Monday, March 24, 2014

One year of Blogging Questions and Comments: Who Can Help?




Today will be one year since we started our blog but instead of gushing about how it is our "blogiversary" as you would call it in the blogosphere, we are going to come clean and lay out all our comments and questions that we have about blogging and social media because sometimes we still feel so lost!


Comments:


We blog because of the relationships we are building (online and offline) but it does take commitment and lots of work/time. We try to connect with people who have similar interest as us, who are always encouraging others, and who want to try to build connections with other runners as well.   So after a year of blogging we are doing some Spring Cleaning: Which consists of the following.

* Try really hard to make shorter posts without lacking in content. We just get so excited sometimes and we can be very wordy. We know bloggers are very busy and we are not the only blog they are reading.  You can already see how we've shortened up from our first few posts! ( ok, so this one might be a little longer than we'd hoped)

* After a year of consistently reading and commenting on other blogs, if those bloggers have never taken the time to respond to our comments or even pay a visit to our page, then these blogs will be removed from our reading list or no longer be visited by us.  This gives us more time to spend on the blogs that are interacting with us. Besides, isn't that why we blog, to interact with people. It can't all be one sided.

* Over the past few months We've become involved in more blogging groups and have discovered lots of fun new blogs.  We've been reading them now and then through the group, but are excited to make them part of our  (hopefully daily) reading list!

* We like to visit everyone who's visited our page. The problem is that some people are hard to find. Clicking on your name doesn't always take us to your blog. We might end up on some other type of profile.  Because of these reasons we may not realize that you have a blog. So PLEASE, if you are leaving comments on our blog and we are not visiting yours leave us your blog address in the comment. Thanks!

Questions:


*How come there are certain blogs we can't comment on unless we have a Google Plus account? ( which we don't have because we don't understand it)

Which I guess brings us to our next question.

* Do you find Google Plus to be helpful?  From what little bit I read, it makes it seem as though when you search for something, the first results that are brought up are from the people in your circles. Personally I would think you would want to search what else is out there in an effort to find "new" material, not material you've already read on someone's blog that you already follow. I don't know about Google Plus though so I could totally be missing the point here.

* Another commenting question. How come on some blogs we have to log in with our Twitter account instead of our blog account?

*Why are bloggers still using CAPTCHA? Do you know you can turn that off and still control your Spam messages?  I'm just putting that out there because when we first started blogging, we had no idea that CAPTCHA was on and that our readers had to go through that to leave a comment.  ( CAPTCHA is the set of numbers or letters that you have to type in the box in order to leave a blog comment). I can never get the letters right so I always refresh it until I get a set of numbers!

*Why do bloggers get so bent out of shape when other bloggers do Sponsored Posts? I have read the irate comments on this topic on blogs over and over again and I don't get it. I for one don't mind. It usually introduces me to a product that I would have never known about and they usually end up being pretty good gift ideas or foods that I'd want to try.

* (This is a for real question and not meant to be snarky) Why do people need both Instagram and Twitter? Why can't they just post their picture on Twitter instead of posting a link on Twitter to see their picture on Instagram?

* We read other blogs through our reading list on Blogger. The problem is that sometimes some of your blogs are missing or it tells us we have no blogs on our list. Sometimes it hides certain blogs and calls them our "secret" blogs. I don't know what this is all about but if we've been missing your blog lately, sorry.  Anyone else have this problem?

* Do readers really want to learn more about "US"?  We have always tried to keep our blog content topic focused here on Fairytales and Fitness but some recent blogs about blogging have said that readers want to know more about "YOU  the blogger".  Is this true?  What would you like us to write about?


With this being said, we want to thank everyone that has been so kind to read what we've written over the year. Thank you all for your encouraging words, for celebrating our PR's, and for your best advice on our injuries. We can say we've made some pretty cool friends through this blog ( both online and off)!           
                           Thank you!  L and M

                                    Your Turn! Can you answer any of our question today?

Don't forget tomorrow is Tasty Tuesday! Do you have a food post to link up?

66 comments:

  1. Happy blogiversary ladies!! So exciting that it's been a whole year already! It's been so amazing getting to know you both and I can't wait to meet up at a race someday in the future!

    I have to second your opinion about the Instagram/Twitter account. I've never used instagram so maybe it has more options? I don't know, but Twitter is definitely more than enough for me!

