New Year, New Bloggers

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.

9) Engage.
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.

69 thoughts on “New Year, New Bloggers

  1. Thank you, Pete, for the excellent advice. I have come across a number of blogs with “advice” on them, but got discouraged quickly because they were long and ponderous and seemed to be more about making money with a blog instead of just do’s and don’ts. This is well written and I especially like that it is straight and to the point.

    I have a lot of different interests so I tend to just write whatever I think of at the time. And I feel better about it because I am seeing, as I think others have as well, that there is more depth in the blogs, and also I feel as though I really get to know the people well. I have made a number of friends via blogging, and they are very satisfying friendships. The only problem I encounter is that I think some bloggers tend to publish too many posts. One a day seems plenty to me, but when I get three or four a day, I cannot keep up with it. I have some 600+ blogs in my que waiting to be read. Now I WAS sick for a bit so got behind, but when I get 3 – 4 all at once on the same day from a blogger, I tend to just save them and don’t comment.

    I think too that blogging is an excellent way to learn what exactly interests people. Some of the blogs can be very dry, and I see from my own statistics which posts brought the most viewers and readers as well. I used to post once a day, and always on something different, but now sometimes I leave a post up for several days, and I get a lot of new viewers that way. I try to add categories too so that it brings readers looking for what I write about.

    It is for certain a great learning experience, not only learning how to blog, but about things and places I might never have learned otherwise. I have been studying archaeology, history, philosophy, spirituality of parts of the U.K. and I am especially loving those posts. I get to see the photos of the places discussed, and read about them in a way I likely would have had only through traveling. Although I have attended two different universities, I never encountered so much interesting material in history or geography OR archaeology, one of my majors.

    Once again, thank you very kindly for your excellent advice. Peace and blessings, Anne

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, and kind words, Anne. I know frequent posting can be daunting, especially if you follow a lot of blogs, and they pile up. But I just can’t stop myself! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
      If there is ever any other help or advice you would like to ask outside of blog comments, feel free to email me. The address is on my ‘About’ page.
      Best wishes from Norfolk, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very kindly, Pete. I enjoy learning about a variety of things, and yes, it is truly daunting to read and respond to others who read my own blog, and sometimes as recently, I can get very far behind. But one good thing is that if I am able to read one person’s blogs close together, I begin to see a pattern, and some I enjoy, and some I decide are not within my areas of interest, not that they are not good for others. So those I begin to unsubscribe to. Just as soon as I do though, new ones begin to show up, and so it is a never-ending process.

        I am very interested at the present time in history, archaeology (I have a degree in that and did practice in the field before getting Valley Fever and Paratyphoid), evolution, anything related to the physical universe as we know it (or don’t), criminal justice (have another degree in that and also studied forensics, which is somewhat related to the archeology), anything art, anything spiritual (not religion specifically, but more of a natural study), nature itself, cultures, and just about anything that is interesting and which adds to my knowledge of the world. I am not much interested in finances and business, though I have dealt with both and founded and ran a 501 (c)(3) small nonprofit for a time (about 10 years). Life is full of so many interesting things to learn and read about and I wish I could manage in some way to learn all of them while I am still on this plane.

        Thank you very kindly once again. Your posts are very appreciated even if it takes me a bit to find them and read them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I’ve read several of your posts, and I can’t help it, Pete, I like your style…so I’m sticking around, thanks for your wisdom, and your human touch!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I have not looked at everything just yet, but lots of the links I sent out to my client so I got great feedback on. Very helpful. This is why I love blogging. You learn so much.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well Julia, that’s a matter of personal taste. Do you feel that other blogs don’t give you what you are looking for? What themes or subjects are you interested in? You can search by tags, categories, or general words. Popular searches include things like ‘Literature’, ‘Books’, ‘Pets’, ‘Photography’, etc.
      I follow close to 100 blogs, so if you let me know the type of thing that interests you, I might have some constructive advice or suggestions.
      If you don’t find any blogs you want to follow, then being a ‘lone blogger’ may turn out to be an unfulfilling experience.
      Best wishes, Pete. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for getting back to me! I’m interested in lifestyle, growth, and insights type of posts. I find if I search for these I find specific posts about what I want, but not full blogs. I’m new to WordPress so I’m not sure if there’s a better way to be searching! I know they’re out there I just don’t know how to find them πŸ˜‚ Thanks!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. If the search takes you to a specific post, then scroll to the top, and click on the name of the blog, or if there is a ‘Home’ section, click that. Both should take you to the whole blog, with the most recent post appearing first. You can then scroll down to see everything.
          If they have a widget on the right hand side with dates shown on it, then pick a month and year, and that will show you all that blogger’s posts for the period in question. This may be called ‘Archives’, as it appears on my own blog. I also have a ‘Home’ and ‘About’ function, which you can see right at the top of this page. Hope that helps.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Blogging is addictive indeed. If you have the time to spare for it, and become part of a very active community, it can become a way of life!
      Thanks for following my blog, which is appreciated. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

        1. I do two things. One, I read lots of other blogs, for inspiration. Two, I turn to my past and my memories, and write ‘nostalgia’ pieces.
          I generally always have the motivation to write, partly based on my age. (Almost 67) If I don’t get it all down now, it may be too late. πŸ™‚
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I started in 2012, and my first followers were friends and family. I soon discovered that you have to search out some really engaged bloggers to follow. Make sure to comment on their posts, and the community develops from there. Be yourself, and don’t try to copy anyone else, or ‘play to the crowd’. It takes 1-2 years to get a community established, or to become part of one. Use tags and categories wisely, as people search those.
      Look at the comments on blogs you like. If there are lots of comments from a lot of different people, you can use that as an indication that the person has a good following. Check out the blogs of the blogger’s followers, and the blogs that follow those. That’s how to develop a sense of ‘belonging’. πŸ™‚
      Don’t forget that the titles of your posts can attract links from Google searches. I have a post titled ‘The Driest County In England’. I didn’t know then, but that phrase is searched constantly, so that post has been read every day for over six years.
      And many thanks for following this blog too.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks for advice! The first one is so obvious yet necessary. Why so many people think it is a good idea to advertise their blog in such a way?
    And hey, don’t follow my blog, I haven’t filled it with content yetπŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am pleased that you found it useful Ashley. If I can ever be of any other assistance to you on blogging matters, feel free to email me.
      The address is on my ‘About’ page. Thanks for following my blog too, that’s appreciated.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All good tips Pete! πŸ™‚ I think you may be the only blogger who ever thanked me for a ‘follow.’ I admit I’ve not done this myself as I’m not sure the best way to do it. Do you just go to one of their posts and add a thank you comment? Or go to their ‘About’ page or ‘Contact’ page and say something there? With so many followers are you still doing it?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do it without fail, Susanne, at least three times today already.
      I look at one of their posts, add a comment if appropriate, then write “Many thanks for following my blog, which is much appreciated”. It doesn’t take long, and even if they don’t acknowledge it, (they usually do) it makes me feel better. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. All good advice Pete.I must admit I do not thank people who follow my blog unless they have left a comment somewhere, and I do remove followers who I feel I don’t want following me such as the marketing blogs and those with no comments.

    Liked by 3 people

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