Food, I'm Going To Chop My Ear Off Any Day Now, Lists, 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?

181 thoughts on “On Blogging & Bacon”

  1. Cool post. I just started a blog a few weeks ago and have questioned why I’m doing it. Also, if I’m doing it right. So basically I’ve just thrown my bacon in. I should at least wait for it to get crispy.

    1. Thanks so much, Josh! You are brandy new, and we’re glad to have you aboard! I am so here for you if you ever have any questions. I am loving the bacon analogy. So much. OMG, and I’m eating bacon right now on a cheeseburger slider. This is amazing. Yes, that is a tear in my eye. Don’t judge.

      If YOU’RE having fun, then you’re doing it right. There’s so much I didn’t say in this post. Blogging definitely doesn’t have to be about some end goal as a writer or even to gain exposure. People use blogs for all different reasons, and that is a-okay!

  2. Thank you so very much for including me on your blogroll! Made my whole week!
    I think you made some great points. I have found that since I follow over 100 writers, I do spend a lot of time reading others. Plus I try to read those that come and comment on my blog. I figure it is only fair! The blogosphere is a very cool community and I have found you have to communicate in order to be a successful blogger!
    I am attracted to blogs that put a smile on my face which is why I follow yours!
    Great post! Now please pass the bacon….. 🙂

    1. Susie, of course! Thank YOU for the Twitter lovin’ and general support 🙂 Can’t believe you’re over here so soon after Freshly Pressage. You rock! I MAY even share my bacon. 😉

      Yes, I can’t believe I ever thought blogging was remotely one-sided! Talking to/getting to know my peeps and their blogs is by far my favorite part. And dang, I should have put so much more under the sincerity column. I seriously want to write 11 more posts about this, LOL I struggle with the ‘read theirs ’cause they read my blog’ thing mostly because of the time crunch! But I try, and try to be sincere (as I know you do)!

      1. Look at you BLOGGING after just being Pressed! You are “on the bacon!”
        There is a lot to cover and I started to write a blog post in my last comment! LOL! Gee what a grand idea. I should write a blog post about hmmm….our insane heat wave?…. Back to work!

    1. haha Nikki, I knew I could count on you to ask! Peppermeister seems to have a knack for making melt-in-your-mouth bacon in the oven, but I totally fudged it up yesterday (we had cheeseburger sliders). Luckily my dad didn’t hold a grudge, because hey, he already got a post written about him 😉

      I love you Canadians, and I’m very sorry, but…I cannot abide by your bacon. Just can’t.

      You’re so funny with your blog link. Someone else just did that, but I can’t tell if they’re joking, HA!

      1. You, wait ONE DAY,,,and it will happen one day,,you will just HAVE to meet me and WHEN you do,,,you will have a PeaMeal Bacon,,sandwich,,and I will convert you!

  3. Ah! I love this! Bacon and blogging are two of my favorite things and coexist in the same little corner of my heaven, so I’m glad to see I’m not the only one. Congrats on your recently Pressed post. That hard work pays off, eh? 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! Isn’t bacon magical? Honestly? I think it’s made of unicorn dreams.

      And thank you for the congrats, too! It really is such a thrill/honor to get Freshly Pressed. I definitely read some posts about ‘how to get Freshly Pressed’ in my early days, and all of the WordPress blogging tips, which I think are really helpful. But of course the best is when other bloggers talk about their ‘lessons learned,’ and it’s nice to simply get caught up in the community. I do think that, just like most things in life, you get out of blogging exactly what you put into it. Not to say I deserve to be Freshly Pressed! But maybe to have some bacon…mmm… 😉

  4. Lessons I’ve learned:
    ~~ It’s not hard to get traffic to your blog, but it takes a lot of work to keep a reader. I value both of my readers dearly. (I’m sure there’s more than two but I can’t trust my stat counters because I have yet to find two methods that give me the same number on the same day…so since I read it and so does my imaginary friend, I can safely say I have two.)
    ~~Also, really long comments are a little scary because the whole time I’m reading the paragraph I’m waiting for the shoe to drop and there will be a sentence that says, “you’re an idiot…stop blogging”. Thank goodness that hasn’t happened yet!
    Sorry for the long comment…you’ve now made it safely to the end.

    1. haha Mrs. P! Sometimes I think my comments are longer than my posts! And just like with bacon, I never mind getting ‘more’ 🙂

      I absolutely adore my readers, too, especially my imaginary ones. Peppermeister (hub) asked me a long time ago if I’d give up my readers for a million followers, and I was horrified at the thought!

