Saturday, March 31, 2012

sharing is caring: {blogger lessons}

I'm sharing this post because I've been asked my opinion by bloggy friends on some web tools, so I thought I'd blab my thoughts with y'all on what I've been reading and learning about recently. I'll be back tomorrow to dish on some of my inaugural canning lessons (spoiler alert: I broke my jar cherry..and broke a jar!); if blogging isn't your thing, I hope you'll catch me on the flip side. If, however, you are a blogger, I hope you'll find this information useful. On a related note, I also wrote a few tutorials a while back that you might be interested in: How to make a blog button and How to make a social media bar.

A quick disclaimer: I'm sharing what I know as I learn, but if you feel like something I say doesn't jive with your knowhow, please speak up! I hope this blog will be a positive learning space for everyone, including and perhaps most notably me.







Some prominent pinners have been writing good articles in response to this copyright debate. Tech Crunch succinctly summed the debate up; their article even includes an interview with the initial whistleblower. But if you haven't heard and don't want to know too many details, here's my nutshell view: there are lots of people not following Pinterest etiquette, and it seems Pinterest's own Terms of Service have muddied the waters of what is allowed to be pinned. They are updating these terms beginning in April. As far as legal CYA goes, Chelsey at The Paper Mama offers some insightful words on safely pinning. Lasso the Moon gives some tips on "playing on Pinterest," and her post also includes the sweet "Pinners Welcome" button you can see on my own sidebar. I agree with these basic common-courtesy principles:
  • Always make sure the pin leads back to an original source before repinning
  • Never pin images straight from Google

Regardless of the bumps in the road, I still love Pinterest! I've been learning ways I can reach out to pinning folks without over-promoting. I like this article I read recently about promoting yourself on Pinterest (and another one here).




I considered not even including anything about my Facebook page here because it seems so obvious at this point why it's a good idea for bloggers to be on Facebook. But I did read an article I found interesting that helps us procrastinators (who knew I was one?!) get Timeline cover photos for our pages.



I personally don't use Twitter to get more traffic for the blog, although my Facebook updates do automatically publish there. I just love the conversations and nuggets of awesomeness to be discovered there. I find that I grow my followers with Twitter in a unique way; rather than growing from retweets or hashtags, I think Twitter users tend to mine each other's follow lists (at least, I know I do!). I have found some great people that way. I think Twitter does send traffic to the blog in a roundabout way, it's just difficult to see the results because it can take time to marinate before people eventually visit the blog.



I am not a big fan of Google +; it feels like one more thing to do. But I also want to meet readers where they are, so I'm open to sticking with it as long as you're there (and a few of you are). According to an article I read recently, posting to Google + helps you get better search engine traffic from Google, so that's another reason to keep at it.


Sponsorships

I've struggled with the decision of whether to place sponsorships on my site. I decided I'm going for it! Sponsor ads will begin tomorrow! I have more to say on this subject in another post. I ultimately was swayed by two factors:
  • A service called "Passionfruit" seems like a (free) easy way to keep track of ads 
  • All of my ads are currently running as a thank you to those who guest post on my blog. 

Mandy of Harper's Happenings digs on Passionfruit here if you're interested in learning more.

You have likely also noticed by now that I am now a part of the BlogHer Publishing Network, which means I have an ad on the upper right part of the blog. Do you have thoughts, either pro or con, on my decision to sign up with BlogHer? I'm open to any and all feedback!

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