ic Kathe With an E: Lessons Learned From A Medium Sized Blogger

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lessons Learned From A Medium Sized Blogger

Today I am sharing some blogging lessons I have learned along the way these past 2 years.

I truly no longer consider my place in blog land as 
a small time blogger but, I also don't consider 
myself a big time blogger either.  
I'm not sure I will ever think of myself as big time anything 
(unless we are talking about my comfy pants?).
All I do know for sure is, I love blogging and I enjoy 
answering questions and helping out other bloggers 
on the ins and outs of blogging as I know them. 
That being said, I thought I'd share a list of 
tips and tricks that have worked for me. 

**Disclaimer - Your mileage may vary. 
I, in no way, consider myself an expert**

1. If someone tells you blogging is really easy, don't believe them! 
Oh they will smile and nod knowingly as they tell you this.
Blogging does take time out of your day!  Sometimes hours.
Depending on your niche, this does not even include setting up, crafting, cooking, taking photos, editing those photos, etc.! 
I seriously have no idea how there are so 
many mommy bloggers that post EVERYDAY!
I work full time, have no children at home and I can 
barely keep up with posting 3-4 times a week. 

2. Blogging is not easy but it is so rewarding!

3. You meet the most incredible people Blogging! 
People you may never meet in person but are the sweetest, 
most giving people you know.
4. It's not hard to be kind. Simple things that take zero time out of your life like, retweeting a new link party, or leaving a 
kind comment for someone that has worked so hard on a project. 
Really, it's not hard, and your heart is fuller because of it.

5. Reply to every comment on every post left on your blog. 
To me it's just common courtesy. I usually respond by email, although,
I have heard it is better for SEO to respond in the post itself. 
It's your choice how to do it, just do it is my advice.
Plus, many times, it leads to more emails and a 
deeper connection with new friends!
6. Don't be afraid to ask another blogger questions. 
(and that includes me!!
Not once have my silly little questions gone unanswered! 
The blogging world is full of wonderful people, 
eager to share their knowledge. 
I love to help my friends, you, out!  
My thought on this is, we are all in this together. 
Whether it be how to link up to a party to 
how to make some money blogging, 
We were all newbies at one point and I, for one, 
am tickled pink to see your blog become a success!

7. It takes time to find your blogging voice. 
When I look back at some of my very first posts I think, wow, 
that is not the real me talking at all. 
It took me several months to settle in and write like 
I really talk and think. 
For better, and for worse LOL, this is me!
Just be genuine.  If you have to work at it, it shows. 
It should just flow easily.  
Here's a trick to help you out if you are having a hard time finding your voice.
Next post you write, write it as though you are talking to me.
Just you and me buddy, just sitting there sipping tea, 
coffee or a cocktail, and you are sharing the story of how your recipe/ craft/ DIY project, whatever came together. 
I will bet you will see the difference :-)
8. It's okay to have a writer's/ crafting block. There have been WEEKS 
when I had nothing left in me. My creative muse had taken some time off. 
I had nothing else to post. 
It's okay! 
I realized it gave me time to visit all of you and get inspired again! 
You are my muse!
9. If you want your blog to grow, Get Out There AND Work It!  
Treat your blog like a business. Advertise it. Get it seen!
Link up to every relevant blog party you can find. 
(find my list of blog parties I link up to here.)
Make to sure to leave relevant comments on others blog posts.
Purchase or swap ad space with other bloggers
Make that investment in your blog.
Offer to do guest posts on other blogs.
Offer guest posts on your blog.
Get business cards made up.  
I have run into people while thrifting and have actually handed them my business card so that they can visit my blog and see what I have done to turn that less than beautiful find into something pretty.
Make sure you have a pinboard on Pinterest just for your blog 
and pin your own posts to it.
Build up your social media presence!  
Do you have a Facebook page set up for your blog??  
If you do, do you post on it consistently?  
How about Twitter?  Home Talk?  Google +? 
Do you belong to any blogging groups aka tribes on Facebook?  
How about Pinterest Group boards? 
One thing I have learned is, at a certain point, 
your blog will take on a life of its own.  
It will become a brand. 
In the world of blogging I am no longer just Kathe, wife and mother, 
I am Kathe With An E. 
And, I'm pretty darn proud of that! 

