The Rules Of Blogging


Ahhh, the art of blogging. Everyone at one point or another has searched on tips and tricks to help them on their blogging journey, myself included. I have searched the Internet looking for those golden rules that will help me succeed in this industry. Today I have compiled a list of Blogging Rules that we should all stick to in order to become successful bloggers.



Rule Number One 


There are NO rules. 

I know you came here to find out what tips and tricks I would have for you, wondering what s**te I would be sprouting about how to be a successful blogger and probably asking yourself, what does she know? Well the truth is, I am no expert. Yes, I have searched the Internet looking for those golden rules like many of us out there, trying to find some sort of post that would fix all my problems and tell me how to be a successful blogger and although there are plenty of posts and videos that have some pretty handy tips in them, there's no magic post that will help you shoot to the top in a day because let's be honest, that's not exactly attainable is it? There's no quick fix to making it to the top fast, if you put in the hard work, stay true to yourself and make sure you make your personality shine through, you're doing well. 

I firmly believe that blogging is a personal experience, what may work for others may not work for you and that's ok, blogging is all about doing your own thing because if we all done the same posts, would we really be unique? would we get noticed? probably not. It's all about putting your on personal spin on topics, letting your own voice be heard and having your personality shine through. I do have some tip's to share today, but don't take these as rules, because they're not, they are simply some insight into things that have worked for me and hopefully they can help other out. The main thing to remember here is that you always be yourself, make sure you blog about what you want to, trust me, I've tried producing content that I thought others would want to read and it's been a flop because I wasn't being myself, my heart wasn't in it and that showed. If your readers can tell you're not passionate about that topics etc... why should they be? Why should they be enthused when the writer isn't? Anyway, not that I have explained my stance on "rules" let's get into some tips shall we? 

Be Yourself

As I said above, being yourself is important. There's no use in writing your posts and pretending to be something your not because you will eventually get sick of it, it's not interesting for your readers and most people can smell a fake a mile away. Inject your personality into your posts, show your readers why they should keep coming back, be uniquely you and that's what will keep readers coming back time and time again. 

Do NOT Copy

This should be common sense right? Well, sometimes it's not. Over my three years of blogging I have seen so many posts copied and I don't mean that the person just copies the topic and talks roughly about the same thing, I mean physically copies and pastes the whole blog post or steals peoples pictures. This is not ethical, it's plagiarism and there is no room for that. It's copyright infringement and is not ethical in the slightest. If you want to talk about a similar topic to someone, that's ok! There are plenty posts out there on the same topic but make sure you put YOUR stamp on it, write it from scratch, never copy someones work. Not only is it extremely wrong, you will always be found out.

Get Involved

The blogging community is a wonderful thing, I have personally been blessed with making some friends for life through blogging which is more than I could ever imagine. Getting involved in things like Twitter chats or Blog comment threads can be a great way to put yourself out there and get involved with the community. Getting involved in stuff can really help you branch out and get noticed, it's also a way to make friends who will help you through your blogging journey making it even more exciting. I would also suggest talking to people randomly, reach out, reply to people tweets, try getting involved in interview series, reply to Instagram stories and more, it's a fabulous way of showing others you are genuinely interested plus helps you make new connections.  

Use RT Accounts

Using RT accounts is a great way of getting your content seen by more people. I assume that most people reading this post will have twitter so it's safe to say that you put tweets out of your content, if you don't you should! Using twitter is a good way to increase traffic to your blog and connecting with other. When you tweet out about your content it's a good idea to include the link to your blog post rather than just saying you have a new blog post out, See example below. 

This helps people find your post fast, it's simply a click away. Using a photo is also a good idea because people really do respond better to visuals, having a photo helps. Once you have this down you can then include RT accounts. 
RT accounts do what it says on the tin, they RT your content. You can tag them if that's how they RT content or use hashtags, sometimes both, but including them can boost your engagement. I have written a post over on BloggersTribe.com all about RT accounts that actually RT with the hashtags or account names to use, you can see it here - Accounts That RT Updated


