Building a Blogging Community

 

When I started blogging I knew NOTHING.

 

(Nothing about blogging at least!)

 

I mean, I knew how to write a blog post…I had been writing professionally for about a year and creating guest blog posts for other people’s blogs.

 

But I had no idea how to create my own blog…

 

 

…I knew nothing about SEO…

 

…or affiliate marketing…

 

…or blog promotion…

 

…or just how much dedication and hard work creating a successful blog takes!

 

Those of you bloggers out there know exactly what I’m talking about.

 

So, I won’t bore you with my steady stream of ‘blogging is hard’ thoughts and insights.

 

I’m actually writing this post to thank two very special bloggers that nominated me for the Liebster Award and the Blogger Recognition Award!

 

 

And part of being nominated for these awards is passing the honor on to other well-deserving bloggers!!

 

Wondering what the Liebster Award and the Blogger Recognition Award are?

 

So was I!

 

I had no idea what either of these awards meant when I was told that I had been awarded them.

 

Do I have to give a speech?  Is there a prize?  Does the prize involve money? Please say there’s money involved!

 

 

Ha!

 

(My internal stream of thought clearly eludes to my current financial situation. 😂)

 

After some research, I found out that no money and no prizes are involved with these awards…

 

…but I also realized that this acknowledgment from other people who are actually reading AND enjoying my blog is the best damn prize that I could ask for.

 

Okay – mayyybe a million bucks would be pretty good, too…😂😁…

 

But being recognized for these awards, especially after blogging for a very short time, had me quite literally doing a happy dance and feeling incredibly lucky, honored, and excited!

 

 

Because…aside from the hard work that goes into blogging, I’ve discovered that writing a blog is much more personal than I initially thought.

 

With each post that I write, I inevitably share a small piece of myself and my personal life…

 

…which can be incredibly scary!

 

Will people judge me?  Will they disagree with my life?  My writing?  My opinions?

 

 

YES.

 

I have learned that yes, people will judge.  And they will disagree and occasionally disapprove, as well.

 

But I’ve also learned that people will agree and support and encourage.

 

And I can’t explain it, but knowing that my thoughts or life experiences or personal opinions and anecdotes have had an impact on a total stranger, even in some minuscule way, is incredibly satisfying and gratifying.

 

 

Check out these comments that total strangers left on some of my blog posts…comments like these are what keep me going, keep me inspired, and keep me motivated.

 

“Margot,

First of all, I appreciate your honesty about beginning to blog. Don’t get discouraged just yet & hang in there. You are too hilarious to not make a profit from this. This post had me in stitches, for real!!!”

 

“This is the realest article I’ve read. Thank you for sharing this…I love you already and I will bookmark your blog.”

 

“Hey Margot! What a charming article — haha, seriously! I love the personality you interject in your posts. Hang in there girl – it’s great you’re starting to see results. My first affiliate sale was a $0.44 Amazon Affiliates commission and it still took me eight months to receive payment for that lol.

I have no doubt you will continue to grow! It does take time, and it’s frustrating as hell. Regardless – can’t wait to watch it happen.

xoxo”

 

Now, don’t be fooled – not all comments are flowers and butterflies…I also get comments like these…

 

“What a pointless blog post this is. You don’t even mention the name of the ebook.. it would certainly help readers know which to avoid if you did. You can be damn sure the author knows her content is basic… But if people don’t rate, review and name you’re not help the next pushover. As for those reviews you saw…. They they won’t be legit.. hopefully you leave some reviews on other sites.. or her Facebook page? If not… she just got away with it.”

 

 

But I’ve learned that even the comments that sting a little bit are better than no comments at all!

 

If people are commenting, even less than glowing comments, then that means that people are reading my writing…and that my writing is igniting something – and as a writer, that’s my greatest wish!

 

SOOOOO…all of this is to say that being nominated for these awards is so meaningful and touching and special to me -especially because they were given to me by other bloggers that I respect and love and hold in high regard.

 

Okay, so back to what the heck these awards are…

 

Basically, both of these blogger awards kind of remind me of a really cool chain letter.

 

A blogger gets nominated by another blogger and they get to bask in the light of the award by sharing their nomination and answering some questions on their own blog before passing it on to other deserving bloggers…and so on and so forth!

 

If you want to know more, check out this website about the Liebster Award.

 

I couldn’t find a basic informational site on the Blogger Recognition Award, but if you Google Blogger Recognition Award, you can browse some of the wonderful blogs that have been nominated over the years!

