October 21, 2009

Some Things I Have Learned in My 1st Year Blogging...

A thought I'd share a few of my thoughts and things I've learned (and am still learning) about my first year of blogging:

Blog what you love, and read blogs that inspire you
My intent with this blog is to take you along our adventure of bringing a 1970's house up to date and show projects that make you think, I could do that! 
(along with some pure nonsense, deals, and rambling) 
If my blog or anyone else's blog is not uplifting or inspiring you, why are you still reading it? Blog what you love and it will come naturally, and read blogs that you truly enjoy.

Don't do things to blog about, blog about what you do
Does that make sense? Last winter, I was determined to make the cutest winter display ever from the dollar store that was under $10 and that everyone would love.  I spent forever walking around that blasted store trying to put it all together and do you know what? I put one together, but  I didn't like it. A few days later, I took it down. It wasn't me~it was forced and it really wasn't my taste. I'm trying to keep my focus on things I would normally do in my home and take y'all along with me, whether you like it or not :)
Pictures look so much better in natural light

 
image: Pottery Barn 
It took me a while to realize this, but all pictures look so much better in natural light. I was looking at blogs that I loved and tried to analyze what drew me to them. One common theme was great pictures in natural light~I didn't see any flashes. You don't need a fancy camera to do this~every camera should have a setting that turns off the flash. Try to take your pictures during the day when there is the most natural light in the room. 

Don't compare or try to be someone you're not

Just like people, there will always be blogs that are bigger, better, and more popular. But what is important to you? I love Judy Garland's quote: 
"Always be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of somebody else."

Live a real life
Turn off the computer, put your family first, get out, do things that fulfill you. If I am in front of the computer all day, I am grumpy and feel guilty about what I haven't done and it spills in to every other aspect of my life. Let your computer be a blessing, not a curse.

What about you~is there something you've learned about blogging you wish you'd know when you began? 

Oh, and P.S. ~ my blogiversary giveaway ends tonight at 9 pm central time~ get your entries in if you haven't! I'll announce winners tomorrow.


44 comments:

  1. These are great tips, Melissa! I've only been in the blog world for about six months and I think I'm finally figuring some of this stuff out. I think your last point is the most important. Have a good day...
    pk @ Room Remix

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  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog, I just have to remind myself that my blog is for me and if no one else reads it that is just fine :)

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  3. Hi Melissa,
    This is a great post! So many of my own thoughts too! I agree with PK's comment...your last point IS the most important one. "Live a real life" ~ I love that!
    I also love visiting your blog!

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  4. well said! I come here daily but don't comment. Thought I would say hi today!

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  5. very well said! thank you for sharing!

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  6. I like this....You are sooo correct about the pictures in natural light.

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  7. What a great post, Melissa! It is all so true. I enjoy reading blogs, but have four kids, so early in the morning is my time. I get great ideas (from you and many others) and still hang out with the kiddies. Thanks for sharing your tips. Have a wonderful day.

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  8. Great thoughts to keep in mind. I think you'll wind up stressing over a blog {that should help be a release for us} if you do otherwise.

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  9. These are great tips and so timely considering I just started to blog. I agree about blogging what you do and not doing it just to blog. I've often found myself in the middle of the store thinking hmmmm that would be great for a blog post and then remembering I don't need it and work with what I have or until I'm financially ready for that project. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom!

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  10. Thank you for these tips, Melissa! I'm so glad you blog; otherwise, I probably never would have met you.

    I especially thank you for asking why I'm still reading anything that doesn't inspire me. Why, indeed? Great question!!

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  11. definitely speaking truth here! thanks!

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  12. definitely speaking truth here! thanks!

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  13. Great post. I completely agree with everything that you just said. I especially concur with the last statement about turning off the computer for family time. Nothing is more important.

    Congratulations on a year of blogging.

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  14. All wonderful thoughts. I've been blogging for a while, but suffered from a "blog identity crisis". I took a break, and am coming back with a new vision in mind for my blog.

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  15. Great tips! I have to remind myself of this daily!

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  16. I absolutely love your blog! I thought I was doomed to living in a home with no character. I spend most of my time taking care of my rather large family and had no idea how to decorate my home, that was until I found you. I now have ideas that would not have been possible without your inspiration. I have told lots of my friends about you too. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share with us your ideas and for helping me feel better about the home I have been so graciously blessed with.

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  17. Thank you for the great tips. I just started blogging a couple of weeks ago and I need all the advice I can get.

