Tuesday, August 07, 2012

My Driver's License is a Liar

Yesterday I went to the DMV.  It was time to renew my license and besides that I needed to change my name and address.

After waiting in line for literally an hour I wasn't too happy when they told me I had none of the correct information to change my name or change my address.  Apparently a social security card with your new married name isn't good enough for the DMV.  They need a marriage certificate, people, a marriage certificate! 

Obviously changing the address was complicated since I have no idea where we'll be living in a week.  I gave them my mom's current address but then they wanted two pieces of mail confirming I live there.  Looks like the DMV is on to me!  I don't live there at all! 

And so, I kept the name the same.  And I kept the address the same.  And now my driver's license is nothing but one big lie.

But listen, people.  I've got bigger things to worry about.  Like where I am going to live.... tomorrow.  I'm still upset at the apartment complex for not letting us know earlier, but Hubs says I have to learn to let some things go.  The housing we were going to live in had income requirements and I guess I'm just a freaking high roller because they said I make $2000 over the yearly limit for their tenants to make.  Now, I don't own an apartment complex, but if I did... I would think the more my tenants made the better.  Right?  RIGHT?  RIGHT?  And wasn't it nice of them to call us 48 hours in advance to tell us we wouldn't be able to move in.

Can't you tell I've moved on?

While I spend the day scrambling and I say SCRAMBLING to find somewhere new to live, I am going to let my favorite blogger of all time take over.  Yes, I said it.  This girl is my favorite.  Not only is she hilarious, but Erin is a blogging genius.  Let me give you a little blogging secret to ensure your complete success.  Copy everything Erin does.  That's it.  Watch and repeat and you will be turn right into blogging gold.


If that's not enough advice for you, Erin herself is here to tell you how to do it.  Blogging tips from the blogging brain.  Take it away Erin!

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Hey you beautiful things.

So {so} happy to be here today.

First off-my name is Erin and I write over at Living In Yellow.

One thing you need to know before we begin.

I adore Bonnie.
The girl is freakin hilarious and I am flattered she would want me to share with you.
I should reiterate that.
I am flattered that she would allow me to pay her money to guest post for her.
Isn't she sweet ;)

So Bonnie, thanks for having me to your humble abode.
Mwah Mwah and Mwah.
Awhile back I wrote this whole set of blogging lessons learned, and well--a few readers liked it.
So I thought why not share it with all of you beautiful creatures as well?

My hopes is that it will teach you a new thing or two.
And if it doesn't--you obviously are a smarty pants, so my hat is off to you.
Anyhow.
Without further ado, I present to you:


1. So you wanna grow your readership base?
GET YOUR BLOG OUT THERE.
Unless you are the Momastery,
your blog is not going to go viral by staying confined to your own blog walls.
So what am I saying to do?
Sponsor other blogs.
Don't have the funds to pay for sponsorship currently?
Do button swaps with blogs similar in size to yours.
You give them your button, they give you their button.
Free of charge.
Just get your blog out there.
I started paying to sponsor other blogs six months into blogging.
My monthly page views grew by more than 40% immediately.
I now am a firm believer in sponsoring 1-3 other blogs on a monthly basis.
For more information on what you should look for when you are choosing what blogs to sponsor,

2. Give your readers more than one way to follow you.
Let's face it peeps.
Not everybody and their mom has a gmail account.
Meaning, not everybody and their mom can click on that handy dandy "Follow" button on your sidebar.
With that being said--you must give them other options.
Living In Yellow allows others to "follow" through these avenues:
and
Email Subscription
If I could tell you to do one thing immediately it would be this:

Create a Facebook page & Twitter account for your blog.
You may feel foolish because you only have 5 followers.
Trust me, I felt those thoughts.
Do it anyway.
People want to know YOU.
The person behind the blog.
And Facebook & Twitter are a great way to allow your readers to do this.
Wanna know if I am eating Twizzlers 24/7 or see what shoes I am wearing to work?
Your right.
Probably not.
Buuuut, if you do--Facebook & Twitter would be how you would learn this.
Second part to this--
These social media outlets are a great way to communicate with your readers.
Some of my favorite evenings are spent on my Ipad conversing back & forth with blogging friends.
You can't do that through your blog.

3.    Reach out to bloggers you admire
This is something that I did in the beginning.
I spent time researching my favorite blogs and shops.
And then I emailed each and every one to see if we could "collaborate" in some way.
I will be forever grateful to people like Heather at {Just.Lovely.Things} for giving me a chance to host a giveaway for her back in the beginning.
Don't be afraid to ask others for help.
Some people may so no.
But some may say yes.
Be thankful either way.

