Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Coffee Chats: Blogging

Coffee Chats

Hello, and welcome to the first ever Coffee Chat! This chat is hosted by Holly from Moments On Our Journey (with a mug of Folgers Vanilla Biscotti) and Nicole from A Living Sacrifice (joining you over a cup of Seattle's Best...Level 5, in case you were wondering).

The topic we have picked for our first Coffee Chat is: blogging. Yes, we know that blogging about blogging seems a little redundant, but we want you to know the passion behind us and our blogs, and share our favorite reads with you. In return, we would love for you to participate in the commments section! So without further ado, here are our thoughts on blogging.

Holly: I started blogging because I loved reading other people's blogs so much. That, and the fact that I needed a creative outlet during those crazy college days. So I grabbed a free Blogger URL and started typing (with no clue as to what I was doing, mind you).

Nicole: Of course, who ever knows what they are doing when they start?

Holly: You started with Blogger too, didn't you?

Nicole: Yeah, I sure did, and I still use it. I started blogging the beginning of my last semester of college. My honest-to-goodness reason for starting my blog was because I read Holly's, and it seemed like fun! I had always had this secret wish to be a writer (I have about a dozen half-finished manuscripts laying around somewhere) and blogging seemed to be a good way to make that somewhat of a reality.

Holly: (Everyone wants to be like me! NOT!)

Nicole: Since then, I've started reading dozens more blogs, and enjoy letting people keep up with my crazy busy life.Why did you switch to Wordpress?

Holly: Honestly, I never would have used it if my tech-y husband Andrew hadn't encouraged me too. It looked really scary and much less user-friendly than Blogger (that has changed, by the way), but I loved that I could have more control over customizing it. Andrew was a major help with the HTML and design of my site.Have you thought about switching?

Nicole: Yes, however, I don't have an Andrew in my house to help me with it. :) Now that Blogger has changed, I'm really enjoying that, so I don't think I will make the switch right off. The whole idea of having to start a new blog scares me too. Then I'd have old posts on two different sites...seems confusing. There may be a way to remedy that, but I don't know what it is. Do you run into that at all?

Holly: I actually made the switch when I switched blogs. Believe it or not, I've had three blogs (I tend to collect things I really like, apparently!) and the newest one is by far my favorite. I knew I would lose some readers in that transition, but it made the most sense for me to start with a clean slate. I can't imagine switching a whole blog over, but Google it and I'm sure you'll find tons of help if you ever decide to do that.
So what's the best part of blogging for you?

Nicole: I really enjoy putting posts together (largely in my head, I must admit) and seeing the response that my blog gets from different people. It is a fun way to connect with friends! So often during the day I'll dream up some great post, you know, about something as mundane as washing my toilet. But most of those never make it to the blog. (for obvious reasons!)

Holly: LOL!

Nicole: I guess the whole experience has made me look at things a different way and see more potential and color in the things around me...things I never would expect other people to care about, but surprisingly, they do! What do you think?

Holly: I completely agree. People tend to think that blogging has to be a super exciting event or a major project. Most bloggers just blog about everyday things. 

Nicole: And those are often my favorite.

Holly: The hardest part for me is remembering to take pictures of that stuff!

Nicole: Um, yeah, I totally don't do well with that either.

Holly: What has been your most-read post?

Nicole: By far the post about my planning binder that I created with help from Jen of I {Heart} Organizing. If anyone needed proof that linking up to other blog helped create more traffic...I've got that proof.

Holly: Oh me too! I linked up to Oh Amanda's Top Ten Tuesdays several weeks ago with a post on being critical, and people still find it via Google search.

Nicole: Yes, it has been 9 months now, and that post still gets hits every single day...its amazing.
But besides that link up, this extremely random post I wrote about things I accomplished in a day is the second most read post. Which exactly proves what we were just saying about blogging about every day things... apparently, people really do like that!

Holly: Absolutely!

Nicole: What is the biggest downside of blogging for you?

Holly: I think the hardest part of blogging for me is finding time to sit down and write half-way understandable words. I have so many ideas of things to write about, and then life happens (you know, like closing on a house two weeks early) and I find myself staring at a blog that hasn't been updated in two weeks. It's also hard to read a ton of successful blogs and not want to get caught up in all that...the money-making aspect of it. I'm learning just to relax and have fun with it, and to be honest, I don't even look at my blog traffic numbers (bad blogger here!).

Nicole: That is really a good thing...I don't want to be caught blogging just for the numbers, and forget to just be "me."

I think that would be some of my biggest advice for someone just starting a blog..just to blog from the heart. Don't worry if it isn't the most popular thing out there, or if no one comments on it, or if you only have 2 followers...just blog for you, keep in mind your reason for starting a blog, and have fun with it, no matter who reads it!

Holly: Hear! Hear!

Nicole: Because I'll just be honest, we can't all become The Pioneer Woman, no matter how great her blog/life/family/everything is, we're not all going to be her. So just be you. (I just used PW as an example, but seriously, shes got an amazing blog)

Holly: Also, be original. As much as we all love Young House Love, no one wants to read about how you copied everything they're doing (this coming from someone who is in the middle of painting all the trim in her house white. Ahem...). Write about original things.So, we've already mentioned a few blogs that we love, any others you want to share?

Nicole: I have to say one of my absolute favorites is It's Just Laine. My dad and her husband actually went to school together, but I really don't know her. Since finding her blog (thank you Holly) I've been an addict. And its no fair that shes so stinkin' cute. Just sayin.'

Holly: I get to meet up again with her in real life in three weeks for a yard sale/IKEA trip with mutual friends and can't wait! She's great!

Nicole: Totally. no. fair. Tell her I said hi. :)

Holly: Will do :)

Nicole: We have to tell our readers about that one blog that gives us our daily chuckle. Since we are both so addicted to it.

Holly: Of course....Catalog Living.

Nicole: If you are looking for a laugh for your day, check them out.

Holly: Yes, if you love decorating and sarcasm, this blog is for you.

Nicole: Heavy on the sarcasm.

Holly: On a more serious note. I really love Chatting at the Sky by Emily Freeman. I did a review of her book here, and her blog is amazing as well. Reading it just gives me a quiet pause to think and reflect every morning. Plus, her pictures are incredible!

Nicole: Sounds nice.

Holly: Do you have a favorite design/decor blog?

Nicole: You mean besides Young House Love? Because they are waaaaaay out in front...they are like my daily dose of virtual coffee. Can't live without 'em. But besides them, I also love I {heart} organizing. She has some super inspiration going on, and lots of pretty, colorful things. and I love colorful things.

Holly: She sure does.

Nicole: Have you ever tried something in real life that you learned from a fellow blogger? Some inspiration you've received?

Holly: Time management has been the biggest thing I've learned from blogging. Money Saving Mom, Blogging with Amy, 168 Hours, and Life...Your Way all have had great tips and advice on using time wisely to get the most done. They are inspiration, for sure.

Nicole: I think there are many valuable things that we can learn from other people, and blogs give us a way to "meet" those people and learn from them, even though we never would actually meet them in real life.

Holly: Absolutely. I have done so many more things decorating-wise than I ever would have had I not read blogs.

Nicole: So, my fellow blog-reading friends, its time for you to weigh in with your comments. We would love to hear from all the fellow-bloggers out there....what lights your fire when it comes to blogging? What is the best or worst part of running a blog? If you don't have your own blog, what are your favorites to read? What do you look for in a good blog? Do we meet the criteria? You don't have to answer that. :)


  1. You gals crack me up! Reading this totally took me back to dorm days...thanks!

  2. Glad you enjoyed! We have fun doing it!


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