Today on The Blog Lowdown, I’m delighted to be hosting Carol, from Virtually All Sorts

Please Introduce yourself:
Hi I’m Carol and I’m excited to welcome you into my blogging world with the lovely Jocelyn and The Blog Lowdown. I’m a wife, I’m a mummy, I’m me! My blogging is my passion (after my family of course). I absolutely love writing and blogging at VirtuallyAllSorts… Why not try it out for yourself? Be careful though because it IS addictive ;)

When did you start blogging?
My first leap into the blogging world was around 3 years ago with a baking blog. I had rekindled my love of baking and was curious about the online community called blogging so I gave it a whirl. My posts were sporadic at best. Then, as I realised I could use my blog for creative writing and general thoughts, my blog evolved into Virtually All Sorts, where I now blog at least 3 times a week about literally virtually all sorts (a play on ‘everything’ and also the digital age we are surrounded by such as ebooks – in my posts I link back to my website where my ebooks are for sale). Virtually All Sorts morphed into a separate blog entirely (MummyBearsBlog) in December 2013. This was to allow an outlet for my parenting posts without crossing the line because perhaps some of my readers were not interested in my parenting escapades! It also allowed me to keep my interests separate on my blogs. (So add my other blog to that and I post a least 8 times a week.) Nothing compared to some bloggers perhaps, but when I see it down in black and white, well it certainly keeps me busy!

Who designed your blog?
I designed my blog as a whole (well okay WordPress did!!) A friend designed the green tick that you can see in my sidebar which denotes the ‘V’ in ‘virtually’. Though in the very near future I’m hoping to go self-hosted, when I will dabble with a few tweaks here and there and also introduce a linky which I’m VERY excited about!…

Which of your posts have been the most popular? Are there certain types that get more interest?
One of my favourite parts of blogging is seeing which of my posts are most popular. That’s not to say that I get hung up on stats because I truly don’t. In my opinion, the day I get hung up on stats is the day to ask myself why I’m blogging…

However, I am curious each month to see my most popular posts and last month I tweeted the top 4. This month I’m doing the same. It’s interesting for me as a writer to do this and a quick glance over the past year tells me that these are my top posts (bearing in mind my blog was one ‘entity’ until December…):

‘Hellp’ save a life… In just a few clicks (as a pre-eclampsia & HELLP syndrome survivor, I’m passionate about raising awareness of this evil pregnancy condition…

This time 4 years ago (looks back at the night before I gave birth to our little bear and all the emotions involved…)

Follow the blog-clickety click (a post on how I was following more blogs, not just posting, which is all part of the blogging experience of course!)

“Doorway” ~ why a blog is like a house (a poem that I loved writing which compares a blog to a house. It was also my first post for The Theme Game linky!)

The HELLP post got double the views, which is perhaps because it’s a call to action… the others all have pretty much the same popularity and all of my posts tend to be part of linkys (they’re so much fun and offer some discipline to my blogging world…)

How do you promote your blog posts, and which methods do you find to be most successful?
I’ve always used twitter primarily, followed by Facebook and more recently Pinterest. Twitter always gives more referrals but lately, pinterest is bringing up the rear. Personally, I love using both of these platforms equally and can lose far too much time on both – utilising and reading! Google + is on my ‘must try harder’ list…

Which linkys do you most enjoy joining in with/reading?
Ah linkys… I love, love, love linkys. I find them to be a challenge at times, in so far as writing regular, original, not to mention engaging, content goes. I find it to be a discipline between everything else going on in my daily life and pushing myself (and sometimes it is a push!) to get scheduled up, then promoting… No sooner have I finished one then it’s time to work on the next. My ‘problem’ is that I can’t resist a good linky.

My favourites are The Theme Game, Word of the Week (both with someone called Jocelyn at The Reading Residence?!… And Iona at Redpeffer) and The Prompt with Sara at MumTurnedMom. I’ve recently discovered Prose for Thought and Post Comment Love with Vicky Welton too. I hope to be taking part in these in the next few weeks. Time will tell – in more ways than one! I’m also determined to write more flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers to link up with Rochelle at Addicted to Purple.

I do enjoy taking part and reading in equal measure and am constantly in awe of the flash fiction.

When are your busiest days on the blog, and why? (if you know why!)
Tuesdays and Fridays tend to be busiest for me. No doubt because of those linkys!

Can you name 3 things that blogging has brought you?
Blogging has brought me into an extraordinary online world of friendship, common ground and creativity. As a writer/author, it has given me a platform to publish my work and something of mine to be proud of. As a mum, it has given me a hobby that I can enjoy past bear-bedtime whatever hubby’s shifts are any given week.

So friendship, common ground and creativity.

top 5 tips for newbie bloggersMy top five tips are:
Definitely top is – Just. Be. Yourself. You’ll find the posts flow more easily, the ideas will be brimming and people will be more likely to come back to your blog.

Don’t be tempted to keep up with the top bloggers if you can’t spare the time and/or energy. Think back to why you started blogging and only ever blog with that reason in mind. So what if your blog post hasn’t got dozens of comments? Another may have. Even if it hasn’t, does it really matter, as long as you’re enjoying it?

Comment on blogs that you enjoy. There’s nothing worse than feeling that you’ve got to comment on a blog that you really don’t enjoy…

Link away. Linkys are amazingly easy and SO much fun! I guarantee that if you read/comment as well as post, you’ll have make friends and have lots of fun :)

Use an anti spam plug-in. I use Askimet on both of my wordpress blogs and I wouldn’t be without it because it saves me tons of time!

My Social Media Links:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest

Pssst, my parenting blog is mummybearsblog.wordpress.com @MummyBearsBlog

My Button

Thanks very much, Carol! I love your enthusiasm about linkys, and it’s always nice to hear mine are enjoyed, too ;-) I do think linkys are great for ‘meeting’ other bloggers and you get to read some brilliant posts this way, that you might not have stumbled across otherwise.

If you’ve any questions for Carol, feel free to comment on this post, and she’ll pop by and check in. Next week, we will be hearing from Aby over at You Baby Me Mummy, so be sure to pop by for that on Sunday evening. You can catch up the previous posts from other bloggers here, too, if you’ve missed them.

If you’d like to feature on The Blog Lowdown, just get in touch with me at jocelyn@thereadingresidence.com. Posts are booked up for the next few weeks, but I’ll be happy to book you in as soon as there’s an available slot :)

To ensure you don’t miss any, you can now sign up for my newsletter, and I’ll always include The Blog Lowdown round up in those.

Other posts you might like:

A Blogger’s Guide to Pinterest

10 Tips to Get your Blogging Mojo Back

Follow on Bloglovin

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3 thoughts on “The Blog Lowdown – Virtually All Sorts

  1. Great tips! I think being yourself is so important – and sometimes things can happen that make you wander away from the ‘you’ in your blog, it’s great to refocus on being yourself sometimes!
    I comment on a lot of blogs, and read a lot of blogs, but I now have a Bloglovin category of blogs I love that I read religiously, others I only read on occasions.
    Linkys are great! x
    Donna recently posted…Pets and ChildrenMy Profile

  2. Great post! I agree with you; it is so important to be yourself and blog because you are enjoying it, not because you feel like you have to post something. Posting 8 times a week is a lot, though! I have no idea how you do it. I manage to post twice a week and I normally have a photo for #SilentSunday as well, but that is as much as I do as I enjoy giving myself lots of time to read other blogs. I am always amazed at the variety of blogs out there! Linkies are certainly a great way to find out about other blogs. Mel

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