HEY EVERYBODY! Did you know?! Today FTS turns 4 years old! Yep, it’s our 4 year anniversary/Birthday and I’m excited to share it with you guys! I have some blogging tips I’ve learned over the years, some personal shout outs and very special contest that could land you a $50 RedBubble gift card!
I’m a big supporter of community involvement in blogging. Yes, participating in event s with other bloggers can be beneficial for your own blog’s traffic and web presence but that stuff just becomes a cool bonus for what you really get from others. First of all, I totally admit that many of the bloggers I’ve come to know over the years are people I would consider close friends of mine. I never imagined that type of bond could come from chatting with other people on the internet. I mean, I’ve seen Catfish but I’m not like those people, right? Maybe, maybe not, but the point is it’s incredibly fun and rewarding to connect with other individuals that share your same interest. You can actually read more on my thoughts about it in last year’s birthday post.
I have talked at length about never feeling like I’m getting ahead in my blogging. I’m the type of person that thrives off marking something off a checklist and if blogging has taught me anything over the past four years, it’s that my checklist is never complete. Quite literally, every time I am able to tick off a few boxes more items find their way onto the list. Part of my brain knows that I will never be “ahead” of my to-dos but my more driven and apparently illogical section in my noggin has me constantly chasing the unattainable carrot at the end of the string. It’s cool though. The biggest piece of advice I can give another blogger – even if I don’t take my own advice all the time – is that it is okay to get overwhelmed. You will never be finished and that’s fine. Really, it’s better than fine – it’s great. The nature of blogging demands that you stay current and constantly working. Take time to find your footing with your blog and evaluate what is important to you not only as a blogger but also as a passionate person with a social life. This bleeds into my next tip…
I wouldn’t say that I’m the absolute best person at making sure I hit certain goals I set for the blog, but I am, at the very least, motivated by the goals I set. It can be really easy to get discouraged by blogging, especially if you aren’t meeting whatever goals you have put in place. But like I said earlier, that’s okay! The best thing about creating your own motivation is that you have the power to change anything you want. I look at an overview about once a month of what goals I want to make a dent in but I am constantly reevaluating what I can accomplish. It’s okay to not reach a goal as long as you understand why you couldn’t and how you can change things to get there. Don’t panic. Keep investigating. Keep trying new things. Keep calm and carry on…I mean…
Most bloggers roll solo but even if you work with a bunch of other talented contributors like I do, you have to recognize that the only person that will keep you motivated is yourself. It can be as tough as lifting weights without a spotter, I assume. I have no frame of reference to know if that gym analogy is at all accurate but it sounds close. What I’m saying is that you have to constantly reassure yourself about your work and what you’re doing or else you will never strive for more. Of course, you can consult others and ask for advice but no one is going to MAKE you write that post by Friday or watch 10 movies in 10 days. You have to push yourself to meet your goals and make new ones. As I mentioned earlier, I can get frustrated some times by the fact that I have a huge list of post ideas but no time available to write but that just means that I will always have something to do.
If you want to maintain a blog and also eat food and sleep, my best advice is to keep a cool head, always want more and surround yourself with great people. If it’s okay with you my dear readers, I’d like to say a few words to the people that have made this blog what it is today:
DYLAN – Hey buddy. I don’t know if you are reading this at the moment and I know that you’re not exactly an FTS member but you were our very first fan and I’m pretty sure the only reason we continued blogging. Maybe someone else would have stopped by FTS to leave us a few comments but you were the first person to read, listen and give us feedback on a regular basis. That was huge and I can never thank you enough.
SARA – Resident FTS newbie but only because we just found you so recently. I wasn’t even looking for another writer to join the team when I came across your blog but when I did, I knew you would be such a great fit. I can’t wait to read more from you and I hope your stay at FTS is long and cozy.
SAM – Opposite of Sara, you came to FTS at a very serendipitous time. Since you have joined the team, you’ve been so willing to take on whatever task we throw your way and are always coming up with new and interesting blogging ideas. Perfect for FTS.
ROBERT – It has been said numerous times that we are obviously movie twins but that’s not the only reason I wanted to lure you in to the FTS family. Your blogging efforts and drive over at The Hatch are exactly what I love about film blogging. You’re passionate about film and life and it always comes through in your work. I think that if we came together in real life it would be like that moment in Step Brothers where Dale and Brennen discover that they are best friends but instead of sharing a love for John Stamos and Good Housekeeping we would be shouting about Ellen Ripley and Jurassic Park. I’d still want to do karate in the garage though if you’re cool with it.
JAY – I think that we have determined through extensive research that England is a dull land that won’t even provide you wanks with proper breakfast nourishment. You should just come on over to America and set up here in Baltimore. You would be close to a group of movie friends, Nick could go to all the animated screenings with you and you would be surprised how much heroin curbs your appetite so you would rarely need to buy groceries. On a serious note though, we love you Jay. Yes everyone at FTS totally digs you as a person. I hope our paths cross in real life some time soon.
MARC – I can’t believe you put up with all of FTS’ shit. I mean to be fair, we do put up with yours but seriously, thanks. I can’t believe that it’s been four years since we have been getting together every week to bitch in front of microphones but I deeply, truly want to thank you for keeping up with the commitment.
WILL – Oh, Slick Willy. You‘re a big pain in my ass but I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun over the past 4 years if you weren’t around. Thanks for sticking around and here’s to four more!
NICK – You beautiful man, you. I know I rib you a lot but you’re honestly just the greatest. I’m so thankful that we had a fateful meeting at the movies and have become so close over the years. It’s been an extremely rewarding experience having you join in on all of the FTS endeavors and I just want you to know that it means the world to me and the rest of the crew!
ROB – Armed Robbery. You are, without question, the most generous person I’ve ever met. You’ve dealt with all of FTS’ highs and lows over the years with complete dedication and I could not be more proud to have you as a best friend.
JESS – At this point, we are basically just an extension of each other’s personalities. I can rely on you for anything and pretty much do. You are the ultimate in cool, funny and kind. You have killer taste in everything and every day you firmly cement yourself in the 1%. I can’t wait to continue FTS with you and all our other future plans!
Was your name not on that list? It’s okay, I love you too. To prove it, I’m going to try & buy your affection. How? First take a look at this cute dinosaur picture below:
D’awww. Well that dino is more than just cute, it’s also you’re ticket to win a $50 RedBubble.com gift card! All you have to do is look for that dino somewhere in one of FTS’ old posts. If you find it, email me at Lindsay@frenchtoastsunday.com with a link to where you found it and at the end of next week I will select a random winner.
We have a lot of posts so I will give you one clue to get you started:
I can’t list off every post but I will say that this sentence you’re reading already gave away a clue.
Depending on how I’m feeling, I might give our some more clues on Twitter so if you want them, just ask: @FTStweets.
So thanks again for celebrating FTS’ 4th Birthday with me! If you want to join the contest, make sure you email me by Friday March 28th, 2014. If you want to share some of your own blogging tips with me, please do so in the comments!