The Rules of Blogging - Advice from a Seasoned Pro!

Hello everyone, I'm Andi from Misadventures with Andi

When Michelle reached out to ask for guest-posters as she transitions to Germany I jumped at the chance to help her. Already blogging daily on my own blog some people might think I am nuts, but I know that Hot Pink Combat Boots is a new blog and I remember when I started out there were people whom are in my spot now that helped me out. 

The blogosphere is very karmic and this is my way of paying it forward and exactly the reason that I am addicted to blogging the the fantastic supportive community that it is composed of.

Michelle thought that it might be interesting to some of you who are also relatively new in this space to hear about some of the things I have learned over the past three years. Everyone has an opinion on what works at what does, but I am happy to share what has been successful for Misadventures with Andi.

I think there are three main "rules" that I have come back to over and over again.


1. You own your blog.
I was lucky enough to attend a blogging conference when I first started out blogging and in one of the session a blogger on a panel made this statement. She explained it as you defining success for yourself for your blog. You set the frequency for how often you blog, and you don't define yourself by numbers, it is definitely not a numbers game.

I cannot stress this point enough. Don't get caught up in high school theatrics of numbers and popularity. Do what is best for yourself and that will come through in your blog's content. You are not meant to please everyone, but trust me there will be people out there that get and appreciate your little corner of the world.

2. The Golden Rule.
Doesn't this apply every where in life? Sorry but you can't escape it. "Do unto others as you would have done unto you; What comes around goes around" etc., etc. all applies to blogging as well. Be nice. Unless your personality is a 'no holds barred, I'm going to say what I want and consequences be damned' kind of person you need to realize that content on the Internet lives a very long time.

I too want to write that snarky post from time to time (believe me there is one this week I am just dying to write) but I work in a professional corporate environment and doing that could impact my current or future jobs. In addition that is just not me and trust me, those kind of posts get old.

That is not to say that if you are really disappointed/pissed/upset about something that you can't find a constructive way of expressing it. But it takes extra work to do it. My advice is to write the post and never publish it. You get it off your chest but are in no danger. I wrote more on this topic in a post a while ago called, "Not hired for blogging."

Lastly, when of my favorite sayings comes from Liz Strauss, it was even quoted in the best selling book on social media called Trust Agents. The quote is "little bloggers grow up to be big bloggers." Meaning be nice to the little people because you never know what the future holds!

3. You have to give to get.
Comments are the currency that makes the blogosphere run. You have to go out and read other blogs and comment and support them. Good bloggers will come back and visit your blog. Even better bloggers will leave comments as well. Over time you will build up a community of readers interested in what you have to say and it is likely that if they like what you have to say, you are going to like what they have to say as well.


There is an added benefit of leaving comments on other blogs is that it is good for your analytics. In-bound links are factor into your overall Google page ranking. Here is more on that topic if you are interested, but honestly don't get to hung up on the numbers, refer back to You own your blog above!

So that some of the cultural aspects of blogging, come back NEXT THURSDAY and I'll talk about some of the tactical things you can do to get you on the road to blogging success.

Note: Thank-you so much Andi for sharing your knowledge with baby bloggers like me (and several of my readers). I have found your blog to be the best reference source for etiquette and even protective measures while we share our lives online. I can't wait to see your PART 2 next Thursday. Ladies - check out Andi's blog and please share this posting with your readers so we can all benefit from her insightful advice. 

22 comments:

Lacey said...

Awesome post Andi! Since we are talking about etiquette here, I have a questions regarding comments.

If Michelle leaves a comment/question on one of my posts, do I respond to the question there?? or respond on her own blog so she knows I responded? I've left comments in the past on other blogs and then continue to check their comments for an answer to my question. Sometimes they respond on my own blog, under their comments, or (sadly) not respond at all.

Andi said...

Hello Lacey, thanks for the compliment. If Michelle leaves a comment on your blog, you should respond to it on your blog post as well. It may be a questions or info other readers would like to see and it can spark continued conversation. If you take a look at some of my posts, I always respond to every comments with the exceptions of posts where I am doing a giveaway and don't want my comments to be counted when I do the winner selection. There have been times when I have followed up with an email to someone if they need a lot of detailed info. But it is good to keep conversation on your post. Here is a tip about comments as well: try to ask a question at the end of your post related to your post - that leaves something for people to answer or feel that they can add their two cents on!

