Friend Friday: A Blog is Born!

Happy Friday!!  I’m so happy it is because for once I don’t have to travel to a million places during my weekend!  That’s always a reason for me to celebrate! LOL

This week’s topic is about how we bloggers got started in conceiving our fashion “babies” on the internet, all the great steps and missteps we made along the way!  This couldn’t have come at a better time for me because I’m ready to take my blog to the next level so this gave me some awesome things to think about!

How has your blog changed over the months/years you’ve been blogging?

Looking back at my blog (which turned a year old this September) it has become more focused and more confident.  In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing.  I started with doing reviews on Yahoo! Shine and then when I started this one, I just copied and pasted what I already done at first.  I was reviewing products I had no clue how to use sometimes and I approached my blog with a little fear and I think you can tell. Now my writing is more comfortable and confident, because I’m comfortable and confident.  I now can think of cool features to do and experiment with different things that I was too scared to do before.  I also was lacking the fashion side to it for awhile, so I’m incorporating that more into my blog now as well.
 

What was one thing you did wrong in the beginning and how have you changed that?

One thing I did wrong (in my mind) was have it set against a black background with white lettering.  I thought it was all cool and chic, however it wasn’t reader friendly.  So I completely changed the layout, keeping a white background where the blog posts art, yet keeping the edginess I wanted.
 

When you visit a blog what’s the greatest turn off? The thing that makes you close the tab?

Though blog clutter is up there on the list, what turns me off a blog is if the latest blog post was from two years ago.  I want to follow a blogger that is consistent.  I’m not saying the person has to post a million times a day but even if a new post goes up once a week, that alone is consistent and I have something to look forward to reading.

How did you find your voice?

This may sound really cliché, but I looked to myself to find my voice.  It took me awhile because I thought I was supposed to write a particular way and blog like others around me.  Even though I learned from others, when it came to my voice, I approach it as if I was speaking to a friend of mine.  What would I say? How would I say it?  What would that person want to know?  How is this story related to me?  Through that process I found my blogging voice.
 

If you had three pieces of advice to give to a new blogger what would those be?

Have persistence and patience: You may not have a ton of comments, a super fantastic layout, or the most polished content at first.  It will all come with time.  You’ll find your rhythm, you’ll find your niche, you’ll find your audience.  Just keep posting everyday and you’ll get all of that before you know it!

Let yourself shine through:  One of the ways of finding a new angle on a story that tons of people are blogging about at the same time you are is finding how it relates to you.  How do you feel about the product?  Do you own a ton of them or never tried it before?  People like to read that because not only do they learn about what you’re blogging about, they learn a little bit about you as well.  Same goes if there’s a particular trend you don’t like – if you don’t like it, you don’t have to blog about it because everyone else does.  Trust me, if you’re not feeling it, it will show through your writing.

Don’t be scared!  Starting a new blog can be scary; especially when you’re scared it will totally flop.  You may not know everything right now, and that’s quite all right!  Start with what you know and learn about what you don’t know – and don’t forget to let your readers in on the ride!

What have you learned from blogging?  I would love to hear your story!

If you would like to participate in Friend Friday, please visit Katy on Modly Chic for more details!

 

Photo courtesy of: wildpitchmarketing.com

20 thoughts on “Friend Friday: A Blog is Born!

  1. Veshoevius says:

    Didn’t have time to do FF this week! Great answers by the way – an interesting history of your blog and like your three pieces of advice – especially the don’t be scared bit. I kept my blog private for ages until the only girlfriend I invited to join it and read it relentlessly pestered me to make it public so she could read it at work – yep that’s how scared I was!

    • MJ says:

      Thank you! I was basically “thrown” into blogging by my best friend who told me I needed to do it because I would be good at it (she’s a tough one but I love her to death!). I was still such a non-girly girl so I understand how you feel by being terrified! Sometimes I still am!

  2. Em K says:

    Hi MJ

    I enjoyed this post and all the friend friday responses to this topic. As a new blogger I find reading about other people’s lessons learned is very helpful.

    I came to your sight through the comment you placed on Grit and Glamours Friend Friday post. I felt compelled to say seriously how dare someone leave rude ignorant comments on your blog. seriously. It made me angry when I read your comment about the negative responses to your posts on plus size fashion and relaxing your hair. What is the point of leaving a hurtful comment? What can be gained by trying to tear a stranger down?

