Blogging Bits & Tips

BLOGI was recently inspired to help an old friend start a blog.  She is a brand new Mom who wants to share tidbits of her life with the blogosphere, and yes, she would like to earn a little extra income as well.

While I am by no means a blogging expert, I have definitely learned a lot about the subject over the last 18 months. It has become a passion, a hobby, and indeed a source of income.

As I began to offer directives to my friend, I realized just how complex and overwhelming blogging can seem to a newbie. She finally said to me after the umpteenth link I sent her to go read, “wow, this is so much to take in!”

I laughed at my eagerness (blogging excites me, you see) and said, “yeah, I should probably write a book!” I was half joking, of course, but really, there is so much to learn about this crazy world of social media that it would require a whole series of text books to teach!

Well, since I am not writing a book on the subject any time in the near future, I decided to do what I love most: blog it. But in baby steps.

Each week until I run out of stuff to say, I will be sharing some blogging “bits & tips” with y’all. One for bloggers, and one for blog readers.

Feel free to leave your questions about blogging here in comments, and while I can’t promise an answer to every one, I will do my very best.

Here are my first tips:

Most of my readers are actually not bloggers, so this one is for you :) — There is nothing a blogger loves more than getting comments. The reader interactions are what it’s all about! But we also love to see your smiling face. If you would like a little photo to appear next to your comments, there is a simple way to make that happen, no blogging required.

Register with, it’s free! Tied to your email address, you can upload an image that becomes your “avatar”. It will follow you from site to site. So go ahead, grab your favorite shot of you, your dog, or your adorable baby and leave me a comment! (This tip also applies to bloggers who use blogspot but would like their image to appear on a WordPress blog, like mine)

For my fellow bloggers — Just like anything in life, it is important to set goals for your blog. Determine before you even select that perfect URL what you hope your blog to become. Is it a personal blog for friends and family? Do you want to help others? Are you wanting to earn some money online?

Owning a piece of real estate in the blogosphere is a very special thing. It may one day lead you to your closest friends, or inspire you to try something new. Put them in writing, and re-evaluate your goals after some time has passed.


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About Alyssa Francis

A thirty-something wife and mother of four! Two daughters by birth, one son by marriage, and a sweet baby boy born in April of 2009. Oldest sister of four girls raised by a single mom. California native. Grew up in Hawaii. Somehow ended up in North Texas. Once a single mom. Former agnostic. A survivor of abuse and addiction. Forgiven by a great big God. Married to my best friend.


  1. I love to post my comments on blogs, and I also enjoy the responses I get to my comments. However, I do enjoy my privacy, so I don’t use gravatar. As an aspiring blogger myself, I can’t wait to read your tips on blogging.

  2. Thanks! This is a great idea!
    .-= Shelly´s last blog ..100th Google Follower! =-.

  3. Thanks for the tip on the gravatar! I didn’t know how to make my picture appear since I switched to WordPress. I added my photo now, so it should appear now :-) .
    .-= Corrie @ “Cents”able Momma´s last blog ..BJ’s: Free 60 Day Trial Membership =-.

  4. Denise,
    The best way to get followers on your blog is to read and comment on other people’s blog’s. When you have an interesting comment, or someone wants to know more about you, they will click on your name, go to your profile and then your blog. If they like what they see, then they can/will become a follower.
    Good Luck :)
    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..Oldies..But Goodies #4 =-.

  5. It is funny to me that you have only been blogging for 18 months. I started following you almost a year ago and I figured you had been doing it for years. I have been blogging for about 6 months. What advice can you give me about increasing traffic to my blog?

  6. I haven’t been blogging long at all. I have the same question as Denise and another one as well—how do you link to another website? Ex. if I find a great deal on, for instance,, how do I link it directly to my post?
    .-= Andrea´s last blog $5 off coupon code =-.

  7. june @ prissy dog clothes says:

    I am new to couponing and recently started following you. Thank you for all the help. I look forward to your small steps tips on blogging.
    .-= june @ prissy dog clothes´s last blog ..Baby Bunting Froggie Set =-.

  8. Thanks Alyssa, This is something I have wanted to learn about for awhile, but have no resources to learn about it(at least in terms I can understand lol). I am looking forward to your posts.

