5 Real Girl Blogging Tips from the Problogger Event

Sat 13th, Oct, 2012

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So, I have been blogging for a while now and I must say I love it.

I love coming here every day, it makes me happy, it fuels my creativity, it makes me feel good about the journey of my life, it gives me connection to people who like the same things as I do and bottom line it has shown me, somehow in some back-handed way, that the little things in my life are important.

Stay with me.

Please, do not vomit on your keyboard.

As part of this journey, nearly a year ago now I decided that, ultimately, I loved this blog and what it gave me in my life, but I needed to get out there with it, if for no other reason than to meet like-minded lovelies…so a year ago I was invited to a big blog event and went not knowing what to think, and not knowing a soul.

I was a little on the nervous side about what to expect but actually I have never looked back.

And so this weekend I have been at my first Problogger conference in Melbourne

This is what I have learnt about blogging today…if you have a blog or start a blog these might be of interest

1. It’s ok to be small

Just this, it is ok to be small, we all started there.


2. It’s great to be you

I’ve banged on enough about this now that you are probably well aware that I think Blog Voice and being unique is the only way to go and that being you is crucial to blogging success.  In my blog course Real Girls Blogging I talk about how I think this is key to getting a blog going…it’s what people are looking for online, whatever the subject or niche.

But what I have learnt the last few months and what came about today as I chatted to other bloggers and listened to what was being said, is that it is ok to just be you, you don’t have to be a fancy schmancy all singing all dancing super star blogger to do well.  You just don’t.

I sat there in the audience with people with very successful blogs…with super-hot successful bloggers making full-time money out of their blogging and most of them had come from just being them.

I like that.

Are you being yourself online?


3. Don’t stress the small stuff.

Plugins, affiliates, adsense, comments, widgets…ahhh!

I was talking to another blogger about this in the coffee break and how how much time this can waste and how really in the long scheme of things it does not matter what comment system you are using and especially not in the early days of your blog…

Yep it’s good to get to grips with some of these things but all the bells and whistles are not crucial to the success of your blogging, trust me from someone who has spent way way to much time trying to figure out some of this stuff…don’t stress it, just get out there and create great content.

Do you waste time with the small stuff? What plugin for your comments? Whatever. Get out there and write.


4. From Little Things Big Things Grow

Light bulb moment here – we all know this one, chunking things down into manageable pieces and getting it done.

It only takes 15 minutes to get that thing that you want done on your blog done – want a slider on your blog? A few sets of 15 minutes and it will be yours. Want the clutter off your sidebar. 15 minutes will do it.  Need to get some photography done for your blog?  Do it in 15 minute blocks and it will be done before you know it.


5. It’s all about the Sparkles baby.

So Darren Rowse,aka Problogger delivered an excellent Keynote Speech, at this event and I am well aware that there is probably more likelihood of Darren Rowse going to the moon than there is of him visiting this blog about white stuff and beaches but I will say this, I wasn’t thinking he would inspire me, I mean hello he’s all like serious and professional and I blog about ruffles and polka dots.  Wrong. I bow down to him the Blogging King.

A lot of what he said resonated with this girl with the old cottage and the journey of this blog, but mostly I loved his ‘sparks’ (ideas that he followed through on and turned into content for his blog) and how sparks are your little feeds into success on your blog.  Some of his sparks have made him a lot of money. Just saying.

Now let us, girls who like ruffles and polka dots call them Sparkles though, I feel that is a whole lot more appropriate in Beach Cottage Land…he made me think of my Sparkles…one of which was my Real Girl’s Blogging Course, I wanted to write something about blogging and my journey and I felt that there was nothing about blogging that was appropriate for someone like me – a mum with three kids and a blog – it was all about SEO and marketing and techie speak and I was like ahhhhhh, so I wrote my own.

Other Sparkles have kinda become the bones of my blog…photography, a total Sparkle moment…I picked up a camera in the early days and never looked back.  Ditto food photography & styling…messing around with food made me sparkle, styling it even more so and then photographing it, hello!  From that Sparkle, Beach Cottage Too Easy Recipes was born…with a little help on the name from Mr BC.

