I Wanna Know... {Week 1}

11 December 2012

I had such a great response to my post last week!
I basically opened the floor and gave you guys a chance to ask me ANYTHING.
When I say anything, I mean anything! Blogging, marriage, army, crafting, shopping...
If you'd like to submit a question for me to answer
Click Here
So as promised, here we go! I plan to answer a few questions a week and will try to include both blogging & personal questions.

Question #1: How long did it take you to get your blog to where it is today?

Hi Becca! I started Wifessionals back in July (2012). This question is usually asked because girls want to know how I grew so fast. I always tell them I think it's more of a snowball effect. It took me 3 months to get 300 followers. I hit that goal in October. Then, by November, I had 500 followers. Now, early December, I have already reached over 775! Sometimes it feels like you aren't growing at all. Just be patient and take steps to help your blog grow (tips on that below!). Once you meet other bloggers, word of mouth gets out and you'll notice more ladies stopping by to say hello! Don't get discouraged. Lastly, numbers and "growth" aren't everything. I DO love that my blog has grown, but most of all I LOVE all of the new friends it has brought into my life & I love finding new blogs to explore and stalk (:

Question #2: What is your number one tip for growing a blog?

Brandi, my ultimate, number one, most biggest, ginormous tip for growing your blog is: Write for you. I had a 9 to 5 before I got married to Ryan. I made A LOT of money. I was absolutely, utterly miserable. Because of our recent 2 moves, I now stay at home and take care of stuff around the house. Was that a hard adjustment? Yes. But it led me to create the blog. And I LOVE it. It's the first time I have ever been so passionate about something. I get to create new recipes for dinner, find creative DIY's to spruce up our home for cheap, meet tons of girls that I have so much in common with and love dearly (aka you!). In the past month I have seen a ton of girls writing posts, apologizing to their readers. They write that they need to take a step back, that they lost focus of why they wanted to blog, that they got so caught up in trying to "grow", that they no longer were writing heartfelt posts, but just writing to "put time in" on their blog. That saddened my heart. I do think girls get too caught up in wanting "to grow". I truly believe that if you just write about things you love, feelings you feel - the growth will come. When you are passionate and being honest, people sense that...and they love it!
On a more practical note, check out the post I wrote, "How To Grow Your Blog...Easily!". It is by far one of my most referenced post by other bloggers. I will get into more detail about growing your blog since I received more questions on it, but since you asked for my top tip, I'll stop here....wow, that was a long answer....

Question #3: What is the benefit for using Passionfruit for blog ads, besides earning some money? When I look at blogs that I'd like to "swap" with, I'm always saddened to see that I have to pay to my my button on their blog. It's a "blogger turn off" for me. I know some blogs offer free swaps, but most want $5 or up. I love my blog and I'd love to promote it, but being a college student, I'm not financially able to spend money for ad space on other blogs...especially when some bloggers ask for $40+ for an ad.

Kaitlyn! Sweet name (: I LOVE this question. When it came in I knew it would be in the first set of ones that I answered. So here is a little secret: I have only ever paid for one ad. Yep! I got to where I am by never paying for an Ad until this month. Ryan and I have been on a strict budget because our wedding and the moves took a big hit on us financially. I couldn't justify spending money on a "hobby" of mine when I started out. I always promise to offer swaps to ANY size blog. I do this because I know how it felt to have 3 followers & how grateful I was when girls with bigger blogs agreed to swap with me. Now not all bloggers will swap. I actually had tons of girls tell me to "come back when I was a similar sized blog to them". They blew me off. And it hurt my feelings. I always try to remember how that felt and that is why I have different swap spots for EVERY sized blog.
Now the advantage to using Passionfruit is HUGE. I didn't jump on that bandwagon until about 3 months in. Big mistake. Passionfruit is awesome! They manage all of your ads, rotate them for you, take them down when they expire. It's free to use too. They take a small amount out if you make money on an ad, but it's not much, and I would never go back to managing my own ads. It's too much work. Now if you are doing swaps it's free to use their service and you aren't charged for anything! If you or anyone ever needs help setting it up, feel free to email me (: Now I did pay for an ad this month. I did it because it was on sale and it was an in-post ad (at the bottom of every post). It was a very affordable deal, so I used money I made on my own ad slots to pay for it. But before that, I swapped my butt off. Swap with all sized blogs, but always try to swap with at least 1-2 that are slightly bigger than you. This will bring in a lot of new girls and you'll reach an audience that maybe you haven't before. Lastly, enter giveaways for ad space! I've won a ton of free ad space so I got a lot of exposure, but didn't have to pay!
Melissa & Me Like Weird Faces

