Blogging conundrums for non-visual types, plus other quick takes

1. I had a couple hours free the other day and I started packing.  Nine boxes full, plus a big bag of stuff to get rid of.  It feelsF1 9.12.12 great!  Now if only we knew when and where we are moving.

2. I attended a blog conference last weekend, thanks to Julie Walsh‘s amazing hospitality and good planning.  It was awesome.  I got to meet blogging friends Julie, Rosie, Lisa, Cristina T., Cristina R., Erica, Mary and Abbey for the first time, and I got to meet new friends too.

3.  Leah Libresco spoke at the conference.  Leah is an atheist-to-Catholic convert who blogs at Unequally Yoked.  Her book was just released yesterday, Arriving At Amen: 7 Catholic Prayers That Even I Can Offer, and I can’t wait to read it.

4. At the conference, Cristina T. spoke about the importance of having Pinterest-friendly images for your posts.  I get a fair number (for me) of hits from Pinterest, even though my graphics are horrible.  I imagine I could get a lot more traffic with a little time invested (though what’s the point of getting more traffic, since this makes me basically no money?  Hmmmm. . . .).  Anyway, every time I play around with making images on PicMonkey or Canva, they look dumb to me.

Like I took half an hour to play around on Canva, and ended up with this.  Maybe it’s okay, I don’t know.  But I couldn’t get it to save correctly (though I just now figured out a work around).  I ran out of time and patience.

6 (2)

I’ve gotten pretty confident (or at least not self-conscious) with my writing but graphics are a different matter.  The visual arts are just not my strong suit.

F1 9.12.12 v25. Speaking of blogging friends, I also get hits occasionally from kind bloggers who put me on their “blog roll.”  A lot of bloggers have this.  Do you pay much attention to them?

I have a list at the bottom of my blog, consistent of people I know in real life (“IRL”) who happened to have blogs when I started mine.  And I haven’t changed the list since then, even though there are lots more people I know now IRL who have blogs.  Plus I follow, like, 150+ blogs.  But I don’t read each of their posts every time.  So basically I don’t even know where to start with a blog roll.  And what if you put someone on your blog roll but stop reading them; how do you politely take them off?

6. I am digging Carey  Mulligan ‘s no-makeup look on the cover of the current issue of Vogue.


I’ve been rocking the no-makeup look lately, but Vogue hasn’t come knocking on my door yet.  😉

7.  Happy weekend everyone.  Click over to Kelly for more 7 Quick Take posts.

24 thoughts on “Blogging conundrums for non-visual types, plus other quick takes

  1. I love packing stuff up. Unpacking not so much.
    The conference was great! I can’t wait to do it again.
    Making graphics gets easier with practice, but the process still stress me out. I have not tried Canva yet. I only use PicMonkey. I think your graphic looks fine. I am no expert, but you can fade the banner a bit, so the image is visible through it. That seems to be the “thing” to do.
    I just started my blogroll a couple weeks ago. I have heard that it is a great way to build community. I am still adding blogs to it. I follow over 100 blogs as well, and it takes a bit of time to add each blog link. Like you, I don’t make money blogging, so I have to spend my time wisely. 🙂

  2. Almost there, with the image!!! Your url could be center aligned in the image, and you would have been golden (for your pinterest image!)Maybe make the text white? In any case, I don’t know what you’re talking about – you’re pretty good with the visuals mama! The point of getting more trafic, is getting more readers, so when you want to do something, if you want to do something, you’ve got peeps around ya to listen! It was SO great meeting you last weekend. Feels like forever ago, and that makes me sad. xo

  3. I like the graphic! I’d change the filter on the background image – maybe cross process it? It’s a little too bright for the heading, which makes it pop a little less.

    And blog rolls! I’m so conflicted on those – I love when I get hits from other sites’ blog rolls, but I’m like you, I follow a MILLION blogs and I feel like it’s so much pressure to choose which ones I *actually* read, and I don’t want to hurt any feelings when I might not read another blogger’s blog who follows me… It’s too stressful, so I just avoid it!

