Blogging tips 101 & how to grow your blog! | LOVELY LITTLE RANTS

Blogging tips 101 & how to grow your blog!


I feel like I have some good experience when it comes to growing a blog and I wanted to share some tips on how you can grow your blog! Who doesn't want extra tips and advice? I am so happy to have teamed up with some other awesome bloggers who will be guest posting throughout the week with their tips & blogging advice!

1. How did you get started?

I started blogging in 2010 because my friend had a blog that I religiously read. I was a receptionist and had a LOT of down time so I decided to blog! I wanted to document my life and this was the perfect creative outlet. I also love design and I loved playing with my blog design and learning more about html. Simple as that.

2. What do you think is important to get a blog going and to keep people coming?

There are a few things I think that are super important.
a) design. I think design is so huge! If I come across a blog that has a design that is all over the place (weird fonts, unprofessional looking design aka all one color or something that looks like a scrapbook page, a sidebar that is like 100 feet long with tons of content, pictures that are too big or too small, etc) then it doesn't stick out to me as a blog I will revisit again. If you are trying to grow a blog, design is so important! A clean and professional looking design always draws me in and, honestly, sometimes I follow people because I love their design so much! If you need any help, I design blogs here

b) content. Content is so important! When I read a post that has VOICE, that is something I love and I try so hard to add into my posts. I try to write my posts as if I'm talking to a close friend because I think voice is so dang important. Every now and then I think it's okay to rant and vent, I mean, it's YOUR blog, right? But when there's a ton of negative posts, I don't stick around.

c) pictures. Everyone likes pictures! and you know what they like even more? high quality pictures! You can get nice camera lens for under $100 and it makes pictures so much more interesting to look at. I use this lens.

3. What is the best way to get people to visit your blog?

Commenting on other peoples blogs! There are literally like a million blogs out there. That's a million people who don't even know your blog exists!! Commenting on other blogs has been the most successful thing I've done to get my name out there and to draw readers to come check out my blog.
Leaving MEANINGFUL comments can't be stressed enough. Leaving your link is so important, too! That way you make it easy for someone to just click your link and hop on over to your blog.

I always think it's so funny when I get a comment that says "nice blog" or "lovely" or something so simple like that. I 100% assume they just visited 500 other blogs and pasted that same response, thus not really attracting me to visit their blog. I am grateful for every interaction but my goal is to gain a readership, so meaningless comments are a no go because obviously, you didn't read anything.

Giveaways can be great, I'm sure. But I have noticed that some people ONLY follow for the giveaway and as soon as it's over, they dip! It's a good way to grow quickly but won't necessarily bring a loyal readership. They can also bring some awesome new readers who stay and are totally awesome! So it's kind of hit and miss with giveaways :)

Advertising can also help a lot! it can also be a big waste of money. Just be sure to research the person you want to advertise for. Do they have a lot of loyal readers who visit their blog? Are they active in the blogging community? Will it be worth your money to pay for a sponsorship? I offer paid spots AND trades! I like trades a lot because then we both advertise for each other and it didn't cost us a thing :)  Don't be afraid to ask for their numbers, too! If you are paying them, they should be happy to prove why they deserve your trust. sponsor page can be found here.

4. What is your biggest blogging mistake?

STOPPING. haha I repeat stopping! I was on point with my blogging game for 2.5 years. I  had a lot of interaction and I was very blessed to have companies wanting to work with me to show off their stuff. When I moved back to Arizona, I got so busy and blogging was not something I was passionate about anymore. So I simply just abandoned it. I know that hurt my readership so much because I wasn't updating so people stopped checking back. I think updating a few times a week is a really good way to keep people updated and keep them checking back. I also think QUALITY is more important that QUANTITY. Way better to post a couple times a week with good content vs posting every single day with decent content just for the sake of posting. Some people do post quality content everyday and that's great, too!

5. How did you approach brands?

Sometimes, companies will find me and email asking if I would be interested in their item. Sometimes I approach companies asking if they would like some extra exposure by being featured on my blog. Same thing as with comments- there are billions of companies who have no idea you exist. It never hurts to ask. When I do sponsored posts, I will only post about things I truly do love! And not all product posts are sponsored :) I love a lot of products and I love when other bloggers write about products they like, so I like to do the same!

