I’ve Discovered the Secret to Blogger Success

I’m not joking guys……

This is a top secret classified bit of information that only the best of the best in blogland know and I’m here to share it with you right now!

And no I’m not talking about taking or finding the perfect photo from above with your hand, laptop, and cool phone case all visible. Clearly this is a very important step in the process, but every third grader who dreams of internet fame knows this one. Keep reading for the juicy stuff.

Blogger Success

It’s no secret that I haven’t been writing……….well really anything since the Holidays.

I posted that I got engaged….

And y’all responded with all the happiness and well-wishes.

I posted about the extremely difficult problem of not knowing what to hashtag my wedding…..

And y’all gave me all the best ideas non-stop until I picked one I loved. (#SomethingBarros in case you wanted to stalk me, but like in a non-threatening manner)

Then I had my Life Guru Jess post about making friends in your 20s…..

And y’all ate it up!

So what’s the secret to blogger success then?

Um, duh, it’s YOU! Community.

The Secret to Blogger Success = Community

Cliche maybe, but it’s the truth. I don’t care how wonderful your life is or how well you can craft the perfect post or how much blogging advice you have, without people to read your blog your blog would be just bunch of gibberish posted on the internet.

I mean if we’re all really honest with ourselves, blogs really are just gibberish posted on the internet. But we are Bloggers and we shall not givein to such nonsensical thinking.

Back to the secrets.

If you’re still with me at this point then I know you truly care and aren’t actually looking for the secret to blogging success and therefore proving my point. Sure making side money, or having a full-time blog is cool. I’ve made money off this thing, it’s a pretty cool feeling to be sent free stuff. In full disclosure I just bought a ton of wedding stuff from blog money just chillin in my Paypal account.

But what makes me come back time and again.

The friends and connections I’ve made while writing, not the money made.

So whether you agree with me or not, thank you for reading my words and connecting with me even when I’m not around as often as I used to be. I promise I’m still around and trying to connect with y’all.

What do you think? What’s the secret sauce?

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Wedding Wednesday is Now My Thing

Well Folks,

Here I am again. I say again because I haven’t been posting on my blog for…well too long for me to even remember. I have been lurking in the blogosphere and reading your posts though. Bloglovin is still my most visited website. That and Pinterest so I’m still here. Gone but not forgotten…..

Hopefully….

Anyway, in case you missed me, or didn’t, either way I have come back from the dead to announce something. I thought about announcing that I have an announcement like any good Blogger would do, but being MIA for months on end doesn’t really allow that much flexibility when coming back.

SO in case you missed it on Instagram on Monday…..

I’M ENGAGED!!!

Engagement Moment

Oh yea, you’re looking at the future Mrs. Barros. Boom Baby!

You can see above I was caught completely off guard. Ignore the ratty tennis shoes and unwashed hair. And Lord, there isn’t a ring pic yet because heaven forbid my nails weren’t painted. But gosh darnit, it was downright perfect, so just focus on the giant smiles on our faces instead, k thanks.

As soon as it happened my first thought besides holy crap it’s so sparkly, was “Dangit I haven’t brainstormed any good hashtag ideas yet!!”

Clearly my priorities were in the right order. I’m working on it don’t worry. For now I went with a ball and freaking chain man hashtag theme….Because well, I feel like the Man right now. (movie reference layup?)

My second coherent thought revolved around the idea that I will finally hit the big time with my blog! Whop doesn’t love a good wedding post! Until I remembered that I haven’t blogged in…..well you get the picture.

Whatever, it’s brought me back from Davey Jones Locker and that’s about the best resurrection catapult I could possibly think of so I’m happy with it.

I still don’t have a computer, but I do now have a fiance with a computer who said I can use his whenever I want. Boy this whole engagement thing is already the bee’s knees!

But of course I now need your help because despite having a Secret Wedding Pinterest board with lots of cute pictures that all color coordinate with one another, I have no clue where to start. Well I know where to start but like how does one find a Photographer? Venue? etc?? Google?

