Thursday, February 9, 2017

Liebster Award 2017

As a writer, I often spend my working hours interacting with other writers - and as I open my world to more blogging and spend more effort growing my blog as a side business, I've been interacting a lot more with bloggers.

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I've been blogging off and on since around 2007, and I've had so many blogs over the years that I no longer even remember where they've all been - not that I'd say even if I could remember, as my early blogs are often quite embarrassing to look back on. So it's no surprise that I enjoy reading blogs as well - I like to think of them as today's magazine articles, perfect for when I'm waiting in line to pick up the kids from school, waiting for a doctor's appointment, etc. Not to mention, many of you know about my on-again-off-again love affair with Pinterest, which is in itself a blogging-type social network, with most pins actually leading to blog posts of one kind or another.

I like that blogs are a paper-free (and cost-free, cha-ching) style of magazine reading that allows me to follow exactly the right content for me, and I actually follow several different blogs for various reasons. I like affordable, low-cost, minimalist fashion, so I keep my eyes peeled for blogs and blog posts on that topic, as well as blogs about motherhood and parenting, entrepreneurship, small business operation and growth, food and cooking, books (of course) and lots of other topics. But my most favorite blogs are the well-rounded ones, the ones that aren't such a tightly fitted niche spot, the ones that fit a wide range of people and personalities. I like the ones that talk about a little bit of everything - the one-stop-shops of the blogging world. Those are the blogs most like me, the blogs with the readership I'd love to grow, the communities I'd love to be part of, the models I most want to emulate.

So all that to say this: I may not always be raising my hand and announcing my presence, but I get around in the blogging world (stop, not like that), and part of getting around successfully (stop it, I said) is making meaningful connections with other great bloggers like me.

Recently, one of those connections surprised me in The. Best. Way. and nominated me for the Liebster Award!

What is the Liebster Award?
"The Liebster Award 2017 is an award that exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome." (Text taken from here.)

But the Liebster Award, like most other blogging awards, comes with a laundry list of fun "responsibilities" - which I actually think are a lot of fun! Among the responsibilities are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you (of course).
Crystal Gard from Gardhub.ca nominated me. Crystal's blog is classified as a personal lifestyle blog - but my favorite thing about her site is her deep and insightful poetry. She has a strong way with shortform writing that expresses beautifully in poetry, but she also covers a range of other topics, which makes Gardhub.ca a perfect "one-stop-shop" sort of blog for women like me. Thanks so much for this nomination, Crystal! It's my first blogging award, and I'm totally flattered that you thought of me when choosing your nominees.
2. Display the award on your blog (again, of course).
Done this, of course. I loved that there were several different images to choose from on the original award page!
3. Write a bit about your favorite blog (which is not your own).
My current favorite blog is TheSensibleMom.com and I found this blog through a totally roundabout process. One of my favorite vloggers is Sarah Rae Vargas; now and then she'll talk about her siblings and the rest of her family, many of whom are also bloggers/vloggers, though I don't think any are as well-known as Sarah is. Still, Sarah's sister Sandra (owner of TheSensibleMom.com) is a refreshing contrast to Sarah's bold and brash style, and I love how easily I can relate to her blog. Where Sarah is perfect for the loud and outgoing side of me, Sandra has a more quiet kind of confidence that I relate closely to. I also love how down to earth she is, how strong her Christian faith is, and the fact that her family recently switched to full-time RV living, which I think is SO COOL.
4. Share 10 random facts about yourself.
  1. I can't pick a favorite ANYTHING. I can make a list of favorites, but I can't ever just pick one.
  2. I like to run or jog. As a plus-sized woman, I often find people very surprised by this - the assumption is that because I'm a larger woman, I can't run, or I hate running. And although I'll admit that I'm likely the slowest runner EVER, I actually like going for a good run.
  3. I love crafting. Knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, etc. Which brings me to ...
  4. I can't sew. I want to learn hand sewing SO BAD so that I can make clothes for my girls and I, but everything I've ever sewed (sewn?) falls apart within days.
  5. I hate "airhead" talk. Anyone who talks like this around me for too long is doing it at risk of their own personal safety.
  6. I'm afraid of cats. Except for this one, who is obviously the best and sweetest cat ever to be born. Except when he's being sassy and he bites a little, or when he gifts you with a dead mouse, dropped proudly at your feet.
  7. I hate when people complain about things when they have no intention of fixing the problem leading to the complaint.
  8. I was born almost exactly 7 years in between my two brothers. This birth-order weirdness is a repeating trend in my family. For example, my cousin Dana and I? I'm a scant five months older than she is. Our children? Josephine is only three months older than Dana's son, Ezekial. Neat, huh?
  9. When I was younger, I played the clarinet in my middle school band. When I got older and stopped playing, I eventually got rid of my clarinet; I'm still horribly sorry for that, and I want to relearn the clarinet with a strength that sometimes aches a little.
  10. I suck at math. I"m not even kidding, I'm awful at it. I can do algebra, but the formulas and stuff that come with harder math? Nope. I quit.
5. Nominate 5-11 other small bloggers who you think deserve the award. (In my personal interest to maintain the spirit of the Liebster Award {which is to discover new blogs}, I'm choosing to nominate blogs I've newly discovered. So with that being said, my nominees are:
  1. Kirsty, from Me, Cupcakes, and Tea. (TOPIC: Lifestyle)
  2. Darci, from Life Unplanned. (TOPIC: Lifestyle)
  3. Jenna, creator of She Ate The Elephant. (TOPIC: Motivational/Self-Empowerment)
  4. Matisse, from I Love You Like A ... (TOPIC: Lifestyle)
  5. Taylor, from Blonde & Ambitious Blog (TOPIC: Lifestyle)
  6. Kat, from Katnapped (TOPIC: Lifestyle)
6. List these rules in your post so that the bloggers you nominate can follow them.
Check.
7. Inform your nominees that they have been nominated.
Check.
Again, thanks for nominating me, Crystal! This was a ton of fun!


