Blogging Advice: Don’t Do What I Did

 

So, you’re a new blogger? 

That’s awesome. 

I’ve been blogging for nearly 2 years. (Related: How did that happen?) Shortly after I celebrated my one year blogiversary, I wrote about eight things I did right during my first year. I have learned so much. And sometimes? I learned the hard way.

You are probably hearing lots of advice about things you should do as you take your first steps on your blogging journey. I am going to take a different approach to help you as you trek to your blogging future. I present:

DontDoWhatIDidBlogging Blogging Advice: Dont Do What I Did  

That’s right, if you want to be successful faster DO NOT do the following:

Don’t just lurk on blogs that you like

Do: Comment on a post that you like. Let the blogger know you read it and what you think. The more personal you make your comment, the more it will make an impression on the blogger. For example: “This post makes me remember our summers spent at the lake and starry night campfires.” or “My oldest son went through a similar stage. At first we wondered if it was here to stay, but it eventually passed. Hang in there!”  are more memorable than “Great post!” or “Thank you for sharing!”

Bonus Points: Share the post with your social media followers

Don’t wait to set up social media accounts for your blog 

I knew nothing about Twitter when I first started blogging so I focused on it exclusively for months – totally ignoring all the other platforms. The result? My Twitter presence grew much faster than the reach of any of my other accounts. 

Do: Set up social media accounts immediately upon starting your blog. Set up your accounts and start promoting your blog and latest posts right away. If you are not familiar with a social media platform, plug away at it with the others. 

Bonus Points: Jump into a Twitter or Facebook conversation and connect with others. That is when social media is the most fun and rewarding. 

Don’t underestimate the value of photos and blog graphics

I started without any images of any kind.

Do: Include an image in every post. It breaks up the text and can illustrate your story and points so effectively. Speaking of which, there is is big wall of text here. Time for a photo:

DontDoWhatIDidBloggingMe Blogging Advice: Dont Do What I Did

Hi!

Bonus points: Photos and images you create yourself let you show more of your personality.

Don’t expect to write “when you have time”

It is hard to find the time; sometimes it doesn’t happen.

Do: Set aside some time – whether it is first thing in the morning before anyone else is up, nap time, or a few quiet moments in the evening – make time. Get in a routine. Even if you don’t end up publishing it right away – just write.

Bonus points: Write without social media distractions. 

Don’t be afraid to say what is in your heart, to let people get to know you, to reach out

I was shy (still am sometimes) and I spent time trying to “find my voice” as a new blogger.

Do: Let us get to know you, we want to read your posts and say “Oh! ME TOO!!” We want to feel like we are chatting over a cup of coffee or tea or learning something new. We want to hear about what you know, what you don’t. I want to read about your questions and concerns – because maybe I have the same ones.

Keep going, blogging padawan learners. Avoid these pitfalls and you will more than likely be ahead of me as you approach the end of your second year. (Again, how?)

Are you a blogger? What are you glad you did? What would you do differently if you could? 

About Kim Steele

Kim is an early childhood educator turned stay at home mom who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband. Together they are co-piloting two little Captains, Alpha and Bravo. She writes about the funny and the sentimental of everyday life with her boys. Kim is fond of Jane Austen and science fiction and can often be found singing in the car - although she has been known to stop for coffee or chocolate. Connect with Kim on Twitter and Facebook.

Comments Make Me Geek Out

  1. These are fabulous, Kim. And oh geez, I’m still working on the social media part….yup lessons learned the hard way. I’m sharing these :)
    sarah reinhart recently posted..the four most devastating and uplifting wordsMy Profile

    • Thank you, Sarah!
      I am still learning about the social media part, too. I find I feel like I pick one up and then promptly drop the ball on the others. It’s a process, I think.

  2. I’m still very “new” but one of the best things I did was read several books about blogs before I started. I found Blog Design for Dummies and Born to Blog to be the most helpful. Love this list of what NOT to do! I am bad about #1; this comment is a start at penance…

    • I think that reading and learning all we can about blogging is definitely helpful – I love to read about blogging and get tips from others. (I am kind of a blogging geek now!)
      I’m so glad you stopped by and left such a thoughtful comment. Thank you!