Question #4: Can I sign up for Cara Box since Kylie will be going to daycare (*tear*) and I will have a few minutes of sanity? (:

Hi Melissa...(yes, you can see the lovely picture to the left...it came from a guest post I did about how we are twinsies) I get emails daily about signing up for the next Cara Box Exchange. Do you not know what the Cara Box is? It's a box swap I created to promote women encouraging each other. I hate that girls are known for being catty & cut throat to one another. So, I decided to create a box swap where you are assigned a few women to get to know, build your partner a box around that month's theme, write them an encouraging note and then everyone shares their boxes around the blogosphere! This month's theme is all about glitter. I love that glitter is in right now! I encouraged everyone to send their partner's items that could add some shimmer to their holiday season! And here's something special: shhhhhh! Next month's box is going to center around a healthy and happy start to the new year (:
So how do you get in on this? You can click here to go to the Cara Box tab. It explains all of the details about the swap. Then you can click the link at the top of that page or just click here to sign up for the next month! I always have the sign up open, so if you missed the previous month's sign up, even by a day, it will automatically enter you in for the upcoming month. It's a great way to meet other bloggers and to get fun treats in the mail! The official announcement post for January's sign up and theme will come out on January 1st.

Question #5: How do you go about writing a guest post?! I'm doing one for the first time and I feel like goob!! Its for a good size blog I sponsor so I would really like to make it count. Still trying to grow my baby blog so it seems like a great idea... but where do I start?!

Meagan, I actually had this same type of question submitted twice! The other blogger wanted to remain anonymous, but also said: 'How do you think of so many relevant things to post about?' Here's what I do. I have a planner. Whenever I come up with an idea, I flip to the back and write it down. I have three columns: Blog Posts, Guest Posts, & Obsessed. Obsessed is a series I do on items I can't live without. So every time I use something around the house (makeup, cleaning products, etc) and I think 'I love this!' I jot it down and use it for that series. The same goes for Blog Posts & Guest Posts. I have about 7 or 8 unused items on each of those lists as I type. I've found that some days you wake up and you know exactly what you want to write about....other days, not so much. So to avoid writing boring or blah posts, I always have a few ideas stored up! Now when it comes to guest posting specifically, get creative! I get ideas from other guest posts I see (& jot them in my planner). A great example is that guest post I reference above in Melissa's question. That was one of the best ones I've written. It was fun for me to stalk her blog and try to find all of the ways that we were similar. It also helped me get to know her a lot better. I would encourage you to skip the blog highlight posts as much as possible. Unless the blogger specifically asks you to write a post introducing your blog - don't do that. I have personally written guest posts like that before, but now I try to avoid them. I know when I see those posts on my bloglovin' feed I generally don't click on them. They just aren't that interesting. Why not write about a recipe, or a trip you took, or why you can't live without your snuggie? Seriously, just write about something that will engage the readers and make them want to travel over and stalk your blog!

Question #6: What is the most recurring argument you and your hubby have?

Ashley, I am so grateful to say that Ryan and I rarely argue! No, I'm not lying, and I'm not saying that just to sound like we have a perfect marriage. Could it be the fact that we are still newlyweds? Maybe. But I honestly think he is my perfect match. We view a lot of issues the same way, so that helps. There is something that CAUSED a lot of arguments though: Facebook. Hilarious, huh? When we first got married we were both still friends with a lot of people who were friends with our ex's from the past. We started having problems with those ex's getting involved in our lives or just knowing things they shouldn't because they were using our friend's Facebook's to stalk us. One night, after we hit the breaking point (we were both so sick of fighting about Facebook) we decided to just unfriend any friends that still had connections to ex's. We talked to our friends, and most just unfriended our ex's since they were better friends with us. But that wasn't the case for everyone. I actually lost one of my dear friends over this. She hasn't spoken to me in months. But for me and Ryan, our marriage comes first. I refuse to let something as petty as Facebook cause marital problems! I really don't care if other people think that decision was stupid - especially if they are single and have no idea what it's like to be married!!! And along those same lines, Ryan and I have a shared Facebook account. We've seen divorces based on infidelity that occurred through Facebook. I'm not saying that everyone should have separate accounts. If it works for you then great! Ryan and I just knew we didn't have anything to hide from one another and didn't want to give evil a foothold. We just wanted to do every thing in our power to prevent a problem before it ever started (:

Question #7: Are Tiffany and Lauren the most amazing bloggers you have ever met?!? When will the next blate with them be planned?

