I may still be considered a “new” blogger (been blogging about a year now) but I know that throughout those blogging experiences in my first 6 months, there are things that I thought new bloggers vs older bloggers don’t have in common. And that’s knowledge.
Let’s compare it like a student in 1st year and a student in 3rd-year university. A 1st year is still learning and exploring new things whilst a 3rd year is on to their final years, having all the knowledge and ready to graduate. That was what I saw among the blogging community in the 6th-month blogging.
In reality, I realise that there are all sorts of blogging levels and all of them lead to different directions. Even many newer bloggers already had the knowledge that older bloggers don’t have.
So, from my experiences and mistakes, I’m going to list down two separate list of blogging Do’s and blogging Don’ts
aka spilling the truth.
Grab your tea or coffee, a snack and let’s get rolling because it’s gonna be a long ride!
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliates. I earn a compensation if you purchase the product. I do not add affiliates that I do not like or approve on. You do not have to purchase the items but I would absolutely appreciate it if you do!*
Let’s start off with the DO’s
1. Use your personality and uniqueness into your blog post
We may all have the same information as another blogger but your unique personality is what makes your blog different and staying. Don’t be afraid to let out your personality because I know that readers will love you for who you are and follow or trust you.
2. Credit or source if you are using someone else’s images or statistics
If we’re writing something that needs facts, we need evidence to support your opinions. That’s where you can write your supported paragraph and link it to the main source. For images, if you’re using something that isn’t your own or isn’t a free stock image, then you should at least at in the main source or credit to where you found that image from. One blogger I heard from once “borrowed” an image from Google images she searched for and she got caught for stealing that image that was in her blog post. If you’re afraid of getting a lawsuit, then credit guys or use free stock images. Don’t know where to find them? Then check out one of my post TOP 5 FREE STOCK IMAGE SITES TO USE IN 2018
3. Use your own personal experiences if you have something that relates to the topic
Like I said, add in your personality. Don’t be afraid to add in your own experiences because that will make the post even better, less boring (unless you like to read posts that have high amount of information, then you do you) and make it more personal for your readers as well as getting to know you as the author, better. I find that personal experiences = more engagement.
4. Schedule a day or days where you’ll be releasing your next post
Like some YouTubers who post their videos on scheduled days to let their subscribers know when they’ll release a video, bloggers can also schedule when they post their blog posts so that their readers can know when they will be posting. For me, I like to schedule my posts on a Monday and Thursday afternoon (Australian time/date) every week even during my busy times. If you’re going to keeping organise or scheduling your posts, I highly recommend getting a calendar journal to keep track and organise. I use Erin Cauldron and Emily Ley planners since I’m a fan of colourful and sparkly planners that can be easily customizable and make me feel productive every time I get up to see the wonderful journals sitting on my desk. It’s pretty much like waking up on Christmas day.
5. Treat your blog like a business
I’m saying this if you’re going to be ready smart for monetising, selling products, sharing your online portfolio if you’re a designer or giving advice to your readers. When I first started out my blog, I just did anything I like and wrote what I wanted and when I wanted till I wanted this blog to become something that will stick with me in the long run. Now, look at me? It’s literally like a business I’m running at 18 (kidding!) But seriously, I always liked writing and wanted my blog to be something better. If I’m going to write something really personal, then I’ll stick to my private journal thank you very much.
6. Read other bloggers or support them by commenting or following
You might be thinking that your blog only exists in your own imaginary road but sadly it doesn’t. You have many competitors out there who are also posting the same thing, in the same niche and all but you always got to know that those people who are doing the same thing as you (writing posts online) are also people who can give you support to you as a blogger and to your site. I’ve met some wonderful people while blogging and it makes me feel happy and better about myself because as an introvert, I’m not one to have social interactions with people in real life (yes, walking up to a random stranger can be like the scariest thing because they can judge you either in a good or bad way). You can also learn new things or even ideas from their post and comment can bring in engagements and new developing friendships. You can also go out to blogging events and meet other bloggers there too in your location.
7. Keep learning new blogging tricks and tips
So you’ve either still new to blogging or blogging for over 4+ years but that doesn’t stop there. There are definitely billion of ways to improve your blog and millions of more tips out there that you should continue on to improve. You are never too old to learn! I mean, the great thing about blogging is that you can never stop your education.
8. Link posts to older blog posts
One thing that I learned to get continuous traffic is to link old blog posts to newer posts. You may have written something in your new blog post that maybe have something in relation to something you wrote in the past. Link it boi!
