Bumps and Bruises in Blogging

So for those of you that haven’t noticed, I’m relatively new to the whole “blogging” thing. I’ve played on Blogger in the past (note my wedding blog) but now that I’m blogging on almost a daily basis and posting pictures I’ve taken I’ve encountered a couple of interesting roadblocks. My hopes are sharing them with you will help if you’re deciding to blog too!

  • Sharing: drawing readers to your content by posting to other places (e.g. Reddit) seems like a “duh” moment–but did you know you can be banned from some websites for trying to draw traffic to yours? It’s called spamming, and even if you have original content that is useful to share, posting links to your site through places like Reddit can get you in hot water with admins. The most popular example I’ve found is The Frogman (who I refer to lovingly as Bearman due to comics like these) whose website was banned completely from Reddit for submitting original content. That means that NO ONE can post content from his site anymore…that’s pretty sad.
  • Pictures: Blogger has an upper limit for picture storage of 1 gig through Picasa. Once you reach that ceiling you either need to buy more, host from a third party site, or abandon ship. However, I’ve found that Google has created a loophole for users. If you keep your pictures under 800 pixels and your videos under 15 minutes, they will not count against your limit (source). For those of us that shoot in raw and have been uploading grossly large pictures….things need to change, and quickly (I’ve already used a quarter of my allotment!!) The easiest way is likely just resizing pictures because it’s unlikely that you would need to pull them directly from the site for publishing. Another option in consideration is hosting through a Flickr account and just sharing from there.
  • Pictures Part 2: Watermarks–are they really necessary? Does anyone else feel like putting the watermark over the middle of the picture kind of ruins it for you? Can a post have TOO MANY pictures? Is it that obvious when people use only their smartphone to take pictures for their blogs?  Do you need to own your pictures in order to put them on your blog (IMHO yes!)?  
  • The Box: I call it this because from many of the successful blogs I’ve seen they keep things very neatly inside a categorical box. Fashion blogs rarely stray off to talk about food or electronics, and food blogs should therefore rarely stray off course (and talk about blogging, right? :P) I’ve found it interesting trying to maintain a balance between How-To’s, recipe only posts, event posts, etc. (how often should I post into each category?!). You don’t want to get off topic. At the end of the day, unless you’re writing a lifestyle blog (which I feel tend to be about a little bit of everything but should still have some degree of organization), you need to fit in your box.
Has anyone else hit bumps in the road with their blog? Are they different on different platforms (Tumblr, WordPress, etc.)? Because of my most recent “bump” (picture storage) it may be a day before I get another recipe up. 
Stay with me though, I’ve got some AMAZING al pastor kabobs, a HOT how-to, and much more up my sleeve 🙂

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  • Reply Motormouth September 13, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Such a great post Bee! All good things to be pondering and figuring out. I feel like my blog is ever-evolving and I often hit bumps in the road that I have to iron out. I’m excited to see where your blog takes you!

    • Reply Bee Voltage September 14, 2012 at 12:01 am

      Isn’t that the truth! Always finding a new way to do things that (knowing my luck) is always much more complex than before. Lame 😛

  • Reply Jenni Bost September 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    What a fabulous post that many bloggers would be able to commiserate on!

    Here are my opinions after 3 years of blogging.
    Sharing: I stay clear of reddit for that reason. I like going there to read interesting stuff, but I don’t link anything of my own. You can utilize tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for sharing. But, even then, I think it is important to balance your links (or your own photos of pinterest) with plenty of actual social networking. Talk about life/food/things and comment on other people’s items. AND, post great original content on your blog/connect with others via social networking and people will share your stuff without you needing to do much at all!

    Pictures: I go ahead and size all of my images (now) to the exact size I want them to be on my post. I like big photos… so, I keep my posting area pretty large. I’ve not ran out of space… but, when you buy a URL through google ($10) you get more space.

    Watermarks: I used to hate them… but, then I would see my photos on other blogs and pinterest with no link. I’m not a huge hater on the whole copyright thing. But, when I put effort into making something I’d like people to be able to find my site. I typically watermark on the edges.

    The Box: This is one area that got me very frustrated. I painted myself into the “party box” with my first blog and then readers were getting frustrated when I started posting more about my pregnancy/baby/life. I started a second blog, not the best option for everyone. I really think with your title having your name in it you can really go out of the box fairly easily and still stay on topic. You’re pretty spicy too, right? 😉

    Hope my 2 cents helps!

    • Reply Bee Voltage September 14, 2012 at 12:00 am

      Love the suggestions! Thanks Jenni 😀

  • Reply Adventures in Dressmaking September 14, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Congrats on posting more often–that’s half the battle! I’d say don’t worry too much about a lot of the other stuff… sharing, I think happens naturally when you use Twitter and FB for your blog. Photos… I’ve never had an issue with storage but I don’t use Picasa to store other than how blog post images automatically get put there. I upload directly from my computer or from a web URL! So you could try that to get more out of Blogger. I pay $10/year for my domain through them and maybe $5 every massive amount of storage, never had a problem.

    As for the box, I think if you stay true to yourself most of your readers will enjoy whatever you post–they already like you and have a lot in common with you!

    I have a series about my favorite blogging tips here, http://www.adventuresindressmaking.com/search/label/blogging%20tips check them out for my key pearls of wisdom. 😉

  • Reply Linnea Paulina September 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    I think blogs are constantly a work in progress… and the great thing is that you can continuously tweak it and adjust according to your style and the new things you learn. As a wedding photographer, I get out of my box a little… I love blogging about food and things in my life… not just photos of weddings I photograph!

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