  3. I would do so many things differently. I had no idea what I was doing for months. I had no idea there was such a thing as blogging communities. That alone was a huge help. And even now, there is still so much to learn!
    Michelle recently posted..Personalized Christmas Gift Tags {Guest Post}My Profile

  4. Oh, I did so many things wrong, Kim!
    For one, I started my blog without really thinking about what I was planning to do with it long-term. It completely evolved into something else about a month or two in. I should also have thought about the name more, which is why I decided to change it a year+ in.
    This is all really great advice!
    Alison recently posted..Love LanguageMy Profile

  5. Fantastic advice, Kim. You are so right about the social media platforms. We try to stretch ourselves and figure out new ones all the time to see if they work for us even though we don’t understand them half the time (like StumbleUpon, Digg, etc). We give them a whirl! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Dear Santa, Please Make My Children Smile On Command Just Once!My Profile

  6. This is incredible advice, Kim! I need to do a better job of setting aside distraction-free time for writing. Social media scared me in the beginning, but I’m kinda addicted to Twitter now.
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..TrailHeads Giveaway Winner & Goodbye Girl Headband ReviewMy Profile

    • I it that hard to make time sometimes, too. I find evenings work best for me now, but it used to be early morning. And I didn’t understand Twitter at all at first, but loved it once I got more familiar with it. :)

  7. “Padawan learners”: HA! These are good tips, Kim. I did the Twitter thing backwards, and I’m still not quite there yet, even after two (!) years. Love the picture: you are so cute!!
    Andrea recently posted..The Liebster AwardMy Profile

    • Aw, thanks!
      I didn’t know a thing about Twitter when I started blogging – and then once I started hanging out there, I loved it! 140 characters is an interesting challenge for one who tends to talk a lot. :)

  8. This is awesome! I have been blogging for about 3 years and feel I still have things to learn. It never ends…but that is the fun part of it:)

    Since I set up a fb page for my blog and started to join blog groups my traffic has grown. I have a small blog still, but it sure did a different:)
    Jeanette recently posted..White DecemberMy Profile

    • I love that there is always more to learn! And yes, social media and meeting other bloggers really does make a difference when you are growing your blog.
      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  9. Nicely said, Kim! You’ve taken the “scary” out of I-want-to-start-a-blog-but -*GULP*. I wish I had read this when I was starting out. Have to share this one :-)
    Mona (Moxie-Dude) recently posted..Update to Saturday’s mini zombie apocalypseMy Profile

    • |I was so scared when I first started – I was so unsure and intimidated by everything. I love that there is always more to learn, though.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing! :)

  10. I find these tips helpful. I have been at my current blog since April, and my older one for almost 2 years. I am doing this one much better as I have decided to really make a go of it, and have more fun with it. Thanks again for the tips.
    Christopher D Drew recently posted..A Pretty Jacket- 9th Day Of AdventMy Profile

    • I often think that if I started over now, it would probably be a very different journey the second time around. But there is always something new to learn, isn’t there? I love that about blogging!

  11. People are often surprised to hear how long I have been doing this, because I didn’t “get social” until last January or so. Less than a year! And it’s really made a difference. I think your tips are spot on. I will always tell people that if someone comments on your block, respond! And then visit their blog, if they have one!
    Tamara recently posted..Invisible Mama.My Profile

  12. I’m still learning every day. I didn’t figure out the images right away. I actually went back and added in images to some of my earlier post, but I am not that in love with those early photos. I was very intimidated by the social media thing and because of that I was slow to share. But once I got the hang of it, it has been rewarding to share posts I love, because it feels good and it helps build friendships with other blogs. All great tips here Kim, you put things in perspective, and reminding me of a few things I need to kick up a notch! Like planning and setting aside time! Tweeting and pinning, by the way!
    Stevie recently posted..Santa Claus SuspicionsMy Profile

    • I was so intimidated at first, but once I got the hang of social media and sharing it got easier and like you say, it does help build relationships.
      And thank you so much for sharing!

  13. So much great advice here Kim! I lurked for so long. I didn’t think that I had anything to add to the comments and it felt silly. But I now know how comments really make the blogging experience so much fuller and richer for both the blogger and the reader. And I lurked on Twitter for a while too. I can’t believe you’ve only been at this for 2 years. PS love your photo!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Holiday Gift GuideMy Profile

    • That is exactly the way I felt, too – about commenting and Twitter! (It took me forever to tweet my first tweet.) Thankfully, it did get easier and less scary. :)

  14. I’ve been blogging for over two years now and boy, did I learn the hard way (and I’m still learning). I love that you wrote this post, it needs to go viral :)
    Kerstin @ Auer Life recently posted..Happy HouseMy Profile

    • I am still learning, too – and it is one of my favourite things about blogging. So much to learn – more and more things just keep getting revealed to me along the way. It is pretty cool.

