May 10, 2012

(don't listen to them)

for some reason i keep stumbling upon posts "teaching" people how to blog. how to stick to your niche, get in your groove of seven posts a week, find your topic and DO NOT, i repeat, DO NOT go off topic. you must create a facebook account and link your post six times a day, and here's how to get that little google analytics number to rise and rise and rise! 

you can insert my confused and not amused (i rhymed) face here. 

wouldn't it be fabulous if we all could just sit around and blog all day, get paid to do so, and have twenty million readers? well, sure it would. duh. we all want our voices to be heard and we all want to make money doing this gig. right? 

but, can i tell you something? i think sticking to a niche, a topic, making sure you have a certain amount posts accomplished each week, and so on and so forth, is the wrong advice to give. and that's saying it lightly. i don't agree, no, not one bit.

sure, if you blog about fashion and your outfits, your blog won't be a fashion blog anymore if you stop posting them all together. i get that. but, i also think sharing your heart here and there won't make anyone run away and never come back due to your lack of neon skinny jeans in those posts. fashion bloggers have feelings too. i, obviously, know this cause i am the ultimate fashion blogger.

rather than searching for the perfect topic for your blog i highly recommend this: being true to yourself. sharing your heart, your happenings, the things you desire to share, not what anyone else is telling you to share. the things you never want to forget. the lessons you have learned, that thing your kid said that made you pee your pants. the picture you took that took your breath away. that time you felt the Lord teaching you something that you just had to share, in hopes that it blesses others as well.

in my perfect world everyone would have a blog. or at least a journal. cause i want you all to be able to look back and remember. i want to look back and laugh and cry and have it all right here, documented. and i want you to have that, too. blogging for me is real, and true emotions. it's vulnerability and learning from our mistakes. it's real life shared. and life isn't one topic.

some other things to note:

a) most blogs i read are written by mothers. we have children to tend to. as much as we want to run and lock ourselves in our rooms and blog like it's 1999, we can't. we can't commit to a social media lovefest of having an account on any site possible in order to grow our blog in any way possible. and really, where are our hearts at if that's what we want after all?

b) do i think a pretty design could pull more people in? sure, i do. i design blogs, you know. but can i tell you something that might be bad for business? it's your words, not your blog design that makes me want to spend time in your space. k?

c) do i think beautiful photography is great for a blog? yep, i love photography and looking at beautiful pictures. but a lot of the blogs i love don't have pictures at all. or the blogger just uses instagram pictures anyway. not that i would know anything about that. and i would certainly not recommend going out to buy an expensive camera, and breaking your family's budget, only to get prettier pictures on your blog. 

d) hear me out, i totally understand that the whole "stay on topic" thing might differ a bit if you have a product you are trying to sell. but, still… say you have a shop where you make stuffed birds (put a bird on it). if you blog about stuffed birds every day it might get a little boring, no? today i stuffed this bird and used this fabric. and then i put a little stitch right here to make his eye. tweet, tweet. and then i stuffed another bird the next day and he was such a dainty little stuffed bird. yes, yes he was. 

e) people will ask you what you want to be known for… and don't settle til you reach that goal. well, i don't want to be known for anything but Jesus. anything good you see in me is Him, not me.

matthew 6:19-21
do not store up yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and ruth do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

2 corinthians 10:12-18
we do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. we, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. we are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. for we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. but, “let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” for it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
…. 

and i will close this blog post, abruptly, by committing the ultimate crime…
not even one picture in this post?!

how dare i even call myself a blogger. seriously.

140 comments:

  1. Love it! Preach it! Signed, Just a Nonny who loves her grandchildren.

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    1. love! you're doing your job as a nonny who loves her grandchildren!! :)

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  2. Amen and amen. Couldn't have said it better myself.

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  3. Awesome Post! Totally agree! Being yourself and writing about what's on your heart not whats on the schedule is what makes people want to read your blog more! Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. it's like we share a brain.
    i love you!
    p.s. put a bird on it.

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  5. haha great post! i've been thinking some of the same things. :]

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    1. you know what they say about great minds… ;)

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  6. So so true. Thanks for sharing. I've been seeing those "how to" posts pop up lately, too, and while they make me laugh for all the reasons you mentioned above and more, I sometimes worry other people will take them too seriously and be really down on themselves for not having the time or resources to blog "correctly." So yes yes yes, so glad a well-known blogger like yourself put this out there for others to see. God bless you for it! xo

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  7. Hear hear! I'm guilty of reading about how to blog better but even so, I definitely agree with everything you've said. I connect to people who come across as authentic.

