August 23, 2010

Girlfriend

ivybar


I had a fun getaway, just me and my girl.

Yesterday morning we woke up and packed the car for home and left Casey's, then headed to downtown Indy. We drank iced coffee and walked around like tourists.

twogether
Peeking in the windows at the Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument.


We have conversations, she talks so well. She's my girl friend.



[funny side note: Emily watched her on Saturday during my session and Ivy called her Mom the whole time.] (She calls me Mama or Mommy, so that's ok.)


We took time to visit with my lovely friend Erin and saw her newly homebirth-ed baby Hal.

On the way home we stopped at a rest area and got candy from the vending machine. Ivy got Skittles and I got a very very melted peanut butter Twix.

We ate them in the car. It was a good time.


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Here's some answers to your questions that I covered in my session about Mom Blogging:


Q. From Calm In The Kitchen, Although my blog is more of a cooking blog, I think the same question would apply. How do you find the time? I have a 4,2, and 4 month old. As I type this I am holding my last while my middle one points at the computer and tries to push every button.

A. I know this very well. I know my answer isn't necessarily the best or right one, and it's something I'm still working on after almost five years of blogging. I stay up way too late, sneak in moments here and there when the kids are resting or playing well together (which if I let it could steal away a whole day). I've been known to furiously scratch posts on the back of the water bill envelope, and occasionally in a real life notebook, but I'm not very disciplined about it and I wish I was. If you are the type of person that can schedule in a set time- go for it.

To me, it's also important to make time not only to write on your blog, but to maintain it and also be engaged with your readers, reading their blogs as well as other blogs you love, commenting when you can (I read a lot from my iphone but only get the chance to comment on a few at a time.) This might happen only once a week or once a month or once every 3 months- whatever works for you.


Q. From Arrows Sent Forth, My question would be what advice you might give to someone just starting out (my blog is about 2 months old). Most of the resources I have found are full of techie jargon that this rookie mom blogger doesn't even come close to understanding.

A. Most of my session was for beginning bloggers. Some of the main tips I have is to ignore the techy stuff as long as you can. LOL. I admit I am still in the dark ages to many of my peers, but I don't care. So a big tip would be: don't stress about it. Write, write, write, and write about something you love or are passionate about. If you want more readers, I suggest reading and commenting on blogs you like with similar readerships as you. Engage, participate in blog carnivals: every day of the week some blog some where is having a big ol' link up (some examples: Not Me! Monday, Tuesdays Unwrapped, Wordless Wednesday, You Capture (on Thursdays), Bigger Picture Moment, etc etc.)

If you participate, be sure to not only link up your own posts, but comment on others when you can, and definitely comment on the blog that you link up on. (Pet peeve is when I see someone hosting a carnival and they have 100+ linked up and only 30 comments. What's up with that?)

One other thing about just starting out as a blogger: keep it in perspective. Remember you are only 2 months in and many of the blogs you read have been blogging for years. You shouldn't expect to have as many readers, followers, commenters, opportunities, etc. as those that have put so much time into it already. Be patient and be yourself. It will come.

Get yourself to a blog conference if you can. Contrary to what many might think, conferences are not just for the serious and professional "big time" bloggers. I've found that most of the information offered is often for newbie bloggers anyway. The big time bloggers just show up to do the teaching and socializing (and many go because it makes them feel important). :P

ShePosts.com keeps a great list of the conferences and bloggy happenings going on, and for any of you that do want to get into the technical side of things, She Posts along with Jennifer James from Mom Bloggers Club offer a free eBook: From Blog To Business.


Q. From MommieV, My question would be ... suggestions for building blog readership. I have kindof a "niche" blog - I write mostly about cloth diapers and our day-to-day lives. I'm also a single mother by choice, so I have a bit of a following in that group. I have joined a couple of groups, but I'm having a hard time building up numbers on readers and followers.

A. I'd suggest finding a blog carnival (as mentioned above) that fits your niche, and if there isn't one already, maybe think about starting one. It could even be something like how I have the Babywearing Blogger button- a blogroll for like-minded bloggers to find each other. Also, read and comment on blogs similar to you. Set up google alerts for a specific topic that you like to read and write about and go over and comment, engage.

Include your blog address in your email signature and when you're commenting on other websites and forums. Have blog cards made up that you can pass out in playgroups or when you're out and about- maybe even ask local stores relevant to your blog to set out your cards.

