Our Blog Community

A few months ago I was feeling a little frustrated, for a whole host of reasons.

I think we all have those points.

Although it is never easy to see it when you are in them, I am finding that on the other side of frustration, good things come.

At this particular point I was feeling frustrated with my blog and I realized sometimes you are so deep into your own work it is hard to see it for what it really is.

So I decided to seek help – in the form of some very successful bloggers.

When I entered 2011, I had decided it was going to be my year of putting myself out there and to try not to be too afraid to do things.

There are bloggers out there who have been doing this quite successfully for sometime and would be in a great position to give me some insight.  So, I sent out some emails expecting it unlikely that they would be in a position to even respond, but figured what the heck.

I think you might recognize the first lady I contacted.

katecentsationalgirl

Kate, from Centsational Girl

I am sure you are already familiar with her, but just in case, Kate’s blog is an amazing resource for high style that is still comfortable, traditional with a modern spin and a high end look without spending a fortune.  She also is involved in some incredible charitable programs as well.

Not only did Kate respond, but she gave me some really specific advice and direction that I so greatly appreciated.

“I think your header is lovely but too tall and takes up way too much screen space. I’d  move all the pretty pictures below your header to a sidebar slideshow.  It’s difficult to read your content when you land on your home page. The layout most are accustomed to shows a title of a post, some images and writing and I don’t see that, just a slider to click on articles?   People like to see the actual articles they’re about to read before clicking on them, often words aren’t enough. Like when I see this article on this hyperlink:

https://findinghomefarms.com/2011/10/halloween-treats.html

That’s great! I loooove the simplicity of your site, the clean white is perfect, keep that. Your images are gorgeous, nice and big, clean and pretty, keep that up. Put up some buttons for your feed/connect/subscribe opportunities and install some Google Ads too!  Overall, you’re off to a fantastic start. Remember, the key to increasing subscribers/readers is to provide consistent good content. It takes time to build, but once you win them over, they’ll stick around and even tell their friends.”

At the time of this response, I had a “home” page and then you had to “enter” into the blog.  From the beginning, I really was not sure about it, but followed the direction of my designer.  Kate confirmed my suspicions and I couldn’t get it changed fast enough.  The more simplified and better organized layout was put right into action after Kate’s suggestions.  I am still working on some changes on my header that I hope to have finished soon.

(For the record, I must note that my dear friend Julie told me the same thing months ago and I didn’t listen to her – sorry Betty!)

Thank you Kate!

I also contacted this lady…

jentatertots

Jen, from Tatertots and Jello

Again, I am quite sure you are already familiar with Jen’s blog, but just in case, Tatertots & Jello is a place where Jen shares her beautifully bright and colorful home, incredible craft and DIY projects that are really doable and she always seems to have a great time in the process.  Also, her weekend wrap up parties are HUGE and are incredible resource for ideas.  Jen also does summaries from the party that are by category and always very timely – like right now – do you need  a last minute neighbor gift or recipe – Jen’s blog is the place to go!

Jen also gave some similar and very specific ideas on changing my layout that confirmed even more the changes that needed to be made.  But where she really encouraged me is to engage more with the blog community and feature other blogs.  I had already been doing that on Facebook, but with Jen’s suggestion, I began doing Show & Tell Fridays.  What I found was that Jen was totally right!  I have so enjoyed featuring other people’s works and meeting and engaging with other bloggers that I otherwise would not have.

So, to Jen, I also say heartfelt thanks.

So, why I am telling you this.

First, because I think it is appropriate to publicly thank Kate and Jen (with their permission of course) for taking the time to help me in ways that I think have really impacted my blog for the better.

But also, because I think it has shown me something new that I wanted to share.

Whether you are just starting out or you have been at this a while, the blog community really is a kind and generous place.

I totally understand sometimes it can feel lonely and frustrating because I certainly have been there.

But I am finding that not only is there the opportunity to interact and share with like minded people, but you can find people who are willing to take the time to truly help out.

When I reached out to these ladies, I did so wanting constructive criticism – I didn’t want to hear “You’re great”, I knew I was missing things.

I am so thankful that they were willing to do just that.

And I must note, I contacted another blogger who didn’t respond and that was totally okay.

I am truly hoping that this post is not coming across it any negative ways.  I am  hoping that this post will encourage you to reach out, whether another blog is big or small, but you like what they have done – reach out to them, maybe they can help you through something.  I am hoping you can start to engage more with other bloggers, and to be open to helping out other bloggers as well.

I realize that many of you already do this, but for some of us (Like me!), we take a little prodding and encouragement.

I think Thistlewood Farm did an amazing job of summing up my feeling sometimes in her post, Can I Sit Next To You?. (who by the way is a new blogger and amazing – it is so worth your time to stop by!)

I guess I can’t write this post and not offer my help as well.

Not that I am on the level of experience of Kate and Jen, but if there is any questions you have for me, I would be happy to help you out.

As always, thanks for reading!