    One question please: what is that beeyootiful font that you used to write "to blogging" in your graphic above? Thank you!

    (http://ooof.ca/blog since I'll be commenting with my Google account)

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  8. amen, sista! I couldn't have said it better myself!

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  9. Signed, sealed, delivered! I love this post so much and just this week I wrote a similar post. You go girl! xoxo

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  10. still laughing at Put a Bird on It! :)

    also, yes! The only "blog advice" i've ever given (and I don't have a huge blog, just moderate) was to harvest the relationships you make from blogging. Never, post 7 days a week, blah blah. Just make friends!

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  11. Thanks for this post mama! The timing of reading it couldn't be better for me. After 6 months of struggling with why I blog, what my blog is or should be about, how much I should post, etc, etc, I have recently come to the ultimate conclusion that my blog IS my virtual journal and the truth is the posts I'll appreciate 10-20 years from now are the ones that feature me and my family, period. Not all the other stuff. That's what its about. Not the page views or number of followers.

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  12. I 100% agree with you!! These "How To Blog" posts have just been everywhere lately and I was getting a bit confused. Since when has there been rules/guidelines for doing something you love?? When did writing whats in your heart have to follow certain steps? I like to write about things I love, daily happenings that I want to remember years down the line when I have forgotten about the things I loved dearly in 2011 or 2010. I write about what I want to and I like to read about what other people love/what they think about things.
    I really love your blog for being so honest and always saying what is on your mind!! Thank you so much for blogging your way!!
    xo

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    1. thank you so much for megan, you are so sweet!

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  13. amen. i don't even know you (creep alert), but amen.

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    1. totally not a creep alert… gonna stalk you myself.

      :)

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  14. This. "being true to yourself. sharing your heart, your happenings." Is what it's all about. I started blogging seven years ago, mainly focusing on food with a little bit of life thrown in. Over the years, particularly the last three (since I got separated and divorced), it's evolved to more. Joyful moments. Good recipes. Parties. Relationships. Crafts. Road trips. Photos. Family. Lots and lots of family. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

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    1. love it, i wouldn't have it any other way either!

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  15. Amen, girl! It's strange to see instructions on how to run YOUR space of the internet. You do what you want, duh.

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  16. Yes!!! This is fantastic - thanks for sharing your heart :)

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  17. danielle, you hit the nail on the head. i've been reading so many similar posts to the one you mentioned, all "teaching" us how to blog. sometimes i get so discouraged when people tell me i don't have a niche, and that i really should hone in on something. so this post was so encouraging. i write what i love, share what i love, and hope Jesus shines through all of it.

    thank you, for these encouraging words today. :)

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  18. this is a most wonderful and freeing post my dear:) i recently started blogging with the intention of just sharing my life and love for sweet abba. and goodness gracious, i had no idea the blogging world was so funny and crazy about "collecting followers" and "the right way to blog". i began to get so overwhelmed, and then realized who cares!! it's all aboutthe words and the love. and i LOVE your wise words...thank you girl! excited to read more! love Katie

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  19. I completely agree! My blogging is all over the place sometimes! I too have been coming across a lot of this blogging advice and started wondering if my blog is too confusing. But you know what? That's just me. I have a lot of interests and I try my best to keep it in check and tamed, but I just can't box myself in. That's not my personality, blogging or otherwise! Great points!!! =)

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    1. i am all over the place in life = all over the place on my blog ;)

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  20. you are the ultimate fashion blogger.

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  21. I love you. And your fashion. xo

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  22. and this, danielle, is EXACTLY why you are my FAVORITE blogger out there! =)

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    1. this is why you are the sweetest person ever. see above.

      :) xoxo

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  23. I am so glad you wrote this because i have stressed myself out by not having a "theme" but am realizing from my readers, who gave me feedback that I don't exactly need one. They've told me why they read, and that's all I need (hey, I just rhymed)
    Thanks for speaking up Danielle!!! and for sharing your insight!

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  24. dude, i mean, danielle, i am 99% sure i know exactly which post you are talking about because i read it this morning and thought..."a topic? what?!" i'm just me and that is enough! :)

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  25. I just adore you! :) Fantastic post!

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  26. Love this post. With a three month old, I'm lucky I post once a month sometimes. And yeah, mommy brain means I can't stay on one topic very long.

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  27. love this x 5,000,000. chirp, chirp.

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  28. love this x 5,000,000. chirp, chirp.

