It seems like absolutely everyone is giving out blogging advice these days. On every social media platform, you can find a multitude of bloggers, shelling out information about what they have learned and how you can get more blog traffic and make money. And believe me, those posts bring in huge numbers for those bloggers.
I admit that I do like to read a lot about what other bloggers are doing and how they find success. But sometimes, the information falls short. Either the post is filled with empty promises or the advice, though very informative, would only truly help bloggers that already have a substantial following. Newbies then get frustrated because they follow all the blogging advice put forth but see little to no results.
If you are new and wading through the hordes of information, take what you need and discard the rest. Some advice just isn’t going to work for you…yet. Other blogging advice, you should just not listen to at all.
3 Pieces of Blogging Advice You Should Totally Ignore
1. Write good content.
What the hell does that even mean? If I see this one, one more time, I’m going to spew chunks. Good content is so subjective isn’t it? For me, a blog about toilet training and teething is not good content but for mommies, it is.
And besides, I think everyone has read some blog that they thought was complete garbage but lo and behold they have a thousand likes and comments. You think to yourself, wtf? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with my blog? I write way better content than that!
Obviously, those blogs are reaching their intended target and is relevant to its readers. It doesn’t make your content better or worse, just that you haven’t found your audience yet.
Advice you can use:
- find your own voice
- write what you are passionate about
- write like you are talking to a friend
- tell a story, talk in the first person
- make it personal, this is what makes your blog unique
2. How to make your blog post go viral.
No one can tell you how to go viral, NO ONE! Just like an anticipated hit movie, the producers can follow the winning formula, have a great script, pack it with mega stars, and still have a complete flop.
You can never really know how any one of your posts will be received. I know for myself, it is never the posts that I am really happy with, that get any leverage. It surprises me every time which posts get the most traffic. You can not predict audience, timing and engagement, even with the perfect topic, outstanding post and accurate promotion.
Advice you can use:
- keep on writing
- keep tweaking your style
- keep promoting
- write more posts in your most read categories
- update and recycle old posts
3. How to make money blogging.
If you have started a blog to make money, quit now. I do believe that some bloggers make a livable income from their blogs but just like being a pro athlete, only a few make the big bucks while the rest get next to nothing.
Blogging has to be a passion. Readers recognize very quickly if you are in it to share your experiences, make a difference, solve a problem or make money. It reflects in your writing.
There is nothing wrong with making money and I believe bloggers should be rewarded monetarily. But I also believe that it doesn’t come fast or easy. Be prepared to put in a lot of hours working on your blog and years (yes, I said years) before you build up a large enough audience to see any income above your costs.
Advice you can use:
- work for free, only for yourself
- give your blog time to grow an audience
- look for money-making opportunities that suit your blog’s mission statement
- do not sell out to make a buck
- be true to yourself and your readers
The best advice I can give is to just not give up. The bloggers that are successful have been doing it a long time. They have found their voice, defined their niche and acquired an engaged, large following. You can only do that if you just keep at it.
And honestly, you can read and implement all the advice you can find but If you really think about it, every successful blogger has broken all the rules we are told as newbies to follow.
Is there any blogging advice you hate? Please share them in the comments.
Ok, I don’t get this. 103 comments (excluding mine) and one ‘like’ (mine). What’s the secret of your success?
When I transferred to self hosted a few months ago all the likes were lost. And outside the WordPress dot com audience, they don’t “like”.
How odd. And interesting!
Ha! ‘Spew chunks’ my new favourite phrase. I loved this post. Thank you.
Thank you for reading!
Could not agree more. Loved it.
Hit the nail on the head (though the irony of it all isn’t lost on me lol). Love it!
Thank you for reading!
Such a great article, it really is down to you as an individual and your personal mission isn’t it? That’s the only thing that will keep you motivated when things don’t seem to be going as well as you like.
Absolutely! You have to keep your eye on the ball and surround yourself with people that support and motivate you.
The one advice I hate is that if you want to be a blogger, your blog should be on WordPress. I hate that. I even replied to a person to whose list I was subscribed and told her, I can’t apply any of your advice because all you recommend is plug-ins for WordPress and I chose not to use that platform. So her answer was that WordPress was for people who is really committed with blogging, I hated that response even more! I wish the advice could be more general so everybody could benefit from it.
