Saturday, August 21, 2010
Hi everyone! My friend Brenda @ Cozy Little House is doing a series on answering blogging questions for newbies (or oldies). So head on over to her blog (she likes red as much as I do) and check out her posts. She’s answering questions in the comments and she did a tutorial on how to do the 3-column template which I know many are interested in. She’s a sweetheart and has helped me before and I’m sure you’ll find lots of useful info there!
I thought I’d answer two questions that I always get which are:
1) What camera do I use and how do I get such nice photos (thank you!).
I just use a digital point and shoot. Panasonic DMC-L27. It’s easy to use! I never take photos with the flash on. I’ll turn on every light in the room rather than do that! Sometimes I bring in an extra lamp if that's not enough. Using the flash washes out your color and things just don’t look quite right.
I do use a photo editing program to tweak my photos if they need it. picnik is a common one. I use one that came with my computer. So if the photo is too dark I can adjust the lighting a bit. But honestly, if the light isn’t right I usually don’t take the photo! I’d rather wait. There's only so much you can do with most photo editing programs before a photo starts looking like it's not even real.
Also, for every photo you see I’ve probably taken about 50 and rejected 49! So take lots of shots from different angles so you give yourself a good selection to choose from. It's time consuming but worth the effort.
2) How do I get followers?
Some of you that have been with me since the beginning know I have a love hate relationship with the whole followers thing! I was blogging for about six months before I even put the widget on my blog.
I love that it gives me way of knowing that there are people that enjoy my blog and don't want to miss a post because I do work hard on it and it does take a good chunk of my time. Validation is always nice. So that's a good thing.
On the other hand, I personally think the question should be how do I attract readers not how do I get the number on my followers widget to increase. People place too much importance on numbers be it followers or some other statistic.
I don’t want people signing up to follow that don’t really have an interest in what I do here. Therefore, I don’t do any “incentives” for following but, of course, that’s up to you. My feeling is whether or not you follow...well...that's your business. You can increase your followers # if you do giveaways just for followers. But then after the giveaway, some of those people might not stick around. Just sayn' how it is!
The very best way to get the word out about your blog is to comment on other people’s blogs. People that blog about the same things you blog about. It makes no sense to network with political blogs if you're a sewing blog. Unless you also discuss politics! Make it easy for people to find you. Set it up so that when someone clicks on your name they are taken to your blog or add a link under your name when you leave your comment. Also, say this is your first time visiting if it is. I know I make an effort to go visit everyone at least once.
Just know that not everyone is going to take the time to come check out your blog so don’t get upset about it! To this day I know I can leave a comment on certain people's blogs and never hear from them but that doesn't stop me from commenting if I have something to say.
I use to tell people to join blog parties to increase their exposure but to tell you the truth, I just don’t feel they are as effective as they used to be. It used to be that if you signed up for a linky party everyone would visit everyone (pretty much). Now, I don’t think people make the effort. I think with the new picture link system, people look at the picture and then decide if they want to visit that blog. In the “old days” when we just had to put our blog name with no pic, you never knew what you’d get. Especially if it was a blog that wasn’t familiar. But you actually had to go and give that blog a chance!
Often I see someone that has linked to four or five blog parties, has a lovely post or good idea and gets 10 comments! I think everyone is waiting around for everyone else to come visit their blog these days. So I don’t know how effective these parties are anymore, but give them a try and see how it goes for you.
Also, try to post at least once a week. People need a reason to come back to your blog. They can't read the same old post over and over! Some people say post on a schedule but I post when I’ve got something to share or say (like today) and that works for me. Find what works for you. But have your priorities straight. Family always comes before blogging. I think some people get carried away and forget that.
My biggest tip is to just be yourself! Blog about things that interest you and like minded people will find you. Really! Have patience. Not everyone can be a rock star overnight. It takes time to build relationships. Enjoy the process! Have fun blogging and don't get hung up on all the external things that in the scheme of life don't really matter anyway.
Dont' forget to go visit Brenda for more tips on all sorts of blogging questions.
As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by today. I wish you all a fun and happy weekend!