Happy Birthday To My Blog!

One year ago I challenged myself to blog in one location for one year!  Congratulations to me - because I completed this challenge like a boss.  Now what?!  I have decided to close this mother down. {insert frowny face here}


April Fools - kids!  Nah - I am not going anywhere!  Sorry to those of you that were maybe excited about the above statement.  I've decided to keep Hope Squared going.  Things have been picking up.  The blog world is exciting and effin' large and in charge.  I feel as though I have just cracked the surface and am ready to dive deeper because I feel as though I have so much more learn. 

Now, I am not a lady who should be handing out advice.  Actually no one should ever take advice from me.  Funny since I work in social services - but honestly don't listen to me.  Consider that fair warning for what I am about to share with you.

In the last 366 days I have learned a few things - mostly from other bloggers and a lot of trial and error.  But I want to share my top ten list with you about some things that make me want to be your newest reader as well as to ensure that you have a kick ass blog.

10.  Don't ask me to follow you back.
Let's be honest - I don't have enough time to cook dinner most days so I really don't have time to read 200+ blog posts each and everyday.  I know that some people blog for the numbers, and numbers are great, but really  how many of those 'followers' are really reading?  If I come across your blog and like what I read and what I see -trust me I'll add you to my reader.   Just be patient - if you build it they will come!  True fact. 

9. Make it easy for me to comment and/or to reply to your comments. 
I am going to reiterate what many bloggers before me have requested.  Pleaded.  Begged.  That's right - I am totally talking about word verification.  I get why it's there - but seriously it's really hard to complete on my iPhone #firstworldproblems no doubt.  Get rid of it.   Basically this deters me from commenting on your post and you missing out on all the funny things I have to say to you.  You're really only causing yourself disservice.  Bond with us other brave souls and let the robots attempt to attack our blogs.  If you don't know how to do it - e-mail me and I will show you how. 

Speaking of e-mail also make sure I have a way to reply to your comments.  It makes me sad to see a great comment pop up on my e-mail to only be disappointed because I have no way to respond.  Make sure I know how to e-mail you.  Turn your e-mail on. 

8. Read my posts and comment accordingly
Don't just look at my awesome pictures and then leave a comment saying "great post" or "love this" argh.  Why did I just waste an hour of my time writing, editing, pulling everything together for you to skim over?  Please read what I have to say and I will do the same - deal?

7. Post semi-consistently
Seriously my first eight months of blogging I think I posted maybe once or twice a week.  By the end of 2011 I had slowly gained a small following of 30+ readers {thanks to those peeps - you're awesome}.  If you want to ensure that your readers are engaged - you need to give them something to talk about.  Breaks are good - almost necessary - but keep your readers in the loop so they don't call the search patrol.

6. Market yourself
Get your name out there!  Join blog communities like iblog4me or The Blog Tap.  Both these communities allow you to connect with other bloggers and discover new blogs.  Also guest post on another bloggers blog.  I recently started doing this and noticed a definite increase in traffic.   Plus I found that I enjoyed guest posting a tiny bit more than posting on my own blog but make sure before you guest post you read this post about guest posting etiquette.  Become a slave to social media and market the shizz out of your blog.   Participate in free button swaps with other bloggers.  Basically don't let people not know who you are. 

5. Show me your cat Let me get to know you
The first thing I do when I visit a new blog and look to see if there is an about me section.   This is where I can get a quick snapshot of who you are, what you're about, and if I think I will like you.   Guilty my about me page is still lacking - I am working on it.

4. Have a clean design and use good fonts
I am going to admit it - if I visit a blog and I can't get past the awful design or even worse the vomit inducing fonts - I am out of there.  Sorry!  Not to say I have the nicest blog on the block - I don't - but I do think it's readable.  Maybe I could darken my text a little - but that's out of pure laziness - and I kind of want to make you peeps work a little.  I feel like I am probably missing out on reading some great posts but sorry if you are still typing in Comic Sans - then that's your problem, not mine!  Invest some time in learning a few tricks and tips - or even better invest in someone to design your space for you.  I feel like it's my civic duty to rid the blogosphere of crazy blog designs and hideous fonts - I might have to start taking on one blog at a time. Hire me - I work pro bono.

3.  Connect with other bloggers
The blogging community is massive so it's important to realize that you can't be friends with everyone.  But there are bound to be a few bloggers that you are able to connect with to develop blogmances with.  Take the time to develop these instead of trying to be popular and everyone's friend.  Seriously not everyone can be Queen B.  Just because a blog has 1500+ readers - doesn't mean it's the best.  There are some amazing under 100 reader blogs out there.  Don't miss out on these.