Questions for the Comments Section:

  • What are your favorite blogs (that are not your own), and why?

54 comments:

  1. Awww tats so good that you have been nominated . Am new to blogging so I guess I may not be nominated so soon. Well Congratulations to u :)

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    1. I was actually pretty surprised by it, and I kinda found out accidentally, so who knows if there are more out there or not - maybe you have some too! The problem is sometimes it's overwhelming (or seemingly impossible) to actually get in touch with the bloggers you nominate for awards. I actually had trouble touching base with one of my nominees, and another pretty much said she didn't care about it.

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  2. Congrats on your award!

    I also stink at math. And I can't sew.

    I do love cats though. I have two of them.

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    1. Thanks! My cat thing is because I was attacked by one once - maybe it's not so much that I fear them, but I certainly don't trust them not to hurt me. Our family cat is different somehow though - perhaps because we trust each other.

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  3. Congrats on being nominated!! I found the blogging community such a supportive and helpful one, it's amazing how kind everyone is! I think there is such a big industry out there for bloggers and it's exciting to be a part of it!

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    1. Right there with you. It feels like the blogging world is "my people."

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  4. Congrats on being nominated!!! The blogging community is amazing and so supportive of one another!

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    1. I totally agree, and what a beautiful place to be, huh?

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  5. Congratulations on your nomination. As fellow nominee's we know how wonderful it feels to be acknowledged. Keep up the wonderful work.

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    1. It's definitely wonderful. This is such a small thing (akin to a YouTube challenge, or a "tag," I suppose) but it still meant a lot to me to be recognized and included.

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  6. I love things that go round in the blogging world. I think it's so fun when we reach out, recognize each other and give a round of applause. I got into blogging to share and take note from others who like to share and nowadays it's quite difficult to come across a genuine voice that doesn't have a sales pitch tone. Refreshing read and keep those fingers typing!

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    1. Thank you! I mean, my blog is ultimately about meeting readers, building a platform, and selling my novels - but they're out there on my site for people to find, you know? I've got links galore, and even sidebar items. But I'm not going to sell self-empowerment novels by shoving them down anyone's throat.

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  7. Congrats on the award! I like your writing style, its fresh and concise.

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  8. I've only had one blog and I was just going over some earlier 2009 post and I was thinking WOW, a lot of this sucks. lol But I can see the transition, so I keep it on my blog.

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    1. That's the richest part of having such a record of your writing - seeing the growth and the possibility in the differences between the old and the new.

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  9. I've had many blogs over the years as well. I think this award is a great accomplishment.

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    1. Thank you! I was pretty proud of it, for sure.

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  10. Congratulations! I hope to be in your position one day. I'm just starting out and connecting with other new & veteran bloggers.

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    1. Now there is something I literally never expected anyone to ever say to me. Thank you - I'm flattered.

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  11. Congrats on the nomination. I'd say something about getting around but I think you covered that pretty well. 😉 I never thought of blogs like free magazines but that does make some kind of sense.

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    1. Haha! David, you are always good for a laugh! Thanks!