I have more sparkles on the way, lovelies, sparkles be my blogging thing.

What are your Sparkles?  What gives you energy?  What makes you tick?

Because bet your bottom dollar if they make you tick they will tickle someone else’s fancy too.


And that my friends is my take on Problogging Beach Cottage style.

See you next time



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32 Responses to “5 Real Girl Blogging Tips from the Problogger Event”

  1. SawHole says:

    Glad you are having a great time. Makes me sad I am not there.

  2. Naomi Ellis says:

    Brilliant Sarah. Thank you x

  3. Oh my lord I LOVE everything you have just said. It has made me feel so much better about my own blog, what I’m doing, and where I want to go. So ThankYou Sarah! Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go clean that vomit off my keyboard….!!?!…..xx….will also be purchasing your e-course for us real girls, sounds great..x

  4. Charity says:

    Perfect timing. Inspiration well put and well received. Thanks Sarah.

  5. Sarah says:

    Great post from one Sarah to another! I get Darren’s info emails and it seems he know his stuff – great points and you are right – just stay true to yourself and write about stuff you love!! have a great weekend! ;-))

  6. alison says:

    BC is like an online self development coursethat is delivered via the subjects White Paint & Its Application, Foofing-Beginners to Advanced, Long Rants-Revival of the Art of Story Telling, Creative Decorating, Cooking-For Those Who Can & Can’t, Relationship Strategies-Female Perspective and Photography-Beginners to Experienced.


  7. loulou says:

    Hi Sarah,

    bum! we can never seem to be in a room at the same time!
    Next year :) Last years was great so I assume this was even better – sorry I missed it and you.

    thank you for this post. I nodded all the way along.
    It is totally about the sparkles and they can only be your sparkles – that is from the heart.

    I am almost there with my changes and new blog design completion – I am moving forward with my sparkles,
    where I really want to be.
    Trolls….Gordddd… I could speak all night about it, then again I wouldn’t waste my breath and have never publicly done.

    your polka dots and ruffles I love – I’ve always loved coming “here” even when I didn’t comment.
    So thanks again sarah – you keep it so real – and I have missed the “broomstick” (now that was very real)
    x Loulou

  8. Kate Luella says:

    Hello my darling – I can’t believe this is you! I have been following your blog on and off for a year now, and I ran into you (by chance) at problogger yesterday, Kate, and we chatted briefly, I thought to myself, she’s a delight, and the day rolled by. So I tracked you down today, gave you my virtual business card (magnets LOL) and you gave me your card. Now, I didn’t look at it when you gave it to me, I stuffed it in my pocket, and I am just going through my cards I got at the event from the lovely bloggers, and say “aBeachCottage” and thought – wait a minute, that’s that gorgeous homey beachy blogger – and it was you!!! How amazing is that. Your blog is divine, you are also an amazing friendly person, someone I could have chatted to all day… So what a wonderful way to finish up the day! I doubt you are home in Sydney already, so I’m not sure when you will see this message, but i hope it makes you smile, because your blog does that to me. I have a hobby blog http://www.AViewOnDesign.Blogspot.com, you may hav seen it around. But I now blog mainly on http://www.MyOnlineTip.com – which is more techy kinda… :) Anyways, I have started a podcast called Blogger Interviews, and you simply must let me interview you! Let me know if you’re game… BIG KISSES HUN XXXXXXXX Kate

  9. Jess says:

    Thank you so much for this Sarah. Jx

  10. Fleur says:

    Such a lovely post lovely,
    Just small comment to say what i’ve learnt from you blog, a kinda big “Aha” moment for me after 35 years on the planet, I realised its ok to like the things I like…. does that make sense? I feel I spent most of my 20′s trying to be into things that were cool and hip, then a move to the other side of the world at 29 threw me out of whack a bit…. now im settled with a hubby and kid, I ve realised that its ok to be into stuff. whether is cool or not, mainstream or a bit left field….. its ok to like a cheapy $10 foundation / face cream (BB cream!) and its ok to lust after french things….. hope this rambling comment makes sense.. but its ok, cause i know what i mean !!!