      I sure hope you don’t stop blogging! 🙂

    1. Emily, Thoughtsy from Thoughts Appear just said the same thing! Because you are both awesome, I am willing to let it slide. Slide like a delicious piece of bacon onto my cheeseburger. 😉

      Thank you so much!

    1. Amen! Your voice is so fantastic. And you know, sometimes you slip in something hilarious, and it makes it that much sweeter. And still very much you 🙂

      Actually, I was worried this post was too much of a departure from my normal writing, but I could seriously talk about this all day! (And by this I mean bacon. Also blogging.)

  5. Here, here! Well said, Miss Braggy McBacon Boaster. Do you mind if I call you that forever? And thanks for the bloggy shout-out. Now about those paid writing gigs…

    1. Well said on YOU, Peg! I was so inspired by your ‘eitiquette’ post – it’s often on my mind! You did a MUCH better job than me at imparting words of wisdom in a funny way. Le sigh. This is why I follow such awesome blogs; ya’ll keep me on my toes. Hey wait, that reminds me of ANOTHER great post you wrote…

      Hugs and Chipmunks out and about because I seriously saw THREE in the last week, and I NEVER see them(!!!),
      Braggy McBaconBoaster

  6. Great and inspiring post for us newbies. It can get frustrating not getting comments and I’m learning that I have to give attention if I want to get any in return. Bacon doesn’t cook itself I am discovering! And I too, am a bacon lover. It’s the one food that makes it impossible for me to ever be a vegetarian.
    My one question would be how do you get non-bloggers to leave comments? I link my posts to my Facebook page and I get some traffic that way, but my friends leave likes on comments on my Facebook wall and not on my blog. I appreciate their attention so I don’t want to nag them about commenting.
    Thanks again for encouraging those of us who are new to the community to keep on blogging. It really does help!

    1. Goddessofglitter! Good to see you 🙂 tee hee I am just loving all of the bacon talk here. You’re absolutely right that it’s a give and take kinda thing. But the good news is that you get really caught up in the dialogue, so it’s not like ‘work.’ Finding like-minded souls makes it so much fun.

      GREAT question! Non-bloggers rarely comment, and I think a lot of times it’s because they have to enter their email, etc., which is a pain, or they feel shy. I try to always ask questions that apply to a non-bloggers as well, but…I can’t say I’ve been very successful!

      1. I’ve been having a alot of fun checking out more and more blogs. . . my house is suffering for it though. I do wish WordPress would make it a little more friendly for non-bloggers to post comments. It might encourage more interactions and maybe even some new bloggers!

  7. I’m not upset about the whole blog-roll snub, since my handle starts with a number, you would have had to put me first and that would have doubtless lead to some bruised feelings among the others. I understand completely and I bear no grudge (I know you read me, that’s honor enough).

    By the way, you’ll be thrilled to know that my 8 year old grand daughter has laid claim to my snap bracelet, which is probably for the best, as pink accessories can be tricky for middle aged men.

    In all seriousness, I’m still learning the whole blog thingy – I’ve only been at it since February of this year. Obviously, I’m hopelessly addicted.

    I recently cooked the entire pound of bacon which I had bought to use for the illustration of a recent post. My wife the vegetarian sat in the far corner of the house covering her nose and making gagging sounds – it was great fun!

    1. LOL *doh* And you know what? You’re one of the folks who doesn’t like my Reader, like Darla (She’s a Maineiac). That WordPress Reader is seriously whacked. I was falling out of people’s Readers last week, I know!

      Yeaaa, I’m glad the slap bracelet has found a good home, and not put your masculinity into question.

      I think you are ROCKING the blogging world. You’re HILARIOUS, and you have a top-notch level of engagement, and who could ask for more? Well, I could also ask for some of that bacon… you know, as a favor to your wife.

      1. The bacon is long gone. I suspect that she snuck some of it into the dog’s bowl. Honestly though, a pound of uncooked bacon only makes enough for two decent BLT’s.

        Forgive my blog innocence, but what is “engagement” in this context?

        I’m enjoying it, but my wife is getting sick of my begging her to read things, despite the fact that she reads paperbacks constantly. (In truth, I’m hoping to someday write a paperback so she can read me without all that begging).

        I’ll take all the blog advice I can get.

        For instance, lots of people have copyright warnings listed on their pages. Do they actually get things copyrighted, or just slap the words on there and hope to scare the plagarists?

        1. You’re so right about the BLT thing! LOL And great questions. When people say “engagement” in the bloggysphere, it is a little confusing. They just mean your interaction with people in and outside of your own blog, and I think the level of sincerity also has bearing on level of overall engagement.