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  29. what a nice breath of fresh air! happy weekend.

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  30. This was wonderful. Thanks so much for being honest and saying something worthy about blogging!

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  31. This was wonderful. Thanks for being honest and sharing your heart about blogging, so refreshing!

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  32. Wow, this REALLY blessed my heart today! Somedays I struggle with "will this post be what my readers want to read?" And then I feel the Lord saying, "Who cares! I'm the one you're making known!" Thank you for sharing this. And as a fellow mom, I hear you! And applaud you. And wish I could high-five you.

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    1. such a great reminder: "i'm the one you're making known!" thank you! and high five! :)

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  33. I agree with you on all your points! I love those Bible verses,some of my faves. Its super hard not to blog about things that I know people will want but rather blog about things that are pleasing to Jesus and sticking to who I am. I'd rather have 10 followers than 20,000 and be who I am and stick to my beliefs.

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  34. you rock! that is all. and you spoke this so well, and captured my heart exactly on this matter. thanks girl for sharing...love you. i just can't believe you didn't put a picture in your blog post though.

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  35. I needed to hear this today. Thank you for posting! I <3 your blog!

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  36. this is so helpful! i can tend to compare myself (& my blog) to so many others & what people say "is good blogging."

    thanks for the reminder to just write what's in my heart. because, god is most glorified in that, isn't he?

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  37. Thank you for this : ) "E" is the best and most true - I appreciate that one the most.

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  38. I love you. You make me laugh so hard!

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  39. thank you thank you. I've been seeing those posts too, and have not even bothered to read them, I already felt inadequate enough. love your blog, by the way -- I don't think I've ever commented before! so thanks for sharing your heart. it's a blessing to me.

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  40. Gotta be honest, I was reading some of those kinds of blog posts lately, and for at least one, I thought to myself, "Here's a great list of things not to do." If a blogger only writes about one thing, I judge and pretty much expect them to be a rather boring person. I like variety.

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  41. I could NOT have said any of this better. Exactly.

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  42. You have opened up comments again! YAY! Okay this, "well, i don't want to be known for anything but Jesus. anything good you see in me is Him, not me." This is what helps keep my motivation to continue not just blogging, but living. Thank you. THANK YOU!

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  43. Adore this post. Thanks for the encouragement :) Most days, I'm a happy blogger and just enjoy it for it is--writing and documenting my life. But, then, I can get sucked into the illusion that if I stuck to one super cool subject then I would have 2,000 followers, etc., etc, etc.
    So. not. true.
    Again. I adore this post :)

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  44. this is perfect. and encouraging. thank you.

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  45. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

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  46. I love this .. sharing!
    I have been personally effected by the " let me teach you how to blog RIGHT post "
    hugs
    Brooke

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  47. thanks for these encouraging words. since we first exchanged emails and you gave me this advice (in much shorter form) i have felt a sense of relief and ease with blogging---i'm just having fun with it and not trying to "BE" any particular kind of blogger. also, I completely agree, the blogs that draw me in and make me return are the ones where the writer shares their heart. Not the ones that are 100% topic-based. Love this post.

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  48. love, love, love this. true, i would love a million readers and to make a ton of money, but lets be real...most likely that ain't happening. and i am pretty terrible at photography and if we are being honest, my blog is seriously lacking on the design front. HOWEVER, i want to have a record of this time in my life and blogging is the way to do it. i love what you said about blogging, "it's real life shared. and life isn't one topic." i think that pretty much sums up how i write. thanks for a great post.

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  49. Aaah, this is so great! I often wonder if I am following the "rules" of blogging, but then since have said screw it, continued to blog the way my heart feels right. If no one comments...well, then oh well. I still was able to say what I needed to say. And I love posting pictures to my blog. I almost feel as though no one will be interested without them, so thank you for that! Great post! Loved the little sarcasm here and there to show how silly it all is.:) You have a great blog! I visit often.

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    1. thank you for your kind words :) no rules to blogging, that's why it's the best!

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  50. Amen, sister!!! Love this. I have struggled lately with blogging because I was focused on what people want to hear or what will be read...but I have realized within the last few days that none if that matters. I just want to document my simple life and bring glory to my Lord!

    Thank you for posting this. It has blessed me...may I remember it when when I start to fret over the unimportant.

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  51. Haha you rock. I loved this. ALL of it =)

    - Sarah
    agirlintransit.blogspot.com

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  52. this is fabulous! it really is, you said everything I think and feel. This stuck out to me, and I love it "e) people will ask you what you want to be known for… and don't settle til you reach that goal. well, i don't want to be known for anything but Jesus. anything good you see in me is Him, not me." I am writing this down in my journal because it is such a great reminder!

