Blogging Tips ~ Lara from Less Cake {more frosting}

I’m really excited to introduce Lara to you this week!  Yet, another post that I couldn’t wait to get out to you!!

We met earlier this year {and I’m so glad we did}.  She is someone who I’ve loved following and reading and now that we’ve met, I can ‘hear’ her talking as I read her words.

She has some wonderful blogging tips for you this week….

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Hey Tara Dara readers! My name is Ellie G, and I blog at Less Cake {more frosting}.
Actually “Ellie G” is my online cover. My actual name is Lara. And my initials are “LG” so that’s where that name came from.
It’s so confusing to people. I should probably fix it. But now I feel all tied to this “Ellie G” gal. I don’t know if I can get rid of her.

I’m really excited to join in Tara’s “What I wished I knew When I started blogging” series. It’s a great one.
I’ll tell you what….I wished I read some of this stuff before I started blogging.
That’s what.

I started our family blog in 2007. Mostly because my brother moved across the country and I wanted him to be able to see pictures of my kids growing up. But then I remembered how much I loved writing as a teenager. (seriously, my journals are filled with teenage-angst that would make Bella and Edward jealous) So that blog became a mix of family, humor, and whatever else I felt like putting on there.

After a particularly scary episode of Oprah talking about child predators….I decided to make that blog private.

Around Christmastime of 2009 I discovered that there were “creative blogs”. Where the HECK had I been? You see. I have spent my life trying to not be “crafty”. But I LOVE being creative and making stuff. So after 5 months of pondering, and designing, and going back and forth….I decided it would be okay if I started my own place for “creativity”.

And that’s when Less Cake {more frosting} was born.

I, in no way, find myself to be an expert.

Well, I’m an expert in Diet Coke, and sugar consumption. Those things can not be disputed. I’m also pretty adept at staying in my PJ’s until a really embarrassing time during the day.

But I’d love to share some things with you. Some I just think are important, and some I learned the HARD WAY.

Remember, when first starting, that YOU set the deadlines for getting things done. I’m all for a great plan and giving yourself an ideal timeline. But please remember that YOU are the only one aware of those deadlines.

If your kid pukes. Or your Mom shows up unannounced. Or your husband tells some people that they can come over for dinner at 5pm when you haven’t even gotten out of those jammies yet…..what? Did that just happen….oh….say….YESTERDAY???

Just remember that those deadlines in your mind don’t need to invade your life to the point that real people and things suffer. I know it feels like TONS of pressure to get that post up. Or to finish that project. But if you don’t start to learn to balance at the beginning…..it will just get worse once actual deadlines with advertisers and such start rolling in.

When I first started I was BRIMMING with ideas. And I had those “go to” ideas that I had been doing for years. But they were NEW to my readers. And so I looked like a genius. But after a few months of posting, all those ideas get used up. And the “go to” posts get done. And then what?

You get depressed.
That’s what.

So make sure that you are constantly feeding that creative brain of yours. Look in those places that usually inspire you. Write down late night strokes of genius. I’m pretty much IN LOVE with these suggestions from Fontcrafts.com. Particularly the one about singing in the shower. My shower concerts are EPIC!

Just make sure that you stay creative and open to inspiration. So that new ideas keep coming, when the old ones get used up!

A few weeks ago I wrote a whole post about assuming. I have come to believe that it is the nemesis of authentic blogging. Actually the nemesis of authentic relationships, in general.

Don’t assume that “Betsy Big Blogger” is too good for you. Even if you sent her an e-mail and she didn’t respond. If you have to assume, assume that she’s completely flattered by your e-mail, and in order to keep her blog in the magical shape in which her die-hard fans are accustomed…..she hasn’t had time to personally respond to you yet.

If you must assume….assume that you are a fantastic individual with an amazing amount of talent to share. And that if you continue to share it in the way you know how…..people will notice and love you for who you really are.

If you need to make assumptions……assume that the project you spent weeks on (you know the one you posted, and NO ONE commented on?) Assume that the project is just as fantastic as you originally imagined it. And people’s lack of comments cannot change that one bit.

