Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How (not) to Blog . . . Works for Me Wednesday

{This post is not meant to create controversy or incite a riot. ;)}

Most of the questions in my inbox are about cookie decorating, but I get a good bit of questions about how to start a blog.

Well, let me tell ya, you might not want to ask me, because apparently I've gone about it all the wrong way.


Here's what you are SUPPOSED to do:
  1. Your blog should be hosted on WordPress.  Bake at 350 is hosted on Blogger.  And, you know what?  I'm happy here.  Blogger is like my favorite quilt, it may not have all of the bells and whistles of an electric blanket, but it's comforting and familiar.  So far, I think I'm staying.  But, from what I hear, all the *cool* kids are on WordPress and it is the bee's knees.
  2. Your blog should have its own domain.  Look up in the address bar.  That ".blogspot.com?"  That's baaaad.  Apparently, people don't think you take your blogging seriously when you're not a .com or .net.  You all think I take my blog seriously, right?!? ;) (How seriously must we take a blog about cookies, anyway?)
  3. You MUST have a $1,200 camera and a $800 lens to go with it.  Are you noticing a pattern here?  Yes, I blogged for almost 3 years with a point & shoot camera. *gasp*  All of those pictures in my header?  From the point and shoot.  And last year, when I *did* break down and buy a dSLR, a $1,200 camera was just not in our budget...especially for a camera to take pictures of cookies. So, I did a little research and bought this camera...from WalMart.  And it's great for my needs...I'll leave the real photography to the experts, like my sister and Angie.
  4. You should be very, very concerned with SEO.  (That's Search Engine Optimization to you and me...yes, I had to look it up after sitting in an hour long seminar 2 years ago, thinking, "what the heck is SEO?")  For example, your post titles should read something like, "Sugar Cookie Recipe plus Tutorial."  They should not be 25 words long, like this one.

So, as you can see, I've gone about it all wrong.  Maybe marching to the beat of my own drum has to do with growing up a curly-haired, pigeon-toed girl.  As much as I tried in junior high, my hair would never have "wings" or "feathers."  No matter how many ballet classes I took, these turned-in toes were never going into the fifth position.

Maybe being a bit of a rebel has been built-in.

My REAL blogging advice for you...
  • Find your voice.  I was so afraid to SAY anything when I first started (and maybe I say too much now).  Let your personality shine through.
  • Find a bloggy mentor.  Even if you never actually talk with that person, find a blog you like for inspiration.  See what they do that you like, but don't copy them, make your blog your own.
  • Join twitter (or Facebook or Google+).  It's a great way to make friends with other bloggers and twitter is my go-to place when I have a blogging question. Don't feel obligated to join them all.
  • Hire a blog designer to personalize your blog a bit.  It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg and there are plenty of wonderful designers out there.  Take a look at their portfolios (and prices!) and find one that suits your style. 
  • Do what feels right to you.  Love WordPress?  Awesome!  Don't let my post change your mind.  Want to post every day?  Do it!  More of a once-a-week-post type gal?  Sounds good, too. 
  • Have fun & believe in YOURSELF!  My friend Teresa posted a fabulous piece on comparing.  Do what YOU love, what YOU feel comfortable with, and you'll create a blog that you'll be proud to call your baby. 
Want to read more about starting a blog? Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen has great tips here

    161 comments:

    1. Good stuff Bridget! We all have to do what works for each of us. And you're rocking it baby!

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    2. I love that you posted this! I am so tired of articles with these "magical" points one MUST follow in order to have a successful blog; as if there's a formula for success. Your site is wonderful, and rules be damned! :)

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    3. I have a blog. And it's a typepad blog. And I haven't updated it for a very long time. One day I will cancel the blog and stop paying that monthly fee. Because I have realized that I'm just not a bloggy person. I'm a message boards person who has an extraordinarily long blog reader list. I'm sure it hinders me in making friends who aren't on my message boards, like you, but I do my best in comments and email.

      And that's why I keep my old blog. Because, maybe, one day, I'll want to post about my life and make bloggy friends and go to bloggy conferences and all that jazz.

      Or not.

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    4. Love it!! I was just trying to explain why I am still with Blogger and don't have my own domain the other day. You hit it right on the head with feeling "comfortable" here. Eventually I will get my own domain I guess but then I have to change everything over to THAT url UGH!!

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    5. Lovely, just lovely. Didn't most of us start doing this just to have our own little place? Find your voice and do what feels right - exactly! You left one thing out, don't blog with a cup of tea and cookies next to the computer, you know, crumbs in the keyboard and all...oh right, I do that one too ;)

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    6. Love this Bridget! LOVE! I miss my warm cozy blogger dashboard sometimes. It was so nice and easy and snuggly. It never gave me errors or made me choose servers...
      ahhh, blogger.

