Friday, September 6, 2013

Dos, Don'ts, and Duhs! | Tips for New Bloggers

dos-don'ts-duhs-tips-for-new-bloggers

If you've been on the blog this week, you'll remember that Wednesday I posted up my 10 tips for growing your blog. I'd had loads of emails and tweets asking for my tricks, and I felt like it would be a great idea to post them all up for everyone to use. Today I'm bringing you a companion piece of sorts all about blogging tips for new bloggers. Newbies, this one is for you!


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Wednesday's post was for bloggers who were ready to take things to the next level, but what if you're just starting out? What if you haven't gotten settled in to your blog? Maybe you haven't even started one yet. Lately, I've seen a lot of blogger newbies trying to learn the ropes, and saying that there is so much they don't know about blogging basics and etiquette. These complaints got me to thinking.

Blogger and Wordpress make it easy to start a blog, and we all have passions we could easily write about, but blogging doesn't come with a manual. Well, okay, maybe you can buy one, but the sentiment is still sort of true! Outside of trial and error, and maybe a bit of Google-fu, no one really comes into blogging knowing what's expected of them. All we know is think, write, publish. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Bloggers are always asking what they can do to make their blogs better, their interactions more fruitful, and what are some rules they should follow. I thought that maybe I could type up a guide featuring some important dos, don'ts and duhs to help smooth out the path for my fellow new bloggers. Let's get started!

BLOG DESIGN

DO! - Have a crisp, clean design! That doesn't mean you can't incorporate some color or personality, it just means that your blog needs to be orderly, easy to navigate, and with clear graphics. It doesn't take long to make a simple header with PicMonkey, and there are loads of free backgrounds that you can install in minutes. I'm partial to the ones from Shabby Blogs. For ideas and examples, take a look at the designs of your fave blogs.

DON'T! - Steer clear of clutter! A blog should be easy to navigate without tons of ads, buttons, widgets, etc. It's okay to add a few things to your sidebar, but keep it minimal. Follow the KISS method, and you'll be good to go.

DUH! - Comic Sans! No! Just, no. Don't even go there. Not even once. If it's on your blog, for the love of all that is blog-holy, swap it out! Also, no auto-playing music. Seriously, when a person's speakers are turned up and they aren't expecting it, a sudden thrash metal song can scare the crap out of them. Trust me, auto-play is a no-no!

POSTING

DO! - Pick an easy to read font! We all love script fonts, but please don't use them for the body of your posts. When choosing a font, think of people with vision problems and issues with migraines. Tahoma and Verdana are never bad choices. A simple font is always the way to go, and your readers' eyes will thank you for it!

DON'T! - Post when you're uninspired! If you're not sure what to post about, give yourself the freedom to take a skip day. Readers can tell when you aren't into what you're writing, and enough of those posts chained together can be a real turn off. Post when you're moved to, but don't force it if you're just not feeling it. We'll still be here when you come back!

DUH! - Don't steal content! Don't do it! It's not okay, it's not cool, and eventually you WILL get caught. The blogging community doesn't take lightly to content stealers. Like I said in the above tip, if you're not sure what to write, skip the day, but don't ever resort to stealing. This shouldn't have to be said, but you'd be surprised at how many people think that copying and pasting is okay. Trust me. It's not. Ever.

SOCIAL MEDIA

DO! - Set up a Twitter account! Most of you already know this, but to those of you who come across this post from the great tubes of the net, if you don't have a Twitter for your blog, you should get one. Social media is a great way to meet other bloggers and start getting your blog out there a little. Twitter is probably the most user friendly social media site, and will be really easy to get the hang of.

DON'T! - Bite off more than you can chew! So you've got a Twitter account. Now you're thinking about setting up a page for your blog on Facebook. But then what? There are so many platforms, and you have your choice of them all. But if you can't keep up with them, you're just adding extra stress on yourself. Pick a couple of sites and go from there. I went overboard at first and ended up having to de-link a couple of accounts because I just couldn't keep it up. Don't do what I did!

DUH! - Don't post anything you wouldn't want your family/friends/boss/preacher/dog to see. Being open to sharing your life on social media isn't a bad thing, but know when to keep your lips...er, fingers, zipped! Being rude or mean-spirited won't win you friends or followers, and the internet never truly forgets.

OTHER BLOGGERS

DO! - Say hello! Most bloggers are stoked to meet other bloggers. Sending them a quick tweet or comment is a great way to get a dialogue started. Don't be shy! Almost every blogger you meet is going to be excited that you gave them a shout, and you can start many friendships that way. Don't be discouraged if a couple don't write back. There are loads more bloggers out there wanting to make your acquaintance!

DON'T! - Spam! Spamming is a huge no-no! Don't send other bloggers a million messages begging them to promote you. Don't go on their blog and leave a ton of links to every post you have and all the accounts you've opened. Spam annoys bloggers and can get you blocked pretty quickly! Spamming conveys that you're only out for yourself and are using others in a selfish way to get to the top. In the end, it does more harm than good. No one likes a spammer!

