Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’
July 29, 2014
Good Afternoon! It’s been a busy day away from the computer, but I wanted to pop in and continue on with the Blogging FAQs series I started last month before it gets away from me.
I actually drafted this up for a guest post over on Nichole’s blog a few weeks ago! She runs a site that is all about keeping a positive outlook, and recently asked me what I do when I come across negativity, especially when I find it on social media pages or in blog comments.
I gave her a quick answer, but thought it would be great to discuss it here with you all as well.
Dealing With Negativity on Social Media
If you are on social media – and especially if you are a blogger – you are eventually going to come across it.
Whether it’s on your own page or you stumble upon it on someone else’s, the crazy online world we call the Internet can be a very beautiful, yet haunting experience.
Just like life, blogging can have it’s good (I love what I do and this magical world of connecting through social media) and it’s bad (what the heck just happened, and why am I still putting my heart and soul into this) days.
It’s bound to happen to all of us at one point or another, and that is completely normal. But, when you least expect it, you’ll receive a comment or email that will brighten your day and remind you why you care so much. You’ll snap out of the blues and why you started sharing your life and words with others will become clear again: to inspire, and most likely to make people smile.
It will feel good, and you’ll be on your game until the next negative comment comes around.
So how do we move past the bad and focus on the good?
Social media is a great tool for both businesses and friendships, but it can also make us judge without even realizing it. We can easily get caught up in The Comparison Game and experience emotions about ourselves solely based on what others are up to.
It can be vicious, and hurt even more when others realize they have similar thoughts and use your page as a platform to discuss them.
While I’m not claiming to be an expert on the subject, I have prepared a handful of tips that can help us rise above the negativity that can so easily consume… well… all of us.
• Take negative comments with a grain of salt.
Comments are comments. That’s it. In the real world, what do comments equal? Nothing.
They literally have no power over our lives, unless we let them get into our heads and affect us.
Whenever you see something you don’t like or appreciate, remember to take a comment for what it is. An opinion… that’s it.
• Negativity on social media is just like negativity in real life.
Remember those silly little rumors people in high school made up about so-and-so just to get a rise out of their classmates? That can easily happen on social media pages as well, but you have to decipher what is important to stress over and what isn’t worth your time.
Majority of the time, negative people aren’t worth your time.
Move right past ‘em and spend your time focusing on those who actually take the time to know you!
• Think about what’s bothering you. Is it what somebody said, or how they said it?
There’s something to be said about taking and accepting feedback.
When it’s written in an off-putting way, however, you can lose the point of the comment all together and only remember that word or phrase that made you upset. Just like the comment is just a comment point mentioned above, a word is just a word.
Is a word really worth the time you are spending dwelling on it?
Probably not. Move on!
• Keep in mind that some people comment to offer constructive criticism. But… there’s also a line between constructive and rude.
Most feedback comes from an outsider’s wish to provide constructive criticism. Most.
In some cases, people want to voice their opinion to help you see something from a reader or follower’s point of view. They get the courage to say something and hope you’ll hear them.
If they’re just being straight up rude, that’s a line you don’t even need to jump close to. Again, is this really worth your time and energy to stress over? Most likely, your answer will – again – be no.
• Don’t get defensive. If you aren’t sure how to respond to a negative comment, take as much time as you need before you address it properly.
Just like the “think before you speak” rule, it isn’t a bad thing to have a filter online.
Your first instinct might be to speak up and address someone who is being rude in an unflattering way. In the long run, that isn’t going to do anything but make you look silly and egg them on even more.
If you aren’t quite sure how to respond to something, ask a friend and have them help you come up with an appropriate response.
• Your blog and social media pages are your spaces. You have the right to ignore, delete, or respond to anything.
The choice of what to do with a negative comment is completely up to you.
Just remember that you chose to put yourself out there, and there are all types of followers under the reader umbrella. Not everyone is going to respond the same way, and in turn, negative comments might surface.
With the good, often comes the bad, and how you address it can make you an even better blogger and inspiration to follow.
Take a deep breath, reflect on what was said, and address it with a light heart and maybe even a sense of humor.
• Focus on the positive!
Everyone has their differences and struggles, but there is a way to go about and discuss them. Complaining won’t get you very far, but taking a look at what you’ve learned throughout the hardships will.
Whenever you need to block out the bad, think of the good. Focus on those appreciative emails or positive notes of feedback and use them as inspiration to keep moving.
You’ll only get as far as you let yourself go. Make sure to keep looking forward, and that what’s in front of you is bright!
Previous FAQs on Blogging Posts
See you in the morning!
July 2, 2014
This afternoon I wanted to continue on with a series all about blogging and frequently asked questions I receive about blogging I started last month.
In case you missed it, I kicked things off with quick tips on how to start a blog. Now that you’re set up and ready to go… what’s next?
Below are some of my go-to tips for bloggers who are just starting out. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I do get questions on the matter and this is the advice I pass onto those asking.
They seem to appreciate it, so here’s hoping these tips help you too!
(Or, what I wish I already knew when I started blogging.)
I have read several emails and comments asking about my blog design and where it came from. The answer is kind of tricky.
