The Must List: Beneath My Heart

by Chris on May 4, 2012

You know what they say about all good things… Today’s post wraps up “The Must List” series, and I couldn’t be happier that Traci is posting today. To say she’s a social butterfly is an understatement. I literally want to shadow her throughout a room and watch how she floats around effortlessly from person to person. It’s a skill, really. She’s such a fantastic person that it was an easy decision to ask her to talk about relationships in blogging. Have fun!

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Hey there! I am so happy to be hanging out with JAG readers today! And I am so glad I get to talk about connecting with others in your blogging community. Heck! I’m just glad I get to talk. Smile Talking is one of my favorite things to do. If you have ever met me in real life, you know that I can talk the paint off a wall!   Blogging over the past three years has provided a great way for me to talk to even more people, more of the time. Woo to the hoo! I can honestly say that the best thing that has come out of blogging has been the amazing friendships that I have made with other bloggers and my readers. Some of those friendships are just online, and some of those online friendships have become real life friendships.

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Just look at these beautiful ladies! I know you recognize most of them. Smile They started out my online friends, and then I had the pleasure of meeting them in real life…some of them many times! What a blessing!   So how can you build friendships in the blogging community?     Here are my three favorite ways:

1. Create a Facebook fan page for your blog. I have had my Beneath My Heart fan page for a couple of years, but I have to be honest that I have only been using it as a tool for connecting more with my readers since January. It has been so much fun to use my facebook fan pageto answer readers’ questions, share my posts, highlight other blogger’s work, and allow other bloggers to link their projects up to my page.

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Here are some other reasons to create a facebook fan page for your blog… *Basically, everyone’s on Facebook. It’s just a fact. *Facebook is the largest social network, with over 800 million users, making it the most effective platform to promote your blog. *Facebook is growing faster than Twitter. *I find a lot of my readers are more likely to comment on my facebook page than on my blog posts. So this makes Facebook a great place for me to form friendships with my readers.   I know there are many more ways that I can utilize my facebook fan page to connect with my readers, and I am continuing to work on it.

2. Join Twitter. I think Twitter scares some people. If you were like me, I thought you could only use twitter on your phone. Then you would receive a “tweet” every time someone you followed on twitter posted an update. I thought it was the craziest thing I had ever heard of, and I thought only celebrities used Twitter. Honestly, I didn’t really care what Ashton Kutcher had for lunch and didn’t really want to know when Taylor Lautner was working out. (Okay, maybe I did.) Let me think about that….

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Oops! I digress. But anyway, I just didn’t see the use of Twitter in my life. Until I was introduced to Tweetdeck at Blissdom a few years ago.

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TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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“The primary benefits of TweetDeck are its ability to show you everything you want to see at once, in an organized column format. It defaults with columns of @Replies, DM’s, and AllFriends. You can keep or delete those columns (and bring them back again if you choose).” source   I do not spend a ton of time of Tweetdeck, but I usually have it open in a window on my computer while I am blogging. I like to check my Tweetdeck every once in a while to see what other bloggers are posting or talking about. If I see that one of my blog friends wrote a great post, I can retweet that post to all of my twitter followers. And some of my blog friends will do the same for me. I view more blog posts via Tweetdeck than I do any other blog “reader.” I can also send Direct Messages, which are private messages that only the sender and receiver can view. I DM my sister a lot. Smile I may also DM a blog friend if I needed to ask them a question that I didn’t want the whole world to see. Twitter and Tweetdeck are great places for my readers to reach me as well. I have many readers who will ask me a blog question, and it shows up in my “mention” column on Tweetdeck. Then I am able to quickly answer them back. Many of my closest blog friendships began on Twitter.

3. Leave comments on other blogs.I can honestly say that some of my greatest friendships in the blogging community began from a single comment on my blog. Now I am not talking about just any comment, like “Great Project! Way to go!” Although I love those kind of comments, it is the readers that leave genuine, meaningful comments that I feel the greatest desire to respond to.

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Genuine comments ignite a response. Those are the bloggers that I want to go visit or develop a relationship with. But don’t try to “fake” genuine comments. They are super easy to spot. Just sayin’… If you truly like a project or post that a blogger wrote, leave a meaningful comment to let them know it. It will be received well and be greatly appreciated.   Case in point: One of the best commenters in blogland is Richella from Imparting Grace. How do I know? Because she has left a ton of precious comments on my blog, especially when my mom was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 2 1/2 years ago. Richella’s comments touched my heart deeply because they were always so warm and heartfelt. She and I became great blog friends, which lead to us being roommates at Blissdom last year! How cool is that?! image

Another great commenter… Marty from A Stroll Thru Life. Isn’t she precious?!

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Marty was one of my very first commenters on my blog over three years ago. She is faithful, consistent, and kind in all of her comments. Though I have never met Marty in person, I adore her and consider her my dear friend.   Comments make connections. It is my readers who consistently leave comments on my blog that I begin to feel connected to and friendships begin to form. It’s an awesome thing!     I know there are many other ways to form friendships in blog world, but these are three that have worked for me. Building friendships and community through your blog is probably the very best part of blogging.  

What have you done to develop friendships through your blog? I would love to know!   Oh! and by the way! I would love to connect with YOU too! Please come by and see me at Beneath My Heart. buttonbmh

You can also connect with me on facebook and twitter! I’m looking forward to making many new friends this year!

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{ 22 comments }

Gerrie May 4, 2012 at 7:19 am

I am fascinated by the article about using facebook (and other media) to promote your blog. I am equally fascinated by your “header” designs – are you using professional support and/or have you some suggestions about where I might be able to update my rather frumpy blog (and facebook) graphics – particularly as a more interesting header?