It's ok to get down about the numbers 

Blogging isn't ALL about numbers, but I know that it can really get to you when your following is increasing slowly or not at all. I personally hate when people say don't focus on or it's not all about the numbers because of course we are going to at times, we want to grow so naturally we want our following to grow to bring in new readers and new friends. It's very tempting to get caught up in the numbers, believe me, I know. I used to get really down about Instagram, wondering why I wasn't growing and I tried so many things to up my Instagram game. I hate to admit it, but when I stopped worrying about the numbers and stopped posting pictures I thought others wanted to see or I thought I HAD to, I noticed an increase in engagement plus my follower count went up. I still regularly check my followers, I still think of new ways to grow and I have accepted that it will happen when it happens, but I still do my best to improve. I have a blog post all about falling in love with Instagram again which you can read here - Finding The Love Again

I think it's normal to worry about your stats, it's normal to get in a slump about the numbers if you feel like they aren't increasing and don't let anyone tell you different. No, blogging is not solely about numbers, it's not about how many people follow you, how many views you got that day or how many likes you got, it's about doing what you love, it's about you doing you and enjoying your journey but if you're down about the numbers that will show, it's normal, we all feel like we are stuck at some point wither it be twitter followers not increasing, others surpassing you in blog views or even not getting as much engagement as you like. You're normal for feeling this way and it's ok to admit it, it's ok to have a wee moan now and then, I personally find others more relatable that way. Just make sure that you're not in it JUST for the following though, you won't get far if you are because it's not easy, blogging is blooming hard, but worth it.

Don't be an A-Hole 

From time to time you are going to come across people who you have a disagreement with, that's normal and a part of life. You may not like the way someone expresses their views, you may not agree with a blog post, you might just not like someone and these are all ok. What's not ok though is acting like a complete wanger, you can express your point of view without being nasty, you don't have to call people names, you don't have to be horrible. You can in-fact have an adult conversation, put your point across and handle everything in a nice manner. You can stand up for what you believe in and you can stand firm on your point without lowering yourself to calling names etc... I personally feel this lowers the tone and completely throws your argument out of the window, I can't respect someone else's point of view if they are going to call me a "bitch" or a "cow" etc... when they are trying to explain their stand point. 

Listen to others 

It's important to listen to advice being given, now you don't have to take it or put it into effect but when another blogger is trying to help you out by giving you advice (especially if you asked for it) it's always great to listen, you may just find yourself learning something new that will help you out. I've personally seen others ask for advice about something, others give advice (in a nice way, if they aren't being nice then no, don't listen) and then the person who asked for the advice getting really mad because the advice they received wasn't what they wanted to hear. More times than not, other blogger do genuinely want to help. They have probably been in your situation before and think that you may benefit from what they have to say. At the end of the day, it's nice to be nice, they could be going out of their way to give you advice on how to fix a SEO issue, or how to go self hosted and more, if they are giving you advice, listen and if it benefits you, great! if it doesn't that's ok, you don't have to actually take their advice and use it.

Be Mindful in Blog Comments 

I'm not going to dive into this too much as I have written a blog post all about this already which you can find here - Blog Comments I Can't Stand - Now the post title may suggest I am moaning all through the post, and in a way I am but I did create this to help others out and because a lot of bloggers can relate. Commenting on other peoples blogs is a wonderful thing to do, it really lets the writer know you enjoyed it or if there is anything they could improve on but when people leave comments such as "Great Post" and leave it at that, it's a little disheartening, especially if they leave loads of links to their content in the comment! That is just down right rude. Plus, if you leave a comment less than 8 words, google See's this as spam, it doesn't benefit you or the bloggers post who you are commenting on. If the blogger is anything like me, they will just delete your comment and that's that. If you really want to connect with people and would like them to visit your blog, write a comment that means something, write a comment that engages with them, ask questions, show you read the post and at the end, leave your link as I'm sure they wouldn't mind you doing that as long as you are mindful. 


Scheduling is your best friend 

I really don't know where I would be without using a scheduler! It's very handy for keeping content going out, both on my blog and on social media. When I first started out I had no idea what a scheduler was, I would write a post and then hit publish and would promote my content manually which takes up quite a lot of time. When I found out about schedulers, I felt like I won the lottery. Now I schedule blog posts in advance and can schedule content to go out on Twitter and Facebook. It's super handy! 

