Mar 18, 2011

Friend Friday: My 5 Most Important Blogging Lessons.

Katy_Rose over at Modly Chic is hosting FBFF again today and the topic is 'The 5 Most Important Blogging Lessons'.

This photo doesn't have anything to do with the topic but it's here because I am in dire need of sugar and a soothing capuccino.  I'm too drained to go and buy a coffee for myself so I'm making do with a cup of hot tea and 2 apples.  It's sort of working.  I'm ready to write.

1.  It's not all about the numbers (of followers, of hits, of searches for your blog)
I found that after I started getting more followers and a steady stream of hits (not all of which where from my home ISP address), it suddenly really mattered what my follower number was doing.  I would get upset when the number fell and elated when it rose.  I'd look at my feedjit and wonder which clicks would turn into a new follower.

It is very humbling and flattering to have lots of readers and followers but I've come to realize that focussing on this as an index to the quality of your blog (and your self esteem) is short sighted.  For me, writing a blog is about being true to who you are and the goals your blog has in terms of content and core values.  The more I tried to 'chase numbers', the more trouble I had actually writing posts that meant something to me.

2.  If you wouldn't say it out loud to someone then you probably shouldn't be writing it on your blog
It's so easy, isn't it, when you're an anonymous entity on the internet.  Write what you want about whoever, whenever.  Without thinking of the consequences for the person reading what you've written.  I know I write about celebrities and make vaguely informed comments about world affairs, but I do try to keep it clean and poke gently at the humour rather than bludgeoning someone with sarcasm of character assassinating them.

3.  Know what you do best but be prepared to extend yourself
Probably because of time constraints and definitely because I'm not the most broadly educated person out there but I have found that I write best (most easily) about things that inspire and affect me as an individual.  So I started the blog as a kind of diary.  Then, as I got more confident of the blog (thank you, readers, I owe you so much), I made a conscious effort to broaden my range of posts.  Doing book reviews, discussing my thoughts about the world around me, participating in more blogging group topics.

I think that trying to be everything to everyone at the beginning can be self defeating.

4.  Blogs are about community
So do reply to comments.  Make that effort to read the blogs of those who have taken the time to comment on yours.  I'm trying to practice what I preach.

5.  If you don't like it, then just close the window and move on
I don't think negative comments get anyone anywhere.  The recipient feels gutted at the response to their (usually) well intentioned sharing of their lives.  The author of the comment?  Well, they must have very limited lives if negative comments are their idea of fun.  I'm not comfortable with over sharing but that's my problem, not the author of the blog I'm reading where I 'think' oversharing is occurring.

We each like and dislike different writing styles and blog types.  Blogs are so personal but that doesn't mean we should make our own inability to relate to a blog a personal attack on its author.

And that's it from me.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone. 


  1. I am very careful about what I post. I figure if I wouldn't be happy for someone to print out a blog post and put it on the local noticeboard then I shouldn't hit the publish post button.

    I think sometimes it is easy to forget that the internet is a completely public forum.

  2. excellent!!!! Love and agree with all you have said.

    Followers are like shares- you can't get upset by fluctuations xxxx

  3. Very well thought answers as usual! I agree with you on everything and can particularly relate to your nr 1. Have a great day!

  4. All valuable lessons to learn as we go along. Great post.

    Sometimes, even now, I find it hard to watch the follower number drop. But I no longer question the content or myself. I'm too far gone blogging to change now.

  5. Wise words, SSG. You know I love reading your blog :)

  6. You're so wise SSG. And I'm not just saying that because you were my first follower.

    Have a great weekend.

    TDM xx

  7. Agree, i loathe the good blogs which get popular & they just start doing cut & pastes, links to other blogs & well, get really crappy. I know my children read my blog so i only post things which are true, genuine, real & honest, swearing puts me off & it's not necessary - i blog about craft, baking, shopping, fashion, style & family.
    As for those negative comments like "you're showing off" um, hello, just click the big X & leave, surely blog posts about what you do best are showing off your ability, confidence & skills, why is that a negative??!! Like in life, in blog land there are crazies too!! Love Posie

  8. Brilliant!!

    There are a few blogs that I comment on where the author NEVER comments on my blog. They are somewhat 'popular' in the Vogue Forum blogging community. I often wonder what got their knickers in such a knot.

    Have a gorgeous weekend SSG

  9. Absolutely fantastic post, so insightful and your first point is exactly what I wrote first too.

  10. I agree completely in everything:)

    Well written as always...and i wish you a great Friday:)

  11. Love your number 3- I hope that I continue to learn and that I am inspired to write on broader topics!
    I know that some popular bloggers have zillions of comments to read and that it is hard for them to read and respond to every comment. But I do agree if they see a loyal reader/commenter and never make an effort to respond it is a bit disappointing. Even my nonblogging hubs understands that it's just courtesy.

  12. Dear Sidney Shop Girl,
    that is a very good analysis what is important in blogging, thank you. I too think that a too great number of followers - flattering as it is - is overwhelming if one really tries to read their blogs, answer their comments and write comments oneself. I know a blogger who just gave up now - because it had all run out of hand.
    It's like a long table with lots and lots of food: one should pick out wisely, not trying to gobble down everything :-)

  13. As a new blogger, I say thank you for the tips!


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