1.30.2012

how-to // better your blog

going about writing this post is going to be a challenge. i cannot deny this, and therefore i am saying it upfront. so, here it is. 
i've read so many blog series//tutorials on how to better your blog. how you should do this, and most definitely not do that, and how in such amount of time you should have this many followers and that many comments and everything will be lovely-happy and hunky-dory. it has worked for some bloggers, i know, but with others, the icing just doesn't turn out to be the right consistency. i'm going to list those things they everyone's heard millions of times and it may not sound very refreshing to you, but you could say they matter. just a little bit. 

the number one thing i want you do to before you go any further is to ask yourself what you want to do with your blog. why you blog. what things you want to achieve. it can be anything. more followers, comments, don't be ashamed. as a matter of fact, just write that down in the comment box right now, because i want to know, too. 

now that you've written that down, keep reading. i understand that you get your inspiration from the really popular blogs. i understand that you often get frustrated with them because everything they touch seems to turn to gold and they travel everywhere and bake exotic dishes constantly and the whole nine yards. but know this, they have come from where you are right now. atleast, most of them have. but know this also, some of them forget where they were and get caught up in the interweb stardom and such. if you continue your blog and eventually get to that point where you are as popular {or more} as them, don't forget who you are, and don't forget where you came from. random photo time: 
and also, get off of the computer and do something else. eat a candy necklace. play with your sister. put away your clean laundry. cook dinner for your mom. don't sit at your blog with dissatisfaction because this isn't right or you wrote something in a way you didn't intend for it to be read. do something you naturally do. because this is key to blogging: be yourself. there's nothing wrong with being inspired on what's around you, but the ultimate goal is to sit down at the end of the day and look at your reflection and just know that you did well. that you are happy with yourself.

megan and i were just talking about this today: don't hide your life and imperfections. please. post your flaws. your photography that may not be the greatest. your nerdy quirks and habits that you can't seem to get rid of. that thing that makes you who you are? i want to know. don't think that just because not everyone does it doesn't mean you can't. do it. i dare you.

we are now getting to the part that you don't want to read. i know you've heard these things a thousand times. i have, too. but my mom says to listen even if you don't want to, because you may finally find what you're looking for, just not in the package you expected it in. so, here we go. 
  1. blog design. keep it simple. easy to follow. all white backgrounds are nice, i am partial to patterned ones, and if you want one, keep the colors light. a clean palette is relaxing and will keep people come back to just air out. easy-to-read font, neat sidebar and pages, and preferably no colored fonts either. sometimes those can distract your reader for all the wrong reasons. 
  2. emphasis. ever looked at my older posts? go take a look. notice how i have run-on post titles and lots of all caps sentences. yes, i was just trying to make a point. BUT THIS IS QUITE STARTLING SOMETIMES, ISN'T IT? instead, try some italics. bold and beautiful. flows alot easier, and doesn't, frankly, freak out your reader. i've read some blogs that do the all caps bit constantly, and though i know they're trying to make a point, sometimes a point just doesn't carry over very well. 
  3. photography. don't be afraid to use your own. even if you're not that good, educate yourself. study up on iso and aperture and all. i know i am. if you don't want to use your own photos, or if you don't have a camera {which i highly doubt} be sure to credit the photos you use. and by credit, not tumblr of weheartit. on pinterest, i find that the original sources are usually with the photo. if you can't find the source, don't use it. simple as that. i'm guilty of doing such, i must say, but now i try as best i can not to. 
  4. followers/comments. don't strive just to be popular. i've tried blogging solely for that purpose. has it worked? no. and the blog has long since been deleted. good things come to those who wait. be patient. and if you find it hard to be patient, get off the computer and exercise. Lord knows we need it. for commenting, don't go to people's blogs saying you love theirs and think it'd be great if they followed yours. you can leave a link at the end of your comment, but don't advertise yourself and/or giveaway, because then you'll come across as desperate. some are, but don't be. 
  5. be yourself. i cannot stress that enough. please post about the things you love. you don't love. are growing to love. the latest food you tried. your new novel idea. your favorite character from the hunger games {peeta}. why fuzzy socks are better than normal ones. do what you usually do. treat your blog like your mom's coming over for dinner. it doesn't have to be perfect. don't plaster on a smile and bear the pain. it's your mom. act the way you always do. i beg of you. 

