Newbie bloggers, especially those who “leap before they learn” have tons of blogging questions. Oftentimes those authors become so overwhelmed and discouraged their blogs end up abandoned. For the record and just in case it is not embarrassingly obvious enough, I am one of those leapers too; nevertheless today is a new day and a new year. Changes are in progress. I’m nervous, a bit worried but nonetheless excited! This blog has a new name, new categories, and a funny new graphic, did you notice?
Today I’m resolving to share my passions and experiences; the journey of mistakes, inspirations, and support of fellow bloggers. Readers can expect blogging tips, social media tools, and perhaps a few tech snippets too.
Now on to my story. I hope you’ll get a laugh or two and find something of value as well…
Launching without a blog plan
With a basic, excessively broad theme in mind, ASiteForWomen.com was launched with the Mambo content management system and nothing more. Does anyone even remember that open source cms? The next year or so was consumed learning about the core code, installing numerous updates and patches only to learn the programmers were wavering. I remember thinking; well, at least I won’t have to install more updates and patches. Maybe lots of content will improve A Site for Women, I remember reading about posting content often. Still missing the most basic point of a specific blog theme, better known as a niche, the search for content was the focus. Plenty of rephrased articles were posted. Wrong answer again, successful bloggers produce fresh content not rephrased articles. Incredibly discouraged, I launched a BlogSpot blog simply to promote a site for women. The first blog was DOA therefore, launch another blog… umm what? After a short time and not surprisingly, that blog was left dormant along with this one.
Gaining Confidence – A Slow Return
The housing crash brought me back to blogging, unbelievable as it may sound. With loads of time available, the search for supplemental income was the focus. By then I had designed a few simple web sites, thus learning a whole lot more.
Determined to accomplish something the reading and learning continued. Despite the fact “Are you hungry?” has an unrelated url, the traffic and conversation improved. I finally gained a few blog followers. I remember thinking; this niche blogging is the answer, not considering the competition or my terrible grammar skills. With minimal success and understanding accomplished, I returned to asiteforwomen and replaced Mambo with WordPress. With that came a whole slew of new blogging questions and looking back, a grasp on blogging came even later.
Meet the Woman – Tia Peterson
I first visited Bizchickblogs.com sometime last fall when it was the personal blog Tia Peterson, a former business analyst, and technical writer. This woman knows about blog substance. She has written on everything from writing blog articles, to comments and readership, social media, blogging tools, and a whole host of blog related topics. She is a mother and excellent blogger indeed.
In December, Tia announced a transformation of bizchickblogs was to come. January brought a whole new look and a team of talented women bloggers. January 2011, “Bizchickblogs.com is an online magazine for women, with primary content in the topics of business, technology, health, and relationships and family.”
Inspired to Improve
Initially, I would read Tia’s posts and tweet them but not comment intimidated by her knowledge and my lack of the same. After all, loads of knowledgeable and successful bloggers commented there. What did I have to offer? Lurking for a few months (reading but not commenting) revealed a delightful person.
I remember this amazing article, Does it Feel like No One is Listening. It was not only informative and comforting but also encouraging and inspiring. While it was informative and to the point, there was a level of compassion and understanding for the newbie blogger that I had yet to experience. New points on how and where to get real readers as well as the importance of making a direct connection were advised. This post unquestionably kept me coming back for more. In fact, I’m almost laughing thinking about the section, An Audience of One. “The answer to more readers is not on your blog. Stop looking for it there.” It is comical because we, speaking for myself, I really did read blog advice only to return to the blogs looking for the error. Yes I did.
Finally, after months of lurking, I introduced myself in a comment. Tia responded as she does with most all readers and made a huge direct connection. I thought about it later and it felt good, very good. It is amazing how that one connection changed so many things. Not only did I really rethink my blog plans, but it also boosted my confidence, increased my courage, and inspired me to write more about my passions, inspirations, and experiences. Thanks Tia!
Have a similar Eureka moment or favorite blogger, please do share it, I want to visit their blog!
This is an incredible review and very touching! I’m thrilled to have been mentioned here. What a way to start the week!
These words will stay with me for a long time: “Not only did I really rethink my blog plans, but it also boosted my confidence, increased my courage, and inspired me to write more about my passions, inspirations, and experiences.”
Thank YOU. You have made my month!
Thanks for stopping by Tia. I really do appreciate your posts. Thanks again for the inspiration!
I know there are so many lurkers in forums and blogs; however, it never occurred to me that bloggers might be among them too! Thank you for reminding me that even those who blog may be hesitant to comment on other people’s blogs. I think I know the solution to that.
There ARE bloggers who don’t welcome new commentators or treat them will respect. I don’t understand that but I have run into them myself now and again. The good news is you can tell who is friendly by how they answer comments from people they don’t know.
I have never seen a cross word to a commentator from Tia or Ileane @BasicBlogTips or Barbara at BloggingWithoutaBlog.com or Kristi @Kikolani or @DonnaFontenot at DazzlinDonna.com or from the many other friendly bloggers I know – and never will. They love to welcome new bloggers and answer questions.
Whenever you see a blogger who is friendly to other bloggers it should be safe to comment or follow a CommentLuv link back from their comment to their blog. See how they treat their commentators; if they are welcoming and friendly just write something sincere about their post.
If you know how to tell which links are dofollow and a blog is dofollow and has CommentLuv installed and they are friendly to others there is a 95% chance that you have landed in a friendly, welcoming blog.
If you ever leave a comment that isn’t well accepted you have hit one of those few unfriendly bloggers; just remember that you can’t please all the people all the time and know WE friendly bloggers DO want to hear from you! (You like it when we comment in YOUR blog, right? Well we love it when you comment in ours!)