Lauren (aka the baby whisperer) - of course you two are the most amazing bloggers I've ever met...but that may be because you're the ONLY bloggers I've ever met...Just kidding! If you want to check out our blate, click here. What is a blate? Blog + Date = Blate! I love blates. You get to know your bloggy friends so well that when you meet, you don't even waste time with "getting to know yous". It was honestly like you had just had coffee the week before!
I'm trying to have a blates with three of my Colorado blog friends Elise, Jami, & Jenni. Hopefully I will get to meet up with them after the holidays. And as for another Lo/Tiff/Kait blate, I've had this ingenious idea to maybe create a "Weekend Getaway Blate". How cool would it be to get a big group of girls together and have a weekend getaway somewhere...like a blate on steroids!!! More to come on that later, but I'm just throwing that out there to all my bloggy friends....
I hope you guys enjoyed seeing some of your questions answered! I'll be back next Tuesday with more!
If you'd like to submit a question for me to answer
Click Here
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  1. Three months to get 300 followers?! You can just about knock me over with a feather right now! ;) Good for you!

  2. This was too cute! I love how honest you are. My hubby and I aren't the worst at arguing, but we do have our moments when the cake batter hits the fan, lol! Also, I argee with you about being patient with gaining followers. If you only have one, then writing to encourage that one is worth it. I've had my YouTube channel since May, and still only have a little over 500 subbies. I used to look at people with 7,000 and would get discouraged, but God really showed me how to be grateful for and faithful to the ones he'd already given me.

    Thank you!

  3. And oh yea, I can't believe some people actually said they wouldn't swap with you! How rude!!!!

  4. Great post!! You are such an encourager!! Way to go!

  5. Love this post. The Mr and I decided to deactivate our facebook accounts by in September. And honestly, we don't miss it at all. We were just tired of all the different soap operas going on in everyone's lives. Facebook use to be fun, but it's turned into nothing but drama and we just chose to keep everyone else's drama out of our marriage. It's been wonderful for us. We focus on us and that's the only thing that matters. As newlyweds ourselves, we love spending all that time we wasted on facebook now on each other. We've found that we probably will never go back to the drama world! =)

  6. Love Love Love this post!!
    So great for us newbie bloggers... Especially inspiring when you talk about writing for "you" such insightful advice.
    I believe I'm your newest follower too :)
    Thanks again!
    XOX Angela

  7. Thanks so much for the response! I love the idea of keeping a planner and jotting down ideas, that would help me a ton with guest posts and posts for my own page! Also-- me and the hubs straight up deleted our Facebooks. He was married before and the whole "Is now single" "Is now in a relationship" "Is now moving to Mars" thing was too much for me especially to handle. All the people from his past and mine keeping up with us did not sound appealing. I don't miss it one bit! I keep up with people through Instagram and Twitter and dont feel obligated to be "Friends" with anyone!

  8. Kaitlyn, this is such a fun post! I'm really looking forward to your subsequent ones. :)

  9. I can't believe people actually told you to come back when you're similarly sized to them! I'm glad you didn't let that get you down. I found you through the iPad Mini giveaway, but I'm so happy I did!

  10. Thank you for answering my question. I'll be emailing you for some more clarification. I'm still a bit confused! I'm going to chalk it up to my brain being fried due to college finals!

  11. thanks for all the awesome tips! definitely gonna spend some time reading it more carefully this evening. also...love the layout changes - subtle but cute!

  12. I can't believe people wouldn't swap with you! They missed out! :) I'm thinking about maybe doing some ads in 2013, but I'm not sure if I'm to that point yet.

    My husband and I don't really argue either. I think it's so important to be open with each other about everything.

    And I'm finally going to participate in the Cara Box swap next month! So excited!

  13. LURVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So much useful information! Thank you for posting!
    Blog has had a new facelift! :)

  14. So Kaitlyn, OMG, you had some amazing answers to EVERY question!

    I absolutely loved this post. I love, love, LOVE this line..."I really don't care if other people think that decision was stupid - especially if they are single and have no idea what it's like to be married!!!" I totally feel that way as not only a wife but even moreso now as a mother (if you don't have children you can't tell me how to raise mine sort of thing). I SO love your approach!!!

    So thankful for your insight!

  15. I am so all for the blogger get away weekend! :-)


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