blog faq's.

Over the past couple months I've gotten lots of emails asking various blogging questions.  So I thought I'd put together a type of Blogging 101 post to help out.  Please know that I've only been blogging since August 2011, so I don't even have a year under my belt yet.  I'm definitely no expert.  These are just tips I've picked up along the way and I hope they'll be helpful.  {This is a content heavy post.  If you don't like reading, this probably isn't the post for you.}  
If you have ANY questions, please email me: comingunstitched@yahoo.com 
and I'll do my best to help you out.

This is the question I get asked most frequently: How can I grow my blog?  There is no shortcut or quick way to do this (as far as I can tell).  But here are a few ideas to get you started.

** Join a group such as Independent Fashion Bloggers.  You can meet a lot of bloggers this way and also participate in their challenges and submit links to their weekly Links a la Mode.
** Talk to other bloggers.  Comment on blogs {THOUGHTFULLY- a simple "cute!" is not a way to engage with someone}, let others know that you like what they're doing.  DO NOT spam other bloggers with 5 different links asking them to come to your blog.  I can only speak for myself, but I tend to ignore these.  Also, if you want to follow someone DO IT.  Don't ask them to follow you and THEN you'll follow them back.
** Social Media!  If you don't have a Twitter and Facebook account for your blog, GET ONE NOW.  They're both free, so why not?  This introduces more people to your blog and the best part?  It lets people get to know the real you.  I've found Twitter to be especially important.  It's SO easy to connect with people that way and to share your links.  I've formed great friendships by communicating over Twitter.
**After you join Twitter, join in on chats like Blog Trends (run every Monday with SUPER helpful advice).  This lets you meet new people AND learn!
** Guest post on others blog if they're looking.  This lets you get in touch with their audience and hopefully make some new friends.  {You can be a Featured Blogger on my blog!  Just click here to find out the details.}
** If you can afford it, advertise on other blogs.  Also, some offer to swap "buttons", an essentially free way to advertise your blog.
**Finally, be yourself.  Don't try to be any other blogger, be you.  People are stopping by your blog to see what YOU have to offer.  Let them understand who you are.

Thumbs up!  You can do this!

One of the most important things about having a blog is how it looks.  Face it, we're visual creatures.  When you get to someone's blog if there is too much going on, chances are you're going to leave, right?

** Simple is not a bad thing.  You don't need to have a flashing background, the newest songs blasting and a picture covering every inch of space {in fact if you do, you're probably offending our senses}.  De-clutter your blog.  Keep your sidebars as simple as possible and images that are similar in size are always a good thing.  Check out your favorite bloggers- what do you like and dislike about their blogs?
** Please, for the love of all that is righteous- GET RID OF THE HOT PINK TEXT AND THE CRAZY FONT!  We can't read it.  You might think "Arial" is boring, but hey, at least we can all read it.  A dark colored text on a light background is the easiest way to go.
** I'm going to beg you now on behalf of all the sore and tired eyes- get rid of comment verification.  Seriously.  I'll tell you two reasons why: 1- It's super annoying.  If your guest can't guess the words on the first try (and let's face it, who can?!), chances are s/he is going to leave.  2- It's REALLY hard to do from a smartphone.  We are so mobile these days that we're most likely reading your blog on our phones.  Doing comment verification on a phone is nearly impossible.  I've left a blog without commenting more than once because of this.  See below for how to get rid of the verification for Blogger.  Your readers will thank you.
** Make your pictures bigger.  Again, we have tired, sore eyes.  If I have to squint to see your outfit, it's not good.  At the very least, make your pictures "large" in size.
** "Interesting" pictures.  You've seen the successful bloggers- they all have amazing photos.  Now, do we all have someone around to take photos?  No.  Are we all surrounded by amazing scenery?  No.  You just need to work with what you DO have.  You know how I take my photos?  I downloaded a (free!) self timer app to my iPhone and I then sit my phone on a ledge of the fence that surrounds my patio.  Super professional, you guys.  If you can, take your photos outside in natural light.  Try to make sure your photos are as detailed as possible, so try a few different angles to find what works for you.  {Honestly, this entire part is something I'm still working on.}

High five!  Great job, you guys!

