Friday, January 4, 2013

Blog and TpT Etiquette

Howdy friends!

I'm a little nervous as I sit down to write this post, but I feel like it's important and I'd love to get your thoughts as well.  It's long, but important... especially if you're new to blogging or TpT.

There has been a lot of chatter lately in different online teacher communities about new comments on blogs and TpT stores: specifically about the etiquette for leaving posts and comments.

I just want to share about my own experience blogging and selling on TpT and hope that it doesn't come off too preachy!

I started blogging in June 2011, but had already had my class website up since 2007.  In the beginning of blogging, I remember how nerve-wracking it was waiting for my followers to grow and hoping someone would comment on my blog.   The best way I found to increase my audience was to interact on other blogs.  I joined and hosted linky parties, got to know other teacher bloggers, and formed relationships with them.  My blog grew quickly but I already had a little bit of a web presence and I also spent a lot of time interacting with other bloggers.

Letting a blogger know you're their newest follower or inviting a blogger to come check you out sometime is great and totally acceptable when it comes with genuine feedback and/or comments!  I think that we need to remember that everyone looks forward to meaningful comments on their blog... not comments asking to return the favor and comment on another blog.

The same goes with products at TpT... especially freebies.  When I post freebies at TpT, for example, they're a labor of love and I so appreciate your comments letting me know that you are enjoying them.  When I get a comment in the Q&A section like this, however, "I like this. Please come and follow my store and comment on my freebies.", it is very frustrating because that is not the purpose of the Q&A.  Does anyone else feel this way?

If you've read my blog on any Sunday this fall, you know I'm a HUGE Lions fan, so let me throw this at you Lions Football style... this season the Lions got ROBBED when the coach threw a flag on a play that was going to be reviewed anyway.  You can't ask for a play that is already going to be reviewed to be reviewed... so, as a penalty, they did not review the play after all since he asked for it to be done.  Confusing right?  But if a blogger or TpTer is throwing a flag my way when I usually check out the blogs of those who comment anyway, I probably won't check it out.  I want, and I'm sure you do too, people to enjoy my work because they enjoy it.  Not because they are trying to grow their following.

It takes time to be successful and, I have found that the best way is through meaningful relationships with other teacher bloggers.  We are all here to help and support each other... we want each other to succeed and we will help you achieve that too... but let's be friends first, not casual commentators who just want to see our numbers grow!

A watched blog and TpT store never boils... or something like that!

Check out these dos and don'ts and feel free to leave your own in the comments below.  I know other bloggers would love to see what everyone things... no one wants to make anyone uncomfortable and we all want success!


129 comments:

  1. ♪ Sing it, girl! ♪

    I would also like to add:

    DO leave constructive feedback for a seller on TpT. However, if you feel like something is "missing" from the product, leave us a heads up in the Q&A. Give us a chance to "make it right" for you before you leave feedback.

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    Replies
    1. Yes! Or, even better, send us a private email.
      Ѽ Lori
      Teaching With Love and Laughter
      luvyorkies@gmail.com

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  2. Very well said, Christina! I love getting comments on my blog and facebook, and at my store, and I read every single one of them, even I can't respond to every single one of them. I will always visit people who stop by. But, I won't usually visit them if they tell me to, or if they leave information about what they are selling or offering. I just think it's wrong. Thanks for posting this!

    By the way, be sure to come and visit me at my store because I'm selling...Just kidding! ;)
    Ѽ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter
    luvyorkies@gmail.com

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  3. I think it's frustrating, too, and I'm not even a seller. QUALITY comments mean so much that it's tough when someone comments just to try to get more followers. And it really doesn't entice me to visit their blog- in fact, it does the opposite. It feels like trying too hard, and not being authentic. Instead, if someone leaves the link to their blog but comments in a way that shares an idea or makes a connection, I'm pretty likely to check their blog out to look for more ideas.

    Jenny
    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

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  4. Thank you for writing this. As a newish blogger, I don't know yet what is OK and what isn't. I have seen some of the things that you've mentioned, and it doesn't seem quite right.

    And I love how you said "A watched blog never boils." I've said that to myself as well :) It's just so exciting when you're starting out!

    On another note, did you recently change your blog design? It's way cute!! I'm looking to revamp mine, but it can be so expensive. Guess I will have to go check out Design by Christi!

    Diane
    Fifth in the Middle

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    1. Christi updated my blog over the summer... I LOVE IT! :) She's affordable and quick... and so great to work with. I'd highly recommend checking her out!

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    2. Since the summer?! Guess I'm reading too many blogs to keep them straight! Her prices look pretty reasonable, or at least in line with what others are charging.

      How do you feel about leaving comments that aren't all that meaningful if you know that you already follow each other? Like saying "So cute!" just to let them know that you read it and are continuing to build that relationship. Or would that come off as fishing for more followers?

