Exciting Blog Changes

Wow… I’ve spent the better part of my day looking into transferring my blog to become self-hosted. I am so tired of not being able to change my design or add widgets for giveaways and so on. That’s what I get for choosing a free blog platform, but now that things are going great and my enthusiasm for blogging is at it’s highest I would like to take it one step further. In the long run I think it will be the right decision for me and the blog. I’ll definitely enjoy the creative freedom.

But let me tell you, it’s all very confusing! I was familiar with the general idea of it, but all the details have me baffled. Now I think I’ve finally made my decision, but it will still take a while before it’s all ready. And until then I’ll still be blogging right here. And don’t worry, all my posts, pages, and comments will be transferred when the change is made. I’m so excited!

If you blog from WordPress and have any questions regarding blogging or becoming self-hoted, I recommend you stop by WPbeginner and search their archives. They have been such a great help to me!

Oh, and while we’re talking about blogging… Right now my cute little banner is up on the right side of lovely Ange’s blog. And she also has a giveaway coming up on Monday, so you should stay tuned!
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Now I’m wondering: Are your self-hosted or do you blog from a free platform? And how did you make the decision? If you have any tips, feel free to share them!

Blogging Updates

Wow, how is it March already?? I feel like this year has hardly even started and it’s almost spring already! Oh well, I’m going to treat this as sort of a new start since January and February didn’t work out so great. I feel like I was sick half of the time, and the rest of the time I was lacking motivation. Which you can probably tell from the fact that I’ve only posted three outfits last months (Valentines, Boyfriend Jeans, and a Casual Outfit). So, there’s no outfit summary post this month; only a promise that March will be much better!

To make up for it here’s an old outfit that I hope to be wearing again soon. In Florida!
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However, right now I’m very excited – I think 2013 will be a great year for my blog! I’ve met so many great bloggers lately, which has really increased my motivation to come up with fun new posts. I’ve also realized that my “blogging vocabulary” could really use some work; and I’m finally getting the hang of using Twitter (I never actually thought I would start to like it). There’s a lot more to the social aspect of blogging than just writing posts, and I’m finally starting to appreciate it! Who would have thought that there’s a whole community of us out there?

Through Luchessa and her beauty posts I’ve found a lot of new favorite blogs, including Nykki. Nykki has already put my name up on her blog, and at the end of April my banner will be shown under all her posts for a full month! She has such a fun blog, and her personality shines through in every post. And these are just two of the wonderful new ladies I hope to get to know better. You should definitely take a second to check them out.
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Oh, btw! While we’re talking about my blog. My next giveaway will be at 400 followers. I know it’s still a little ways off, but the last hundred went so fast that I want to be prepared. Do you have any ideas for great giveaway prizes? What would you like to find in your mail box?

Social Media and Blogging

Blogging has become extremely popular during the last few years, and there are thousands of blogs out there on whatever topic you might like to read about. Because of the large volume of content it is therefore hard to attract readers to one specific blog. So, a lot of people think it’s important to use whatever social media out there to spread their name. Well, here are the three I use most:

Facebook:
– I hardly know anyone between 15 and 50 that doesn’t use facebook almost daily by now, so why not take advantage of it? Create a a page for your blog that people can like.
– Every time I post something on my blog I link to it on my facebook page so that everyone who likes my blog can see that there is an update to read. That way they don’t need to stop by my blog unnecessarily.
– You can also create “photo albums” with your favorite pictures from your blog, that way your readers can easily see them all in one place. I also love good pictures on a blog, so if I find a facebook page with pictures I love I am more likely to stop by the blog itself.
– I do keep my personal facebook profile private, though, which is something I would recommend. Only friends and family can see my information, pictures, and personal updates.
facebook_page

Instagram:
– Again, I love pictures. So I think instagram is a fun way of sharing updates.
– I normally update my instagram account about once a day (sometimes less) – unless I’m traveling or doing something fun, so that I have more fun pictures to share. I don’t post just for the sake of posting.
– I save pictures I like on my computer to a dropbox folder so that I can use them on my phone.
– I would rather edit my pictures ahead of time instead of using the instagram effects.
– I’ve connected instagram to my facebook page so that people who like my page can see all my updates.
instagram_account

Twitter:
– I follow family, friends, and bloggers on twitter, so that I can see their personal updates.
– Everything I post to my facebook page is automatically posted to my twitter account.
– I don’t actually use twitter a whole lot, except for sharing my blog updates. But I do think it’s fun for short updates when I’m out traveling, or cute quotes and sayings that you want to share. And my updates also post to my personal facebook page so that I don’t have to update things more than once.
twitter_account

I think Twitter and Instagram is a fun blog tool for when you don’t have time (or enough content) to write an entire blog post. And if you have a popular blog then I’m sure your readers want to hear from you at all times of the day (don’t ask me why, though). They are also – in addition to your facebook page – a great way to let people know that there is new content on your blog.

Oh! There is also Bloglovin, where you can follow all your favorite blogs – no matter what platform they post from – and get updates whenever they post something new. That way you only have to check one website instead every single blog you read.

What Blogging Means To Me

Blogging means different things to everyone. It can be your own online journal where you share life stories and experiences with people in the same situation; or it can be a cookbook where you swap recipes with other amateur cooks; or an outlet for all your creative energy where you can give and get fashion advice. Whatever the reason people have for blogging they all seem to find it stimulating, and they love the interaction with other bloggers. I am no different.

My blog doesn’t have a specific target audience (except possibly women in general) because I blog about everything from recipes, nail polish, fashion, and my everyday life. If my only goal was to get as many page views as possible I would devote myself completely to one of these so that readers always knew what to expect. But instead I see my blog as a personal outlet and a hobby that I love. I started it because my family lives on the other side of the world from me and I wanted to keep them updated, but then I quickly ended up using it to share more than personal updates (who would want to read a blog that only focused on what I did every day anyway?).

I love taking pictures, and I love editing them. I love nail polish, and trying out new designs. I love it when I succeed in trying out a new recipe. I love shopping, and I love getting dressed up. I love my friends and family, and writing about our experiences together. And when the day is over I love sitting down and sharing it all with YOU. And most of all, I love it when people respond positively to something I have written and pictures I have taken. It makes me happy.

I just think blogging is a great source of inspiration. Even though it is just a hobby, and not a job, I still put effort into posting regularly. So when I’m out of ideas I force myself to do something new or see things in a different way. Since I started doing this I find that I have more fun. It is a way of inspiring myself, not a pressure to constantly write something random to the world. And you have no idea how inspiring other blogs have been in this process. Sharing ideas is the best part of this whole thing!

So, now I want to know, what does blogging mean to YOU?