January seems to be the time when many people decide to finally start a blog. I have had a dozen or more new followers in the past week, most of them brand new bloggers with little or no content on their blogs. Perhaps the start of a new year gives them the push they needed to be brave enough to put their thoughts out there, for all to see.
Included in that small group are a couple of ‘travel blogs’, and of course a few who are really just trying to sell their ‘Editing Services’, or their own craft work. That’s fine too, as the modern world requires that you have to get online to sell your stuff, as well as to write your thoughts down, or show everyone your photos of a trip to somewhere nice.
That said, I am once again going to offer some familiar words of advice to these new bloggers. For everyone else who has seen this before from me, please turn away now.
2019, and you have decided to start your blog. It’s exciting, I know that. People all around the world will see your stuff. They might add a ‘Like’, and if they comment and engage, that’s the icing on the cake. But if you are going to get any real value from blogging, then please try to follow a few basic rules of blogging etiquette.
1) Do not just add a link to your blog as a comment on someone else’s post.
They are unlikely to follow that link, and WordPress will eventually regard you as a spammer.
2) Do not comment by just typing “Please follow my blog”.
Most bloggers already follow far more blogs than they can cope with, and are unlikely to succumb to such tactics.
3) Have a proper ‘About’ page, and allow comments on it.
Tell the blogging community about yourself, why you are blogging, and what you hope to get from it. I cannot stress how important it is for other bloggers to get some idea about what you are like.
4) Do not just fill your blog with ‘amusing gifs’, or links to another blogger’s posts that you liked.
That’s not blogging, believe me it isn’t.
5) If someone doesn’t agree with an opinion you have expressed, don’t turn nasty.
This is not Facebook, and it is best to be the ‘bigger person’, and ignore any jibes. Just delete the comment, if it is that bad.
6) Thank people who follow your blog, even if you don’t want to return the favour.
That’s just good manners, in any society.
7) Spellcheck and edit your posts for grammar and punctuation.
Unless you are blogging in a foreign language, annoyingly bad English is unlikely to attract anyone.
8) Be polite.
It costs nothing, and if you don’t like a photo, or what someone has written, then just don’t comment on it. Easy as that.
If someone writes an interesting comment, then reply to them. They took their valuable time to read your stuff, think about it, and then add their own thoughts and opinon. Just ‘Liking’ that comment is all very well, but if you refuse to engage with your readers and followers, they will soon disappear.
10) Have some content on your own blog.
Before you start following a blog, or asking others to follow your own, have some content on it. There’s nothing more frustrating than to check out the blog of someone who has no content other than a generic WordPress introduction. We won’t come back later, I assure you. So put something up first.
Ten tips for new bloggers. They are intended to be helpful, I promise you. If you learn as you go, then blogging can be simply wonderful. You will meet amazing people from all over the world, and perhaps even make genuine friends in the process. I know I have.
Happy blogging to you all.