On Blogging & Bacon

It must be Monday.

I love blogging, and I love bacon. For some reason, I rarely talk about either.

Until today!

One thing I love about both is their ability to bring people together. Run a contest on your blog, or put out a plate of bacon-wrapped appetizers, and the result is the same. Better yet, run a contest with a bacon-chocolate bar prize.

Not that I’d know anything about that.

I love when other bloggers talk about blogging and/or bacon. Like Peg and JM. Yet I feel self-conscious doing so, like eating bacon and not having a napkin. You guys don’t mind if I make a mess though, right?

When I started this blog in February 2011, I had no idea what lurked behind the blogging curtain. I thought it might be scary. And not in the hey-girl-you’re-almost-out-of-bacon way, but more in the I-like-to-make-pictures-out-of-toenail-clippings way. I didn’t fully appreciate the prevalence of blogs; I never thought about the fact that some websites I frequented, like Perez Hilton, were really blogs.

My favorite bloggers inspire me to step up my game and invite me to participate in their dialogue. As a writer, this is such a gift. And it’s free! So, you know, you can still bring home the bacon.

To pay tribute to all of those who inspire me (and if you’re wondering who that is, my Blogroll page is a good start!), and to those who are new to this wacky and wonderful world of bloggy deliciousness, I thought I’d offer a few wise words.

Dang, Chipmunks. This is exciting.

Here are the 3 most important things I’ve learned from almost a year and a half of blogging. You may or may not be surprised to find the same principles apply in every day life.

1.) Sincerity – “enough about my bacon, let’s talk about yours”

There is no faster way to shoot yourself in the foot drop your bacon on the host’s white carpeting than to leave a comment that proves you didn’t read the post, or to leave comments plugging your own blog. Typically, if commenting on another blog, you should try to keep the focus on that blogger and their content.

I had no idea when I started a blog that it was a community, and a community that wants to TALK! I didn’t ask questions of my readers (not that I had many!), and I didn’t even realize I should respond to comments. Now I crave that dialogue, and try to answer every single comment I get. Often that’s far more rewarding than the writing itself.

2.) Generosity – Share those Tips Strips (of bacon)

One surefire way to increase readership is to read other blogs. Be generous with your time and support, and you’ll reap the rewards.

When I started blogging, I only read 2 or 3 other blogs. Now I follow almost 100. It’s not realistic to keep up with everyone, of course, but I genuinely enjoy all of the blogs I follow, and typically devote over an hour a day just to reading them. I also almost always comment. Leaving thoughtful comments is one of the only ways to get noticed in a world jam-packed with people vying for the same bacon.

 If you’re intimidated by big name bloggers, like Kristen Lamb or The Bloggess, don’t be. Remember they feel the same as you do about getting comments. And probably bacon.

3.) Perserverance – Makin’ Bacon

We all experience writer’s block, have personal obligations that take our focus away from writing, or simply just don’t ‘feel like it.’ Even if you miss a week, or a month, don’t give up. Blogging can truly open doors.

When I started this blog, I had very few followers. My mom. My husband. I tried to post 2-4 times a week, but even after 6 months, I had posts that didn’t get a single comment. I kept at it, increased my engagement, and as of this year, I’ve had almost 100,000 hits on this blog. I’ve also gotten several paid writing jobs and opportunities to write for highly trafficked websites. I say this not to be a Braggy McBaconBoaster, but just to encourage you and let you know: You don’t have to be serious to take your blog seriously.

…Is anyone else hungry?

What are some lessons you’ve learned about blogging? Or a question to fellow bloggers? To non-bloggers: What keeps you coming back to your favorite blogs?

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177 responses to “On Blogging & Bacon

  1. Thanks so much for this!! I too, am hungry! (and love bacon!) I was a writer many years ago and really want to get back into it in some capacity. Blogging seems like a good place to start….but it’s soooo hard. Your tips have given me some idea of “blogging etiquette” which can be pretty important ’round here. You’ve motivated me with this and I really appreciate it…..and your humor…You’ve got a good thing going here!! Looking forward to checking back in on ya!! ;-)

    • Thank YOU so much for this comment! I’m so glad you’re gettin’ back to your writer roots (boy can I relate to that) :) And blogging is the PERFECT place to start. If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to comment/email me. I look forward to seeing more of you, too!

  2. Phew, I read this one. I saw the bacon in the heading and thought WTH? I don’t remembering a post on bacon??? Ah-ha, it was a metaphor, right? Right?

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  4. Loooove this!! I, too am a fellow bacon fanatic. && a new blogger so this was just perfect!

  5. Jules, as always, you inspire me. This is an amazing post to share to all bacon/blog lovers, just like myself. I’ve definitely learn a thing or two about blogging, and that is, I am a Mom through and through. And although, there were times when I thought I couldn’t keep up with posting and was saddened to think I might let my followers down and frequent readers, when I get a comment or even just a ‘like’ alert, it’s actually enough to keep me going. And I have gained an awesome blog-friend across the world as well! (wink* wink*) If only the bacon would survive the journey by mail, I would have sent you packs of them already!