4.    If you want to make your blog posts funnier,
don’t allow your husband to proof read your posts.
 If you want to remain married, allow your husband to proof read them.

If you want your blog posts to be funny and you want to remain married,

“accidently” publish your post and tell your husband it can’t be re-done.
It will work.
 One time.
But after that, you must decide between options 1 and 2.
 Take your pick.
Oh, and only use the most flattering pictures of your man that you can find.
He'll appreciate it.


5.    Let’s talk about comments for a minute.
Leave em’.
And like I mentioned in part one of these blogging tips, if are you going to say something-make it nice.
There is enough negativity in this world, don’t bring it into blogging yo.
Oh.
And if you do leave a comment, I beg you for the life of me…enough of this
“I’m your newest follower…come follow me back” crap.
Chances are real high that if you say that, I will not click on your blog.
This may sound harsh, but it is true.
People hear me out.
It is not about the quantity of followers, it is the quality of followers.
If you want to attract a blogger to your blog—leave a comment that means something.
Something that will intrigue the blogger reading it and will make them WANT to come to your page and follow.
Say for example a comment like this:
“I love, love, LOVE your blog! I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon it, but I'm so glad I did! I can be having THE MOST craptastic day at work, but as soon as I read your latest post, I can get out of fetal position, resist the urge to smack the crap out of my co-workers and get my work done :)

You have a fantastic sense of humor and a great outlook on life. Heck, you can even talk about poop, which in and of itself is pretty awesome!!! Keep up the great work!!"
Thank you The2Dees for brightening my day with that one.
Moving on now.

 
6. Pictures.
Again, like part one said--always use em'.
Two things to add to this.
Make them big, bold, and beautiful.

I don't want to have to squint to see that picture you just posted.
As far as making them look beautiful--take time to edit your pictures.
It makes a huge difference.
I use Google's Picasa/Picnik and sometimes Pixlr.
Others may use Photoshop.
And those others are a heck of a lot smarter than I.

7. Word verification.
Take it off.
Like now. 
 I get excited when I about to leave somebody a comment, and the minute I see that stupid box with words that I can’t read staring me in the face, my head gets full of cuss words.
And I don’t even cuss people.
Make it easy for us commenting folk and remove it would ya?
To do so-follow these instructions:

8. Don’t let others fool you.
Blogging takes time.
This is something I didn’t really plan for when I started blogging.
Sure, I knew it would take me a solid ten minutes to whip a post.
But what I didn’t realize is that it takes an additional 10 minutes to upload pictures,
20 more minutes to edit, 5 minutes to arrange the post,
5 more minutes to bold certain words or make em’ big,
5 more minutes to blog and tweet about your new post,
and then 30 more minutes to respond to the nice people who comment on that post.
Oh, and then another 2 hours to read all of your favorite blogs.
Here is where things get difficult for me.
Remember that blogging takes time---
but don't let it take up all your time.
99% of us, started blogging as a "hobby".
Something extra to do in our "spare time".
Don't neglect the things you love the most because of your blog.
The minute you make your blog a chore, the minute blogging sucks.
Because let's face it--Chores Suck.
So yes, if you find the perfect balance-
Please, do tell.
I am all ears on that one.


 9. Content
Yes, numbers 1-8 are important, but it all comes down to this.
People will read your blog if they like what you have to say.
That's all there is to it.
So my word of advice on this one:
Write.
Write from your heart, from your head, from your hyper bones.
Just write.
And don't overthink it.
Write what you want to write about when you want to write it.
Find your writing voice and use it to the best of your ability.
God gave us all our unique special "voice".
Don't try to imitate somebody elses.
Oh and another thing as far as content goes--
Remember variety is important in blogging.
People will get bored if you talk about the same thing.
Over. And over. And over again.
Mix it up.
This will keep your readers engaged and interested in coming back.


10. Last but not least-
 Support one another
Blogging is a community.
We are here for one another-to encourage-to help each other out-
to show love-and to become homies.
Give shout outs just for the heck of it.
Don't be afraid to help grow one another's reading base.
One other thing--
Be humble.
Remember, we all started in the same place.

Now get your hot little buns over to my blog and say hello.
I would love to get to know you :)

18 comments:

  1. UGH! The DMV is so annoying! I can't believe you have to have a marriage certificate to change that info! It's a good picture, though!

