I'm taking a look at my sidebars and thinking..hmmmm do I REALLY read those blogs? Do I truly recommend them to others? If not, sweep them up. Do the affiliate ads you're using actually benefit you? Are they just taking up space? Have you ever heard that old housekeeping tip, "If you haven't used it in 6 months you probably never will. Get rid of it." So I have been tidying up my side bars and keeping only the buttons I really visit and recommend.
So let me tell you why I have some of these buttons on here.
Pix-O-Sphere: I use Pix-O-Sphere, but not just because I'm the CEO and creater of the site, I actually love it and highly recommend it. It's the grestest support network for bloggers and photographers I have ever seen. I represent the averge user there and I believe it helps all of us. It's a connection for bloggers and photographers, a win-win situation. Bloggers use photos, photographers want business and a good name. Bloggers can provide both of those things by using their Shared photos and they're most likely only going to use the photos of photographers they really want to support. Using a shared photo introduces our readers to family friendly photographers and those photographers allow us to use their photos in our articles. What a great bloggy relationship! And if you need to purchase a photo for a specific project, you can do that too. They offer both shared and selling photos.
The Post: The Post hosts the Annual Homeschool Blog Awards, which is a fun kick off to our homeschool year. They introduce some of the neatest blogs to us throug their contest. They run their blog all year with various contributors from aroud the blogsophere. Bringing us interesting information to help our homeschooling journey.
Sprittibee: Her name is Heather, but goes by Sprittibee. She helps to run The Post and shares all her fun homeschooling adventures with us. She's a very busy blogging mom and attends as many blog conferences as she can to stay up to date with what's new for us and reports about the stuff we want to know. She's an honest blogger, she won't recommend something she doesn't already love herself.
MommyMatters: Run by Karin Katherine, a homeschool mom, homeschool speaker, and writer for the West Palm Beach Examiner. She shares all the newtest techy stuff that helps us make homeschooling easier.
Heart of the Matter: HOTM is a free online publication run by several homeschool bloggers. They host an annual online homeschool conference, which I highly recommend. It's a great way to get connected with the rest of the homeschooling blogosphere and they sell advertising to relevant homeschool companies.
Other Such Happenings: OSH is Marhsa Drews' blog. I connected with Marsha through following HOTM. She has gone through quite a journey since her adorable son Christian went to be with Jesus. Her spirit of grace through this life brings me to tears and inspires me as a mom. If there's any blog I would recommend following for heart filled inspiration it would be hers.
LifeMy3Boybarians(lwm3b): Ran by Darcy, it's one of the coolest homeschooling photo blogs out there. She hosts the Sweet Shot Tuesday and invites her readers to link up their sweet shots for the week. She also introduces us to other blogs and companies that would interest us. She's now also a contributor for LoveThatShot (another cool photo site)
There's a lot more blogs out there that I really enjoy, but there's no way I could possibly put all their buttons on my site, so instead I joined the Heart of the Matter blog roll where they're all listed. Scroll down to the bottom left of my blog to click through and meet the bloggers.
There's a few more sites I link to, but I'll share more about them another time. It's ok if you link to someone's blog and they don't link back to you. It's not something we are required to do or a favor that obligates everyone to follow through with. It's about YOU and what you recommend ot your readers. It might change over time as well. You might decide later to remove a button and put another one in it's place. It's your blog and your choice to do as you desire. You may even decide not to link to anyone, and that's your freedom.