How to have an incredibly successful blog (or ten rules I forgot to follow).

Numerous presenters and speakers at the Blissdom conference reminded the audiences of the many ways that people can make their blogs successful. After my harrowing near-death experience, I’m hoping that I can remember SOME of them.

Here are the top five things one needs to do to have a successful blog.

1. Make sure your blog is NOT cluttered.

2. Include a lot of pictures of your home, your family, your pets and your life.

3. Build your community of readers by responding to their comments in your comment section and building a dialogue.

4. Ask questions at the end of your posts to ensure a comment by forcing them to answer the question.

5. Frankly, I think I lost a portion of my brain out on that snowy road to Washington, because I can’t REMEMBER the rest. I think it has something to do with NOT twittering that you have a post because it's TACKY, but I can't be sure. (Wait, hold on, I'm twittering that I have a post. Okay, I'm back.)

So, basically I have never done ANY OF these. My blog is as cluttered as my kindergarten classroom. It reflects my hectic, chaotic, busy life, and the fact that I love to have a lot of things to display! Also, who says I can’t have that big followers box? Is it wrong to display everyone’s names? And why don’t the big name bloggers have their blogrolls on the FRONT of their blogs? Are they too good for that? Honestly, I don’t get it. In kindergarten we learn the BASIC art of sharing, and the Golden Rule.

I do love to see photos when I visit other blogs. (Suzy- you have to start stalking other comics and snapping away. The Enquirer has NOTHING on you, girl.) The whole “anonymity” thing I have to maintain has KIND of put a crimp in the old “including photos” requirement. So, I’ve decided to show PARTS of my life. Below are parts of my horrible, wonderful children, the loud barking dogs that are FREE to a good home, my favorite window and my favorite lamp. You may decide which is which.

I don’t POSSIBLY have the time to respond to my comments in my comments, and yet I always try to reply if your “handle” is linked to your email address. (You can do that in the “edit preferences section” of your blog. I HIGHLY recommend that.) I don't understand how people who work for a living, have numerous children and clean their OWN houses, can possibly participate in all of the conversations occurring around the blogosphere. I bow to you. Honestly.

Now, as far as asking questions - how about this.

What’s your favorite dinner with ground beef? (I need some help for tonight's menu.)

What’s your sign?

Will we get any snow this winter? WILL WE???

There, I’m now officially on the road to success.


Angie Ledbetter said...

LOL, you go! Provin' once again that RULE BREAKERS rule!

Angie Ledbetter said...

I'm first? omg....need to go buy a Lotto ticket!

Stefanie said...

Hi. My name is Stefanie and I am a fan of chili with my beef.

I am a Pisces.

And. There will be no snow where I live.

You go girl!

shabjoon said...

Love it!
Rules are made to be broken!! :)
Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning!

3 Men and a Lady said...

I'm a Leo. And I like lasagna...

I think showing your blogroll is a good thing. Why would that be discouraged?

3 Men and a Lady said...

and I love your HCjr pic up there. gorgeous eyes!

steenky bee said...

I'm doing it wrong.

Ground Beef? A delicious burger on the barbeque smothered in bacon and blue cheese.

My sign? Cancer. It's dead on.

I forget your other question, but I have a random answer anyway...it fits almost any question: You just wiggle it until it falls out.

The Panic Room said...

I don't think I use Twitter for anything else but to say I have a new post. That's pretty much the only thing anyone wants to hear out of me anyway on there, it's certainly not to hear about whatever dumb ass random thing I am eating or doing.

Thanks for posting these pearls of wisdom, I had no idea what a terrible blog I had until I read this.

I also almost never get a chance to get much of a dialogue going in my comment section either. When am I supposed to take care of the children?

I haven't said hi in awhile so thought now was a good time. Also I think you should make meatballs.

The Pipster said...

Spaghetti with meat sauce, Scorpio, YES. P.S. I really enjoy your blog rule breaker or not.

WeaselMomma said...

MONKEY BALLS! That's really the name of the dish!

Take ground beef (2 lbs) and mix with seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, onion) Mix in rice to ground beef (1 cup?)

Place in large baking dish (or 2 small) after rolling into majambo size meatballs.

Prepare 2 cans of tomato soup on the stove, pour over balls in baking dish.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or so, rolling over once after 20 minutes.

Cheap, easy, fast minimal clean-up and TASTY!

Linda said...