          Supposedly your own blog content is automatically copyrighted, so I think most people stick the label on there for added emphasis. A LOT of people still get ripped off, though; it’s scary.

  8. I completely agree with all your blogging tips! I subscribe to a zillion blogs and its SO hard to keep up with them all, but I think its important and not just for readership.

    I also restarted my diet today and kind of hate that I had to read all about delicious bacon, but I still love you anyway.

    1. Thanks so much, Marta! It was really hard to shut myself up on the topic (too bad I didn’t have bacon to shove in my mouth).

      Erm…maybe I can find some diet bacon? Oops. I’ll stop talking about bacon now. You know I heart you, too 🙂

  9. I’ve been at it for 11 months. The most surprising thing I’ve learned is that you never quite know what will take wing (like bacon, since pigs might fly). So you need to do your best on every post, because someone might like it.
    As to what I look for in blogs I read – my favorite blogs are those in which someone shares little incidents in his/her normal life. Just like a friend would say, “Guess what happened to me today.” Bloggers become your friend and we want them to share. However, just like with your friends, you don’t want to hear the same story again and again – especially the same complaint. Keeping it fresh can be hard when you are posting several times a week. If you find yourself becoming repetitive, just take a time out for a little bit. No one will abandon you because you only write two days a week.

    1. Nancy! I will never forget when you came into my life, LOL You know I love your blog. You are a MASTER at the humorous memoir-style writing that I love so much (and don’t even get me started on the illustrations!).

      I couldn’t agree more with everything you said here. “Since pigs might fly,” HA! Perfect.

  10. As for me, I’m still figuring out how to cook my bacon. I haven’t learned much about blogging yet. I just started last week. But right now, I’m only writing for fun. 🙂 If other people would visit and read my entries, then great. 😀

    1. Ha ha! I would be jealous if you DID know how to cook your bacon at this point 🙂 I think it takes most people (myself included) the first 6 months or year to even figure out ‘who’ our blog is! I had NO idea I’d wind up referring to my readers as “Chipmunks,” for one, but now I couldn’t imagine it any other way 🙂

      You definitely have the right attitude, though – if you’re having fun, you’re doing it right!

      1. Wow, thank you for that. You inspire a lot of bloggers out there. I wish you more success in your blog. Keep those awesome entries coming, okay? 🙂

  11. I think it’s cool that you mentioned nonbloggers. It’s easy to forget that a lot of people read blogs but don’t write them.

    Also…I don’t like bacon. Can we still be friends?

  12. great blog. thank you for the tips. this is week two for me as a blogger and i’m learning so much. it’s all so new, fun, exciting, crispy, salty and good with eggs….wait, that’s bacon. in any event, i too am enjoying the community of bloggers.

    1. Thank YOU for the compliment and for reading 🙂 And welcome to the blogosphere – it’s good to have you! Now about those eggs… 😉

      In all seriousness, if you ever have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. The blogging community is one of the most supportive I’ve ever seen!

  13. Julie, you are one of the most gracious and wonderful commenters out there. In fact, it’s rarely about you and more about everyone else which is why you are so faboo! As a recipient of your chocolate-bacon (amongst a zillion other items), I feel a little guilty: we don’t eat bacon. I know, right? The Jewish girl who doesn’t eat bacon wins the chocolate covered bacon. But my son’s friends enjoyed it, and I just saw it for sale in our grocery store. Now everytime I pass it, I think of you. Is that wrong? 😉

    1. Renee, nothing could be more right. In fact, that might be one of the nicest associations anyone has ever had with me 😉 I’m glad you don’t hold it against me that I eat enough bacon for the both of us.

      It’s such a privilege to read your spectacular writing, and to call you a blog buddy!

      1. May I break into this little love-fest and volunteer..the next time you win some chocolate-covered bacon, and that would be WHEN, not IF with your skills, Renee – I’ll be happy to take it off your hands. Jules got me hooked on that particular drug.

  14. I agree with the whole being sincere thing. Sincerity (like sincere love of bacon) is always at the heart of writing a good post/comment. I too am aghast at the amount of fun I’ve had in this blogging community; I never knew fellow bloggers (like you, Jules!) would embrace me with such generosity. 🙂

    1. Rache! Okay, good, you’re on Team Bacon. A few people aren’t, and now I’m questioning everything I thought I knew about life and its purpose.

      Blogging is just the shiz. I still can’t believe I’m allowed to have this much fun doing something I love.

