Thursday, 8 December 2011

Blogging advice.

Hello fellow bloggers, are you sitting uncomfortably?

Then I will begin.

There will be snacks provided at the interval and kittens to play with for those that get easily distracted.

(Step away from the kitten guys, after four lines is not an acceptable time to get distracted)

The blogging community is an amazing place, but there are a lot of people out there that are just starting out that perhaps need a little guidance.

Now I'm not here to teach anyone how to suck eggs so for those of you that are blog geniuses you are excused to go and play with the kittens, but leave the snack table alone for now ok?

Do you have a new blog? Do you look at those bloggers out there that talk about being sent a product to try out and want to know how to get in on it?

STOP right there. If you are just in it for the freebies then you are going to be sadly disappointed.

The sacred rule of blogging? Don't beg for samples. Just don't.

Feel free to contact PR companies to introduce yourself, follow your favourite brands on twitter and facebook and learn all about all the fab new products that are being released and then go and purchase them with your own monies and then write about them. Send the link to the PR company who looks after the brand and then keep on blogging.


I am NOT going to say to you, and then after a while the PR company will send you free stuffs because that really isn't how it works, and if you are reading this and thinking, "So WHEN do I get free stuff" please feel free to go play with the kitties because I am honestly just trying to help you out here.

Blogging is really not about what you can get out of it. Blogging is hard work. Fun, but really hard work. What do I get out of it? Honestly? I just really enjoy writing. I'm not a beauty blogger, I just blog about beauty occasionally, (as well as anything else that interests me-My blog, my rules) For me it is all about the pleasure of writing, My reward is having people comment on my blogs (oooooh, you better comment)

I haven't been blogging for that long myself. This blog is 18 months old, still a baby really, but I am seeing more and more blogs popping up and if I can just help one new blogger from making the mistakes that others, including me, have made then I think this was a blog worth writing.

Another important lesson a new blogger can learn is all about getting your own identity. This takes time. If you read back my first few months worth of blogs (For gods sake, don't)  then my writing was completely different. It takes time to develop your identity. What do you like to write about? Beauty? Fashion? Sex? Food? Write about what interests YOU. Go for it, just write. Over time your style will develop and your readers will come. let it be natural, don't force it.

And for gods sake get your own ideas. Don't steal them from fellow bloggers, it doesn't matter how amazing you think they are. Get your own fabulous ideas, stealing them from other bloggers is just lazy and people WILL notice. And then you will be known for all the wrong reasons. Who wants that? You will get great ideas for blogs of your own, you will. How would you like it if you had a fabulous idea for a blog and then someone stole it for themselves?

Blog unto others as you yourself wish to blog.


Does anyone need a kitten break?



Another thing that you really shouldn't worry about is the number of blog followers you have. I've been there, you can stress yourself out something stupid over why you only have ten followers when someone who started after you has twenty. or why your blog followers hasn't increased in days or weeks or why you have lost blog followers. Keep on writing, followers will come, your hits will increase and after a while you realise that these things aren't important. They really aren't.

Chat to your fellow bloggers, the social side of blogging is amazing and you can make some amazing friends, comment on other peoples blogs, but make sure you don't just write "visit my blog at www.blahblahblah" Nothing is more annoying than people who comment without commenting, if you know what I mean?


Right, the snack table is now open, go gather in the comment area and share some good advice for new bloggers. What do you wish that you had known when you first started out? What is your sacred rule of blogging?

and any new bloggers with any questions, feel free to ask for advice.


Big Fashionista x x
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34 comments

  1. Hi, great blog and advice!
    I've just started a blog for my photography work and just wandered if you had any advice on how to get myself out there and known in the blogger community? I.E features on blogs etc?
    Thank you :)
    Chloe
    http://chloeleephoto.blogspot.com/

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  2. Hi, great post. It does sometimes make you worry when people are bragging about followers etc. I used to think oh no why haven't i got many followers but now i just think oh well i'd happy writing what i want to write and i'm grateful to the ones that do read :-) x

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  3. Great post, very informative and helpful for us new/recently started bloggers, thanks! x

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  4. My only question is......CAN I HAVE THAT KITTEN! LOL! Great post!