      Great tips!!

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    7. Thanks, Bridget! I love your "do what works for YOU" advice. I feel encouraged. :)

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    8. I want to share this with the whole darn world! In fact I *just* got an email today asking me about starting a blog. I already wrote her back but I think I shall send her a little link right now! {mwah!}

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    9. I absolutely love this post! And I love your blog and your fabulous photos (even the pre-big expensive camera ones!) Great thoughts and encouragement about being yourself. Thanks for sharing.

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    10. I think everyone reading this with a blog for any period of time was either nodding in agreement or laughing at various parts of this post! Thanks for the laugh and reminder that at the end of the day, being yourself is what matters!

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    11. I think your blog is pure amazingness!! I don't blog but I come to you first every time I need inspiration. Curly hair girls ROCK!!

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    12. Love it! You forgot that you have to be a professional photographer AND a published author (or be trying to get published). I did move from Blogger to Wordpress, but that's because I'm complicated and wanted to do "fancy" stuff and have my own domain...but I use a 4 year old point-and-shoot camera. :)

      Keep being you!!

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    13. I appreciate all your advice! Thank you!

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    14. This is what I know...
      I ready you daily, I enjoy your blog
      I could careless if its Wordpress or Blogger...I too use Blogger

      I still an going to visit you daily regardless, and I will use my point n shoot camera, my baking sills and my crafting skills to get me through the next adventure!

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    15. I love this post! Thank you so much for writing it - I'm still finding my niche, I think, but it's so nice to hear someone speaking honestly about tips for being a blogger. After all, it really is meant to be about having fun!

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    16. Great post! Thanks for making me feel better, too.

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    17. I couldn't agree with you more. I don't have a blog. I have several, ok 25, blogs that I check on every day. Some post almost every day. Some a couple of times a week. And some I often wonder if everything's ok. But that's part of the fun. Never knowing what you'll find when you pull up a blog. And honestly once I have you listed in my favorites who even notices if you have your own domain. I go to a blog because it contains something that I can relate to. I love your blog. It is one of my favorites. I came here because of your awesome cookies but have stayed because I enjoy reading your posts. Keep up beating your own drum.

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    18. Oh, Bridget! I love you woman. Your way is GREAT advise for anyone who wants to start a blog.

      I will probably never leave Blogger either. I love it!

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    19. Well apparently I'm not doing anything right lol I'm also marching to my own beat, but it sounds pretty good to me. I've been thinking about getting a camera upgrade, but the money isn't there. What do you like about the camera you chose, and how does it compare to the more expensive options (I'm totally a novice in the camera department)

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    20. Great advice Bridget. You're so right! :-)

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    21. Well this post is wonderful. See, you show people that you can be successful, respected, and produce amazing content and quality based on one thing. Your passion!! I am so proud of you for sharing your voice and thoughts!

      Oh.. and I am on Typepad. You think blogger is bad??? Typepad is like the leprosy of the internet.

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    22. You probably don't know this Bridget, but YOU are, and have been my blogging mentor since I started blogging a few years ago. When I had my cookie blog, I was on word press because I was told it was "the bee's knees". Since then (on my painting and cooking blog), I'm happily back at blogger and comfortable with my decision to be there. I don't know what my blogging future holds for me but I do know it (and I) have evolved and grown with my comfort level and not worry so much about "will people *like* me?" As long as I happy and proud of what I'm doing, that's really all that matters. I thank you for showing me how important it is to be authentic in the blogging world!
      Sorry this got so long. It's kind of like a blog post itself. LOL

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    23. Love, Love LOVE this post. Honestly, I'm so tired of everyone switching to wordpress. I prefer blogger too - I've found that those I used to love that have switched, I either seldom read due to the setup or have taken off of my favorites because they aren't fun to read. Thank you for being you!!!

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    24. Love ~ Love ~ Love ~ Love ~ Love...
      a thousand times I LOVE this post!!!!!
      Thank you my friend!
      I feel so warm and cozy over here in your COOKIE~Blogger world.
      Popping by Bake at 350 is like sitting down with a hot cup of coffee...with whipped cream...and a Christmas cookie...with lots of sprinkles!
      I too have wondered what the heck SEO is?????!!!!!
      Sometimes I feel really out of it~
      Sometimes I feel so inadequate to talk "blogging" talk.
      I know there is so much to learn...and so many ways to grow as a blogger.
      I'm a bit of a rebel myself.
      I have ALWAYS beat to a different PINK drum...as you can imagine.
      There's gotta be a reason {I think we all know what it is} that Bake at 350 always have a bazillion comments on each post!
      BRIDGET rocks!!!!!
      Bake at 350 ROCKS!
      Nuf~said.
      P.S. That is the cutest~most adorable~most cozy little coffee cup I ever did see.
      I wanna live next door to YOU!!!!
      oxoxoxoxo

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    25. This is a great post! I'm new to the blogging world and I got VERY bogged down when I was trying to start and I read all the 'how to' lists of starting a cooking blog. I definitely appreciated the advice, so I don't mean to bash on any of those sites or posts that other bloggers have done, but I thought it was much easier when I just sat down and started!

