I started this blog one year ago today. The past year went by fast....and slow. Fast when I had lots of project and writing ideas, slow when I had writer's block. In the beginning, I tried to blog every day and would write about anything. I just wanted to write something....like frying sweet tea. LOL!
In the early days, I didn't tell anyone in my family that I had a blog. I just wanted to see if I could do it. For the first few weeks, the only person who read my blog was my friend, Mindy of Rindy Mae. As us southerners would say, "bless her heart!" She was a great source of encouragement for me. Thanks, Mindy!
I was also determined to learn everything I could about blogging. I wanted to design my own blog so I read tons of blogs and websites to find out how to do it. To celebrate my "blogiversary", I want to share some of that information with you. If you are a "newbie" blogger, this is for you.
Most of the things that I learned how to do at the beginning of my blogging journey came from Sneaky Momma Blog Design.
This is a well written and easy to understand source of diy blog design. It is written for blogs that use Blogger as a host. There are tons of blog design tips categorized by levels of ability....beginner, intermediate and advanced. I keep this blog's button on my sidebar because I refer back to it frequently. In fact, the BEST blogging tip that I ever read came from Sneaky Momma Blog Design:
Create a Practice Blog!
A practice, or test, blog is a place where you can try out new blog design things before you apply them to your "real" blog. I often use my practice blog when I learn something new and want to see what it will look like before I place it on this blog. My practice blog is not public...only I can see it. To learn how to create your own practice blog, click here.
Here is a list of some other blogs/websites that I also find very useful:
1. Blogger HELP - don't overlook this great source of information!
2. Something Swanky - diy blog design tips
3. The Background Fairy - source for free blog design elements (this is where my blog design came from)
4. Photobucket - image host; gives HTML code and direct link (image URL) for any images....very useful for blog buttons or website logos
5. "Grab My Button" Code Gernerator - gives you the HTML code for a blog button and the "grab my button" box underneath it (very easy to use!)
6. PicMonkey - online photo editer
7. iPiccy - online photo editer
8. LinkWithin - places other/related blog posts at the bottom of the (post body) page.
9. HTML Code Tutorial - great site to learn basic HTML code + tips and tricks.
I wrote a few blogging tips along the way:
I recently started to help manage LinkyHere.com, a link party directory. Bloggers often use link parties, of all types, to meet other bloggers and share their projects, creations, ideas and blog posts. LinkyHere is a wonderful place to find various link parties that are happening in blogland. I wrote a post on the LinkyHere blog that shows how to use the directory. It can be found here.
Don't forget about social media. It's important to start and grow your blog's social media sites too! Social media is a big part of blogging these days and will become even more important in the future. If you don't want to start/learn lots of social media sites (facebook, twitter, google+, pinterest, etc.) all at once. Start with one, learn it and grow it before you start another one. There are lots of social media blog hops going on around blogland these days so gaining followers is the easy part. Learning how to interact and communicate with them is crucial to growing your site and blog.
As I stated in my previous post, I want to use my blog to help other bloggers. I will continue to write about things that I discover and use to help grow my blog (and yours). If you have any questions for me, just ask. If I don't know the answer, I will help you find one :)