24. blog school?

making a lost and confused face which is how i feel in blogville

so, here i am blogging. and i am blogging every day so that is a pretty firm commitment. and if i am going to spend this much time on a project i am the kind of person who wants to learn more about it. so i have been trying to find other blogs i like, read them, comment on them, learn from them. but i basically feel completely lost. so please, if you happen to stumble across this post send me some tips. i am open to anything but i will write about some of the things i am thinking about.

if you are blogging do you tend to read a lot of other blogs and that is how you kind of build up a sort of blog community? and in that case am i just kind of like the new kid in school who brought a bag lunch because she didn't realize everyone else buys lunch? so i need to get out there (well, hide the bag first) and then just go pick a table and introduce myself and shake some hands?

is there an optimal blog length? is short and sweet what we are going for? trying to pack meaning into as few words as possible? and humor too? short, meaningful, and funny?

how do you find blogs that feel like a fit with who you are - to follow? i mean, i am following links from some blogs i think i like but sometimes they lead me down this trail that makes me just want to cry. you know i am ap and i am pretty firm in those kinds of beliefs. i don't want to pass judgment on other parenting at all. it is not my job to decide on someone else's life work. but, when i read a comment in which is it said that you need to "break" your child of anything it just makes me want to cry. why would be want to create, birth, and hold our children and then break them? it would be a waste of time for me to comment on a comment so i just walk away and look for another table. how did you all find your tables?

would it be terribly uncool for me to contact some of the bloggers i like and ask them to answer some of these questions? would that be like going to in and out burger and asking why the menu is so limited? did any of you incredible, successful, conference attending, conference leading (!), celebrity interviewing bloggers start where i am? just alone in your house bouncing the baby on the ball while you type and hearing the words echo around you in all the vast emptiness of attempting something new?

ok, for fear of going over the unstated cool blog word limit i shut my trap here.


  1. I'm fairly new to this blogging lark too.

    "if you are blogging do you tend to read a lot of other blogs and that is how you kind of build up a sort of blog community?"

    For me, yes.

    "how do you find blogs that feel like a fit with who you are - to follow?"

    I don't always agree with everything I read, but unless something is actually offensive I'll keep reading. Yes I hate the idea of breaking children of any "habit" (yeah, 'cos, needing to nurse to sleep is An Evul Habit!!111!) too.

    I just comment on people's blogs here and there and then sometimes they will comment on mine, too, and I add people to my blog roll that I read, and some of them have kindly added me to their blog roll.

    I admire your commitment to blog every day!

  2. i think you'll find most bloggers are nice folks and would be willing to answer questions fron a new blogger! i do a lot of blog hopping and commenting. that is one way to build your own readership and participate in other blog communities. know your purpose and your topics. most of my blog is about my parenting journey and my faith, with pics of my cute toddler. i try to stay away from controversial topics. i'm ap as well, but i don't talk much about it.

    i'm typing one handed while i hold my sleeping toddler. feel free to email me if you have other questions.

  3. Trial and error! I started blogging in May and it took a while until I had a good following of readers. I'm in between things right now and just have a few minutes, but I'll try to jot down some quick tips:

    1) Read other blogs and comment on them. Even better, when you find something that you like, link to it from your posts. Google blog search can be useful in finding posts on similar topics. People really like when you link to them, not just in your blogroll, but in your blog posts. It increases their readership and their technorati rating.

    2) I know you use blogger, but you can still go over to wordpress.com and use some of the tools over there. One of the great things they have is the ability to search all of their blogs on specific tags. E.g.:

    3) Read API speaks and read the blogs of the contributors there and click on the links of the people that leave comments on API speaks or on the blogs of the contibutors there.

    4) Start reading and posting on BlogHer in the Mommy & Family category.

    5) I don't think there is an ideal length for a post, but I do think when it gets beyond about 500 words you really need to start using subheadings or something else to break it up and make it easier to scan.

    6) In addition to blogging, I'm also on twitter. You can follow others and other people will follow you based on what you're tweeting about and who you are tweeting with. I use Tweetdeck to follow things on twitter and have canned searches set up on "breastfeeding" and "attachment parenting" and I often follow people that are talking about those things and go to their blogs.