I have a friend who is a graphic designer but does not design “templates” per say. Basically, I had him draw up the design I had in my head and then he hired an outside party to put it all into code.
I love how it turned out, but it does have it’s downsides. I can’t really change anything about it since it’s so customized. Once it’s set, it’s set.
This has become a little bit of an issue over the past couple of months, since I’ve been trying to organize the pages, add sub-pages and categories, and display bigger ads on the sidebars. Eventually, I am going to hire someone to give my site a complete makeover and help me out.
For now, it is what it is and here’s how it all came about.
• Check out other blogs and website you like.
Ask yourself why you like them.
Is it a cool color scheme? Engaging logo? Fun fonts? Take note of those characteristics and incorporate them into yours in your own unique style.
• If you’re getting a customized theme, make sure it stems from an already existing one via WordPress or Blogger.
(My number one fail!)
My next theme will for sure come from tweaking one that already lives and undoubtedly works online. So far, I’ve noticed that Genesis is a great start.
• There’s nothing wrong with white space.
I used to want my sidebars to be busy and filled with all the colors and exciting things. Not only did unnecessary widgets slow down my page load speed, but they might have distracted focus from the content I was putting out there.
My sidebars are still very much active, but I have tried my best to condense them down to what I feel is essential to have there.
Also, try to avoid using a dark background with light text. It’s fine for some websites, but for blogging purposes it can tire the eyes quickly.
Here are more great tips about web design via Web Designer Depot.
• Make sure it’s readable.
When designing my page, I really wanted it to look like a magazine layout. The “housewife edition” of GLAMOUR, if you will.
I started playing with fonts and sizes and over time realized that my body font might have not been the best choice. It usually reads just fine, but I wish it were a little bit smaller. Also, the color of the links are almost too light of a pink. Once again, because my theme is so customized, I’m not able to fix either one of these things.
My new design will for sure be easier to read and navigate!
PicMonkey is the greatest online tool you will ever come across in the blogging world. At least it was for me, anyways.
It’s free to access (unless you upgrade to a premium membership for $4.99/month) and I started using it to create text on my pictures.
Eventually, I played around with it enough to realize I can basically do anything. Ha! I use PicMonkey to create all of my workout pin-ables, add text, and edit almost every single photo you see appear on the blog.
I choose to pay for the premium membership, but that’s only because I gravitate towards the fancy fonts and want them. I’m kind of high maintenance when it comes to graphics. (Whoops.)
• Web Editors
While I have never personally used either one of these tools (I’m ridiculous… we know this), I have only heard great things about both types of web editors that make blogging ten times easier.
The only reason I haven’t tried it out for myself is because I’m (finally!) getting a new MacBook in the next week or so. I use an iMac at home and the software is $39.99. I wanted to wait and purchase it to put on the laptop, since I knew that would be my main source of blogging down the road.
Now if one of you tells me I can use the software on both and that I could have been using Mars Edit over the past year when I first discovered it for the same price, I might die. *earmuffs*
I told you, I’m not an expert on these matters. I’m simply passing along what I know in hopes it saves some of you trouble down the road!
Basically, Hootsuite is the hub of all social media. Ninety percent of the time, when you see me share a blog post on my social media channels, it comes from Hootsuite.
In just one status update, you can share the same link on almost all of your social media channels.
Hootsuite automatically shortens your link and creates a shortened ow.ly/ address for it. You can also schedule tweets and shares to happen weeks ahead of time, which is perfect for when you are going on vacation.
(Now if only I was on the ball and utilized it like that!)
My blog is definitely focused on healthy living. My goal with this platform is to post consistent, helpful content, but I like to include my every day life musings to keep it interesting.
I often post workouts and meal plans to hold myself accountable, but behind every post is a hope that at least one of you finds something useful out of it. Even if it’s for pure entertainment.
Here are my tips about finding your ideal writing schedule and style!
• Write like you have a million followers.
Even if you think just you and a few others are reading, it doesn’t matter. Getting content up will help you practice enough to get into the writing groove you are looking for.
• If you want to make blogging a job, you have to show up to work.
I heard this from a wise (amazing) fashion blogger, J, when I had the pleasure of meeting with her in Orlando. And she’s absolutely right.
If you want to build a consistent following, you have to give them something to expect. It’s okay to get off of your schedule on occasion, but overall, you’ll have a bigger following of every day readers if you stick to a predictable posting schedule.
As far as my blog goes, you can expect to see a new post go up once or twice a day during the week, and maybe even one on the weekends every now and then.
I have a very frequent posting schedule, but I choose it to be that way and I’d guess that’s what people are expecting to see. Don’t feel like you have to post nearly as often if that’s not what works for you!
• Check out and get active on other blogs
Once you have your blog up and running, expand your blog world by frequenting other blogs and sites you like.
Comment on pages you read and like and share the blog love! (More on this subject coming soon…)
Basically, getting into your own writing groove is all about trial and error. See what works for you and just take it one day at a time!
I feel like I could just keep going… so to spare you the boredom I’ll put together another tips for beginners post and share it in the next week or so.
Thanks for popping in, and good luck on your blogging endeavors!