6. Blogger vs Wordpress
I use blogger for my blog and wordpress for my design portfolio. I've for sure dug deeper into blogger when it comes to customizing my template more and just customizing my blog in general. Overall, I feel that blogger is great for beginners and very user friendly! There are about a million blogger tutorials to help you fix little problems here and there that you might come across. With wordpress, it is a lot better if you want your blog to look like a website and not just a blog website. It is better if you're trying to get a professional look for your page. You will eventually have to pay money if you want to fully use their templates or if you decided to purchase one from a 3rd party so you will probably end up spending some cash to get your wordpress blog to look super professional and like an actual website. Wordpress seems to require a little more html knowledge than you would need with blogger.  I haven't used wordpress enough to fully grasp their website and tools but i've designed a couple of wordpress websites and this is what I have discovered. Overall, I love blogger and I prefer it to wordpress. I like GCF that blogger offers and I feel just feel more comfortable with using blogger .


Have any other questions? Ask in the comments below and I'll be doing a followup post to answer any other questions! And be on the lookout for some awesome guest posts this week where some other bloggers share their tips!

xo
Candace


99 comments

  1. Super new to blogging so I totally appreciated this. I agree so much with the part about writing with a voice. I could never be someone who just posts about my outfit. I actually use my voice too much probably lol. I gave myself a goal to blog for a whole year to figure out what I like/don't like and see what works best for me. I did spend a little bit of money, but I know what I really need a new camera..maybe that will be my one year blogging anniversary present (to myself ) haha.

    x. Morgan

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    1. yay!! I LOVE your cute blog, I'm surprised you're just starting. yours looks awesome and you have amazing voice in your posts. how do you like blogging so far? haha getting this lens took lots of convincing :)

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  2. Great tips! I agree 100% with not being afraid to contact brands. All they can do is not respond or say no!

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    1. totally!! The very worst they can do is say nope or not reply. No harm done in trying :)

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  3. I started a blog because I am also a receptionist and have a TON of down time haha but I couldn't decide which way I wanted it to go. So I stopped and just started again. I am still trying to figure it all out, which is why I only blog about once a week haha. But these are all very helpful! I also noticed that I get a lot more traffic by pinning my posts! ;)

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    1. sooo glad you found this helpful! yay for being receptionists haha :) I need to try pinning my posts, I haven't really pinned posts yet. Thanks so much for that idea!

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  4. Hey Candace! This was so informative! Thank you so much! I have been blogging for about a year but have just recently, like the past few months, really started putting more into my content and posting on social media and on blog groups! I would love to know more about your sponsorship programs!

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    1. Hey Ashley! i'm soooo glad this was helpful!! I am always looking for new tips, myself. I would be happy to answer any questions you have on sponsorship! Just let me know what you'd like to know :)

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  5. Great post! I agree with everything!! Especially about pictures! They are seriously so important for a good blog post.

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    1. thanks so much, Alicia! And totally, when people post high quality photos, it draws me in way more than small iphone ones

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  6. Great tips! Agree that the picture quality makes a huge difference. We see such an increase when we have more visually appealing images. Right there with you on posting quality over quantity. We don't need to read someone's blog every single day, but we will read it if their content is interesting or we can learn something from it.
    Winks and Eyerolls

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    1. totally 100%%% agree!! Couldn't have said that better myself. I am always trying to figure out what I like so much about my favorite bloggers and try to incorporate that into my posts.

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  7. Such great advice for a new blogger like me! I can't wait to learn more about design!

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    1. thanks so much, Carrie!! Let me know if I can help answer any design questions :)

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  8. So many great tips here! 100% agree with commenting being the biggest way to grow your blog - that's how I ended up here after all ;) I've been having the Blogger vs Wordpress debate a lot lately... looove the look of Wordpress sites but I'm worried I would be in over my head with all of the coding and whatnot!

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    1. thanks Katie!! haha commenting is a never ending thing, once I get going I have to force myself to stop. And I know the struggle, I love blogger overall but wordpress has so many other opportunities!

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  9. Thanks for sharing all of your blogging tips! Especially about approaching brands. I have been blogging for a couple of years but haven't really reached out to brands or been responsive to brands that have reached out to me. I think it might be time for me to change that, thanks for the inspiration :)

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    1. No problem! So glad you found these helpful for you :) You totally should!! The worst they can do is say no :) check out the shelf and brand backer, they help pair brands and bloggers togther

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  10. Thanks for the tips!
    I agree, stopping blogging was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made--I'm trying to get back into the swing of things but it's so hard after not thinking about the blog for like a year AND so many of my old blogger friends are no longer blogging/no longer interested so it's been a struggle!
    Also, doing too many giveaways/sponsored posts is a turnoff for me--I've gotten to where if I see the blurb on bloglovin' and it looks remotely close to a giveaway/sponsored post I don't even click on it. SO many bloggers do nothing but sponsored posts anymore and it just makes me want to stop following them.
    Finally, I LOVE blogger but hate that they limit how many people I can follow in my blog list--I had to switch to bloglovin' so I could see everyone's posts.

