Q and A

I thought I'd answer some fun questions I received during my blogiversary give-away post. This is the fist one:

What tips do you have to generate more blog traffic and what kinds of posts do you think readers like most?

I consider myself pretty much a blog expert so everyone should probably write this down, mmkay? (No, not really.) So while I've never really set out to consciously increase traffic on my blog, I've noticed that some of these points have brought in new readers and and have helped me keep loyal ones.

Show you care. I always try (though sometimes fail miserably due to time) to visit a commenter's blog, and I really make an effort to leave a comment. If your readers take time out of their days to leave you a comment, I strongly believe you should reciprocate the kindness. I have found the most wonderful blogs this way! I take the time to do this when I can, because I really want to show my readers that I care and that their comments do not go unnoticed. Like my comment box says: "Your comments are like Brangelina--so pretty I could cry."

Make the first move. Unless you wish to remain anonymous, take a few seconds to comment on other people's blogs, whether they leave you a comment or not. I know, I know.........so many blogs, so little time. While I love me a good lurker as much as the next blogger, "de-lurking" can really make someone's day! Before you know it, you'll see the same act of kindness in return on your own blog. 

Good credit. Be sure to credit your sources! Also in conjunction with the above, share the blog love: credit those responsible by mentioning how you found a particular blog ("Stumbled onto your blog via _______'s blog."). Every 10th referral, gets you a free blogger account.......oh, wait.......right. =)

Worth a 1000 words. Posts w/ pictures rule! I know what you're thinking: "But your photography skills pretty much suck, FC." A bad pic is better than no pic in my book! And when it comes to home reno's, before and after shots make my heart palpitate.

Here's an example of my horrible photog skills. Even Hiro knows it.

Let's laugh.
I don't know about you, but I like to blog because it allows me to escape my reality for a little while. While I do enjoy those posts about venting, opinionated "soapbox" moments, and life's ups & downs (blog friends can be a wonderful support system!!) but inject some self-deprecating humor every so often and I am sooo there.

It's all about me. That little "About Me" section on a blog can really do wonders. Whether it's a clever blurb or a whimsical photo, you never know. You might just turn up in someone's google search and be the answer to their blog prayers. Hopefully you're not the result of some sort of kinky-inappropriate search terminology. That'll teach you to never google "decor porn" ever again........ I'll leave that up to you and your life coach to sort out.

It's all about you. The nature of blogs are all "Look at me! Look at me!" but it's nice to get your readers' feedback, too. That's half the fun! I simply adore seeing people's personalities come thru when I ask for advice or anecdotes.
For my blog in particular, I think my readers like home decor/renovation posts the most. Seeing as how this is also my obsession, it's not hard to write most posts. If being a home voyeur is wrong, I don't want to be right, and the more the merrier!! However, the post I received the most responses/feedback to (besides my blogiversary give-away post) was this one, where I turned the spotlight on my readers. It's one of my favorites.

Thanks for the fantastic question, newlyb!!

So there you have my long-winded answers. Hello? Is anyone still awake?
I know that not everyone who has a blog strives to win a popularity contest, so please take my advice with a grain of salt. It shouldn't be a race to see who gets the most comments. Blogging should be soothing to your mind and soul. And if a blog ever feels like a burden, take a break from it. More often than not, you'll be back, properly refreshed.

Hope this was helpful! More Q & A to come.
Do you have any additional blog advice?