10. "Oh, I am going to leave a comment on this awesome blog post and it has word verification aka Captcha! I just love that!" said no one ever
Say you've created something, a first of its kind, taken awesome photos, written THE best post of your life and your page views are through.the.roof
But, only 5 or 6 people have commented. 
Chances are you have word verification set to "on". 
Please Turn It Off
It's frustrating and, most people just walk away if they see it. 
Yes, you may get some spam comments.  
I have noticed that most of the spammy comments I get are on older posts so, I simply turn off comments on older posts.  
It has eliminated 95% of the spam I was getting. 
Don't know how to turn Captcha off? 
Check out Shannon from Fox Hollow Cottage's post here to learn how http://www.foxhollowcottage.com/2012/02/how-to-remove-word-verification-from.html

11. I seriously do try to reply to every single comment. 
But there are times I can't because you have no-reply comment set up. 
If you have left me a comment and I didn't respond you are probably 
thinking that I don't care about what you have to say 
and thought about my post. 
That's so not true! 
I really really do and I want to thank you! 
But, I can't. 
You may not even realize it's set that way. 
I've heard rumors that if you use Google+ it actually resets it 
without you knowing it! 
So, go check out Amanda's post at City Girl Gone Coastal 

12. My final lesson learned, I love blogging and I want you to love it too.
Blogging has seriously changed me and my life. 
#1 was blogging is hard and, it is but, it's a good hard, if that makes sense. Blogging has enabled me to meet, virtually and even in person, 
some pretty awesome people from all over the world.
People that are so sweet that they bring tears to my eyes
just thinking about them! 
Blogging has also made me think outside the box and 
has enabled me to grow personally creatively. 

I want to keep learning and creating! 
I want to meet more of you because of my blog, because of your blog and, someday I want to meet you in person! 
I want to be able to personally thank you with a big hug, because, 
you have taught me something along the way. 

Click here to see where I may be partying this week. 

Don't forget to come by on Tuesday's
for my link party.


  1. Great hints Kathe!! I am a fairly new blogger and I enjoy hearing others give advice as to how to grow your blog. I don't want to be a big blog - just medium size. I would be very happy with that.

    Thanks for the good advice!


  2. Excellent tips. I so agree with the Captcha thing. Such a nuisance!

  3. Hi Kathe, your post is the most informative since I started. Thank you for telling me about the linky parties. When I comment on blogs they hardly comment back even when I ask a question about an item so that kind of got me down with blogging but the up side is that I do enjoy crafting and making something from nothing and sharing what I can to inspire others. It's like my secret job, I am a writer and work from home any way so I juggle the both. My fav part is gathering inspiration from all the talented bloggers. Thank you so much again for being so informative!

  4. Excellent advice, Kathe.

    Can't be reminded enough.

    No need to respond to this comment, life is short.


  5. Kathe - thanks so much for these words of wisdom. As a "little blogger" - it is this type of advise that I find invaluable in helping to make my own blog a little bigger!

  6. What a lovely post, Kathe! I'm still a 'little' blogger, but have fallen in love with this community! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  7. Great post! I totally agree that it takes awhile to find your blogging voice. I think, "Who is that girl?" when I read my early posts from 2.5 years ago! And thank you on that Captcha. I cannot stand it!
    The Grass Skirt

  8. I am so with you! Wish I'd been able to read your tips before I started blogging a year ago. Thanks for sharing such great information.

  9. Thanks so much Kathe! I love it when great bloggers share their experiences . . how else are we to learn? I know I can't do it on my own and appreciate all those wonderful people out there who offer their advice and knowledge.