      The thing I've struggled with the most is feeling comfortable talking on my blog. In some ways, I actually wish I'd kept it semi-anonymous (or at least not shared it with family and my facebook friends) for some reason I'm much more self-conscious when I know that people I know will be reading it. It's a work in progress :)

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    26. Bridget, I think you are doing it all "just right". Yours is the first blog I ever read/saw {after reading about you on PW}. Before seeing yours I had this idea that blogs were all boring techy sites. Now I am a "blogger"! Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with us. You truly inspire.

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    27. thanks for that! blogger, no domain, and point and click here...and i was happy when someone found my blog by searching "snowball boob cake"...! I do this for me and for fun at this point (although i can see how it can become consuming :) thanks for the tips!

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    28. LOVE this post! I don't have a DSLR and am not really good at taking pictures but I thoroughly enjoy blogging. It's the one thing in my life that I do completely for myself. It's almost therapeutic. Oh and on another note, your cookies always look so amazing. Have a great day!

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    29. great tips! I feel more encouraged to become a better blogger. :) you're awesome bridget!

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    30. I absolutely loved this post. As a new blogger feeling lost in a sea of big fish, this post was exactly what I needed to read. I blog because I love it, although I do not know the ins and outs of everything. And I am glad to know that huge bloggers, such as yourself, do not follow all of the "rules". So, thank you!

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    31. it really is not about the domain name and fancy camera..you are right it is about finding one's passion and voice and having fun along the way. Take it from me, life is short, as we all know - it is life before blog not blog before life and that makes for a successful blog (not that I would know about "success" I still her crickets chirping at my site most days...:) great post.

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    32. So happy to read this today. I just started a weight loss blog about my goals/journey/whatnot (weighward.blogspot.com) and I've been stressing out about all these sites that tell you all these things you gotta do to generate traffic. And I'm thinking, seriously? That would be like a full-time job for me to do all that. I'd like followers and commenters, but I don't want it to take over my life! It's so refreshing to see someone with a successful blog who doesn't feel like she has to do all that stuff. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing!

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    33. Awesome & Encouraging Post! Thanks for sharing....I love your blog and think you are doing a great job. I blog because it makes me happy. I do it the exact "wrong" way that you do and it works for me. I was never one of the "cool kids" ...why change now. ;) We break the mold in the best way! :) Happily following~ Ashley @ Thereisnoplacelikehomemade (dot) blogspot

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    34. Bridget you are a shining example of "doing what you love" and it shining through in everything you do. LOVE this post! xox

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    35. I love your advice on Blogging! Thanks for your word of wisdom! I love your blog and enjoy seeing what you come up with!

      Hugs,
      Ashlee, The Culinary Queen
      www.theculinaryqueenbee.blogspot.com

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    36. Thank you for this post! I am new to the blogging world and it appears I've started out all wrong myself! And ... not only do I not have the $1200 cameraa, I don't even have the $400 camera, just my lowly cell phone clicking away. Even if it is all wrong and even if no one else reads it, I've enjoyed doing something just for me and maybe someday my kids will get a kick out of it. Thanks again for your advice and encouragement!

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    37. Wonderful words, Bridget. I agree 100%. I'm almost done with a redesign for my food blog which is really exciting - but I made sure to help create something that looks and feels like ME, instead of "what it should look/feel like."

      As a photography enthusiast I bought a DSLR years ago, but try to emphasize to my followers and friends that it's really not necessary to be a great blogger. Heart and realness is what it takes above all. Two things you have and share. Thanks!

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    38. Love this post Bridget!! As always, you are exactly right :) I wish we could all say it as well as you do!!

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    39. Thank you so much for this piece of advice. I recently started a blog and my excitement has morphed into trepidation - it all boils down to 'comparing'. I have come across so many wonderful sites and have started to question where I fit in, and even more daunting, how to attract traffic/comments. I would gladly welcome a mentor, or two, or three...any takers?

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    40. Three words... I heart you!
      I love what you do and how you do it and hope you keep on keepin' on for a long long time to come :)

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    41. Finally someone giving good information. I hate when people go all high tech to make themselves sound better. Love the blog, and the post.

