Friday Friday Friday + a GUEST POST omg!

Happy Friday friends! I'm heading out to Peaks Island for my parent's party (wow, lots of p's!) for the weekend and I'm exciiiiiiiiiiiited. Yay for fun stuff to look forward to! Another reason this Friday is going to rock: Alivia, my lovely cousin, one of my best friends, agreed to guest post today. Her blog is inspirational to me. It makes me laugh. Cry. Roll my eyes (in a good way). I look forward to reading her blog every single day. She is an amazing amazing woman and those who know her or her blog would definitely agree. 
isn't she gawwwwwjus?!?!?!

She was worried her guest blog wouldn't be any good- she couldn't have been MORE wrong. It is AWESOME. Please see what I mean, below. And have a wonderful weekend, yo!

Hello, dears! 
I'm Nicole's favorite cousin, Alivia. I blog over at Brunch in April
This is my first-ever guest post.
*big, unnecessarily dramatic, communal gasp*

Blogging always comes easily to me.
In another window I'm comparing car insurance rates, paying off my Target card and scheduling a vet appointment. The inspiring creativity and sense of self-expression I'm getting is just overwhelmingly gratifying. 
Nicole, did you tell them I'm a tad sarcastic?
Alrighty then. Might be a good place to stop and hop off the Take Everything I Say Seriously train. Stop at the gift shop, kids, mama needs a new pair of shoes.

Hard as it is to believe, blogging, or otherwise known as "projecting a small semblance of a mostly real-life personality 'out there' into the universe with little guidance and almost no knowledge of internet social norms with the help of undeniable paranoia, on a daily basis" does not come easily most of the time.
Weird, huh?

See, I thought I would l o v e this guest posting gig. And, don't get me wrong, I love that Nicole asked me.
And I really do love blogging.
Except when I asked Nic what she wanted me to write about, I got this response:

"Maybe something encouraging for those of us new bloggers who feel like our words go unread"

Oh shit.
Encouraging. So should I tell them about how I feel like I am still a "new blogger?" Or should I not and go on suppressing that thought in my brain even though I know I'm not new to the rodeo because I started in 2005 and Lord help me I am just hitting almost300 followers now
Probably shouldn't open with that, Liv.

Can I call you dudes? 
Your words do go unread.
Here's the thing, though.
Don't. Give. A. Shit.

Sydney Poulton did not wake up one day with 8000+ followers.
Miss James did not simply click "Create Blog" and get invited to be featured in Elle Interior & Lucky magazines and Top 150 Makers Blog List
I could name a ton of big-time bloggers for effect, but we want to stay slightly focused, here.

Do you know how big this internet thing is? Relatively large.
Blogs are taking over, but we don't have world domination in our sights yet.
YET. You hear that, haters? Just wait.

My point is (I think I have a point):
don't get discouraged.* 
Keep on keepin' on.

Ask yourself why you blog. 
Is it because you want a virtual file cabinet of your thoughts, ideas, photos, favorite things, etc? Yes?  Then screw it, this is for you. Not for your followers or comment-ers or site feed. That sexy beast in the reflection of the screen, there.
Is it because you love blogs and you think you need one, too? Well, great. Except you don't need a blog to follow blogs. So if this is the sole reason, maybe writing less and reading more will alleviate some stress. But if you were inspired to start because of someone, awesome! And tell them!
Is it because you want to be famous? Well...you're in the wrong place. I mean...you can do anything you set your mind to! I just don't have any advice for you people. If you do make it to Hollywood because of your blog, a little shout out would be much appreciated.

It doesn't matter what your reason is. Just have one.
Once you're past that, sometimes those feelings of insignificance creep in and setting on your typing shoulders.
Here's my cure for Blogging Blues, otherwise known as The
My blog sucks and no one reads it and I don't have any motivation to post because seeing '0 Comments' ruins my day

1. Be confident in your blog design.
You have to enjoy visiting your blog. It's like your bedroom. If you have a pile of unfolded laundry perpetually taking up one half of your bed, reminding you that you'll probably be forever alone except for your new dog**, you probably aren't going to want to spend a lot of time in there. Unless you like wallowing in self-pity, and then, by all means, keep that blog of yours looking like a hot mess.
For reals, though, there are TONS of amazeballs designers out there, and if you're low on cash, edit your yourself blog till you're satisfied. Blogger just upped its game on design. Take advantage.
2. Follow blogs that inspire you on a visual and/or intellectual level
I follow over 50 blogs. For some, that's not a lot (more on this in a sec). These 50ish bloggers are all different. I follow "Mom Blogs" because, well, I love me some photos of babies. I follow fashion blogs because I'm a dance teacher and I have to live vicariously though people that don't have to wear a leotard and sweatpants everyday. Long story short: Find blogs you love and follow them. Easy peasy.
3. Comment for real.
Those "I love your blog, come visit mine (www.pleasefollowme.com)! Great giveaway! Leave a comment!" comments are crap. Don't be that guy. Back to the number of blogs I follow: 50ish. I follow blogs that I feel I can make a valid, thoughtful comment on a semi-regular basis. You love comments on your posts? Start leaving comments on blogs you love. Those bloggers will appreciate  it and the people that visit and comment on their blog now has a way to visit yours, too. This is probably how I've gotten the most traffic. AND how I've found some cool bloggers. What goes around comes around, you know?  
4. Blog about what you love
Or don't love...but then you'd be blogging about loving to hate something and that's kinda the same thing. 
And mix it up. For example, some of my recent posts have been somewhere along the lines of
"I Love Sweaters!" 
"The Shortened Story of How my Ex Boyfriend is A Douchebag."
"My Dog is Cute, See?"
"My Awkwardness Greatly Outweighs Anything Else in My Life."
Mix it up. Even if you want your blog to be strictly fashion, vary what you blog about. Dress lines. Collars. Favorite colors. Shoe styles. Runway looks.
See where I'm going?

And ask for help if you want/need it. The worst that can happen is 1. They don't answer or 2. They don't feel like they have time so they point you in a more helpful direction. You're still golden. 
And, man. If comments are really that important, comment on your own blog. Just kidding, don't do that. You CAN, though, respond to comments with a comment. 
savedbythebellfan: "Alivia, I just LOVED this post! Where did you get those hair scrunchies?"
alivia: "Thanks, savedbythebellfan! I got them blah blah blah blah blah blah."
Hair scrunchies.****
That is how I wrap up a rambling post.

*Yeah, I know. It's like telling an insomniac to "Just go to sleep!" Or depressed person to "Just cheer up!" You wanna punch those people in the face, am I right?
Please don't punch me in the face. I've got a lot on my plate right now.
*Yeah, this is a description of my bedroom. Set me up, clearly Homegirl's lonely.***
***Yeah, all of my footnotes begin with "Yeah."
****Please not my use of sarcasm regarding the scrunchies. Don't wear those unless...no. Just don't wear them.


Emily said...

Holy crap. AWESOME post, Liv. You have me crackin' up in Starbucks (hey internet, why do you NEVER work at my apartment?) and give great advice. Also, it's pretty fantastic to hear that you have the same the same thoughts as the rest of us/me. Bloggers unite.

Nicole - I bet Peaks is going to be gorgeous this weekend! Will you post pictures pretty please? So I can live this fall through you? Because it is clearly still summer down here - thunderstorms and short-sleeves and all.

Longest comment ever (although if I'm being honest, probably not), but I miss you two!! XO

Mel said...

Oh, the hair scrunchies part. I was dying. Very good advice, though. I love when people ask me why I blog, or what I blog about. My answers are somewhere along the lines of, "Everything & nothing, and I blog because I like it."