My unsolicited advice to beginning bloggers

Hi there, and thanks for stopping by to scan my unsolicited advice for beginning bloggers post! Now, I am well aware that this post is a bit of a risk. I am not a professional blogger, and I absolutely do not claim to have a plethora of knowledge on the subject. I definitely don’t want to come across as saying ‘blog like me’. The reason I felt compelled to write this post (and am a bit nervous as to how this will be perceived) is that, well, honestly, I’m big on  etiquette. As in – saying ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘May I’ and telling someone when they have something in their teeth. I’ve spent a lot of time cringing at posts with something in their teeth. Although I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there who cringe at some of my posts with the same vigor.

As a blogger – that seems to have been around for awhile (comparatively speaking, as this article from 29 August, 2016 states that the current average lifespan of a blog is only 100 days…That is dismal.) This article has a few theories on why blogs don’t seem to last so long anymore. Anywho, I digress….

A bit about me: When I began blogging, I didn’t really know if anyone would even be interested in what I have to say. After all, it’s a mishmash of all things ‘my life’. Travel, thoughts, home reno, shopping, spa days, book & product reviews, and just life in general. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for me to make some golden friendships here and honestly, without their help, support & guidance, I think I would have easily foundered by now.  I don’t usually write posts about blogging, because well, I am no expert. Just like most everyone else, I have had to learn by trial and error, ask for tons of help, read better blogging posts until my head hurt, and just see what happens over time.  Aside from my own mistakes, I have seen several ‘goods’ and ‘bads’ that seem to be a recurrent issue in many of the blogs that I peruse. So, as your sister in the blogosphere, I feel obligated to share my thoughts on things that might help you out a bit. Agree or don’t, its completely up to you. I’m not telling you what you should do with your blog. It’s yours, keep it yours.  I know that I scoured thousands of articles on this topic when I was starting out – and continue to today. So here’s a few lessons I’ve learned and would just like to pass on:

Please DO, I think it will help:

  • Be yourself! Everyone is different and every blogger has their style & preferences. If you do what everyone else does because you think that’s the way things should go, then all blogs would be the same and … that’s no fun.
  • Write what you are passionate about!  People can see your passion and expertise in your posts.
  • Proofread your posts!  If you can’t spend the time to review your writing before hitting the publish button, why should people spend the time out of their lives reading it?
  • Publish regularly. It doesn’t have to be daily, or even weekly. But you should maintain some sort of schedule. Personally, I now post at least three times weekly. More often if I have more to say. When I began blogging, I posted once weekly. That was enough to slowly build my blog and have the time to learn about what I was doing. Your followers will appreciate your consistency. (It is one of my blogging pet peeves when a blog I follow posts daily, or multiple times per day, and then drops off the planet without any reason given for two months, returns with an apology & 5 posts on the same day. It IS however completely understandable & acceptable if life gets in the way. We all have things to do. Just let people know and it seems to go over better if your posting schedule isn’t totally erratic.). Slow and Steady wins the race.
  • Set reasonable, yet challenging goals for yourself. For example, my goal was to reach 1,000 WP subscribers in my first year. Not easy, but I knew if I could do it, it was sign that I could continue blogging. It took almost a year to achieve that goal, but once I did – it felt like nothing could stop me. Thanks everybody for THAT! 🙂 🙂 
  • Make sure your Gravitar profile is on-key! Many people will find you through this, so make sure its updated and well kept!
  • Sync all your social media accounts. I can’t tell you what a time-saver it is to have my posts updated on all accounts the moment they are published.
  • Make your posts worthy of a life/time investment! There is spending time (wasting time) and there is investing time. The point being, that people are spending time in their lives that is gone – never to return- once it’s spent, reading our blogs. Do we want this to be a waste of their time in life? OF COURSE NOT! This is where the term time investment comes into play. The difference? An investment implies ROI – or return on investment.  If someone invests their time reading your article, and comes out of it enriched with something – be it motivation, knowledge, awareness, a smile, an idea or increase in blog traffic – then they have received a solid return on their investment. Well done!
  • Enroll in everything! Learning is the best way. WordPress Blogging University offers free online courses on a regular basis: Blogging 101, blogging 201, commenting bootcamp, branding & marketing strategies, photography, et al. Follow the link above for the sign-up page. Personally, I never stop learning. I’ve found that the more I learn about blogging, the more I realize I don’t have a clue and need to learn more.
  • NETWORK! There are constantly sites hosting meet and greets, networking parties, drop your link posts, et al. Do it! This is a great time investment for you! Get to know other bloggers, leave your link, repost the parties and socialize, socialize, socialize! This is hands-down the best way to get your site out there. Personally, I have followed hundreds of new sites I found on these parties that I never would have known existed otherwise.
  • Be considerate of your fellow bloggers. New, old and indifferent – we are ALL here to accomplish something. A large percentage of your subscribers are fellow bloggers. They are investing in you, you should invest in them. Take the time to check out their sites. Like or comment if you find a post you like.
  • Sharing is caring. If you stumble across a blog post that is wonderful and you think your followers would love to read it, share! However, please always ask in the comments section before you reblog or wp it. Some bloggers love to be shared, some don’t. So make sure first. Personally, I love it when someone deems my work worthy of a good share 😉 Also, when you share the post, make sure to thank the original blogger in the additional area for an introductory comment. Respect for others is key!