      Just curious. Don't want to unintentionally irritate someone :)

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    3. I think things like that are great! Sometimes there's not a ton you can say about something. I guess a good rule of thumb would be to think about whether what you're leaving would be something you'd want someone saying to you after putting in work on a post or product. You know what I mean?

      I don't want my post to make people paranoid, just more thoughtful about WHY we are here... I blog to share ideas and get better as a teacher so my students get the best of me every day. Sometimes we get to caught up in our blog numbers and lose sight of that!

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    4. Very good points. Thanks again for writing this :)

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    5. Great comments! I am new to Teachers pay Teachers and have not started a blog yet, but want to. I am looking for all kinds of hints as to what to do and especially what not to do. I don't want to inadvertently make a big mistake. With lots of luck hopefully I'll figure out this blog business and have one up soon. I am not even sure how to leave my ID when I reply :)The Pink Ladybug

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  5. Thank you for posting this! I had a lot of trouble starting up my blog (and waiting patiently for followers) and was often tempted to do some of this, but you're absolutely right. I think it paid off for me in the end that I instead chose to help with giveaways for friends I had made, continued with linkys, and started creating quality TpT products.

    Plus I was thrilled when I finally learned how to add my link to the bottom of comments. That helped a lot!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

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  6. Three cheers for Bainbridge! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray!
    Seriously though, thanks for taking the time to do this. Everything was well said.

    Katie

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  7. Great post! I'm still trying to get my blogs to grow right now and these are great tips for everyone like me! Pinned!

    -Ari
    The Science Penguin

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  8. I completely agree with what you are saying and also with Jenny's comment. I, too, do not sell on TPT and I feel bad for those who get comments like that. AND I feel really bad for the TPTer's who share their freebies and will only get a few ratings/responses. Then, you see that like 400 people have downloaded the product. How hard is it to give a nice comment?
    Thanks for this post. It had to be said!
    ~Andi

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  9. Great post! A touchy subject, for sure, but you addressed it fabulously. Thanks!
    http://kinderkarla.blogspot.com

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  10. Very well said!! The most important thing is the relationship that you build over time with bloggers. That's what I've learned will help make you successful. I totally agree with what you said about not advertising your TPT store on other people's stores. I don't mind giving a fellow blogger some love, but it should be authentic like you said. :)
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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  11. This all sounds great and I agree! If you comment on my product and then advertise your store in my comments, rude!!! Also, as a buyer I don't always look or pay attention to the rating, I look at the product for quality and to see if it meets my needs!!

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  12. Well said, I believe we all need reminders of proper blog etiquette! I follow many blogs and I seldom comment because I want my comments to be heart felt and I want to mean what I say - I don't want to comment just to comment! Thanks for being brave and saying what many others probably wanted to say as well!

    Mrs.Egley’sKindergarten

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  13. Thanks for the advice. I have been following teacher websites and blogs for a while but it is really scary starting your own - wanting to give back - but not being sure how to do everything (linky parties, freebies, google docs, commenting on blogs where you feel like you know the person from following but they don`t know you!!!). This post really helps.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

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  14. Nice work! Sad that people need that pointed out...I feel like some of those tips are just common sense:-) Thanks for laying it all out. Also, you blog design is still adorable. I know you had it redone awhile ago, but it still makes me smile every time I visit.

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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  15. I think you have some excellent points - thanks for putting it so nicely :)

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  16. Thank you for sharing and sending out a kind reminder to everyone about this touchy subject! It is disheartening for me to see those unhelpful comments and people trying to get the most followers on their blogs. Also, just like the other ladies above me, I adore the new (even though its way past summer) layout. I've been thinking about changing mine but I guess since it's a new year, I need a new look. Thanks again Christina for the post. :)

    Andrea
    Cheers To School

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  17. Well said! I get so excited when there's a comment left on my blog, but it's not quite as exciting when it feels like it's just to get you to follow their blog. Thanks for posting about this!
    Sarah
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

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  18. Very well written! I totally agree with you. I want people to read my blog and posts because they are interested in it. I feel the same way about the giveaways.

    Shelly

    Smiling and Shining in Second Grade

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  19. How funny that you mention this! I had just posted a freebie and that same kind of comment. I was like...okay, this reminds me of when I was 12 and making websites ;)

    Http://learningwithmrss.com

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  20. Great post - my sister and I joined TpT in October and while we have been very impressed by the supportive community, we have noticed the odd seller who is a little too aggressive with their marketing. It's a small issue now, thankfully, but I hope it does not increase as the site grows.
    Glad you have addressed it on your blog!
    -Kristin

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  21. Excellent post, and I agree with everything you said. I hope the people that need it the most see it. I especially love your football analogy.

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  22. Well put! Thanks for posting!

    -Jeff

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  23. Great post! I think I am guilty of the "I am your newest follower" comment, but I never ask anyone to go to my blog. I, personally, just like to know when someone new visits my blog and follows me...however, I will probably not be adding that comment anymore. I see how it can be annoying and seem as if I am pleading for people to come see me. That is not at all how I intend for it to be taken, but I totally understand. :) I do agree with the feedback that is left on freebies! I like good, constructive feedback so that I (1) know what I may need to improve if feedback is left on an item I sold, or (2) how other buyers felt about a product that I am considering for purchase. Thanks again for a great post!