Although I really love the easy of spaghetti, my family's favorite is meatloaf. Personally I'm not so fond of squishing up the uncooked meat, egg and Italian bread crumbs, but I manage somehow. Instead of adding ketchup, though, I pour just a tad of a beef gravy from a jar on the top. (Maybe about 1/4 of the jar?) The rest becomes the gravy & when I remember not to overcook the meatloaf, the juice in the pan gets dumped into a pot with the gravy. Yum!

My sign? I think it's that yellow triangle that says, "YIELD"! Wait, not that kind of sign? Oh, I'm a Libra!

My hubby (meteorologist) warned me in August that he thought this would be a snowy winter. I hate it when he's right!

I love your blog just as it is! I wish I had the time or talent to try it myself... My family says the stories I tell must really be funny when they are in my head, because I crack myself up. Them? Not so much...

Donna said...

Love your blog! Keep up what you're doing, I love that you're different than all the others.

1 - Sloppy Joes (Manwich) - half the children here like them, which is good odds. Meatball sandwiches are another hit.
2 - Pisces - always last in the list
3 - Hopefully not, but I'm usually wrong

PS. I've heard that other moms have maids or nannies, that or else they don't sleep. I love sleeping more than anything else.

Steven Anthony said...

ah ha...thats why my blog is so dinky:(

Snappy Di said...

I'm an Aquarius and love lasagna or chili with my ground beef. *Hmmm, that sort of felt like an A.A. meeting... LOL

The Blue Ridge Gal

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Well this is interesting since I couldn't go to blissdom. I have heard the no clutter rule, which is why my links are on a separate page. That - and also to hide my embarrassment that they haven't been updated since I began 24. SO MUCH GUILT!! : ) I don't know who my followers are - how do you know? I have teens - they don't want their faces anywhere near my blog but it isn't a mommy blog so I *think* that's okay. I do leave questions for my readers a lot, but that's cuz I'm a nosy bitch and want to know the answers. And shit, I wish I could say I respond to comments - I try when I have time. Unfortunately, that's not as often as it should be. MORE GUILT!!

Twenty Four At Heart said...

And Twitter?
Yes - I let my readers know I have a new post. And guess what? A ton of people click over from twitter every single day when I do.

Take THAT blissdom!

: )

citymouse said...

Don't fix what's not broken!

Oh and:
1. I looove meatloaf, even if it is plebeian, but the fam's favorite ground beef dish is chili. (My mother, Bronx born and bred always called it "chopped meat".)

2. Virgo

3. When will we stop getting snow this winter would be a better question.

Captain Dumbass said...

Anything that anybody else makes for me, Gemini and no, I don't think we're going to get any snow.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Well, I'm a vegetarian, so I'm no help with your beef issue - does that mean we can't be friends? *pout*

Honestly, I think different people blog for different reasons, and what works for the person giving the tips won't always work for you. I wish you could show us photos sometimes (particularly of that show-and-tell...) but I totally understand why you can't.

Anne said...

Tacos, Gemini, NO, please no... I want to take my studs off my car the make traveling so loud. BTW- Rules are made to be broken...and I like your blog just the way it is! :-)

Mrs. E said...

Oriental beef. An incredibly easy yummy dish made with ramen noodles if you can believe it. If you want the recipe, email me and I'll send it your way. Healthy, yummy, cheap- unbeatable!! (So glad I'm not the only one who doesn't follow the rules!)

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...



If you come live in NY,NJ, PA or DC, it's a given.

I love your window by the way.

Scope said...

My favorite meal with ground beef. Sloppy Scopes. That's where I go to the steam the ground beef into little particle, drain it, and then go to the fridge and use up all the condiments that have too much to throw away, but too little to use: Salsa, french dressing, pasta sause, BBQ sause, mustard, etc. and Voila! Sloppy Scopes.

And a cleaner fridge.

You can steal the idea, but you have to take the name, too. It's a complicated legal thing.

Scope said...

Oh, and I voted again.

Sue said...

Well I got the picture thing down, but other than that, I am a rule breaker. Why do you have the hunk of my town on the top of your blog?(Yes, he does have a summer house here and hangs where the locals hang.)

I have a good hamburg/noodle/corn recipe for you. I will email it though because I need to go find it.

I am an aries.

I think you have probably gotten more snow than us this winter.

Is it vacation week in "Oregon"?

Brian Miller said...

taco, leo, not at all...err...at least thats what they said on the newws last night and we still got more snow.

i think i have done one of those once. smiles.

Lee Ryan said...

Tacos; and don't wimp out and not set out sour creme. If you manage guacamole - you'll be a hero.