    7) I get a lot of my traffic from search engines. Part of my job involves search engine optimization, so I know a thing or two about it. But if you want to do that, it means sometimes compromising on the artistic/creative and being literal to ensure you're using the terms people will be searching on. Here is a post about writing good titles and headings:

    Some quick thoughts....gotta go!

  4. thank you so much annie, heather & ruth. of course, i have spent most of the afternoon feeling terribly embarrassed that i actually emailed people asking them to look at this and respond. i was obviously at the height of my coffee moment. annie, i have started to check out a lot of the things you told me to do. and i am working on twitter but i seem to have some kind of a twitter curse.

  5. Speaking from the perspective of someone who – in the early days – was trapped in something of an insular blog bubble while I obsessed over content, it’s important not only to focus on your content, but to read other blogs. Reading other blogs will inspire you, make you laugh, make you mad, etc… basically, make you think outside the realm of what’s rolling around in your own head.

    As others have mentioned, commenting on other blogs is a wonderful way to create community. Link to others generally in your blogroll or if a particular post moves you, link it up in a roundup or use it as the inspiration for a post of your own. You can also join blog networks, follow people on Twitter, tweet about your posts (good to do so in a relevant way though, introducing subject, not just saying “New blog post”), join Twitter Moms, etc.

    As for length I’m firmly of the belief that you should do what you need to do to communicate your message and not be bound by word count. But I wordsmith a lot to make the writing tight, concise, and (hopefully) entertaining.

    The reality of blogging – and life - is that there are a lot of perspectives out there, many of which you may not agree with. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do with that. If you feel that you want to make your voice heard on an issue you could comment on those posts that make you want to cry. Or if you want to go less confrontational you could write about what you’re reading (generally) and how it makes you feel. As for people to follow one thing you can do is look at the blogrolls or Twitter follows of bloggers you do feel aligned with and see who they follow.

    As for starting, the reality is that everyone starts a blog alone and in search of something. I tend to be someone who tries to figure out everything myself - probably to a fault and with immense frustration at times - but certainly, there have been times when I reached out to my network for advice. I think the key is finding a balance between asking folks and also doing some figuring on your own.

    Ultimately, blogging is a personal journey. It’s going to be whatever you want to make it. And sometimes it can evolve into things you never expected it to be.

  6. thank you so much for the sage advice christine! i do so appreciate your time. i was thinking last night that part of what i need to do is figure out why i am blogging. that might help me stay focused.

  7. I find blogs that suit my readings interests for a given period; that is, my passions are always changing, reappearing, and then subsiding for a bit. Likewise I find that at times I really like some blogs and later on, I am less interested. I understand your passion for AP, and yet, I do read blogs written by folks that may not necessarily follow all aspects of AP (I guess that I try to focus on the positive parts that appeal to me about a blog).

    Well, that's my 2 cents!

  8. I didn't look through all your comments yet, so first let me say- I love your wrap! Is it a Didymos? What is it??

    Ok, you might want to check out the blog Blogging Basics 101. That will have a lot of great tips for you.

    It is very good to build community by reading other blogs and comment comment comment!! Make sure you leave your URL when you comment (usually there is a box for your name, email, url) so that they can come visit you!

    Optimal blog post length is whatever is comfortable for you. Short and sweet is great if that tells your story. If you need longer, that is fine, too! Blog readers LOVE lots of paragraphs. Don't use crazy fonts and don't make it any harder to read.

    Usually you will find the right fit of other people you like through reading blogs you like. Since you are AP, you might want to check out the Babywearing Bloggers blogroll (look on my blog's left hand sidebar) and that links to a ton of AP-like parents!

    Feel free to contact and ask away! And YES we all started here. Take a look at my archives and you'll see plent of posts with zero or two comments!


  9. P.S. I just realized that you already are part of the Babywearing Bloggers! SO- you've got that resource right on your own blog LOL!


  10. steph, thank you so much for taking the time to reply! i am working my way through the bwblogger list. it sure is long. of course, i had to join up since pretty much every post i have written on this blog i have done while wearing lil pea. and the wrap in the pic was a malachite nino dyed cobalt. it is long gone...and replaced with other loves.