  10. Well said Kathe! Blogging is truly a wonderful way to learn, grow and of course, meet fabulous people :).

  11. Okay, you said questions were okay. What does SEO and why is it better to respond right in the comments rather than e-mail. I try to respond to everyone who comments, but I do it through e-mail.

    Thanks for the great tips.

  12. This is such an encouraging post, Kathe. Thank you for sharing your fresh insight!

  13. Such a great post Kathe! Thanks for sharing and encouraging others with such great insight. I was about to step away from my little blog because it is such a labor of love - and I mean LABOR! I was becoming a little obsessed with it and wanted to push it aside to focus my energy elsewhere. However, right when I made that decision, I was offered some great sponsored posts and I kept thinking of things I wanted to post. I may not be able to leave it completely, but I want to give it the time it deserves and your advice just reinforces that. It takes a lot of work, but you get a lot out of it!


  14. Good Morning Kathe, I really enjoyed reading this post, it was full of so much useful information.
    When I first started blogging, just over a year ago, I used to answer all my comments on my blog, then I read that people would not read them, so I stopped and responded by email. Personally I like to reply on my blog, because it shows that I have taken the time to respond to comments.
    Mine is a small blog, yes, it takes time, and yes I sometimes have to say to George, "no you can't eat that, I have to take a photo", but he is brilliant about it and is very supportive.
    I agree, blogging can take over sometimes, but like you, I love it, and I am so lucky to have met some wonderfully, kind people.
    Congratulations on 2 years of blogging.
    Best Wishes to you,

  15. Well, I'm not even a middle sized blogger so I definitely need your tips. I don't do the social media stuff because (OK, here it comes) I don't really know how. I messed up when I tried to do a facebook page and had to delete it.

    I also want a "Debbie" pinterest that has nothing to do with my blog. Sometimes, I just kind of want to be Debbie and not Words On Wheels. Silly, I know, and one of the 4,728 reasons that I am still a small insignificant blogger after over three years.

    That said, these tips are wonderful!!

    As for replying, I generally visit the blogger and pay her a visit there. TBH, when I get an email I sort of feel brushed off. It has the perfunctory feeling to me. If the commenter doesn't have a blog, I'll try to chase down an email so I can touch base with them, but if they do have a blog I would rather interact that way. JMO, and I know I'm in the minority.

  16. And how about this tip? Don't write a novel for a comment, Debbie. LOL (Hangs my head in shame.)

  17. I hate blog moderation! Hate it. LOL! Glad that was on the list.

    And I agree that people tend to think blogging is easy, just like for some reason they think writing is easy - until they sit down and try to do it. Taking on a longterm blog IS A JOB. Oh, if you blog once a month it's not a blog, but for many of us, who blog multiple times a week, it IS a real job. You have to be accountable to yourself AND your audience.

    Great post. Good advice.

    1. "it's not a job"
      oops - not enough coffee yet this morning.

  18. This was great! Thank you so much for sharing!

  19. Thanks for this information Kathe, it was a joy to read. I am a little blogger and try to discipline myself to a deadline, but occasionally due to the 'bloggers block', that gets a little late. I then start to remember why I started it and then the words start coming to me. I get so confused as to whether to reply on the blog comments to show others that I do read my comments and respond but that would mean they would have to return to read them rather than email and it will be sent to their in box. But, thinking about it, answering things on the blog comments also answers any questions that I may have missed within the post so I suppose makes it more detailed. Sorry, thoughts running away with me here.

    Thanks again for all this information - blogging is something that I am really loving and the people that I have 'met' in the last year has been mind boggling.


  20. Great tips! Its true, unless you devote the hours promoting, all of your hard work writing and creating things unfortunately goes unnoticed. Keep up the good work!!

    Willamette Valley Wonder Woman

  21. Awesome tips, Kathe! I was so happy when a blogger left me a comment and then let me know that I had word captcha on. I didn't even know it!!! What a difference it has made and I am so appreciative of the visitors that come around. Blogging really is a lot of fun and it's always nice to receive helpful tips!

