Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guest Post: Advice for Bloggers

Meet Leslie from Fresh out of Lemons.  I love her blog and know you will too!

I was honored when Melissa asked me to be a guest blogger on her site.  I immediately thought, ‘What could I share with her bloggers?’  I began to reflect on all that I’ve learned since I began my site, Fresh Out of Lemons, last August.  I set-up my little space on the world wide web as a creative outlet; a place to share my life, projects, tips, and adventures.  I quickly discovered that the process is much more than simply writing and posting pretty pictures.  Blogging is a lot of work!

Marketing is the behind-the-scenes part of having a blog that you don't think about when you post your first piece.  Writing is a reward, but knowing that people are actually reading makes the process way more fun!  Numbers become almost as important as the words; how many visitors, how many Facebook fans, how many Google Friend Connect members, etc.  Each statistic represents who you’re reaching and how your blog is growing.  I’ve found that the easiest way to increase exposure is also the simplest— be an active fan and follower of other sites.  Bloggers support bloggers.  There’s a reciprocal rule; if I visit your site and leave a comment, the common courtesy is to drop by mine and do the same.  Our worldwide community is such a close knit network, which was another surprise to me….

Fellow bloggers begin to feel like friends.  When I hear something about Texas, I think about Haley over at Cardigan Junkie.  When I come across a gorgeous and ruffled frock, I usually send the image to Laura, who has expressed her love of such things on You Stir Me.  I’m enjoying following Julie’s wedding planning on Love, Julie.  My blogroll represents a list of super talented and creative people who share the fun, relatable, delicious, inspiring, etc. parts of life.  I often feel privileged to be allowed the access.

And I'm fascinated by the idea that my stories can be captured in this unique way for whoever comes across my little url.  However, the flipside is that anyone can come across it.  If you haven’t had your first mean comment, just wait; they’re unfortunate rites of passage.  You will be stung.  If you’re like me, you’ll feel nauseous and begin to question whether “exposure” is such a good thing.  I just don’t accept the idea that I should develop a thick skin.  What I do believe is that people have a choice— read if you like or forget my address if you don't.  Zero tolerance for bullies.  Who’s with me?!

The other part of blogging that makes me want to throw the laptop across the room— technical issues.  Beautiful blogs impress the heck out of me because I know the work that goes into them.  Coding feels like (dark arts) magic.  Luckily I have a pretty great host company, Squarespace, that makes the work a lot easier.  They also have super responsive customer service representatives who talk me through heart-attack inducing moments, like accidentally deleting my entire blogroll. 

My final bit of advice that envelops all of the above— have a supportive partner in your life.  My husband, Joey, was my first fan.  He reads everything that I post, and he puts up with all the hours that I spend on my site and others.  He also accommodates a camera in his face when he’s part of a project that I want to share, or the dinner delays when I’m trying to capture visual steps of a recipe.  He listens to my stories about my web friends as if they’re people with whom we might go out to dinner.  He keeps me creative and, despite all the extra work, that’s the most important part of blogging!


  1. Good word! And yes, zero tolerance for bullies. This should be a safe place. :)

  2. Tee-hee, my husband is such a doll about me stopping to take pictures of our food. I've gotten faster at it, but in the beginning it was a bit of a delay. Cheers for supportive partners!

  3. I loved reading your thoughts! Thank you for sharing.

  4. I couldn't have said it better myself, darling! And as things seem to go with you and I, I was just yesterday talking to my husband about the very same thing! I also just had my first what I would call "less than enthusiastic" comment on my blog. It wasn't a nasty comment at all, just the first comment that didn't agree with what I had posted - and you know what, I loved it. I felt like had arrived. The blog world is so wonderful and it's scary at first to put yourself out there - but do it! You'll learn that we're all really nurturing and really want to help new bloggers succeed. And now because you've been so supportive of your fellow bloggers, I've found The Scarlet Cardinal:) Thanks!

  5. Leslie, this is the best advice!!! I couldn't agree more with you about this amazing community of bloggers and also the zero-tolerance for bullies! You are right on with all of it. Great post!!! :)
    Star Hughes Living

  6. These are really great tips! It is so important to build your blogging network and make friends!

  7. I'm Leslie's first and BIGGEST fan!!!

  8. Ahhhhh. I love Joey's comment. :)

    At the risk of over-simplifying my feelings on blogging, and this post- I just want to tell you that I feel as if I wrote this entire post.

    You nailed it... capturing blogging to a "T"... which is exactly why I immediately connected with you and your blog. And I'm so happy I did!

  9. I have been (pleasantly) surprised by the support of fellow bloggers too. It's also great because they truly understand the importance of actually leaving a comment. I have so many friends that will e-mail or call to say how much they liked a post and it's just like " happy that you are reading the blog. now could you leave a comment for the world to see how much you liked it?!"

  10. Haha! I just laughed out loud because I have friends mention things about my blog all the time, and I'm always like "I had no idea you read it!" So funny!

    Thanks for all the sweet comments. We're all in this adventure together, huh?! ;)

  11. I absolutely loved this post and I really love reading your blog Leslie. Melissa, thanks for liking my guest blog post on Love, Julie! Your site is a great read, I really like it! Have a fabulous day!


Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing! I love hearing from all of you!

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