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    1. Thanks Lauren! We've really enjoyed getting to know you too!

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  2. Firstly, Happy Blogiversary ladies! I can't wait to see what the next year brings for you both!

    I believe I can help with the Twitter/Instagram questions. When you create a photo on Instagram, you have the option of sharing it with your linked Facebook/Twitter accounts etc. Twitter and Instagram's user agreement changed in the past year where your Instagram photos will no longer just show up on your tweets, you now have to click a link to get to the photo (which I find annoying).

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    1. Oh, I see. Seems silly that Twitter doesn't show the picture.

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  4. First off, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has these questions/comments!
    I do agree though, because we all put so much time and effort into our blogs, it definitely has to be an interactive experience with your readers..ain't nobody got time for that!
    I also feel you on the longer posts...I could write for days but realize no one will want to read my ramblings!

    Happy Blogiversary!

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    1. We try really hard to keep our posts an appropriate length, but sometimes it is hard....lol. Hopefully you will find some answers to some of your questions too!

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  5. Congrats on one year ladies!

    I'm still learning Google+. With all the headaches Facebook gives me, it makes me wonder where everyone will go!

    My only issue with sponsored posts is when they take over the blog. A few now and then are fine, as long as it keeps in line with the blog theme/content.

    Personally, I love that Instagram is visual! It's fun to scroll through the feed and get a glimpse into people's lives!

    I'm excited to see where the next year takes you beautiful ladies!

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    1. Thank you Megan! Maybe Instagram is at least worth checking out? It frightens me that we might get addicted to another form of social media....lol

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  6. Congrats on your Blogiversary! I would like to know more about you two, for sure! Also... the CAPTCHA thing... This weekend I was DETERMINED to figure out how to turn that off, but when I commented on my own blog (not signed in) it did not make me type anything in. I SWORE people had to type stuff in. (I don't want them to have to.) So... do you remember if you have to type something in when you comment on my blog??

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    1. I'm pretty sure yours is CAPTCHA free! But it is something that is automatic with Blogger ( I think). We had to turn ours off, so at some point you must have turned it off already!

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    2. Maybe I am more tech savvy than I thought... but I clearly don't remember doing it! Glad mine is free of it. I hate typing it!

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  7. Yay for the Blogiversary!!! I loved all the comments and questions, I have all those feelings as well! Can't wait to see what next year brings!

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    1. Thank you! Hopefully you are able to find some answers to your questions as well!

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  8. Happy One Year!
    I have to agree that if I start reading a blog, I would hope that they would connect with me. Sometimes this doesn't happen and they don't ever visit my blog. Some bloggers I read because I love them but they never comment on my blog but I am okay with that because I love their blog. But certain others I delete because I don't want to waste my time. I guess it is kind of hypocritical. But you have to read blogs that you like and enjoy the content on. I do have to say that I have deleted most blogs because of the content!

    Also I love reading blogs to get to know the person(people)! I love that blogs may be themed but I love those random posts about their lives or themselves. It makes me feel more connected to the blogger! Plus if I were to visit a state/race that the blogger was living in/attending I would feel more happy about contacting them since I felt like I knew them a little bit!

    However you precede with your blog is up to you - but you have been rockin' it for a year!!! YAY! :)

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    1. I admit that there have been some blogs that I read and comment on that are not Fitness/running/ or Disney related, so our blog would be of no interest to them and that's ok. I wouldn't expect them to visit our blog. I'm thinking we may through in a few more Random about US posts in every now and then. That might be fun!

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  9. Congrats Meranda and Lacey on your blogiversary! It must be the week for celebrations since my one year blogiversary is on Saturday. I'm still playing around with some ideas of how I want to celebrate it on the blog, especially since I don't usually publish posts on Saturdays.

    I couldn't agree more with many of your comments. I'm starting to do the same kind of spring cleanup. If I've commented on your blog consistently, as you haven't repaid the favor, then I'm starting to cut those blogs from my reading list. While my original purpose for my blog was to journal my running journey, it has evolved into much more, and I love how it has fostered virtual relationships with so many other runners. But as you said, the relationship can't be one sided.

