Wednesday, 9 July 2014


Hi, my name's Laura, and I am probably what you would refer to as a spectator, an observer, or a wallflower. I spent my last two years of high school completely under the radar, not putting myself out there, and just watching other people - not in a creepy way, don't get me wrong! I feel like I knew a lot more about the other people in my year group than they knew about me, because I just sat there and listened as opposed to actually participating, which is how I liked it. I am a very private person and find human interaction quite daunting, unless it's with people I know really well. This is one of the main reasons I started blogging in the first place - it's an outlet for me to express myself and what I think, with the added security of being able to edit what I write a thousand times if I want to before I click Publish. In real life, I can't edit what I want to say before it comes out - I have one chance to get across what I'm trying to say to the other person, and I just find that situation extremely stressful, so avoid it as much as I can.

However, even though I was using blogging as an outlet for my thoughts and opinions, I was treating it the same way as I was normal interaction, and I didn't realise this until fairly recently. Let me try and explain this more clearly: a few lovely people were commenting on some of my posts, and I was just putting off replying to them because [1] I didn't have to reply to them like I did in a real conversation - there was no obligation for an immediate response like in real life - and [2] I could edit my response, so I would just spend so long rewording my reply to one person's comment (the flaws of a perfectionist!), that I'd just put off replying to anyone else's comment for a week or so, because I knew how long it would take me to get through them all.

This was totally the wrong attitude because these people were taking time out of their own day to write a lovely comment about something I'd created, and even though I was acknowledging the comments to myself by reading them, I wasn't actually letting the person who commented know that I'd even read it. So essentially I was just ignoring them, which is why most of these people never came back to comment again. They probably forgot about commenting on my blog, so didn't stick around to see if they'd get a response. And this was nobody's fault but my own. How could I expect people to keep making the effort to comment on my posts, if I was giving them nothing in return? I naively kept asking myself: why wasn't I getting any more followers, or why weren't any more people commenting, and it's only now when I look back that I can identify that major flaw in the attitude I had towards blogging. Maybe it was because I had school and exams to study for that I wasn't really giving any thought to replying to people, or trying to make new connections in the blogosphere… But it doesn't really matter now. What I wanted to share with you all are the ways that the new blogger in me has been trying to connect with other like-minded people, and share in what it is to be a blogger.

First of all, I went back and replied to every comment I'd received because, to the smaller blogger just starting out, comments are so crucial in starting up a conversation with the people reading your blog. You have to engage with these people in order to understand who they are and what it is that drew them to your blog.

I then went onto some blogs that I follow and left genuine comments on the posts that I could relate to or where I had something meaningful to say. Sometimes, the authors of these blogs would then leave me a comment on one of my posts, or they'd even follow my blog! What I've learnt is that engaging with other people in the blogging community is not only great for your blog and its success, but it's really great for you as a person too. When I get the occasional email or comment from a fellow blogger or loyal follower, it instantly lifts my mood, because someone out there is actually taking the time to write something kind and honest about my blog or what I have to say. It's really heartwarming to know that there are real people behind the number of followers that you have on Bloglovin' and Google Friend Connect!

I now also really like checking out links to blogs that some people feature in guest posts or as sponsors in the sidebar. It's amazing how many brilliant blogs and bloggers are out there if you just make the effort to look for and engage with them. Some of my favourite blogs to read now are the ones that I'd never have come across had I not put in the effort to find them.

The last thing that I did, and am still doing now, is finding other blogs that offer sponsoring or advertising spaces on their sidebars. You can usually find each blogger's sponsor pages on the navigation menu at the top of their blog, or somewhere similar. Most bloggers that I have come across now use Passionfruit to monitor and sell ad spaces on their blogs. It costs nothing to register for Passionfruit - it's only when you're ready to sell ad spaces on your own blog that you have to pay a monthly fee. More information about fees is on their prices page. I've just signed up for free for now, because it wouldn't really benefit me financially to sell ad spaces right now, what with only having a very small blog! Some bloggers kindly offer ad/button swaps for free through Passionfruit too, which are what I like to get. (You can see all the bloggers that I've swapped buttons with over there in the right-hand sidebar.) I'm a massive fan of Passionfruit because you can track how many times the pages with your button on have been viewed, and, out of those views, how many times your button has been clicked. On one of the blogs that I've swapped buttons with, I actually had someone click on my button, and I gained a brand new follower out of it - so it definitely works! There are so many more benefits of using Passionfruit alongside your blog too, so basically just go check it out, because it's a brilliant way to start mingling within the blogging community.

So, yeah, I basically just wanted to stress the importance of really getting stuck into the whole blogging thing, and I really hope that I personally will be able to carry this new attitude that I have towards blogging into real life, and be more open to speaking to new people and putting myself out there. I think only then will I really feel fulfilled in life, and with no regrets. :)

Well, this turned into quite a long post - let me know in a comment if you made it this far haha! If you are at all interested in swapping buttons with me, leave a comment at the bottom this post, or at the bottom of my sponsor page, or if you want to you can email me at with your button image and your blog details etc etc. Feel free to grab a button from my sponsor page too! This kinda stuff really does go a long way for us smaller bloggers, so I feel like we all need to help each other out!


So I was just finishing off writing this post, when I received an email of my weekly Bloglovin' update. This last week has probably been my busiest with regard to my blog, trying to connect with new people and really get my blog out there. So the results are: (drumroll please)… one 'like' on one of my posts from last week, as well as 7 new followers! Now this doesn't sound like very much, but it's actually a 21% increase in the number of followers that I had last week, and a 100% increase in the number of likes that I already have, so compared with the one new follower I got the week before, I'm pretty happy! Plus, I reached 40 followers this week, and it's always nice to reach those big, round numbers!

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