My Two Cents Worth - Comments...

~ Posted on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 9:06 AM ~

This will be my 3rd post on sharing "My Two Cents Worth" throughout my blogging journey. In this post, I'm going to write about: Comments.

(*Image taken from Google search)

Firstly, according to Wikipedia, "A comment is generally a verbal or written remark often related to an added piece of information, or an observation or statement."

Personally, I love comments. I believe it's a way how my blog readers/visitors can tell me their feedback and thoughts on the posts I wrote and shared in my blog. Without comments, it's like writing a diary (online that is) and talking to myself. Which is weird...

(* Now that reminds me of the time I freaked out when my blog readers/visitors who uses Internet Explorer can't comment on my blog due to a technical bug and I had to scramble off to find a temporary fix to allow the comments to still come in. It has since been resolved and I'm so happy I get more comments nowadays!)

OK, without further ado, let me share my thoughts on:

The reasons and/or benefits of leaving our comments

* If you regularly leave comments on a particular blog, it will make the blog owner become aware of you and also your website. In a way, it's kinda like trying to make bloggy friends. IMO, I made a number of bloggy friends this way and we have to start somewhere to make friends right? So, leave a comment if you want to be friends!

* Leaving a comment means you care about the topic discussed in the post and would like to share your thoughts on it as well. I think even a simple comment like 'Great post!' or 'Looks yummy!' goes a long way in telling the blog owner that although you are just blog hopping (for example) or really have nothing much to say on the post, you do make an effort somehow.

* Increase traffic to your website. When you leave a comment, some blogs/websites allow you to leave your blog/website URL as well and by doing so, you increase your chances and traffic to your website. For me, the way I replied back the comments I get is to go to the links you left when you commented on my post. Else, I revert via the email address you left when you commented.

* Participation in giveaways - some blogs/websites hosting giveaways requires the readers/visitors to leave comment(s) in the giveaway post as a way to enter.

Why People Don't Leave Their Comment?

(*Image taken from Google search)

* There's nothing for them to comment with. Could be what you wrote is too detailed that there's just no way for your blog readers/visitors to comment.

* Stepping into the line of fire. Could be that what you wrote is highly debatable that any single comment posted will ended up with more reactions on it and people are just afraid of that.

* You don't respond back to their comments. It kinda shows people that you're too busy to respond back to their comments, so people ended up not doing that anymore. Remember, communication is between 2 parties, not one sided only...

* CAPTCHAs and/or login system in order to leave a comment. Some websites/blogs I encountered required a user ID to login in order to leave a comment. I already have gazillions of user IDs and passwords that I need to remember, and absolutely do not need to add another one just so I could leave a comment for you.

My Comment Etiquettes:

(*Image taken from Google search)

When someone leaves me a comment, I do the following:

1. Check whether it is a spam? On average, I get about 10 spams daily (sometimes up to 30 a day) and it's very easy to spot them as most of them leave a flattering comment but at a closer look, you will noticed that their name and/or blog or website are from commercial type. This is a way to sell their website and put out their site links to as many websites out there as possible. Of course I will definitely delete all these spams ASAP.

2. Do they leave me their personal blog/website to contact them? If no, I will reply via the email they left in their comment. If yes, go to number 3.

3. Reply back to each and every comments, thanking the person for their comment and copy the reply, go to the person's blog/website, browse around (I normally looked for the recent few posts) and take the time to read their post(s) and leave my comment by pasting my reply on top of my comment on their post.

4. Of course, if the person who left me their comments are close bloggy friends, I don't often do step 3 as I would most probably be checking  and left my comments on their blog/website whenever they have a new post up.

So there you go... I think I pretty much covers all there is on the topic of comments.

I've always treat my blog as if it is my child (ok, lower ranking than Ben of course!), and I think you should too! Nurture it, build it, have fun and make happy memories with it as how you would do with your child. It does bring joy to your heart! Feel free to leave me a comment if you would like to find out more on a certain topic. And do let me know your feedback and thoughts about this topic, will you? Like I said earlier:

(*Image taken from Google search)

Until then, happy blogging!

My Two Cents Worth - Blog Widgets...

~ Posted on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 9:27 AM ~

I have previously wrote a post about The Birth of a Blog. This time, I'm going to write about: Blog Widgets.

