Question #1: I've been blogging and trying to network for a few months. How have you developed relationships with bloggers? I try to comment sincerely on posts, but after the initial response, many of the bloggers don't seem to care very much beyond that.
Hey girl - Great question! This is going to be a long answer, but I think A LOT of girls should read this. Developing true relationships with bloggers goes way past comments on blog posts. I personally try to go and comment on posts that I read. Even if it's just a two word comment. If I took the time to read it and I liked it, I try to say something. I don't want girls thinking they come and read my blog and comment but I never go out and read any of theirs. Which brings me to my next point: If you comment on my blog with something meaningful, I will do my very best to respond through email. Now if you are a no comment-reply blogger, I really don't have enough time to track you, your blog and your email down. I'm sorry for that, and I usually try to reply below your comment on the post then. These two things are basic interactions. It's how I've started off some of my blogging relationships that I currently have.
The best way to really build a relationship is interact with the blogger outside of a post. Send them an email. I get 100s of emails a month from girls who are just starting out, need help figuring something out, or just want to talk. I now would call a majority of these girls "friends". We email back and forth and even video chat each other. You can also just "Tweet" them. I've found that I instantly can connect with someone who sends me a hilarious Tweet. I then go look at their blog and think "I wanna be friends!!".
I am in no way being prideful or saying I am above ANY blogger, but Wifessionals has completely grown beyond what I ever thought it would be. I now have 1500+ amazing readers and it's really hard to personally connect with each and every one on my own. I initially followed back everyone on Twitter and Instagram, but recently I've found that I can't stay connected to girls I actually talk to by doing this. I had to start only following girls I "know". I have apps that manage this for me. For example, if you have never "liked" or commented on an Instagram picture of mine, the app tells me that and I usually am not following you back. But if you tweet me, comment or like my instagram photos, I do my best to interact and follow you back. If all 1,000 of my twitter followers were tweeting me, I would follow all 1,000 of them! I love building relationships with girls.
I think this is REALLY important for smaller bloggers to read and understand. A lot of time bigger blogs aren't ignoring you on purpose. They literally have so much stuff coming at them that it's hard to keep track of everything. There are girls I've heard about who reply to all of their "friends" comments and ignore smaller bloggers - I don't agree with that and I think that's rude. But the majority of us love connecting with you! Just reach out to us outside of commenting on posts and I am sure you will see a huge jump in your ongoing interactions with other bloggers!
Question #2: How do you add Rafflecopter to your blog?
Hello Clara! Rafflecopter is the easiest way to run giveaways in my opinion. It is free and it manages EVERYTHING. All you do is go to Rafflecopter, Plan a Giveaway, and paste the code for your widget into the blog post where you want it to appear.
Alot of girls initially have issues with Rafflecopter. It can be very fickle. The best way to get it to work is to type up your entire post and then click HTML at the top left. Go down to where you want to have the Rafflecopter show up and paste in the code. Then switch back to Compose. You should see a hyperlink that says "Rafflecopter Giveaway". Once you hit preview it should show up in it's entirety. If you switch back and forth between HTML and Compose after you've pasted the code in, it will sometimes make the Rafflecopter not work anymore. then you just need to delete the code and re-paste it in.
Question #3: How do you plan your blog posts? Do you write them in advance or have a weekly plan for what you will blog about?
Hi lady! I constantly have a notebook with me wherever I go. I write down anything I see that could make for a good blog post. I have a column for items I can't live without, one for personal posts, one of guest posts and one for random ideas. This really helps me so that if I have writer's block one day I have a bunch of ideas to choose from.
I have found that writing my posts in advance is the way to go, personally. I plan out posts every week, sometimes as much as a month in advance. This is particularly true with product reviews. I don't want to have too many in a week or forget to do one, so those I write on my calendar over the next month or so. Then I have posts that are weekly, like I Wanna Know or 30 Second Thursdays. I just fill in the other days with ideas. Sometimes I change my mind the day of and end up reverting a post back to draft to use later. But planning in advance and scheduling posts really helps to keep blogging "daily" manageable.
Question #4: Do you have a limit to how many blogs you, yourself will follow? It seems like I'm constantly finding blogs that I love, but my reading list is piling up...
Hi Veronica! A few weeks back I talked about how I manage reading all the blogs I follow. You can find that post here. I am a HUGE advocate for Bloglovin'. If you don't use it, you should. I now follow close to 200 blogs on a daily basis. The thing that is awesome about Bloglovin' is you place your blogs into categories. I have one for my closest friends, one for cooking, one for giveaways, etc...If I only have 5 minutes, I usually click on my BFFs so I can see if anything big has happened lately in their lives. I only ever look at the "giveaways" group if I have a ton of time to spare. Bloglovin' is great because it keeps all posts "unread" until you either read them or mark them as read. So even if I don't check my food blogs every day, 3 days later Bloglovin' will show me all the posts I haven't read yet.
Because of this, I don't have to limit the blogs I follow. You just have to take the time at the beginning to wisely categorize them. Then you are able to truly read through the blogs you love the most, while saving other great blogs for later (without missing any posts if you don't want to).
Question #5: Before you met your husband, how did you stay positive about trusting God and knowing that He would bring the right one.
Oh Hannah this makes me laugh. I did not stay positive and trust God very well. The year leading up to meeting Ryan was spent with a lot of crying and frustration, just ask my roommate at the time. The first 9 months of that year I was so impatient. I was 24 and really upset that I wasn't even dating anyone! I went on a few dates, but nothing like a serious boyfriend that could maybe turn into more. In the 10 month of that year, I was so fed up with going on dates and it going nowhere. I began to pray that God would just not bring any guys into my life until it was "the one". I would rather just spend time with my girl friends and not constantly be going out with guys, getting to know them, trying to begin a relationship, and then a few weeks later it turning out to be a waste of time.
The eleventh month of that year I honestly did not care about boys. I found out I was moving to Nashville and so I directed my focus to packing up and spending those last few weeks with my friends. And then, when I least expected it - when I totally did not care about trying to meet a guy - I met Ryan...in a bar...on my house hunting trip to Nashville.
So in a sense I trusted God by not settling for someone. I did believe He had someone perfect for me. But just because I knew that in my heart did not mean I was happy or la-dee-dah all the time. It was quite the opposite. But I think me going through that struggle with God, me coming to the point where I quit and gave it over to Him, that's what made me appreciate Ryan so much when I found him. I realized that when I stopped trying to control everything, God alone brought Ryan in my life.
I hope you guys enjoyed seeing some of your questions answered! I'll be back next Tuesday with more!
I'd love for you to submit a question for me to answer & for you to be featured next week!!!