Monday, June 22, 2015

Dear Younger Me: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging // guest post

 Hey everyone, Hannah here! I'm super duper excited to share this amazing post written by the lovely Chloe with you today. 
I know I'm due to post an update on what we've been up to - it's been a busy few weeks, but I'm hoping to post very soon! In the meantime, sit back and enjoy this wise and GIF-filled beauty. :) Over to you, Chloe!

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Hop into the Tardis, go back three years, and you'll see me sitting on my bed under a blue ceiling, hunched over the little Sony computer that we (still!) own.  Every now and then you might see me grab a handful of M&Ms (chocolate is life, bro), and with a worried crease in my forehead, resume working. Curious? You need only look over my shoulder and see the pages of Blogger coding to understand my SEVERE FRUSTRATION.

You see, when Hannah asked me to talk about what I wish I'd known when I first started, I was definitely not at a loss for examples!  Hopefully you can glean something from my stories, be ye newbie or pro.  Maybe you'll even be hugely inspired! 

Networking Pro GIF

Jusstttt kidding. The more likely scenario is that you'll realize your blogger beginning was much less rocky then mine, and for that, I commend you.

10. Use paragraph breaks! For some reason, I had this wild notion that because the word "rambling" was in my blog title, it gave me license to then ramble on and on without any paragraph breaks.  I would talk and talk and talk and talk and then finally there would be a moment where I would go:

Where was I going with this?

Before I would try to bring it to a semi-decent close.  Just- no!  Your audience needs to see white space a lot more then you would think :D Break up your posts with paragraphs!

9. Gifs exist.  I COULD tell you all the nitty-gritty details about gifs, where I found them, how gif stands for Graphics Interchange Format (who knew, right?), yata yata yata.   But you don't need to know that! You just need to know that gifs are the blood and sweat of a blogger, and one of the best feelings is when you find the gif that perfectly describes everything you're feeling!  It definitely calls for a happy dance.

This guy who makes even the gym look exciting: OMG THIS MAN IS MY HERO
This guy, though- he knows how to bust out the moves!

8. There are other bloggers out there!  This is the nugget of all wisdom, y'all.  Community is a HUGE part of blogging. Just think about it; if everyone simply wrote their little blog posts, filled them with gifs and pictures and plenty of paragraph breaks, but then ended it there- nobody would ever read what you worked so hard on!
You love comments, comment on theirs. You love followers, so go follow people! I can't stress this enough! The golden rule stands in the blogger world too.
I remember the first time someone I didn't know commented on my post; it felt like fireworks had gone off in my stomach I was so excited! (although fireworks in your stomach really sounds quite unpleasant. how about no. just-no fireworks)

7. Music makes writing go way faster.  Do you have a secret Spotify playlist that you listen to only when you blog?  I don't either.  But come to think of it, that's a brilliant idea!  You should make one and let me know how you like it!

6. Copious handfuls of sour patch kids also help.

24 reasons to be thankful for John Krasinski. Click to see the gif.

5. Post titles ARE important.  How many times have you scrolled past a post because it didn't "sound like something you'd enjoy reading"?   Some examples of my worst moments as a post-title-guru:

"Randomness from the life of me", <--- no way!  Randomness??  From Chloe??? I did NOT see that coming!
"Not to be cliché...", <--- as I go on to write about said-cliché topic, "19 excuses for why I don't write" <-- the grammar makes me cringe. 
Post titles should grab your audiences' attention.  That coupled with a stellar picture is a recipe for success!

4.  Imitation isn't always the sincerest form of flattery. There are extremes to every rule, and I was that extreme.  I had a friend who entered the blogger world before me, so naturally I looked up to her and copied a lot of what she did.  
She made a contact page, I did too.  She found a new free background site?  I had to know the link!  I was like a stalker on steroids- I wanted my blog to look as nice as hers!
It took awhile, but I finally came to my senses and realized how frustrating this must be for her!
Maybe you're this friend, and don't even realize it.  I've been on both sides, and it's a tricky situation because it can be very flattering when someone likes what you've done enough to want to use it on their blog.  I think it's awesome to take an idea and then tweak it, make it your own. But word to the wise: don't overdue it!

3. Invest in a camera. If you've decided to take blogging more seriously, you're going to want a good camera!  And although you don't need an SLR right off the bat, with lenses and flashes and the whole shambang (however nice that all is!) you should definitely look into something that isn't your run-o-the-mill random brand camera.

tumblr_me2gt3gl061qltqg1.gif (245×138)

2.  Don't take yourself too seriously. We as readers know when you're trying too hard, and we also know when you're writing because you absolutely love it and are passionate about it. Blogging is a funny business, so don't get so caught up in the how's and whys that you forget to have fun with it!