 

Soooo…without further adieu let me first say thank you to the wonderful bloggers that nominated me –

These ladies are incredible bloggers to whom I am not only grateful for the nomination, but very honored to even be mentioned in the same blog-o-sphere as!!  Please go check out their amazing blogs!

 

 

The Rules for the Blogger Recognition Award Are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief story of How/Why you started blogging
  • Give two pieces of advice you would give to brand new bloggers
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
  • Comment on each blog letting them know you have nominated them giving the link to the post you have created

How/Why I Started Blogging:

Hmmm…where do I begin?

 

In light of the fact that this post is already fairly long – I will give the abbreviated version.

 

Last year was a life-changing year for me – my Mom passed away from cancer after a terribly long and hard-fought battle and several months later, my husband divorced me.

 

Somewhere in that mess of life events, I also left my teaching career to try and make it as a full-time writer.

 

At the time, blogging was not part of my grand plan…or more specifically, my lack of a plan.

 

But, if this past year has taught me anything, it is that life rarely goes according to plan.  Like…it never goes according to plan.

 

So, I no longer plan.  At. All.

 

 

ANNNYWAYS…I was, and still am, working as a full-time freelance writer…and while some months are harder than others, I have not had to move into a cardboard box on the street yet, so, I’ll consider that a win thus far.

 

Several months back, I decided to create a professional website in an effort to further my writing career and thought it might be nice to include a blog on it.

 

I really had no plan, no idea what I would write, no real direction at all.

 

But I kind of just jumped in, started writing, started researching, kept writing…and…here we are!

 

Since then, I’ve developed a real love of blogging and while I wish that I could tell you about how I’m making a bazillion dollars from blogging and need no other forms of income – I’m not quite there yet.

 

I’m certainly hopeful that I’ll make it to that level of success but even if I don’t, I plan to keep blogging!!

 

Because blogging has been a really healthy outlet and helped ground me after so much loss and change…

 

…and I am incredibly grateful for each and every reader that I have and those that continue to encourage me on this journey!

 

My Advice to New Bloggers:

Again…where do I begin??

 

I have TONS of advice because I have learned SO much over the past few months of blogging…

 

But since I have not yet hit it ‘big’ with my blog, I’m not sure how much clout all my advice has?

 

So, I will keep it short and simple for now –

 

Don’t give up.

 

 

Seems obvious but apparently, a good chunk of bloggers quit after a few months of not hitting it big or gaining a mass following.  Blogging takes time…so, if you love it, don’t quit.

 

Take a break.

 

When you feel overwhelmed or disheartened – which will likely happen at some point – step away for a few days, weeks, or even months…But again, don’t quit.

 

Cliche advice, perhaps – but I have definitely needed to be told DON’T QUIT or KEEP GOING over the past few months.

 

Enjoy the small victories.

 

It is unlikely that you will have 2 billion followers and be making a bazillion dollars in the first month – not impossible, but unlikely.  And that can be disappointing…but by focusing on the small wins, you can still manage to feel accomplished and motivated.

 

There will be tough times and times when you feel like, what’s the point?  But try to celebrate each and every small victory – it will really and truly help keep you going!

 

And, finally, reach out to other bloggers.  Make blog friends.

 

 

I read this advice from other bloggers early on in my blogging career and thought – but why?  Why do I need blog friends?  Blogging is pretty solitary, right?

 

WRONG.  Well, right and wrong.  Blogging is solitary – but it doesn’t have to be!!

 

If you allow blogging to be 100% solitary, it can get reallllllly lonely.  Not to mention, confusing and scary and did I mention LONELY?

 

Finding blogging friends can be incredibly comforting.

 

Facebook groups have been a great resource…not only for generating traffic but also for building a community, finding support, and getting answers to my myriad of neverending questions.

 

I know this piece of advice is easy to shrug off as unnecessary (like I did at first) – but trust me…it is really very necessary.

 

The Fifteen Bloggers I Am Nominating for the Blogger Recognition Award:

There are sooooo many amazing blogs and bloggers out there and I wish I could nominate them all – but, after much time, I narrowed it down to the following 15 (okay, 16 – it was hard enough to get it to 16!!!)…each one unique, original, and special in their own way — please check them out!!