    As for your question about Twitter and Instagram, I personally like the editing features on Instagram. Some of my personal friends also don't do Twitter, so posting on Instagram and linking to Twitter allows me to share photos with more people, especially my non-blogging friends. Readers always want to learn more about bloggers as real people, as our experiences and perspectives help to make our content unique, As for Google Plus, if you figure that one out please share because that social media platform still stumps me.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. That is exactly what we mean about building relationships/making connections/ and sharing things with each other. Just like you did the other day when we had the question about that internet link. Its great to have "virtual friends"!

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  10. I can give you my opinions on a few things, take it for what it's worth.
    Personally, I don't mind longer blog posts. I think we are so inundated with social media that calls for brevity (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) that blogs should be used for expressing more weighty ideas, thoughts and stories. If you have a lot to say on something, that's because you have a lot to say on it. That's not necessarily wrong.
    I get what you're saying about blogging being interactive. I'll delete posts if someone hasn't posted at all in several months on their own blog, but I can't say I keep track of who posts on mine. I do know my regular commenters, but the once in a while people are nice too.
    The sponsored posts are only annoying if a person does them constantly. I could name some names, but I think people know who they are. You don't get to know anything about them as a person. You only know which products they're shilling for. If I want commercials, I've got a television. Then there are the bloggers who seem to be trying to get sponsorship and constantly post about one company or product. That gets old.
    I use both Instagram and Twitter because it can connect me to different people. Sometimes I forget I have Twitter, though and just post pics to Instagram.
    Not that you brought this up, but if a blogger refuses to use capital letters and/or punctuation, I'll probably stay away from them. I just don't get the lack of writing convention!

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    1. Haha, about the writing conventions! I would read a blog that constantly had mis spellings and lack of capital letters and gave her the benefit of the doubt because I thought maybe she was writing it on her phone or something ( which I have no idea if she ever was) but I agree it was annoying! Thank you for not minding about the length of the post. I often thought to myself that your posts are always the perfect length without sacrificing content!

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  11. Congrats on the one year of blogging! I have to say I don't mind longer posts as long as there's a reason for the length. If you have a lot to say about something, I want to hear it :) And for a while, I didn't even know that you could turn captcha off. I went and fixed that as soon as I learned it was an option. I still don't have an instagram or twitter account so I'm no help there.

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    1. Thank you Chaitali. I hope if we have longer posts that they are at least entertaining!!!...lol

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  12. Happy 1-year! I missed the start of the blog but I found it with your Boston 2013 post.

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    1. Thank you for following along with us Lesley!

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  13. What a great way to celebrate your one year. I love reflecting and found that I have some of the same questions that you do and I started blogging in 2011! Does that mean I'm a terrible blogger :)

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    1. Oh no! I have a feeling that blogging is going to be one of those things that we will never fully feel we have all the answers too. Especially since social media and technology is constantly evolving!

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  14. Congrats ladies! One year is an awesome accomplishment! Hope to see many more.

    Sponsored posts- I don't have a problem with them, but it's not my personal style. I like getting one out there here and there but I don't see it happening regularly

    I think all bloggers have a voice, a story, a journey. Choose what you want to share and how ! There's no wrong way to do this thing IMO. We all have different goals for our blogs and it sounds like you are making some adjustments to yours. Kudos!

    I like google plus. I may be the only one though. Lol. I don't have a great reason why except my page shows up higher in some searches because I push all posts to google plus. It can't hurt when trying to reach new audiences!

    Commenting: totally fair points. Bloggers that support each other by reading and commenting makes the community stronger. I'll often read and not comment due to bring on my phone- my phone is not as comment friendly as the PC! I apologize for that and will be a better blogging buddy.

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  15. Annnnnddd that's a perfect example of why I don't comment on my phone. It did something weird. Wouldn't let me correct or add on. Le sigh.

    Anyway - I love twitter and Instagram for different reasons! Twitter allows quick bursts of communication, Instagram is just visual- I rarely comment there, but love seeing everyone's pics! So I have both and enjoy both. But twitter rules my sm world. ;)

    Have a great day y'all!

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    1. You are so sweet Patty! I am just the opposite with the whole phone thing. I prefer to leave comments from my phone because all my info is saved. When I comment from my PC I have to type in all my contact info each time ( unless the blog I am commenting on is a Blogger format blog). Its very interesting to hear what works and what doesn't for each blogger. I am definitely learning a lot today from you all!