    • Filter? Cross process ? Whaaa? 😣. I’ve noticed people use the transparent overlay sort of thing when putting text over a picture but can’t figure it out. Maybe I should use a tutorial instead of trying to figure it out myself and giving up after ten minutes??

  4. The conference was so wonderful! So glad we connected in person and sorry we didn’t get to chat more. I don’t have an option to have a blog roll on my blog, but I have to admit that I rarely click through to a blog I see on a blog roll. I’ve been playing with Picmonkey too, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. And I’m still not sure I want to take the Pinterest plunge… even though Cristina makes a very compelling argument for it!

  5. I don’t have a blog roll that’s “public” but I have my feedly where i follow a bunch of people, so when I take them off it’s all good 😉

  6. Ahhhh graphics… I just don’t see the point with my blog, because I’m not really out to make money or even get lots of new readers. I get nervous when people link to my blog on facebook. I’m a bad blogger! And as for blog rolls, well, I’ve been removed for some blog rolls and… I’m trying not to hold a grudge about it. Which is ridiculous because I don’t even care about getting new readers for my blog! Argh.

    • And by the way, I like the graphic that you made for Style and the SAHM! It looks like a winner to me. 🙂

  7. Love the graphic! They take me forever too- choosing an overlay, fonts, colors…it fries my brain. And I’m just going to say that my least favorite thing about blogging is the whole following/ blog roll deal b/c of how much I let it affect me when I lose followers etc.- which is absurd b/c it doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things! I try to keep the blogs of people I know IRL or at least communicate w/ on my blog roll but then if someone hasn’t blogged in over a year or something I consider taking them off but don’t want to hurt feelings (not that they even would notice)…it’s all so complicated; I wish there was blogging protocol. 🙂

  8. Well … I’m now a person you know IRL who DOESNT blog anymore so take me off that list if you haven’t already. And here’s the funny thing — I love the visual side of it so how about you just send me pics you want for graphics and I’ll play with it because I enjoy it immensely. But the writing part? Not so much. Win win. Sometimes I spend so much time editing those pics I post on Photostream as if you, the sibs, and the ‘rents really care. Anyway, I just wish you’d post more … with or without Pinteresty graphics!

  9. Ugh, the visual thing. I’m the world’s worst at it. It’s even harder if you don’t want to put a picture of your “real self” on it, because how do you make it feel…. not sterile? In college I made spreads for the yearbook using InDesign that were pretty rad, but you’d never know it based on my current skills 🙂

  10. I like blogrolls because when I land on a new-to-me blog they give me a strong sense of where that blogger fits into the blogosphere. Who do they read? Who are they inspired by? Who are they influenced by?

    I also like blogrolls because it is a good way to build community and send visitors to other blogs. But I know what you mean about having to decide. I still remember the day I made Jen Fulwiler’s blogroll – I felt like I had arrived! And every once in awhile I check Grace Patton’s to see if I’ll ever make – haven’t yet. And that’s okay. I’m okay with it – really.

    I would encourage you to have a blogroll of the 10 blogs you read every week, or the first ones you binge on when you have time to read blogs. Put your online and irl friends on there, but the BIG names you love, put a couple little ones you think are “best kept secrets” and call it good. You don’t have to have everyone in your feed, but it’s nice to put at least the 10 you love the best. No one will be insulted – we all have bigger fish to fry. 🙂

  11. Did you see Carey featured in WSJ weekend? I haven’t read it yet.

    Once in a blue moon I’ll make graphics as a slide in Power Point, then just “save as”a JPEG file

  12. Ohhh, I like that photo of Carey, too. And I also have been rocking that no makeup look…way too often (and the non-blow-dried hair look, ack). I feel you on making graphics. I found it seriously confusing when I first started, but I really prefer Canva over PicMonkey for user-friendliness, and I find the more I try and experiment, the better they look. But, like you, I think my strength is in my writing, and NOT graphic design. 🙂

    • It’s encouraging to hear that! Just now, I’ve been working on a new graphic in PicMonkey (still deciding btwn it and Canva). . . . I feel all self-conscious, like, “Is this me? Am I faking being a blogger with pretty graphics?” But that’s a dumb reason not to at least try it out right?

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