  1. Angela Chavez from www.creatinglifeasyougo.com
  2. J.J. Gutierrez at www.chickeningin.com
  3.  Sara Lee at www.savoringthesimplelife.com
  4.  Fran at www.findingmumtime.com
  5. Jorge Laynes at www.dogbehaviors.net
  6. Alma at www.love-alma.com
  7. Corie Fink LaRussa at www.sweptbygrace.com
  8. Emily Barton at www.ginghamandgardenias.com
  9. Chelsea Abigail at www.wellnessbychels.com
  10. Kirstine Ilum at www.thebalancingsoul.com
  11. Vicki Pounder Kershaw https://lovetravelwilleat.com/
  12. Ju Schuermann at www.freshstarteveryday.wordpress.com
  13. Julia Taylor at www.accordingtoblue.com
  14. Jennifer Salsich at www.simplyoneden.com
  15. Evelyne McNamara at www.plottinganewcourse.com
  16. Mrs. Unraveled at www.lifeunraveled.net

 

 

The Rules for the Liebster Award Are:

  1. Thank the person who has nominated you and include a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  3. Provide 10 Random Facts about yourself. (optional)
  4. Nominate 5 other blogs that you feel deserve this award.
  5. List these rules in your post. (You may copy and paste mine or visit the official site here)
  6. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award and provide a link for them to your post.
  7. Answer the questions posted by your nominee and post several questions for your nominees to answer.

Ten Random Facts About Me:

  1. I have 8 tattoos, all of which I seriously dislike except for the matching one that I got with my Mom before she passed away…though each tattoo does have a very special memory/story to go with it.
  2. I lived in Greece for a year to study abroad with my sister – we chose Greece after we vacationed there with our parents and fell in love with two Greek cousins that worked at our hotel…oh, it’s a good story.
  3. Cilantro is my absolute favorite herb.
  4. I am a die-hard animal lover and hurt/homeless animals, wild and tame alike, always seem to find me.
  5. I was a vegetarian for about 12 years due to my love of animals – to this day I don’t even kill cockroaches, I cover them with a cup and safely get them outside 😆
  6. Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday.
  7. I am extremely claustrophobic.
  8. I went to beauty school after dropping out of college before eventually returning and getting my AA, BA, then Masters.
  9. I always make my bed before I get in it – even if it’s 10 o’clock at night.
  10. My top two lifelong goals have been the same since I was a little girl – write and publish a book/memoir and own a horse.

 

Questions from Jenaleigh at Naughty Kitchen:

  • How long have you been blogging?
    • About 4 months!
  • What advice do you have for new bloggers?
  • How do you overcome writers block?
    • Good question…I read!  I find that reading, whether it be other blogs or a good novel, helps give my brain a break while also keeping my creative juice flowing.
  • Is blogging your full-time business or is it a hobby?
    • A little of both…I am a full-time writer but I spend about 10-20 hours a week on my blog or blog-related things, so even though I’m making about the same amount of money that a 16-year-old babysitter makes (or less), I’m treating it like a part/full-time job.
  • What do you want your readers to gain and learn from your blog?
    • Hmmm….this is a tough one.  Logically, I hope that my readers find some great recipes, honest product recommendations, some useful blogging information, and helpful DIY inspiration.  But more than the that, I really hope my readers find some kind of comfort and connection to the life experiences and struggles that I share about as well a get a good laugh from time to time!  What I would really like is for readers to feel like they are having a cozy conversation with their slightly sarcastic best friend!  Because, when I write my blog posts, I usually feel like I’m talking to one of my best friends!!

 

The Five Bloggers I’m Nominating for The Liebster Award:

 

 

 

 

 

Again, I wish I could nominate all the incredible blogs out there – but, since I am only allowed to choose 5, I have settled on the following very exceptional blogs – please go explore them!!

  1. Adair at www.adairinglife.com
  2. Leigh at http://aspoonfulofhealthwleighm.com/
  3. Kaitlyn at https://www.theordinaryhome.com/
  4. Jessica at http://www.vivaciouslyjessica.com/
  5. Jeannine Rose at www.sweethumblehome.com

 

My Questions for the Nominees Above:

  • What is your ultimate blog goal?
  • What is your biggest blog struggle?
  • What are you most proud of in your life – blog related or otherwise?
  • What is the most helpful resource that you have found in terms of blogging?

 

Alright folks, this post has gone on for quite long enough I think, so I will end it here and just say that once again, I am so grateful to the Taylor and Jenaleigh, please go check out their blogs…

 

…and congrats to the bloggers that I nominated…I hope you will continue this fun blogging tradition and pay it forward!!!

 

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2 thoughts on “Building a Blogging Community

    • You are so incredibly welcome!! There are so many amazing blogs out there that it was tough to choose, but I love your blog and your style and am so glad that I could pass along this fun award! I know it is a bit of work, but I enjoyed writing the post and exploring new blogs and I hope you will too!!! Congrats!!

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