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  5. Worth reading just for the kittens. Just quietly, the awesome advice helped too ;)

    I'm a very new blogger who's in it for the fame, glory and free stuff. Oh wait, nope, that's not it. Just for the pleasure of having my own little space in the world, where I can write whatever I like. Yup, that's it! x

    It's all good!

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  6. I wrote a guest post similar to this. One thing I would add, which was advice given to me: don't spend time on energy trying to get the ones that hate you to like you, spend time and energy on the ones that already do.
    Great post xx

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  7. ..And so say all of us.

    I've seen a big change in blogging in the last year, and it saddens me- I dont feel the support is there anymore, and that was why I got into it- to chat to Mums/women of similar age who were as bored in the daytime as I was. But now it feels there's an ulterior motive when someone follows you. Which is sucky.

    But very good advice for the newer bloggers- learn from us miserable old bags!

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  8. Great post. I have been blogging for 2 and a bit years and still value advice posts like this. There is always a lot to learn- or a need to go back to the start.

    I see the 'freebie lurkers' around, and have to say that a lot of companies notice them too. Also a lot of the companies use PR firms which deal which multiple brands, therefore if you annoy a company, you'll no doubt annoy several brands.

    Also it's a small circuit, PR's talk, change companies etc and they will compare notes on which bloggers are on the 'naughty list'.

    I don't normally link posts in comments (you know that Kellie!), but did a little post about Blogger Ethics, advice for PRs etc earlier this year. It is here if you fancy a read http://computergirl2007.blogspot.com/2011/07/bite-blogger-press-pr-and-blogger.html

    I am still learning about Blogging every day, but as with life, manners are everything.

    A tip for new bloggers, if you read a post and enjoy it, say thank you. Thank you goes a long way. All too often in blogging, we read and then click close.


    Thank you Kellie! xx

    Ps. Kitten. is. so. cute!!

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  9. Very good post. Really enjoyed it. I'm glad you mentioned about the followers as I seem to get a fair amount of hits but not many followers - although I am super-grateful for the 13 that I have. It's a warm and fuzzy feeling to think that anyone actually took the time (cos everyone's busy) to follow you. So I will just keep on blogging. I love it, wish I had more time to post. That's my New Year's Resolution for 2012 x

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  10. I just do it because I like it. Simples. There is nothing that will make me hit that wee X at the top of any page faster than "OMG I REALLY NEED TWO MORE FOLLOWERS PLZZZZZZ" No, you don't. You need to figure out what you're doing this for. Also, blogs that bitch about other blogs are not good. I don't need to read that. Don't try to copy other people, just do what suits you. And DON'T slate other people for doing what suits them. There's nothing more disgusting to read than a sniping post that mocks someone else just because they happen to get perks from putting a lot of work into what they do. Jealousy doesn't make me want to check in with you every day.

    As usual, fab honest straight-to-it post x

    Grab the guitar, who's up for a Kumbaya?

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  11. Marvellous!! And thank you, the pork pies were delish, although I'm not happy about the monster munch...;0)

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  12. Love this post! Thank you Kellie. I still consider myself a new blogger as I have only done it a few months and still learning, so any advice is valuable.

    I get annoyed with people bragging about the number of followers they have and how many hits they get. If you love blogging isn't it about the readers and the real people rather than the numbers? Hits come after time, and posts I wrote months ago are finally getting hits, but that is not why I wrote them. I write about things that genuinely interest me, because my blog is my own personal space.

    And the freebie hunters? I think it is the wrong reason to start up a blog. Yes, it's the fun part of it, but to be honest I get sent someting once in a blue moon, and prefer buying something I genuinely want to try because it interests me, not because it is a freebie. Besides I end up getting most of my 'freebies' from magazines! But even then I AM paying for the magazine, so it isn't totally for free.

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  13. I do understand the freebie hunters. They see certain products all over blogs and wonder how to get themselves in the queue. I get that. What I don't like is the blatant haranguing and hinting for things. I've had glimpses of emails sent to various PRs, and some of the neck that these girls are showing is quite phenomenal.

    I have always maintained a philosophy of serve your time, pay your dues. It isn't as simple as "I haz URL, send me invites and STUFF". I agree with you about the keeping on keeping on. I've been blogging for three years now. There are bigger bloggers than me, but I am absolutely cool with that. I like my niche.