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    1. Totally agree! I keep kicking myself because people I used to be blog friends with who were not that big yet are huge now and I sooo regret quitting for a little while! I agree with that, too. It depends on the giveaway and sometimes sponsored posts are so obviously sponsored I don't even read it. I think there's a good way to do sponsor posts and keep things REAL and cool still :) I didn't know blogger limited you to how many you can follow, that's lame!! I love bloglovin though :)

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  11. Good info! I really need to step up my blogging game--so I think I'm about to do a short post tonight for tomorrow! I love reading your blog, too!

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    1. Thank you so much Sarah! So my best friends name is Shaney so whenever I see your comments I get all excited because your last name is basically her first name haha so random but yeah! Your blog is so dang cute!

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  12. Loved this so much! I've just begun blogging and I so appreciate your opinions on blog layouts and how they are key in getting reader's attention!

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment Kadee! I haven't checked out your blog (YET!! :) ) but I want to and I bet it is pretty cute :) There are some SUPER cheap layouts on Etsy for blogger and wordpress and they're super cute!

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  13. We were just meant to be friends, because while I'm not exactly a receptionist, I do sit at the front, like one (it's not my only job). But I can relate to the down time. This is such great advice for bloggers, especially for ones like me, where I'm still relatively new to the game and don't have a very large readership.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

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    1. k let's be bffs please :) haha yesss for blog friends! and thank you!! I think your blog is awesome and I think you have some awesome content. go girl!!

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  14. Yes to the 50mm lens! Such a game changer for me.

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    1. seriously! the blur is sooooo spot on, I love it!

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  15. Awesome insight! Consistent content and commenting on other blogs has definitely been of major benefit to my website. I look forward to all the advice to come in future posts on this topic.

    Happy Tuesday, Candace :)
    http://www.lovecompassionatelee.com/thinkoutloud/2015/5/15/5152015

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    1. Thanks soooo much!! And I totally agree, so many blogs to comment on and so many awesome bloggers to discover :) Tomorrows advice is awesome and I'm excited to have a great guest poster

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  16. I love this. I really love how you're willing to share advice and your experiences. I noticed that stopping was really detrimental to my blog (and I've only been at it a couple of months!) Need to keep going once the momentum picks up. xx

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    1. thank you soo much Michelle :) and I totally agree, it's so good to keep content coming and keep it fresh!

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  18. Such a great post - I'm new at blogging and I love reading these posts because I need all the tips I can get! I completely agree with only posting good quality posts, I'm only posting once a week at the minute but hopefully I'll be posting more soon!

    http://www.ruthyb1.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. thank you!! I am totally the same- I soak up all the tips I can get and I love reading new ideas from other bloggers. And quality is soo much better than quantity, you go girl! :)

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  19. This is exactly what I needed to read this morning! I'm new to blogging and can get overwhelmed when looking at all the different ways to better engage, but focusing on one at a time is so helpful! And yes... I should get better with pictures!

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    1. Yay, sooo glad this helped!! And yeah totally just focusing on one aspect at a time is so helpful when creating the perfect blog :)

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  20. This are some really great tips! I totally agree with the commenting one ... no sense leaving something generic!

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    1. totallllly agree!! Thanks so much lady!! and thanks for your awesome comment :)

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  21. Stopping is definitely the worst thing you can do for your blog, as I'm finding out. One of my blogs wasn't hurt too terribly by it because it's an easy niche to build back up, but my other one is not bouncing back as well. Ah, well, live and learn and build it back up!

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    1. I feel ya! I am just recently getting back into the ol' blogging grind and I wish I would have never stopped!

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  22. Great post, lady! You have some great tips and I agree, commenting is the best way to grow your blog. :)!

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    1. thanks so much, Pinky! yours will be live TOMORROW!! I know people will love your tips :)

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  23. As a new blogger, these tips are so helpful! I love the back and forth commenting and the online friendships that a blog can create. That's why I started!

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    1. soooo glad you find them helpful :) and I totally agree! I feel like we are totally blog friends and I always love your posts and sweet comments!

