Thursday, February 28, 2013

Back Talk and Sass Encouraged Here!

From time to time...not often you understand...but about once a week, someone will ask me for tips on starting a blog.


Oh honey child o'mine...I am so not the one to ask.

Ask me about antiques and I'll tell you all I know.  Talk your ear off as a matter of fact.  Blogging...I just fly by the seat of my pants...but I'll still talk your ear off.

I haven't a clue as to what makes a successful blog.  I do however know a thing or two about what not to do...starting with the name of a blog.

(Hang onto your ears!)

Choose your name very, very...very carefully. By using a search engine, it will be one of the ways people find you.  Let's just stop and think for a moment.  Can y'all even begin to imagine the things that are typed in to find "Talking Trash"?  Yeah...let's just say most can't be reprinted, but just so's you know...a chubby old lady talking way too much about random cr@p  is not what they had in mind.


When I started my blog, I had another name in mind, but it was taken by some guy named Anthony in the sanitation biz.  I tried several variations until Blogger accepted Talking White Trash.  Imagine my surprise when after hitting "publish", Talking Trash came up in my header.  God knew better than I what my blog would be and I truly believe He christened it.
(An even funnier side note y'all...on my dashboard page, I'm Trash Talk.)

~Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.~Pro. 19:21

So anyways...

be selective when selecting a name!

Your name choice, believe it or not, sets the tone, the direction, and your voice...all in one fell swoop.  You can go back and change it if you find it just isn't perking for you, but when you do, there's always a risk of losing folks.  As much as I cringe when I see "how to pick up chicks by trash talking"  or get e-mails asking for my trash pickup times, I choose to leave it be.  I'm not one to argue with God when He is making the calls.  I don't know about y'all, but I try never to sneeze on anything He chooses to give me....even when being asked the size of my trash receptacles.
(Ba dump, dump!  I crack myself up sometimes.)

One other little thing...or maybe not so little.

When picking a name, don't pick apart some one else's.  It's okay to look for inspiration from others, but...oh let's say for example...reversing their name isn't. As in everything else, originality counts. The name you choose announces you.  If it's a knock-off of a blog you admire, folks know. Believe you me, they know and will assume the worst.

There's also the risk of getting lost in the shuffle, or even worse, your identity being lost to theirs.  Nothing worse than being told by a fan how they love your blog and read you all the time only to learn they're talking about some one else.

Oy vey!  Talk about identity crisis.  

(A little FYI...after praying for a name, if the Lord tells you to call it The French Vintage Chic  Gypsy Burlap Shabby Zinc-Topped Nest, who am I to try and tell you different. gotta do, what you gotta do.)

Are y'all still with me?

Since my mind has a tendency to run off at the mouth, I'll only share one other piece of it on starting up a blog...commenting.

Y'all know I'm struggling with the comment thingy.  I truly do want to take some of the pressure off of those who stop by plus it's getting harder and harder for me to leave comments.  I struggle with guilt because I do like to leave comments.  Maybe it's just an extension of the thrill of the written word, but it gives me pleasure to leave one and hopefully it gives them pleasure to receive it.  Not having enough time in a day prevents that and...


Saying that, I won't try and kid y'all...comments are the coffee to a post.  They are a blogger's crack.  It's the single thing that stimulates more postings.  The lack of them can also be the single thing that prevents 'em.

You can write what you consider the most brilliant post in the history of blogging, but if no one tells you, you feel like a complete failure.

You'll find yourself floundering around, wringing your hands and asking "what did I do wrong"? 
"How can so-and-so put up a couple of photos of a rose and get a gazillion comments and I can't even get one?"
"WTHey...I just poured sweat into this post and no one gets it?"

The answer my friends is simple...I don't have the answer.

There simply is no magic bullet.

Call it the luck of the draw, call it charisma, call BS on still ain't gonna change a cotton pickin' thing.

As in everything else, there are gonna be sheep who comment on everything a McBlogger puts up, secretly praying some of the glitter and fame will rub off.  Hoping against hope their comment will lead others to their blogs...and sometimes it does.  But more often than not, it doesn't.

For me, a cut and paste comment just doesn't..well...cut it.  I don't want folks to feel like they gotta bust out a Byronesque love sonnet on me, but I do want to feel like they read what I had to say.


My advice if starting a new blog?

Leave comments...a lot...even if you're not getting any.  You've got to make your presence known.  Push through the pesky verification process.  Do like me...don't wait to be invited. Barge right on in, have a sit-down, and say hidy, hidy y'all.  Seldom will you find a locked door.

It's not rocket science.

You're already there...take the time to read the words.  Make it a practice to find something to comment on within the writing.  Don't be bashful.  Even if the standard cut-and-paste is the best you can do, find a keyword...and use it in your comment.

A word of warning.  Use your words wisely.

I once read a post about losing a beloved pet, only to read a comment someone carelessly left stating what a pretty dog and how happy it looked.  I was embarrassed for the commenter, but also saddened.  I can only begin to imagine how the grieving pet owner felt after reading it.

Please, please, please...take the time to read all the way to the bottom.  If you don't have the time...don't comment.  Come back later when you do or if it just wasn't your cup o'tea...move on.  The whole purpose of commenting is to encourage the blogger, introduce yourself and hopefully make new friends.  Saying how happy a recently passed pet looks is not the way to go about it.  Remember...others read the comments as well as the post itself.

The words and photos shared are important and they should be to you as a fellow blogger.  In your own words, leave them a little piece of your heart in exchange for theirs.  Trust WILL be appreciated and duly noted.