      And likewise! 🙂 BTW, I cannot get over your new gravatar image. I really liked the other one in the hat, too, but this one is just…magazine cover!

      1. Jules, you are SOOOO sweet. But I don’t think I could EVER look as fabulous as you taking bacon out of the oven and wearing mustache glasses. Ever.

  15. Man, you are just so popular now, I feel like I’m a hanger on to one of the cool kids. Your whole reese’s crew is all over the FP this last week! Craziness, man. Just craziness.

    Anyway, I actually DID read your post, and am not just gonna keep going on and on about my jealousy of your good fortune! 🙂 I find that you are completely right about going to other sites and supporting other bloggers and it coming back to you. Plus, it’s always fun to check out your favorite blogs’ commenters as well! If you all like the same blog, pretty good chance you will like each other as well. And that way you get to meet a lot of new people without having to search. My “blogroll” is out of control, and I find I get really behind in checking out a lot of my favorite blogs. But I still try, damnit!!

    I’m glad I found you and am so happy for your success. We are gonna tear it up in NYC girl! 😉

    1. LOL Misty, I feel like I’M trying to get in with the cool kids by crashing BlogHer to meet you and Thoughtsy! And it was seriously awesome to see so many familiar faces on Freshly Pressed last week.

      You’re so right that the best way to connect with like-minded bloggers is to check out the commenters of blogs you like. The good thing is everyone understands getting swamped, since we’re all trying to keep up with more blogs than any person can reasonably manage!

      My awesome cassette-clad phone and I can’t WAIT to tear it up wit’choo in NYC!

  16. Great tips! I like the way you come across…funny and easy to read. I’m pretty new to the blog world, but like you said, I’m definitely starting to see this as a community. 🙂 Good times!

    1. Thank you so much, and welcome to the blog world! I promise these people are more nice and less crazy, or only crazy in the good way 😉

      If you ever have ANY questions, please let me know!

  17. This post is fabulous, just like you. I remember when I first ‘met’ you over at GG’s, I instantly knew you were a genuine and sweet person. Then I followed your blog and was hooked.

    It’s funny you said these things about blogging because I am currently wriring my 2nd anniversary blog post (yay!) and have to laugh that in the very beginning I had TWO followers and was thrilled to death I had ANY followers. Truly, I was always shocked when someone ‘liked’ a post! For months, I wrote for myself and no one was reading it. I kept plugging away. But I STILL write for myself first. I try not to get tripped up in what I think the audience wants, that’s a trap and it will leave you feeling unfulfilled.

    I think the single biggest thing I’ve learned over these two years: BE YOURSELF. Don’t worry about what someone may think of you or your post. If I write something that cracks me up, that’s enough. I have to say, this really attracts people, putting your genuine self out there (which you do very well!)

    By the way, I had to re-follow you AGAIN. grrrr!

    1. p.s. I forgot to say that in these two years the most important thing to me has been forging these close blogging relationships over time. Really getting to know someone and a little bit about their lives. I appreciate all the people I’ve ‘met’ and all the incredible blogs out there. Much more important at the end of the day than stats. This was a hard lesson to learn! Even though my readers have increased, not much has changed in the way of my commenters and those relationships are still there and keep me blogging(hope I’m making sense…)

      1. Darla, I love this comment! And not just ’cause of the compliments, LOL You know I adore you and your blog. And now you’re almost at year #2?! That is AWESOME. I can only imagine what fabulousness you have in store for us.

        You make such a good point about writing for yourself. I thought a lot about that after I first read this comment (and couldn’t respond). I think people get confused hearing both ‘have a brand’ and ‘be genuine.’ But I decided it’s like going on a job interview – you aren’t going to show up in your nightgown, right? You want to look good, while still being honest and true to yourself. And if you don’t put time and effort into yourself (i.e., blog), why should anyone hire you (i.e., read your blog)? And by “you” of course I mean anyone BUT you, LOL, since you certainly don’t need ANY advice on creating an awesome blog and being genuine! 😉

        Gah. I think the length of this comment proves my favorite part of blogging is forging relationships, too 🙂

        1. I re-read my comment and I think I confused myself. I know what you mean, your comment put it much clearer. haha!

          I suppose what’s really important is embracing your own true writing ‘voice’ because there is no one else out there that has it–it’s yours and it’s original. That’s what I meant when I said “Be yourself”. Don’t try to be something you’re not, people will see right through it. I don’t write only for myself like I’m in a vacuum and not looking for responses from others. I made it seem like I write my blog only for me to read it. That’s not what I meant. D’oh!