    BTW, my Driver's License says I way 115, too. That's off by a measly few pounds (bahahahaha I wish). I DARE a cop to ask me if that's my true weight!

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  2. BON.. OMG that's crazy! I'm getting scred because I have to change my TX dl to CA very VERY soon.

    I also loved the guest post!! Going to vist & follow her for sure!

    I really enjoy reading your posts!

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  3. This makes me dread having to go there! I need to have my name and address changed as well. Good to know I'm not the only person with a lying license.

    Good luck with finding a place. We found out two days before we were moving out of our place that we had somewhere to move into! It'll happen for you!

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  4. Your post made me laugh and sad at the same time... you can't move!? How do you make lots of money as a teacher? Seriously that is not cool. :(

    Oh and I always lie about my weight on drivers license, who actually puts their real weight anyway? :)

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  5. It really is too bad that I don't own an apartment complex in Utah. Otherwise, I'd for sure want you to move in. Who wouldn't want such a funny tenant?! It's their loss!

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  6. Ugh the DMV. They never cease to frustrate me. I'm dreading changing my name.

    I'm so sorry about the apartment situation. The income restriction is probably the most ridiculous thing ever. How is a person supposed to live?! When I was looking for a place last year I found the ideal place and they claimed they could give me a great deal because I earn practically nothing. . . I made a measly $1,000 more than their income restriction for that particular deal. The price skyrocketed without the deal so it wasn't going to happen and now live in the ghetto. (If I get capped that's on them.) I seriously wanted to punch them in the face and still do. However, if they would have pulled that 48 hour stunt I probably would have flipped out like Teresa on the Real Housewives flipping a table. (Really hoping you know what I'm referring to. . .youtube maybe?)

    Yay! Erin! She is also one of my very favorites. Never ceases to make me laugh.

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  7. That's so horrible to hear about your housing situation- some people are so frustrating, don't they realise you can't just give a person 48 hours to find somewhere to live?!?!!?!?!?! Hope it all sorts itself out,xoxo

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  8. Girl, how you are managing to write coherently while not having a place to live is mind-boggling. I would probably be hyperventilating into a paper bag.

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  9. I had someone tell another friend that she should get a license first before the new SS card. I silently laughed, knowing that this person was going to listen to this other girl and sure enough the girl got it all wrong. It was kinda funny!

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  10. I was just thinking on the way into work that I needed to head to the DMV since we just bought a house. I'm totally dreading it!

    PS. LOVE erin! She is the funniest and I loved having you both on one blog to enjoy.
    xo,
    crystal
    www.ourlifeandlovestory.blogspot.com

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  11. What a pain about the DMV!!

    Also, Erin is hilarious :).

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  12. i went to the dmv the other day and no one was in front of me. that never happens!! hope your house situation works out for the best, soon!

    erin is great. she's definitely got some good points in this post!

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  13. Oh my goodness gracious! I've enjoyed all of the guest posts so far but this, THIS is my favorite! And just as soon as I can get my head out of my....well, you know, I'm going to use these tips.

    PS. good luck with the DMV. And just be glad you don't live in New York State.

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  14. When I got my name changed at the social security office, they told me that all I would need is my social security card and that I wouldn't need my marriage licence. So then I go to the DMV and they said I needed my marriage licence! Such a pain!

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  15. This is some great advice! Thanks! :) Check out my blog link-up today if you have some time!

    Wanderlust Wednesday Link-up #1!

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  16. I went from crying over a loved one's illness to laughing out loud. Thank you Bonnie and Erin for doing that for me this evening.

    Bonnie - your sarcasm cracks me up. I'm sure things will work out for you and I can't wait to read the story about it.

    Erin- your advice was funny and honest. I appreciated the rule about writing what you want and adding variety.

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  17. That's why you were getting a license!! sorry... i'm still in the land of 16-17 yr olds just barely getting their first DL and that's what i think of when i hear "I was at the DMV..." sorry it was a waste for you :( At least you can always go back and fix it...try an appointment if they have that option available..it's relatively faster. I lived in a "salary- contolled" apartment when I forst moved out... then I got enegaged and we couldn't stay there becasue together we made too much money...oh well.
    Oh and thanks for allowing Erin to post she's freakin hilarious!!

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  18. These are great tips! Thanks so much for the comment on my blog. I love your blog and plan to come back and check out your other postings.. I love reading tips on blogging better because i am still so new to blogging and great tips are highly appreciated!

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