If you're popping in from Beth's New Blogger Blog Hop, welcome to my corner of the blogosphere. I'm Jess and I've been blogging about quilting, sewing and fabric for almost two years. I'm a stay at home mum of three children (8, 6 and nearly 3) and I'm a quilting addict. I participated in the Let's Get Acquainted hop last year as a new blogger, and it was a brilliant way to find new blogs - I hope you're all enjoying this years hop!
Thanks so much to Beth for asking me to write an advice post for the hop - I've been trying to think of things I wished I had known before I started blogging, and also asked my readers for some ideas on what they would like to see in this post. The advice posts so far have been brilliant, so I'm not sure how much I can add to them - but I'll try. I've added some photos of my favorite projects too - just to break up the wall of text ;o)
First up, I thought I'd mention a few things about blog etiquette. If you're writing a blog, chances are you want people to read it and come back regularly - we all love followers after all. The previous posts in the advice series have all covered lots of great pointers on what to do to gain a readership. I guess this is a list of what NOT to do - things that many people don't like, that could turn them off coming back to visit your blog again, or from become a follower.
Retro Flowers - 2013Be consistent
By this I don't mean you have to blog everyday, or even every week (hey, I'm probably one of the most inconsistent bloggers out there in terms of regular blogging) - but if you say you're going to do something, do it. A few people I know have started QALs, only to have the person running the QAL fail to post finishing instructions. Kind of frustrating, don't you think?
If you have word verification turned on I strongly suggest you go read this post by my friend Lu. I promise you, if you turn word verification off you will get a load more comments. And if you're worried about spam, it is easy to either moderate your comments, or not to allow anonymous commenters (which is what I have done and I rarely get spam comments). Word verification is a total pain in the bum - especially if you read and comment on a phone or tablet, where it can be virtually impossible to read the verification thing ;o)
Reflected Textures - made for Fat Quarterly ezineAesthetics
Another thing that can put people off is the appearance of your blog. Simple, clean and modern are much more visually appealing than a blog with a really busy background or too much going on in the sidebars. Same goes for photographs - bad photographs, or really tiny photos are a bit of a turn off. You don't need an expensive camera to take good photos - there is a brilliant post by Anne of Play Crafts about photography that is well worth reading. Tessa's advice post on photography is also really great, and details how to change the size of your photographs to fit your blog.
Asking people to follow you
IMO this is flat out rude, and akin to spam. Please don't leave a comment on my blog post asking me to follow your blog - to me, there is nothing more annoying and it's a guaranteed way to ensure I won't come visit. On the flip side, if someone comments regularly on my blog, I'm pretty likely to click through to their blog and if I like what I see, I'll become a follower.
Groove - 2012
For me, the online sewing world is all about making connections with other people who share my passion for sewing, quilting and fabric. I don't have a local Modern Quilt Guild, or any friends who sew (they all crochet or knit) so it's been fabulous to be able to share what I make on the interwebs. I've made some great online friends simply by commenting regularly on their blog and vice versa. Commenting is also a great way to gain followers - as I said before, I tend to follow people who comment regularly on my posts and I know I've gained followers in the same way.
Both in what you make and how you write. For me, this is a really difficult one and I think I'm only just beginning to really find my style in terms of quilting. When you're surrounded by so much inspiration online it can be difficult to find your style and work out what is 'you'. I spent a large chunk of last year joining QALs because everyone else was doing them - and most of those projects are still unfinished. QALs can be a lot of fun, and a great way to make new friends, but they are a tonne of work as well. My advice is to only start a QAL (or any project) if you're really passionate about the quilt you'll be making.
Giant Chevron Quilt - my first published pattern :o)
So that's it from me - the only other thing I wanted to mention is the Tech Help for Bloggers series my friend Jenelle put together last year. It is amazing series of posts, covering all sorts of techy stuff to help bloggers. I have zero technical experience, so if like me you have no idea about html code and need a bit of help, go have a look. Jenelle covers how to create a blog button (which I refer back to each time I do this) and a whole load of other really useful info.
Enjoy the rest of the hop!