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  16. Congratulations on one year!!

    I have both an Instagram and Twitter because you can edit your pictures and use different filters on Instagram. I also just think it is fun to see everyone pictures. I'm not going to lie it took me a very very long time to make an Instagram account. I never thought it was necessary but now I love it! Also, I always love reading and learning about the people behind the blog!

    One last thing, on most blogger blogs I have the option of using a name/URL when leaving a comment but that is not an option on yours so I have to use my Google account that is linked to my old blog before I switched to WordPress. I was just wondering why that is? Not a big deal at all :)

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    1. I am so glad you brought that up Courtney because I've noticed that too. When I click on your name to visit your blog, it does take me to your old site. I'm not sure how to correct that but there is a drop down menu where it says Reply as. Can you choose another profile to reply from? I see Wordpress is an option.

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    2. I keep getting an error when I try to use the Wordpress option. I'm not very tech savvy so I could be doing something wrong though haha. Do you know what I'm talking about when I say most blogs have an option of putting a Name/URL in? Normally I just put Courtney @ RunningForCupcakes and then enter in my web address and it lets me comment like that but it is not an option on your blog. Once again no worries I just thought I would let you know! :)

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  17. I've loved reading this post and the comments! As a new-ish blogger, I have so many of the same questions! I have a hard enough time keeping up with Twitter, so I definitely don't throw Instagram and Google+ into the mix (although I technically have profiles on both). I agree with Patty re: the reading/posting on the phone thing - especially with posts on the Blogger platform, it can be hard to comment from an iPhone (for instance, this is the second time I've tried this comment because it didn't go through from the phone!) so there may be people regularly reading, but having a hard time commenting. I wish the blog platforms would fix that because so many people are reading on phones now rather than the PC. I think reflecting on your blog experience and what your goals/questions are on the process is a perfect way to celebrate your blogiversary. Happy blogiversary!

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    1. I am so glad you brought this up as well. I had no idea that it was so difficult for people to reply to blogs from their phones. Is it just the Blogger Platform? I wonder how that is. I personally have a Blackberry and it makes blogging and commenting a dream. I love it! I am definitely gonna have to experiment with my sisters phone and see what happens when we try it from an i-phone and a Galaxy.

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  18. Happy Blogiversary!!!! I think people have both IG and Twitter to reach people who maybe have one or the other. For example, not all people who use Twitter have IG and vice versa. Plus, I don't always share everything I post on IG on Twitter, so sometimes people get to see different things on IG than they would on Twitter. I don't knw if that's how anyone else looks at it, but that's how I look at it!

    Also, Google discontinued Google Reader back in the summertime...so that's why it's acting funny for you. I switched to Bloglovin' so that I didn't have that issue anymore!

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    1. Is that what I am using when I read blogs on my reading list right from BLOGGER account? Was it called Google Reader? That is still how I am able to read the blogs its just that sometimes they are there and sometimes they are not! Can we get this Bloglovin on our phones?

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    2. Yep that's what you're reading when you're on your blogger account! I think you can get Bloglovin' on your phones! Just search in the app store! :D

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  19. Happy One Year!!! I have both Twitter and Instagram but don't really use Instragram for the blog - mostly just personal pictures. I'm a relatively new blogger so I don't have any answers for your other questions. Except, I don't mind sponsored posts. I enjoy honest reviews that I can maybe find a new great product for.

    Keep up the great work ladies! I enjoy reading your posts.

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    1. Thank You Hildy! Personally we like the product reviews as well, whether they are sponsored or not we don't mind.

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  20. These are really good questions actually... & you're right - I need to turn the twitter button off on my Instagram - It is kinda dumb to post to both.

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    1. If you have different groups of people you are communicating with through each outlet than posting to both is fine. I just didn't understand how people where using them.

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  21. I came over to read from the blogging bunch, partly because I am supposed to start doing posts for another blog on blogging, and I really don't know what to write as I am in no way an expert. From what I have read, google+ is going to be THE social media of 2014. I have a private group that I started to help me get more active on that social media and I run a party on google+ on Fridays that is a ton of fun. It is my favorite party! But I still have my friends that started with me on Facebook that do a great job of interacting. It is my blogiversary too! And I write some longer posts. If I feel great about the post, I leave it long.