    • AJ’s Mom! How did I miss this comment?! So sorry I didn’t respond sooner! Thank you SO much for your kind words, and to even think of sending bacon? Why, you’re going to make me cry! :)

      I couldn’t agree more about the blogging experience, and I’m really glad to have ‘met’ you!

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  12. I’m pretty new around here, and wasn’t sure whether blogging was the best idea. I love writing and wanted to organise it a little bit but felt scared of the few/too many/ too mean/ too nice or whatever responses I would get. But your post gives me hope and confirmation that I’m in the place to be and that amazing things can and are happening here so,
    thanks

    • Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry I didn’t reply to this comment! That is terribly ironic. No, let’s say hilariously ironic; that makes me feel better. ;)

      I really can’t say enough about how supportive the blogging community has been; it’s built my confidence in so many ways, and I’ve seen a vast improvement in my writing, too.

      How is everything going for you so far??

  13. I don’t particularly love bacon {unless the alternative is sausage in which case get your hands off my strips} but I’m wiling to share with new friends. {restraining myself from shameless self-promotion and just signing} ~ Dee

  14. I’ve learned that you get what you give. Give respectful comments, visits and find others. Sitting back and waiting for the internets to sit up and be amazed ain’t gonna work.

    And have bacon ready for your guests.
    Though I am more partial to cookies. And no I have not made choco chip bacon cookies.
    Yet.

    • “Sitting back and waiting for the internets to sit up and be amazed ain’t gonna work.”

      Oh, preach! Here, take a choco chip bacon cookie! Take 10!

      So nice to ‘see’ you, and I’m glad you agree it’s definitely about give and take. Do you have any milk vodka we can wash these cookies down with?

  15. Such helpful advice! I’m new to the blogging world, and though I love writing, I often wonder “Why would anyone want to read my random thoughts?” Thank you for the wonderful encouragement and congratulations on such a successful blog!

    • Hi Shannon! Welcome to the blogosphere! I guarantee if you’re out there talking to other bloggers (as you so clearly are), you’re going to have a BLAST :)

      Feel free to ask me ANY questions, any time. I had NO idea what I was doing when I started, but I promise if you just keep at it, it really can change your life for the better!

      • Aww, thank you! That is extremely encouraging and I cannot tell you how much fun I have been having with blogging. I just wish that I would be graded on it rather than the homework I don’t want to work on. Haha! I’m actually pretty accustomed to WordPress because I reviewed these really helpful tutorials on Lynda.com on how to use the site, due to request from my supervisor, shockingly enough. I’m employed with FSU Communications’ Creative Services to make the new Veteran’s Center of FSU’s website and we will be using WordPress.com/.org. Pretty exciting, huh? Either way, thank you again! Keep up with the blogging, I love your content!

  16. Very helpful advice! I’ve had my blog for a while now but I recently gave it a face lift. This is definitely helpful!! Thanks!

    • Thank YOU! If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask away any time. Blog talk makes me all warm and fuzzy.

      • Actually I do have a question.
        Asking questions at the end of my blog feels so forced to me. I mean I understand it helps with comments and traffic and stuff but I just….feel like I’m trying to force a conversation (if that makes sense..). Does it get easier over time? Do you have any advice for making it feel more natural?

        • First off – thank you so much for the follow! :)

          Second – GREAT question! I totally agree. Sometimes I DON’T include a prompt at the end because it’s just so unnatural (and of course sometimes it seems like people just skip right to the question without reading the post, ha! But I never said that…). I do find myself really frothing at the mouth to know what people have to say about some topics I write about, though, so my advice would be to explore the ‘thing’ about your post that made it blog-worthy, and turn it into a question. So it might not be the ‘obvious’ question, but a cool way to dive a little deeper / get creative.

          This is a corny example, but if you wrote about ice cream, the obvious question might be “What’s your favorite brand / flavor?” but you could ask it differently, “If you were on death row and could only have one flavor ice cream as your last meal, what would it be?” OR, you could ask something like, “Do you remember the first time you tried ice cream?”

  17. I think that simply for adding the phrase “Braggy McBaconBoaster” you deserve a freaking medal. I’m quite partial to the bacon analogies as well. :)

  18. I recently found your blog and I have to say, I love it almost as much as I love bacon.To be honest, I feel like I’ve been inspired a little bit, I just had to follow you. I can only hope to be as entertaining and successful in blogging (as I’ve only just started to blog) as you. Fabulous my compadre, fabulous.

  19. I’m new to blogging, and really appreciate the tips. I was definitely drawn to your love of bacon. Born in the south, my grandmother taught me to add it to about 90 percent of my meals. I saw a commercial for “bacon boats” last night and broke out in a cold sweat…a learned behavior probably. Look forward to following more of your thoughts and posts. Thanks!

    • Welcome to the Wonderful World of Bloggy, Lucy! I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

      If you ever have ANY questions, feel free to fire away. Even if they aren’t bacon-related.

  20. “You had me at Bacon” ! Not even sure how I came across this, it must be fate….looking forward to meandering through more of your site ;)

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