Don’t be afraid. If you are scared of your computer and trying new things, maybe you ought to re-think this whole blogging thing.
No. Really.
When first starting out I didn’t know the first thing about HTML, CSS, Pixels, Screen Resolution, or ANY of that stuff. But it has been SO beneficial for me to learn. The more you learn, the more you can be in control of your own blogging destiny. (Geez. That sounded very….”may the force be with you”…didn’t it?)

You really can Google just about anything. And the more daring you are, the more you’ll learn. It is actually pretty hard to break something beyond repair. So look, read up, make a decision, back-up your work, and EXPERIMENT!

I wished I learned this earlier. I wish I implemented it better now. But it’s true. MOST people won’t get your passion for this new pass-time. People will most likely be supportive. You may even talk your brother into becoming a “follower”. (mine are! They’re the best!) Your husband might even help you hot glue the last part of your project after midnight. But really, most people won’t want to talk blogs with you 24/7.

That’s where finding fellow bloggers and connecting with them will CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Bloggers will absolutely talk blogs with you all day long. And they can become some of your best friends. Just thinking about mine makes me all misty inside. They really are some of my greatest pals in all the world. And not just for Mod Podge-ee stuff. Now they know me, my kids, my ups and downs. We are really friends.

Just remember to not annoy your “real-life” besties too much with your talk of Pinterest. And don’t forget that blogging isn’t for everyone. Then make some awesome NEW relationships with your blogging peers. And you’ll find a lovely harmony that will make even Boyz II Men jealous. (yes. I’m old. And I can do Motown Philly word for word. Just sayin’)

This is my most important piece of advice. BE NICE. BE GENUINE.
Yes.
In all actuality dropping “that’s cute!” comments all over blog land might pick you up some page views. But it SERIOUSLY won’t do you any good, personally.

Find blogs you really love. I mean REALLY LOVE. And tell them. Not just, “I really like your blog, come read mine.” That’s not genuine.

Try: “Your blog is one I read daily. I think your _____________ project was one of the best I’ve ever seen. I love when you talk about ________________. Thank you so much for putting the time into blogging. I can only imagine that it’s super time consuming. But I want you to know that this reader sure appreciates it!”

Oh my! I would for sure click to see what kind of fantastic person took time out to leave me that. And people coming along would think “wow, that person sure likes this blog. And I do too. Wonder what her blog looks like.”

Find posts that REALLY speak to you, and projects that you really love. You’re not gonna LOVE every single thing a blogger does. No matter how famous you believe her to be. So don’t leave comments on things unless it’s genuine.

I PROMISE the blogger will appreciate a genuine comment on posts every now and then, over a “that’s cute!” on every post. Promise.

Oh my. I feel that I could go on all day.
Blogging is SO. MUCH. FUN!
It can change your life in really good ways.
And it can invade every bit of your soul, if you let it. (and not always in a good way)

You HAVE to blog because you love it.
And you don’t care if one single other person loves it the same way you do.
And guess what?
A bunch of people probably do. And they’ll love you.

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Thank you so much, Lara!!!!

These posts are so great!  All these guest bloggers have put so much thought and energy in to these posts!!!  I just love them to bits and can’t thank them enough, honestly!!!

You can follow Lara on Twitter:  @LaraEllieG

and on Facebook:  Less Cake {more frosting}

Amazing Blog Tips from top notch bloggers

Be sure to PIN this to your Blog Tips Pinterest board!

VISIT ALL THE BLOGGER POSTS IN THIS AMAZING SERIES: 

Daria from Mom in Management

Ordy from Adventures of Ordy and Joon

Tara from Taradara Made It

 Bev from Flamingo Toes

Alison from Oopsey Daisy 

Denise from Denise Blooms

Carissa from Good and Crazy 

Lara from Less Cake {more frosting}

Mique from 30 Days

Steph from The Daily Blarg

Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy

Holly from 504 Main

Steph from Somewhat Simple

Kami from No Biggie

Jessica from Allora Handmade

Jamielyn from I {heart} Naptime

Megan from The Tuckers Take Tennessee

Amy from the Idea Room

Stacy from Not Just a Housewife

Mark Montano from TLC

Becca from Blue Cricket Design

Comments

  1. My favorite EllieG you are a KEEPER!! LOVE this post!!
    kisses
    heather

  2. I think I’ve already said this, but I am LOVING this series.

    Love all of Ellie’s tips! I know for me personally I ‘assume’ my projects aren’t good if I don’t get comments and ‘assume’ the big bloggers don’t have time for me. Love how she suggests changing those assumptions around. Really good stuff to hear!