About Finding Home

Welcome to Finding Home Farms where we share our favorite DIY and decorating ideas and inspiration. We believe your home should be a reflection of you and your family. Our blog is the story of our journey - and what we find along the way. Thanks for joining us!

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20 thoughts on “Our Blog Community”

Comments

  1. Laura,
    Thank you so much for the mention! You are an inspiration to me and I love your blog! The lines are so clean and it is so easy to navigate. Thank you so much for the inspiration you provide to others!

    blessings,
    karianne

  2. I think your site is beautiful and you have a talent for making your home ( and others) look timeless and not trendy. I feel there are many who like your style and are sure to follow you once they see your blog. One of the things I like the most is you give many photos to see and lots of information with a natural style of narration. I love to be inspired and see how I can make an idea my own.
    rick

  3. I love your blog and I love how you asked for help from the experts of blogging. I’m thinking I might do the same as I’m never happy with my blog. Maybe you could stop by and let me know what you think…?

  4. Thank you so much for this post! I feel like this a lot. My blog is me but it started out just one random day and is still so new. Now that people are reaching out to me that they’ve been reading I’ve been feeling the pressure of “living up” to expectations. 2012 for me will be a year of finding the right balance between putting my thumbprint on the design and still having it look professional and make practical sense.

  5. Your blog is the best!
    I have only one suggestion…the print type is sooo small!!
    Some of us have a difficult time reading tiny type!
    ♥’s
    Sherry

  6. Thank you for that lovely post. I am a new blogger and always needing tips. But I also agree that reaching out is the best thing you can do for your blog. What a wonderful group of women out there. I’ve worked with designers who get stingy about who’s idea was what etc. – but not here – it’s all about sharing and supporting eachother. I love that. Thank you blogger friends!

  7. Good for you! You certainly picked two great bloggers to get advice from! The blogging community is an amazing group. I am so impressed with the kindness of so many people in blogland!

    I sure enjoy your blog!

    Merry Christmas!
    Pam

  8. Laura – A very insightful post, thank you for sharing. I think your blog is always a lovely place to visit, but I do think it’s natural that sometimes it’s difficult for us to see what’s good about our own blogs when we see others that are so successful and seem to have it all together, all the time. It’s good to seek advice from others who’ve gone before, paved the way, so to speak, while at the same time, it’s so important to maintain our own individuality and not get caught up in the whirlwind that blogging can be. There are SO many wonderful, creative, talented, thoughtful bloggers out there who do what they do for many reasons. My little blog doesn’t have ads, or sponsors, or tons of followers, and that’s ok. Blogging simply provides an outlet for sharing a little bit of myself as well as providing the opportunity to learn something every day from all of you. Thanks for posting these blog tips from these two gracious ladies. I agree, the blogging community can be a kind and generous place. I’ll be back to visit again soon! 🙂

  9. I’m finding Blogging = Sharing. It’s like being around friends you didn’t know you had………..
    All Good Thoughts. J

  10. Hi Laura – thank you, thank you , thank you!!!! I so needed to read this today! Iv only been writing my blog for a month and already I’m feeling like I need to “sit next to someone” Ive been really enjoying writing it (thanks to you who started me off as yours was one of the blogs that inspired me to start my own) but Im needing to up the ante already and have no idea where to start. Iv been feeling less positive about it this week but gave myself a firm talking to today and decided Im not actually doing this for anyone else other than myself and Im allowed to grow slowly. And now your post that has inspired me again….. Nat

  11. I so enjoy your blog. The colors are soothing and highlight your photos – which is wonderful. I admire your determination to make your page(s) better! To me determination leads to success – although I think your blog is just that.

  12. Your blog is new to me so I can’t comment on its “before”. But I think it’s lovely now. Both your photos and your writing are so enjoyable that I hope you won’t change a thing.

  13. Kate and Jen are just so sweet!!!!……… I can’t remember how I stumble across your blog yesterday but I fell in love with your home, your pictures were stunning too! Keep up the good work!

    “Write about what you love, stay authentic to your true self, and surround yourself with other bloggers you admire”

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  14. Your post was very helpful and encouraging. A few months ago, out of the blue, I decided to blog. I’ve tried to stay true to my ‘mission statement’ but often I get sidetracked. Thanks for taking the time and space to share your experiences. It’s easy to get discouraged, especially when you don’t know how to acquire a following. You really do have a great site. Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  15. You know, I have always admired a blogger who is willing to put themselves out there and share from heart to help others. I am all about seeking wisdom from others. The Bible instructs us to do that as well. I decided to follow that advice a long time ago as I tend to learn everything the hard way.
    In addition, losing
    my dad recently has given me an opportunity to reevaluate things as well I did just the same and decided to do a blog makeover. I look forward to starting a new year from a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of encouragement. God bless you my friend.

    forward to my visits here.

    er. I feel a lot more confident now and look forward to jumping into this new year with a fresh perspective and a renewed s nse