A Reason for the Quiet

It’s been a little quiet around here lately.

I’ve been busy getting my priorities in order and creating margin in my life. It’s not an easy task to cut back.  It almost seems like more work to let go of things and hand them off but I’m getting there.

I did want to share with you something I have been a part of working on and I am incredibly excited about. It’s this:

The Declare Conference is a conference for Christian women bloggers.  Our desire is to bless and encourage you while helping you to grow and learn about blogging and social media. The conference will take place in Dallas, Texas August 9th-10th, 2013.  It’s going to be so much fun! We have some amazing speakers lined up to learn from.

If you are a blogger or want to start blogging I’d love to invite you to join us.  We will have fun connecting, learn a lot, eat well, enjoy some awesome swag, have great vendors to meet with, party and, of course, indulge in chocolate! You won’t want to miss it!

I’ll be back to regular blogging soon and sharing all about what moms love. Thank you for your patience with me as I am learning and growing as a wife, mom & blogger.

Are you a blogger? Have you ever been to a blogging conference? Which one is your favorite?

Old School Blogging: What it is & Why I’m Doing It

Stern Woman BloggerPhoto Source

I’ve been blogging for a little over two years now.  In that time I have learned a lot {and still have a lot to learn}.  Recently I’ve made a decision though to go back to Old School Blogging.  What is old school blogging, you ask?  Let me give you my definition:

old school blogging= blogging about what you love and enjoy just because you love and enjoy it, and doing it to serve others by sharing your knowledge and expertise.

Blogging has become this game of likes and follows.  Anyone can set up a blog, which is great, but what people used to have to work hard for, there are now many ways to cheat the system and I don’t really see how it’s helping anyone.

It used to be that a person started a blog with an idea and shared the blog with their friends and family.  If their friends and family really liked what was on said blog they would share it with their friends and so on. And that’s how a blog’s readership would grow.  As an added benefit the blog naturally used key words that would begin to show up on Google searches and drive even more traffic from those looking for that specific type of content.

Now days a blogger has so many ways to cheat the system to get likes and follows.  Recently I have seen bloggers hosting giveaways with multiple bloggers for a large prize and the whole purpose is to boost their numbers. And it works.  They get lots of followers very quickly.  Which is great but they aren’t real followers in my opinion.  I know this because I have done plenty of giveaways in the past {and I love to do giveaways for my followers} and I always gain new followers with them.  I even advertise these giveaways because I feel it is my job to get the company I am working with as much exposure as possible and I really enjoy sharing a company or product I believe in. However, many of the new likes and follows I get from giveaways aren’t true followers. In other words they didn’t “like” me because they really liked Mommy Kudos or sign up for emails because they can’t wait to read the next post.  Lot’s of them aren’t even in the demographic for Mommy Kudos.  When I did a giveaway for moms to do something nice that is taking care of themselves I had plenty of men commenting because the giveaway was in the form of an Amazon.com gift certificate.  I’m pretty sure these guys aren’t becoming loyal Mommy Kudos Fans {smile}.

I understand the appeal for bloggers to boost their numbers with joint giveaways or blog hops or asking other bloggers to follow you for return follows, however I’ve decided that for me and Mommy Kudos that I am going to refrain from these things from now on.  So what am I going to do? And what ways will I choose to get more exposure for Mommy Kudos so that the right people know that I’m here and what I’m about?  Let me share:


I’ve decided to limit the giveaways I do on Mommy Kudos.  I’ve been doing a lot {too many} and they are a lot of work.  They take up a bunch of time that I feel could be better spent on great content {this mom of 6 has quite a lot to share}.  I will do giveaways when I feel like it is a really great product that I don’t want you to miss.

Joint Giveaways for Followers

I simply will not do these unless it’s for a company that I am working with in conjunction with other bloggers that I really believe in and want you to be aware of.  I will not do one just to get a bunch of quick likes and follows.


I am loving learning about SEO {Search Engine Optimization} and am thrilled that there are ways to get key words about the things I write about to show up closer to the top on search engines.  I will pursue this method of gaining readers because I feel it is a great way to bring my content to those who are truly looking for it.


I am so thrilled at how blogging and social media has allowed me to meet some incredible people that I have developed relationships with and now consider friends.  I will continue to build my community and reach out to other bloggers and online friends. I feel that any platform I have is so that I can serve others with the knowledge and abilities that I have been given.  I want to serve others by promoting other bloggers and companies that I believe in.


Like I said above, I believe my platform and blogging is a way for me to serve you and because of that I want to share what is on my heart, what I have learned that may help you and resources that you may want/need to have.  This is pretty much my mission for Mommy Kudos.  To serve you.


So how about you? I know it can seem like a sloooowwww climb when you are a smaller blogger and it’s really tempting to work the system to get followers quickly.  What are your standards for yourself in gaining a readership?

If you want to learn from some great bloggers about building your readership {most of them did it the old school way} then check out some of my favorites:

Blogging With Amy – her site will will help you start your own blog or website. She also shares tips, tools and tutorials that will help you improve the one you’ve got.

ProBlogger – Ways to make money blogging

SavvyBlogging – Lots of tips and advice

SITS Girls – Tons of tips and support for bloggers {great place to make friends too!}


Social Media Ninjas Unite! (Part 3)

Last but certainly not least, here is part 3 on the Social Media Ninja session at Relevant 2011. If you missed them part 1 is here and part 2 here.

Tsh from Simple Mom shared some great tips with us.  She really simplified things.  She’s pretty good at that!

She suggests asking questions on your Facebook page because “people love to give advice.”  It gets a conversation started.  Another great Facebook recommendation was to plan out your Facebook Posts a week ahead of time with photos.

