Blogging Advice to Ignore
I’m quickly coming up on my 6 month blogiversary here at Life with Rosie and as I’ve been making some plans to celebrate (think giveaways, freebies and a new look) I’ve also been reflecting on how far I’ve come since starting to blog seriously. In six months, I’ve read more articles about blogging then I can count, especially the “tips and tricks” to being a good blogger. It’s been trial and error, and there has been some great advice out there that has really helped me! However, there is some blogging advice that I have come across that I wish I hadn’t taken because they were mistakes I could have avoided. Here are some pieces of blogging advice to ignore if you are just starting out (or even if you have been blogging for a little bit)
Have a presence on every social media platform. False. If you blog even just a little, you know how much time goes into drafting a post, taking and editing photos and properly SEOing your post. Having multiple social media accounts, growing them and managing them just adds to that madness and it can be overwhelming and too much to handle if you try to do them all. After blogging for almost 6 months, I’ve learned that it’s important to focus on the Power Four (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest) for a while. I have spent the last 6 months growing those social media platforms and finding a routine to keep them managed and now can start adding a few more in (like Snapchat and Youtube).
What to focus on instead: Only worry about 2-3 social media networks when you first start out (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and then add on as you get settled into your blogging routine. It looks way better to companies/brands to have a few social media accounts that you are rocking then 10 that you can’t manage.
SEO isn’t a big deal – This was one of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started blogging. The term “SEO” was petrifying and so every time I read something about it, I was like: “Eh, thanks but no thanks, I don’t want to deal with that” and I would close the article. Truth time: I was a dingbat for doing that. First of all, SEO isn’t nearly as complicated if you use the SEO by Yoast plugin on WordPress, which basically is a “fill in the blank” type box that helps you SEO your post properly. Second of all, after going back and SEOing some of my older posts, I noticed a dramatic increase in page views because they were being clicked on in organic searches.
What to focus on instead: SEO can be overwhelming, but don’t let it get you down. Install the Yoast Plugin (it will do most of the work for you) and make sure all of your images are named after your post and have alt text that refer to the content of your post. These simple steps will definitely improve your SEO without taking your life over.
It’s okay to leave a link back to your site in the comments section – This is kind of a controversial topic in blog etiquette: leaving your blog url when you comment on someone else’s blog. For the longest time, I read that it was okay to leave a link to your blog if you left a meaningful comment on the blog. However, after doing some research and reading a couple articles, I learned that leaving a direct url link in someone else’s comments section can hurt that blogger and you! First, having excessive links in the comments section can appear spammy and hurt the blogger’s rankings in search engines. Second, leaving your URL/link every time you leave a comment can hurt your blog’s rankings in search engines (particularly Google). Links to your blog show Google that other people love your site and that raises your rankings, but when Google notices excessive links to your site, it will raise red flags and consider it to be park of a link scheme, which will hurt your rankings! It’s a fine line to walk, but you want all links back to your blog to be as organic as possible!
What you should do instead: It’s totally okay to let the blogger know who you are and where they can find you, just don’t leave an actual link. I always sign off my comments with “xo, Chelsie @ Life with Rosie.” This is my way of telling others where I’m at and how to find me (they can google LWR or click through on my diquis profile), but it won’t spam their site and it won’t hurt my site either.
Blog Every Day – I think one of the biggest tips I read when I was just starting blogging was how important it was to write a post every day. Don’t let this tip get you down! When I started blogging, I was still working part time and substituting on my days off, so coming up with creative and new content that was actually worth sharing every day was impossible, which lead to me slapping together meal plan posts just so I had something to share. (Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good meal plan post, but I wasn’t doing them any justice). If you can blog every day and produce amazing content and posts, then that’s great! But if you can’t, please don’t beat yourself up about it! I’ve had weeks where I’ve only produced two posts because I would rather put out two posts I’m proud of instead of five crummy ones that I threw together the last minute.
What you should focus on instead: Blog consistently (so at least once a week) but don’t worry about blogging every day if you can’t keep up with that. It’s okay! If you write killer posts once a week, as a reader, I will still come back to read!
All in all, there are tons of blogging tips and tricks out there, but you gotta get down in the trenches to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. And hey, it’s okay to change things up if there is something not working for you! I’m always changing things up here as I learn and grow. But, the tips I mentioned above did not work for me, to hopefully prevent someone else from investing time into these tips that might not work out in the end!
What blogging advice didn’t work for you? What blogging advice has worked for you?