*Image taken from Google search

What is widget you ask? According to Wikipedia,

"A widget is a stand-alone application that can be embedded into third party sites by any user on a page where they have rights of authorship (e.g. a webpage, blog, or profile on a social media site). Widgets allow users to turn personal content into dynamic web apps that can be shared on websites where the code can be installed. For example, a "Weather Report Widget" could report today's weather by accessing data from the Weather Channel, it could even be sponsored by the Weather Channel. Should you want to put that widget on your own Facebook profile, you could do this by copying and pasting the embed code into your profile on Facebook."

Get it? In simpler terms, widgets are like mini applications that you put into your blog as add-on accessories. Mummy bloggers tend to put in widgets like baby birthday tickers, or anniversaries tickers. Foodie bloggers tend to put in recipe or food of the day widgets. Book lover bloggers will put in book shelf widgets. I can go on and on about the type of widgets I came across throughout my blog hopping adventures.

Now, why does this concerns you? Please read on to know the benefits of adding widgets into your blog:

* good for online PR, brand awareness and also for direct sales through affiliate marketing. (Example: You can see the Book at the bottom of my right sidebar)
* accesses the internet to provide users with information right at their desktop (Example: weather today, or currency exchange at the moment, calendar, etc etc)
* social media tools which are generally used for sharing and bookmarking purposes (Example: Facebook fan page)
* and many more-depending on the type of widgets you choose.

Next, what are the widgets that I think are good (and my reasons) to put into our blog:


If you want blog followers, put this in! I for one, will generally skip or make my exit if I can't find the GFC widget in a blog. Bloggers who make it difficult for people to follow them are well, not worth following. Hence, you see this widget appearing right at the top of my blog sidebar.
* 1st March 2012 update: This widget is no longer supported for non-Blogspot blogs by Google, hence I have removed mine from my blog.
Social Media Icons
I put these icons right after my GFC widget. This is to provide other channels for my blog readers/visitors to follow me other than through my blog.

A blog widget that appears under each post, linking to related stories from your blog archive. I think this widget is a must have too! I don't use this as my blog engine came with the option to display related posts already :D

FeedBurner is a Web service that allows you to enhance and refine RSS feeds. It can be used to convert blog feeds into podcast feeds, and it can be used to insert advertising into RSS feeds.
Blog Stats
If you are planning to do product reviews, please consider putting this in. Some companies actually look at your blog stats.

You don't really see much widgets in my blog btw as I've removed quite a number of them lately. Of those that I keep, I do so for my own reasons. I mean, I own the blog, I can put whatever I want (heheheh...), such as the Visitor Stats, which I like to see. I mean, sometimes when I get blogger's block (or writer's block) I look at the stats and goes "Whoa... there's actually this amount of page views on my blog" or "Whoa... look at all the countries my blog visitors are from!". And there is the "Motivation for Moms" widget which gets updated daily with inspiring quotes and sometime bible verses.

Just a tip for you guys, I look around for widgets from this awesome site: You can browse around by the category or even make your own widgets! Just be sure to read through the feedback from the people who used the widgets as some of them does not live up to their reputations and some are even out of order.

You can also get more inspiration from other blogs by searching around and trying them out. Also take note of the time taken to load the widgets into your blog, for me, if it takes longer than 10 seconds to load it, I say ditch it.

So there you go... I think I pretty much covers all there is on the topic of blog widgets. I've always treat my blog as if it is my child (ok, lower ranking than Ben of course!), and I think you should too! Please do look around the Net to find the widgets you like (please don't just copy it off my blog!), test and play around with the widgets. It's a nice feeling to have when you realised how a widget can make your blog looks oh-so-much better!

Nurture it, build it, have fun and make happy memories with it as how you would do with your child. It does bring joy to your heart! Feel free to leave me a comment if you would like to find out more on a certain topic.

Until then, happy blogging!

My Two Cents Worth - The Birth of a Blog...

~ Posted on Monday, October 25, 2010 at 12:04 AM ~

Lately, I've been getting more emails from my blog readers and Facebook fans (you know who you are :D) about blogging stuff, such as how to start a blog, how to do product reviews, how to do book reviews, where to start to do reviews and so on.

You may choose to ignore what I'm writing down here if you don't agree with what I said, after all, I am not an experienced blogger and there are many many more things that I' m still discovering and learning throughout my blogging journey. This post is just to share my 2 cents worth of opinions and experiences I have in blogging.

It took me quite some time to learn the tricks and tips to all this. Please note, I do not intend to spoonfeed you guys by giving step by step and direct answers. I believe in working hard to get what you want instead of just being spoonfed. At least by searching and scouring the world wide web looking for the solutions and fixes, I believe we learned much much more and truly appreciate the hardwork we put into building up our blog.

