Blog tip Friday: If you don’t like a blog, keep your opinion to yourself.

keep your opinion to yourselfThere has been a lot of noise out there lately about the “right” way to blog.

Some bloggers have made it known that they take issue with other bloggers writing about topics they don’t like, or in a style that doesn’t sit well with them.

This blogger is too crude. That blogger is too silly. This one writes too much fluffy stuff. That one is too damn serious all the time. She writes too many sponsored posts. She blogs sunshine and rainbows and smiling unicorns and it’s sooooo annoying.

To these critics I say: Instead of broadcasting your views on which bloggers you deem “good” and which bloggers you deem “bad,” why not just pick up your mouse and click away from the blogs you don’t like?

It’s perfectly okay not to like a blog. Or even a blogger. But let’s be kind and keep these types of opinions to ourselves, okay?

Every blogger has a right to be herself and write in her own style. There is room on the big old Internet for all kinds of bloggers – just as there is room in this big old world for all kinds of moms.

Life is very stressful for most moms, whether they are pinching pennies or well-off. Working or not working. Have one kid or five kids. In the blogging world, many women cope with the stress by writing about it.

And every blogger has a right to write about her stressors in a way that helps relieve her of the stress – and connect with others who feel the same way.

So if you are not fond of a particular blogger’s style? Then don’t read that blog. Move along.

Now if you think someone’s done an injustice on their blog and is hurting someone by what they posted, I urge you to speak up! The power of the Internet to do good is very real. I’m a big believer in that. Obviously.

But let’s not tear each other down for our differing writing topics and styles. That stuff is not worth broadcasting to the reading public. It makes us women bloggers look small and petty.

Let’s turn away from the meanness and build each other up. Let’s support the blogs we love and let the ones that aren’t our style do their own things for their own fans. Let’s co-exist and celebrate the diversity of the blogging community instead of griping about it.

Let’s high-five the fact that there’s room for everyone’s voice.

Because that’s something to make some noise about.

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Blog Tip Friday: Create your blogging tribe

HonestMom Create your blogging tribe.com2Blogging can be lonely and isolating. Which seems weird to say in this world of social media, but it really can be.

You write a post and throw it out there into the interwebs, essentially hoping if you post it (and promote it), they will come. It can feel very one-way. The opposite of social, really.

Sometimes it can seem like you’re shouting out into empty space, Hellllooooo? Anyone hear me? Anyone reading my posts that I slave over?

Well, there are tons and tons of other bloggers thinking the same thing. And I think the way to combat this feeling is to form your own blogging tribe.

Everyone always talks about “the blogging community” and how great it is. And it’s true! For sure. But having a blogging tribe takes the idea of the blogging community one step further, and makes it even more supportive, amazing, and personal.

Here’s the difference between the general mom blogging community and having your own tribe: I consider the community to be like a large college. You choose to be there because you think it’s a good fit for you. There are lots of great people there, many of whom you have a lot in common with. You love it and are so excited to be a part of it!

But it’s also really, REALLY big. Just like a large school, the blogging community can be overwhelming. Sure, you make a bunch of casual friends whom you chat with here and there (Twitter, Facebook). You sometimes hang out (visit and comment on each other’s blogs) and you enjoy it. And you go to big rah-rah events (BlogHer, other conferences) where you meet even more fabulous people.

It’s awesome, right? But … it’s not exactly personal. When you make a great connection in one of these large settings you might think to yourself, I wish I could hang out with this person. We share the same blog topics. We have similar senses of humor. We are both completely awesome. We’d totally be besties!

(Or maybe I just think things like that.)

Anyway, it’s like back when you started college and you craved a group or two of girls that you knew you could depend upon for support and laughs. And when you found them, these groups became your tribes – where you ultimately made your best friends. For me, one tribe was my school’s dance organization. The other was my roommates.

In the blogging world, my tribes are my Facebook groups.

One is a private Facebook group (“secret”) and one is the kind you apply to (“closed”). The private one was formed by one of my blogging friends who invited a few bloggers she knew. The other is Boston Parent Bloggers, which any parent blogger in the Boston area can join.

These groups are where my closest blogging buddies are. I found BPB through one of my very first blogging friends, Jessica at Don’t Mind the Mess, and I have made some great personal and business connections through it. The other group also has some of my first blogging friends in it, and it’s a place in which I learn, laugh, and vent.

A big part of both groups is supporting each other’s blog posts, giveaways, etc. Having a critical mass of bloggers post, tweet, and pin each other’s blog posts is HUGELY helpful! It vastly expands even a small blogger’s reach and as a result, my little blog has grown leaps and bounds in a short amount of time.

Not only that, but these groups are places where I know I will always be supported when something big is going on. When I was going on Katie Couric’s show, the women in these two groups were instrumental in spreading the word and supporting me emotionally. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without my tribes!

Do you have a tribe? How do you help each other? If not, is starting a Facebook group something you’d be interested in? Tell me in the comments and in another post, I’ll go through the how-to’s!

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Blog Tip Friday: Why a Bad Headline Can Kill Your Blog Post

“You have one chance to make a great first impression.” 

The old saying holds true for your blog. And what’s your first impression? The title of your blog post, or your headline.

Think about it. Which of these would you be more likely to click on:

A trip to the zoo

-or-

The day a monkey romanced my daughter

Your blog post title needs to inspire someone to click on it. Whether your potential readers are seeing your headline in their Facebook news feed, in their email, or on Twitter, they are going to pass right by it if it isn’t interesting.

What it comes down to is this: You may have written the greatest post in the world, but if your headline sucks, no one’s going to read it.

This also goes for headlines you use in linkups (like, ahem, Honest Voices). You’re competing for readers’ clicks with lots of other bloggers. You need something snappy or that pulls at the heartstrings so people will click.

Here are some great headlines (just a few – there were a lot of winners!) from the last linkup I hosted:

Gay Rights, Chicken and Fireballs – by Something Clever 2.0

20 Things I Learned in College (but not in class) – by Funny Is Family

Naked Happy Hour – by Outlaw Mama

Shaken, Not Beaten – by Momma’s Time Out

I Will Not Be Silent – by Motherhood On the Rocks

All of these inspired me to click.

By the way: A great headline doesn’t need to be super short. In fact, one of my most-viewed blog posts ever is “I have no patience with my little kids.” I hear you. And here’s how I’m managing.

This headline isn’t super-short and catchy. But it immediately tackles a subject that lots of moms struggle with.

And it is a search-engine winner: It’s the top two results that come up when you search “no patience for my kids” (which apparently a lot of parents search for because I get a lot of traffic for that term!).

So when you’re creating a title for your blog post, think short and catchy or descriptive SEO winner. I know thinking of a great title can be hard. But it’s worth it to spend some time on it so you can be sure all that hard work you put into your post actually pays off.

What are your tips for thinking of great titles for your posts? Or do you struggle with headlines?

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