The Secret of Blogging Sucess

    This week, I received an email from a fellow blogger asking me about something that I had implemented related to my blog.  She thought it was a great idea and wanted to know how I had done it.  I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised because there was a time when I was on the other end of that email trying to learn as much as I could about everything having to do with blogging.  As soon as I had a chance, I promptly responded to her email and explained to her the steps that I took to implement that new idea.  That evening, she emailed me back thanking me for the information and for taking the time out to respond to her and to explain everything.

    Since this fellow blogger was so grateful, it got me to wondering if there is a sense of secrecy to this whole blogging thing.  I can recall that, during my early days as a blogger, there were many veterans who were eager to answer my questions about a variety of topics related to which blogging platform to use, blog design, and other general blogging questions.  However, it did seem like there were certain topics that were off limits, specifically related to monetizing your blog and public relations companies and products.  If I recall, I received very little advice about how to approach PR companies and very successful bloggers seemed very “off-limits” to new bloggers.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I have been doing this blogging thing long enough that I understand the importance of being discreet when it comes to sponsors and business opportunities.  As with any other business, blogging can be very competitive and everyone is vying for their piece of the blogging pie.  It is important to maintain a certain sense of confidentiality around monetizing opportunities because they are limited and have specific requirements that you obviously don’t want anyone else fulfilling.

    I can still remember feeling “lost in the sauce” when I first started blogging.  A lot of people think that blogging is easy and that anyone can do it.  I’m sure anyone can, however, those of us who are serious about it and want to do more than just journal daily on the internet put a heck of a lot of work into it.  You can’t just start a blog and think that readers will magically appear on your site and you will have an instant audience.  The old phrase, “if you build it, they will come,” does not apply here.  I don’t mind sharing a lot of information with fellow bloggers about what I do and how I do it because I once started out and had tons of questions about how to blog and how to network.

    Sharing ideas with other bloggers creates an environment that fosters professionalism, in my humble opinion.  Perhaps if we were more open with one another about the experiences that we have daily with public relations companies and sponsors, we would be able to have more control over how we are approached with offers and it would increase our negotiating power.  Not to mention putting into practice the old “one hand washes the other” saying.  Believe me, I remember every single nice thing that other bloggers have done to help me and it definitely makes me even more eager to return the favor should the opportunity ever arise.  You never know, the blogging novice of today may be the blogging powerhouse of tomorrow and wouldn’t you want to be on his or her good side when that time comes?

© 2011, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Jenny Richard says

    Thanks for posting that. Enjoyed reading it…you’re right that some areas might be less “open” but there’s no reason why bloggers shouldn’t help each other out on most things. I knew there was another reason why I liked you–I see in your about me that you teach middle school–me, too. Only I teach history. 🙂

  2. What a great post Maria! I think this is such a good topic. I absolutely believe that there are people out there willing to help and then there are others who are tight-lipped about everything. I certainly didn’t build my success by myself. And when people ask me questions I answer them truthfully, no matter what it is. I have a blogger that I’ve worked with for a while who is trying to decide if she can monetize her content and make it work OR should she start another blog. I’m helping her through the process. Helping her get better on SEO for blog 1, and I’m hoping to help her monetize blog 1 as well. Managing two blogs would be tough.

    On the other hand she did reach out to me for help. I think those who need help/want help should ask people they think will answer. Lord knows I’ve asked some and been totally ignored. It’s kind of like calling the phone company. If you don’t like the first answer, hang up and call back. This bloggy world is full of incredibly talented and giving women (and) men. We should em brace it when the opportunity comes to us.

    • Thanks, Jill! You and I are definitely on the same page. I also help other bloggers whenever I can. It is puzzling to me why some bloggers choose to be so standoffish when this entire industry is based on networking and building relationships. It seems to me that they burn a lot of bridges that way. You have always been very helpful to me and I greatly appreciate it.

  3. I’ve had experiences on both sides. Bloggers who are glad to help and some who aren’t. I don’t expect to get all my questions answered by one blogger but some bloggers are also my friends.  But a couple of those “friends” turned out not-so-friendly. So I just turn the other way and try not to make it a big deal.  I do however have some great connections with other bloggers and they have answered each and every one of my questions and more and for that they know I am forever grateful. I don’t see why any blogger will keep “secrets” from other fellow bloggers. We’re all in the same “game,” right?  Just so you know, if you have any questions Maria, I am here to help or at least will try.  lisa {at} newyorkchica {dot} dom. 🙂 Fantastic post, btw 🙂

    • Lisa, you are one of those people who has been wonderful every step of the way. There has never been a time that I have reached out to you for any reason that you weren’t there to help. Your friendship is greatly appreciated. I’m so glad that you liked the post.

  4. I really loved reading this post. I remember the ‘lost’ feeling too. In fact I sometimes still feel that way. But whenever someone asks me how to do something, I love helping them out. Especially because I know how they feel.

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog Mom’s Home Run. I appreciate it!

  5. Kdehart5151 says

    I would absolutely love to talk with you on how to network and get sponsors. I am new to the blog world and trying to figure out how to get it publicly noticed. Please let me know if there is any way I can get involved in your blog as well.

    • You are more than welcome to email me and ask me any questions that you have about networking and obtaining sponsors. Just click on the contact me tab on the blog and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

  6. Thank you for posting! I know I’m usually feeling overwhelmed or “lost”, as you’ve said, but I’ve been lucky enough to have some veterans give  me some tips.

    I’m your newest follower from the hop.