And again, give it time. Growing gradually and organically feels so much better and is more likely to last vs. a forced or "manufactured" blog.


Q. From DesignHERMomma (aka to Ivy as "Mom"), At what point in your "blogging" career did you feel that you met that tipping point? The point where you realized that others were reading, not just your mom and closest friends. What was the main contributor to getting to that point?

A. It was the spring of 2007- I'd been blogging about over a year and I joined the Ultimate Blog Party on 5 Minutes For Mom. I got a TON of comments (and back then, that was a TON of comments). And some people stuck around. Around that same time I was asked to be on a panel with a few other Mom bloggers at GOOGLE. That was a turning point for me, for sure!

THEN, I have to say, when I blogged my pregnancy and homebirth with Ivy, that got many readers invested and wanting to follow our story. Not that I'd ever suggest you have babies to help your blog, but anyway...


Q. From Hershey's Moma,
Very new to blogging and I have my followers turned off. Should I turn it on if I indeed want more to stop by??

A. If you do want more readers then I definitely recommend making it easy for people to follow your blog- turn your followers on, make your RSS (that funky little pink rainbow-ish icon in my left sidebar) subscription easily accessible, make your comment button easy to find, etc. Also, if you can, visit your readers' blogs and comment.



My Blog Indiana session was also live-blogged by @natfinn - I'm afraid some of the snippets could be taken wrong out of context so if you happen to read it and scratch your head about something, please ask me about it before making assumptions.



Toodles.

23 comments:

  1. You are something else, my friend. Shaking my head in admiration. You are truly a gem.

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  2. Sounds like a fabulous trip.

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  3. I love that you girls were "pal-ing" around together - so sweet!

    And you got to meet that brand new baby?! So jealous! :)

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  4. I love that first picture of Ivy. And I love how much you love having a daughter. It makes me smile.

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  5. I so enjoyed meeting you and Ivy this weekend - you are every bit as lovely in person as you come across on your blog. Even though I've been at this for nearly 4 years, I found your session super helpful. Thanks for making the trip!

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  6. Great advice and answered Steph, thanks for taking time to write them all :-)

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  7. Thank you so much for your thoughtful answer to my question. That info/advice is really helpful. I'll look forward to watching the entire session soon.

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  8. Great post - only wish I had been able to make it to Blog Indiana! I know Heather raves about it, so next year, it's on my list! ;-) Glad it was such a fun trip....girls need time away (just had a girls trip of my own a few weeks ago).

    Tamara
    www.BlogConferenceNewbie.com
    @unxperiencedmom

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  9. Love it!

    And as an aside, my baby girl calls other mamas "mommy" and all other dadas "daddy". But that one can weird people out. ;)

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  10. You are way beyond my league in blogging. Glad your time away was so good!

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  11. Such good advice!
    (and thanks for the Bigger picture moment shout out...)

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  12. Oh, you know how much I love you? Emily & I need to make a road trip one day to hang out with you & Ivy. It sounds like you girls really know how to road trip it up :)

    Great answers- I'm so proud of you!

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  13. Love the questions and answers! Thanks!

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  14. SUCH a cute picture of Ivy.

    I feel the same way about my girls. They are my friends, for sure. We have the best time together.

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  15. Oh, such helpful info. Thank you!! And, you have a darling girlfriend. :)

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  16. I used to read your blog, but about a year ago, cut back to just my RL friends and family blogs. However, now that I'm blogging more and more, I decided to come back - and I'm so glad that I did!

    Thanks for the tips on increasing readership. I'm looking to do that myself, in the hopes I can point more people to my birth blog.

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  17. Annika calls my best friend who often watches her "mom" too. Too cute! I figure that is what she hears her kids call her, so she must just figure that is her name. Although she is constantly telling her "Say Holly..." But she never does.

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  18. I appreciate reading your thoughts here about blogging. It's nice to know what others out there are thinking.
    So much resonates with me ... from blogging about what you love to just being me. Good stuff, Stephanie.
    {Also thank you for the Bigger Picture Moment love. I love how many really wonderful writers I've met through that link up.}

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  19. So honored you recommended She Posts and the ebook! Reading all the tweets & posts made me wish I had been able to make it to Blog Indy... sounds like it was a fabulous event!

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  20. i lovey-loved seeing you guys. come back.

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  21. Glad you enjoyed your time in our city. :) Sounds like a great couple of days!

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