    Andrea

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    1. I'm with you Andrea....I've done the 'I'm your newest follower too'...and I have actually invited folks to stop by my blog too, AFTER I've left a lengthy post on what I liked about their posting. I think that it usually comes off well, but...now that it feels like my blog and TPT are picking up steam, I've experienced people who behave as Christina mentioned, and it has definitely given me some pause. I certainly don't want to be perceived as cloying or not 'up' on blogging ettiquite, so...in the future, I may not suggest visiting my blog either. Maybe I need to just let my comments stand, and if the person feels like my comment wants to know me further, they will check out my blog on their own, without a suggestion from me that may, or may not come across as pushy. Good food for thought here.... :)

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    2. A lot of times I'll let someone know I'm their newest follower (because I know I love seeing nw followers!) but I try to also give their blog or post a compliment, too, and leave my link at the bottom so they can visit me if they want, but no pressure :)

      Jenny
      Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

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    3. I'm guilty of that as well. I think when I first started blogging, I saw it so many times I thought it was the norm, like a friendly response vs. trying to get followers. I appreciate knowing this now!

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  24. Awesome post! My thoughts exactly. I see so much in the TpT forums that is all about "sales, followers, etc" and it's getting over the top. Even the emphasis on following a blog in order to participate in a giveaway. Personally, I follow blogs through an RSS reader, and although Blogger integrates with Google Reader, it's still kinda annoying to have such a huge emphasis on following someone to "win" something rather than following them because you like their ideas and want to steal everything they have! Just kidding . . .
    What i have learned

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  25. Amen! I blog for me. I know that my content will apply to some and not others. I'm even starting to feel uncomfortable with the EMAILS I'm beginning to receive that solicits traffic.

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  26. This is good! I know I only comment when I feel I have something to say that pertains to the actual content of the blog post. I like reading comments on other people's blogs as well and sometimes there really is a lot of drivel to plough through. Myself, I like getting thoughtful comments. I have to say I monitor comments and I'm glad I do because I've been able to get rid of the spam comments (one was really peculiar and quite creepy actually!) Thanks for putting it all so well into writing :)
    Lynn

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  27. This is an awesome post! I wish it had been around when I started blogging (April) and selling on TPT (July). I know I made a few of the mistakes listed above out of ignorance. Now, newbies have a resource to help them avoid those things bloggers and sellers dislike.
    Thank you for ignoring your nerves and posting.
    Amy
    Adventures In Teaching

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  28. Great post Christina! The tips and reminders are so helpful! I only comment on posts when I have something meaningful to say. I ALWAYS comment on TpT and I would love it if all buyers would comment on my products. (With the credits that they receive I'm not sure why they don't.) When I follow someone I usually just say "Happy to be your newest follower" because I am! :-) I have never asked anyone to follow me. I want followers who are going to read my blog not just "follow me".
    Gina
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

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  29. Absolutely agree!!! I would rather someone come to my blog b/c they want to. I do think some people are new to blogging and don't realize that you can click on a commenter's name to go to their blog (if they have one linked that is). But you can always tell when someone doesn't know, because they might just type their blog URL under their name w/out asking you to come visit, which I think is fine.

    I had a comment on one of my freebies, and then later found out this seller was basically doing this to hundreds of sellers. It didn't sit well with me either, once I realized he/she was just doing it to direct traffic to his/her store.

    Thanks for posting this! It would be great if they had sticky threads in the forum, and this one could be kept there!!! If blogger had a LIKE button, I'd use it here. :)

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  30. Love this post!! There are many people who need to read this...
    <a href="http://teachersclipart.blogspot.com/>Teacher's Clipart/</a>

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  31. This is a great post, Christina - thank you! I remember how daunting it was to join in the blogging/TPT world just a year ago, not knowing all the "rules"/expectations/etc...this is both really helpful for "newbies" and good reminders for those who have been around a while, too.

    Kara
    Spedventures

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  32. Not preachy, just heart felt advice. You are a leader and an inspiration to other teachers and bloggers.

    Tricia

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  33. Very well said! I am fairly new to blogging and was getting discouraged by some of those comments left on my blog. I didn't know if it was the right way to comment or not! Thanks for posting and letting everyone know. Cheers to you!!!
    Darleen
    Third Grade Love

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  34. Thanks for writing this! It took me awhile to start my own blog because I wanted it to be interesting not just a marketing tool. I am still workinging on it and sooooo appreciate your words here!

    Cindy

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  35. I like this post. I have to admit, there have been times that I've gotten "caught up in the numbers" and disappointed that I wasn't at a "high" number, but slowly it's grown and I really appreciate the modest number of followers I have now. I agree that you should take the time to comment and find out what others are doing. You can't just start a blog and expect people to come to you. ;) Thanks for this!