Capricorn; and

It depends on where you live. I have gotten none. :-P (neiner-neiner-NEEEINNEERRRR!!!) :-P

Laura said...

Chili is my fave, but the kids also love tacos. My sister makes a delish shepherd's pie w/ seasoned ground beef, mashed potatoes, & sliced or shredded cheese on top at the very end. Oh, & I think she throws a can of corn in there, too.

Piesces...end of the list.

I don't blog b/c I have five kids ages 8, 6, 4, 2, & 6 mos, & the only time I get to even LOOK at the computer is when I'm nursing the baby, which also limits me to one-handed typing...it takes forever just to leave a comment!!

Snow...still some on the ground (4-6 in.) & we might be getting more this weekend...praying they won't close school on Tuesday!!

Thanks for always making me smile!!

p.s. I try to vote every day, but babble doesn't always cooperate!

BLOGitse said...

These are the best tips for blogging I've ever read!
*beef - pepper and garlic, butter, sea salt just before serving...good red wine...
*snow - I thought you've had enough already! :)

Have a great weekend!


Kelly Marie said...

Bacon cheeseburger roll up!! You can get the recipe on kraft.com - my husband and I have it at least once a week (:

Frau said...

Just had Chili for dinner...But you need no help in blogging my friend. Cute kids they look alot like you!!

The Muse said...

successful blog? what the?
is that why i am blogging?
mmmm i may have to rethink this whole thing!

(cluttered...Well i am dead in the water, then..lol)

What’s your favorite dinner with ground beef? (I need some help for tonight's menu.)SPAGHETTI

What’s your sign? NOT PREGNANT

Will we get any snow this winter? YES

Just Breathe said...

Interesting post. I have all my comments go to my email. I just don't like the no-replys! I do not comment after a comment on my post because I don't know why anyone would go back to my post to read it. Now if you sign up for all comments from posts to come to you who would have time to read them.
I do reply to each email if it's available to me. For a few of my closets friend who have ne-reply I will go comment on their post but that take FOREVER! Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.

SkylersDad said...


We don't need no stinkin rules!!!!!

We love your clutter, because it comes with great posts.

buffalodick said...

Home made tacos..or cheese burgers!

CatLadyLarew said...

I vote for beef burritos for dinner.
My sign is Gemini.
We've already had enough freakin' snow this winter.

Bonus comment: Your kid has freaky red eyes! Be afraid... be very afraid!

CatLadyLarew said...

P.S. Cool lamp!

Em said...

Shepherds pie, the best.

Virgo, but evidently I should've been Aquarius - the rebel sign - because I think rules for blogs are meant to be broken. Not Twitter about a post? And the commenting back in the comments I've never gotten - I can't remember where I left my keys on most days.

Non-reply bloggers are missing out.

12.5 inches baby just yesterday - a 24-hour record in Dallas. Crazy.

Keep on cluttering baby.

Michele said...

I would think that with the number of people who follow you you would be considered a success.

Vegetarian (can't help you with dinner), Libra, and I can't remember the other question. Why? Because, I'm fifty and menopausal.

Vodka Logic said...

I love meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

I try to reply to comments via email but sometimes there isn't enough time..

great suggestions.

Fiftiesmom said...

Forget the rules and keep doing to your way! But I'll play along and answer your questions.
1. Spaghetti would be my choice but the family would say meatloaf.
2. Scorpio
3. You will have snow,I probably will not. Although the rest of Texas did!

madtexter ☺☺☺☺☺☺ (corey james) said...

Girl, don't change a thing about your blog! The reason people keep coming back to read your stuff is because your riotously (is that word, Teach?) funny. It's the content that grabs my attention.

Fragrant Liar said...

Zesty chili with beans.
Libra (Believe it or not, I am well balanced)
Snow? What is this snow of which you speak?

Your blog rocks.

slow panic said...

i am an aries. i highly recommend take-out for dinner -- whether or not it includes ground beef.

Ann On and On... said...

Fun.... Loved the stranded post too.

I'm a vegetarian, so no ground beef...but I've got some killer tofu recipes. Hee Hee

WhisperingWriter said...

Nice list. I post pictures all the time :)

Ground beef? We have a lot of spaghetti with that over here.

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

You can have some of our snow...In the last 2 weeks, we got 40 inches, and now it's leaking into my kitchen ceiling!