1. Kid president, finish us off:

 tumblr_inline_nl10c7bJiU1to0svv.gif (350×194)

Because, seriously, if you are your awesome self, ain't nothing gonna stand in your way!

Chloe, blogger at Curious Ramblings, is a junior who loves jamming out to her own beat, coffee shop atmospheres, and her people.  Most importantly, she loves her Savior and likes to express this love by writing from the heart about this messy life!  If you peek into her room you'll find her staying way too late reading and eating peanut butter ice cream. 

Follow her on 
Bloglovin to hear more of her daily ramblings!


  1. Fantastic post. I suffered from many of the same issues as a beginning blogger... and I've still got a whole lot to learn. I am thankful that my first blog, the one-ginormous-paragraph ramblings of a thirteen-year-old, was set to private : )

    1. Don't we all, though?! Even after 3 years I still look up to other bloggers and go "woah". That's the magic of it- blogging is a process and, I think, always will be! So you just keep being awesome, Susanna *fistbump*

  2. 7 + 6 though! Amen!
    Gifs are awesome, and so is Kid President. That is all. :)
    You have some pretty great advice girl! I will probably forever feel like I'm a newbie blogger, even though I've been doing this for almost four years... I guess we never stop learning our trade.

    1. Sour patch kids are so worth the money. Every time =D
      I agree! and I think it's so cool that even when you're at the stage that you are, you can still relate to those who haven't been blogging as long. Pretty awesome, huh?

  3. This post was fantastic!! :D I've bloggged for less than a year!

    1. meant to add
      "And these tips are SUPER helpful!"

    2. Thanks, Evie! Hey, keep at it girl. Even if sometimes it's slow as molasses I want you to just keep swimming, swimming through the syrup and the minimal comments and few followers and seriously, don't quit! It's worth it :D

    3. No worries! and aww thank you! :D Somehow I have gained all these followers but I just don't know what to post about.. any ideas?

  4. A blogging playlist sounds like an excellent idea: I shall have to experiment with that! I have to agree with all these points too, and it's nice to know that I'm not the only blogger that started out with no clue how to actually blog! And there's always more to learn. :)

    1. You and me both, haha! I'm liking the special playlist idea more and more.
      I was as clueless as a chameleon in a bag full of skittles. Yup, that bad. I stumbled around and experimented and messed up quite a bit, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of things ;)

  5. GIFs on point, Chloe!! GIFs are pretty much the best thing ever.

    I loved this post. Are you a fan of Doctor Who? (TARDIS reference is the greatest) If you are, then *high five*! Music totally makes blogging 10x easier, faster, and more fun. Having a playlist is a great idea. And YAY to Kid President!

    1. Tell me about it! Gifs are my bread and butter!!!! I may or may not hide them under my pillow each night. :o

      Shameful confession; I am not a Whovian. BUT one of my best friends just happens to be one and I can pick up a Doctor Who reference or two just by being around her and crazy people like her ^_^

    2. Oh gurrrrrrl. You need to watch Doctor Who. Greatest show ever. But I get you there, before I started watching it I already knew some lines/references because a couple of my friends were so into it.

  6. GIF use makes my life!!! I need to take lessons from you. ;) These are great tips! Definitely struggled with a few of these when I started out...mostly clicking on the "page view" button a thousand million times, because I thought the number of views I got made me a better blogger.

    (most of them were from myself, but watching the clicker go up made me happy anyways! haha)

    1. Haha you're too sweet :-) Pinterest gif boards are my go-to, every time!

      OH MY GOSH YES. And then I would try to un-click the option that still counted my page views but it never workkkeeeddd and I was so sad. The struggle is real!

  7. This is perfection literally all of this is me. All new bloggers should read this post. *casually makes post into t-shirt and wears for days*

    O | Life as a Young Lady

  8. A very fun post, Chloe, and it is interesting to look back and see how our blogs have grown over the years, how we learn the most "basic" blogging things that we may not have known about when we first started, and best of all, the friendships one does are truly always the best thing ever!

    Gifs can be fun too, right?! :D

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  10. Yes! I was so happy when I figured out how to use gifs! I'm still clueless about a ton of stuff on Blogger, but I'm learning... And I still take myself too seriously when I'm blogging! Oooh, a blogging playlist sounds like a fabulous idea. BTW, do you know where the 'Obviously' gif is from?

    1. GIFS ROCK. Doesn't Chloe have a ton of good ideas? I think that "obviously" gif is from The Office, by the way!

  11. I just stumbled along your blog and absolutely love this post. I look forward to reading more of your posts. I've been in the blogger world for about a year but am rebranding myself and my blog. Check out my blog, if you'd like!