Category Archives: Mind Your Manners

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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Sincerely Yours, Caring McCantYouSeeImTryingHere

I promised you, guilty pleasure sweetums, that I’d let you know how you were doing when it came to your greeting cards. A few months ago, I hilariously rudely chastised those who merely scribble their name inside birthday/holiday cards, which, thinking back, is pretty ironic (can you rudely correct rudeness? Or do they cancel each other out?). I’ve heard from many of you since then; in fact, other than my flask story, it’s the post that seems to have made the biggest ripple through my inner circle. (Don’t be fooled. There is no outer circle.)

The outcome? You care, you really, really care! I see it, and I’m proud of you. You made my day(s). Just look (click on any of the pictures to enlarge):

Exhibit A+

My brother's girlfriend rockin' the left-hand side with an illustration of my birthday gift.

Exhibit B-u-ti-ful

My BFF gets it.

Exhibit C How Much They Care?

Birthday card from the in-laws. I love this.

Exhibit D-lightful

Babs took this picture in Times Square to make my birthday card (we went to the play for my b-day)! She taught me everything I know about proper greetings.

Exhibit E-lated That You Care

A drawing AND a blog shout-out in the birthday card from Hubster. He's no fool.