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  24. Thanks for the helpful tips!! I should bookmark this page. Xoxo
    http://www.sweetsimpleday.com

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    1. thank you so much!! I'm so glad their helpful :) I love your cute blog!

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  25. I saw this post on the Utah Chic Bloggers Facebook group. Thanks for all the great tips! I almost to my year mark and I feel like I need to really dig in or ditch it. But this has given me some motivation! 😊 Xo,
    Syna
    www.Syna-Style.blogspot.com

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    1. thanks so much for checking it out :) You should totally keep it up if you love it! It's so awesome to make new friendships and stuff because of blogging!

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  26. This is so helpful! Your meaningful comments are what first drew me to your website, and I keep coming back because, like you said, you post quality content not just quantity! Really appreciate all these tips as I try and grow my blog, thank you!! :)
    XO, Beth.

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    1. awhhh thank you, Beth! You know I love your cute blog :) I hope these help you with growing more and more! But let's face it- who couldn't like your blog?! I'm so glad I found it xo

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  27. Thank you for all these tips. When I write, I look at a picture of some close friends and imagine I am talking to them. Now, it looks like I'm doing the right thing. I probably do need a better camera lens, guess that's going on my wish list!

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    1. see that is so awesome!! that's the writting I like best from people! When I feel like they're just being super genuine and real. a camera lens is sooooo worth it I promise!

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  28. Loved and agreed with all of these! I used to do blog design, and Blogger is way(yyy) more "code friendly." I'm excited to be a new follower! :)

    www.kayliemarie.com

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    1. thank you!!! and thank you sooo much for following along :) blogger is sooooo much easier than wordpress!!

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  29. I love that you said quality over quantity. I feel like some bloggers do the opposite, and I just feel like I'm being spammed. Great tips! Your website is gorgeous, btw. I keep wanting to pay a designer to do mine, but for now I'm cheap and go the DIY route. I have learned a LOT in the last 5 years. I'm embarrassed to think about my design back in the day... ;)

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    1. hahah I totally agree! My least favorite are the outfit posts and then the only words they write is "i'm wearing a white shirt with blue pants, my favorite staple blah blah" I love when people actually write meaningful things that I can learn from! hahah my design has seen some prettttyyy dark days!

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  30. Whew...not sure I will ever enjoy HTML! It's rewarding when you finally do get it right but I've wanted to punch my computer screen on more than one occasion. Great tips, though!

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    1. hahah I totally feel ya!! Luckily google can fix almost any HTML problem but it still can be soooo annoying!

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  31. Great tips!! As I see over and over again, there's no big secret to growing your blog, just takes some effort and passion. :)
    What are you using for comments here? As we've touched on before, having the reply here for others to see, but that also gets emailed back to the commenter is important. I like the layout of whatever you got goin' on here..!! :)

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    1. oh shoot did I email you about this? it's just the normal blogger commenting system but the template was manipulated so it looks "nicer" than the normal one. thank you!!

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  32. Hi, just got lost in your blog for an hour!! Love all you're tips! I'm new to blogging and this series is really helpful. I have the 50 mm lens too and really NEED to use it more!! University of You tube is calling my name! Also quality over quantity is so important!!

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    1. Thank you soo much, Jamie!! You totally should use you 50mm more, I seriously love it!! I am sooo glad these tips were helpful and so glad you blog! i need to check yours out! xo

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  33. Really great tips! Just a good post and very simple and helpful. Thank you xx

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  34. Thanks for sharing Candace, some helpful little tips there :) {xx}

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    1. No problem! So glad you found it helpful :)

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  35. Hi Candace, I think my biggest problem is coming up with relevant content to post about on a weekly basis. I use wordpress.com, which is fine but doesn't allow for plugins like wordpress.org does. Your blog is beautiful by the way and this post is super helpful, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Monica! Glad you found it helpful! My blog is lifestyle based so I guess my content is just based on my life. It always helps to make a list of ideas and write up some drafts to have in stock for when you can't think of anything to write :)

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  36. This is a great post! I enjoy reading all of the blogging tips I can get my eyes on. I moved from Blogger to Wordpress last summer. It's been good for the most part. I just feel like I've had some rebuilding to do though as far as readers. I'm in it for the long haul though... Stacie xo

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    1. Thank you! I am sooooo glad you found it helpful :) Yeah wordpress can be so awesome with all the features and cool plugins. Good luck Stacie!

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  37. This is a really helpful post! I have just started blogging a few months ago and I've had a ton of fun so far. I have even had a few companies ask me to review their items which is very flattering! Thanks for the great advice! www.littlemissfangirly.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful! :) Blogging really is so fun!! That's so awesome you've had opportunities to review products already, great job!!