Deb said...

fortunately, my kids ADORE hamburger helper. like, they think it is some sort of a treat.

so listen, i don't understand the replying to comments in the comment section. honestly, after i leave this comment, i won't come back to check in on whether you have replied to me or not. and i think, unless a specific question or urgent need is expressed in a comment, there is no need to respond. am i just heartless?

oh, and i don't expect a reply. i know you love me and would rather you go fry up that ground beef so you can proceed with your evening than send a thank you my way.

i am heartless, aren't i? (and that is a rhetorical question. do NOT answer. especially in the comments section!)

Secretia said...

I would say that meatloaf with a lot of different ingredients would be my choice.


Amy B. said...

Stopping by from SITS -- glad I found your blog!

And I vote you make tacos.

Lori said...

Geez and I try to do all of those things - and I STILL have only, about, 35 or so followers. Guess that's why you're the guru.

Love the parts and I'm snowed in right now and the only thing, other than beef stew, that I wished I had, oh and george clooney, is ground beef. If I had ground beef I'd make spaghetti. :)

Not The Rockefellers said...

Hey Girl...
brown the ground beef with onions and peppers, mix in spaghetti sauce and season it to your liking..toss it over macaroni and top with parmesan cheese

and I'm not for following rules, which is clearly evident on my blog. It is non-cluttered, though

keep doing things the way you're doing them..it ain't broke :)

Peace ~ Rene

Suzy said...

As you know, I feel sorry for you because you have no followers. I pray every night that you get some. On my knees, doing NOTHING but praying.

Your blog proves whoever spoke about what makes blogs popular wrong. People love you and while I find it extremely annoying I grudgingly admit defeat in front of you while I pray on my knees for you.

Does anyone have any idea what I'm talking about? Didn't think so.

I'll send you my address so you can ship that lamp to me. And I'll take one dog, the one who doesn't eat.

Char said...

RULES!! Someone made RULES?? Well, I'm just gonna keep on ingoring 'em.

I'm a Gemeni who loves burgers cooked on a real charcoal grill w/pickle, onion, mustard. And I moved to SW Florida so I wouldn't have to deal with snow any more!


Anna See said...

Mexican meatloaf, baby!

I think you are doing a great job!

Mellodee said...

I like your blog as is. If Ididn't I wouldn't be a follower!

Must say though, (and truly, no offense meant,) but the Sloppy Scopes "recipe" from Scope may just be the worst food idea I've ever heard!! He has to be a bachelor, living alone!! :)

The Mind of a Mom said...

I do all those things, I even built it so they would come but I am not as popular as I would like :o(
I just don get what I am missing. But Im like Thomas train and I think I can so I keep trying.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Steve read this blog with me, and said, "She's so funny! She's unofficially, officially telling them to f.o."

I agree!

Sara Plays House said...

Spaghetti, because it's one of the only meals I KNOW my children will eat without complaint.
I'm a Taurus. See my horns?
And I'm not sure where you are, but here in the DIRTY SOUTH, we have lots of snow. Shall I mail you some?

Patrick said...

Serendipity. I'm a newbie that fell in love with your blog and you just spelled out for me how to be successful. AND I didn't have to risk my life through a harrowing snowstorm. Thank you.

Ginny said...

When you are a good writer or you just have that touch that makes people want to read, then you don't need to follow the rules.

You have proved that!

I personally, love "cluttered" blogs, I think it is fun to look through everything that is on sidebars, etc.

Keyona said...

Obviously you've been doing something right. You have a wonderful blog and unlike other "popular" bloggers, you have responded to me more than once AND actually commented on my blog before! How about that? :)

Bano said...

I have thought about pictures, but am also trying that whole anonymity thing. That makes picture posting nearly impossible. I love your creative way around it! :)

To answer your questions:
What’s your favorite dinner with ground beef? (I need some help for tonight's menu.)
*Taco salad! We usually use turkey though. We aren't big red meat eaters.

What’s your sign?
*Libra. Scales and balance and all that.

Will we get any snow this winter? WILL WE???
*No. Apparently there is no snow this year anywhere. ;) Ha!

Amber said...

You can have all the snow here and I'm sure the east coast will give up theirs too. lol

LadyFi said...

What? What? No snow? And here we are buried under 1.5 metres and more falling. Come over and get some!

♥ Braja said...

Wait a minute...you DO mean faux beef, right??!??!?!

Ellen said...

HA!!!!!!!!! You just totally made me laugh. Love your "parts" pictures! My answers: 1) I like the meatloaf recipe on the back of the Lipton Recipe Secrets box, how lame is that?! 2) Sagitarius 3) We have 12 inches of snow sitting outside, thankyouverymuch.