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    1. When you have your post up let me know. I'd love to read it. I am always behind on the "newest" social media form so I guess if Google Plus is "IT" for this year I will probably end up catching up next year...lol

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  22. Google+ is another method of sharing your content, and it also tells Google which posts are more "important" - if you share your content on G+ and then people "+" it, it may show up higher in search rankings. Just another thing to keep track of, basically...but probably worth investing some time in regardless!

    Annoying commenting systems drive me nuts. I think some people just don't know better.

    I don't know why people have a problem with sponsored content! It's how I make money, and I would hate to think poorly about anyone for making a living! If I don't like the sponsored content, I just don't read it. If a blogger only posts sponsored content, I may stop reading altogether, but it's certainly not my place to get upset with someone for making money. And I agree with you - some sponsored content is awesome!

    I use Twitter and Instagram for different things, so they hold value to me for different reasons (I don't tweet out IG photos, but some people do and that's what works for them). IG started as a personal account but has developed into another tool for my blog, too.

    I don't know about how to use Blogger as a blog reader - when I switched from Blogger I started using Bloglovin' and I LOVE it! You might check that out...it's super easy to use and a great way to keep up with blogs! :)

    I think readers always want to know about you, and I think you can do that however you want...through telling stories about you that relate to your current content or by adding personal posts - however you see fit!

    I also agree that blogging is a two-way street - I wish I had more time to spend on other blogs, but as my own blog grows it can be hard! I always try to respond to every comment someone leaves me though because I am so grateful for people who read my blog and take the time to comment.

    Great questions, by the way! :)

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    1. thank you for all your great comments. I think it may be time to look into Bloglovin!

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  23. Congrats on one year of blogging. It is really hard sometimes to find the time to interact with your readers. There are times like today when things are slow and I can 'catch up' a bit, but we don't always have that luxury - because then something else gets neglected. From where I am standing you ladies are really doing great. Your blog posts get a lot of comments, you reach out and interact on various platforms. It looks successful to me, but if you want something different from your blogging, you probably have to be specific about what that is.

    Sponsored posts where we got PAID - no, we have not done. But this is because we are really really picky and don't like to commit to something before we have tried it. We do a fair amount of gear reviews and giveaways, (free product in exchanged for a post) but for every one that goes up, we've turned down 6 or 7 companies.

    We just set up a Google+ account, but haven't started using it yet. I don't think it really has the high visibility of FB and twitter, but I'll give it a shot. I have an Instagram account to follow people but I never use to post photos (don't agree with their privacy policies) We try not to duplicate post to our FB page or twitter, but it happens sometimes. I don't use captcha - just the basic blogger comment setup. I had people tell me early on they wont comment because it doesn't show their most recent blog post like 'commentluv' does. That's fine, to each his/her own. Everyone has their own way of blogging and sharing their blog (or not) - and more importantly - each has/his her own reasons for blogging. When you have two bloggers on one site like you two do (and we do)- other issues arise. DG and I don't always have the same goals/direction in mind, but we discuss it and always figure out how to proceed. (I may or may not turn on lawyer-mode to get him to agree... ) For every post you read on our blog that isn't 100% about guns or bacon, yep, that was my influence. But I digress. The lack of comments or low number of comments we get used to concern me -but not anymore. Honestly, quality is valued over quantity. We appreciate all the comments we do get because someone took the time to do it. But just because a reader doesn't post a comment, doesn't mean they don't read you. And with our blog (and others I am sure) the part no one sees is the several very sweet and heartfelt letters from readers, sharing their stories with us. These readers are too shy to post a comment, but they take the time to write thoughtful and often deeply personal letters. Our blog started for us - but it continues for our readers, especially for that silent minority.

    I'm okay with reading whatever you want to share. I tend to favor race recaps, gear reviews, and travel/food adventures - as we love to find out about new races and new running products. If a blog changed overnight to 'all about raising a toddler' or 'overcoming bulimia' - I'd probably skip over the posts that are not running/fitness related. Not because it isn't interesting, but because I'd rather focus on a different area. We struggle with this too - do we want to talk about marriage or politics or religion in our blog? These three are all really important topics in our lives, but seem really far off the mark for a running blog.