          1. Darla, I totally know what you mean! But on the flip side, some people claim not to care about readership; I mentioned this to Peppermeister a while back. He said, “Then why not keep a diary?” Bingo!

            Just in case I’ve misled anyone reading this – of course you should keep writing even if no one reads, and do it for the joy of it!

  18. I loved this — a perfect post to follow your Freshly Pressed one. As in, “I know I’m a rock star but sometimes I only play one on TV…” Very humble, sweet yet wise.

    Paid writing gigs? Are there such things? 😉

    I’m coming up on my one-year blog anniversary next month. I still feel like an idiot. The main thing I learned is that you can’t be here just for yourself or you won’t have any fun. I’ve visited blogs that are well recognized by WordPress — one I’m thinking of in particular — but I never see the blogger engage with readers much, I never see the blogger around at others’ blogs, I never see a lot of shout-outs, etc. As a result, whenever I do stop in at that blog, I see very few comments and likes. But the posts are great! Some of the best around here. I’ll still read that blog once in a while, but I can sense that the writer doesn’t “get it” that blogging is more about the community you create.

    I feel a group hug coming on now.

    1. LOL! Angie, you’re making me blush. And happy early anniversary! That is great. I just wish I’d found you sooner – think of the Halloween costume pics you would have seen by now! And you are NO idiot when it comes to blogging! Freshly Pressed twice in less than a year?! World, watch out for Angie!

      You are so right. And I follow very similar blogs. They are FABULOUS and promoted by WordPress, but the authors aren’t really out and about in the blogosphere (that I can see), and so receive very few comments.

      *arms extended* Get in here!

  19. Babs, aka, Proudy McProud, loves you and all your inner bacony beauty. Just like you to think of all the newbies out there and offer advice. Your followers are hilarious. Who knew there could be so many bacon/pig references!? Well. You, I guess…

    1. Babs, why do I get the feeling if I wrote a post about How to Perfect Cannibalism, you’d have something sweet to say about it? 😉

      OMG. The bacon references give me a reason to live! I need to come up with another bacon post, like, yesterday.

  20. Great lessons! 🙂 I’ve learned many of the same. You took the bacon…er….words…right out of my mouth. I am sucky-ma-lucky at keeping up on the reading of other blogs, however. I try, but my four little circus clowns keep getting in the way. And there is the laundry….eesh.

    1. Thanks so much, Annie! I feel your pain, although minus four little circus clowns, so, scratch that, I know nothing of your pain. Nevertheless, can I please steal “sucky-ma-lucky” from you? That is amazing.

    1. Thank you so much! And you’re in luck, because two or more compliments means I’m willing to overlook the whole ‘I don’t love bacon’ thing 😉

  21. This rookie says ‘thanks’, I sometime worry that there’s nothing going on to write about, then before I can say “where’s the fry pan”, something new pops up. You’re so right about the making connections, that’s really the best part.

    1. Thank YOU! I’m so glad I’ve found this wonderful community – it makes me wonder how I went so long without it!

      And I’m glad the creative fat, I mean, juices, are sizzlin’ and crackin’ for you! I have the same ebbs and flows; for the last couple of posts, I’ve had to force myself to sit down and just start writing, which isn’t a comfortable style for me. But they say the only way to become a better writer is to JUST. WRITE.

      Comments on the other hand? Don’t ever seem to have a problem writing those, ha! 😉

      1. Thanks nikkix2, that’s good advice. I’ve noticed that on a number of Blogs, and here at Go Jules Go..she cracks you up doesn’t she? I’ve been sprinkling the posts with questions but maybe I’ll get more direct about it…cheers

    1. YOU rock! So much so that here, would you like some of my bacon? (The highest honor, next to sharing peanut butter cups and calling you ‘chipmunkalicious,’ which you also are.)

  22. …I gave up meat four months ago and I’ve been doing ok….but damn I could eat a bacon sarnie on super unhealthy white bread right now!! I will never give up chocolate though – jeez I’m not THAT crazy!

    1. Erm…you’re not missing…out…on anything. I…promise. 😉 In all seriousness, double up on the chocolate and you’ll be just fine, ha! (I was actually a vegetarian my entire teenage life, and surprisingly, the thing I most started to crave was tunafish salad!)

  23. hi! second time reader here, first time commenter. i usually suffer from comment-o-phobia but you’ve inspired me to set aside that nonsense and lay down some words. p.s. you’re funny!

    1. Thank you! I’m SO glad to hear you’ve had a similar experience. I still sometimes worry I’m going to run into someone ‘mean,’ ha, but it hasn’t happened yet! (Knock bacon, I mean, wood.)