Hope that helps!

Lisa said...

Great post! I especially like the point about the snarky posts. I compose them in my head, and sometimes write them, but try to keep them in drafts!

About responding to comments: I will generally email a response if they have their reply to email sent, although today's post is in reference to a comment and I wrote a post about it!

Andi said...

Hi Lisa, we all can be snarky in our heads, I am really good at at!! I only email if it is something really personal or require a lot of detail. But you need to follow rule #1 - do what feels good to you, you OWN your blog :-)

Lacey said...

Thanks Andi :D And thanks for the tip of a question at the end. I think I had one or two posts with a question at the end before. I'm gonna go check out your blog now and follow. I was in such a rush this morning (I have a sick kid) that I quickly read the post, left a comment, and didn't go check out your blog.

Lacey @ courgeisnotanimag.blogspot.com

Hannah said...

Such a great, informative post! How do you feel about the whole leaving your URL at the bottom of comments thing? I always used to (I didn't write LOOK AT MY BLOG HERE CLICK CLICK CLICK btw, just the URL) but one blogger I love had such a rant about it one day that i havent since!
I would love to hear your opinion x x x

Miss K said...

great post! i'm heading over now to check your blog, thanks love!

Andi said...

Hi Hannah, thanks. It is actually not necessary and here is the reason why: When you fill out your comment on Blogger it grabs your profile which has your blog url, when you complete a comment on a WordPress or TypePad blog it asks for your url and email. Then when the comment is posted your name becomes linkable to that info. Click on any comment left on this post and you will see. So most people would find it extra obnoxious to "leave it twice" - personally I am ok with people doing that on my blog, but it really isn't necessary.

Andi said...

Hello Miss K - thanks!

Hannah said...

@andi thank you! I won't be doing it again as I don't think it's neccessary any more but I do feel it helped me get some followers to see my blog when I started out :o) xxx

Andi said...

@Hannah, glad I could help!

Hot Pink Combat Boots said...

Hi Hannah, I sometimes leave my url thinking it makes it easier to find me and that I encourage people to check out my blog. I'm surprised someone gave you a hard time about it. Talk about being snarky (btw, isn't that the best word?).

Hot Pink Combat Boots said...

Hi lacey, I commented earlier but its not showing up now. I really appreciate your question and I too have been perplexed on how to respond to all of the comments. I probably have confused you since I do both.

Andi, do you check the box that sends follow up comments to you via email or do you check back?

Andi said...

Hello Ms. Hot Pink, welcome to your own blog talk :-) It depends on the blogging platform (Blogger, WordPress, etc) and how the blogger set ups the comment form, but generally if there is a box to click for follow-up comments or a response to comment, I definitely do click that! Sometimes for some of the bloggers who get a TON of comments I will unsubscribe to comments after my comment is commented on because you will start to feel spammed!

Andi said...

@HotPink - I totally agree with you and Hannah people should not get so upset (if it is done right, sometimes people are really clumsy about it) there are so many more important things in life to get upset about!

Hot Pink Combat Boots said...

I can't get over how much fun this dialogue has been. I love how active you have been on the site, such a blessing in so many ways. I can't wait to post part 2 next Thursday.

Question for you Andi, after reading your conference notes it was suggested to get business cards with the address of your blog. I ordered some but am unsure how to hand them out. Any suggestions?

Andi said...

@HotPink, have them in your purse, I can't tell you how many conversations I have gotten into with people and then suddenly turn to travel or blogging and I have given my card. I have seen people post them up on bulletin boards at Starbucks, bookstores etc. They are great for conferences as you know as well. When I send a prize to a contest winner I always stick one in. I don't give them out in huge quantities, except at conferences, so they last a while, and I give them out as I meet people.

victoryvintageb said...

Great info! I have seen all of this and gather info myself, Etticate has always been so important to me and making friends and social connections are the most important to me so I really appreciate this thread! (Oh and I always put my url so I can be found,I have felt you kinda have to until people get to know you)Good stuff!
Brande
http://victoryvintageb.blogspot.com/

Andi said...

Hi Victory, thanks, I am glad you found it useful.

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