Sunday, July 11, 2010

Post Bloggy Bootcamp: 20 Things...

20 Things I wish My Mom Would Have Told Me Before I started Blogging
Important blogging lessons learned after Bloggy Bootcamp

No, my mom doesn't blog. But as I learn things through my blogging career, I can hear words I heard as a child and relate them to the life lessons of blogging.

1) Think Before You Speak
Have a clear plan of what your blog is going to be about. Think about what points you would like to cover in your blog. Have a blogging goal for over a certain amount of time, what you would like your blog to accomplish in that amount of time.

2) Be authentic. Be True. Be You.
Be original, do not try to be like your favorite blogger. No one likes a copy cat. Your blog should represent you and your "brand". Your blog should be consistent with what you want to represent, make sure you stay true to yourself! People are looking for uniqueness, something no one has done before!

3) Don't Be Shy
I am a shy person, especially when you meet me in real life. I've learned to put myself out there when talking to other bloggers and readers. Social Media has been a big help in "breaking" the ice, I love talking with other bloggers on Twitter, it's almost an addiction now.

4)Say Hi to the Neighbors
If you read a blog, especially faithfully and you enjoy the posts, make sure you comment on the posts. It really does show the blogger someone is reading, when sometimes they think no one is reading. Who doesn't like comment love?

5) Don't Gossip
Don't use your blog to air out your dirty laundry about something or someone you don't want everyone in the world knowing about. Even though the blog is yours, and you have the right to post your words, they can come back and bite you in the A$$. Think before you hit that publish button.

6) Don't Lie to Me
Be honest, readers can see your fibs, so just don't bother because it's not worth damaging your reputation. If you are going to talk about a "source", make sure your sources are accurate.

7) Do Your Homework
The "blogosphere" is always coming out with new things, make sure you research and stay in the know of what is what. Join online communities like Blog Frog to interact with others and learn about what is going out.

8) It's Okay Not To Be Popular
Don't let "numbers" determine who you see yourself as a blogger. Quality is what makes a great blogger.

9) Kids Are Going to Be Mean
Okay, we're not in school anymore so really I shouldn't even need to use the word "mean" but sometimes, the drama flows in the "blogosphere". When you have a large amount of women together in a world such as the "blogosphere", there is going to be disagreements and a difference of opinions. Just roll with it.

10) Suck It Up and Be Tough
Being a blogger, having "thick skin" is a necessity. Every blogger will have it happen, someone will say something to them that hurts their feelings or a person or company may have an issue with what you are saying. In the end, it really is going to be okay so it's better to just brush it off and move on.

11) Show Me What You Are Talking About
Providing pictures in a blog allows readers to relate to your post. You don't need a fancy camera, just some good lighting and maybe a tripod. A clean photo at the beginning of your post can help the reader determine in 3 seconds if they want to read your blog post.

12) Go Make Some Friends.
In Bloggy Bootcamp we learned about tribes, a group of blogging friends where you stay faithful in commenting, sharing and learning from their blogs. It's almost like belonging to a blog sorority. I now have blogging friends who blog about an array of things, and we are truly a "tribe" of friends.

13) No One Is Going To Do Your Work For You:
When it comes to increasing readership on a blog, it's the blog owners job, no one else's. I know I was guilty of complaining about no-one reading my blog, even a little pouty. Network and market your blog to gain readership.

14) Sell Yourself
Well, I am not sure mom would have said that but hear me out. I've learned that when I contact companies/PR reps and other potential sponsors, I need to have a good "pitch". It has to directly tell them what I am looking for, and also tell them how working with me can benefit them. Put together a media kit that entails who you are and what you represent in the blogging community.

15) Join Social Activities
Social Media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been such a great networking tool for me. It allows me to promote my blog and interact with other blogging friends. Twitter allows me to search and see what companies and blogs are up to.

16) Mom Said No (But I'm going to keep asking)
When I ask a number of companies to work with me in my blog, I have to be prepared for 100 no's before I hear a yes. I try to not get discouraged when I do hear the word no or when I have not heard from a company. When you do hear a no, politely thank them for hearing you out and make sure you ask them to keep your contact info for future opportunities.

17) Clean Your Blog!
A clean layout is so important, less clutter the better. When I first started I had buttons everywhere, I have since created pages to host those buttons on to make a cleaner front page. Make it easy for your readers to concentrate on your blog posts and not the chaos going on in the side bar.

18) Turn That Music Off!
I've never had music, but I have seen others with it. The majority agrees, music should not be on your blog.

19) Stand Up For Yourself
You run the blog, the blog doesn't run you. Practice time management and other life balancing skills to make sure you are keeping confidence in your life, all around.

20) Location Matters.
The almighty ruling amongst bloggers when it comes to "Blogger VS Worpress", Wordpress is the best platform. When you self host on Wordpress, you own the blog and the contact. When you use Blogger, they own your blog and they can shut your blog down if they see fit. Do research before you "hop" on the wordpress train, make sure it is for you. If you are going to switch to Wordpress, take your time and if needed, it is worth paying someone.


  1. Um, this is AWESOME!!!!

    I am thrilled all this came across- especially the NO GOSSIP!!!

    Thanks for being such a great supporter of boot camp. Seriously.

  2. This is a GREAT post! I'm your newest follower and I can't wait until Bloggy Boot Camp comes to Atlanta next year!!

  3. Great Post!
    Bloggy Bootcamp is awesome!
    Your summary is right on.
    Looking forward to attending another soon!

  4. Thank you for the great information. I'm going to Bootcamp in SF, and I am really looking forward to it.

  5. Great lessons - thanks for sharing!

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