  24. I started blogging last November and have been amazed in so many ways – it is a wonderful thing to have an audience for your writing – and such a kind audience!
    Loving your blog!

    1. Thank you so much, and good to ‘see’ you! 🙂 It really is such a treat to have such a receptive audience, and also one that’s willing to share and mentor. (Kristen Lamb’s blog is AWESOME for that.)

  25. This was truly inspring for me, and not just because of the bacon references!

    I’m a new blogger myself and it’s comforting to know that you have gone through the same things that I have. In the beginning it was all about posting about things that interest me, I never even thought about the wide world of other blogs – and now that’s my favourite part!

    1. Ha ha! Thank you for such a kind comment! So far I’ve only met ONE WordPress blogger whose blog ‘took off’ instantly (and Rian deserves it; she’s fabulous: http://truthandcake.com). But I think even she would agree the interaction with other bloggers is the best part!

      So glad you’re part of the bloggysphere – welcome! 🙂

  26. Let’s sing the bacon song “Bacon, bacon baaaacon!, It makes me happy all day long,….. Bacon, bacon baaaacon you make me feel so big and strong!”

      1. Ok, you’ve got me, it’s not an actual song, rather, I like to make songs up all the time….. However there IS a bacon song, which sounds like chipmunks are singing it! 😀

          1. Ha ha! Kate! I can think of no better way to waste an afternoon. And I totally just had some bacon with my lunch.

            Thank you for posting these! I really feel my blog getting happier. And fatter.

  27. Your lessons learned are seemingly my own. I have not looked at your blogroll yet, but I will. I had one of those pages when I was only following 25 blogs, but it soon rolled me over like a pumpkin vine and I took it down.

    My blog is small, “private” even in the words of WordPress. I’ve chosen not to publicize, I’m definitely no writer, would never be paid to be, and I don’t eat bacon (sorry!). I post for me first, others second. It’s more a collection of sharing the things I do well (gardening, composting, recycling, photography) as well as the stuff I screw up (all of the above, but add parenting). I rather enjoy having a handful of faithfuls, rather than hundreds of just-readers.

    You are spot-on about recognizing that the blogging community is really PEOPLE and people enjoy engagement of other like-minded people. Some don’t do that, but that’s okay. (What’s NOT okay is to have a policy of commenting on your site and then not commenting. Bad, bad etiquette.) I prefer interaction to be more personal, intimate like people relationships are supposed to be. But when it can’t be done on my back porch swing, commenting will do nicely in its place.

    I’m new to your blog and I enjoy what I’ve seen so far. Cheers! Let’s drink to many more years of bloggy sharing.

    1. Shannon, it’s always good to see/hear from you! I HEAR YA re: the blogroll! Mine has gotten a bit unwieldy, and still doesn’t come close to reflecting the actual number of blogs I read!

      It’s also great to hear from someone with a private blog, because I think a lot of the ‘rules’ don’t apply in your case. It’s sort of like your personal journal that you choose to share with close, trusted friends, and yes, definitely done for you first! The thing that mystifies me is when people with a public blog say they don’t care about their readers – why go public then, right? I think it’s kind of an insult to the reading public who’s generous enough to give their time.

      Oh and do you mind clarifying “What’s NOT okay is to have a policy of commenting on your site and then not commenting”? Do you mean people who get lots of comments, but never comment on other blogs? Because I’ve definitely seen that happen, which I don’t quite understand!

      I am so ready for that drink whenever you are! Thanks so much for this wonderful and thoughtful comment – and the compliment! 🙂

      1. On commenting, I speak of bloggers who specifically attest to “replying to every comment” (even creating a page for said policy) and then not replying to any comments, or, worse, replying to one or two in a stream of 20, giving the impression that the other commenters did not merit a reply. Disingenuous, if you ask me. Even discourteous.

        1. Ahhh yes, thanks for clarifying! I see that happen, too! And I do feel a little snubbed when my comment isn’t chosen for a reply, LOL But I’ve heard the other side, and some of those folks genuinely don’t realize it might come across as rude! Which is part of why I think keeping the dialogue open about this stuff is important.

  28. I think blogging about “bigger” topics is kind of important.

    Every once in a while I want to read about the minutia of someone’s day (especially if it involves FOOD), but if it becomes the only thing they blog about, I feel like I’m talking to a very boring person…and then I leave.