  9. I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for the tips now as I am a new reader of blogs.

  10. beside the tip on, your words of inspirations are uplifting for newbies like me…
    .-= mewithoutdebt´s last blog ..Print Newspaper Subscription is Dead – Unprofitable & Not Environmentally Friendly =-.

  11. Great new series, Alyssa! I’ve been thinking of starting something similar since I get emails from new bloggers a lot. I really like that you are leaving tips for readers, too! Very helpful. :)
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Giveaway Round Up! =-.

  12. Great article, Alyssa! I look forward to reading more.

    And I just LOVE the title! :)

    Oh, and Kimberly, I ‘m going to click on your blog after I finish this comment, so you’re right! Definitely commenting on other blogs will boost your traffic!
    .-= Rachel @ Surviving The Stores´s last blog ..AWESOME Deal at Safeway Stores! =-.

  13. And obviously I need to go get a Gravatar!
    .-= Rachel @ Surviving The Stores´s last blog ..AWESOME Deal at Safeway Stores! =-.

  14. Great idea Alyssa! I need to think on how I can give back to other bloggers and come up with something of my own to share. thanks so much for doing this…you inspired me and made me smile! Hope you and the little guy are having a great day!
    .-= Alyson´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday…er, Thursday =-.

  15. angelsandurchinsblog says:

    Thank you for this! We’re a new blog from a London family magazine, and are really enjoying meeting the blogging community. As you say, you don’t know where blogging will lead you – and in our case, it’s already led to meeting hilarious bloggers in Bosnia, Long Island and Kazaksthan! Agree totally about the comments. It’s nice to know if you’re on the right (or even the wrong…) track, and really useful to hear about new ideas. Looking forward to reading more, love angels&urchins.

  16. I’m been blogging for about 1 month now (I’m very much a newbie). I’d like to know how to get ads on my site other than Google Adsense or Amazon.
    .-= Allison´s last blog ..Sweet Potato Pop Tarts and the Veggie Challenge =-.

  17. Debbie Hewitt says:

    I agree that you should definitely KNOW what you want your fledgling to be beFORE you start out…I’ve only been blogging a few weeks and it has blossomed from a personal rant/rave/rambling blog into another deal/freebie type blog, and my blog title suggests NOTHING of the sort…I’m sure this hurts/will hurt my traffic. I do have a question: I see where I can add ads and such to make money, my question is, you only get pd if people click on them, right? Is there a minimum that must click on it to get pd, or what? Could you explain this (I’m sure you will w/in the next cpl wks, but for now…) a little more for me? I’m very interested in turning my blog into a source of income (no matter how small it is, lol). Thank you for all your hard work!
    .-= Debbie Hewitt´s last blog ..Errands galore today… =-.

  18. Great post and super helpful! Going to retweet and send this to some friends who are in the beginning stages of blogging!
    .-= QuatroMama´s last blog ..Does Your Home Have The Goods? =-.

  19. I sure could have used this series back in April when I started my blog. I fumbled around in the dark for about a month but am getting much more comfortable. I’m glad you started this and I will be looking forward to future post.

    Thanks so much, Alyssa. And, I love your podcast. They get me through my eliptical workouts.
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..Spend A Little At Randalls And Save A Lot =-.

  20. I am not new to blogging but blogging for $!!! Hello!!! Please tell me how!!
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..One of "Those" Weeks =-.

  21. Alyssa Francis says:

    Corrie, you are welcome! Nice to see your smiling face again. :) And welcome to WordPress, isn’t it great?

  22. Alyssa Francis says:

    Denise, thanks so much for being a loyal follower! It’s funny, 18 months is actually a good amount of time in the blogosphere. Most blogs are actually abandoned within 6 months, so if you have made it past that mark, that is HUGE! The other commenters are so right about comments increasing traffic. I would also recommend networking on Twitter and Facebook to gain new readers. I have lots more tips to come!

  23. Great idea for a series… can’t wait to read it. I just started a blog at my husbands request, but have been stumped as to my first post. Seems so intimidating. :)
    .-= ashley´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

  24. thanks for starting this, I have only been blogging for a few months and am interesting in ways to get more traffic to my sites. Good idea to leave comments. So many times I visit a site but never comment.
    .-= grace´s last blog ..Free chance to try out REFUNDCENTS =-.

