1/30/12

Special Guest Post ~ Growing Your Blog

Good morning everyone and happy Monday!!
Today I have a wonderful surprise for you. Aimee from the popular blog It's Overflowing, has graciously agreed to write a guest post for me. It's Overflowing has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 2-3 months so I decided to ask her to please share with my readers her passion for blogging and what she feels are some of the most important points for successful blogging. I agree with Aimee, number one has to be the true desire to create and share.

Thank you Aimee so very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to write this post for 21 Rosemary Lane.

And now without futher ado, here's Aimee!
~
I'm Aimee and I blog at It's Overflowing.
  

Thanks SO MUCH Barbara for inviting me to guest post about blogging!!
I had been blogging on a personal, private blog for years, but in August 2009, as Little B began kindergarten and I took on a new role as her full-time teacher, I stepped away from blogging to pursue a major new learning curve!  Homeschooling has worked well for our family.  Is it perfect?!  No!  Is it for everyone?  I don't think so!  Is it a forever thing for us!?!?  I couldn't tell you for sure!  I find comfort in knowing that I'm only responsible for each new day and that is the perspective I try to take into each day!  Stud {my hubby} and I reevaluate at the end of each year and see how it's working!  So far, it's been great and one of these days if you're interested I can expand on all of that.  {Can someone say...TANGENT!?!}



 Towards the end of last year, I realized I desperately needed a creative outlet in my life again.  We had recently moved into an older ranch style house that pretty much needed to be gutted!  My hubby had changed careers and life was just crazy!  In the shower one morning, {I always have my epiphany's in the shower}, I had one of those moments of certainty that I was suppose to jump back into blogging!  Not to steal a Tebow moment, but it truly was like an answer to my prayers!  I had gone through a very tough time personally for a few years and the thought of journaling and photographing life once again made me feel renewed!  I didn't know how I'd have the time to get it done, but I just knew it was what God had for me and so I took the first step forward and logged onto my old blog and started typing, that was on October 6, 2011. 
It was such a blessing to be able to express my love for decorating, crafting, and just being a mom!  A forum where I could let my love of writing and photography flow!  I could hardly contain myself as I published my first post on It's Overflowing, after over two years of being away!  A few of my sweet bloggy friends have giggled with me at my enthusiasm.  I think stepping away has helped me realize how much I absolutely LOVE blogging!  I love creating and expressing myself, but most of all the friendships and encouragement have been the greatest blessing!  When I step back, I think, how draining it should be creating and sharing so much, but for some strange reason it's the total opposite!  Blogging totally energizes me!  Can you totally relate!?!

I wish I had a formula to share with you to explain why sweet friends have continued coming back to my little blog!?!  I hope it's because we truly have started a friendship that has the opportunity to grow over the years!!!  I hope it's because they enjoy me as much as I truly enjoy them!  I think blog growth definitely starts with friendships!  I also think that blog growth occurs when readers can foresee future projects.  I think living in this wreck of a house has been a ton of work, but also a huge blessing!  I have endless diy projects to share, mixed with some seasonal posts and sharing a few meals and sweets...I am never at an end for ideas to post!  Along with many of you, I just wish for more than 24 hours in my day to get it all done!!!  Posting to my blog often with projects that will appeal to a large audience has been my focus.
I credit my growth primarily to somehow having had the right project - linked at the right time - getting noticed by the right blog - the word spreading from there!?!!  I mean, truly blogging is about a friend telling a friend who tells a friend, right!?!  I think growth takes time to develop, but I do think you can help that growth a bit with spreading your name around at linky parties and by commenting lots.  How long does it take to see substantial growth!?!?  I think everyone's story is different!  For me, it's been fast {so I'm told}, but that doesn't stop me from having insecurity moments about 6pm every night!  Seriously, every night at that time, you can overhear me in the kitchen telling Stud that no one is interested in It's Overflowing anymore and I should just end it now and be thankful for the time I had!  Isn't that pure silliness? 
When I step away and get perspective, I'm reminded that blogging is not about numbers and it's not about having "perfect" projects, it's about building friendships and I can't imagine days passing without visiting each of my bloggy friends and I know in my heart that my bloggy friends feel the same towards me!!!  I also know that when I hang out with my non-blogging friends, you better believe it that I'm telling them about my awesome bloggy friends and telling them to visit your blogs and I'm sure this is mutual!!!  I think for each of our blogs, the growth line is curving up...it's moving in the right direction!  It's easy to feel small and unimportant because no matter how many followers you may have, there's always someone with more!  For me I try to stay focused on the current day and enjoy creating, sharing, and corresponding with my bloggy friends to the fullest!!!  Stud and I had a long talk when I was being hard on myself.  He challenged me to define what success looks like for me with my blog.  This was such a great exercise for me and I definitely think it's good for all of us!  If our esteem is wrapped up in the moment, we'll live life on a constant roller coaster, not fun for us and definitely not fun for our families!