What are your suggestions??  I'd love to hear them!
Leave them in the comments below.
Also, if you accept free advertising/button swaps, leave that too.  Maybe you can connect with new friends!

One last thing... I'm now offering you the chance to advertise your blog/shop on Coming Unstitched!  And it's only $5 for a 30 day run!  So check out THIS PAGE to buy your spot now!



Rebecca Rogers said...

Thanks for this post! I had no idea whether my comments even required verification codes (they did), and I immediately checked it out and got rid of it! Great tips, very helpful.

Lane R said...

Great tips! I hope everyone gets rid of the comment verification. So annoying. I don't leave comments on blogs that require them.

Style-Delights said...

Great post Sarah!! I wish the blogger verification would either be easier or just go away!! So annoying! Loved your ideas to grow the blog! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
Style-Delights Blog
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Petite Therapy said...

Totally just changed my comment verification setting! Thanks, Sarah!

Rach said...

hey Sarah! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such sweet comments--that means a lot to me! I am loving your blog and especially this post--I'm always looking for tips on this whole blogging thing! I'm definitely up for swapping buttons!! :)

CottonCandyINK said...

this is a great and very informative post. thanks for sharing your tips and tricks for great blogging! i wish everyone took off the word verification save a ton of us headaches ;-)

Di - City and Burbs said...

Hey Sarah, thanks for the great suggestions. I've left many blogs because they had word verification on them...I NEVER get it right! I also didn't know there were twitter chats (new to twitter). I'll be there on Monday!

Thanks for all you do for us new bloggers :-)


Di - City and Burbs said...

Hey Sarah, thanks for the great suggestions. I've left many blogs because they had word verification on them...I NEVER get it right! I also didn't know there were twitter chats (new to twitter). I'll be there on Monday!

Thanks for all you do for us new bloggers :-)


Brigid (Small Town Fabulous) said...

I agree on everything! Comment verification is my number one complaint about other people's blogs. I almost never leave those blogs comments.

I absolutely love your theme by the way.


Arielle said...

I absolutely agree about keeping things simple. I hate when I go to a blog and it takes forever to load because there are so many layers of colors/formatting issues.

Sara S ♥ said...

Thanks so much! These are great ideas! And I huge thank you for explaining how to get rid of those annoying verifications!! :)

Megan, The Frugalista Diaries said...

Best Post Ever....I.hate.word.ver with a passion..

Beth Kondrick said...

I am SO sick of word verification - and I'm going to double check that mine is gone....

Beth Kondrick said...

I'm back to say that I still had that word verification turned on - so THANK YOU for this post and the tips on removing it!!!

smalltownbigwardrobe.com said...

Thank you for your comment on word verification and fonts. I was going to comment on a blog just yesterday and the font in the body copy was so hard to read, I closed the window immediately.

Joy Schwarzkopf said...

Nice bandaid. :) Poor thumb.

Tiffany said...

Thanks for your tips!! I've noticed that when I take time to comment on and visit other blogs, my page views and comments go wayyy up. But it does take time! lol

With Each Passing Day said...

Thanks for the wonderful tips. I really need to update my blog but man the thought of doing everything is daunting.

Megan said...


Great tips :) Have a great Monday!

Bravoe Runway said...

I think you have given some excellent tips in this post! You've done a fantastic job redesigning your blog since I first started following you. All the best to you as you continue to blog and hope you had a great Easter Sarah :)

Mary Ann said...

Couldn't agree more with the word verification - that's in my top 3 frustrations of blogging!

Bonnie said...

I love the idea of a blogging 101. Generally, I answer a lot of questions over Twitter, but this is a nice way to get more in-depth.

Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Psycho Cat said...

Nice tips and I agree with you, word verification is really annoying thing :)

Dana said...