  7. Anonymous says

    Great point Maria! Finally getting around to all the posts on my facebook wall… many posts were in ‘hidden posts’…as if they were spam. Trying to get caught up…but enjoyed reading your wise comments on sharing our ‘expertise’ with others! 

  8. Debbie Clement says

    Maria. I’m in need of your help, support and direction. I just sent you an email. I have kept a blog for 3 years in a vaccum-sealed cave of my adventures as an author/illustrator. Just this week I have won a national INDIE award for my picture book entitled, “Red, White and Blue” based on a song I wrote right after 9-11 by that same title. I could use your tech-spertise to help share this project to a wider audience. Thanks for your willingness to be of help. I know that this book/song will be close to your heart.

  9. What a perfect article to read while feeling the exact same way. As a newer blogger I have that same feeling everytime I think of going on my blog. I think now it comes down to I feel more comfortable in the “sauce” and will figure things out later when I decide to “swim with the meatballs (sharks).

    I love that you have reached out so willingly and unselfishly. I couldn’t even wait to post this comment before I shared it on FB and Twitter.

    Thank you for being such a breath of fresh air…errr I mean adding the perfect seasoning to the blogging world.

  10. Arizona Girls says

    I find this really interesting. Fairly new to a lot of things.  Been trying to sell jewelry on Etsy since Oct.  and that is how the blog finally came about, um about 3 months or so ago.  It’s a learning process for sure.  And there aren’t many willing to help at all =/  Which I didn’t think about it as um competing for for spots from the PR companies…=/  But I guess when it comes down to it thats what is happening.  Now it makes more sense why other bloggers don’t like to share.

    I jumped in thinking, like you said put it there and people will come!  But it doesn’t happen haha It takes work and time to get the blog out there.  I jumped into too much too fast and quickly became overwhelmed.  And still not sure what I’m doing.

    For now I took a step back from pursuing the PR companies.  I’m just going to work on our jewelry and I do enjoy doing giveaways and such for other Etsy shops!  I’ve done a couple so far and really enjoy it =) We did have 1 giveaway/review.  So I think for now thats more what we will concentrate on.  Leave the big PR companies to the bigger blogs that now.  Like I was asked how much I would charge for posting something um I have no clue haha

    So for now I’ve trimmed back on somethings and will build my followers on various networking-facebook,twitter and the blog and we’ll see what happens down the road =) 

    It’s nice that you took the time to help someone figure some things out because it is really overwhelming.

    Ok I’m done writing my book  haha  New GFC follower, facebook fan and twitter follower!  And hopped by on the Wild Weekend Hop =)

    Arizona Girls blogArizona Girls Arizona Girls Face Book

    • It is definitely a competition for readers and PR companies. I think it is great that you have set some short term goals instead of getting crazy with trying to do everything all at once. If you have any questions, I’m just an email away and I’ll try to help if I can.

  11. I think bloggers that don’t respond are the ones that aren’t very successful anyway. If you’re smart, helping others should be a bloggers sole purpose. People want to know what’s in it for them when they read your blog. I find that bloggers that offer “value” have much more success then bloggers trying to keep the “secret” information for themselves. 

  12. Sazavarietystore says

    Following you from Monday Mingle.Wonderful blog by the way.Please visit me if you get time.

  13. I’ve found a mix. The most successful people I know online are almost always the most interactive and helpful. A few that shall remain nameless a bit less so. I can understand them defending their turf, so to speak, but I disagree this is a good strategy. What goes around comes around. I’m far from an expert, but am always happy to help anyone who asks. Great post, Maria.

  14. Thank you for this post. I know as a newbie blogger, I am always in search of ways to be better and appreciate your willingness to help others.

  15. Kenya Johnson says

    Great post Maria. A fellow blogger gave me my “big break” so to speak. She did something where she introduced newbies every Monday on her blog. I gained a few followers from that. But it was the encouragement I received from real followers who enjoyed my writing, that encouraged me to blog more and share more. I haven’t really seen any competition. I’m glad I’m not in the circles. I guess it depends on what your blog purpose is. ~TALU

  16. I’ve just fully started trying to meet bloggers and grow my blog in the last few months. Before I wasn’t taking the time. I guess I hadn’t thought about who reads blogs (other bloggers!). I also haven’t taken a lot of time to ask other bloggers opinions. I’m just learning that this is more a community and less a one-man show. The few times that I have asked about money matters, I have noticed a certain radio silence. However, other questions seem to get responses. #TALU

    • Hi, Tamara. Yes, most bloggers tend to be very secretive when it comes to sharing their business contacts. I’ve never really understood that because there is enough out there in the blogosphere for all of us to prosper, but…

  17. Anne Kimball says

    I’ve found it to be a pretty supportive community. I also know I still have a lot to learn! Thanks for linking this up with the TALU!

  18. Good post. For the most part, I’ve found those I’ve asked fairly open and helpful. The blogging community seems to be very friendly.

  19. You are awesome, and this post is really nice to read. I am kinda a newbie, I hosted my blog with Apple for the first 2 years and got NOTHING, switched to WordPress saw some results right away and realized I wanted more, something to make all the work I was putting in worthwhile. I love to write, now my eyes are opening to other possibilities. I am afraid to ask questions, I have been lucky to get to know some other bloggers and feel like I can ask them, but they are kinda in the same boat as me. I might take you up on your offer soon, but first I have to make a list! BTW Already follow you, but found this post through TALU


  1. […] some secrecy in the blogging world with regards to monetizing and PR.  You can read all about it here.  In any case, I am finding out that this is especially true when it comes to what’s […]

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