    Finally, I can genuinely say I have never made the first move to approach a brand or PR company. I'm too embarrassed. If there's a product I want to try, I buy it. Where's the shame in that? I am now lucky enough to have some good relationships with brands that I really like now but that was based on them finding me and deciding they want to work with me, rather than the other way around.

    And the bloggers who resent other bloggers? I have no time for that. They should see my credit card bill...

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  14. Hi Chloe, all I can suggest is keep at it. Keep writing, keep commenting. You name will be seen. People will visit your blog and like what they see and keep coming back for more.

    Re Guest posts, can I also refer you to my november post. Pay The lady :-)

    http://big-fashionista.blogspot.com/2011/11/pay-lady.html

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  15. Intresting read, thanks for the insight, I'm a new blogger and have started just for the experiance of writing, and of course I'm hoping peole read and review it. I had never thought of the freebies or the social side of it but its give me a bit more motivation to carry on, thanks!

    Oh and the kittens didnt distract me:)

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  16. My favourite piece of advice is to blog as if no-one is reading. I can't take any credit as this is advice from someone I consider to be a blogging genius - Lipglossiping. You should blog because you enjoy it and not for freebies or followers. If you don't do it for love (and as if no-one is reading) it will rapidly become a chore. Writing when it is a chore is painful for you AND for anyone who does happen to be reading!

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  17. thank you so much for the post. my blog's really a baby, and i just wasn't sure what to do to get it out there in the world. i mean, do people even want to read me effectively talking to myself on a website? but i spose i just need to let it get out there on it's own, be patient and give it a little push in the right direction. thanks! Nx

    ps. www.londonramblers.blogspot.com - in case anyone might be interested ...

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  18. I really like this post!

    My blog has only been around since march so I'm still learning and trying things out, and learning how to not blind myself when trying to take a close up picture with flash of my eye with new mascara on. But I digress.

    I do know what you mean though, there seems to be a lot of people who actively use their blogs to get freebies. But I like to think that there's enough of us who enjoy the process without the freebies.

    I've sometimes seen the huge amount of followers people have and get a little bit panicked, but I've stopped worrying. I blog a lot, I hope some people find it interesting. At the end of the day I enjoy it and that's really all that matters :)

    dp

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  19. Love it. I refuse to read stuff that has clearly been PR pushed or sponsored, so would never do it myself...nothing more honest than talking about amazing life experiences that have been genuinely organised by the blogger out of their own pocket...makes good reading....can I go play with the kittens now please?

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  20. You guys all make brilliant important points. I'm glad that everyone has embraced this post (and the kittens)
    My blog is still only a baby and we are all still learning as we go.

    I don't pretend that I know it all. I really don't. But it helps if the ones who have been around a while can help the newer ones from making the mistakes we did

    Thanks again for reading and taking the time to comment

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  21. OK, who ate the last of the pretzels!?

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  22. Love this post, it will help the newbies out there, no one read my blog for a few months, I kept on though then I joined twitter and BAM! ha. Now pass me the snacks! xx

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  23. I've been blogging only a few months now and it's a little intimidating when I see others pushing to "reach 300 followers!!!" or suchlike. I might not have many followers but I do have a handful who always comment on my posts, which means the world to me as it makes me think that they like my writing if they keep coming back. I hope so anyway! I would still be writing it anyway even if no one read it.... x x

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  24. Well, I made it over to the comment table, and poured myself a drink and ooogled Mr Jovi up there... (thanks :D )

    Thank you for this post! It's really cheered me up in what was a pretty pants day! Life, rather than blogging bad though. I'm very new at this - only started writing posts in late Nov. I've had the blog since Oct, but spent so many days trying to get the right look I just put off writing my posts. But now that I've started I'm really enjoying it.
    I used to be a really creative person, doodling, sewing, painting, but then real life and a big grown up job got in the way and I kinda put that side of me away. Since starting my blog and being influenced by so many other really creative spaces out there, its brought it back out in me :) I'm enjoying creative pretty aspects, buttons and links and a nice header (an identity I suppose), in a way that I have never felt the drive for, I'm a very computery person yet my photoshop skills were dreadful, not any more! I've just not put any elements on to the site yet.... but soon.
    Brag Doll gives me something to think about when reality is too much - job hunting and rejection is really hard, especially when I know I could do all these jobs standing on my head and that I am a very good person to have on board (sidetracking there). But focusing on Brag Doll during days when I've had enough negativity from companies and councils, really brings me back to earth.