  25. shannon flora says:

    you are a angel!!!
    i have been strugling for mths learning how to do so many things on my computer,like im just a beginer as of 7mths from the basics of typing!!im learning twitter,facebook,myspace(personaly i think myspace is more for kids!),sweeps,couponing,contests,giveaways,surveys,reading blogs,chasing freebies,now if i could just learn new tips on how to do my own blog and help others and at the same time help myself i would be sooo i thank you for your help with posting tips for us to learn.i just would like to ask 1 question; how many blogs can a person have? thanks,shannon
    i will start leaving comments on posts now that you explained how they help with trafic.thanks

  26. Just added my avatar.

    Thanks for the tip.
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..Spend A Little At Randalls And Save A Lot =-.

  27. Nicole Laven says:

    Thank you so much for your sharing spirit, Alyssa. I am a new SAH Mom and am just finding blogs to start visiting as I learn ways of being a good steward with what God has blessed me with. I look at comments on the blogs I have found in search of more blogs to visit. My goal is to start a blog of my own one I learn how to manage my time more–which I hope to learn on some blogs! :)

  28. Ms Benjamins says:

    Love reading your blog and thanks for the tips!
    .-= Ms Benjamins´s last blog ..I finally hit 10,000 views… =-.

  29. Thanks so much for this post. I started a blog (hehe) About a month ago. I have a title and a picture and no posts, nothing. I got stuck and scared. I want to personalize my header and have tried a few options and can’t get what I have in my head onto the screen so I take a break and come back and play a little. I need to just get it finished. Thanks for starting this.

  30. shannon flora says:

    hi,im not trying to rush you or anything but im a little confused here..first i want to say thanks for all the tips you have taken your time to share,im wondering when do you posts your next set of tips?like do i just ck your blog every sunday or something?sorry im new to the blogging thing lol,,i cant wait to read more of your tips so i can start my own blog!thanks,shannon flora

  31. Alyssa Francis says:

    Hi Shannon! Thanks for your question. I actually update my blog every day. I was planning to make my Blogging Bits & Tips series a weekly post on Wednesdays, but I have had such an overwhelming response to it, I will actually post it twice a week. You can subscribe to any blog for free, via email or RSS feed to get instant updates. That will save you the time of checking all your favorite blogs for new posts. More on that in my next installment. :)

  32. Wonderful tips! Thanks so much!!


  33. Great tips!! Thanks for all the hard work you’ve done on this subject… In fact, thanks for all the hard work you do each day on this blog!

    a.k.a. Menu Maker Mom
    .-= Menu Maker Mom´s last blog ..FRUGAL FRIDAY :: Have a list, Check it twice!! =-.

  34. You are the one that actually inspired me to start couponing, yet I am disappointed to say that another blogger is the one that actually inspired me to blog, although she did not finish her series. So I myself am a fumbling blogger who has been trying to find her way in the dark for about 3 months now, Thanx for the light!
    .-= Frugalistic Mama´s last blog ..Publix 9/21 52-86% savings =-.

  35. I’ve been enjoying blogging for nearly a year. Mostly to keep family members updated on what our family was doing and a kind of personal log of events, especially since I’m so terrible at baby books and just can’t get into scrapbooking things. I look forward to learning things to make my blog better, and I actually have friends wanting me to teach them to do a blog – so I need to learn more!
    .-= Rachel R.´s last blog ..Bethie Back At Horse Therapy =-.

  36. Looking forward to all the tips. My blog is in need of help. I sometimes think no one ever looks at it. Maybe they don’t look because I don’t post enough, but I don’t post that much because I figured no one is reading. LOL

  37. Just wanted to add my blog. Didn’t realize I wasn’t logged in.
    .-= Shay´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday =-.

  38. It is so much fun building your own blogging community. I recommend it to all my friends but some of them are just too lazy. They think it is complicated but it isn’t at all. And there are so many helpful people online.

  39. Thank you for posting this! I’m sure there’s a TON I can learn from you!!!!!

    Can’t wait to read more!!! :)
    .-= Peggy´s last blog ..Wisdom of the Aged =-.

  40. Should be a fun learning together postings. I look forward to further tips
    .-= Grace´s last blog ..Crest Toothpaste for 4 PENNIES at Walgreens =-.


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