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    42. Thanks for posting this, I've been blogging for a few months, and I have just hired someone to design my blog (very reasonable price) we did discuss going to wordpress but I'm going to stick with blogspot for now also. When I'm rich (or at least famous) like The Pioneer Woman or Kristan over at Confessions, maybe I'll hire someone to post for me on wordpress. Right now I just love posting what I love, and getting to interact with others that feel the same way! Thanks for making me feel good about my decisions!
      Joan
      http://chocolatechocolatemorechocolate.blogspot.com/

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    43. Bridget, I already love you but now I love you even more. I don't believe that there is one right way to blog, and I can't stand when people are obsessed with stats, SEO, etc. It's passion that sets good blogs apart from the rest. You and your blog are wonderful.

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    44. I have been stressing about my blog lately...thank you for this. I am going to stress less and have more fun.

      xo

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    45. Aw, thank you so much! This is very timely for me. I restarted blogging (on WP this time, blogger was not my friend...) a couple weeks ago and just started to lose momentum. Your enouragement is SO not lost on me - I adore you! Thanks =) ~Kristi

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    46. Neat Post Bridget!
      So many times we get stuck in between haves and have nots and wants and want nots..
      I am on the fence right now, need to make the much needed jump and reading your post comforts me..
      I must say you have nailed the top 5 persistent questions that bug a blogger at crossroads..

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    47. This was a fantastic post! Thanks so much for sharing your tips with us. I'm a "newish" blogger (on Blogger and not Wordpress) and I'm happy here as well. I so enjoy your blog and writing style and wish you many more happy years of blogging!

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    48. I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for taking the time to do this post. It should be about being yourself and fun shouldn't it? =)

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    49. Great post. Your header does look fabulous I must say. I would have to agree on all of your points as well.

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    50. Love it! Especially since we own the same camera!
      Aside from that, it's good to know that a blog I like and respect does not cave to bloggy peer pressure. :) Good post!

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    51. Great Post. I'm on blogger (love it), still have the blogspot after my title and no fancy camera equipment and I just found out what a SEO was. In MY opinion, I think some food blogs should really be photography blogs and sometimes people get wrapped up with stats, number of comments, etc. My blog is just my hobby, nothing fancy, and I like it that way. Thanks for letting me know that I shouldn't be ashamed of that!! Love your blog and you! You are totally my cookie idol.

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    53. this is so great... i love it! i just recently started my blog (although it had been in my mind for awhile) & i guess i'm doing everything wrong too! :P my main rule for my blog is just to be me & have fun!

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    54. Bridget,
      Thank you so much for posting this! I love the cookies but I needed to hear/read this tonight. I started a blog three months ago and with maybe a page view a day I was googling SEO tonight and looking at wordpress to see about making the switch. I took a break and looked at my normal blogs and this post was the first I read. Thank you! I am staying on blogger (yay blogspot) and if I stay true to me the stats don't matter. Thank you.

      On a totally unrelated note Dosey Doe was at a 5k event handing out coffee and I think I freaked the woman out talking about you cookies here: http://bakeat350.blogspot.com/2011/05/dosey-doe-stamped-fondant-cookies.html
      But they were appreciative of the advertising and said they would check it out.

      Thank you again.

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    55. Love your blog and you nailed the message.

      I design Wordpress sites for people so I love Wordpress. I help with SEO so I'm all in with that. I'm a tech nerd, food nerd, and photo nerd so I have a nice camera too.

      But none of that matters for a blog. Content is king and if you have good content using "SEO" won't matter -- people will find you.

      So +1, Like, etc. -- you are right on.

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    56. Great post Bridget!

      You know what you do so well?! Twitter. When I grow up, I want to be like you on twitter. You need to tach a class or something. :)

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    57. Good for you! I just started a blog, and I'm a bit overwhelmed by the blogging universe. You certainly bring it down to earth :)

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    58. Bridget you're gorgeous.
      I love today's post.
      hilarius :O)

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    59. Thanks for these tips Bridget! :)

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    60. Such refreshing honesty! Happy blogging! :-)

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    61. Very well said! And true in everyway... And I'm happy with my blogspot.com. I bought a Nikon D3100 for 600... I couldn't do the 100-1500 dollar ones. And you know what SOME of my pics are just as good as those taking them with the really fancy shmancy ones.

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    62. Great post! Also, thank you for the shout out!

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    63. Such a great post. Blogging isn't & has never been a competition, shouldn't be! These blogs are our happy place (for most of us!). Your words are refreshing and I love that you go to the beat of your own drum. I'm happy to be in your club!

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    64. This is great advice! haha I sure don't have a $1200 camera.

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    65. Thank you for this post! Very helpful and timely for me :)

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    66. Glad to know I'm not the only one who uses a point and shoot camera! It probably shows sometimes, but I don't have the money to be buying a fancy camera for "just cookies" either as you say. But I enjoy blogging about fun food with others who enjoy food!