Hi Gail. I really never came across a cross reply to one of my comments however I have experienced being ignored big time. Being so interested in blogging yet so, how should I say it, naive to the game, I would leave a short comment. After visiting several blogs that were “out of my league” and never seeing a response, well I was intimidated. Maybe a bit hurt too I guess. That is when the lurking got a big time hold on me. You know, it took a year or maybe more before I would comment on an awesome blog post. Like your blog. Had I found you last year, I would have been lurking big time. Does that sound crazy?
Blogging is fascinating and so much fun. Oh my I learned so much, especially this last year. Our work has been awfully slow. If it wasn’t for blogging, some sponsored post offers, and a great bunch of blogging friends I would have gone just mad and been starving too 🙂
I do know about dofollow links and am slowly realizing how to determine a friendly blog as compared to an all about me, I don’t have time for you blog!
Wow, this is becoming a whole new post 🙂
I’ll bet now you see why I so enjoyed your collaboration post. You can bet you will be hearing from me again.
Thank you for the encouragement and information. You’re a gem!
As a blogger I know the value is in readership and engaging readers by interacting and responding to them. Journalism and Reports are for just one way information, blogs are for interaction and establishing a relationship with your readers. Great article, and I can’t stand lurkers either.
Oh my I know the whole lurking thing was so upsetting! The interaction with others is the core of blogging and once I began to truly realize that fact, I got over it.
You know, I’ve been reading your posts for a while now. Expect a few more comments to go along with those tweets!
Thanks for the visit 🙂
Gail Rt your post on Twitter and as I am one of the Tweethearts, had to come check out your post. I really respect Gail. She unswervingly encourages newbies and seems to exist on very little sleep as she is often still tweeting and commenting the same time I am and we live on opposite sides of the globe! Go Gail.
Like Gail, I would reiterate that there are some lovely people in this blogging community. As you interact with us by visiting our blogs and commenting, we will get to know you and your blog too.
From the start, I have always made it one of my practices, that whoever comes to my blog for the first time, gets a visit and a comment on their blog too. I reply to all my commenters; regardless of how many comments I have.
I have done a couple of posts on all this including a Guest Post I have just had published. Networking is a necessary part of my blogging plan. To get my small niche blog out there for people to know about, I needed to visit many blogs and stay and join the conversation. Yes it was time consuming, yes it was a lot of work…..but yes it was well worth it and still is 🙂
I have connected with some amazing people, some of whom are now dear friends. They cheer me on, encourage me when the journey gets a bit bumpy, and are real with me when I need to just get on with it 🙂
And yes I would agree with you Tia is one special lady. I love visiting her blog, learning heaps and now there are even more bloggers over there to interact with. Sweet.
All the best in your blogging ventures Kathy. May all your plans and more come to fruition in 2011.
Patricia Perth Australia
Hi Patricia, Happy to receive your visit. I must admit, I have read quite a few of your comments as well as visited your blog…. The lurking thing was still in place at the time. That has finally changed and I look forward to visiting lavenderuses going forward.
I am quickly learning Gail is phenomenal. I love meeting new people, and feel as though I have connect with a great circle of people already. I do enjoy visiting and commenting and don’t much notice the time involved. Sometimes I find myself being at a loss for words. Do you think a simple response like great post, I really enjoy this or that is inappropriate or perhaps insulting? I never want to be either of those!
Thank you for the kinds words and encouragement Patricia. The transition here will probably be very slow, but definitely sure. Am looking forward to visiting/tweeting with you often.
Hey Kathy, Tia is one of my favorite bloggers too! The first time I read one of her posts I knew I’d be coming back for more. I can’t remember where it was, because she’s all over the place. She amazing.
I can’t say enough about Gail from @GrowMap. She has a way of putting such a human touch on everything “techie”.
Doesn’t it feel good to come out from behind the bushes 🙂 I don’t blame you for lurking though, you were very cautious about making a great first impression and you pulled it off. I know you made a lasting impression with me when you visited my blog. I remember seeing that cute gravatar and how much fun it looks like you’re having in the kitchen. Well, like any great chef, I’m sure you’ve got something good in the oven for 2011.
Best wishes and I look forward to chatting more with you soon.
Yep it sure does feel good. You bringing up my gravatar made me think. My son shot that one. I guess he did capture the true essence because I do have loads of fun in the kitchen. It’s the same with blogging, the connects we make are so much fun! Guess I need another one for my other passion. What do you think?
Plus I never stop learning. People like yourself, Tia, and Gail keep fresh and always interesting. I’m never bored!
Thank you so much for stopping by, it means a lot 🙂
Stay warm up there!
I have been a lurker but sometimes it really gets tiring to keep mum especially when a blogger writes brilliantly as you do. I can feel the heart and the passion. A lot of bloggers have become so snobbish these days but to each his own. We can never judge them for their blogging attitude. But the blogging community is a small world to be too indifferent. It’s always wonderful to reach out and build camaraderie and rapport between and among co-bloggers.
You had me wowed on this post. It feels great to be inspired by someone virtually. Thanks for sharing.
Cheers to a more fruitful year for 2011!
All the Best,
Kathy, I admire your tenacity! Sure, I remember Mambo. I still maintain a few Joomla sites. None of them include blogs and when I created them, I never considered using WordPress.
Tia was one of the first bloggers that I started following too. I could so totally relate to her that I didn’t hesitate to comment and interact. (I am still in awe by how much that one woman gets done!)
This is a very nice post. I like your writing style and I’ll make it a point to drop by here more often.Good luck in 2011. I think your blog is about to really take off.
I’m glad I came across this. This was very helpful! I am currently making changes now as a blogger.