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  38. I can't believe I haven't seen this before! So many helpful tips. Thanks for sharing this on the group page! :)

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    1. I'm soooo glad you found it helpful!! Glad to share tips :) I am always looking for new tips, as well!

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  39. very cool to see someone else using both blogger and wordpress; I think both have their pros and cons!
    Christine from BecomingChristineSmith.com

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    1. That's so cool you use both, too! I totally agree, both have great pros and some cons as well.

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  40. I seriously love your blog! It is so fun for me to have known Jason for so long and see how perfect you are for each other! Love reading this because I just started my own little baby blog that needs SO MUCH WORK. Anywayyyyy l love love love your blog!

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    1. Hi!! Thank you soooo much, oh my gosh! Jason says you guys were really good friends in high school and I just peaked over at your blog and omg it's so cute!! One thing I would 100% suggest is getting a bloglovin account ASAP!! As far as I've seen, it's like the main way people follow your blog and the easiest way, look into it and see what you think :) I also noticed I can't comment on your blog. I dunno if you did that on purpose but if not I'd look into it so people can show you some love! yay blogging!

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  41. WOW, now that is what I call a good blog post, even though it doesn't have any pictures in it was still outstanding and kept me reading right until the end.
    Good work!
    Liv xoxo
    http://livsbeautyspot.weebly.com

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    1. Thank you so much, I am sooo glad you liked it! I hope it was helpful :)

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  42. Very good and informative blog. I might use some points myself :)
    Thanks.
    Monika
    http://polkadotsandcurry.com/

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    1. Thank you! Sooo glad you found it helpful :)

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  43. My design is terrible but I am saving my pennies to work with a designer to help bring my vision to life! I agree with meaningful posts and quality over quantity. And the stopping. Not that I have ever had a big following but posting regularly helps you stay consistent in your voice. Stopping is no bueno!

    Thanks for the tips!
    www.thebrucebrood.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh girl you are awesome!! My personal favorite design style is just the clean minimalist design. Check out etsy! They have amazing blog designs for as cheap as $3! It's awesome! Sooo glad you found this helpful!! xo

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  44. Hi Candace!

    I saw you commented on my Friday Favorites post from last week and I came to check out your blog! Love all of this advice. It's so helpful since I really am trying to be consistent and grow a loyal base of readers! Can't wait to follow along.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by!! I am soooo glad you found this helpful!! I love blogging and I am trying to figure it out as well as all of us bloggers out there :) Your blog is awesome! SO glad I found it :)

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  45. Just came across your blog! Super cute! :)
    What tutorial did you use to get your menu bar on top?
    www.aleighjoymoore.com

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    1. Hey Aleigh! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! My navigation bar just came with my blog template :) I bought it on etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/216704445/premade-blogger-template-responsive?ref=shop_home_active_1

      I basically just used the coding for a basis and I designed my entire blog myself. Hope that helps!! xo

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  46. I have been SEARCHING for blogging tips. Everything that I have found has just been 'okay'. But you were so good at explaining it all so well! I have tried and failed with blogging in the past but that was because I didn't put the effort into it and would just stop. But I am here to stay this time around. So thank you for these tips! You're awesome!
    Audrey
    http://simplystephensblog.blogspot.com

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    1. Hey Audrey, thank you SO much for reading and for your feedback! I am SO glad you found this helpful :) I plan to write another blog tips post soon so be on the lookout! Good luck with you blog, I know you'll probably do great with it!!

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  47. For me, great photos are really important! I get readers fatigued and some blog contents are just too long but I do stay for pretty, professional photos in all types of blogs. I also really appreciate blogs that are easy to navigate with great designs. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading! And I totally agree- great photos (and content) make all the difference in how I view a blog and what ones I like to read :)

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  48. I would love to get into product reviews and sponsored posts more too. Thanks for the tips!

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    1. It's really not as scary as it may seem and it never hurts to reach out :) the worst they can say is no!

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  49. This was such a helpful post, just getting into this blogging life I like to call myself a blogger in training lol So I love reading posts like this that are setting out to help us newbies. Just kinda stumbled on your blog I am hooked now lol, congrats on the baby as well!

    www.alotoftola.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh I am SO glad you found it helpful!! Thank you so much for the congrats, we are so so so soooo excited :) I just clicked your link and it looks like the blog isn't available but I look forward to when it is live! You got this! xo

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