  22. Kathe you have learned so much and it's great to see you sharing it! I have decided I am just happy in my little niche and it's OK that my blog is not big! I love having met you and becoming friends. Blogging is so much fun and I love it!


  23. Great tips!!! I was nodding my head in agreement with all of them! :) Happy Friday!

  24. Kathe, this is such a fabulous post and every tip is spot on! Thank you so much for joining us and sharing at Best of the Weekend! Pinning to our party board and I am going to share this on FB over the weekend! Hope you have a happy and wonderful weekend.

  25. I would love to sit down and have that cocktail with you Kathe :) Your tips are awesome and I wish I had them when I started. You are so right about the wonderful people who are willing to help. It is an awesome community and I am so glad to be a part of it...I just wish that I could keep up! Have a wonderful weekend!

  26. Thank you so much for sharing your learning experiences and recommendations. We are still pretty new and it is difficult to learn by trial and error! It is so much easier when you can learn from others.

  27. Great tips. I don't know why reaching out to another blogger for advice never dawned on me before, but that so makes sense. I need to get on that asap!

  28. This is all such great advice. You are always so good at sharing. Thanks for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  29. Blogging does take a lot of time and hard work. I have a lot to learn. Thanks for the good advice.

  30. I am a very small blogger and am just getting my feet wet even though I have been blogging sporadically for about 18 months... This past summer I have decided to go for it and have been trying to learn all the ins and outs of blogging...Thank you so much for all the advice - I am pinning this so I can come back and read it again....

  31. Very inspiring Kathe, I really appreciate all your knowledge and experience. I just celebrated my first year anniversary and the comments I received really blew me away. I can't imagine not blogging, but people that don't blog have no idea what a time and energy commitment it is...thanks for the words of encouragement, I have been especially confused at the blogging etiquette of responding to comments or just visiting the blogger, thanks so much.

  32. Hi Kathe! What a thoughtful and beautifully written post. I love how you tacked some of the stickier issues like Captcha with humor. You have a great way of articulating things. Really happy to meet you! Pinning this gem. xo

  33. Great tips!! =) Thanks for linking this up at last week's Pinterest Power Party! It'll be featured in tomorrow's party! Hope you'll swing by, grab a featured button, and link up with us again!

    Happy Tuesday!

  34. AWESOME post!!! I want to be you one day!!! lol!
    I'm still a little unsure of the whole comments thing.... SOME people say they can't leave me comments without a Google email and others say they have problems, but then I do get commments still from others.

    I followed the tutorial to make sure my no-reply comment was off... but I couldn't get to my blogger profile to show up, just goes straight to my Google + profile.

    Any ideas?

  35. Great tips! I am a new blogger and I am soaking up every little bit of bloggy info that I can find! Thanks!

    Elizabeth from realinspired.blogspot.com

  36. Thank you for the great post! There's a lot of blogging advice out there, but this is the first post I've read in a while that "felt" right, if you know what I mean. Really appreciate it!

  37. You have provided some great tips, especially about word verification, drives me crazy.

    There are lots of us out there that are not at all interested in becoming a "Big" blogger. I am content to participate when I have the time, but blogging should enhance my life and I never want it to feel like a chore.

  38. Great write up. I pinned this so I could find it again in the future!

  39. Hello! loved this post! Just wanted you to know that you're being featured on the On Display Monday Link Party which takes place on 5 blogs :) Hope you have a great week!

  40. Fabulous tips and encouragement, Kathe!! Thanks for sharing at Give Me the Goods!

    Rachel @ Maison de Pax

  41. It is so great, that You share tips for blogging. Thanks, it was very interesting!

  42. Words of encourage for a new blogger with finding her way in the life of blogging, Thank You.

  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. Thanks for all these great helps! I'm trying to learn everything I can :)

  45. Hello! Thanks for these tips! Sometimes we need a little encouragement!

    Your newest Bloglovin Follwer