    Oh that and I have FAR TOO MANY clothes and not very creative with the wearing, so I'm hoping that blogging will give me the drive to jazz things up a bit - and maybe empty the wardrobe.

    Of course it would be lovely to become a blog with hundreds of followers and it does feel a bit overwhelming when there are so many established, well liked, sponsored and recognised spaces out there. And one day, yeah it would be really nice, I love getting compliments so if that comes in the shape of fans, or sponsors or lovely gifts, but to be honest, when I first started reading blogs and contemplated starting my own, I had NO idea just how big a world it was, and the fact that some get gifts and sponsorship just astounded me. So I guess it's safe to say thats not why I got into it.

    But I am very new still, and very unsure. And reading your post about finding your own writing style and issues really did reassure me. I seem to write long posts (as you can tell), with lots of photos (another passion of mine) that seem to take up a lot of screen space, and I wasn't sure if that was the correct etiquette, especially when some of my favourite bloggers seem to be the complete opposite. But then I get another follower, or a comment, or a fan on twitter and it all seems worth while and makes me think that I can't be that wrong. Also, I enjoy reading about other peoples lives, so why shouldn't other people be interested in mine. It's still early days.

    So yeah, to end this rant... thank you :D I somehow stumbled across your space, on this particular day, when this post is still on your first page, and it's just perfect timing! Thank you! Exactly what a newbie on the zone needed. Maybe you should keep posting it every few weeks, just so that other new stumblers can enjoy it too.

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  25. Passes you monster munch.

    Blog for you hun. Write what you want to write about.

    I'll let you in on a little secret. I am a total technophobe. The only reason I haven't bought my domain is because I really don't know what to do! (and I just bought business cards with blogspot.com on)

    Re photoshop and stuff like that. Meh. Just write. You know then that the people that follow are loving what you do and how you are doing it.


    Passes you a kitten

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  26. I wish someone had told me I'd get a job where there are social media savvy folks working with me who could weasle out my secret identity and read about my drunken sexfest with a colleague...

    Don't worry, it's convenient disappeared from the blog now (I have it on file for the book)

    Best thing for me, starting out, was having someone in a similar stage of blogger development (ahem - that would be YOU Big Fash) there for support and reciprocal commenting!

    Good post honey bunch :)

    RCx

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  27. Definitely Ritzi.

    Remember when it just used to be me and you commenting on each others posts!!!!

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  28. This is a great post! Thanks for such useful info.I have been following you on Twitter for over a year and like your confident comments but must confess that I have just visited your blog - mainly because I have only (finally) just got mine underway and so find that I am now more intrigued by others. I am still trying to get my head around the whole blogging thing and from reading this post see that I still have a lot to learn. For example, so naive am I that it didn't even occur to me that one could be in it for the freebies... I haven't yet encountered 'bloggers ego' which from the comments sound similar to that on Twitter. Like you, writing is my thing - when I can get round to it.

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  29. Great post and so true! I also love how you put such a funny spin on it. and the kittens, who doesn't love kittens?! xx

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  30. damn i left it too late, someones taken all the kittens :(

    great post, its interesting to see what the blogging 'elders' have to say (for the love of god im not saying youre old) and thanks for the advice you gave to me personally last week :)

    Sara x

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  31. I just came across your site. I really like your style of writing :) Thank you for this post and your advice.
    I love blogging and like you said it takes time to create your own style. Even inspiration comes with time!
    I always get sooo excited when I get I comment. It is so nice know someone has taken their time to write something :)
    I have only got 8 followers but boy I get happy when another one shows up :)
    I will keep on blogging and hoping it will all be appreciated in the future.

    Sylwia x

    www.my-beautyful-world.blogspot.com

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  32. Very reassuring to know it's not me who is worried about having a small amount of Blog 'followers' on here! And to be honest I didn't even consider the freebies aspect of Blogging I just love to write and want to share my thoughts with the world :D

    www.leylamai.blogspot.com

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Due to increased spam comments I am now having to moderate the comments I receive. I will do my best to get them approved quickly so please, carry on commenting as every time you comment a kitten smiles.

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