DUH! - Don't start drama! Do not do it! If you have a bad encounter with another blogger, leave it be. Unless it is absolutely necessary, and nine times out of ten it's not, don't continue to engage with the situation. Twitter drama can get especially ugly, and you don't want to get caught up in it. Just walk away. If you're being harassed, the block feature is your best friend. Drama is just not worth it!

GENERAL

DO! - Be yourself! Every blogger is unique, and we want to get to know you exactly as you are. You don't have to pretend you're someone you're not or go into debt for expensive clothes and products to have people like you. We want to see into your soul and find out what your life is like. Speak your truth, open your heart, and own who you are!

DON'T! - Get into blogging for the freebies! This is something that comes up a LOT! Sure, every blogger loves a good freebie. Every person loves getting something for free. But, at it's core, blogging isn't about that, nor should it be. It's really obvious when a person gets into blogging for the free stuff, and it's not a good look. Focus your attentions on bettering yourself and your blog instead!

DUH! - Have fun! In the end, blogging is all about having a good time doing something you love. Make sure you keep the fun in it no matter what and you're all set! You'll feel better for it, and so will your readers.

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There you have it, newbies! 15 tips to get you started! Hopefully these help you navigate the blogging waters just a tad bit better. I've really enjoyed doing these two blogging tips posts, and I'd like to continue doing them from time to time if you find them helpful. As always, if you have questions or need advice, you can pop me a tweet, or send me an email at megan@theaestheticedit.com.

If you've liked these posts, leave me a comment and let me know. Be on the lookout for more of my blogging tips, tricks and fun in the future!

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22 comments

  1. Great post! Thank you for the amazing tips, they will come in super handy!

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  2. This is a great post! I think I would be less lonely if I knew about the "interacting with other bloggers" tip when I was first starting out! I'm glad that you gave me that nudge to go back on twitter! x

    Daphne | Peanut Butter and Chocolate Life | bloglovin

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  3. Love this post, it's great for people who are starting (I'm one of them) and I look for more tips :D

    Mirisweet! xX

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  4. I'm a new blogger and this is really helpful to me, thank you! x

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  5. Such great advice and put together in an easy to digest manner. You are a great role model :)

    MISSY IN THE MIRROR

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  6. I'm not a 'new' blogger but this was a really lovely post! Off to read the other one now Project Rattlebag xx

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  7. Fantastic post and I love the Do, Don't and Duh! Aspect!

    Xxx

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  8. Great post! Totally agree with auto playing music, I usually don't even follow those blogs. Looking forward to your next post in this serie, would love to see one on tips on takings pictures!

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  9. Such a helpful post, wish I had seen something like this when I first started out x

    fabheadtotoe.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. Thank you for this post! It's really helpful as I have only recently started blogging!
    Lily x
    http://lilygracew.blogspot.co.uk/

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  11. Another brilliant post...as always. Some great advise in here too :D

    Hannah xxx

    http://adayinthelifeofanortherngirl.blogspot.com

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  12. Definitely going to check out the Shabby designs link - their website looks amazing!

    Isabella (@isabellamaria88)
    http://love-and-wardrobe.blogspot.co.uk/

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  13. Great post hun I'm really rubbish with designs etc do my blog is looking quite plain but I will have a look at pic monkey x

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  14. Really great post! I totally agree about not posting when you don't feel inspired. Let it come naturally.

    Thanks for sending over your link in the chat!
    Now Following!

    Jenn | Photo-Jenn-ic

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  15. ahh so true about social media and mingling with other fellow bloggers. Megan actually you taught me that it good to talk to other blogger and share content and make friendship.Really good tip sweety as always. Loving your blogging tops post...keep them coming if you have them in your mind...:)love reading them:)
    Love Amna.
    xxx
    asqgenerates.blogspot.com

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  16. Fabulous post!! Loving all these tips!!

    Thanks very much from a newbie blogger!!

    Katrina X

    http://history-neverrepeats.blogspot.co.uk/

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  17. such a lovely, helpful post!

    from helen at thelovecatsinc

    ps. enter my new giveaway to win a Chanel cream blush! click here.

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  18. This was such an excellent read and you are so very inspiring to all us newbies out here on the blogosphere ^_^ thankyou lovely! <3
    The Blushing Giraffe | The Bloglovin'
    xxx

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  19. Really great post, Thanks for sharing! I'll be definitly taking these on board!

    Cint @ Makeup and Messes X

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  20. Oh, I HATE unexpected music! Great points on your "dont's".

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  21. Fab post, really helpful! I'm glad u pointed me in the direction of this post :)
    Kayla x

    www.curiouslykayla.blogspot.com

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  22. This was really useful - thank you so much! I really like the fact that you included skipping a day when you're uninspired, that's such a great point.

    http://emmabellefashion.blogspot.co.uk

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