    Sarah
    teachingiscolorful.blogspot.com

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  36. Oh man.... Another pet peeve of mine.... Teachers who not proof their comment before publishing it! So sorry about the typo! :(

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  37. Thank you Christina!! You are correct!! I agree with your words of wisdom!! And to new bloggers... DO turn off your word verification. They drive me crazy!! Stephanie

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    1. I learned that one pretty quickly! It drives me nuts as well.

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  38. Not preachy at all Christina! Very much needed right now from what I have experienced. Thank you so much for posting this. It will be very useful to new and veteran bloggers/sellers/teachers!

    Tracy

    Creekside Teacher Tales

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  39. A much needed post. Thanks!!!

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  40. Thank you for posting this! I appreciate your candor, and I sincerely hope that the offenders will find your blog post and will take your advice.

    As a new seller, I realize that, while I can sometimes get impatient and would like to see success quickly, I know that the sellers who are the most successful don't ever post comments in order to beg for followers. I know that I will build up my store by learning from fellow bloggers and sellers and by developing quality products.

    Jen

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  41. Amen, amen, amen! This was a very thoughtful and well-written post. Thank you so much for taking the time to address it in such a respectful way! :) Permanently Primary

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  42. Thank you for this post! I pinned it on Pinterest too! Being brand new at this blogging thing, I never know what is okay and not okay to do! I followed my gut, but your list re-enforces some good etiquette. I really enjoy reading your blog and this post was very helpful to a newbie like me!
    Hilary
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

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  43. Hey Christina,
    We are newbies to blogging. I feel the need to apologize. I know that I did comment on other people's blogs (after commenting on their post, though, in a meaningful way- at least I hope it was) and said that we were new to blogging and asked if they could check out our blog and leave feedback if they had a chance. But it's because we really wanted FEEDBACK. We kinda felt like we were hanging out there in never-never-land and had no idea if we were doing anything right and we just wanted someone to say, hey, don't do that or you are doing just fine, keep going. We NEVER asked for followers, we just were genuinely wanting feedback. We were feeling kinda lost and intimidated!!

    We didn't realize it was offensive. If we did offend anyone, we are sorry!! We would never want to!! Thank you for this advice! We really do appreciate it! New bloggers almost need a mentor to show them the ropes!!! If anyone has any questions, we are glad to help! We still don't know that much but we've learned a LOT in a short time!!

    We love all of the blogger friends we've made and we can't wait to get to know them better and make more friends! It's so fun! And you are so right! Once you start commenting on each other's blogs and a conversation starts, it means a lot and you really feel like you are getting to know someone!! I love it!!

    Have a great weekend!
    Amanda
    Collaboration Cuties

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    1. I know I don't get mad when it seems well-meaning, especially if it does come with a comment about what I posted. I'm sure you probably didn't offend anyone, and now you know! :)

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  44. THANK YOU THANK YOU! I so appreciate this. I think that there are many people out there who are well meaning, and then others who are just unsure about etiquette. I also believe that there are people out there making a conscious decision that this is a way to market, by making comments in places they shouldn't (ex. under ratings for TPT items) that promote their store. It seems as though people are figuring out who is gaining followers authentically and who is not and making choices about who they are purchasing from and following as a result, and it is posts like yours that make sure this happens.
    Anyways, thank you again for posting this.
    Dynelle
    First Grade Fun with Mrs. Dunn

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  45. Fabulous advice!! Thanks for bringing this discussion "out" today!

    ~Jen
    Hello Mrs Sykes

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  46. As a new blogger (7 mths ) I must say that this is exactly what I experienced and I am happy that you have enlightened us all. I do visit other blogs but I do not really comment much. I am going to change that as much as I possibly can. Thanks for your advice to people like me.

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  47. I love your blog and store. i could never find the time or creativity to be a blogger. i appreciate what you share.

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  48. I'm a new blogger and appreciate your words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing!

    Karen
    anappleadayinfirstgrade.blogspot.com

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  49. BTW-Christi designed my blog as well!

    Karen
    anappleadayinfirstgrade.blogspot.com

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  50. Great post! I love that you were honest about being a little nervous, but still wrote from your heart on something you felt was an important topic. I think you did a great job and brought up some important points and reminders for us all. Enjoy your weekend :) Karla
    The Connected Teacher

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  51. Thank you for all the tips. I just started blogging this week, so they are very helpful. I have a question regarding etiquette: When someone comments or leaves a question on your blog, is it best to respond to their comment on your own blog or jump over to their blog and comment there?
    Thanks again,
    Jessica
    Literacy Spark

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    Replies
    1. I usually comment back on my blog or try to e-mail the person directly. Not everyone subscribes to the reply comments, so if you click "Reply" when you read the comment in your e-mail, you can usually respond directly to them via e-mail if they have are not a No-Reply blogger!

