There is no right or wrong way to blog. We all know this. But, personally, I do believe there are some fundamental things to bear in mind when it comes to the whole blogging thing. And here are some of the things I wish I'd either done sooner or known about years ago. Of course, these are only my opinion and I'd love to know what you think should be kept in mind when it comes to the whole blogging thing.
SUCCESS ISN'T ALWAYS LINKED TO STATS
Defining your success by numbers isn't a fun game to play. It can incredibly stressful and really put a dampener on your passion for your blog. The topic of success is such a personal matter and it looks different to each and every one of us. For some people, they might only consider their blog a success if they reach a certain amount of people. And to others, it might be creating meaningful and long lasting friendships through their blog. It's important that we don't project our own definition of success onto other people.
BE EASY TO FOLLOW & CONTACT
Having your contact information and social media links easily accessible on your blog is so important. If people want to find you elsewhere or reach out to you via e-mail. It's important to put that information out there. So often I'll find myself visiting an awesome blog but without a clear way or knowing where else to find them it makes it difficult to stick around.
When it comes to either beauty or style blogging creating a disclaimer is key. When you start to make money from your blog or feature products that you've been sent having a thorough disclaimer is key. Being dishonest can have a really negative effect on the way that your blog is perceived by others. Not only does it have a bad effect on you. But it makes people doubt other bloggers a lot less too. There is absolutely no reason at all to be dishonest on your blog. People, in general, don't care if you receive PR samples as long as you're honest about them. There is constantly new rules and laws coming into place to force content creators, to be honest, and upfront. So being honest from the get go is a big help for your readers.
We never know who is looking at our blogs. More often than not it's people who are completely harmless but it's not worth taking the risk. Geotagging your exact location in images or tweets just isn't safe. Same goes for giving your personal information out. This is particularly important when it comes to working with PR firms. There was an incident not long ago. Where a man was pretending to work with Eyeko and gathering bloggers addresses. If you're feeling slightly nervous about who you're giving your details to. A quick LinkedIn search never did anyone any harm.
DO WHAT YOU'RE PASSIONATE ABOUT
Blogging is huge at the moment and most people either have a blog or read blogs. It can be easy to fall into the trap of seeing what has worked for other people and want to imitate it. And I'm sure it's something we've probably all done at some point. Doing what you're passionate about is something that shines through, no matter what you're writing about. Whilst doing something you feel you have to do might be exciting in the moment. Long term it just won't work out for you. There is no formula when it comes to what works for a blog. But there is one key factor and that's to be passionate and excited about what you're doing.
Having consistency throughout your blog and content doesn't have to be a strict set of rules that you follow. It can be as small as having a consistent writing style. It makes a blog easier to follow as readers can familiarise themselves and can somehow know what to expect from you and if they want to follow along or not. There are so many ways you can provide consistency for your readers that you might not even realise.
MAKE THINGS AS EASY TO VIEW AS POSSIBLE
This is a key part of a blog design. Making things as easy on the eye as possible is important. Not only will it attract potential readers and followers but it will make people stick around. Here are a few things to think about:
- Advertisement placement.
- Social media & contact information.
YOU CAN STILL BE HONEST & RELATABLE WITHOUT SHARING EVERY DETAIL
A hot topic in the blogging world is how much bloggers should share. I truly don't believe that you need to share every single detail of your life to be a relatable person. We all have different opinions about what we want to share online but it's not something we should enforce on other people. Often blogging can be an escape for not only readers but bloggers too. So sharing every detail of what is going on in their personal life probably isn't what they're going to feel comfortable with. It's important to respect people's privacy. Just because you read someone's blog doesn't mean you have any entitlement to their personal information.