Schedulers I use; 
Hootsuite (mobile version) 

Pinterest is Helpful 

I never gave Pinterest a second glance at the start, I had an account but it was just for looking at pictures. Eventually I seen more and more blog posts about how Pinterest can be helpful to increasing your blog traffic. I now use it a lot more often, only taking it more serious in the last couple of months and I have found that it helps. I went from 97k UMU (Unique monthly users) on Pinterest to 230K in two weeks, compared to some it's not a huge leap but I'm proud that I managed to increase it with minimum effort really.

I switched my profile from personal to business ( it's free to do so) and I've been putting more effort into it. I'll have a full blog post about what I've done to increase my traffic via Pinterest soon. 

Share other people's content 

As much as sharing your own content is important, it's important to break your feed up. Try sharing your blogger friends content, not only does it help others out, it will help break your content up plus it makes others more likely to share your content in return, but be careful, NEVER do it because you want them to share your content back because that may not always happen, do it because you want to help your fellow bloggers out, do it because you genuinely liked the post or YouTube video. I like to share people's content As much as possible because it will help them out and I love to support people but I also share the stuff I love. I think when people see you only sharing your own content over and over again it can become repetitive and some people may loose interest in your social media account.

Regular Breaks Help 

Blogging is so amazing, it's a fabulous journey to be on and the people you meet along the way can change your life. It's fun, it's freeing and it's exciting but like anything, you need a break. You can keep going and going without giving yourself a little break, if you were working you would have breaks, so you should give yourself breaks from blogging as well. 

It helps your creativity, it's good for the mind and you'll feel so much f
resher afterwards. Never feel like you can have a break or that you can't take time for yourself because you can't run on empty. I would recommend that you take regular breaks, even if it's just a day to yourself, it helps. 

 Get A Blogging Notebook

When it comes to staying organised, a little note book or weekly planner can be extremely helpful. It's a good way to track blog post ideas, keep track of stats if you want to and basically keep on top of all things blog related. There are so many variations out there on planners and notebooks etc... but I use a little notebook my bestie got me for my birthday one year and it's done the job. You don't need a big fancy journal or anything of the likes, a simple notebook does just fine. Once you start keeping track of blog posts, ideas, schedule days and more, you'll find you are a little more organised which can't hurt, can it? 



Having a Posting Schedule works 

Now, I don't necessarily think you NEED a posting schedule but in my personal experience, it's helped. I don't always stick to my schedule, in fact, some weeks my posts are all over the place but I do make sure that they go live at the same time (7am BST). For the most part though I do have a set schedule; Monday, Wednesday & Friday then a Sunday is for interview posts etc.... I don't find that having a schedule helps readers know when to come back for a new post. I have a few readers who do message now and then to see if everything is ok when I don't stick to my schedule because they have been coming looking for a new post. It's nice to get messages like that from readers who care and it shows me that my schedule works. 

The Follow/Unfollow Game isn't worth it

I really can't say much on this other than don't follow someone just to get a follow back and don't follow someone just to get a follow and then unfollow. People can spot this game a mile away and everyone in the community talks about how silly it is, why people STILL do it is beyond me. I have an account that follows me every week on Instagram only to unfollow me like 2 days later.... I see you... your name does come up.... It's very stupid and not worth it because people will end up blocking you, I know I've started blocking those accounts. So you may think it will help your follower count go up but in fact it ends up blacklisting you.

Stop comparing yourself 

This is advice I need to take myself at times. It's easy to compare yourself through social media. When you see other bloggers and influencers doing very well, getting brand collabs and going to events all the time, it can feel like you're taking behind and you end up comparing yourself, especially if you're in a blogging slump. This is where a bit of a break can help, you'll be able to get back to feeling like you again and hopefully stop comparing yourself. 

No matter what you're doing, you are good enough, you are amazing. Everyone's chapters are at different stages, don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else's chapter 10. You'll get there, keep on doing you, keep on working at it and never give up on your dreams. 

Take some time to learn SEO

Learning some basic SEO skills is a good idea. There's plenty of blog posts on SEO, some great for beginners and some for the more advanced. Checking Pinterest helps as there's lost of resources there about using SEO to help you maximise your blogs potential. Good housekeeping with your blog will help keep your DA up and so much more. I would recommend checking out some posts on it to educate yourself on it if you haven't already, it will benefit you and this is probably the only one of my tips that I would really try to push on people as I really want to see everyone do well and SEO will help your blog massively. 