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    67. Thank you for this great post! I found it through a link on Facebook and I agree with everything you've said. Finding your own voice and style is the most important part. I don't follow people because they copy my favorite bloggers, I follow people because they ARE my favorite bloggers. Also, I have a hand-me down older version of your camera and absolutely love it. People are always asking what camera I use and I tell them that the camera doesn't matter as much as how you use it, even point and shoots. I'm so glad I found your site!

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    68. Good on you. I'm also domain-less on blogger and fine with that. Worse, I update only a few times a month and upload pics from my iPod (often without the help of instagram)! I'm fine with not being an elite super-blogger. That's not why I began blogging.

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    69. Words can't even say how much I love this post. So I'll sum it up with this: LOVE.

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    70. Thank you for this!! I get so weary of blogs and blog posts that follow the formula for "how to get more readers." I wish everyone would calm down and just do what comes from the heart, instead of trying to mimic someone's list for how to be a great blogger. I'm over the moon for your lists instead :) Fantastic advice!

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    71. Thanks so much for this post. It really spoke to me about the choices I have made about my blog. My husband is reading the books from the "experts" on blogging, but I love doing it for ME. One day, if the people like me (really, really like me) I may invest a few more bucks to upgrade, but for now blogger and my snapshots are fine. Thanks again!

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    72. This post is totally awesome. Thank you!

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    73. Thank you so much for this post. I am a new blogger and it is refreshing to hear that it really can be about doing something you love without all the whistles and bells.

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    74. Thank you so much for posting this! I'm brand new to food blogging and this post is so helpful to me. I admit I went the wordpress and the .com route, but I certainly don't have a DSLR camera- in fact all of the pictures on my blog were taken on my iPhone!

      Thanks again for this post and for the excellent advice! I'm a huge fan of your blog!

      -Miriam

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    75. You could blog from any platform and photograph with any camera, it doesn't really make a difference. What makes all the difference in the world is that you connect with your readers and you certainly have. The magic formula as you have so wonderfully captured is in being who you truly are. Authenticity is what attracts people and keeps them coming back for more. I adore your blog because I know it is a mirror image of yourself and I look forward to visiting you each time you post. I'm so excited for your book to be published because I know it will be just like having *you* here in my kitchen every time I open it.

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    76. I might agree with a lot of your original list; I'm a blogger for fun but a web developer professionally. But agreeing with it doesn't mean it's for everyone. Funny...no matter what I might recommend, the truth is in your words. Your blog has to represent you, your voice, your talents. Too many try too hard to fit a mold they think is necessary for success and in doing so too often lose their own personality.

      I recall a few months ago reading a post by an 'expert' who basically said that if you don't bring all of the best professional resources to your blog, why even bother. She had criteria that might fit 'professional' bloggers but that did not fit either the audience she had been speaking to or the people she was writing to on her blog. Web logs (blogs) have always meant to me something of a web diary. I didn't want my mom telling me how to write in one all those many years ago and nothing has changed!

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    77. "marching to the beat of my own drum".....THAT my friend is why I LOVE and ADORE YOU!♥

      I love how you do what you want AND it works for you!

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    78. Great post! I love it to bits. Everything. Especially your love of Blogger. I'm still on blogger and can't bring myself to leave. Glad I'm not alone.

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    79. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who isn't doing what your "supposed" to do when you have a blog! I love Blogger too {the thought of switching to Wordpress scares me to death} and I've seen people tweet about SEO and I had no idea what they were talking about:) Thanks for the awesome post!

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    80. Very well said! I'm so thankful for bloggers that say what's on their minds. I'm on board with doing what works for you when it works for you. Very good tips!

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    81. Thank you so much for this blog post! You've listed some awesome tips!

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    82. I'm so happy to see this post. I'm on blogger (have 2 blogs) and I love blogger. When I started them I didn't know there were rules one should follow so I did whatever I liked. I also don't have a expensive $1,200 camera, I have a digital camera that is only 10 mega pixels and I think it does pretty good. One day soon I'm going to upgrade it because I do want to make my picture look a little better, but it won't be a camera that's more than a couple $100.

      I'm not Blog Snob, so whatever floats everyone elses boat is fine with me. I love the blogs I follow (especially yours) because of what's posted not what blog site they use. Shoot I'm most definitely not worried about the kind of camera one uses either. The pictures can be taken with a cellphone, as long as I can tell what I'm looking at then I'm happy!!

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    83. I agree with other commenters--great post! There's simply no wrong way to go about blogging, as long as you're doing what you enjoy and finding your voice. Thanks for the reminder not to compare ourselves--sometimes I have that temptation, and it never leads somewhere pretty.

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    84. Oh I LOVE this! Thank You! Thank You! for saying it out lout!!