  15. I totally just high fived you.

    This is a FABULOUS post, Kim. Totally needs to be shared!
    Laura recently posted..How to Bring Home a Real Christmas Tree When You’ve Never Had One BeforeMy Profile

  16. I love this post, Kim! Because it’s great advice and you do it with humor. I am still making plenty of rookie mistakes – almost 2 years in this game. I barely Tweet. I never pin. I have an Instagram account that I have not logged into since August. But I guess it’s good to have room for improvement, right? Oh, and I love love love your photo!
    Ilene recently posted..The BridgeMy Profile

  17. Even after blogging for over a year, I still am failing at all of the other social media – I just can’t keep up and do it all!!! Maybe I should carve out time for the other aspects besides just my blog!
    Kim recently posted..Let’s Hope that Tuesday Is Better than Monday!!!My Profile

    • It is hard to find the time sometimes. Maybe you could spend the first few minutes of your blogging time focusing on social media? It might help if you combined the two until you find another routine that works.

  18. Yes! I can totally relate. Most of my first posts don’t have any pictures at all, just rambling musings by moi. BOR-ING. :D
    Greta recently posted..Project 365 (Weeks 47-48)My Profile

  19. Hi, my name is Katie, and I’m a blogger, 6.5 years sober…I mean blogging.

    Love this post. Also, it reminded me of Dr. Seuss when he says “If you don’t you’re a don’t-er”. Don’t be a don’t-er. :)

  20. Such great advice! Thank you for this. I totally agree with all of it, but especially #1! That’s how I’ve met some of my favorite people online.
    Kristin Shaw recently posted..What I will knowMy Profile

    • Thank you, Kristin! #1 was hard for me to overcome – but it did get easier. And when you do step out and make those connections? That is the best, isn’t it?

  21. Great tips, I will never be good at the “blog when you have time one”. I never seem to manage to schedule or organize posts in advance. Nearly 3 years blogging and I still can’t do it.
    Julia recently posted..Tips for Christmas Decorating with KidsMy Profile

    • I need to work on the scheduling posts, too. I have gotten better at making time every day to do a little blogging – for me it is the evening – just to do some writing or catch up on blog things that need my attention.

  22. Great tips :) (I do so much better when I schedule my writing.)
    angela recently posted..Stick Me in Your StockingMy Profile

  23. I’m always “waiting” for time to write. because the brilliance strikes when I’m in the middle of making dinner or all of my kids are running circles around me. Ha! Great tips!
    Leigh Ann recently posted..In which I freeze and sweat at the same timeMy Profile

  24. Great Advice! Thank you from a new (almost 6 months!!) blogger! :) I try to connect on all social media platforms. That is where I have made my best bloggy friends!
    Becka recently posted..Talk Tuesday – Just some Ramblings for the DayMy Profile

  25. Great advice!! I’m still struggling with trying to find a regular time to write and not getting distracted by ALL THE THINGS!!! I sit done in front of my computer when the kids are in school and, BAM, two or three hours have passed but I haven’t written anything (except a few tweets or FB status updates.). Hopefully, I’ll figure it out soon!!! :-)
    Lisa @ The Golden Spoons recently posted..Tuesday Ten and Happy Birthday Megan!My Profile

    • Oh, it is so easy for me to get sucked in to social media – that’s why I find I have to turn it off when I am writing. Otherwise I have trouble concentrating on anything else! :)

  26. These are great! And yea, I made all of these too :)
    Tricia recently posted..Go for joyMy Profile

  27. I’m loving the “hi” photo. That’s awesome, and this is some really great advice for all bloggers, not just the new ones.
    Jennifer recently posted..2013 Reader FavoritesMy Profile

  28. Such great advice Kim! All of this is so true!
    Natalie recently posted..A Blur of a WeekMy Profile

  29. This is a really great post, Kim! I’ve been blogging for about five years, but my blog went on the back burner (like the one that really isn’t even on the oven) for so long that I kind of feel like a new blogger again. I’m hoping to be back in the blogosphere on a more permanent basis than I am now in the new year, and I appreciate these valuable reminders!
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