    1. Thank you for such a great comment, Jess! I’ve thought a lot about this, because some of the blogs I read talk about day-to-day life in a way that is so funny and engaging, it feels like hanging out with a friend. I really enjoy those blogs; the blogs I’m not such a fan of are written more like a (forgive me, but–) sloppy diary that no one else will see. I’m not sure I get the point of that!

      I also think people inadvertently alienate others if they don’t make an attempt to describe who “Bob” or “Grumpy Gus” (or whoever) is; I think it’s always wise to assume someone brand new is reading and throw them a lifeline.

      Either way, I totally agree there has to be some substance or it gets boring! We’re probably both thinking of those people who post on their Facebook wall that they just had a p.b. sandwich and THAT’S IT. Unless they were eating it with Leonardo DiCaprio, I couldn’t give two hoots. 😉

  29. Dearest Braggy McBacon Boaster McPants MacMc,

    Loved this post. So you know, bacon is not the other white meat, it’s the only meat.

    I love me bacon so much that some friends got me this for my birfday:

    Looks like you’ve moved into the big leagues, my Chipmunk friend. Over 100 comments on this post alone!

    Who’s whosing whose now? 🙂

    1. MJ McBacon Syrup! I am so glad to hear you understand the bacon thing – maybe even better than I do. (How is THAT possible?) Please tell me more about this bacon syrup and how you have used it. I am fascinated.

      And shhh, over half of these comments are from me, I think! LOL

      1. I haven’t used the syrup yet. I hate to break the seal unless it’s a really special occasion.

        BTW, have you had the bacon sundae at Denny’s? Yum. Bacon and ice cream – two of my favorite food groups!

  30. #1 — I still try to comment on every single comment, but my success rate is pretty abysmal. 30%, maybe? I am wistful for the days where it was 100%, consistently, but I’m doing what I can. 🙂

    Those “didn’t-actually-read-your-post” comments are awkward! I was guilty of that once recently and, hoo-boy! Do I never, ever want to go there again!

    #2 — Blogging was getting pretty tiring when I still felt I had to read every blog written by ever blogger I loved. Now I realize I couldn’t do that if I made a full-time job of it, but like you, I still love reading when/what I can!

    #3 — You don’t have to be serious to take your blog seriously.
    This made me giggle. Like so much on your blog. I love knowing you’re out there being goofy and being you even when you’re not blogging. And, though I’m vegetarian, I haftadmit I love bacon humor. (All the more when it originated with you!)

    1. Deb – thank you so much for this awesome comment! I SO appreciate that you’ve scaled back a little from the blogging world, because like you said, it is just COMPLETELY unrealistic to keep up with everything, EVEN if it was a full-time job! I definitely don’t hold any grudges when people are still being sincere in their approach to the bloggy-sphere. In fact, I’ve been wondering if I should post less myself! (Right now I try to do 3 times/week. But my posts are pretty short, so I think that makes a big difference.)

      And, why do I feel like I didn’t know you were a vegetarian?! How can that be?! As long as you appreciate bacon humor (and I won’t tell!), we’re all good, LOL 😉 I was a vegetarian for many years!

  31. Jules! I finally bit the bullet and followed your blog. I was nervous about having more brilliant writers to keep up with (reading, commenting, reading replies to comments, replying to comment replies), but I see you around on every single other blog I read and couldn’t resist just joining the party OFFICIALLY. So here I am! 🙂

    You bring up a lot of great points here. I was the same when I first started blogging. I only read a tiny handful of blogs written by my friends, and I only wrote my own blog to keep in touch with my existing friends. WTH? A whole new world was opened up when I started connecting with “strangers” and realizing that there are a lot of great people here, especially in the WP community! Sure, it can be a bit of a time suck sometimes (how easily I prioritize reading/writing blogs instead of doing actual work), but I wouldn’t trade the sense of community and the online friendships I’ve established for anything.

    1. Dana! You’re totally making my day right now! I know EXACTLY where you’re coming from – I pretty much ‘yell’ at any new people I follow now, because it’s just so out of hand! (“Why must you be so awesome that I am forced to follow you?!”) So this truly means a lot to me.

      “Ode to the Time Suck.” We should pair up on an epic haiku. Ha!

      1. I’m still holding out on a few regulars that I see in every comment section I haunt, but it’s only a matter of time before I am ‘forced’ to subscribe to their blogs, too. Resistance is futile!