i ask this: why do you read my blog? what attracts you to it//what would you have me change if you wanted me to change anything? be honest, nothing will be left unread. then go to your blog and start improving. followers and comments are just an extra smile to keep you going. they're not everything, even if they are something.

anything i forgot? something to add? please. spill. 

and now, i must eat. biscuits are telepathically calling my name. 
-kiss kiss kiss, hug rolling stones-
{pea ess: one week until project launch. someone pinch me now.}

29 comments :

  1. This is sooo true. I used to just blog for comments and whatnot, and then one day I stopped myself and realized that I do what I do for God. What I love about your blog is that every post is always so YOU. There is no pretending or coverups and the way you blog is soooo fresh and beautiful. Keep it up! you're suchhh an inspiration to me! :D

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  2. lovelylovelylovely.
    you said what I think.
    I read your blog coz you make me giggle. you make me think just that little bit deeper. you make me feel like I've known you for a hundred years. you are just plain lovely. like a cupcake.

    I tried being different when I first started blogging, I tried to be like the other bloggers, but then I realized that it was just so exhausting. so I just blogged as if I was talking, or thinking aloud. and it's just as easy as if I was talking to my mum....or my cup of coffee.

    jocee, you're a cupcake. with icing and sprinkles. i love you and your blog.

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  3. I just bookmarked this, it was that good. Just the other day I was writing about why I blog, and I realized that my blog philosophy is mostly just about finding the beautiful things in life, and giving people a little bit of happiness when they come across my blog.
    xoxo.

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  4. I blog because I like to share my opinions, projects, or whatever with the world.

    I would like more followers, but it doesn't really matter all that much, because I'm blogging for myself not them.

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  5. Great tips!! I've seen a lot of 'blog tips' posts, but this is the best one so far. The great thing about your blog Jocee, is that you are not afraid to be yourself. I love that about your posts...it doesn't feel like an essay for school, it feels like a conversation with you! Anyway...

    My goal for my blog would be: to have something to look back at and remember the way things used to be, encourage other teens in their walk with God, improve my photography, design, and writing skills.

    -Carli

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  6. I blog because I like to share my thoughts, opinions, and musings. Plus I get to "meet" people like you Jocee :)

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  7. *virtual pinch* (hope that didn't hurt) :) thanks for the tips--they've helped :D

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  8. Tips to better your blog:Don't have automatic music.It annoying to always have to turn off my my music when I come to this page,or if its late turn my volume down.

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    1. I agree. Not that the choice of music is bad though!

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  9. I blog because, my blog is like my personal journal. I can be myself. Thanks so much for the tips Jocee, they've really helped. The only thing I can say to better your blog is, more of your series posts. :)


    love,
    kelsey <3
    P.s. Oh, and feel free to go on my blog and tell me things that could be improved/changed.

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  10. BUT THIS IS QUITE STARTLING SOMETIMES, ISN'T IT? hahahahaha, i loved that. you're funny. :)

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  11. this is similar to what I've read in a few other posts lately, but hey, some people just need to keep hearing it. i try to make the design neat, but still "me." I used to leave that annoying first comment, but I don't anymore. I've only been blogging for three months, so I will probably still make mistakes, but I'm doing way better than I was three months ago.

    by the way, i think you covered the CAPS LOCK pretty well, but what about people who use this many exclamation points at the end of each sentence?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thanks for the help!
    xoxo,
    Jessica
    Diary of a Beautiful Soul

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  12. P.S. Oh, I blog because it's a great outlet for me to express myself, and also to gain people's opinions/advice. And I blog to make friends =)

