Thursday, 16 May 2013


image taken from

I've been blogging for nearly a new year now and I've learned a lot along the way - though seeing tweets about what really annoys people/makes people want to follow a blog or by making mistakes myself and then 'correcting' them. Blogging in itself is a constantly evolving medium and a way for people to get hold of the information they've searched for faster than publishing houses can produce magazines. Readers also know that 9/10 times the blogger is writing from their own experience, has spent their own hard-earned money and wants to share their own opinion. There are thousands upon thousands of blogs out there on the internet so in the furor to get your blog to the best standard it possibly can be I've written this post. I don't profess to know absolutely everything and in blogging standards I'm still relatively unknown, unpopular and, well, 'new' but these are the lessons I've learned so far.


Whenever I tell people I'm a blogger the thing that they're most interested in is the amount of freebies I get sent *eye roll*. Whilst the odd PR sample is a perk, it isn't reason I blog and shouldn't be the reason that you decide to blog either. Its very very easy to see through the type of bloggers that do it purely for the free stuff and most of the time, because the samples don't roll in straight away, these types of bloggers disappear after a few months or so. Blog for yourself and because you love the subject you're writing about. 

Twitter is your new best friend. It's the site where most bloggers promote their blogs and themselves as well as interact with other people in the community. There are discussion groups to join, friends to make and advice to ask that can all be found on Twitter very easily. Instagram is a great way to share photos. Facebook pages can be a great way of reaching audiences that think Twitter is just too hectic (understandable seeing as sometimes it gives me a headache). Use them all to your advantage and watch your blog grow.

It's customary to thank the people that follow your blog and twitter with a giveaway. Giveaways are little competitions where you give away items you've blogged about and liked (don't give away something you don't like - that's not fair to your readers) to say 'thank you' and come in a competition format which means someone wins your prize. Now, I'm not saying that every time you get a new follower you should throw a giveaway - it's usually done at 'milestones' such as 100 followers or 10,000 page views etc. Christmas giveaways are also popular too.

In blogging it really does pay off to be honest. If you've bought something for review and it hasn't worked then tell your readers it hasn't and why. If you've bought something and it's worked like a dream then rave about it. The problem occurs when bloggers aren't honest about products they review and claim it works brilliantly, the reader buys the said product because of the blogger's recommendation and then, when it doesn't work at all, the reader won't trust the blogger's opinions and is more than likely to stop following and find someone honest to turn to. Whilst everyone is different and therefore not everything out there will work for all it's more helpful to be completely honest than it is to keep your head in the clouds for the sake of a bit of whimsical writing.

It's been stated by a lot of bloggers and readers of blogs that big photos, in focus and with good lighting are always a win when it comes to what people like to see. Small, out-of-focus or dingy photos are pretty much useless. The reader wants to see what a product looks like without having to strain their eyes or, put bluntly, imagine it. Whilst not everyone can afford the latest camera to hit the market it's easy to produce decent photos for your blog without this or that lens from Sony. I use my iPhone 4S for all of the pictures used on this blog and whilst the quality isn't outstanding, its decent, and I make them better by using PicMonkey and other editing software.

Whilst it may sound a bit 'boring' followers tend to preference blogs that have simple layouts and easy to read fonts. I'm not saying you can't make your blog colourful but bare in mind that the more hassle it is to read the less likely it is that people will read it.

Take it from someone who was once obsessed with their stats - it really isn't a big deal unless you'e one of the 'big guns' out there that have been established for years (we're talking 3-4 years minimum) and are trying to get into events as 'press'/making a living from blogging. Whilst it's nice to know you're getting the hits and people are choosing to follow you you'll send yourself crazy if you take it all too seriously. On the same note I used to get really upset if someone unfollowed me - Google+ accounts are deleted all of the time or compers (vocab lesson: most 'compers' are folk that follow blogs specifically to try and win giveaways) get bored of waiting for your to throw a giveaway/don't win your giveaway and therefore don't see the point in following you anymore. Stress shortens people's lives and blogging really isn't worth getting stressed over unless your income depends on it.

Whilst Twitter can work to your advantage it's easy for people to create drama on there. It can be over absolutely anything - which type of hair extension is best, an uninvited opinion on a dress, who has the better stats, who gets nominated for which award. Those that repeatedly create/get involved in the drama tend to be treated with wariness by the rest of the community. You've been warned.

Whilst thanking your followers for their support and kindness at milestones and on the odd occasion is acceptable, even expected, there are bloggers out there that throw a lot of giveaways and don't really do much else. 'Yay - another 2 followers - giveaway time!' - just no. Constant giveaways not only attract the wrong types of followers (usually compers that won't really read your other posts and are there for the sake of hopefully winning something at some point) but it will hurt your bank account buying all of the prizes and only arouse suspicion in other bloggers. A lot of giveaways looks as if you're bribing people into following you so that your follower count grows quickly and, ergo, PR companies take more notice of you and you get sent samples to review (see above 'BLOG FOR THE RIGHT REASONS).

As much as anyone doesn't want to be seen as a moaner or a whinger sometimes it's good to throw a negative review into the mix if you genuinely believe that a product isn't good enough or isn't worth the money you've paid for it. Some blogs only post about great products, which is entirely up to the blogger, but showing a negative review once in a while shows you have more to give when it comes to reviews than just 'I loved it - I recommend it - Go buy it'.

I personally like to post quite a lot and aim for one post per day to go live on this here little blog. Don't feel like you have to do the same with your blog though - sometimes life gets in the way and it isn't plausible to post with rigid regularity. Blog at your own pace - whether that's once a day, once a week or once a month. Similarly when new products are released or something is really hyped don't feel pressured into going out and buying it straight away to review as soon as possible. Your bank balance won't thank you and you'll be left with loads of products that you'll never use up. 

Of all the things that makes the blogging community irate it's those that leave 'follow for follow' comments on other people's blogs. It bugs the hell out of everyone. Its rude, shows you haven't actually read any of the blogger's posts and have ignored all of their hard work. It also shows that you're only after followers and not actually interacting with anyone in a social way. When I first started this blog I received a comment like that and naively assumed it was a friendly offering. I followed their blog and never received a follow back. In fact, I've never actually known anyone who leaves these comments to follow back at all on any blog. 

If you're worried about spam put 'comment moderation' on your blog - not word verification. Word verification makes it very difficult for people to comment and is a complete chore. You'll find that people comment more and will read more if you turn it off. Just saying.

So that was my dos and don'ts for new bloggers - if you have anything to add then please leave it in the comments below and hopefully we'll all help those that are new to all this to establish themselves a little more.


  1. This is such a good post!! Such common sense! Great for new bloggers like me :) xx

  2. Some of the best tips ever, lovely :) I can't stand follow for follows, I normally leave my name and blog link after leaving a thoughtful comment! xo

  3. such a great post, lots of amazing tips!

    FashionProject x

  4. this was so good- I wish I had read this like a year and a half ago aha! I'll be sending this post to new bloggers in the future who are a bit stuck with everything and are looking for help! :)


  5. I hate word verification so much! ha


    Inspirations Have I None

    ps. I'm having a giveaway on my blog

  6. This is helpful :) Thank you. I feel like I'm a failure as it's been a day or two since my first post! But it's good to know that my own pace is fine :) might take me a week or something but hey ho! xx

  7. It's a really interesting post and I enjoyed reading it.
    I agree with many points and I also hate word verification so much !

  8. Those 'follow for follow' comments really annoy me as well, love this post though xx


Thank you for commenting. I adore every single one. Please feel free to link your blogs underneath your comments - I love finding new blogs to read!

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