Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday Spotlight #12: Supportive Bloggers


If the only writing you do is with a pen, instead of reading this post about blogging, you may prefer an article I wrote exactly a year ago: The Sharpie Marker, An Indispensable Modern Convenience. 


Even non-bloggers however, might enjoy this glimpse into what it is like to be a blogger.  (Truthfully, I'd be flattered if you read both posts!)

If you have been following the most - - of every moment for long, you will have noticed some changes to this blog over the past month.

For example:
- the title banner is now a collage of photos.
- the photos in my posts are larger than before.
- I'm now publishing my recipes with a “printable version” available.
A few people have asked me where I learned to do these things. I am going to “shine my Saturday Spotlight” on my answer, which is  . . .

. . .  practically everything I know about blogging I have learned from other very supportive bloggers!  

Bloggers are an amazing community.  On some level we are all competing with each other for readers. Yet, rather than selfishly just promote our own websites, bloggers really tend to help each other out.  And from what I have learned, the more a blogger helps others, the more quickly that helper's blog actually grows.

Thank goodness for Pinterest!  Using Pinterest is like keeping a huge scrapbook. I have a “Blog Tips!” board stuffed full of links to helpful articles.  I am constantly pinning valuable information that I find. Without these tutorials written by other bloggers, I wouldn't have known how to do anything at all when I first started blogging!

In the year since I began this blog the most - - of every moment, I have received far too much help to give credit here to everyone who deserves it. I can at least tell you though, how I learned to make the recent changes I mentioned above. Perhaps you will find these tips helpful too.

Making a Custom Header Banner

Although I use the photo editor Ribbet instead of PicMonkey (and therefore didn't follow the tutorial exactly), the post How To Make Headers For Your Blogger Blog - Using PicMonkey from The Blog Guidebook provided exactly the motivation and information that I needed to create my blog header.

Making Photos Larger

My blogger friend Heather (heatheronhertravels.com) gave me a tip about how to change the width of my photos before inserting them into my blog. I then realized that on the Blogger platform, photos can be published as "original size" (somehow I had never noticed that before?!)  ... and in Ribbet, photos can be changed to a size that works! 
I found the post Auto-sizing Photos to Fit Post Area In Blogger by I Can Build A Blog really helpful. I'm too nervous to make any changes to the CSS code of my blog, but these tips worked well enough without having to do that right now.  

Making a Recipe Printable

I have always offered an option to print any part of my blog (once you click on a post title, the print button shows up under that post). This method still seems a little cumbersome for recipes though, so I was thrilled to discover the post How to Make Your Recipe Printable on Blogger by Confessions of an Overworked Mom.  It was a really easy tutorial to follow, and I like the print option I can now provide.  I hope you do too! 

I had been toying with switching from the Blogger platform to Word Press.  
I really like Blogger, but I was feeling limited by my inability to do some things on it.  A couple months ago though, I discovered Kim Six Blogger Support

Kim specializes in the Blogger platform, and at the time was offering to do free blog reviews for blogs hosted by Blogger.  I signed up immediately - and her review was unbelievably helpful and detailed. I have implemented a lot of her suggestions, and I am looking forward to working with her to get a little help with some changes I am unable (or too intimidated!) to do myself.  

Thanks to Kim, at least for now I am perfectly content to remain on Blogger! She just had new business cards made, and she posted a photo of them on Instagram. Pretty creative, don't you think? 



To everyone who has ever given me any blogging advice, information or support - I'd like to express a huge thank you!  

 I hope I can pay it forward.

What is the best tip from another blogger that you have ever received?


Did you remember to click the link and read my previous post about Sharpie markers? I learned a lot of fun facts about them when I wrote the article.  They can be used for all sorts of things; I even used one to make this wallhanging.


This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!


24 comments :

  1. Honestly Susan, I get most of my tips from YOU! You're always so helpful when I see something on your blog that I want to do on mine, and I always appreciate it. I'm planning on some changes to my blog soon (if I can just find the time to finish them)! I missed the Sharpie story before. I have them in every color and use them all the time. Love the wallhanging you made. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Glad you have learned something from me Lana. Your support and friendship is probably the main reason I am still blogging!

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  2. Susan,
    THANK YOU for this informative post! I am going to look into the printable recipe...always wondered how that was done, but never enough time to explore. I like your header...a little snippet into your life ;-) Have a great weekend.
    Lori

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    1. I think you will really find the recipe print info useful Lori. I am still experimenting, but so far I've found it pretty easy. The tutorial is great

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  3. I did indeed read the post about Sharpie markers.
    Some great tips here - thank you. The warmth, the wonder and the supportive nature of bloggers is such a gift.
    Not long after I started blogging I was taught how to crop photos. And how to link to other bloggers. Yes, I was that clueless. And still have a lot to learn.