Gerrie

Traci May 4, 2012 at 10:48 am

Hi, Gerrie!
I do have someone who designed my blog. My blog guy is Tony from Evenpar Solutions, and the graphic designer is Lindsay from Chena. She works with Tony. There are a ton of designers out there at a ton of different price points. I used to find blogs that I really loved the “look” of, and then scroll down to the bottom of their page to see who designed it. That is a good starting point.
Thanks!
Traci

Bossy Betty May 4, 2012 at 8:36 am

Thanks so much for these tips. I don’t have a Facebook nor do I have a clue about how to operate Twitter. You’ve given me some courage to try it!

Traci May 4, 2012 at 10:49 am

Good luck! I think you will like it. Let me know if you have any questions, I’d love to help!
Thanks!
Traci

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life May 4, 2012 at 9:12 am

Traci is such a precious person. I love her blog and always love her posts. Thanks Traci for mentioning me. You are a very special friend. Hugs, Marty

Traci May 4, 2012 at 10:49 am

Love you, Marty!

Sandy @ RE May 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

Traci was one of my early blog friends, too, and I just love her to pieces! Loved this post!

Traci May 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

“was”?!
We still are friends, girl!!! :)
I love you too and wish I could see you again in real life.
xoxo
Traci

JJasmin Interiors May 4, 2012 at 9:54 am

Thank you for your morsels of truth! I am an interior designer and new blogger. I recently launched my website and blog and I am slowly finding my groove and how it all seems to work in this melting pot of bloggers. As you wrote, leaving comments and stepping out of our comfort levels allows for sweet friendships to be introduced and brings a whole new lovely level to us bloggers. Thanks for your time! Julie Jasmin

Traci May 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

You are welcome, Jasmin!
Welcome to this crazy blog world! :)
I’m gonna stop by and visit you.
Yay!
Traci

Gillian Luce May 4, 2012 at 10:18 am

These are great tips Traci! I especially love the mention about comments, not just the “fake” comments (although wouldn’t it be funny to see a post with the worse fake comments!) but the real, genuine comments. The ones that let ladies like you know that the information you’re sharing means something to your readers. Thanks for sharing & keep creating!!! :)

Traci May 4, 2012 at 10:51 am

Thank you, Gillian! You are right, it really does mean a lot to know that the posts we work so hard to create really do mean something to our readers.
Bless you!
Traci

MarLaney May 4, 2012 at 10:49 am

Traci, if you’re going to post pictures like that….feel free to digress anytime! Ha ha!

Great post and I’m headed to check out Marty’s blog because I see her comments on your blog often. Have a great weekend!

Traci May 4, 2012 at 10:53 am

Yes, sometimes it is good to digress, right? :)

Tell Marty “hi”! She’s just precious. My mom had a blog just a few weeks before she was diagnosed with cancer and Marty took the time to leave comments on her blog and encourage her. Marty holds a special place in my heart.

Laura Ingalls Gunn May 4, 2012 at 10:53 am

Where have I been? I had no know idea about Tweetdeck. I have become overwhelmed with all the social media and this will help so much. Thank you!

I also agree with you about leaving comments. I also try and return all comments left on my blog.

Locally I have organized blogging luncheons and those ladies have become some of my dearest friends. One who is extra sweet that I know in “real” life~ Miss Marty. She is authentically awesome!!!

Richella at Imparting Grace May 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Jeepers! I feel so honored!!! For one of my favorite blogging friends to mention me on one of my favorite blogs–what a day-brightener!

You’re right, Chris–Traci is just amazing at forming connections. She can talk to anyone, anywhere, and she always sounds genuine. That’s because she IS genuine. She is real and true. I used to think of myself as an extrovert before I met Traci and saw what a real “people person” is like!

You know what’s cool? It was YOU, Chris, who first introduced me to Traci. You featured her on one of your special Fridays way back. I think maybe she had just made Ballard knock-off shelves for her kitchen. Her blog was small then, but you could see that she was special, so you introduced her to your readers. I followed your link to Beneath My Heart and was smitten with Traci; we’ve been friends ever since. I’ve always appreciated the way you use your platform to show kindness and spread the love. :)

Lori May 4, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Traci that is some awesome info, and I hope to branch out a little more too. Does anyone else feel overwhelmed with social media? Middle age may have something to do with it, but seriously I don’t even know to spruce up my page…it is just like it was when I created it, (and that took forever). Mine looks like a FB page not MY page…any tips?

traci May 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Hey Lori!
I absolutely LOVE your blog design! Especially those chairs! So cute.

I clicked on your facebook tab in your header, and it just took me to my facebook page. Do you have that linked to YOUR facebook page? I wanted to check it out. Maybe I could help you may a new header for your facebook page. :)

Angela May 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I completely agree about Marty!! She is always so sweet and was one of my first commenters!
Thanks for the tips, Traci!
~Angela

jessica@fourgenerationsoneroof May 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Holy smokes “just a girl” your party just keeps on going over here! Man, what a list it has been! xo. It’s like the red carpet everyday :) Traci, your blog was one of the firsts I found when I started blogging last summer and I remember you sending me a very loving email about your mom (in response to a comment I had left on your blog). I remember getting that email and being so touched that you sent me such a wonderful emotional email about your mom and you didn’t even know me. I was touched :) Oh and I just read Becky’s post (I’ll just comment here), I don’t know how that girl keeps up with all she does. Multiple blogs….shoot me. I can’t even manage my 1 blog where I only post 2 times a week . hehe :) She is definitely wonder woman!

Chris May 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Ha! I aim to please, Jessica! If I’m going to have a guest post series, I figure I might as well pull out all the stops. :) Thank you for commenting!

Chris May 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Ha! What a great comment, Jessica! I love that you’ve had such a great experience with blog friendships! Pretty awesome stuff, eh?

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