FYI, I will break each of my 2 cents worth of advice and experiences into separate post since I can be quite talkative and rambles on and on at times. So here goes:

The Birth of a Blog...

Purpose driven blog?

Firstly, why do you want to start one? Think of your purpose and then think of your audience.

*Image taken from Google search

For me, I started this blog when I quit and became a SAHM in June 2009. I blogged to keep sane, a channel to note down my life as a SAHM, journey with my baby boy and family. In the beginning, I don't think I would want anyone else to read my blog other than my own family members, so that they get updated with what's going on in our lives.

How about you? Are you planning to blog as if it's just an online diary for yourself? Or you want to share your experience and memories with family members, friends, strangers out in the big world? Think about this first!

Foundation! Foundation! Foundation!

*Image taken from Google search

Choose your foundation wisely! The 2 most popular choices for your blogging platform (free one that is) are Blogger and Wordpress. You can read the comparisons between Blogger and Wordpress and decide for yourself.

Of course, when I started blogging, I immediately go for Blogger. That seems to be the easiest and fastest not to mention user friendly blog platform around. And the tons of blog design templates to choose from!

Hello! My name is...

*Image taken from Google search

Names, names, names... once you've decided on which blogging platform, you have to think of your blog name - because if you think of the name 1st, sometimes they might not be available anymore... bummer, right?

Now blog name is really really really important! Unless it's just going to be yourself reading the blog then fine... but if you plan to let other people read it, please consider the following when you are thinking up a name:

* Is it easy to pronounce? (Think simplicity!)
* Can it be spelled out easily? (Please also consider not naming it too long!)
* Is it catchy or easy to remember? (You would want your blog name to leave a lasting impression from the first visit itself!)
* Is it unique or does it stand out from the normal? (Be different!)
* Does it allow for 'future expansion'? (Imagine naming your blog something like fulltimemummyofone and few years down the road with more than 1 kid, and you're still stuck with this name...)

(Tips: I believe in synchronising your blog name with your user name. For example, my user name is "I'm a full-time mummy"-goes in line with my blog name, it's easier for people to associate you with your blog that way and yes, longer impression!)

Plain Jane or Simple Simon?

*Image taken from Google search

After you have your name chosen and registered on the blogging platform of your choice, don't just leave your blog template looking plain and ordinary! Just to make life easier for you newbies, I go to to find my blog template. Wordpress users can go to sites like or many more.

You just browse through the many selections available (make sure it's free!) and choose the one you like best, download it and upload it via your blog platform's dashboard. Google around how to upload these templates into your blog. And make sure you leave the credit untouched as it is good to acknowledge the hardword put by the original blog designer in putting up those templates for you to use!

Once your template is up, go and beautify it even more! Even if your blog is only meant for yourself to see, I do believe a nice looking blog with additional accessories makes so much difference and brings happy feeling to ourself (simply put, you would at least wear a nice shirt and comb your hair when you go out right?).

So, apart from the varieties of widgets which can be added through Blogger/Wordpress or whatever platform you chose, I also searched around blogs and see what widgets they have. Those that I like, I find out more and I tweaked (by tweaking means, I customise it to fit my blog, keep testing and changing until I am satisfied with the look) it to be compatible with my blog template. I also get a lot of widgets from Make sure you try it out or at least read the reviews posted as some of the widgets are not working.

Not being IT literate or have zero knowledge in web design/coding is not an excuse. I Googled for tutorials to find out how to do all this, if I can do that, so can you!

When I grow up, I'm going to be...

*Image taken from Google search

You will also need to consider what will your blogging future be? Will you be having your own domain (as in your own blog/website link instead of for example or (OK, I just made this up...)? Will you remain on the same platform after you have your own domain? Do Google up why some people are moving out of Blogger into Wordpress and so on. Feel free to read my post on why I left Blogger if you're curious.

Next question is, are you just going to remain blogging? Or do you plan to venture into doing products reviews? All this play an important part in determining your blog's future!

I think I pretty much covers all there is on the topic of the birthing of a blog. I've always treat my blog as if it is my child (ok, lower ranking than Ben of course!), and I think you should too!

Nurture it, build it, have fun and make happy memories with it as how you would do with your child. It does bring joy to your heart! Feel free to leave me a comment if you would like to find out more on a certain topic.

Until then, happy blogging!