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  52. I really enjoyed reading your post and am glad that it has been brought to the attention of all sellers on a Tpt discussion forum. I do not have a blog and am not sure I can keep with the daily updates, so I'm holding off right now venturing into that a bit scary) domain. I agree with many of your points and hope that others reading, may get the nudge-nudge hint. This is my first comment on a blog and am feeling that perhaps I have missed out in not visiting often enough. That will change as of today! Thanks again for your insightful and well worded post! Ornaami

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  54. There should definitely be some blogging information out there. When I first started blogging, I wasn't sure what to do and we weren't getting any followers or comments. I then personally emailed a few bloggers and asked for their advice and I can honestly tell you that no one responded to my emails. So, as I kept reading blogs I saw that people were saying they were their newest follower, check us out if you can. So of course that is what I did too, I didn't know any better. I always did leave a nice comment as well though.
    When we read the comments people leave in our TpT store we are looking for good feedback or suggestions or I would love if people made requests. A lot of times we get a "Thank you." Where that is very nice, it isn't really feedback, it is just a way to get your TpT credits.
    On a personal note, how often do you blog? I haven't been very successful about keeping on top of it but really want to be part of it all. I see that many people have a great relationship with others out in the blogging community. We would love to be part of that too and we realize that we need to be better at blogging, one of my resolutions! :)
    Thank you for starting this dialogue with everyone. I know that I really still have no idea what the "rules" of blogging are, but I am having fun along the way. I have the best time reading blog posts and joining in linky parties, etc.
    Have a great weekend!!

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    1. I did the same thing as Kim and Kelly! Guess we all make that novice mistake:-) I have to get out there more and join in the blogging fun! It takes so much time but I always learn so much!

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    2. Kim and Kelly- I've blogged a lot over break, but when school's in full swing, it's probably three to four times per week. I schedule a lot of posts in advance, so sometimes it's more than that- I have three scheduled for this week already, so that helps!

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  55. Thank you for sharing this, I VERY recently started my own blog and TPT store and was not really sure how all of this works. However, I definitely agree, I feel like it is wrong to advertise or request followers through comments on other sites.

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  56. As a VERY fresh newbie blogger I have enjoyed reading your tips. I have been a long time blog reader and tpt user and I value reading authentic feedback before purchasing an item. And as far as the 'Come check out my blog...' comments that I've read on other blogs- blogging should be for sharing your ideas not just for the followers or accolades!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Learning is Rosey with Mrs Josey

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  57. As a new blogger, I too am very appreciative of your blog, and wish I had seen it before I started blogging. Impatient, I was guilty of doing what I saw others doing (I am your newest follower, etc.), but now I see the bigger picture now. I thank you for your good advice and your candor on these matters. Sometimes people need to say what we "need" to hear not what we "want" to hear. Lesson learned. Michele @ http://the-lightbulb-lab.blogspot.com

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  58. I have not yet started a blog, but am considering it. I follow several and I like to read the comments when it seems applicable to do so. I would also like to add that it is irritating when bloggers with a pinterest board pin their own post several times or pin 6 different images from the same post. I love following bloggers that I like on pinterest, but this usually makes me stop following them.

    Thank you for a great post.

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  59. You wrote a very respectful post!
    I comment on many blogs, (perhaps I need to work on the 'meaningful part')and I try to help those who have asked. I am new at this and your tips just say "common sense" to me.
    I blog to share and in the process I hope someone finds what I do useful and follow because they like what they see.
    A comment after downloading a freebie is just a nice thing to do :)
    You are the best!
    Tania
    My Second Sense

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  60. Christina! YOU are an absolute inspiration! I love, love, love your ideas, freebies, and blog. YOu were the first blog I ever followed! It saddens me to know that people (especially teachers) are tit for tat! Keep doing what you are doing because this veteran teacher applause you each and every day!

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  61. Christina, thank you for posting about this. You and Erica have both inspired me so much - so I'm glad the both of you completed some sort of post about this sort of thing. My one problem with is what do you suggest for people that are blogging & making TPT products, but do not yet have their own classroom? Still blog about their products as though they are "the students?" I'm so appreciative of all the blogs I follow and of all the teachers behind each blog - you all work SO hard and are a definite inspiration (as said above)! :)

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees
    ventrellasara@gmail.com

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    1. I'm not sure what you mean about those tho create but don't teach... I don't know if I've encountered that!

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  62. Christina, I have been so patient for the last two years in blogging and with my TpT store and it has taken forever to get anywhere with followers. I still only have 200 followers on my blog so I am working on that now. I have always been afraid to ask for help in the ways that you speak of. I believe that hard work and perseverance pay off in the long run. Thanks for a great blog post and the fantastic advice.

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  63. Thanks so much for your "Dos and Don'ts" ... I'm still a newbie, and have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and intimidated to start a TPT store. I think blogging is my first step towards being more confident :)
    I LOVE your blog template- it is just gorgeous! I'm running over to your designers site right now so I can covet all her other designs :)
    Julie
    Primary Pointe

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  64. Thanks so much for your "Dos and Don'ts"!!! I love it! One of my new years resolutions is to leave comments on peoples blogs more! I LOVE getting new comments but realized although I read everyone's blogs, I don't always leave comments. I am making a point to take the time to comment if I love their post (or freebie). Thanks so much!