    That is the biggest thing I think that makes me nervous about blogging. Its very brave for us to put ourselves out there our with pics and opinions I’m all for differing opinions but negative hateful comments are so pointless. Sorry for the rant, but I really felt strongly for you when I read your comment.

    ~ Em K

    • MJ says:

      Trust me I totally understand how you feel! I was totally blindsided by those comments and yes, there is nothing to be gained by tearing someone else down. However, I realized that its easy for people to be “brave” behind a computer screen. The most important lesson to learn from all of that is to how to stay true to yourself and what you believe because at the end of the day, even if someone doesn’t agree with you, they have no choice but to respect you!

  3. Emily says:

    Some really interesting and informative answers. Definitely agree that consistent posting is important when blogging. I hate checking a blog that I really like there being nothing there simply because their posting follows no pattern or schedule. But then I guess sometimes that’s part of the charm? Maybe!

    Love Michelle’s comment that no blog stands alone. The community is what keeps us all going.

  4. mrsbossa says:

    ‘Don’t be scared’ is a really great piece of advice. It is so easy to be intimidated by the wealth of knowledge out there, and feel under pressure to knock ‘em dead straight away. But I find taking it step by step really does help your style evolve – one should never be worried about trying things out!

  5. Sabrina says:

    wow! your last question tips were totally comforting!
    i just joined Friend Friday and just started blogging a few months back,
    but i kinda got frustrated when comments are little, and i always thought its gonna flop. but i know this “scene” is competitive, so i’m still learning and changing along the way.
    everyday i’m looking for ways to make my blog better!
    thank you for this great answer!

    With Love,
    Sabrina

    • MJ says:

      I really didn’t start getting comments regularly until a few months ago and I’ve been at it for over a year! And when it happend, it seemed to come out of nowhere! But joining something like Friend Friday definitely helps the process! Just hang in there and you’ll be fine!

      I’m soo glad you found my answers helpful! :)

  6. Michelle Howard says:

    Hey there MJ-

    Happy Friday to you! While I do have a ton of stuff to do this weekend, it’s actually fun stuff starting with going to see Tyler Perry’s play, “Madea’s Big Happy Family.”

    Anyway, to answer the questions:

    1) How has your blog changed over the months/years you’ve been blogging?
    My blog (both of them) are evolving rapidly. I’m finally finding my “voice.” I don’t blog as often as I’d like (only 2x a week) on each blog but I am looking to do some guest posting to bring more variety to my writing.

    My skin care blog has gone from blogger to just being an extension of my website. My alternative stress and pain relief blog has gone from blogger to an entire stand alone site focused on caregivers. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be doing this but realized it was such a passion of mine I needed to.

    2) What was one thing you did wrong in the beginning and how have you changed that? (I feel you on the black background thing. I see people do that and unless your blog is about heavy metal, race cars or the like, it’s not a good thing)

    I’d say the one thing I did wrong was start with Blogger. I’ve learned it’s best to self host your blog. Better for more reasons than one but two big ones being SEO and it just makes my business appear more professional.

    3) When you visit a blog what’s the greatest turn off? The thing that makes you close the tab? Clutter! I think its ok to link to other sites and include a few gadgets but too much eye candy is a turn off for me. I can’t find anything!

    4) How did you find your voice?

    Like you, it was about checking myself and the things I was passionate about and then adding to that my own personality. Some time I’m funny and outspoken and other times I just like to report the facts. it changes with each post!

    5) If you had three pieces of advice to give to a new blogger what would those be?

    1- Self host your blog, 2- Don’t try to be like other bloggers. Be yourself and you’ll draw others who are interested in what you have to say and the way you have to say it. 3- Contribute to other blogs as much as you would your own. No blog should be a stand alone. It takes a community of people to make your blog a success.

    • MJ says:

      Aww I wanted to go see that play! Let me know how it is!

      Your answers were awesome girl and you’re right – no blog stands lone and you always have to reach out to others, not just for inspiration but for support as well! :)

  7. Suze says:

    I totally agree with having persistence and patience. I think some people feel like they’re going to start a blog and suddenly have 1,000 followers, hits and comments, but that’s not always the case.

    • MJ says:

      It’s so true. It took my blog a year to start seeing significant improvements in traffic, followers, etc. It’s not an easy thing to do and once new bloggers realize that, their energies will go towards making their blog better!

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