system works. This is probably something I should figure out.
3. Photo skills-I think I need to take a class or something. A great picture of an average project will get so much more attention than an amazing project with an average photo. I think my photo skills have improved, but I still think I have a long, long way to go.
4. Editing-I do proofread posts, my brain just auto corrects stuff and so I don't see the mistakes. I am making a better effort.
So there you have it, all my knowledge and wisdom. What have you learned lately to improve your blog? Check out all the comments for more great tips and helps.
UPDATE: To learn about being a no-reply blogger-click on this post by Pleasant Home. She says it way better than I ever could.