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    85. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

      I use my iPhone for my pics and edit in Picasa or Gimp. works great for me. Of course, I have my Cannon Powershot DSLR.... but haven't used it in quite a while. ;)

      Great advice.

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    86. Great post! I don't even like the idea of "blogging" (what a yucky-sounding word!!) but eventually I agreed to try using blog software to add articles to my site more easily. So I still think of it as "writing a Website."

      It's funny that so many people have commented about Typepad being even less cool than Blogger--I used to use Online Quickblog, which is even more obscure than Typepad! In fact, I've now visited hundreds of blogs and have never seen another one done on Online Quickblog. There is a good reason for this: It is buggy and unstable and annoying!

      So I switched to WordPress, which I love. But I find that Blogger blogs are just as readable and "cool".

      I have two main ways of drawing readers that you didn't mention: I join in some blog carnivals (like Works-for-Me Wednesday), and I comment on other people's blogs and often include links to my articles related to their topic, like this: A robot wrote a novel in my comment box! :-)

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    87. Well said and straight to the point! I love it!

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    88. woo hoo another blogger rebel. this post is awesome and helpful as a new blogger.

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    89. Thanks for the Great post Bridget. I have had a blog for over a year now, but just really started and need all the help I can get.so thank you so much for sharing.

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    90. Thank you for the advice!

      I know I need a domain name, if for no other reason that mine is too long! And a blog designer would probably help me a lot too...

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    91. Best Blogging advice I have heard in a long time!!

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    92. This blogspot blogger, worried about moving to wordpress gives you a virtual high five. Loved all of your advice. I've found each thing you said to be true, true, true. Thanks for the post! Loved it!

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    93. Love it! Thank you for these words of wisdom. I posted this to Twitter.

      Blessings!

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    94. Thank you so much for posting this! I feel like I just got some "real" advice. It's kind of fun to be rebel without a cause!

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    95. I love how you defy the odds :) Great tips, though, Bridget!! I'm glad to have had you as a mentor, even if I probably haven't leaned on you enough!

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    96. Bridget I am so proud of you girl. This post is so well written and it something that everyone who is thinking about starting a blog should read. 2 1/2 years into it and I always learn from pals like you :)
      Never. Stop. Learning.
      xxoo

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    97. Love this post! When I first dove into the blogging world and discovered that ".blogspot." was bad, I remembering thinking that your blog was a blogspot and that made me feel better. I think I respected you more because you were a successful blogger and you didn't have to have your own domain!

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    101. Thank you! Reading this post is a breath of fresh air. I am a new blogger. I have only been doing it for about 4 months and enjoying every minute. Your advice is just what I needed to hear. I'm on blogger too, and so far I love it! A few times I have noticed WP blogs and I was tempted to make the "switch" but for me if it isn't broke why fix it, right? Thank you again for sharing!

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    102. Beautiful post, and not just because I'm armchair blogger! My blog is my writer's notebook. The perfection is in the process, not always found in the final product. I can't believe your camera is just point & shoot! Your pictures don't look like it! Do you spend a lot of time editing? What do you use?

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    103. 111 comments. yeah you must really suck, ha! love your blog :D

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    104. Thanks so much for posting this Bridget. I haven't written on my blog in months and some of the reasons are exactly what you were talking about. I feel sort of overwhelmed by what other people are doing and saying and feel like my stuff is so insignificant and silly. But deep down, I know you are right and I need to do it for ME! and ME only. You give me the inspiration to start again. Hopefully , soon! Thanks!

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    105. Loved this post. Love that you are yourself. You have an amazing blog so you are definitely doing things right!

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    106. I love this post. I have started a little blog just for fun for my gap year and I follow your blog as I love it - but I haven't quite got the hang of decorated cookies yet, though practice makes perfect so I'll keep trying! As for your blog - I think it is amazing. And your rules are so much better than the ones we are "supposed" to follow. Anyone can make an amazing blog and it's all a bit of fun anyway isn't it?! So thank you for reassuring me that just because I am on blogger and I have a camera I inherited from my dad that (although I think it does fancy things) I just "point and shoot" , doesn't mean I can't write an excellent blog even if I'm the only one that reads it! Thanks and please keep making cookies - they are amazing!!! Ellie, Portsmouth, UK

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    107. And sorry for signing "Anonymous" above as I didn't mean to press that button - especially as I left my name at the bottom! Even technically-deficient people like me can keep a blog! Ellie

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    108. Awesome post!
      I'm guilty of putting UNNECESSARY pressure on myself.

      I just want to blog. Words make me happy. I don't want to compete or be a super blogger power.
      Thanks.

      OH and I have Wordpress & my own domain. But that's just because my hubby is an IT dude! ;)
      I'm a total doof about anything techy!

