Tag Archives: mom blog

My Five Blogging Tips For The New Blogger

Day six of the DC Ladies Blogtober is here. Today’s challenge is to share my top five blogging tips for a new blogger. This is what I’ve managed to figure out thus far.

1) Get connected. Get to know other bloggers. These bloggers don’t necessarily have to be in your niche or write about your topic. Other bloggers can be a fantastic resource for ideas, second opinions, opportunities, support, encouragement, and trouble shooting.

How does one meet other bloggers? Comment on their blogs, connect on twitter, or send an email. Every blogger was new to the game at some point and most are willing to at least say hello.

2) Be Yourself. My favorite blogs to read are the ones in which an author is genuine. Faults and all, I enjoy when a blogger’s personality, thoughts, and feelings are conveyed through clever writing.

Keep in mind that the internet is a vast resource. Most of the information that you have to offer can be found elsewhere. What makes your blog unique is you. Some of my most popular posts made me feel very vulnerable when I hit publish.

On the other hand, don’t try to be something you are not. I stop reading as soon as I feel the author is being phony or trying too hard to push a desired image.

3) Decide in the beginning what you want from your blog. Do you want to advertise on your blog? Is your blog an extension of your company’s website? Are you trying to connect with others in your field or interest? Or, maybe you just want to write for your own purposes?

Knowing these things before hand will help you decide on the appropriate blogging platform, find your reader base, and will assist in planning a strategy. It’s easier to deal with these things in the beginning than have to shuffle everything around later.

For me, I determined that I wanted my blog to be a place to vent and connect with other parents like myself. I knew that I didn’t want to blog for a long term and wanted Charlie to have her privacy as she grew. This information impacted my choices.

Things like advertising, paid posts, and so forth did not feel right for what I wanted from my blog. Plus, I know I want to wrap up my blog when Charlie turns three.

4) Social media matters. Blogging is social. A social media presence is key to increasing your blog readership. Interact with your readers and let future readers know that your blog is out there.

This is an area that I could improve quite a bit. If I had the time, energy, and drive, I would use Facebook like a mini blog and post pictures, updates, and questions unique to that account. In addition, I would update Twitter a few times a day with something funny or thought provoking.  Finally, I would have lovely Instagram images and Pinterest worthy graphics.

Social media accounts shouldn’t be entirely self promotional. Share other articles, news items, blogs, or things of interest to your readers or followers.

5) Be creative and experiment. Almost every website, book, or article on blogging will attempt to discuss SEO, click bait, and successful blog post formats. Yes, these things do work in driving traffic. But, it doesn’t necessarily build readership if someone visits your blog once for click bait.

Use the blogging basics as tools and build on them, change them, and make them your own.  Don’t be afraid to write a post that doesn’t follow popular post format. Take chances and try something new.

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Another Item Checked Off: Charlie Discovers Amtrak

I checked another item off of the to do list yesterday. Charlie went on her first train trip. Despite all of the preparation, I was a bit nervous. However, things worked out as they generally do.

1229827_10101547387854209_1385365604_nWe boarded the train early in the morning. I selected a seat in the very front of a car so as few people as possible would be disturbed if Charlie acted up. The umbrella stroller clanked as I tossed it in the overhead compartment and we sat down. I held my breath and hoped the seat next to me would be occupied by a baby friendly fellow passenger. Relief washed over me when another family with a child filled in the surrounding seats.

Initially, I was concerned about Charlie’s sensory issues. Fortunately, I had no more difficulty than any other parent traveling with a small child. Overall, Charlie seemed to enjoy the ride. Admittedly, the cheese and crackers from the Cafe Car kept her entertained for the majority of the way.

Once we arrived in Philadelphia, I worked to move quickly so we would not hold up the bustle of the other passengers. We were traveling light, but I looked like a pack mule as we headed up the stairs into the station. A friendly voice offered, “Do you need a hand?” It came from a man dressed neatly in a business suit. He smiled and said, “I remember those days.” I declined his offer but the acknowledgement did boost my morale.

We had a lovely day in Philadelphia. Before I knew it, it was time to come home.

By that time of day, Charlie was tired and cranky. She fussed while we stood in line for the platform. Concerned, I said, “Don’t worry, we won’t sit near any of you on the train.” to the people in line with us. They laughed and made incredibly kind remarks such as, “It won’t bother me.” or the hopeful “Maybe, she will fall asleep once the train gets going.”

1907346_10101547387584749_1817111701_nOn the train, Charlie munched silently on a few crackers before falling in to a deep sleep. With Charlie asleep in my lap, I glanced across the aisle and saw another passenger attempting to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics. It reminded of the the night I watched the opening ceremony of the  summer Olympics with Charlie during her third month in the NICU. That was almost two years ago but it feels like it was much longer ago.

Our station was the last stop for the train that evening. Charlie and I stayed seated as we let the other passengers file out ahead of us. A considerate man retrieved the stroller from the overhead compartment without being asked. One of the passengers from Philly leaned into to Charlie and said, “You did so well!” as she walked passed. I breathed a sigh of relief. We had made it.

There are many things I enjoy while traveling by train. I like the scenery, the legroom, the sleeper car option, the dining car, the ability to move around as needed, the wifi, and the power outlets at each seat. However, I think my favorite thing about this journey was the people. Ultimately, Charlie’s first train journey was a success because of them.

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