    Sarah
    Kindergarten Korner

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  65. Thanks for the tips. I only joined in September so I am still learning. I feel like there is just so much to learn. Thanks so much for the information. Newbies like us really need the tips that you all put out there. It is very helpful.

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  66. Thank you very much for this post! I have only been blogging for about 3 months and this information really helps us "newbies" learn the ins and outs of blogging. I am grateful for any wisdom from the "veterans" out there.

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  67. Well said! I have followed you for many, many years!! Thank you for your wisdom. You are as sucessful as you are because of how classy you are! Thank you!! Stephanie

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  68. I don't blog, but I appreciate those who do and you are a great example of excellent teaching.I know I am a better teacher because of folks like you! :)

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  69. Well said!! I love your little rules about blogging image....it is so cute and makes this touchy subject a little less intimidating. Thanks for the advice!

    Dee
    Mrs. B's Nook

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  70. AMEN Sista!! I agree. It's so hard to build up a following and I think that many people just want to see their followers increase. I've made the comment before that I can't put my followers in a bottle and keep them....it's just a number. My advice to people is....Don't stress over numbers. Do what you do, and love what you do! :)

    ღDeAnne
    First Grade and Fabulous

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  71. Thank you for posting this! I am trying to figure out ways to get more people towards my blog without having to advertise. I am new to the blogging world and am still learning the ropes.

    Elissa
    http://hardworkingteachingmomma.blogspot.com

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  72. I really enjoyed this post. I'm fairly new to blogging, and this is a good starter guide to the do's and don'ts of blogger comments.

    Lori
    The Reinspired Teacher

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  73. Hi Christina,
    Your post was just right. As a new-ish (5 month) blogger, sometimes it is hard to know what is OK and what is frowned upon. I have been on TpT just long enough to start getting those "I gave you a good rating, now go give me one, too," comments! It just seems icky. I am getting some of those comments on my facebook page, too. So, I appreciate your comments. Hopefully, we can all learn a little something from each other.
    Corinna :o)
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

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    1. Thanks for the great suggestions Christina! I do need to get out and leave comments more often instead of staying in my bubble - Thank you for the advice. You are right, it is a slow steady process and as long as I keep producing meaningful posts, it will come. =)
      Joann
      Fifth is Fabulous

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  74. The Lions did get robbed! It was horrible! I am also from MI and a big Lions fan!
    Tonya
    Tonya’s Treats for Teachers

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  75. I am so glad you posted this. I have been blogging for a few months and on TPT since March. I was curious to know your opinion on asking people to pin for you? I have seen this a few times and was wondering is that the same as asking people to follow/rate your?

    I have a blog with 5 followers. I cannot tell you how excited I was to get those 5 people. It would be so much less exciting if I begged those people to join.

    http://buzzintokinder.blogspot.com/

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  76. I am so glad you posted this. I have been blogging for a few months and on TPT since March. I was curious to know your opinion on asking people to pin for you? I have seen this a few times and was wondering is that the same as asking people to follow/rate your?

    I have a blog with 5 followers. I cannot tell you how excited I was to get those 5 people. It would be so much less exciting if I begged those people to join.

    http://buzzintokinder.blogspot.com/

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    1. I belong to a group of teachers who pin for each other. I post products to the group and pin products for others- but I don't just willy nilly pin things. I pin things I would really have a use for.

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    2. Okay! Thanks for letting me know! I was just wondering as a newbie I didn't know! =)

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  77. These are really great tips. As a new blogger, I find myself getting discouraged at times when I write blog posts that I spend a lot of time on and then no one sees them. Then I remember why I started blogging in the first place. I love interacting with other teachers and visiting them and commenting is fun for me. If someone decides to head on over to my blog then great, if not, it's alright because I still had fun visiting other bloggers.

    Jennifer
    Darling Little Learners

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  78. This is a really helpful post. I am new to TPT. I have not yet tried blogging as I feel that trying to create quality products for TPT takes so much time. It scares me to try and take on blogging to. How have you handled both? I am scared I won't have enough to say or really don't know what to post about. I do love reading others posts. Do you have any advice on getting started?

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    1. I blogged for about 9 months before I started selling at TpT. Don't feel like you don't have anything to say or that no one will care- we all want to see inside of your room as much as you want to see inside of ours!

      I love blogging for the relationships and real friendships it has helped me form! :)

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  79. Amen Sista! :) This is such a good reminder for the new and old! I think we are all guilty of "watching the pot" but you are right.. it will never boil! Be patient and post about what you love and the followers will find you- I remind myself of that every day. Thanks for a great topic!
    Tori
    Tori's Teacher Tips

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  80. Thanks for the advice! As new blogger, I was not sure how to get my blog up and going so the advice from experienced bloggers is appreciated. I have been following you since you began your website and have always loved everything you created! I love your flip books! They are such a great idea and of course I own several of you TPT items!!