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  13. This was fantastic, Jocee! What I love about your blog, honestly, is that you've not afraid to just write how you feel about something - genuinely feel! It's great. I don't comment on every post, but I've read every post since I started following your blog. It's been a great experience and I plan on still doing it! :)

    I blog mainly because I want to share the photos I take (it's a reason for me to get "out there" and really look at things) and share what's on my mind, in more than 140 characters or in more than a facebook status message. And then there's meeting new people, which has been my favorite part so far.

    blog tip: i always find it easier and more natural to read paragraphs when the words are positioned on the left (rather than in the center or to the right). :)

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  14. This was so true. I really loved your post. It was a beautifully, brutally honest post. And I love that.

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  15. I agree! So true, Jocee.
    I read/love your blog because you make me laugh/smile and you're you! And, no lie, before I got a blog, I came here to The Cupcake Dictionary and thought, "when I get a blog, she's going to be the first person I follow!".

    -Oriana

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  16. I blog because I find it enjoyable, plus, it's a great outlet for self expression! :)

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  17. I love your blog because...I don't know, it's interesting. Your writing style is great and you add humor to your posts. (Gotta love humor) When you publish a book, I am so definitely reading it!

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  18. Nice post Jocee!

    -hannah
    http://bellechicbeauty.blogspot.com

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  19. Amen, amen, amen! There are so many bloggers that sound control-ish when they post their tips, and this is the first one that didn't. My goodness.

    I read your blog beacuse your writing is amusing, you seem very ahem "calm, cool, and collected" and it is just a cute, fun blog to read in general.

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  20. I blog because I love meeting new people, and finding their blogs. It's like my own little world:)

    I *read* your blog because I adore your writing style, and how honest and upfront you are (but never in a pushy way) and you guaranty me a smile:)

    This was a wonderful post thank you for sharing!

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  21. With my blog, I want to capture my life so that I may look at it over the years. I also want to show people who I really am, because I sometimes find that hard to do.
    My blog makes me happy, and I look forward to the comments, and the followers, because they like to read about me, and they share my passions and interests :)

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  22. You are wonderful. And your blog is wonderful. And truthfully, everything that I have done to my blog since I have made it, was because I wanted to make my blog just like yours.

    No, really.

    I love every single little thing about it. And you just brought me to the realization that my blog can be anything that I want it to be.

    It can be me. But really, your are so inspiring to me. Those little pea esses and random pictures of everything and your music are just perfect. Everything is perfect.

    You are seriously inspiring.
    -Ryan♥

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  23. Wow, great post, very informative :)

    I'm a new follower, and I love your blog, I went through some of your old posts, very pretty! You're really good at photography!

    I've been looking for a bunch of blogs to model mine after, and yours it great to add to the list :)

    ~Julie

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  24. I blog because I want to be an inspiration to others. And I blog because I love reading other people's blog and discovering people who have things in common with me. Blogging helps me to be more aware of the person that I am.

    I read your blog because, well.. it makes me happy. Your blog is a place of whimsy & loveliness & joy. And I love reading your little tidbits (or, should I say, cupcakes) of awesomeness.

    Thankyou so much for writing this :) I used to write blog posts like essays - always with an introduction & a closing. Since September I've realized that I don't have to clutter up my posts with introductions and capitalization and things. I really love blogging now, where as before I would post every once and a while to say, "yes, I'm not dead". Now my blogging is honest and beautiful and real.

    Lovelovelove,

    Abbie /// XOXOX

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  25. Thank you so much for writing this! These are all great ideas. :)

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  26. Just to let you know, when I first started reading your blog, you had about 40 followers and I loved the way you posted then. I mean, you've started writing a lot better since, but I still kind of miss the rants about Narnia and cupcakes...:)

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  27. Just to let you know, I started reading your blog when you had 40 followers and you have become a better writer, but I still miss those rants about Narnia, Peter and cupcakes.

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sometimes i do not understand why you guys like me so much, but the fact that you do (and that you keep coming around) makes me happier than you can even imagine.

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