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    1. Your blog is wonderful EC, and it is apparent from the number of comments you get that many people besides just me think so! Always something to learn - that may be the best thing about blogging!

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  4. Hi! Thank you so much for today's shout out on Google plus. I am so honored I am going to put your comments on my Testimonial page Janice

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    1. Hi, I wanted to make sure you knew I linked back to your site but I don't see my comment here, so I'm trying again.
      Janice

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    2. Hi Janice. It is me that should be thanking you for the help to make my blog better! Feel free to share my comments on your blog! Not sure why you couldn't see your first comment - but both are here now :)

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  5. I love the changes you've made! I think they are terrific. Your header is my favorite. I pinned this besides sharing so I can go back and check out some of these places. The photo of the business card gave me a terrific idea because I've been wanting to change my header and if I use the business cards I got for free when I ordered the shirts for the walkathon last year! Wow! I'm so excited to learn so much and you are so right it is such a helpful community. I am heading over to the "Sharpie" post right now!

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    1. So glad you found this helpful Rena - you have shared so much useful information with me!!

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  6. So funny that you write about this. I could not agree with you more, while we are competing for readers, the more that you interact and the more that you help out a blogger the faster your readership and blog will GROW!!! I love being a part of the blogging community, and never had a notion that while blown one would come across so many wonderful ladies and men who blog and support bloggers. I will have to check out your Pinterest, i own my own site in Wordpress, but I love to see ideas and see if I to can use them.

    xoxoxo

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    1. Before I nefan blogging the idea of "meeting" anyone on line seemed frightening - but getting to know people through their blogs has been wonderful! Glad to have found you and your blog!

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  7. Oh Susan, I'm so glad I found another blogger who's happy with Blogger. I have always been tempted to shift to WordPress but I hear they get hacked more often and other problems. I'm ok with Blogger and now, with these tips you shared, I'm sure I'll be more than ok! Thanks so much! The photo sizing will help me so much! Oh and I love Picmonkey and use it all the time for my photos. What I learned and do a lot w Picmonkey is the ability to place a watermark on my pics. Let me know if you still need that info and I will pass it along! 😊

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    1. I felt the same way when I stumbled upon Kim Six Blogger support. Her post about the merits of Blogger convinced me there is no reason to change, when I like where I am. Glad you found this helpful too!

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    2. Just realized I never thanked you for your offer to help me with watermarking Joy. I use Ribbet and have been able to do it with that - but if I switch to PicMonkey, I might take you up on your offer!! Thanks!

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  8. I am so happy to hear that you are going to stay with Blogger. I know that was a problem you were wrestling with and it's so good to see you've solved it. Your post today is so helpful. I'm also reminded of the time during the 2010 Olympics that I met Meredith Viera. I've written about it on my blog but it was ages ago so you might not have read it. Anywho - long story short I went up to Grouse Mountain where they were filming the Today Show. Had to get there by 2:00 AM to ensure I made the gondola. My daughter asked me to please get Meredith's autograph if I could. I'm really not big on that whole "can you please sign" so I put it off. However, at the last minute I asked her for one. She rushed over and so, so kindly grabbed my pen and scribbled on the gondola ticket (this was after about 2 hours of taping). Pen would not work. She was so disappointed and while her coworkers are yelling at her to get back on set she's urgently saying "get a sharpie, get a sharpie" at me. I couldn't find one but my daughter was thrilled with her scribbly, barely legible signature. Lovely woman. I'll not go on set without a sharpie ever again.

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    1. That is quite a story Kelly! Makes me think I should carry a sharpee everywhere! Glad that your daughter was still happy with the autograph! Probably makes a better memory than if she had just signed it without the interaction! Going back to read about it on your blog!

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  9. The blogging community is such a wonderful warm and caring group. I moved from blogger to wordpress and never looked back! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop xo

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    1. I am glad that word press has worked out for you Katherine! I know that it is a good option, should I ever feel limited by Blogger. Thanks for hosting Thursday Favorite Things. It has been one of my favorite link-ups since I began blogging. Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

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  10. The best way to learn is from others, and luckily, they are not shy sharing their experience! Thank you for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things, hope to see you next week again. Happy Easter!

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    1. That is my favorite thing about bloggers, Jas. Not only are we not shy in sharing our experiences, there is such a spirit of generosity about sharing what we know!

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  11. One thing I learned was on a recent blogger cruise with the Six Sisters. I had a chance to spend time with their dad who is the technical expert on their very successful website. He said to be consistent and constantly measure your results as specifically as possible. Then when you find the platforms and times and topics that work best for you, stick to it consistently.

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    1. Learning to interpret my Google Analytics reports is definitely on top of my "to do" list. It sounds like you got wise advise from the Six Sisters Dad ... and a blogger cruise?! I need to find out more about that!! :)

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Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!