    Thanks again!
    Mrs. Lutton

    kll1326@gmail.com

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  81. As a newbie to TPT this is so timely! It really does mean a lot to see feedback from buyers and that they took the time to share their thoughts. I must say you were such an inspiration to me when I was thrown into teaching 2nd grade last year. I was able to use so many of your wonderful ideas with my kiddos, so thank you for this and all you do.

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  82. Thank you for posting this. I'm a new blogger and seller on TpT and this is very helpful. I have seen people leave feedback on TpT only for the purpose of promoting themselves, and that bothered me. I've only just gotten started on both of these new adventures (blogging and selling) and your words have made me try to b patient as I continue to grow.
    Thanks!
    Carolyn
    Exceptional Kinders

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  83. Well said. I take comments on my blog and feedback on my TpT store very seriously. I appreciate it so much when someone leaves positive feedback, I wouldn't want someone to say something unless they really meant it (as opposed to saying cute just to get a follow back).

    Thanks for the post!

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  85. I really appreciated this post. I'm very new to blogging and TpT so I am always looking at blogs for ideas and suggestions. I appreciate the tone of your post, too. You were not "preachy".

    I've been a fan of yours since your old website. I will share a funny story about your "desk fairy" cards. I printed and distributed your cards to my kiddos who had clean desks, my daughter had drawn a cute "desk fairy" on the white board, and all was set.

    One of my tech savvy cuties, immediately looked at the card and exclaimed, " she left her website!" I had neglected to trim your blog address from the card prior to distributing! He tried and tried to find the desk fairy, but "some other site keeps coming up," was all I heard! So cute! Anyway, thanks for sharing and making my teaching better!

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  86. As a relative newbie, I am so appreciative of this! Others have said it already, but I think many (including myself) just sort of do what they see others doing because they think it's the norm. As time passes, I've started to see of the things you have mentioned in a different light. Unfortunately, it has caused me to unfollow some people on Pinterest, stop reading the forums on TPT, etc.--all of the self promotion is not what I want to read every day and just seems yucky. The upside is that it has made me think hard about my own blogging and comments, etc. Sometimes a simple "thank you" is what's called for, kwim? However, much of the time, a meaningful comment is more appropriate. Like most things in life, the Golden Rule can be our guide!

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    1. BTW--I haven't a clue as to add my address to a comment as you suggest, other than typing it in, however that doesn't link to my site. Can you share how to do that?

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  87. I feel the same frustration when I get that same comment on an item in my TPT store! I usually don't visit their page if they put that. Thank you for taking your time to list your do's and don'ts. It definitely doesn't happen overnight but it is worth the wait of building community throughout the blog world. Thanks for your post! :)

    -Courtney
    http://2ndgradesnapshots.blogspot.com/

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  88. I appreciate your heartfelt advice. I am a fairly new blogger and brand new TPTer and have made numerous mistakes. As someone said above, I too have emailed more seasoned bloggers for advice and have never gotten a response, so I am thankful for this post. I have left those "I'm your newest follower" and "Come check me out" comments many times. I never meant for them to be annoying or to come across as begging. I sincerely want to build relationships with other teachers through this medium. Reading others blog posts and seeing what other are doing in their classrooms has made me a better teacher.
    Sharon
    Buggy for First Grade

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  89. WOW!! Thank you for your advice Christina. I am very VERY new to blogging and TPT and it's good to know some of the do's and don'ts from someone more experienced.
    I will definitely take on your advice.

    Chantelle
    Little Learners

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  90. PERFECTLY said! Everyone should read this before starting a blog or joining TPT. I just started blogging in September & have *What I think* gained followers pretty quickly (I am up to 59) because I genuinely interact with other bloggers, comment on posts that have given me those "Wow" feelings & am doing this because I enjoy it. I never though that in 4 months I would have more than 50 followers but I am so thankful for each and every one of my followers. I really hate when the even newer ones come to my blog & are follow mine just to say, "I'm a new follower, come check out my blog!" I'm here to make bloggy friends & get ideas from some amazing teachers that I would never get the chance to meet otherwise. I appreciate & respect you for writing this! Thanks :)

    Ashley
    Primary Teacherhood

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  91. This was WONDERFUL and so well written! I shared it on my blog to send others over to read it! :-)

    Cynthia
    2nd Grade Pad

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  92. Great post! I am new to both blogging and TpT. Recently, I got a comment on TpT telling me to return the favor and rate their freebie all A's....I was dumbfounded! And I did not return the favor, but it sure seemed weird! I imagine it happens a lot to people who have successful shops! It definitely rubs wrong.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts and expertise!