Please DON’T:

  • Sweat SEO. The search engines will pick up your articles at some point. I’m still pleasantly surprised when I see search engine views on my stats page.
  • Post more than twice daily  (Unless you are an incredibly popular site (in excess of several thousand followers) news site or a massive site which has multiple bloggers publishing articles – then it’s a whole new ballgame and post away!) The reason for this is that it appears (to me) as though you are only inundating the web with links, photos or little snippets in order to attract more traffic to your site. Trust me, its obvious. Quantity does not mean Quality. Not to mention it gunks up people’s email inboxes. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. There are at least 5 blogs that I follow which post good quality posts, multiple times a day. But I can tell you as someone who spends a lot of time reading blogs, that this is the exception more than the rule.
  • Post the link to your site in the comment section of other blogs, unless it has been specifically requested. (My other major blogging pet peeve) It’s spammy, and many bloggers, including myself, will just delete it. Other people’s blogs are not your free marketing arena. People can find their way to your site via your profile name and gravitar profile which is displayed with your comments. Plus, there is always a networking party to be found where you are encouraged to drop your link. But as for comment spamming: Seriously, please, don’t do it. Send an email if you truly want to thank people for following. Comments are great! Please just don’t use them to direct traffic to your own site.
  • Put all your stock in numbers. True, stats are important. And the difference between 200 followers and 2,000 is huge. However, its the quality of traffic that really matters. Go with the 10% rule (personally, I think more like %6 is more realistic). Meaning: Only an average of 10% of your subscribers will actually see or like your post. Interaction is huge! If you have a higher ratio of views, likes and comments – then you have high quality traffic. A person with 200 followers can get 70 likes on a great article and a person will 2,000 followers can get 30. This is what I mean.
  • Let your ambition turn you into a naive nut. This is the internet. There are predators out there and we are prime prey. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If a company you’ve never heard of contacts you, do some research before replying. And NEVER-EVER pay to be an ambassador or freely hand out your personal information for anything! Companies will contact you in time, don’t you worry. Looking for fresh talent is what people do for a full-time job.
  • Play the follow/unfollow game. This is not instagram. You can’t expect likes & follows in return, although many people respect others enough to do so. But also because professional and business bloggers, as well as those who have popular blogs are paying a small fortune for self hosting domains with all the bells and whistles – which include google analytics. Many watch the numbers very closely, as it tells what we are doing wrong: navigation and the like. So, WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Nobody likes a cheater, so please stop doing it. Be legit, or be gone. (Another pet-peeve: on all platforms, the people who do this are kind of A-holes, in my personal opinion. I always make sure that I do NOT follow or like any of those who play this follow/unfollow game…I don’t care how great your content is.)
  • Invest too much money until you know where you’re going with this. I realize that this is difficult at times. We all need hosting, new programs, cameras, products and the like. Fake it, till you make it…right? BUT what happens if you spend yourself into oblivion and then decide 4 months later that blogging isn’t for you? Remember your ROI. You are left with a pile of investment and no return.
  • Drink and blog. Seriously. Yes, you will regret that rant in the morning. We all know you were wasted because it looks like you were typing with your face. Sleep it off and rant in the morning.

Please Remember:

  • Quantity is not Quality. Quality is better.
  • Remember who your friends are, they are golden.
  • Gain a thirst for knowledge
  • Sharing is caring!
  • ROI on your followers time investment.
  • It’s not all about numbers
  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be legit, or be gone
  • Respect for others is key!
  • Enjoy yourself!