Right about now I bet y'all are wishing no one had asked my advice...aren't y'all?

Okay...I'll shut up...for now, but there may just be an Act II waiting in the wings on this subject.  We'll see.

For now, it's time for me go and follow my own advice.  You know...practicing what I preach.



Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

As always, dear Deb, well said post and I can relate to everything you have said!!!

Would so love to have a sit down with you . . . perhaps one day . .


Sue said...

You crack me up! Thanks for my dose of my morning laughter!!

Take care my friend. . .

My Eclectic Loft said...

Unique way of giving us advice that will stick. Is that a hat on the basket? If so what kind, it is awesome.

Kate said...

Deb I gotta hand it to ya, you fill my day with the best medicine love and laughter. What a great post to share with readers. So true about the name. Have a wonderful week!!

hugs to you

sissie said...

Hi Deb,
You've already got a little piece of my heart so I'm leaving you some of mine too. I like your suggestions for picking a name for your blog. Mine is kinda boring but hey it works for me.
That's pretty darn sad about the little doggie thing but I've had people leave comments on my blog and I knew they hadn't read it. Kinda hurts, doesn't it.
Smooches to you. Your blog will always be a hit with me.


Diane Higdon said...

Well girlfriend, I think you about covered it all, and with a laugh along the way. Thanks for pointing out some interesting parts to the blogging world. I love reading articles like this to make sure I am doing the right thing. You are great...keep em comin!! :)

Olive said...

Hey Debra, insightful once again. The name analysis is spot on. I had no clue what I was doing when I named my blog but I am so glad it is different. I have thought about why some blogs catch and you know what I really do not worry about it any more and will keep on doing what I do. I love my friends, like you, that is what it is about for me. xoxo, Olive

holli said...

What an awesome post! This is so helpful to any new blogger and us not so new but still have lots to learn. I know I sound like a broken record but it meant so much to me when you replied back to my email when I was just getting started. It gave me confidence and look at me now. You can't shut me up! Lol. Big hugs sweet girl!

Dewena Callis said...

Hi Debra, just about the time I found your blog it seemed like you weren't on it much then but I realized through FB that you were one busy lady related to that subject you do like to talk about--antiques. I am glad you wrote today about starting a new blog. Practical advice is what new bloggers need.

All of your remarks about commenting are just good common sense and we new bloggers often don't know the etiquette of commenting. And yes, please, commenters, read all the way through or don't comment for fear of hurting someone's feelings. Some of my posts have been long, too long, but it's odd how they often bring the most thoughtful comments.

I probably should have waited until tomorrow to comment as I took a 2 week break from blogging that ends tomorrow, and I write in it about reassessing what blogging needs to be in my future. So I won't repeat myself here but I did come to some conclusions in two weeks that while comments are indeed heady stuff to bloggers, I also had to measure their worth against the time it took to earn them. Time is a gift God gives us and I had to decide what I wanted to do with the time I have left and what I don't want to do with it. Each of us has to decided that for ourself, don't we?

P.S. I have a note in my Christmas file to look again next year at your Christmas posts! Magical!

Stephanie said...

Good advise my friend! And can I just say how stinkin cute that Dallas pillow is?!

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

Everything you just said, love it. Happy Friday friend!

Dixie said...

I'm sure I was thinking something like that when I chose my blog name some six years ago...

As far as comments go... There are just some people that like to look at the pretty photos (Candy)... And that's okay. I like to read the posts myself, but I have to admit a passion for pretty pictures...

Hope to run into you near Round Top in a few weeks...

Hugs... Dixie

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Well said!!
Thanks for the smile Deb and Happy Sunday!

must love junk said...

Oh, you are TOO funny!! (But speak the truth!) I had to laugh at the 'someone posts a couple pictures of a rose...' Sometimes it seems like there's no rhyme or reason to what draws people...anyway, I totally agree with the importance of picking a name. I feel like God gave me my blog name as it reflects me so well and I've had lots of comments on people liking and remembering it! :)

Junebug Furniture and Design said...

Hi Deb! You made me smile!! First off, thank you so much for visiting us today and leaving such a sweet comment, we do love hearing from other bloggers and hope to meet you some day!Loved your post...very interesting and enjoyed hearing about naming funny!
Looking forward to your next post!!

Glad & Celia

Laura said...

You are the smartest woman I know Anthony.
Now don't throw your back out loading your trailers.
I hope to see you there!

Laura Belle

Vintage Home said...

I truly am loosing my mind...I thought I left a comment the other day but must have pushed the wrong button! Anyway I was coming back to read over again your inspiring post! Thanks for this! I have a friend that wants to start a blog and I shall direct her here!
As always you write from the heart with truth & humour!

Rebecca said...

Hey pretty one
This post is so thoughtful, one forgets there are new bloggers out there that might be a little intimidated, guess I have been doing this too long. Or at least not enough here lately. It is always good to hear from you, even though I know you are busy loading up for a show. Thanks for always thinking of me, now... Sell to the dirt :)

Cassie said...

Once again, you nailed it! I love how your posts (even tho I stop by sporadically) are always full of wit and wisdom in ways only you can impart!

Bohemian said...

Well said. I Believe that if the Blogger stays true to who they are, why they're Blogging and remains Sincere it will resonate with those who come for a visit. I would be completely overwhelmed however if I were to receive too many comments since I would likely feel as though I should acknowledge and respond to them all, so it is a good thing the balance I've had of Supporters and Comments has been within my comfort zone. Blogging has been so much more than I imagined it would be and the Blog Community totally Rocks!

Dawn... The Bohemian