It was fun to meet you at Blissdom! And, just to free you of any responsibility, you do not have to answer this comment. You do not even have to come visit my blog. :)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Because I'm doing my ground beef thing today, I'll share. Actually I use ground turkey.

Today I'll be browning 8 lbs. of ground turkey and onion and bagging it up for the freezer in 2 lb. portions.

Then, once a week or so for the next 4 weeks, I'll pull one out in the morning and after work I'll layer the ground turkey with canned corn, homemade mashed potatoes (but you could probably use boxed if your family wouldn't mutiny as mine would--they're spoiled) and some cheese on top.

World's easiest and quite tasty Shepherd's Pie.

Awake In Rochester said...

I have a good chili recipe. I might have a recipe Meme soon so keep your eyes open for it. ;)

Petit Elefant said...

It was great to meet you in the elevator. You don't remember do you? I didn't think so. Well, one of my best friends reads you, adores you, admires you, and the only thing she wanted to know after I came home from Nashville was this: "Did you meet Vodkamom?!" So, I bow to YOU.

Cindi @ Moomette's Magnificents said...

Hi - I'm Cindi

I didn't go to Blissdom

I used to be photogenic, but then I got older. I'm a baby boomer now. So I only post photos of me when I was younger. Just like the columnists in newspapers. Their photos are always from about 10-20 years ago.

My fave dish with ground beef (sirloin, if I have the extra $$) is American Goulash, but DH won't let me make it cuz he doesn't like it. Haven't made it since the 1st year I was married. I've been married 36 years in June.

I'm a Capricorn - the goat. Stubborn. Maybe it's a good thing I was born in New England. We're like that.

Snow? Not to much in Connecticut - missed the blizzard last week and got 12-18 inches of "Mostly Cloudy.)

Cindi @ Moomette's Magnificents said...

Forgot to mention - Visiting from SITS!

Just Words On A Page said...

Tacos baby all the way. I am Taurus the bull -- I don't know if Oregon will get snow.

I have a new Vodka for you to try! It's awesome!

only a movie said...

I'm a Leo. When i used to eat ground beef - tacos would be a good choice.

Your blog needs no improvements. xo

Sprite's Keeper said...

Vodka, you really know how to distract me when you post Harry's picture at the top of your post! I can't even remember what you wrote about!

Michele McGraw (ScrappinMichele) said...


let's see.... I like tater tot casserole for ground beef. Just throw in anything you have in the house in terms of veggies and soup and add tater tots on top..DINNER!

My sing is Virgo

and YES, we will get snow, We have gotten WAY TOO MUCH snow and I'm so tired of SNOW DAYS. Love my kids, but 2 days of school in 2 weeks is way too much time for me to spend with them. :D

Sara said...

1) Goulash
2) Capricorn
3) Snow sucks and February, despite being the shortest month, lasts an eternity.

The Blue Zoo said...

Well since you asked I am a Capricorn who is NOTHING like a Capricorn.

And I like to make Beef Casserole with Ground Beef. Its super yum with LOTS of cheese.

Loved your Blissdom post, and even linked you through my blog post today.

And I must have NO life cause I almost always respond to all my comments, and leave comments on all their blogs too. Or maybe it's just cause I don't have many followers! LOL

Gayle said...



I live in Alaska and have hardly any snow. You don't get any either.

Nice dog nose.

Pastor Sharon said...

Or you can skip those five rules and just post Harry Conig Jr. That did it for me! Isn't he lovely? Especially when he sings!

Secret Agent Mama said...

I'm a Taurus!!


Now, email me and tell me where we met at Blissdom. Because I know I met you, but can't remember where/when.

secretagentmama @ gmail dot com

Notes from a Broad said...

This whole thing made me laugh so much, that last night, at around 2am when I couldn't sleep, I made my husband stay awake while I told him about the Rules of the Blog. And ending it with a question... and your questions .. "what's your sign, what should we have for dinner? ... "
So at around 2 am last night, I was lying in bed and laughing with my husband , thanks to you :)

It was helpful though ! I never know if I should start commenting to the comments.. now I know.
chau ~

earhearingaid said...

is the woman in the third photo wearing hearing aid batteries?

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Anjali@digital marketing said...

Tacos baby all the way. I am Taurus the bull -- I don't know if Oregon will get snow.

Annabel said...

Good fortune. I'm a beginner that went gaga for your site and you just spelled out for me how to be fruitful. Furthermore, I didn't need to hazard my life through a nerve racking snowstorm. Much obliged to you.

Sheena Bajaj said...

Come on people, make me laugh. I dare ya.
I love this post.@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@%%%%%%

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