Help a newly engaged sista out will ya!

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Confessions and Such

Hello Friends….

I’m not sure if these are confessions or just random thoughts coming out of my brain…..

Either way, I’m publishing them on the internet so I’m sure there’s a statement about my social well-being in here somewhere….

small plug, scarf by Me.

>> Starting off, I have to be honest…..That picture is from last year when I visited JB in Boston for New Years. Winter so far this year has been 63 degrees and sunny so I’m not quite sure if I brought my Southern warm with me, or Mother Nature is about to have the biggest laugh on us all come January….

>> In case anyone was wondering, I look pretty much just like that picture still, except my hair is about 2 inches longer. Confession I haven’t had a haircut since then…I’m really good at hair maintenance………

>>I’m gonna complain one more time about not having a computer…My laptop’s still broken and I’m still broke so no replacement has been determined as of now. And by complain only one more time I mean every time I publish a post for the next year until I get a new laptop. And by I’m broke I really mean, too stingy to buy a new one when I’d rather have a savings account and pay off my student loans….Oh and also my car is now half way on blocks so there’s that fun expense….Being an adult is awesome….

>> I’ve published literally ONE post in December so far…..It’s a good thing I’m not all caught up in that stat counting thing….silently weeps on the inside…….

>> Does anyone else, about once a month get a little moody and question every decision they’ve ever made in their entire life and suddenly envision their life going off the rails and ending up in a van down by the river? Probably just me. My life is so hard.

>> Don’t take it personally if I haven’t responded to your comment in about 2 weeks….I haven’t responded to anyone’s comments for two weeks. So at least I’m not showing favoritism ya know.

>> I’ve finished all my Christmas shopping and therefore lost all purpose in life for the next two weeks. I suppose I could focus on wrapping said gifts, but I’m flying most of them home to TN and they don’t allow you to fly wrapped gifts. Like once year in college in Utah, I tried flying home with wrapped gifts in my carry-on and despite the extremely powerful x-ray machine they use to find guns, drugs, and other illegal things, somehow my Dollar Tree Dora the Explorer wrapping paper duped them….The security guy made me stand there and unwrap Every. Single. One…..

>> I typed this all in about 30 minutes on my ipad, before I had to run around like a crazy person getting ready for work this morning. Good thing I’m so good at girl things like putting on mascara and remembering to do both eyes before leaving the apartment……

So that’s basically it. Confessions or just rando statements. I’m just not sure. Make them what you will. The only thing I ask of you is to be nice to me during my involuntary hiatus and still be my friend when I’m back

K thanks.

Oh and Happy Holidays and all that

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Secret Blogger Club (24)

Ugh, hello, hi, how are ya?

Having no computer is really crampin my blogger style……

So don’t let me keep whining, go read some awesome posts by some very non-whiny ladies

Secret Blogger Club Title

Secret Blogger Club

>> December Instagram Challenge with The Free and Wild Blog. Y’all know I love some Insta challenges because otherwise I never post…Oops. So #HeresToYouDecember!

>> Mistakes to Avoid As a New Blogger by Sweet Tea & Hydrangeas. Ummmmmm…..I still do like all of these….except the tiny images one, whoops :/ I try to not forget to reply to comments, but I know I’m guilty of that every now and then. Life, amiright? More like excuses, amiright…..Anyway, don’t do these things and don’t follow my example….. 😉

>> 7 Easy Ways Millennials Can Save Money Right Now by Gen Y Girl. Honestly anyone can save money these ways, and with the Holidays upon us, who doesn’t want some extra spending money! It’s not on the list but I’ve been using Shopkick and have already earned some gift cards! I’d do a post on it, but y’all know there’s much better tutorials out there. Google it!

>> Getting the Most Use Out of Your Holiday Dress by Bouvardian. By adding this post to the round-up I’m being really optimistic that I’ll actually have any Holiday parties to go to…Kidding, I’ll have at least two, work and friends. Which means either I buy a second party dress (not likely) or learn to style it a second way. Also possibly even wear to work!