9. Update your older blog posts
I must admit, when I was editing an older blog post, I was surprised that I had so many errors in grammar and spelling in them. It’s another way to bring in traffic (while you sleep) when readers are reading through your old posts. As well as update images, edit some writing and check if the links are still working so you can improve Google search engine too. C’mon, give your old post some love too.
10. Have headings and paragraphs
No one would want to read a large brick of words. For me (and you maybe), I like to scroll through quickly and find answers instead of just reading through something that could take me 8 years to finish. Like this post, have your main focus as a subheading and add in your paragraph text. It will also make the post look neater as well.
11. Take quick breaks if you have to
One thing I found out is, if you get a headache, then, sure enough, it means you need a break. The more you work on something, the more it can lead you to stress and high health risk. Take a break or so at least 15-30 mins (if you have a deadline). Also take breaks away from places where you work or you’ll end up procrastinating.
12. “Quality over Quantity”
You must have heard of this saying before right? What it means is, it’s better to have informational and finalised edit than infinity posts full grammar errors and lack of information. Remember, your blog represents you as a writer and person and people search up to find answers to their question. If you don’t bring them their answer, then they’re out of there.
13. Also, focus on your blog design
Writing is important, yes but so is your design and how it looks. If a reader finds your website layout to be hard to navigate, errors and well “not good looking” designs, then they’ll end up leaving your blog. One blog that I find very attracting is Claire’s blog at “Clarity Avenue”. I mean, look at it and tell me you’re going to go read post through post?
14. Focus on your traffic as well
What’s a blog without traffic? If you had no viewers to your blog posts, then there’s no point is there? Build your traffic by sharing it on social media, pinning to Pinterest, join Facebook groups etc. That way, people can share, interact and follow you which will motivate you to keep blogging.
15. “Honesty is the best Policy”
You need to be trustworthy to have loyal readings trusting you. Like those book or movie reviews, you got to be honest and so does your post or if you’re planning on monetising or selling your products. Don’t be afraid to say something you dislike because then your readers will know that you’re being honest about a product. If you’re only there trying to sell a product that you don’t believe it, then no one will buy it because they sense the vibe that you’re not honest. I’m going to be honest with you, when I started monetising my blog, I was literally siked to be able to earn money from something I love. I ended up going on an affiliate spree and joining things that I have not tried before (glad that’s not happening anymore) and boy, were there only lack of sales. So if you’re going to sell something, always be honest.
Now time for the DONT’s
1. Monetise your blog when you have less of a following or views
Ok, when you feel like you got an audience or loyal readers, then you can start monetising but if you start monetising just for the sake of getting an income from your blog when you should be increasing your traffic, then it isn’t going anywhere. I did the mistake of instantly monetising when I should be focusing on my blog and only earned a cent from it!
2. Copy and paste from existing blogs (aka STEALING CONTENT)
Has your teacher from high school ever told you that stealing information from other sites is plagiarism and can subject to you from getting a fail for your grades? Well, certainly it also happens in the real world as well without an F on your essay. When you blog, you blog because you have something to say but when you steal other peoples content that they worked hard on, then you should be ashamed of yourself because that is not the right thing to do. It’s different from getting information or statistics because you’re also sourcing the content.
3. Be harsh or rude in the blogging communities or anywhere
One time, in a Facebook group I’m currently in, one member posted a screenshot of another blogger being really rude and nasty to her because she wanted a “decent” comment from this fellow blogger. I won’t mention her name but I was literally shocked at the way that lady reacted towards her. Really, it makes the lady’s blog a turned down by the way she reacted to the comment. Don’t be like her. A keyboard warrior. If you’re planning on writing a blog that includes helping your readers, don’t use harsh swear words cuz that’s literally a turn down too.
4. MIA (missing in action) and then never write again until 2 years later
So, maybe you had to go on a holiday or you had work and other important things piling on your plate since your time is limited. Well, for the readers, they’ll get worried about you and want to know what had happened, why you hadn’t posted lately. That’s because you’ve been MIA. If you have the time, always let your fellow readers know what will happen and where (not literally WHERE you are) or why.
5. Put pop-ups everywhere on your blog
Stumbled upon a new blog. Get’s jump scared by a pop-up out of nowhere. Scrolling down and a few more pop-ups are in front of my screen like a virus or malware ad on those Asian sites where I watch Asian dramas. Don’t be that type of person who puts pop-ups everywhere wanting your viewer to either sub, follow or buy a product. They’re doing the opposite by leaving (seriously).