    ~Kristen
    http://kinderpillars.blogspot.com/

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  93. Fab post! I really enjoy how you and Erica are both bringing these matters up close & personal for all of us. I am not one to notice these sort of things much but can see how it could be frustrating to others. I figured more of these things would just kind of be common sense, though I have to admit I do kind of like it when someone lets me know that they are a new follower of mine since I'm a newbie compared to some of the veteran bloggers. I will certainly keep your suggestions in mind that is for sure. I am so glad you shared your thoughts and kept it "real". On the note about getting emails from new bloggers asking questions I would think this would be kind of encourage, at least a bit? I have never emailed a blogger for questions, mainly because I don't have the courage but wouldn't that be more flattering than a pain in the butt. I mean as long as the email was sincere and has a reasonable question or concern. Thanks for being awesome.
    P.S. I'm in love with your blog design!!!

    Brittany
    Lovely Literacy & More

    Brittany

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  94. This is very true! I even get emails from people asking me to follow them simply because we live in the same country...One person who asked me to follow them because they were following me didn't have any products relevant to the levels I teach and they clearly hadn't taken the time to check out me to see if I was a person that would actually purchase their products. So annoying!

    TeachingProducts

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  95. I totally appreciate your words of wisdom for new bloggers! I just started a blog (http://thetechieteacher2.blogspot.com) and I put your button on my "Best Blogs" page. Thank you for all you do for the cyber community!

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  96. Although I am not a Lions fan. I am a fan of this post! Everything you said is so very true. I tried to read most of the comments also (however there are a ton) but I agree with what I read. Meaningful comments and suggestions in Q&A would be FABULOUS before someone just rates you and doesn't give you a chance to fix what was wrong. I find that even though I work hours on my stuff, I am only human. I love constructive feedback. On another note, I don't have that much knowledge in bloggin because I just started myself. However, I think one of my favorite things is seeing some personal info about the person whose blog your reading. It is a fun way to get to know the human behind the blog! Thanks for your sharing your thoughts!
    ;0) Cara
    Kindergarten Boom Boom
    P/S I am your newest follower!

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  97. I just happened to stumble across your site today as a link from another site and I was very interested in this post. I am new to both blogging and TPT. I started my store in August and have really gotten into it, so I thought I would try out the whole blogging world. I have followed several blogs for awhile but never really commented much...just kind of watched and used ideas for my own classroom and making my teaching better. I had never really thought of blogging etiquette but I guess it makes sense, as there is always an appropriate etiquette. I saw so many posts that were like this, I didn't even realize that people felt that it was fishing for followers.

    I am curious though, as a new blogger, how do I go about getting help and constructive criticism for my blog? I currently have 6 followers...not much, but I haven't been up long. I know that it takes time, but more than anything I would love some constructive criticism on how to make my blog better and more appealing to followers. I am learning to be "techy" and I catch on quickly but I am honestly just learning as I go. For example, I just learned a couple weeks ago how to add my own blog to the bottom of a post. Recently I have posted on others' sites, (giving great feedback) in hopes that they will return the favor and give me some of the feedback that I need to keep going. Does this make sense? Maybe there are some blogs you would suggest I follow for info on how to make my blog better? Would love some advice on this!

    Thanks!
    Jessica
    Hanging Out in First!

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  98. Well said!
    I am new to blogging and yes I LOVE getting comments but not the comments that are asking me to follow them. It does bother me. I want genuine comments. In the beginning I thought that was the thing to do but it never felt right to me.

    This is a great post especially for 'Newbies'.

    It is my belief that you need to think about your purpose for blogging~ is it just to achieve 'followers'?
    Rhonda
    Classroom Fun

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  99. Hi there!

    I just commented on another one of your posts and then came and found this one as I was looking around. I have to say that as someone who has just started blogging and has only been selling on TpT for less than a year, it is nice to hear from bloggers who are successful. It's helpful as a newbie to hear from others that are doing such an awesome job at something that is so much fun.

    I really enjoy your blog and look forward to keeping up with it.

    Thanks for the post!

    Stacey

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  100. Thanks for this post! Its SO important to build community online the same as you would in your classroom or in your own personal life. It's always hard to be the newbie!

    I've read a lot of TPT sellers requesting leaving feedback about freebies. Is there a way to do that on TPT? Or are they just wanting a comment on their blog about it? I've looked, and asked a couple sellers, but never gotten a response. Just curious. Freebies are usually what I use the most so I'd love to share feedback on them (but am probably only likely to do it if its convenient, let's be honest) Thanks in advance for answering my questions!

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  101. Christina, thanks for validating what I suspected to be proper blogging etiquette. I'm a couple weeks into creating my blog and finding my blogging voice, and it's always a happy surprise when someone comments on my thoughts. That's how I treat my comments, also- as something heartfelt. I've found some kindred spirits through blogging. Anything else that comes of it is gravy!

    Thanks again for the gentle reminders!
    Pam

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  102. This is awesome and I really appreciate this as both a new blogger and tpt seller. It's hard and overwhelming to know whats right and wrong in this new adventure.

    Thanks for the help :)

    Erika

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