2. Be authentic
I am serious about this.  And I know it's been written a hundred times and a hundreds different ways.  But for realz - be yourself.  If you're going to copy ideas - give creative credit where it's due.  It's impossible to be 100% original.   Tell me what inspired you.  Give props to others creativity and then make it your own.  Own it like a boss.

1. Support one another 
As you develop relationships and your blogmances grow - promote the heck out of the blogs that inspire you.  Support their projects.  Participate in their link ups.   Read their posts - and comment when applicable.  Be their biggest fan and number one cheerleader. 

Again this is how I have decided to blog like a boss.  You are more than welcome to disagree with me because I am an not an expert in this area.  Here are some way better posts on how to improve your blogging arsenal- you should probably read these and take their advice and scratch everything I said {if there are any great posts I missed please let me know and I will make sure to add it}:

So In honour of my one year of blogging - I want to give you all an opportunity to meet some bloggers that have inspired me this past year to continue blogging.

Next week I have lined up some guest posts from some radmobile ladies to share their thoughts with you.  I hope you don't miss me too much - but trust me after you're done checking these ladies out you'll forget who I am.


  1. First off...I thought you were serious about changing your blog for about .5 seconds and believe me I would have been so incredibly sad. I have love, love, loved watching you/your blog grow and change since I was one of your 30 followers way back when. I love you and your blog...congrats on 1 year of blogging! PS I ate Thai food the other night and thought of you.

  2. Thanks for posting this...congrats on your blog bday! I hear what you're saying...I've been blogging for a little more than a year and I appreciate you spreading the "good blog vibes" out there. Looking forward to your guest posts and year #2.

  3. This is a great post! Thanks for the shout out, congrats on one year of blogging!

  4. Happy Blog-a-versary Emily! And thanks for letting us break your guest post virginity.

    {still can't get over that phrasing!}

  5. YAY for your one year! Seriously congrats though, blogging is hard work and you have to put an effort into it if you want it to grow, and obviously you have.
    Thank you so much for these tips!! I am just now realizing I need to stop being so follower hungry and just write what I wnt and connect with other people and if people find me and like me they will stay. Really great advice and happy sunday!

  6. Happy Blogversary!!! Yay <3
    Celebrate in style ;)

  7. congratulations on your blog birthday! a perfect day to visit for the first time as i loved reading this.
    xx jes, newest follower who hoped over from britt's at the magnolia pair!


  8. Very well said, my dear. Just so you know, I would love you even if you posted in comic sans. And asked me to follow you back. And stopping posting pictures of your cat. Wait, scratch that last thought.

    Basically, you're awesome!

  9. Just found you via Randalin and I'm SO in love with this list. I've been blogging for a little over 2 years, but didn't really think about growing until some nomination put my name in the blog-o-sphere. I 100% agree with 'word verification' and using a readable font advice. I've never really done guest posting so I'm off to read the etiquette post - you've got a good thing going here, good enough to follow ;) xo

  10. I love this post so much. I agree 110% with EVERYTHING. I think every blogger should read this.

  11. Thank you so much for writing this! I've been blogging for just over a month now, so although I'm new at it, I've been looking for ways to enhance it. I've read a lot of other blogs on this topic, however many aren't as specific and helpful as this post is. Thanks so much, and happy blogging!

  12. Yayyy, happy bloggy birthday! Also, your blog tips are awesome, I love how honest you are, it makes your blog so great to read!

  13. These are AWESOME tips! You definitely blog like a boss ;) I like what you said about actually reading the post. What the hell is the point in visiting and commenting if you're just writing "love it!!"?! I take that as an insult, like, I couldn't even inspire you to react with more than two words? Seriously?

  14. Oh and thanks for the shout out! "LOVE IT!" hahahaha

  15. just found your blog from the link up and loved your blogging advice.
    1. i kept reading because i liked the layout of your blog so i'm totally with you on that one - there are so many blogs out there that maybe its terrible but i dont spend time on ones that i dont like the look of (and by dont like i mean can't stand)
    2. its hard not to get caught up in the numbers game - but its so true, when i get a comment thats "great post - follow me back!" i doubt they ever come back to read again.
    3. i am the newest follower on your blog and i'm excited to read more - and not just comment on pictures :)


  16. Thanks for linking this up. I enjoyed reading it. I hate when people ask me to follow them. I NEVER follow those comments that are "cute blog. follow each other?" I know they didn't read shit! It bugs me!! I agree with fonts and layout too, I click out of any blog that has music or that has bad design, because it reflects the blogger. I am guilty of having a bad design when I first started too, but hey we learn as we go.


Thanks for dropping by Hope Squared. If you like the things I have to say - I would love to read what you have to say.