I know very successful bloggers on other platforms. So I disagree that WordPress is for bloggers committed to blogging. Obviously, I prefer WordPress but that is because I am familiar.
What a fabulous post!
You summed up everything in one article!!! As a newbie blogger, I very much appreciate your words! I will focus on ‘My voice’ even more now!!! I look forward to following you for more blogging clarity 🙂
You are very welcome! I think we don’t talk about finding our voices enough. That is the only way to truly stand out and connect with our readers. Good luck and keep at it, even when you want to quit.
Hi Elena! Thank you for this post…I needed it today. I’ve been blogging for six months now and it’s becoming more and more apparent that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s no magic bullet to get traffic, or make a pin go viral. Just be true to yourself, test and tinker your strategy, keep going, and have fun!
That is exactly what I tell everyone. Now that you know that, you can relax and enjoy blogging and the process.
Love this! All the time I land on a post with 100,000 shares and say, HOW IS THIS THE ONE!?! hahaha! Great advice as always Elena!
THank you. # 1 is my biggest pet peeve. WTHell DOES that mean? And I’m a professional writer!!! Thankyou thank you thank you for this.
Love you Carol! Keeping it real!
Thank you for this awesome post, Elena. Like you said, these days there has been a huge rise of blogs that talk about how to grow your blog. I have read a ton of posts that share strategies which might not work for everyone. Your post is really helpful and on point.
We need to embrace each other’s uniqueness. I am afraid all of these strategies will make a lot of people quit because they don’t measure up. We should be embracing diversity in our blogging communities.
I totally agree!
This made me LOL, so agree with you. Loved reading and great advise.
Fab post! The ‘write great content’ point always gets me as no one can really define what great content looks like.
I did not like the potter books, so what the hell do I know.
As a relative new blogger I also read what others say, thus also read your post. Sometimes the information is rather confusing and then I think I am doing wverything wrong, but you have nailed it. Thanks.
best advice I have read in a very long time….. **slow clap**
I am bookmarking this
if I could click ,like twice I would
Thank you so much!
Great points! Especially the first one- I also always see ” stick to one topic”- for me, that’s just not going to happen. I am too interested in too many things and want to share them all. And I am more likely, personally, to visit a blog that has different categories to explore…. plus, it’s fine if you stick to one topic, but not everyone will be like that. Thanks for the useful advice! 🙂
The one thing I have learnt from blogging is that there aren’t any steadfast rules and just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for another. You do whatever makes you happy with your blog.
Thanks for the advice 🙂
Such a great post. I’ve had my current blog about 4 years now. I keep doing it because I love to do it, and I LOVE your advice.
Elena, the advice I hate is is that ‘s it is easy to make money blogging, it’s not. It takes time and hard work, enjoying your blog! Interesting topics.
Thank you so much Lisa! Yes, it is a lot of work, more than I ever imagined for sure.
I really relate to what you’re saying. I just wrote a blog post about how I don’t feel I have a niche. I just feel like I write what I want to write but I wouldn’t have a clue what my niche is!
Niche, quiche. As long as you enjoy writing, someone will find merit in your words. Keep going!
I had to laugh when I read this as those are exactly the posts I’ve ben reading for the last few days. I was beginning to feel that because I’m not an American 20-something mommy who freezes a month’s worth of meals and likes pink…then I may as well switch off the laptop. After all there’s a house to clean.
Anyway, I now feel a renewed confidence in writing (in UK english!!) about my middle-aged too-fat body, tip of a house and lippy teenagers…because that’s what I know and care about.
They seem way too together for me! lol I am definately going to check out your blog. You sound like a lot of fun!
Ha! You’ll be very welcome, but excuse the mess as they say. I’m in the process of moving over to wordpress and my witty insightful posts are mostly still drafts until I find time to polish them!
Great post, though a tiny voice of dissent here — I believe in writing good content! As opposed to…writing horrible nonsense?
The key is knowing what you’re good at writing about, understanding your own passions and expertise, and sharing those experiences with the world. For example, I write about real life on my author blog, and social media and marketing on my business blog — very different branding, yet because I’m a three-dimensional person with different experiences in life, i’m able to divide and conquer, as they say.