You don't have to have an email list 

A lot of people talk a big game about email lists and why you HAVE to have one but in my opinion you don't NEED one. I've not got one and I do just fine, there's a lot of other bloggers I know that don't have one either. That's not to say that you can't have one, they probably do work for people and that's great! But it's not something I have ever focused on and I don't feel like I need one. So if you don't want to have one then don't feel pressured into one just because others and bigging them up. It's all about doing what you want to at the end of the day. 


Collaborating is useful 

Its no secret that it's a good idea to write guest posts for other blogs or swap blog posts with people to help increase your DA. It's a good way to show off to your work to a new audience as well. Collaborating gives you the chance to meet new bloggers, strike up a working and friendly relationship plus it helps you both out. I recently done my first collaboration with lisasnotebook, which you can check out here - Me Time For Mums Collaboration with Lisa's Notebook

After collaborating with Lisa it just showed me that I probably should have done it a lot sooner. It was a great way to connect, we both got good content out of it plus we talked about each other in the posts, made social media posts and directed readers to check the other out, thus increasing traffic. I would recommend collaborating, if nothing else it's really fun. 

Giveaways can help 

I personally don't understand the bad rep giveaways get, I find them very very useful but not in the way some may think. A lot of people talk about how it's basically buying followers but I have a different outlook on this. 

When I run a giveaway, I do include the "must be following" line because when I'm doing a giveaway I'm giving back to my followers and if I'm hosting a giveaway I'd much rather than one of my supporters wins. My whole point is to give back, to show my appreciation for everyone who has helped me get to where I am on my blogging journey. I do think giveaways help from the prospective of connecting with your followers and showing them that you really appreciate all their support. Now granted, you don't have to do a Twitter giveaway or include the "must be following" tag but that's entirely up to you. I don't judge how anyone runs their giveaway, it's a personal thing and completely up to the individual. 

Giveaways can also be seen as a marketing tactic as well, in college we learnt all about using giveaways from a marketing standpoint and it makes sense. It can pull in new readers, new customers and more. You can't deny the success of giveaways at times, it's proven to work. I've found friends thought giveaways to be honest, I've hosted a giveaway before and got speaking to someone who entered and now we support each other through blogging which is very nice. I also tend to follow bloggers and such back if they follow me for a giveaway because I'm not in it JUST for upping my follower count, in fact, it's not about my numbers going up at all, it's about giving something back. 

So the point is, don't let people make you feel bad for wanting to host a giveaway, it's an entirely personal choice, do you. 

Just Do You 

Last but by no means least, just do you. Do what you want, write about the topics you want to. There's no right or wrong way to blog, there are indeed NO rules (except for the general rules of SEO & stuff but that's another story) Blogging is an amazing place filled with so much individuality, talent and uniqueness. The beauty of blogging is that there is something for everyone and if you have a blog, you are indeed a blogger, no matter how many followers you have, no matter how often you post, you are a blogger and deserve to be part of the community. 

 

And that's it form me on the blogging tips front. Is there anything I missed? Leave your tips down below! I would love to know how you get through this blogging journey and what you find useful. Remember, these are MY views, I'm not saying this is the correct way, I'm not saying you HAVE to do any or all of these to succeed in blogging. These are just simply the things that help me stay on track and get the most out of my experience. There are NO rules, There are no right or wrong ways to blog. 

Other Blog Posts I've written that may be helpful:



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4 comments

  1. I love this, it is so helpful! Especially the point about not copying, it pretty much defeats the object of being a blogger if you're just going to take other people's work xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

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  2. Some fab tips here, Jordanne. I love the title of this post because you're right, there are no rules. Blogging is a personal thing, what feels right for one person may not work for another. That said, being professional is always a must. You're one of the first bloggers I followed and I've always admired what you do. I absolutely loved our collab, it was so much fun, I can't wait for our next one :) xx

    Lisa | www.lisasnotebook.com

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  3. What a helpful post! I love that you've started with the ones that people often miss out, it's really refreshing to hear some positivity about individuality and being yourself. I feel like often we forget why we started blogging, and at least personally I did it for myself, not for the numbers and readers. That's just an added bonus!

    Megan // https://www.pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com

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  4. Great tips ! Thank you for sharing ! The all follow unfollow thing sounds so pointless to me ! I am looking for interaction and the community aspect rather than the numbers so I don't really get it !
    https://thefrenchiestblog.wordpress.com

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