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    109. Great post, Bridget! I so love what you said about finding your own voice. I see other bloggers whose writing inspires me so much and I think, "why can't I write like them?" Then one of my wonderful readers will leave me a comment about my writing style and it reminds me just to be me. They aren't visiting my blog to read somebody else, they originally came because of me.
      Thank you.

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    110. Love this post! Well done. Love your blog. =)

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    111. This post made me laugh cause all the bad things you mention is exactly what I'm doing and you know what? I don't care. I like my blog and it makes me happy even if its only me that it makes me happy. I bake for joy and fulfillment and to give my girls memories. Not for compensation or recognition. Love you B!!

      Jackie

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    112. Well dang! I apparently can't do anything right either! =) That's okay...I like my little blogger blog and if I can help just one person each day save a little money in this economy, then I'm a happy girl. By the way, I love your blog so don't go changin' it! =)

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    113. I officially love you. Because I've gone about it all wrong too. I guess that's what I get for starting my blog for fun (gasp) instead of money. never expected it to be so successful!
      I'm on blogger too, although I did buy my own domain because it seemed like a fun thing to do. Cheap thrills at $10 a year.
      I do have a DSLR but that was given to me free by my photog brother. And for a long, LONG time, I had no idea what SEO was. I still don't use it, because I consider myself as much a writer as a cook. Writing is pretty darn stilted when you have to say things like "Blah blah cookie recipe" over and over!

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    114. Thanks for posting this. I just started blogging so everything is brand new and confusing right now, but this was definitely helpful to hear.

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    115. This is awesome. I completely agree with you, there's no set pattern for bloggers and there's no right way and no wrong way. Thanks for this awesome post!

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    116. Are you freakin' kidding me? I wanna BE you when I grow up someday. So I'm gonna do every single thing you say. :) I LOVE that you took those pics with a point & shoot. They're absolutely lovely. And I love that you still have .blogspot. You are amazing. Don't change one single bit!

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    117. I'm always amazed at the different stories of success with blogging and love hearing the different roads to success, they're a true inspiration. Thanks for your words of wisdom - staying true to yourself is great advice for anyone, blogging or not! Loved this post, thanks

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    118. Love it! love allll of it. About died reading your commentary on the "shouldas" Im a comfy blogger.com er myself. Funny i feel like an every other day blogger, but I get far more comments on posts when I have been away awhile and unable to post. perhaps I am onto something?

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    119. I always enjoy your posts Bridget. This one was very informative. I've been blogging since January 23rd this year, so I'm still a newbie I guess. I don't know the difference between WordPress and Blogger. I joined Blogger (to be honest) because you and Callye were on Blogger, so I just followed along and figured it all out from there. I also use a point & shoot camera and although I'd love to take gorgeous photos like Kristan & Callye, I don't know how and really I'd rather spend that time with my obsession on cookie decorating. I do have my own domain, but only because I happened to buy it a year ago so why not use it on blogger. It was really easy to figure out. I still have much to learn, but the bottom line is that I'm having SOOO much fun with it. Thanks again for your great posts and beautiful cookies. You are truly an inspiration!

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    120. Thank you so much for the post! I have a fledgling blog, and sometimes it feels so daunting to see posts on some of the favorites that I read (like yours!) with hundreds of comments and a huge following without thinking, "What am I doing wrong?" It's so great to get reminders that these bloggers too are just people who love what they do and love to share their experiences with others. Thanks for your humor and your GORGEOUS cookies!

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    121. Bridget, Excellent advice for the Newbie AND the Veteran! YOU shine through in your blog and that's why I love it:)

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    122. Bridgett, thanks for sharing. I just converted my blog to a food blog a few days ago. I'm going to use some of your suggestions.

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    123. Well said! Some fantastic points, thank you so much for sharing!

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    124. I'm late to the show....but MAN-O-MAN! Did I ever need to "hear" this! I could ramble on and on about how I'm feeling about my blog, creating, etc., but instead, I'll just say
      THANKS FOR SHARING. I needed this!

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    125. You just made me smile. :o) Thank you for this post.

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    126. Bridget, I love you (even more!) for posting this. You are one of the most lovely and most honest bloggers I know, and I'm so glad to have met you, especially when I first started out a few years ago as a young and impressionable blogger myself. I'll never be one of the "big ones" but that's not what matters to me, and it's so refreshing to find other bloggers who value what I do about blogging. Keep doing what you're doing!! :-)

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    127. Very well said! I'm on my way to share this on Twitter and FB. My hubby keeps telling me the same type of things. "It's your blog. Do what you like with it."

      Thanks for posting this!