    I wanted to blog because I am moving a long way from home and I thought it would be a great outlet for me. I love to decorate and cook and I want to talk about it.

    I have made some good friends on the internet and hope to do so through my blog.

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  18. This post is full of great advice! Thanks for sharing it.

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  19. you are always so inspiring and creative. I love following you and your blog.

    You are very generous to all of us in blogland with your ideas and I just wanted to say THANKS!

    Fall blessings & hugs,

    Natalie

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  20. Love those tips! Thanks for sharing them. I love your dollar store story, because I did that too! Only, my table is still decorated with the dollar store items. It turned out ok, but I was going for a pretty easy look.

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  21. Great tips. Especially the one about not forcing a post. I made the mistake of announcing an upcoming bathroom makeover (small tweaks only, not a gut job) before I'd actually done the work thinking I would be inspired to finish it by putting it "out there". Nope, that didn't work. It's still not done!
    Love your new banner btw if I didn't mention this before.

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  22. Great tips! Love the "don't do things to blog about, blog about what you do"---that hits home. Love your blog and congratulations on your anniversary. Blogland wouldn't be the same without you.

    Love your organized drawers too. They look nice and I know it much feel wonderful to open them and enjoy the organization. My daughter was complaining about our kitchen drawer the other day. Maybe I should tackle them.

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  23. Great, great advice! I've been struggling in some of these areas and it was good to read what you had written.

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  24. Hi, Melissa! :) These are great tips...especially the one about natural lighting. I try to do that, but every once in awhile there'll be something cool at night and I have to sneak that awful flash in.

    Something that's a pet peeve of mine relates to blog parties. The purpose of them is to have fun and attract some new readers to stop by your blog, right? If I know I won't have time to return party visits from a blog party, I don't sign up for them. One of my biggest pet peeves is signing up for a party, taking some time to visit and leave thoughtful comments, and having only a few take the time to return the favor. Maybe I'm crazy, but if people acted that way at a real party, it wouldn't be much of a party. ;) I think some people maybe just aren't familiar with the way those blog parties work, they don't read the rules, or they just want to find a free spot to link up....

    Sorry to ramble...just some food for thought.

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  25. Thank you so much for this post. I have only been blogging for 3 months
    so I really appreciate the advice - and I also appreciate your blog!

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  26. I love your blog. I actually just started a personal blog this month, so I'm very much a newbie! Thanks for the inspiration as I think about my posts.

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  27. good word! i blog while the babies are sleeping. cheap therapy :). you have a sweet blog.

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  28. Thanks, Melissa. I needed this.

    Tamera@doubledelight

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  29. So very true and very insightful!

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  30. PERFECT!! I feel exactly the same way! I may print your post and put it up on my memo board!!

    ~TidyMom

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  31. I am nodding my head in agreement....just tonight I realized my reader has too many blogs, and I can't possibly keep up. It's taking too much of my time reading and leaving comments. My blogroll is ridiculous. :o) Thanks for the reminders.
    peace.

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  32. I couldn't agree with you more.. BLOG what you love, but love your family more.. even if they are all in your comp. (lots of them, maybe not all) your hubs, and children are number one.. and blogging number two! ha!

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  33. I couldn't agree with you more. I love your insight and love finding other down to earth LDS ladies out there. You have inspired SO MANY people out there - I even decided to give blogging a whirl this month! Thanks again and I can't wait to keep reading.

    www.showmecrafts.blogspot.com

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  34. Great post - very insightful - Thanks!

    Chelsea

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  35. All very good points. :) I read your blog daily and really love all your great ideas.

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  36. Great post, Melissa! You know I totally agree with the second one!
    These could all be applied to real life as well (we all look better in natural light, don't we?).

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  37. Excellent post...couldn't agree more. We need to wittle down the extras (blog reading) and get to the stuff (playing with children) that means the most.

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  38. This is a beautiful post with great advice! Thank you!

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  39. Your blog is simply amazing! I found your link through A Soft Place to Land and have loved checking everything out today. Hard to believe that so many different and absolutely wonderful blogs link up in one place every week.

    I have so much to learn. :)

    -Francesca

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  40. Thanks for all your tips and Sharing what you have learned!!! I always look forward to reading your blog- yours is always a place I go when I want to be inspired. Thanks for the reminder about putting family first! Hope you have a happy Halloween!!!

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  41. hi! i just came across your blog today and i happened to have just started a new blog yesterday so what perfect timing it was to read about what you learned during your first year of blogging! great post and i am looking forward to keeping up with you blog! :) cheers!

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