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  12. Congrats on all your blog success thus far :) I wish you the best of luck!

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  13. congrats on the nomination! My favorite blog is The Humbled Homemaker and Money Saving Mom. I like them because they seem genuine and are niche that I like!

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    1. I haven't seen either of those yet - I'll have to look them up.

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  14. Congratulations on the nomination. I'm happy for you.

    I like the color of your layout but the fonts are too small. I am using my cell phone and I think it will help your blog to have a mobile version.

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    1. It has one actually - I'm sorry you had some trouble with it though. Feel free to shoot me an email at authorbrandikennedy@gmail.com and we'll see if we can work out what's going wrong.

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  15. Congrats on being nominated! I've only been blogging for a little over a month and found the blogging world amazingly supportive. Its always warms m heart to see people keeping each other going.

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    1. Thank you! I does have it's dark corners, I suppose - it is, after all, mostly a business of ambitious and competitive women. But for the most part, it's a great place to be, and there are so many great people to connect with, to teach, and to learn from.

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  16. Awesome! In your opinion what makes a blog a good read and worthy of following? Also as an experienced blogger what is the best way to gain an audience?

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    1. For me, a blog needs to be concise. The writing should be the focus, because good writing makes for easy reading - I never want people to have to stop and try to figure out what I meant to say. I like good photos and graphics too, but only if there aren't so many that they overpower the post, and I need the blog to have real personality. Don't just tell me about your travels - tell me why you loved that place, what you learned there, how it felt to be there. Same with food - don't just leave me with a recipe, tell me about the food, the mouthfeel, the enjoyment of it. Let me truly get to know the writer behind the words, and if that person is likable, then I'm almost guaranteed to love the blog.

      As for how to gain an audience, I know a lot of people preach consistency, and I won't say that doesn't matter ... but I will say that what has been most important to me is writing for the one person I know is reading. I'm talking to her specifically, like a one-sided conversation. I'm relating to her, feeling with her. And yes, there are men who read this blog, too, but in general, my audience is women aged 25-50. That's a major step, I think. Talk to the people who want to listen to what you're saying, find them and let them know you're talking. And then ... they'll come listen.

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  17. Congratulations on being nominated for this award! I think it's awesome that you were nominated because I've been enjoying your posts!

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    1. Thanks, Carol! I was pretty excited about it!

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  18. It's so nice to be nominated for awards like this, it just means you're definitely doing something awesome. I've enjoyed all your posts and it's nice that you're being recognized by fellow bloggers.

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    1. Thank you. It definitely meant a lot to me to be recognized in that way.

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  19. I remember receiving this award shortly after I first began blogging and I was so excited about it! It was my very first blogging award and it made me feel like I was part of a lovely, supportive community. :)

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    1. That's pretty much how I feel about it in a nutshell. It was fun, too!

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  20. Congratulations on your nomination! I can't imagine all the hard that have gone towards your blogging to achieve such great success! Love your dedication and tenacity of continuing to blog, learning and growing at the same time! I hope I'll be able to do the same. :) xoxo

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  21. Congrats on the nomination! Every time someone asks me what advice I would give to new bloggers is network network network. It's all about meeting like minded people because you never know what opportunities it can bring.

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    1. I agree, and aside from the networking, it's such a great way to feel a sense of community. For most of my life, I was the only book nerd, the only crafter, the only writer. I was weird, and even though my friends tended to love me anyway, I knew I was weird. So being part of a community of creatives has meant everything to me. I'm not weird anymore, you know?

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  22. Congrats on the award! I love your blog and writing style!

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  23. I always love reading the 10 random facts part of the Liebster Awards! Congrats on your nomination, that's so awesome!

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    1. Yeah it's always fun to see what people come up with for those random facts. One time I wrote a post series here that had 50 random facts - that one was quite a challenge though!

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  24. Congratulations on being nominated, I love your random facts. I played the saxophone as a child and teenager and the one thing that I regret is stopping and selling my saxophone.

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    1. Yes!! That's how I feel about my clarinet, and I keep telling myself that when such-and-such happens or XX finances work out, I'm going to buy another one and relearn how to play, but I never do. Maybe this year I'll buy myself one for Christmas.

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  25. Super congrats on your accomplishments! This is something I hope to accomplish in my journey of being a blogger. I'm very new to it and networking is definite a must!

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    1. Thank you! It was definitely a huge source of proud excitement for me.

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  26. i's really nice award. I hope that one day someone will nominate me:D

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  27. Congrats on the nomination!!!! It's always fun to get to know bloggers better!!!

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