Thanks for reading, everyone! If you have any more advice you would like to add, please leave it in the comments section so we can all see!

Feel free to share this post if you would like 🙂

– Mliae

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173 Comments Add yours

  1. Lilly Moore says:

    As a new blogger, I really appreciate this list. Thank you for all the advice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Awesome! Thank you 😀 So glad I could help!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica Hugo says:

    This is indeed helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  3. I’ve been blogging for a while and still have a small blog– but do it for the fun of collecting recipes and family memories… Kind of like my personal online scrapbook. and you’re right– it’s been lovely to interact with a few constant blog-friends. Great advice–loved your worthwhile post…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂 It is really nice to find friends here, totally makes all the work worthwhile 😉 And your site, not so small and your recipes are AWESOME!

      Like

  4. Ok so this was a great write up and I would love to share it with your permission? I love the ending…gave me a good morning chuckle. I have yet to read a drunken blog but I don’t have much time to read many blogs, they have to really get my attention. As yours did. Thank you for enjoying my post and after reading this I feel that I must have passed your test. I am guilty of not double editing/checking my blogs and have had some weird write ups. I’ll be more careful 😉

    Seriously, let me know if I could share this blog at some time. It is loaded with great advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Hi there! Thank you for your very kind and genuine words 🙂 Yes, please feel free to share!
      Give it time…one day you’ll find a post where you will know for certain that the author was w-a-s-t-e-d. That’s always good for a giggle 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I will enjoy.:)

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Harbans says:

    Just outstanding. :))

    Like

  6. suzannedower says:

    As someone who is a relatively new and hoping to start putting my blog ‘out there’ a little more, this was great advice. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Fantastic to hear! Thank you so much! 😀

      Like

  7. Reblogged this on Let it come from the heart and commented:
    Here’s a great list of tips for new bloggers, with excellent examples of what to focus on and what to avoid.

    Like

  8. That was very interesting, thanks! Nice to know I am not making too many mistakes 🙂 Yeah!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Sure thing! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

  9. chubaoyolu says:

    Very informative stuff. I particularly like the point of striving to make your writing a worthwhile time investment for people who read it. After all, it really is all about the value that you can give to others at the end of the day. I would also add being prepared to have a heavy dose of patience with blogging because it takes time to get noticed and even after that, it takes a while to get a steady stream of loyal followers who keep coming back. Thanks for sharing your acquired wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Hi there! Thank you for sharing 🙂 You are absolutely correct, a heavy dose of patience is a must-have! Thanks for reading 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. gabbykeen says:

    As a rookie blogger still finding my blogging feet this was just what I needed to read. Thank you:)

    Like

  11. how do you get paid to blog on here? I am hoping that some of my posts can bring people over to me and they would enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Getting paid to blog is like chasing a ghost. It’s possible with marketing, affiliate links, paid promotion, etc. However it is very difficult and does not normally amount to so much – especially compared to the work involved.
      My advice? Build your ‘audience’ first, then find what suits your style best.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am trying to do that right now. Still new at blogging..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mliae says:

        Keep at it, you’ll get there 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. mliae says:

        🙂 Same to you

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Excellent post. You hit some of my pet peeves! Rock on-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Super cool, Thank You!

      Like

  13. mad reaper says:

    Great post. Have just passed the three month spot myself and am finding out I’m far more of a blabbermouth than I initially thought. Like your hitting on not sweating “numbers”. Frankly, I’ve found out it’s more rewarding to see a visit from another continent than an extra four or five from the U.S. I think it’s also important to accept the “rise and fall”, understand your “best work” so far may be the post seen by the fewest, and that having a passion for what you writing about is all that really matters. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience! Its really good to hear 🙂 I agree, it is exciting to see views from other continents 😀 😀

      Like

  14. samdfb1 says:

    Really fantastic advice. Thanks! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Sure thing! Thank you for reading! 😀

      Like

      1. samdfb1 says:

        Welcome! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  15. HarlemATL says:

    Great advice. I appreciate the time you’ve taken. (Cloud bubble to self… How I wish I could reach 1,000 followers).

    Like

  16. Hello! I liked your post. I will follow this advise. Cause I don’t want my blog to end in a 100 days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Well thank you! That time as an average blog lifespan was very surprising.

      Like

  17. ranu802 says:

    Thank you, it’s nice to know you.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for the great article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      You are very welcome!!

