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I Have Questions, You Hopefully Have Answers!

by Megan

Hey Shaper-Uppers! I hope everyone is having a great Thursday! I also hope you are feeling like sharing some of your expertise with me, because today I have questions for you!

I’ve been blogging for four years, but it was only in the last 9 months or so that I discovered the amazing blogging community. It was around that same time that I created and uploaded a header. Before then it was just the generic Blogger layout with my blog’s name in the default font.

Since then I’ve had so much fun learning how to make changes to my design/layout, add pages, use some html, what a “linky” is, etc! I’ve had a lot of success finding tutorials and other help online, but here are some of the questions I have remaining, and I hope some of you more experienced bloggers can provide some insight!

Thanks in advance!

1. Feedburner- What is this? I have two (probably from getting my own domain), one with 11 subscribers, and one with 135. Is there a way to combine them? How do you use this, or do you?

2. RSS feed- How do you “follow by RSS?” Is that different from following in a reader, such as Bloglovin’ or Google Reader? What kind of interface is it?

3. At the bottom of Blogger blogs, it says “Subscribe to: Posts (atom).” What does that mean?!

4. Does anyone get their Twitter statuses automatically posted to your Facebook page? I went through all the steps required, but they do not show up!

5. My blog posts (used to) automatically post a link on my personal Facebook page, can you get them to do that on your blog’s Facebook page?

6. How do you know how many email followers you have? Is there a way to customize the emails that get sent?

7. I think I’ve finally figured Twitter out, but my remaining question is how do you know when to use a hashtag, and what phrase to use? I mean, what if I started one for my upcoming link-up and called it #lookbacklinkup, but then other people started using #alookbacklinkup? How do you know what to use and/or if something is already out there being used for the same thing?

8. Where did awesome/awkward Thursdays originate? Are there certain circles of bloggers that do Wordless Wednesdays or WIW Wednesdays, etc, or is it just everyone participating in what they feel like?

9. What sites/programs do you use for stat reports? I have accounts with Google Analytics, which I find very confusing, and Statcounter, which is simpler. Where is the “go to” or most reliable number for your monthly/all-time page visits?

10. How do you decide which blogs to sponsor, and do you sponsor the same blogs repeatedly? I can afford to sponsor 2-3 each month, with one of those being a larger blog and two less expensive sponsorships. I don’t want to offend anyone by not continuing to sponsor them, but I also think there’s benefit to reaching out to other blogs.
Also, if I were to set up ad swaps with Passionfruit ads, and someone went through their system to swap with me, is it then my responsibility to go do the same thing on their website, or since they set up the swap, do they take over the responsibility to add my button to their blog?

11. And lastly, how do you keep up with it all?! I love being part of the blogging community, but it is so HUGE. Every day I’m finding new blogs that interest me, but I can’t possibly keep up with all of them! It’s frustrating because I don’t want to limit what I read/follow, but I constantly feel like I’m falling behind with everything! What is your “system?”

Thanks if you read all this! And I apologize for my pseudo-newbieness. And my weird hand. Any and all answers you can throw my way would help out!

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Jackie May 24, 2012 - 8:21pm

These are all EXCELLENT questions, and I will be tuning in for the answers from the more experienced bloggers.

I use twitter in my “real” job, and we have to test our hashtags before we post to make sure that there are actually people looking at that tag… Does that make sense? Or, maybe the organizers of linkups should start saying, “follow at #whatever”…


AAAANWAY, looking forward to seeing what others have to say!

Megan10e May 24, 2012 - 8:29pm

Jackie, how do you test to make sure people are using a certain hashtag?

Amanda @ Ninth Street Notions May 24, 2012 - 8:31pm

1. I also have two Feedburner feeds, one with a little, one with a lot. No idea why. But I use the one with the most to set up my follow by RSS.
2. Follow by RSS can be used in a variety of readers. I use Google Reader to follow these.
4. Tried the update FB with Twitter thing. Hated it. They’re so different, my Twitter statuses looked bizarre on FB.
6. I use MailChimp for my email subscribers. They update me on how many have signed up.
9. I use Google Analytics because it’s the most widely used. Still don’t understand everything on it, but most useful is the # of pageviews. I also like to look at what keywords bring people to my site. I also use it to determine my “best of” posts. They’re the ones with the most views.
10. I have just begun really getting into sponsoring. I’ve decided to try new ones out each month & see which ones work best for me. I don’t think anyone’s offended if you don’t keep sponsoring them. If you do a swap, you should communicate with them how to do it. I set up a code with Passionfruit for swaps and I send it to people with whom I swap, so they can set it up themselves.
11. I just try everything out. If it works for me, and I like it, I keep doing it. If not, then I don’t. So I’ve limited myself to blogs, FB, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Sorry for the humongo reply. :)

Brittany May 24, 2012 - 8:31pm

I sponsor blogs that I enjoy reading myself and visit regularly/have regular contact with the writer. We usually do swaps for free and most of them are continuous. Sometimes I will email that person to ask if they want to swap or I will just add their button on my sidebar just to be nice. Some of the girls I know do swaps for a month or 2 months, then send out an email asking if you want to continue swapping. I have never done any paid ad space on blogs or for my own blog. If you’re wondering about whether or not you should ad their button after they ad yours, I would just ask :)

Jaimee May 24, 2012 - 8:52pm

Great questions! Wish I had some answers for you. but I don’t! Maybe you can do a follow up post when you have it all figured out! :)

Chelsea May 25, 2012 - 8:19am

Hash tags on twitter are basically just tags that other people may look up and see your tweet on. Like if you tweeted “I love rainbows on a rainy day #beautiful” and I felt like looking at tweets that said beautiful, I’d search that and see yours haha. There’s not really any rules to how it all works {that I know of anyways…} but the reason people probably tweeted #alookback instead of #lookback is because your link-up was called “A Look Back” and they would’ve just copied it straight from that most likely. :)

Chelsea May 25, 2012 - 8:20am

Oh so I just realized that the look back one is a hypothetical question ahha. But if you were doing a link up, just try to name it the same thing as the link up, it just keeps everything streamlined and easy.

Brittany May 25, 2012 - 7:11pm

Ohhh megan SOO glad you asked these quesitons because i can totally relate to some of them!! I seriously cannot keep up with all of my fave blogs!!!! and like you said, i’ve subscribed my email to MANY blogs and man that’s enough but i just love so many and want to read read read and comment comment comment! im only doing free button swaps too and might consider passionfruit ads because ive heard they have a feature that can automatically rotate your button ads.which i find nice..but i dont want to think about it right now lol. i really want to know about #6 too!

Shane May 28, 2012 - 5:25pm

These are SUCH great questions that I’m sure ton of bloggers out there are pondering. Thanks for putting them out there, can’t wait to hear the answers!

xo Shane

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