Friday, June 22, 2012

Do Your Readers Feel Special by Royal Daughter Designs + GIVEAWAY

Hi y'all! My  name is Amanda and I'm the creative mind behind Royal Daughter Designs. I'm a country girl, farming and ranching on 8 beautiful Texas acres. My husband, Mr. E., is a minister and a seminary professor and  I'm a small business owner and graduate student. I'm a has-been foster moma self-proclaimed animal lover, laundry procrastinator, sweet tea junkie, and high-heel hater. 

I love the blogging community. I love meeting new women, making new friends, and finding inspiration on new blogs. I try really hard to let my readers know how much I appreciate them, and since Laura has been so gracious to let me take over her blog today, I thought I'd share 5 tips for showing our readers how much we appreciate them.

1. Respond to Comments
I know this is not possible for big time bloggers. If you get dozens (or hundreds) of comments on each post, plus tweets and Facebook comments, there's really no way to respond to every single comment individually. But for those of us who are not so big, taking time to respond to comments can go a long way towards making our readers feel valued. It doesn't have to be much. A simple "Thanks so much for reading!" says that you care enough to personally respond to their comment. There are a few easy peasy ways to respond:
  • by e-mail
  • by a reply comment (newly available on blogger)
  • tweet a message
I try to respond to every comment I receive. I'll be honest: sometimes I just say thanks for commenting. But sometimes a blog comment sparks a real conversation, and a true connection is formed. 

*If you don't receive an e-mail from me, it is because you are a "no-reply" blogger. That means your e-mail is not linked to your blogger account. You can find out how to fix it by following this tutorial.

2. Turn Your Music Off
I know I'm not the only one who has multiple tabs open in my web browser. I constantly click on websites and blogs and leave them open to come back to later. Not to mention my favorite songs playing on Pandora. 

I know I'm not the only one who opens multiple tabs in my browser. Imagine how frustrating it is when I open some of my favorite blogs and they all have music turned on. It's not a happy thing. It seriously makes my ears hurt. And I immediately close the tabs. Even if I haven't read the post. Sometimes I make my way back (after I've muted my speakers) but sometimes I don't.

The ever-so-considerate Ashley at After Nine to Five is the perfect example of blog music etiquette. She has a playlist on her blog (in the side bar, under her sponsors.) If I want to hear her music, I just click play and voila! Fabulous music plays. But she lets me decide if I want to listen or not, instead of forcing me to a.) listen to the music she likes, or b.) mute my speakers so I can't listen to any music I like.

3. Contact Your Giveaway Winners
Until earlier this year I required my giveaway winners to contact me within 48 hours of being announced. I changed my policy because I was tired of waiting around for them to finally e-mail me. (After I had to pick a third winner I decided it was not working.) I had another reason for changing my policy.

Contacting the giveaway winner is great for two reasons:
  • As I mentioned, I didn't have to wait days - or even weeks - to finally get a winner to claim their prize(s). As soon as they responded to my e-mail I contact the sponsors who hosted the giveaway and it was out of my hands. Easy peasy. No worries. No having to note whether or not a winner claimed their prize. 
  • I was on the receiving end of this a several months ago. The same week our foster boys left, I won two giveaways: one at Pink Lemonade and one at the Foley Family. Both of those lovely ladies (Paige and Kristine, respectively) sent me e-mails letting me know that I had won.

    With everything going on in my personal life, if those ladies had not e-mailed me, I honestly wouldn't have known I won. I went several days without reading any blogs. If they had simply announced me as the winner, and waited on me to contact them, I probably wouldn't have. I'm so glad they did e-mail me!
To sum up: contacting our giveaway winners makes it easier on us, and them. It's a win-win situation. Don't have their e-mail address? Then you should use Rafflecopter. Tweet them or announce it on Facebook. One way or the other, they'll get the message that you're trying to get in contact with them.

4. Facilitate Networking
We've all been (and some of us still are) the newbie blogger just starting out. Hosting linky parties are a great way to facilitate networking, not only for the newbie bloggers, but also for seasoned pros.

I'm really not the one to recommend doing this, as I only host one linky party per month. But if you're hunting around for linky parties to join, I recommend visiting - you'll find lists of all kinds of linky parties to join. You can search by day of the week,  by theme, and by season.

On that note, Laura here is fabulous at facilitating networking. Every Thursday you can link up with her Meet & Tweet linky party.
Our Reflection

5. Offer Tutorials
Or recipes. Or tips & tricks. Basically: be helpful. Even though sewing a beautiful spring dress without a pattern is about as easy for you as brushing your teeth, the rest of us pull out our hair every time we're bent over a McCall's pattern. Sharing your wealth of knowledge is a great way to help out your readers.

Here's a list of the tutorials I've shared so far:
Thank you Laura for giving me the opportunity to be here today! And thank you for reading. Please stop by my blog and say hi some times. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter. If you do connect with me I'd love to know, how do you make your readers feel special?

Thank you Amanda for being SO amazingly awesome!

Today Amanda is also giving away a set of 2 custom prints. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I always enjoy stopping by Amanda's blog! Thanks for the great feature and giveaway!!

  2. Soooo agree with the music thing. I just don't understand why people still do that. Trying to figure out which tab is playing it can be a chore! Great post.

  3. WONDERFUL post!! I love Amanda! She should be crowed the blogger role model of the year! xo

  4. Great post Amanda! I really appreciate a giveaway hostess that contacts me as well! :)

  5. Loved this...will be stopping by your blog for quite a few of your tutorials to help my Blog!! Sarah from

  6. Loved this post and love you! THANKS so much girl for the link love!! Have a lovely weekend! XOXO

  7. I love this post! Such great advise and great tutorials! I totally agree with contacting winners! Sometimes you enter and forget that you did ;)Hope your weekend is going well!


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