      Like

  19. dray0308 says:

    Reblogged this on Dream Big, Dream Often and commented:
    This is Life Experiment Blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Not sure if you’ll ever see this, as I see many people have commented here. In the off chance that you’ll see this, I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. It is PHENOMENAL, probably one of the best blogging tip articles I’ve read yet. THANK YOU for posting it, especially the DO NOT section. I learned a lot. thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      I see all…comments *Heeheee
      Thank you so much for your comment! Wow! You have inflated my ego to the bursting point 😉 I am SO GLAD you got something useful from this post. That was the entire point! All the best 🙂

      Like

  21. Polly says:

    Thank you! I love the don’t drink and post health warning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      You’re very welcome!
      Hehe…that was a must. It happens all too often. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Reblogged this on femininematerz and commented:
    “Better Blogging” by Milae. I really enjoyed reading this useful post. Down to earth and great blogging tips. Check it out and see what you can take away from it. Cheers!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Thanks so much for sharing! 😀

      Like

  23. I came across via a reblog. I think i am guilt of quite a few points here. I like your no mess, get to the point advice. Very useful.

    Like

    1. mliae says:

      You are very welcome!

      Like

  24. amc1331 says:

    Thanks for this post! I a newbie and trying to figure out all the technical stuff is hard enough so thanks for the great etiquette tips!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Awesome! So glad to be of assistance 😁

      Like

  25. Thank you for this post! I’m just starting out with blogging as a way to hopefully help our small business grow as well as hopefully help others who want to begin their journey as entrepreneurs… I’m more focused on researching different topics and sharing as I go with our experiences, but do you think people will get impatient with me if I don’t post weekly? Do you think adding articles about my life would take away from the blogs purpose? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated because it seems you have really put a lot of thought into the etiquette of blogging and how to produce a worth while blog of interest- thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Hi there, and thanks for trusting my opinion!
      As per your questions: I think that weekly posts (& this is just my opinion) are kind of a sweet spot to let your audience know that you are there on the regular. However, with some nichés such as science, sociology, home renovation, and business, people cannot expect well-written posts that are educational – every 7 days. Sometimes an art takes time. I think as long as you maintain some sort of schedule, say…every 10 days? Then your readers know when to look for a new post from you. Since so many bloggers just seem to disappear into thin air for a month & then post frantically, maintaining a schedule – whatever it is – let’s people know that you are reliable. It also removes the stress of thinking you’ll have to keep checking for a month or so to see if anything new is up.
      As far as posts about your life: I think it’s an EXCELLENT IDEA! Remember, as a blogger, you ARE your brand. The more your audience can relate to you on a personal level, the less it seems like some distant 3rd party behind a screen that we should trust….why?
      Hope this helps!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. natandiz says:

    Thanks for the advice I will try to put to the test

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Great! Thank you for commenting 🙂

      Like

  27. Roxy says:

    This was a great read. Thanks for the advice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Happy to be of assistance! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Like

  28. gameklatsch says:

    Thank you, this was awesome advice. I tried doing a blog for my art, I think I just have a hard time relating to an audience. I just ending up closing it down. Got really discouraging getting constant zero views, oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Don’t get discouraged! I think that’s one of the biggest issues here. It takes a lot of time to get it off the ground. Keep up the good work!

      Like

  29. arwen1968 says:

    Well, thanks for this post Mliae – it seems like you have cracked it and I clearly haven’t! I don’t seem to get the hang of the ‘networking’ to begin with and although I have on occasion stumbled across link parties, I think the last I saw was like a year ago! If not more. Perhaps my fault for not setting a goal like you – in terms of readers, I mean. The only ‘goal’ I ever set was to have fun and see how it goes… not very focussed, right? Since then I upgraded to ‘write something worthwhile to read’ but I don’t often succeed with that – a post like what I published today takes weeks to research and write (weeks because of life being in the way, that is – there are only a limited number of nights on which I go short on sleep per week I can cope with at my age – I don’t know where other people find the time to blog AND network!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      I hear you! Finding time is a major challenge. I’m just lucky, I guess, that I’ve had to learn time management and I block off periods of time for certain things. Or else my home would be a wreck, I’d never get all my job tasks done and blogging would be a thing of the past.
      As for networking, try typing in ‘networking party’ ‘networking’ ‘blog party’ in you tags under discovery in your reader. That should help you find some spots where you can drop your link & visit others 😉
      And thank you for the compliment!

      Like

      1. arwen1968 says:

        Thanks for the advice- I’ll try that! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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