What great suggestions! I definitely agree with everything that you said.


silvergirl said...

you are my queen for directing people how to turn off the verification!!!
I can't tell you how much i hate it and seriously, how much spam actually gets through????
great tips
thanks for sharing

Kelly said...

Great tips Sarah! I totally agree with every one of these :) I really got to get on making a button for my blog. I still don't have one! Gah!

newpetite said...

Great post and agree with you on the word verification thingie!!

Heather Forrey said...

This could not have come at a more perfect time as I'm setting up my blog as we speak!!! Thanks Sarah for hitting fantastic points! <3

smk053078 said...

Such a GREAT post! So glad you mentioned removing the comment verification. It drives me NUTS!! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement on my blog today!! Means the world!!

Audrey Allure said...

Absolutely agree with your tips, especially getting rid of the comment verification! Makes commenting less complicated too :)

Kim (A Very Sweet Blog) said...

You covered it girl! Excellent advice! Especially word verification. I'm sure I removed mine, but let me know if I didn't. LOL :D

Michelle said...

Love these tips! I didn't know IFB had groups... off to check it out and see what I can find :)

Well... said...

These blogging tips are fantastic! Haha, you made me laugh with some of them. Yes, the swirly hot pink fonts are NOT the best option.

Trendy Teal

Stylish By Nature said...

Thanx for rolling out this post...Must read !!

♡ StylishByNature.com

Fashion-Bridge said...

These are very nice tips! and I like your happy face:))
Thanks for sharing dear!




RETRO REVA said...

Just found you via IFB, ta-da! great tips and thanks again for letting peeps know to turn of the verification thingy!

RETRO REVA said...

PS, I'd love to swap badge with you this month!
E-mail me at retroreva@zoomtown.com

Lucy McCracken said...

Visiting your from Lola's blog. Great tips. I will start empliminting them right away. Starting with getting rid of the word verifination. ues, it's so annoying. I need to start a FB page for my blog. I need to not dragg my feet on it any longer and get it started. happy thursday!

Vonae Deyshawn said...

I'm so happy Lola shared your blog today. What a wonderful space you've built. Thank you so much for this article. I think this is something every blogger needs to read. I can't tell you how many one time visitors I get to my blog simply leaving a comment of "Follow me, I'll follow back." It's just so rude! I love building relationships with the ladies that I visit frequently. It builds trust, support, and true community. Thanks again for this!

Vonae Deyshawn

Anne said...

Found you through Lola's blog and just wanted to say thanks for the tips you shared here. Just eliminated my word verification. thanks to you!

Tiffany @ Blabbering Thoughts said...

Haha thiis is probably one of the best tutorials I read. I like your blunt but honest/nice way of saying things. I really appreciated that high five. Thanks girl!

Tiffany @ Blabbering Thoughts said...

Haha thiis is probably one of the best tutorials I read. I like your blunt but honest/nice way of saying things. I really appreciated that high five. Thanks girl!

Erin said...

Such great tips lady..thanks for sharing your genius ways! Keep up the great work...you are blowin the blog world up :)

Jessi said...

Oh my goodness I didn't even know I had the comment verification on my blog...which I always find annoying myself. I immediately got rid of it! Thanks!

lindsey marie said...

I found a link to this post on another blog and I'm glad I stopped by! I'm new to blogging and it's intimidating to see how big everyone else's blog is.. one day right? :)

I appreciate your tips and look forward to reading more of your posts!!


MissRockwell said...

What a great post. I totally agree with your tips...especially the one about social media such as FB and Twitter. I've noticed a significant amount of visits just by using those sites.

Matthew Taylor said...

You are very correct in what you have posted on how to be successful as a blogger, I started in Aug of last year did about 6 between then and Feb. and since Feb. I started attending events, blogging at events and I have seen number skyrocket into almost 20,000. Although I am a guy so that makes what I do completely different, and my blog is about anything and everything in Fashion. I put together a Pin-up model styling event and Photoshoot with the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, they loved the idea and were on board immediately!It all comes down to what you want to blog about.

Anonymous said...

Nice work, Thanks

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