  3. Great post, Lara. Really encouraging and helpful! Thanks for hosting this series, Tara! I learn so much from these types of posts! Definitely checking out the rest of the series!

    • June,
      Thanks for stopping by! Lara did a great job on her post! I love sooooo many things she said and shared with us! I hope you come back and visit the future posts every Thursday!
      xo Tara

  4. Thanks again for letting me stop by, Tara! I really do love this series. Can’t wait to see who’s next. :)

    • Lara,
      Thank you so much for such a great post! I love it love it love it!!!
      We have yet another great blogger lined up next week! Can’t wait!!!
      xo Tara

  5. Tara, Your blog is one I read daily. I think your side-table project was one of the best I’ve ever seen. I love when you talk about your family. Thank you so much for putting the time into blogging. I can only imagine that it’s super time consuming. But I want you to know that this reader sure appreciates it! (ok. take all that and make it serious.) :)

    • Lindsey,
      Thank you so much for stopping by {daily!}. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and read my blog! It warms my heart! <3
      xo Tara

  6. Hi there! I just started a blog for many of the same reasons Lara did. I only have 2 posts so far! But I loved this advice, especially about not worrying about my family getting it. I haven’t even publicized my blog to more than 2 people yet. I think I’m subconsciously really nervous about people thinking my blog is dumb, or else judging me on my (lack of) tech skills. So thanks for the wise words and the confidence booster! And I’ve noticed you are right about a blog community. I’ve friended a couple blogs on Facebook and see things on pinterest, and I’m starting to feel like I know so many of you already, and personally. And I see how so many are all linked and interconnected like a big, happy, blog family! Yeah!
    Mel

  7. Lara,
    Thank you for your wonderful post!! I love it and I have to say that the part about “assuming” is fantastic. I can’t think of a time when each and everyone of us does not struggle with feeling good about ourselves, this quote was what I needed today, right now, right here, “If you must assume….assume that you are a fantastic individual with an amazing amount of talent to share. And that if you continue to share it in the way you know how…..people will notice and love you for who you really are.” Thank you, and Thanks to Tara for the series!!!!

    • Laura,
      You’re welcome! If there’s anything you’d like to see in the series, please feel free to contact me and I will try my best to find the best blogger to suit the topic ;)
      xo Tara

  8. I really needed to hear this today. I am new to blogging and so appreciate you girls that encourage us newbies and let us know that you felt the same inadequate feelings we do! Family? No, they don’t get it. Not even on the same planet. Blogger, Pinterest, Etsy…like a foreign language to them. Oh, well. It’s for me, after all. And wow, Lara…do I feel the pressure to get something finished and posted? Definitely. I’m trying to learn to ignore it…as my motto is “Nothing will happen!”.
    Thanks to Tara for having Lara over…I feel better already! Fantastic series. Going to read them all.
    Have a great weekend,
    Tina

    • Tina,
      You’re welcome! I’m glad you’re enjoying the series!! If there’s anything you’d like to see, please contact me!
      xo Tara

  9. Lara – what a wonderful post!! It’s posts like these that *I* find inspiring! You are soo right… it can be hard to stay inspired and it’s ok to have the occasional rut. You will get through it eventually.

    Love the tip about google. 90% of my html knowledge I learned from Dr. Google. You can’t be afraid to just try something new, right?

    And hon, please don’t tell me you are old… cause that means I am! (how many times did I hear ‘End of the Road’ at a high school dance?!)

  10. Hi Tara,

    I’m new to your blog – I found out about your little space here from a friend’s Twitter feed so I wanted to come by and say hello! You picked some amazing girls to guest post for you, especially Lara’s post…it was full of so much knowledge and information!

    I just wanted to say hello, introduce myself and let you know that I’m reading along. Now I am off to check out your cute and colorful Etsy shop! :)

    Have a beautiful weekend!

    Aloha,
    Angie

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  12. Hi Tara
    I like the post and “may the force be with us all!” I enjoy sharing and earning with my blogs. Looks like you have some great friends here and some cool stuff on Etsy!
    Happy blogging!
    Ben

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