    Glad we got to meet through blogging. I really enjoy catching up with your adventures - and I hope to see you celebrate many more blogiversaries.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Monica! Before our blog we were both pretty non-existent on social media so our blog was a way for us to interact with people and become more "social" because at some point if you aren't on social media you start to miss out on opportunities in all facets of life ( sad but true). So that was pretty much our only goal with our blog! Maybe that's not very ambitious of us but we are simple gals...lol We are already so glad that we've been able to connect with so many people and meet so many in person as well, including yourself. Hope to see you in October!

      P.S We like to read about the same things you do and have no plans to change the direction of our content :)

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  24. Hi! I found you through The Blogging Bunch and thought I'd stop by to help.

    First, congrats on your one year of blogging! I found that my first year was the hardest...and now I can't think of anything I'd rather do!

    1. So the problem with not being able to comment without a Google+ account is because those blogs are run by Blogger. Google owns Blogger and they refuse to play nicely with other platforms. (It's also why I look like a "no reply blogger" even though I use Wordpress. Blogger itself is the cause of most comment-related problems.) You, as the blog owner, can choose what accounts your readers can use to comment. Chances are, the blogs you're looking at haven't been changed to allow you to comment with anything besides Google+. That's something the owner will have to fix. (FYI, one problem Wordpress users have is that they can only comment on Blogger blogs using Google+ no matter what because OpenID doesn't work between Blogger and Wordpress. In order to get the most out of your blog comments, I ALWAYS recommend looking over your settings and making sure your readers can comment by any means possible.)

    2. "Do you find Google+ to be helpful?" No. Not even a little bit. I know bloggers who like to use them, but I personally find it too difficult. I do have an account, though, and my blog is set up to just automatically show my new posts on my Google+ account...but I never log in to it.

    3. As for having to log in with your Twitter account...I've never seen this! But some sites have odd default settings that the blog owners have, for one reason or another, left alone.

    4. Some bloggers think using CAPTCHA is a good way to keep spam message from filtering in. They don't realize what they're actually doing is alienating people who want to leave a comment. This is mostly because they haven't been told and they don't know to go looking for blogging tips (if they did, they would see that everyone hates CAPTCHA).

    5. I have no idea! I've been trying to get into monetization and a lot of what I see is that it can alienate your readers because they won't trust you anymore. Which I don't understand. Like you, I love when people do sponsored posts because it introduces me to a new product that I find useful. The only reason to get upset about it is if someone is recommending products they don't actually like just so they'll make a profit.

    6. Instagram is, for whatever reason, enormously popular right now. It gives bloggers access to users on a whole new social media outlet, which can increase traffic if used properly (for instance, food bloggers can post a picture of a new recipe on Instagram and then link to the blog post). I've tried using Instagram, but I find that it's too time-consuming and not user-friendly enough to be worth the effort.

    7. I don't use Blogger, so I don't have this problem. However! I recommend switching to Bloglovin. You can just put in all the blogs you want to follow (no matter what platform they're on, so you're not just limited to Blogger blogs anymore). I also never have a problem with blogs not showing up in my feed. It's made my life a lot easier and has allowed me to meet some amazing bloggers I wouldn't have been able to follow otherwise.

    8. I find that readers want to read personal content as long as it's related to what you're posting about. Maybe your post was inspired by something silly that happened at the dinner table or something. But giving your readers a bit of yourself in each post makes you more relate-able to them. I find that I get more comments when I include personal stories in my posts. Something about it sparks a conversation, rather than a billion (give or take :P ) comments saying, "Oh, this recipe sounds so interesting!"

    I hope that helps! :)

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    1. These are great comments to my questions! Thank you SO much! I think I want to look into Bloglovin but currently by reading them through Blogger, I have not found that it alienates some blogs. I am able to follow wordpress blogs and other blogs as well. So maybe I am explaining it wrong. I do understand what you are saying about the commenting system though and it does stink!

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    2. I agree! I found you via blogging bunch and a blogger can make it difficult for those of us on wordpress platform to sign in/comment correctly. (i.e. it links to my old blog and not my current one: Oatmealsmiles.com) many people don't link to their blog as you asked them in your post b/c it's a sign of spam and sometimes the comment could be flagged.