Seriously, so I even remember how to write? Doesn’t seem like it lately……So link up your posts so I can fill up my time with something!

The Blonder Side of Life
The Blonder Side of Life

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Christmas Traditions From Your Favorite Bloggers

Hello Friends!

It’s December! What? Ok fine tomorrow it’s December, but basically the day after Thanksgiving makes it Christmas so really December.

But whether today or tomorrow, it’s upon us and that means full-blown Holiday fever!

Obviously there will be many posts about gifts and presents and don’t get me wrong, I’ll have a few of those myself coming up if I can get my act together and Not take a week off of blogging again.

But the gifts aren’t what the Holiday spirit is all about, it’s about family and friends, being with your loved ones and giving back to those around you.

My family is huge on traditions. We do the same things year after year and I couldn’t get enough of it! I love traditions!!

 

christmas traditions from favorite bloggers

However, my family is all the way down in TN while I let JB move me up to MA this year. That jerk, making me love him 😉

But this is my blog so I’m pretty muich obligated to share some of the traditions of my family no matter where they are.

  • My Mom and I usually bake all the same treats every year. Sugar cookies, cinnamon rolls, and dream bars are a must every year. Fudge with and without nuts of course. And if we’re feeling adventurous, caramels.
  • My Dad, Sister and I venture out to Dollywood to watch the performances and drink the hot chocolate.
  • We always put our tree up Thanksgiving weekend of course.
  • As we were growing up, we all got a new ornament to represent our lives that year so we have a very eclectic tree. It’s so fun to look back over the ornaments every year though and remember why we picked a certain one.

Those are just a few things we do every year. However with my “new” family, aka JB, I need new traditions to make mine, so I thought I’d ask some of my blogger friends what their traditions are instead! I gave fair warning that I might steal them for myself and they still gave willingly. What friends!

 

LittleAslam

Myra from The Little Aslam

Every year, we go to look at Christmas lights and we always make a stop for coffee & hot cocoa beforehand. Usually it’s just Amir & I going to enjoy the lights together wherever we are and when we were in Houston, we used to go to Town Center with all of the siblings to go look at the lights and just to goof off (they usually had decor that you could take pictures with, so we used to do that)!

BourbonLipstickStilletos

Lindsay from Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilettos

We spend Christmas Eve with my paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There are 9 grandchildren on this side of the family, and we all take turns reading verses from Luke about the birth of Jesus. I’m 30 and still look forward to this every year! It’s such a special night and it’s wonderful to stop and remember what Christmas is really about.

500DaysEngagement

Jen from 500 Days of Engagement

Family: My family is originally from Pennsylvania/New York, so the holidays just aren’t the same when it’s 80 degrees. The one thing that still makes it feel like Christmas is going to a candlelight service every Christmas Eve. Our church sings carols and ends the service at midnight with “Silent Night”, and it’s the most perfect introduction to the big day. I never miss it.

Couple: As bizarre as this sounds, my fiance and I have a tradition of going to New York City at the end of every year. The first time, we went right before Christmas and saw all of the pretty shop decorations and went ice skating at Rockefeller. The second year, we went for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and then stuck around for the Christmas decorations to pop up. It’s the best time of the year in NYC and of course we Texans go out of our minds with joy when it snows. I think it’ll be a forever tradition for us!

[Tweet “A few of your favorite bloggers and their Christmas traditions!”]

GritsBlog

Ashley from The Grits Blog

My favorite family tradition is a new one that I started during my first year of marriage. We started opening one gift on Christmas Eve together and it’s just so special and wonderful! We also have a low-key pizza night on Christmas Eve then have a big family breakfast on Christmas day. Food is a big part of our family and always brings us together – but for some reason it just tastes so much better during the holidays 🙂

HeleneBetween

Helene from Helene in Between

The Annual Flournoy Family Christmas Party
Every year, since before I was born, since before my parents were even together, there was a family Christmas party on Christmas eve in each of their respective homes. (Side note, my parents lived 3 blocks away from each other and have one of my favorite love stories ever). They carried on the tradition of the Christmas party, but moved it to the weekend before because I worried that Santa might skip over our house since there were so many people inside. Each year, anywhere from100-200 people come. I most definitely tear up after a few glasses of my spiced hard cider and see all of the people I love in one room.