  32. You are so awesome! I actually have never been to the blogesses site but i have started reading her book which is hilarious and i kept thinking that if you wrote a book i would be proud to read it in public and laugh out loud shamelessly at your witty musings. These are great tips for a new blogger! It’s hard not to get discouraged when no one reads. I have to say though i LOVE that you can see your blog stats. I think that’s what keeps me going. i don’t get loads of comments even likes but i’m excited if i get a few views!
    As someone who is not yet a successful blogger i’m not sure how much advice i can give but one thing i at least have found fun is getting cards made for my blog. This probably sounds ghetto tacky but i guess since for me it’s kind of a portfolio of images it’s nice to be able to give someone a card that they will remember then just write down the name of the blog on scrap paper lol. Good ole vista print being cheap enough to print heh. Other than that i fully agree with your tips!
    Well I’m going to go roll into the fetal position and cry over my ever present and now increased cravings for bacon (i gave up all meat but fish -and apparently chocolate mixed with bacon-somewhere around march and bacon is the one that really broke my heart) and wait for more guilty pleasures hilarity.

    1. YOU are so awesome, Erin! Besides comparisons to chipmunks, there is nary a better compliment than a comparison to The Bloggess! (And there is nary a better word than “nary.”)

      I’m glad to hear you say that about the stats – some folks claim not to care, but I think we all want traffic or we wouldn’t have started a public blog 🙂

      I think business cards are GREAT for any blogger, and especially an amazing photographer like you! And thanks for the tip about Vista Print, because I actually was going to make some on my home printer for the BlogHer conference in August, but if I can order on the cheap, I’d MUCH rather do that!

      I will try not to bring up bacon in your presence, but I can’t make any promises 😉

  33. What a great post! Or at least great title. I stopped reading there, but be sure to check out my blog at…

    Really, though, it’s allegorical comparisons like this, combined with thoughtfulness, that will have you transcending to some sort of guru soon.

    1. P.S. – I wrote this shortly before your [joking] advice to write about blogging – which I’ve never done before! And today we both wrote about mustaches. More evidence! (Although I suppose the chances of me writing about ‘staches in any given post is 1,000%.)

  34. Julie, these tips are the exact perfect essence of what makes a blog grow. Honest to goodness there ARE people that just don’t get the piece about reading other blogs. They sort of feel like people will flock to them based on the quality of the post. Quality does not stand on its own. There are just SO many blogs out there. You have to be a reader to get readers.

    All the tips are great here. Off to tweet this post. Loved it.

    1. Nina, thank you so much for the kind words and the tweet! You are a rock star – so many people clicked over after you tweeted that! That is amazing to me (but I expect no less from you!), as is the fact that you read this li’l blog 🙂

      I’m so glad you agree -even if it’s discouraging to do so- that sometimes quality content on its own isn’t going to guarantee readership. …That’s why I try to spread my focus around to my chipmunks and vodka, too. They always accept me.

  35. Man alive, am I behind on blog reading! And of course, right when you write this fantastic post about how important it is to read other blogs! I love everything you have to say in this post, Jules. You sound so assured and genuine. I think you’re spot-on with the idea that blogs are about engagement and generosity. And you are just so good at it–you leave the best comments and you really do respond to everyone. Try as I might, I still find myself leaving someone out. But luckily, we can all take a page from you and keep trying. The great thing about blogs is that they constantly evolve and improve, just like us. Okay, but let me get this straight –you read 100 blogs?! How and when and…how? Okay, I don’t want to know. I’m just glad mine is one of them because I always look forward to your comments. Keep it up! You’re hitting it out of the park!

    1. Rian, any time you stop by is such a treat! I feel like I channeled you with this post, truly. It’s one of the only topics I feel like I can offer any advice on. Sometimes I feel like I need to scale back on blogs I read, but luckily quite a few people only post weekly, or less, so it’s easier to keep up!

      This comment really added some money mustaches to my awesome bank.

      Hmm. I’m going to have faith that that made sense to you, too. 😉

  36. You know, I am overjoyed to see how big your blog is getting, and not just because you’re so funny and zany. You’re also a swell person: supportive, generous and “good people.” I love it when the good guys win. And you’re one of the good guys.

    1. El! Thank you so much. That really means a lot to me, coming from true “good people,” and such a talented writer. Of course you know you’re one of the writers who inspires me that I mentioned in this post.

      What I’m really trying to say here is, I would totally share my bacon with you. 🙂

  37. I’ve learned a ton about blogging from my last blog. But i’ typing from my phone so I’ll make this short.
    Good: supportive followers, consistent content, direction, interesting thoughtful posts, networking
    Bad: Spam, those “award”posts that are basically chain letters, using comments solely for cross promotion, poor grammar and formatting.
    Awesome: you and i. (there’s some others too)

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