      (For example, I can only sign in to comment on your blog using "blogger"/google and that is not my actual site I post to- and Wordpress is not the same Wordpress.com bloggers use as a platform but is the free wordpress blog profile so is different... Whew! that's confusing isn't it?).

      I have been on blogger for my personal blog for seven years and I don't read using their reader b/c it seems flawed and confusing. I recommend bloglovin or feedly. And I say- keep it personal! I love when there's a personal connection!

      Happy Blogging!
      Georgia

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  25. This is such a great post! Happy 1-year of blogging!

    As far as Instagram, I'm with you. I don't get it. I find Twitter so much more convenient in terms of sharing photos, links, etc. I also have no problems at all with sponsored posts, as long as the opinions at least seem genuine and the product/service is relevant to the content of their blog.

    As far as sharing more of who YOU are as people, I think it's great! I had the same struggle in the beginning; I couldn't just write a race recap without sharing what was going through my mind...which would lead to sharing lots of personal stuff that seemed kind of strange to "put out there" at first. Now, I love that I feel like I "know" bloggers when I follow them, even if we've never met -- it's like you said, blogging is all about communicating, and when you share more of who you are as a person, I think it lets people get to feel like they really know YOU and they are then more invested in reading what you have to say. I feel like I've made friends all over the country, and I was shocked by how my blog readers could be such an incredible support system -- and I think the best way to cultivate those kinds of on-line relationships is to share who you are!

    Oh, and I think you guys are doing a fabulous job! I love your blog and am really enjoying following along. :-D

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  26. I have an instagram account that I pretty much never use, and I have google+ (mostly because I have a few people in my circles who want to see my blog) but I never really look at it myself. I have never felt the need to join twitter.

    I read most of my blogs through my blogger feed, I like having everything in one place. Though once I check a blog often enough I just start typing in the URL.

    I love reading little stories about people's days, the blogs I follow all have personalities which is what makes them fun!

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  27. Happy Blogiversary you two! I have lots of the same questions too. I just don't "get" instagram or Google+. I have accounts with both but tend to gravitate to Facebook and (to a lesser degree) Twitter. I'm so deeply annoyed with how Facebook is limiting fan page's access to their fan's news feeds. My posts now only reach about 20% of my fans on Facebook, so I'm getting to the "what's the point?" stage there because I'm not paying for that. That's another reason to love Bloglovin'! I'm fine with sponsored posts as long as they are honest (not saying they love something they really don't) and that's not the only thing the blogger posts about.

    With a demanding fulltime job and two kids, I don't get to visit other's blogs as much as I'd like and I get to comment even less often because it's hard to comment from my phone. I try to catch up on weekends though!

    I love your posts and would really enjoy some "getting to know you" kinds of posts too. Overall you're doing great, just look at all these comments! :)

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  28. I think this was an excellent post! Some things actually surprised me, (since I only read a select number of blogs-there are just so many!). I couldn't believe that people get 'bent out of shape over sponsored posts!' I love those. Exposure to new things is always a plus.

    I'm with you on the Twitter thing too. I have been trying since January to use Twitter and I still have no clue what I am doing. :S

    Happy One year!
    P.s. CAPTCHA drives me bonkers!!!

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  29. Happy 1 year ladies! I just started blogging myself so this is all new to me and I appreciate the info. I don't know anything about Google+ and really don't like CAPTCHA. So I find out how to disable that on my blog right away.

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  30. Happy one year!
    As for your questions... I don't have twitter and instagram- I can't even keep up with my twitter, both would be so hard! The CAPTCHA thing drives me nuts when trying to post comments on my phone. It's so hard to see on such a small screen! I don't mind sponsored posts, but as long as it's not every single post. I read blogs for the people, not the products. :)
    Looking forward to your next year of blogging!

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  31. YAY! Congrats on your 1 year anniversary!

    Before getting rid of CAPTCHA I would go to moderating all comments, that way your readers don't get frustrated but you don't get the spam which can cause your site problems with the search engines.

    Another note, you don't want to allow any links in the comment area as you can also be penalized in the search engines for that; if you get URL in the comments you may be able to edit them out, on some platforms you can have it auto removed. If there is a space for URL when you fill in your info like name, email etc that is ok.

    I use Wordpress so I don't know where you would change this, but adding name/URL as an option for commentors is nice however I would not go to anonymous comments as that will open you up to a lot more spam.