    Lots of love
    fleur xx

    • sarah says:

      I totally know what you mean, the same thing happened to me when we moved here…still think it is hard sometimes to remove yourself from the cr*p sometimes but I try a lot and it works :-)…so not interested in playing the cool game!

      I love your rambling comment, thank you sweetie xoxo

  11. Judy Clark says:

    Thanks for all of the good ideas and pointers. I am very new and the important thing to me seems to be just being myself, doing the things I like and using the styles that are me.


    • sarah says:

      thanks Judy, that’s what I did and I know many successful bloggers have done this too and it seems to be the key! :-)

  12. Candice says:

    Hi Sarah . love your post . Many thanks for your hints and blogger tips . I also recommend your course . I enjoyed reading everything you had written . I hope to be with you all in blog land soon , I am to replace my old 8 year old pc , family call it the Mother Ship she has been a great friend but I couldn’t start a blog until a new PC is purchased .
    I have saved for my new friend so now I am trying to make up my mind which is best suited to bloggers . I noted your baby sitting there in its happy spot looking very comfortable without taking up huge space . Thanks again for your tips and advice . Love it . Cheers

    • sarah says:

      thanks Candice, I am glad you enjoyed the course :-)

      ps I am hoping to get your friend’s little thing on the way this week – apologies for the delay I have been really busy :-)

  13. Love the advice! Love reading the round up from the conference.

    Thanks heaps xo

  14. Tamara says:

    Thank you Sarah, you inspire me so much. Have just read your blog on a day I feel more than a little deflated and you have really picked me up. I LOVE your blog X

  15. Great post Sarah – especially for those that were not lucky enough to attend. ProBlogger 2012 was definitely worth attending to not only help us understand how sparks of inspiration can come from anywhere, but also to catch up and compare notes with all our fellow blog buddies. Lovely to meet you and let’s catch up somewhere beachside soon!

    • sarah says:

      Hi Tony

      oooh yes I would love to meet up and do some of what we were talking about…sounds VERY good to me ;-) …phaps I’ll come over your way one day xoxox

  16. I’m bummed out we didn’t get to chat :( next time much love Nx

  17. I love this wrap, and your voice is just great. Wish there had been more time to chat with you at PB Event :( but it was lovely to touch base for a quick chat at that lovely cocktail do at Maha :)

  18. [...] ♥ Sarah Wilson on all the ways to make money from blogging. ♥ Fat Mum Slim on how to build your online community. ♥ Allison from Life in a Pink Fibro on tips from writing a better blog and how to know if book publishers are looking at your blog… and what exactly they’re looking for. ♥ Alison from Blog Zombie on 58 ways to get noticed as a new blogger. ♥ Nikki from Styling You on how to get brands knocking on your blog’s door. ♥ Sarah from A Beach Cottage on how to dream up blogging ideas that spark… and turn them into sparkles. [...]

  19. Great post. I’m about 3 months in to my blogging journey and it was great to get the reminders that it’s okay to be small and not to sweat the little things. I’ve been going round and round with the look of my blog…tweaking and learning how to do my own graphics…it has drained me from creating content. Thanks! I needed that! :)

  20. Stina says:

    Hej there. Thanks a lot for this. I started blogging for fun and before I knew it I was swept up in this bloggers community, even irl, talking talking talking about how to GROW how to get BIGGER. I wouldn’t mind my blog growing into something bigger, but I don’t MIND being small, right now. And I don’t want to write three posts a day just to be sure to cover all target groups. I blog me, for real.
    Good thoughts on “sparkles”! My sparkles are good writing, a sense of humour and on that note I recently re-profiled my blog into a beach house style-blog. Wich is funny, as I live in Sweden and is lucky if I get four weeks of summer in a year. (And before someone starts hrmpfhing about my “good writing”: English is not my mother tongue. Keep up your good work, sparkle on and I’ll keep looking in ;)

  21. Great post! If you don’t love it, what;s the point? :)

  22. Came across you via Lynne Knowlton. Great advice! Sparkles? Definitely making cards and thrift store window shopping. I am an avid second hand store hunter and I love blogging about what I find. If you write about what you love, it’s much easier to write.