 So there ya have a few blogger’s traditions, now I want to hear YOURS!

Do you go somewhere every year? Bake the same treats? Listen to the same music? Spill it all down in the comments

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Secret Blogger Club (23)

Welcome to Thursday,

I seriously am so tired this week and today is only my hump day. Working Tues-Sat really throws off my whole week. :/

And guys….If you follow me on Instagram (why don’t you? Rude) you’ll know that I’ve been buying All the yarn! Why? I’m glad you asked, and no I’m not an elderly recluse with no friends. Actually, I’ve stepped up my crochet/knitting game and have been making lots of Christmas gifts. I started in October……That’s how many gifts I’ve been planning to make.

The problem is, since they’re all gifts I can’t show anyone all the cool things I’ve been making. Like seriously I’ve even impressed myself with the difficulty of these crafts.

Wow, that was super braggy…..I don’t even care, they look rad! After Christmas I’ll do an entire post dedicated to all the creations that I’ve been crankin out!

And in case you missed it, I wrote my THIRD installment of the Not a Bigger Blogger Series that wasn’t even meant to be a series!

But back to the reason you’re even here…..

Secret Blogger Club Title

Secret Blogger Club 

Here’s the round-up, stop by, comment, make some friends!

>> Minday Kaling is My Spirit Animal by Faster Than Forever. Um yes….I may only have a check next to the clumsy one, but this is hilarious anyway. I find Mindy Kaling funny, and despite not being anything alike, I want her as a friend.

>> 5 Ways to Be More Present During the Holidays by Mar on the Run. Yup, it’s time to talk about the Holidays friends. The Holiday’s are supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but instead for so many people it can quickly become the most stressful. No bueno. Let’s all promise to be a bit more present these next couple months and focus on what really matters. And I’m clearly talking about the Christmas cookies, duh.

>> 15 Things to Call Yourself Besides a Writer by Avoiding Atrophy. I don’t write for a living. I write for my job, but my job isn’t writing…make sense? So when people ask what I do my first response isn’t writer. However, how does one introduce that they blog? I will forever more refer to myself as a Program Coordinator AND a Language Artist Verb User when people ask me “so what do you do?” haha

>> World’s Most Awkward First Date by Stephanie Orefice. Seriously do yourself a favor and go read Stephanie live tweet session of the most awkward date ever! I even read parts out loud to JB and he chuckled a bit so you know the bar is set high.

>> Ways to Promote Posts and Increase Blog Traffic by Sweet Tea and Hydrangeas. I’m seriously horrible at this so I’ll let Mistle teach y’all about this one….It’s actually embarrassing how back I am at this….

Now link up!

The Blonder Side of Life
The Blonder Side of Life

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Why I’m Not a Bigger Blogger Part 3

Welcome November!

Er mid-November because apparently I can’t be bothered. Actually, all my files got deleted so only things hangin out in random places got spared. This just so happened to be one of them so lucky you, you get Part 3 of an installment that really I should be embarrassed to be writing lol.

I mean really, can you believe I’m writing a part 3 to this series? I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m not a Big Blogger but seriously 3 parts?? I’s just awful that I can name that many things that make me seemingly incapable of hitting the big time.

In case you haven’t read the other two, you can check out Part 1 and Part 2 of why I’m not a Bigger Blogger. I’d say they’re relatable but then again it’s my life so of course I can relate.

why im not a bigger blogger

So what’s the big deal anyway? Why would I even Want to be a Big Blogger? Are you dumb? Kidding, but seriously, doesn’t everyone dream of one day making it big and having companies just pay for them to jet-set around the world staying in fancy hotels and doing all the fun things? Ok maybe, that’s not exactly my end goal, but getting the occasional kick-back to help pay off my loans wouldn’t hurt.

