Blog Staycation: Interacting with your readers

Hi everyone! Yesterday we kicked off Blog Staycation 2014! As promised we will be bringing you  tips on getting your blog organized and ready to interact with your readers. I could find no better way to start of this event, than to talk about why it is SO important to interact with ALL of your readers.
I understand that not everyone who gets into blogging is looking for mass amounts of readers, but it would be nice to go have SOMEONE looking at your daily posts. As bloggers we need other peoples opinions on what we are writing. The content we put out is hard work. We take time out everyday to bring the best content we can to the internet for the world to see. There is no reason why we shouldn't ask for feedback and get to know our readers.

Asking for feedback is important. If you don't ask, you won't know. A few ways to do this is:
  • Host a poll: Ask your readers questions about your blog. Be specific because chances are if they are willing to take your poll, they will give you honest feedback.
  •  End of post questions: Ask your readers questions in relation to the post. This will strike up conversation and help your readers relate to your content, and you get to know your readers.
  •  Use Social Media: Social media is a great way to connect with readers. You can ask for feedback with simple tweets like "I love reading about food, what about you?" or "I love so and so's blog, who do you read?" Questions like these will engage your readers to tell you what they like without feeling like you are being pushy. 
Talk to your readers! Interacting with your readers gives you a feel for what they like and why they read the blogs they do. Make sure you follow these tips to keep your readers coming back:
  • REPLY TO COMMENTS! This is a biggie. If you aren't replying to your readers, they have no real connection to you and probably will not be back. 
  • Reply to E-mail: Whether it be a simple compliment, complaint or collaboration, reply to your emails. Replying to a compliment will show you care about you readers and are excited that they are excited. Sometimes that complaint can make your blog better. More eyes on your content can see things that you may miss. Maybe a business opportunity comes up, but you are not interested, replying that you are not interested is professional rather than ignoring it. There may be something in the future you are a fit for, and they will consider you again.
  • Participate in chats: Whether it be Twitter chats or Facebook chats, get involved! You get to meet other bloggers and readers this way. Host your own or participate in ones already established. Either way you are interacting and getting feedback.
Help your readers: Helping our your readers in anyway you can, will always bring those readers back. Positive actions bring positive feedback:
  • Bloggers: If your reader is also a blogger, visit their blog! Leave comments! Help them the way they help you.
  • Shops: Do you have a reader who has a shop? Visit the shop. Buy something if you find something you love. Give them feedback.
  •  Ect: Engage in anything your readers throw at you. Maybe they are hosting a blog hop, or a link up, or even an e-mail chain. Check it out. This doesn't mean you have to get involved, but at least give it a chance. You may find something new and exciting you never would of though of on your own.
 So what do you think? Do you interact enough with your readers? Is there something on this list you need to work on? In what ways do you interact with your readers?

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you are enjoying Blog Staycation 2014! Make sure you follow along on Twitter with #blogstaycation!

Could you do it?

Recently I have noticed a graphic being posted all over Facebook. It says: No Cellphone, No Facebook, No Computer Access, No Wifi. For 3 months and you get $3 Million dollars. Could you do this?


At first I thought heck yeah! I would love to disconnect for a few months and earn a cool $3 Million in peace and quiet. Then my blogging side screamed at me: WHAT?! How are you supposed to keep up your blog? Connect with people? Make your readers happy? My mind instantly snapped back to reality and remembered how much we all rely on technology and social media to stay connected. Once I was able to get my thoughts collected and together, I figured out how I could accomplish this AND keep up my blog... Now only if this challenge were real.. I'd have that money by Christmas!

First problem: No Cellphone. This one could be tough because I only have a cellphone as a telephone option. I also use my cellphone to connect to the internet to use social media. Only when you stop and think about this, do you realize how much you really are using your phone.

My solution: Sign up for a home phone. In emergencies this probably is a good thing to have on hand. My current internet provider has a phone number all set up for me already, and once I decide to go that route, the cost really isn't that much.

Second problem: No Facebook. This one is easy for me. I only really use facebook to look at other peoples photos and upload my own. My blog's Facebook has not had much success and with all the changes Facebook keeps throwing at us. I may stop using it anyways! Twitter is the way to go for my blog's sake!

My solution: Pick up the phone. Yeah that real phone that you have (Or have to hook up). Call the people you want to stay in touch with. Want to share photos? Write letters! I love to write and receive letters! It is much more personal and something better in your mailbox than JUNK! If you are interested in becoming pen pals, email me! (Serious inquiries only!)

Third problem: No Computer Access. This one is another tough one, especially as a blogger. We need our computers to bring content to the interwebs. We use our computers to interact with people which includes commenting and messaging other bloggers. We do research. All kinds of stuff just to bring you, the reader great content.

My solution:
This solution has 2 parts because I feel this one is the hardest to give up as a blogger.