6. Write out your post and then release it without proofreading
Remember the quality over quantity quote? Well, don’t just instantly type up something and then quickly edit and post it while you feel relief that you actually released something out. Another turn off is if there are common mistakes from spelling to grammar as well as errors on the pages.
7. Expect high results instantly
Blogging is something that can turn successful in the long run (unless you get lucky). But don’t get your hopes up! If you’re passionate about blogging, then you’ll overcome all those failures and mistakes and work hard to go on towards success. If you’re that person who feels literally depressed after, let’s say, your post not getting enough views that day and you feel you want to stop writing for a while, then maybe blogging isn’t for you.
Who hates spam?
(me). If you’re going to spam your latest post over 20+ blog sites, then you might not get the outcome you wanted. Difference between sharing and spamming is that, with sharing, at least you’re lightly spreading out your articles (as well as old articles) over different time and interacting. But with spamming, you’re literally posting articles in blocks over a short period of time and probably repeating it. Hense why Facebook updated their commenting policy.
9. Focus on the word count
I don’t see the problem with having something over the word count (unless I’m doing a school essay or SAC then yeah, it’s definitely a problem for me) but you know, always let out what you need to say. The more, the better unless you’re just saying things that have nothing in common with the subject or you’re just probably repeating yourself.
10. Grammar and spelling mistakes
I may have and may not have had grammar mistakes in the past posts (or latest) but thank god I have Grammarly right? I use Grammarly for pretty much all my grammar and spelling mistakes because I’m not that great at English! This post you’re reading was, of course, spell checked by Grammarly. If you don’t have it, what are you waiting for? It’s a FREE tool guys!
11. Blog if you ONLY want to make money
You might have seen those popular posts on Pinterest “How I Made this much…” or “How to make Money QUICK!” etc etc. But is it really true? I know for a fact that these people who wrote those posts took a really long time until they got an income. I’m not trying to bust on them but I really think it’s a “quick scheme” trick. I pretty much fell for these tricks when I first started off blogging and I’m not doing that again!
12. Let people who don’t believe in you get in your way
My brother never believed that I would get successful with blogging one year ago. He told me that people don’t make much when blogging and that I’m just “wasting my time”. I proved him wrong, work hard on my blog and showed him the income I made this year. He was like “keep doing what you’re doing”. Unbelievable of what he just said to me vs what he told me last year. Remember, you are your own success and if you’re really passionate about something, then you can show those who thought you wrong. Believe in yourself and then others will believe in you. After that, I started to expand my blog to people I know in real life like my friends and family. My mum who now supports me on this journey.
13. Just post it and then leave it
You know, once you produce your finished work and then release it to the public, you just let the traffic come to you. That’s not how it works my friend. Always share, share, share and when you share, you’ll be able to gain new people and views. Like wrote a email list to your subbies, share on Facebook groups, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Google Plus etc.
14. Compare yourself with higher, & successful bloggers
I have also made a post about comparing yourself to social media influencers and you may be thinking “why am I down here and why is she/he up there?” well, the secret to success is time. A blogger’s success comes from hard work and a lot of years to get to where they are. Even sometimes they feel like they still unsuccessful. Always work on your blog and improve it instead of comparing yourself with high achievers.
15. Let the trolls get to you
Lastly, there are so many trolls scuttling around the internet. It’s the 21st century after all! When you get bad comments, don’t feel like it’s the end of the world. Ignore or block that troll and do you girl! We can’t always make everyone happy let alone control how they feel about the way we are. I use to get this really nasty comment, and it got to me real good. Now a days, if I ever find a nasty comment, I’ll just leave it be since I know that their time is spent on hating other people.
Oh! I finished my tea. Did you?
We’re done spilling the tea here (wink) and now it’s time to end this post.
Hope you enjoy the do’s and don’ts and remember, if you learned something new, fix it!
Don’t forget to share and comment because sharing is caring right?
Hey, hi, hello there,
I’m Ellen Tran, an 18-year-old Australian/Vietnamese lifestyle blogger at ZyraKuma. I blog about lifestyle, self-wellbeing, productivity and relationships. I hope to inspire you guys and help those in need to become their better selves as well as combine art and blogging together (my two favourite things).
I’m currently a student, learning about art and design. Hopefully achieving to become an Illustrator because I love drawing.