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    128. 137 comments!!!! Wow! You were one of the first blogs that I consistently read, now I have a few years of blogging under my belt and an online record of my recipes/life that I will treasure forever. My question for you, if you don't mind, is it possible to make money off of blogging they way your described? Just curious:)

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    129. You obviously are not a very good blogger, and I will think of what a good blogger you are NOT when I check back everyday to see what beauty you have created. (and I don't bake!)

      Keep on being doing things the wrong way!!!

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    130. This is a first blogs that I consistently read, thanks for sharing such an interesting stuff with us..
      Green Products

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    131. You've obviously been doing it all right. Keep it up. You're a joy of a blog. :)

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    132. I'd say you're definitely on the right track! Thanks so much for the tips, Ms. Bridget - I can't wait to check out more of your darling blog. :)

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    133. I think you are just the nicest person! It shines through your posts. Thanks so much for all your helpful advice. I have been blogging for 2 months and love it!! I am learning so much and sometimes I have no idea what I am doing because I think I skip over words when I read- so go figure whatever comes out is interesting and fun!!

      Moore or Less Cooking

      Nettie

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    134. Fantástico articulo, firmo tus palabras.

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    135. Haha I found your blog because I was searching for my own on google. (thehownotto.blogspot.com) How egotistical is that?
      But anyway, you don't seem to have broken the rules. You've got a clean design, quality content, and a clear voice, and that's what people want. People like rebellion, too--that's why we newsblog instead of newspaper these days.
      Question--just for hownotto fun, would you like to do a "guest post" on my blog to show how not to do a guest post? I'd love to have you, and since you've written on how not to before I think it would be so much fun.

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    136. Well, we just recently started our blog-I guess we will just have to see how it goes!!! It's all very ScArY at first!!! It's fun, though, even if it only ends up being your mom that reads it-ha! Thanks for the advice!!!!
      www.sassyandsouthern.com

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    137. Love it. Just saw the link to this on SNAP! and I'm glad I came over to read it. I'm also glad to know that someone can be successful on Blogger. I know WP is better for traffic but I really hate it. Thanks for making me feel "normal". :)

      Anna
      www.askannamoseley.com

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    138. Perfect post! It's nice to hear from a successful blogger that Wordpress isn't the only way to go.

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    139. Great work. I think your blog kind of hits on the essence of blogging. There are "better ways" to blog, but in the end it's all about you. Blog how you want, on whatever service you want, and don't let some seo company tell you how to blog, because in the end it's your blog and you can do what you want with it!

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    140. I really wish I had read this post when I first started out. I did what the "cool kids" did, buying my own demain and going self-hosted.

      Now I hate it and would love to switch to Blogger, but have no idea how & am terrified that I'd lose everything.

      (And yeah, if someone happens to read this & knows how to go BACKWARDS, I'd love to hear from you. I've googled the heck out of the subject, but no one wants to go backwards -- see "cool kids" comment in the blog post.)

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    141. Bridget....Callye just sent me here to read this specific post. It was just what I needed. THANK YOU! A million times thank you.....

      I'm trying to ramp up my blog.....but it is so frustrating to be pressured to do things a certain way. I use blogger too. I have a P&S too. I don't do things like the big wig bloggers do.

      But having someone tell me to just make it MY blog....what is best for me and my schedule, finances, etc......such a relief.

      Thanks. You put a smile on my face and a song on my heart today. No pressure.....just keep making CookieCrazie be what I'm led to make it be.

      You're a blessing. Thanks for speaking out. :)

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    142. Well posted, i really appreciate the blog and the tips given to improve the blog.
      Good job, keep going...

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    143. So nice to have found your site Bridget (after following on instagram for a while ;) and coming across this very timely (for me) post.
      Thank you for the encouragement it speaks to my heart. Thank you for being open and honest. And for sharing your amazing cookies :D

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    144. Just read this article from the That Works for Me book. Love it! I'm on blogger too and I don't want to switch and I was worried that I would have to. I'm happy there too. Thanks for the great article!

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    145. Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site,
      how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account aided
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    146. Wonderful post and i like your Post, as we know That blogging is not easy and which is depend on your quality content and your topics to make much better. we should keep remember about it and which you have shared 5 tips really quietly helpful and i must use these tips ..i am thankful to you for sharing this Post.

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    147. Well actually there is no fixed steps while creating or writing a blog and what all accessories you have with you.You need a good topic in mind..That's all..No need to ask any seo company in bangalore

      Happy Blogging!!

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    148. Thank You So Much!!! I LOVED this, it was perfect & felt like I was reading my own words!

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    149. Excellent articles always attract readers to read, Your blog is great for anyone who wants to understand this subject more.

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    150. Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else can I write that kind of information in such a perfect approach to get? I have a company that I'm just now working on, and I look for more of these.

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    151. You’ve got some interesting points in this article. I would have never considered any of these if I didn’t come across this. Thanks!

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Happy baking! :)
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