There were ooos and ahhhs as she demonstrated how she uses Yoono, which is a browser plugin for Firefox or Google Chrome that allows you to post to twitter and/or Facebook from any webpage you are on.  It hangs out as a sidebar on your browser (that you can minimize if you wish) and it makes updating your status super easy.  I have been trying it out this week and definitely like it but I look forward to when they add the ability to update your Facebook pages and not just your personal statuses. You can use multiple twitter accounts with it which is super helpful to me since I have 2 blogs and 2 twitter accounts.  You can check Yoono out here.

Tsh recommends retweeting a blog post about 3 times a day to maximize the exposure you get.  Remember that different people are on twitter at different times of the day.  Be sure to tweet it differently each time.  A great way to do this is to use parts of the post in your tweets.

When you first post your blog post, head to twitter and make sure it got tweeted (every once in a while Twitter has a hiccup and won’t include a link or the tweet at all).  While you’re on twitter spend a small amount of time retweeting someone else.  Remember it’s about building relationship.

The next recommendation was to schedule tweets with tweet deck.  This way you can go on about your day and still be drawing traffic to your site from your tweets.

Tsh talked briefly about Klout.  I’m not too happy with Klout right now and Tsh shared how it has it’s flaws and is not a perfect measurement of your influence online.  I’m not crazy about Klout because your numbers can change drastically in just a couple days if you are inactive online.  It doesn’t take into account your long term online presence.  You can determine for yourself if it is worthwhile or not.

And the best advice?  “Find your voice and write in it.”

Tsh is a wealth of knowledge, not just in social media but on keeping life simple.  You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

I would like to thank Tsh, Courtney and Lisa-Jo for sharing their knowledge and expertise in the area of social media!!


Social Media Ninjas Unite! {Part 2}

I’ll continue on with my take on the Social Media Ninja session at Relevant 2011. In case you missed it you can find part 1 here.

Courtney from Women Living Well picked up where Lisa-Jo left off.  Courtney shared that vlogging became her purple cow.  Purple cow is a reference to Seth Godin’s idea that a purple cow stands out from all the rest of the black and white cows.

Purple Cow
Courtney’s challenge to us was to be remarkable.  Boring is risky.
Content is king when it comes to vlogging and here are her tips on making great videos:
  • Smile
  • Plan what you are going to say and say it outloud before recording.
  • Just go with it.
  • Be interesting. Be remarkable.
  • Be you (God made you unique)

Oh and don’t forget to make sure you watch your video before you post it.  Make sure the lighting looks good and you can hear yourself well.

“Good is the enemy of great.”

Milk that (purple) cow for all it’s worth.
  • Be unique
  • It takes hard work (don’t think it will be easy)
  • Give it time to grow
  • Do research

Such great tips from a woman who really knows vlogging.  Be sure to check out some of her vlogs on her site.  You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Social Media Ninjas Unite! {a.k.a what I learned at #Relevant11 about social media}

Ninja Sword Training on the Beach at Rick Tew's NinjaGym™ Martial Arts Training and Fitness Camp in Thailand

Last week at this time I was at Relevant soaking in all I could about blogging and social media.  Really what I got out of it all was far more about the heart of blogging than the steps to take to become a super star social media expert.

My heart behind this blog is to be a source for moms to learn and have their questions answered {yes, I’ve had a baby smear poop on the crib… that was your question right?}.  I also love to share the latest and greatest finds that make life easier and more fun for moms, babies and kids (in other words giving “mommy kudos” to great products. Clever eh?).  So in order to serve moms well I need to know how to utilize social media to get the word out and I need to be able to do it well.

Enter {drum roll please} the Social Media Ninja session at Relevant.  We all dressed up in black and learned how to sneak attack you with our stealth ninja twitter skills.  Not really, but I did learn an awful lot and I thought I would share what I took away from it.

Lisa-Jo from The Gypsy Mama {seriously love her blog!} shared some great insight into the why and hows behind social media skills.  I love these quotes and bits of encouragement from her:

Beware the social media itch; scratching can feed the itch of “me” like nothing else.

Social Media is neither good nor bad.  It’s how we use it.

Everything we write can honor this scripture:

Phillipians 4:8
whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Social Media is:

  1. A conversation
  2. Circle of friends
  3. business opportunity
  4. mission field
  5. new to live out the commandment to love one another as Christ loves

Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

It takes a long time to build up your online reputation; but moments to ruin it.

What makes a compelling social media conversation?   When it is about:

Relationship not solicitation
Conversation not pitch
Community not individuals
Giving not selling

“The only currency that matters in social media is relationship.  People are people are people.”


Find your online voice
Understand your gifts
Be generous
Watch your motivation
Be a friend
Be spontaneous
beware the “inside” voice

Like all rules of great conversation, be sure to listen as much, if not more, than you speak.

Think about this: When you add up all of your tweets what does it sound like?

She {hearts} Twitter #Bigtime {So do I}.  Ways to use Twitter:

  • twitter parties
  • tweet chat
  • #hashtags for real and for fun
  • networking
  • listening in
  • easy retweets
  • friends don’t let friends tweet mad
  • know when to quit

An individual platform is never as powerful as a mobilized, energized, inspired community.

What you give, sell or pitch online should never be more important than what you give

 Stop worrying about the people who aren’t at your table (following you, reading).  Feed the people who are.

So good right?!  My take away from Lisa-Jo’s part was that we really need to be genuine and care far more about the people we are communicating with than what we are trying to get them to do for us.  It’s all about relationship!!  For more of Lisa-Jo’s awesomeness follow her on twitter @thegypsymama or find her on Facebook.

Check out part 2 here.