Part 1
 Lets assume you have a start date that is at minimum a week away. Lets also assume you have been blogging for more than 90 days. You now have 90 days where you will not be able to access your computer. This is where you get stealthy.  Check your stats. See which posts could use some lovin'. Get yourself set up with a program like Hootsuite or Twuffer. Pre-schedule your tweets and Facebook posts through the 90 days you will be absent. All of those posts will now be getting exposure while you are sitting around relaxing with a cocktail.  Next write as many blog posts as you can and pre-schedule those posts and social media mentions. Now for me, I only blog 3 days a week so I only need about 36 posts to share. That seems like a lot, but once you get your archives out there you may cut down your new posts by half.

Part 2
As bloggers we need to interact with our readers and other bloggers. You can still interact with your readers by posting questions in your blog posts. You will also have to post a disclaimer that you will be away and ALL of their questions and comments will be answers as soon as you are back. Now as far as commenting on other bloggers pages, this is where you ask for forgiveness ahead of time. I would lead off with a post explaining the challenge you are taking as well as your plan for the next 90 days. People will see how much work and effort you put into scheduling content so your blog doesn't end up stagnant. If they can't appreciate it, maybe they weren't really that great a blogger friend to begin with!

Fourth Problem: No WiFi, This would not be a problem at all being you are already giving up your cellphone and computer access.

Solution: None. You have already solved all of the problems that would need WiFi in the previous problems.

Now I understand this sounds completely ridiculous, but think about how much money you would get at the end. You would put the work in, and be rewarded 3 Million big ones at the end. The least you can do is comment and reply to everyone who left messages while you were away :)

*Quick Tip* You can also use some of these solutions if you are going to be away on a vacation or extended holiday. I pre-schedule tweets a lot when this happens, as well as posts. It helps take away the stress of doing it last minute before you go away.

So what do you think? Could you give up all of these things for 3 months? What would your solutions be for this? If you write about it please come back and share with me!

Manic Monday

Happy Monday!! This week is going to be super busy as I prepare for Blog Staycation 2014 (It's not to late to sign up!) as well as a trip to Maine! It is going to be a crazy 7 days where I am trying to plan posts for the staycation and set time aside to relax! Well as they say, just another manic Monday!

I mentioned in my {post} last week that there have been some things both personal and blogwise that I wanted to make. I figured with the crazy week I have coming up, starting the week off with a poll wouldn't be so bad. It would help me get some insight on the blog so far, as well as some info on where this blog should be heading. The fall is coming up quickly, and that means more time to explore my writing abilities. I want to come at you with new content, fresh ideas, giveaways, and so much more! I want this to be a place where you feel comfortable coming back day after day.

Please do me a favor and fill out this quick survey. It will be quick and easy and be very useful for me. You can access the poll here --->The Trish List Poll

Thank you in advance and I hope you all have a great week!

Weekly Wrap

Hey loves! Sorry I have been a little MIA this week. It has been one of those crazy weeks where anything that could of went awry did. I started training my replacement so I can move on to my new position.

  • I started the week off reviewing some pretty great organic beauty products! I am a fan, and I'm sure you will love them to! Check it out if you are looking for some new healthy products for your skin.
  • I just wrapped up a month hanging out on The Gits Blog where I guest posted on Tuesday. I really wanted to do the 5 photos that make me feel beautiful challenge, so I did it!. I had a great stay and would recommend her sponsorship to anyone looking to try one out. She was very helpful and answers all my questions promptly. She gave my blog some nice exposure and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
  •  I had a lot of guest posts this week, which helped out a lot with my crazy week. My new blogging buddy Trish (Us Trish girl stick together!) over at Beyond the Khaki Pants asked me to guest post while she was on a much needed Hawaiian vacation. I posted about the transition aftermath of accepting a promotion in the workplace. I am so proud of that one! Please stop by and say Hello to Trish and check out that post!
  • Now just as one sponsorship is ending, I also started a new sponsorship this week over at Becoming Adorrable. I am so excited to be hanging out over there and can't wait to give you all the fun details when my time is up! 
  • Blog Staycation 2014 is right around the corner and I want to use this moment to remind you all to get signed up! We have a lot of stuff planned to help you get yourself organized and ready for a fall full of blogging! It will be a good time and lots of learning! Hope to see you there!
I hope you all had an amazing week and even better weekend! See you back here on Monday, where things start to get even more hectic!

Special Day!

Today is a special day: it is not only my Mom's birthday, I am also being featured over at The Grits Blog! Run on over and check out my guest post on 5 Pictures That Make Me Feel Beautiful! I have been wanting to do that challenge forever now, so what better time than now?

I am also starting my first day of training my replacement so I can move on over to my NEW position! You heard it right, I have been promoted! So excited to start something new in my career. I posted back a few weeks ago on how awkward it can be to go through an internal interview. (You should read it, it's funny!). It paid off in the end and now I am moving on up!

So far this week is looking up! Lots of exciting content coming up for the rest of August. I hope you will all stick around to experience it all! In the meantime if you are not following me on Twitter or Instagram, you are missing out folks! I love to post daily inspiration and humor on Twitter, as well as update you on this space here. On Instagram, ANYTHING goes! I love to take spur of the moment photos of things. You never know what will show up next! I have kind of given up on Facebook, anyone have any tips on making it work?

Anyways have a great Tuesday everyone!