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  53. Man I really needed to hear this. THANK YOU for the reminder!! I get so confused as to what I 'should be doing' when in reality I should just focus on expressing who I am.

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  54. Props and more props to you for "daring" to write this post! I loved it! Praise God for your sincere heart and speaking the truth in love. You go, girl!

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  55. Props and more props to you, girl! Praising God for your honesty and speaking "in love". You go, girl!

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  56. Best blog post I ever read about blogging. Ever. You go girl. Love you.

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  57. this is my favorite - and makes me feel like less of a terrible blogger. because i don't blog everyday, and i rarely stay on topic. all those "how to blog" posts make me feel like my voice is not being heard & that spending time writing and sharing is nothing unless its on a predictable schedule. what you wrote is so freeing because its the truth! love you lady!
    xo.

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  58. as my husband would say, "aw hellz yeah. that's what i'm talkin' about, girl"

    because this is the best sermon, i mean, blog post on blogging e v e r.

    put.a.bird.on.it.
    i love you, praise jesus for YOU! xo

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  59. I just had one of those "how to blog" posts pop up on a blog that I don't really read anymore, lol. I have a "blog" if you call it that... but I barely ever post because I have lots of health problems and just don't have the energy. But when I do, I don't always post pictures, they are not from a beautiful Canon 350 whatever, and my blog has no good design what-so-ever. haha! So I may need a little improvement, but the only reason I write is to keep memories for myself anyway and to encourage the few people that read it! So I definitely agree!

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  60. You've taken the words right outta my mouth. I say these things to myself all the time.
    I just want to ask "come on, ladies. What is your focus?!"
    All the blogs that TALK about doing this and that with their family or this and that with their husbands are sometimes so obviously caught up in blogging about it and telling us about is way more than they want to actually spend that time with their families!

    We, as a culture, care WAY too much that people think we are cool.

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  61. Love this! So true!! Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!
    xoxo
    Melissa

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  62. thank you thank you thank you.

    you are awesome. seriously.

    xo!

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  63. I absolutely love this! I was just thinking the same thing. I've seen so many blogging 101 type blog posts lately and it's driving me nuts. I started blogging for me...to share my thoughts...and I intend on keeping it that way. Thanks for sharing this! xoxo

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  64. This was such a great post...I needed it!!! Thank you!!

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  65. I love it!! So many things you said are true: a blog should be whatever it is that makes you happy (or sad) at that moment. I feel like so many blogs that I liked are now about giveaways, followers, sponsors, "courtesy of", "sponsored by"... Where is the original content?

    It's very refreshing to read a blog post like yours! :)

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  66. Danielle,

    I am at work and not many things make me smile here, YOU JUST DID! Thank you for this post and words of encouragement to all of us mums.

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  67. This inspired me on so many levels. In fact, I had to feature this post in my most recent blog post, "5 Pearls of Wisdom by 5 Different Bloggers."

    http://thethinkingcloset.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/5-pearls-of-wisdom-from-5-different-bloggers/

    Thanks for the reminder to break the rules. I needed it.

    -Lauren

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  68. I literally started my public blog yesterday. THANK YOU for writing this post! I've done some "research" recently and I was totally discouraged by the advice other bloggers were giving. I like my free template. I like my Instagram photos. I like talking about more than one thing.
    So thank you :).

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  69. I just found your blog today and LOVED finding this post! I am a newbie blogger and want to commit to doing it in a way that feels true to me. No forced posts, no airbrushing, no life takeover/makeover. Thank you for writing this, as it provides a very much needed voice in the blogging community!

    -Alison, http://eternalblackink.blogspot.com/

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  70. I found your post a couple of weeks ago, and had it bookmarked until I had time to read it today. Very good. I agree with you completely.

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  71. wow! I just found you and I already love your style. so much honesty in your writing! Thank you! I'm a new blogger and my goal along is just to create a space I love and can share with others, most importantly one that I can look back on years from now and remember all the magical moments of life. I appreciate your post so much! Can't wait to read more.

    http://jenniferdiane23.blogspot.com/

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  72. I needed this so badly today. It's exactly what I needed confirmed. Thank you.

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  73. oh my gosh...why didn't i read this post when i first started blogging...lovely. just like you.

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  74. I love your voice! Thank you so much for this post. I'm only a month in as a blogger and this info is so very helpful!

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