Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Blogging Dos and Don'ts

I’m coming up to a year of blogging (well, in August), and I’m quite surprised how much I've learned in this first year! When I first started, I had no idea what I was doing, or what was going to unfold for me. Going through old posts, I can see how my style is evolving, and it just makes me wonder where I'll be in another year's time! One of my favourite types of posts to read are blogging help posts, and I thought it might be useful for some to share my Dos and Don’ts of blogging that I've learned over the past year.

(Remember – these are only my tips! What works for me, may not work for you, so don’t take it as gospel!)

Do disclose your sponsored posts
Readers can smell bullshit a mile away. There is nothing worse than reading a post that sounds so incredibly false, but the blogger continues to insist that they love the product and that they weren't paid for a review. Something that comes to mind for me is all the Bootea posts on Instagram. Girl, please. We know that they paid you to write this. It’s just a tea that makes you poo like nobody’s business, not a magical product. There is nothing wrong at all with doing sponsored posts, as long as you don’t just outright lie. Let's just take a minute to remember when Scott Disick copied an entire PR email and posted it as the caption on his Instagram photo. I'm pretty sure had he not made his initial error, he would not have declared it as an ad.

Do interact with other bloggers
Other bloggers will always have your back. Since I've started blogging, I've found the community to be such a huge help with finding my feet. If you need help with something – ask! Every blogger started out as a newbie, so no matter how stupid you think your question might be, it’s not. No-one is born knowing SEO or how to use Pinterest. You’ll make some amazing friends, so put yourself out there. Go to events, speak to bloggers on social media – you’ll be surprised how friendly everyone is!

Do proofread
This is one of my biggest things. Nothing puts me off a blog like basic spelling and grammatical errors. One or two is forgivable, but if your post is riddled with errors, people are just going to close it. Proofreading is not difficult. It may be tedious, but it’s so easy to at least give your post a once over before you throw it up there! I read through each post five or six times before scheduling it. Go slowly and pay attention to what you're writing.

Don’t spend all your time trying to learn everything before starting
It’s easy to get sucked into reading hours’ worth of SEO ‘How to’ guides, and ‘How to start a blog’.  We've all done it. It’s worth knowing the basics before you commit to it, but just start writing! You won’t find your voice by reading about finding your voice. Get out there and do your shit! I don’t know about other bloggers, but I am always looking for ways to improve. Whether it’s learning to name your images so they’re relevant to the post, a new way to edit a photo, or how to use certain platforms to increase blog traffic: You’re never going to know everything. I've found it a lot easier to learn on the go, by making mistakes. So do it!

Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers
Everyone falls into this trap. It’s easy to look at someone, say Zoella, and see how many followers/subscribers she has and be discouraged that you haven’t got these kinds of stats. People can sometimes forget that she’s been blogging for years. She’s been where you are, built the connections, and learnt the lessons.  Everyone has to start somewhere. It’s all about the growth. Don’t be surprised or upset if your first few posts don’t get hundreds of views. You have to put the work in that other bloggers have to build a readership. It won’t just come overnight.

I hope you find these helpful! Do you have any tips for aspiring bloggers? Or maybe even tips for experienced bloggers?

If you liked this, you'll love  A Year of Blogging

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