There are some things I can do to help me achieve what I define as success.  One of these things is, I try to post great pictures.  They're not all great, but I try.  {I wish my sweet hubby could be with me all the time}.  I am married to a photographer!  If you haven't checked out my SUPER simple photography course that I offer on Fridays, I totally invite you to start at week one and give yourself a week to cover each course!  I'm learning the technical side of photography from my sweet hubby and sharing his secrets with you, and as I do, I'm trying to leave out the confusing jargon!!!   
Along with great photography, I think that watermarking your pics is VITAL! There are millions of pics and projects on Pinterest floating around!  You totally want to market yourself so others know where to find you so they can learn more about your awesome project!  You better believe it that all of my work has 'itsoverflowing.com' on one of it's edges!!!  It totally takes time to do that...but my time is worth it in the long run...six years from now if one of my projects is still circulating...I want credit {and a click, too perhaps}!  
I spent the whole ten bucks it costs to get my own domain name through Blogger.  I chose to go that route because I thought it would make my name simpler to watermark.  Isn't that a ridiculous reason!  LOL!  Seriously though!  That was my reason.  I looked around at big blogs and saw every domain style represented!  The process of switching was simple.  Blogger did it all for me {the links and such took a good 2 days to fully switch over}!  No worries whichever way you decide to go, I don't know that it's a make or break you type decision!!! 
I totally recommend {you are probably ahead of me on this} for your sanity, open a separate email for all your comments to stream into.  I didn't do this at first and I was getting stressed because I couldn't always keep up as hard as I tried and all of my family and personal emails were being pushed out of sight so I was getting overwhelmed.  I still have not found the right system for responding to emails!  I try to visit everyone's blog and leave a comment there, but sadly time doesn't always allow for that!  Perhaps you have some suggestions for me on this one Barbara!!!
Because we never email ourselves, some bloggers aren't aware that their email is not enabled through their blog.  I totally recommend double checking!  Enabling your email through your blog definitely makes it easier for other bloggers to network with you.  To do this, go to 'blogger: all posts.'  At the top right corner you'll see a link with your blog name.  Click on your name.  Click on your blog profile.  Click on edit profile.  Click the box that says show my email.  It's so easy and simplifies life for your bloggy friends!  And since blogging is lots about connecting, it makes sense to make it as easy as possible for other bloggers to connect with you!!! 
I can't thank you enough Barbara for inviting me to guest post here at 21 Rosemary Lane!!!  I hope something I have said resonates with your readers!  I love your beautiful blog!  I adore your home and enjoy each of your wonderful projects!!!  I'm blessed to have you as one of my sweet bloggy friends!  You have continued to encourage and inspire me LOTS over the last few months!  May all of our bloggy dreams come true!!!  XO, Aimee

It's Overflowing

5 comments:

  1. Great post! Just love Aimee's blog. She is so sweet.

    Holly

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  2. Thanks for being so sweet to include me on your blog with a guest post!!!

    XO, Aimee

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  3. It is so good to hear that someone else has the occational insecurties about the popularity of their blog. It is a bit like a flash back to jr. high.
    Traci

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  4. Great post Aimee! I felt like you were talking just to me! The part about defining success really puts things into perspective. Thanks for being you! :)

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  5. thanks...fun to know you..and congrats on your success!!

    ReplyDelete

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