    I LOVE reading about the person writing the blog, it makes me feel like I "know" the person and makes the read more fun. I find when I put in personal notes or weave a story throughout I get more "real" comments.

    I don't mind sponsored posts, but I don't like it when sponsored posts take over real content.

    Yes I notice with Google + I show up better in search engines, which is one reason why I use it. I use several of the social media platforms as some bloggers and readers don't use all of them and I "try" to interact with each platform each day.

    This is my take on bloggers responding to comments; once you get to a certain point you get super busy however, even if a blogger cannot respond to all comments I am ok with that if I see they make some effort, without our readers our content is just sitting out in the universe lost. I hope I never have to eat those words! LOL

    Anyways, keep up the good work!

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  32. Happy blogiversary! I don't mind sponsored posts either as long as there are other types of posts, too. You wrote, "Clicking on your name doesn't always take us to your blog. " When trying to visit commenter's blogs, I've had the same problem and sometimes it's impossible for me to find it. That's too bad because I'd like to read their blog.

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  33. Happy blogiversary, I love you girls and so glad we found each other via blogging!!

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    1. Aww, thanks! We love you too and enjoy following your journey to the Boston Marathon!

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  34. First congrats on your Blogiversary!!! Your questions have been many of my own over the past few months. I had people several months back tell me they would not comment on my blog anymore because they didn't like that I was still using a blogger blog. Well I still am, but I asked around and tried to make it a tad easier using comment luv, which I've had my ups and downs with, but finally think those bugs are worked out. But when I sat down and thought about it, I wasn't going to change from blogger, because I like blogger and if I lost a few commenters for it, oh well:)
    But I am totally with you guys, blogging and networking takes a lot of time, a lot!!! I do the same thing and find bloggers with similar interests as my own to network with. But like you, in time if I get zero interaction from them, or they don't even respond to my comments on their own blog, I feel like it is pointless and I'd rather move onto finding a new blog and blogger that may appreciate it more:)
    I have a google + account, but like you, I don't get it either...
    I have an opinion on each of your question, LOL but I will keep this comment from becoming a mini novel:) But in short, I think sponsored posts are perfectly fine, and I love learning more about bloggers the "You factor", so feel free to share as little or as much as you like:) Here's to your next year of blogging, and the enjoyment and fun that comes with it!!!

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    1. Yes, we agree! We don't expect readers to read and comment every day because we can't do that ourselves but it is definitely nice when other bloggers acknowledge your willingness to interact by replying to a comment or at least stopping by our blog once to engage as well. So glad that others understand!

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  35. Congrats on one year Meranda and Lacey. I have no clue about Google plus or Instagram....that is Christine's area and I just stick to blogging and commenting on the blogs that I read! I agree that if you get no interaction from a blogger that you have followed for a while, it is time to move on. Love reading about your experiences at races and traveling.... Sponsored posts are okay with me when it is items that you use. It is not very fun to see 12 bloggers writing about the same item though! And I struggle when a blogger writes about many different brands of running shoes.....

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  36. Thanks Pam! I agree that it can be a bit annoying seeing many bloggers write about the same products. I now realize that it's just that they all got picked to work on the same campaign. I think the company who runs the campaign shouldn't make the bloggers all post their reviews on the same day like so many of them do.

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  37. Congrats on the blogaversary!

    I don't get Google+ so I don't use it even though I have a few accounts. I also have twitter and Instagram, but I don't really use them for blog post advertisement much, but I do find them as a fun way to connect with others.

    Personally for me it depends on the kind of sponsored posts. Reviews and giveaways don't bother me, but it depends on what the product is, if it's not an interesting product to me I don't visit the post. Now the prewritten, paid to post on your blog bother me because that harms the blogger's integrity, in my opinion. Also not disclosing free items or compensation also hurts their reputation, in my eyes.

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  38. You should join Bloglovin to read your blogs. It made my blog reading life so much better!!

    Happy blogiversary!

    If I have to log into a social media account to comment on someone's blog, I don't comment.

    I switched from Blogger to self hosted Wordpress because ppl on iPhones always had issues commenting on my blog. I would get SO mad!!

    I personally like reading blogs of people talking about their every day running and training. I like lots of pics, and hate looooong paragraphs and posts. :)

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