Tuesday, April 14, 2009

11 things I have learned about blogging.


This month marks 1 year for Hil's Blog!  I started Hil's Blog so that I would have a place to express my thoughts, ideas, concerns, etc.  This is because whenever I would post about anything other than Little Guy on my family blog, I would get complaints from family members saying they wanted to hear about him.  Therefore, Hil's Blog was created (for selfish reasons).

I have learned A LOT in this short year of blogging and decided to share some of my wisdom. 

1. Comments.  Comments are great but don't stress if you only have 2 or 3 on a post.  At least those 2 or 3 people cared enough to say something!  Also, remember that comments in bloggy world are sort of a quid-pro-quo system.  If you comment on others blogs, they are more likely to comment on yours!  Kind of like a "If you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" type of thing.

2. Politics.  Be careful when writing about politics if your blog is not specifically a political blog.  You will get paragraph long comments telling you what an idiot you are.

3. Plagiarism.  Don't post images, graphics, blog content from other sites without giving credit where credit is due.  It's not only the nice thing to do, but the right thing to do.  Besides, we all like a little name-dropping here and there don't we?

4. Blog Design.  The design of your blog says a lot about what kind of blogger you are.  More isn't necessarily better when it comes to design.  Make sure the design of your blog reflects you as a person and have fun with it.

5. Consistency.  Regular posting is very important.  This doesn't necessarily mean every day, but if you choose to post just once a week be sure you are consistent.  (I realize this is something Hil's Blog has struggled with in the past... but can we please forgive and forget?  I'm working on it!  Sheesh!).

6. Music.  If you have music on your blog, please, please, please be sure to set it so that it turns on only when the reader tells it to.  Don't have it start automatically.  This can be a "I just wet my pants" experience for one-who-will-remain-nameless while blog hopping with her speakers all the way up because one-little-guy happened to be playing with the volume a few hours before.

7. Pictures.  What's that saying?  A picture is worth a thousand words.

8. Humor.  Not everyone gets sarcasm, but it is quite effective for those who do!

9. Link.  Write about the things you actually know, link to the rest.

10. Friends.  You can make some great friends in bloggy world.  Be sure to be a good friend back!

11. BE YOU.  This is the most important one and I feel very strongly about it.  There are some people in the blogosphere trying to be someone they are not.  They are one person on their blog, but a completely different person in real life.  Maybe they are too afraid people won't like the real them, maybe they don't even know who they are, whatever the reason be sure not to follow their lead!  In order to be a great blogger you must be yourself.  Don't try to impress.  Don't be a copy-cat.   Just be you.

What's a blog birthday without a giveaway?  I will be giving away one of my cute premade blogger templates from the *Not Availabe for Retirement* section.  The giveaway includes customization of that template and installation!  

To enter the giveaway please leave a comment below telling me which template is your favorite before next Tuesday, April 21st 2009.  Winner will be announced Tuesday morning.  If you are feeling nice, be sure to post about my giveaway and/or add my Simply Yours Designs button to your blog and/or Tweet about it.


  1. I am not entering the giveaway, but I wanted to leave acomment and congratulate you on you blogiversary! I was so glad you started this blog because I actually wanted to hear more about you! I would have never complained about that on your family blog...although I do love reading about my cute nephew!

    Loved this post...although I am sure I am to blame for many of them! ;)

  2. What the heck--I'll toss my name in the hat for good measure. I totally agree with EVERYTHING you said about blogging. I think consistency is one of the more important points you made. It takes a long time to build up an audience and I think that the minute you fall off the blogging wagon you tend to lose those readers you worked so hard for in the first place.

    For the record, I quite enjoy both your blogs and find you to be quite delightful! I'm soooo grateful for blogs because otherwise you and I would have very little contact, and that would suck.

  3. Hey Hilary~ Thanks for having another giveaway! Hopefully I am a little bit luckier this time! I completely agree with your 11 things about blogging!! I love reading your blog and trying new things that you post about-- (Like the Lime popcorn--YUMM)

    My Favorite is Birds and Flowers! Very cute. It was hard to choose though. They are all so cute!

    I am gonna go post and I already have your button!

    THANKS :)

  4. i love my template, and it's my favorite. but i just had to say i totally agree about the music thing. i personally HATE getting onto a blog and music starts. it drives me NUTS! especially if it's music i don't enjoy. then i have to find wherever it is on the blog and shut it off as fast as i can. and if there is a video, i have to do the same. UGH! hate music on blogs! and i also agree with fake people in blog world. sometimes i feel like it's all a competition. who has the best camera, best picture taking abilities, best business, cutest kids, best dressed kids, cutest house, nicest house, most money. UGH. i could go on and on! i swear it's lds girls ages like 20-40 . it's all a huge competition and i hate that too.

  5. such a good list, hilary. i definitely think your tips are good ones. i learned my own lesson when i mentioned a very subtle political post and i got hammered. am staying away from political posts from here on out... people can grow fangs overnight! am so glad you share your great style and tips.

    i love that big cupcake cake too.

  6. I have felt it necessary to comment since I put a link to your blog about your oreo cake on my blog. I can't remember for the life of me how I found your blog but I enjoy your humor and definently your oreo cake recipe!! This comment is more just in reference to your birthday post and your list. Unfortuanletly I have no clue about the blog templates. I am a plain jane girl and keep my blog simple although it is refreshing to see some cute mild blog backgrounds out there.

  7. Happy Anniversary Hil!!! I love how real you are makes me keep reading!!!! I also appreciate how creative and authentic of a person you are. You don't need to enter me in the blog makeover I know that who ever gets it will so enjoy your amazing talent!!!


  8. [...] you entered my Premade Blogger Template Giveaway yet? Favorite Things · Good [...]

  9. 12. you made me a spectacular blog button. you genius, you!;-)

  10. Love it Hilary!!! You rock at the giveaways! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be a lucky winner of one of your cute blog backgrounds. I totally love the Mint Chocolate layout!!! I love reading your blog!! I watch for updates constantly!!! I am definitely addicted to blogging. Happy 1 year blogiversary!!!

  11. I came across your blog awhile ago-and I just love checking it. I love that you are you while you are blogging and that's what makes it great. Your blog templates are awesome too-I LOVE the Formal Mint Chocolate template-so cute. It's hard to choose just one though!

    Congrats on your year mark of blogging!

  12. Love your work!
    And the tips are good for me to read. I started my first blog in June '08 and now I'm hooked but still very new. I'm participating in the 31dbb are you? Just curious b/c one of the tasks was a "list" post.

    It's hard to choose which template but I'd have to say the Blooming Dots (I think that's the name)

  13. I love the mint chocolate template! Love it! I found your blog - a few of my friends up here in Calgary Canada have templates that you have put together, I love the real life posts, and that is just how life is.

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