However, after blogging for about 2.5 years, I actually like the place I’ve settled into blogging-wise. I feel like I’m actually writing about things that matter to me and I’ve been connecting to some awesome ladies. I brought the Secret Blogger Club back just for that reason so everyone can connect with other bloggers. As a smaller blogger we can sometimes get buried under the bigger ones and it’s hard to get our voice and blogs out there. Enter the SBC. A platform for bloggers to get their content out there and connect with each other. All are welcome!

Ok, plug over….

Without further ado, let’s get right down to it. Here’s 5 more reasons I haven’t hit that Big Blogger status. Double le sigh 😉

ONE

I can’t command the actions of hundreds or thousands. I held an Instagram challenge in October and through the whole month I had a total of 215 posts that used the hashtag. I should point out that many of those were people showing off their blonde hair for some salon so we can effectively cut down that number as well. To compare, there’s a few bloggers that on a whim create a hashtag for their followers to use and in the first few hours accrue a couple hundred photos with the hashtag. An influencer I am not….

Ok with that, I am…..

TWO

I’m not on Snapchat or Periscope. Apparently these are things. Two things that I will never get on board with. I’m already not a fan of most social media and like to be unplugged as much as possible so using Snapchat or Periscope are two bandwagons I won’t be joining. More power to those who enjoy these two forms of media of course and I may be shooting myself in the foot for not being one of them, but if I can’t even be bothered with Twitter half the time, I don’t need to be snappin pics for y’all to keep up with my extremely uneventful life. Really, you’re welcome…

I know to really hit the big time you need to be present on social media channels. Sorry not sorry blog-self, this won’t be you….

THREE

I have yet to make any real money off this bad boy. I make some, sure. Maybe I’m doing this thing all wrong. Probably am. But my content isn’t really something people go all ga-ga over. I blog about my life. My life isn’t anything fancy, therefore no adoring fans. Except you Mom and Dad! So while I do offer sponsorship’s, I do it to help others not make a bucket load, and I do write sponsored posts occasionally, but I’m not banking on quitting my job any time soon. So yup, basically I’m doing this all wrong….

[Tweet “Just 5 more reasons I’m not a “bigger” blogger and why you shouldn’t care “]

FOUR

I’m Never Ahead of the Seasons. You mean Halloween is this weekend? Let me post my DIY Halloween costume the day of, that’s helpful to other people. Seriously, this is my blogging strategy and it only gets me so far…as in not far at all. I am a planner by nature but when it comes to planning ahead for posting about Holiday stuff it basically happens right on the holiday, or a few days before if I happen to have my ish together that week. maybe one day I’ll bring you awesome Holiday content a whole two weeks before it happens, who knows, I like to dream big!

Oh yea Thanksgiving is coming up, maybe I should think of something seasonal to write about…..

FIVE 

Inevitably I drop the ball on scheduling. I usually post MWF with the Secret Blogger Club going live every Thursday. MWF has been my proposed blog schedule since I started this whole shindig, however if you look back there have been days I didn’t post. Mostly because I had nothing good to say.  Maybe that’s actually a sign of a good blogger, not bogging down your content with sub-par posts. But really it’s a sign of being too lazy ahead of time to actually think of something good to post…I like to make myself feel better and call it a creative slump. The truth is I was too busy knitting, reading, or potentially binge watching One Tree Hill again to even attempt a creative gold strike.

So that about sums up my blogger status…I’m not sure if I’m proud or just extremely lazy and full of excuses to now have 15 reasons I’m, not a bigger blogger. (See the first 5 and the second 5).

Whatever the reason though, I love this blog and I love the friends I make writing it.

Also shameless plug, I love the weekly linkup that was created because of posts like this. (Secret Blogger Club)

So now it’s your turn, why are you not a bigger blogger?

Better yet, leave your blog in the comments and you just might be featured in the SBC!

And of course don’t forget to come back every Thursday to linkup with me!

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