I totally agree with you that sharing our voice is crucial — building my blog led to my success as an author, absolutely, because I built a solid reader base. I also believe it shouldn’t be all about me, all the time. As an advocate for women and children who’ve been sexually abused (the subject matter of my nonfiction books), I’m honored to share my blog as a forum for others to tell their stories.
A blog is what we make it, and that’s what makes it awesome.
And you do it all very well Rachel. I love that you pay it forward and help other women/children/survivors through your books, blog and your twitter chat, which I have been a voyeur of many times.
I agree that blogs can be anything we want them to be and I am so honoured that you read my post.
You’re right : I had enough of these quickly written articles mostly optimised for SEO and published for the sake of “filling up the space”. I would be sharper on the money-making blogger. It’s getting more and more difficult. I don’t see any niche that’s not covered, and yet people who blog with their heart AND who have something to say are very rare…
I’m not sure that people realize that you can’t just pack keywords in posts any more for optimization. It can be a waste of time and sometimes makes the post boring and unreadable.
I do love the personal journeys blogs the most.
What I really like about this piece, Elena, is the structure: how you’ve taken those three bits of ‘worst blogging advice’ and linked them to very practical, and very affirming, guidance. Good on you!
Thank you so much Paula! That means a lot coming from you.
Great post, Elena. I’ve always defined “good content” to include entertaining, educational, and/or allowing readers into your living room for a chat. Love your bio, BTW.
Thank you so much. Blogging should be like talking to a friend. I totally agree with your definition.
You’re such a voice of reason and reassurance, Elena! It’s so easy to get bogged down in all the “shoulds” from countless experts — but yours make much more sense!
Definitely too many shoulds! We need to throw caution to the wind and just write from your gut. Imaging that!
Great post, I agree so many “simple” ways to make your posts go “viral”, it’s all a load of nonsense/largely random or luck which posts do well as you say. Of course it helps to write posts you like and network them, but honestly the fonts of useless advice are something I’ve had about enough of!
Just go with your gut Steff. If there actually was a secret formula, we would all be rich.
Great advice – it seems everyone who has been blogging more than a few weeks is an expert. I saw a post the other day which said ‘Blogging advice from my first year’ — a bit like marriage advice after a year — “you ain’t seen nothing yet kiddo”.
I do like to think there is a magical place between being a hobby blogger and someone who writes for money. I’m beginning to think it has something to do with offering some kind of service or product to your audience … a gentle upsell if you will. I could be on the right path with my graphic design offers, and other people successfully sell books, photos, printables, online courses etc. I’ll let you know when I figure it out 😀
Let me know when you find that unicorn.
I really appreciate this post, Elena. I’m new to this and just thought I’d have some fun and have a record of some interesting things I’ve seen — my mind ain’t what it used to be! But then I started reading all the things I should be doing and…yeesh. So thanks for the honest advice.
Oh no, please stop reading advice! It can be so over whelming and sometimes changes your whole focus. The best blogs are the ones that are like journals, so keep at that.
I blogged for years before knowing anything about seo and everything else. (I’m on top of it now.) I too feel encouraged to keep at it because I truly love blogging!
You have to love blogging or I find your writing suffers. That is why I never force myself to write when I am feeling forced or apathetic. And good for you for sticking it out!
Hi Elena! Thank you for all these good reminders. As you say, for those of us who’ve been doing it a while you either have to love it or give up and go home. I KNOW that I could create a blog that would attract more readers but that’s not why I’m doing what I’m doing. As you say, if you’re just trying to come up with “good content” or “make money” then good luck to you but stay away from me. Keep at it, keep writing, don’t give up! ~Kathy
Exactly Kathy! When you write what you are passionate about and interested in, the audience is attracted to that and finds you.
Good points Elena. I don’t think you can game the system. You have to write what is true to you. I had one post go viral. I wrote it in ten minutes, it was not on the theme of my blog and I thought not of interest to my readers ( about college basketball) . I was passionate and it was heart felt, and I suppose timely. I almost didn’t hit publish. It goes to show that you never know! Thanks for the MidLifeLuv link party.
And of course the next time you sat down to write, it took hours to do. Boy I know that feeling Michele. Thank you so much for participating.
Don’t quit is probably the only blogging advice worth anything. That alone will weed out those that aren’t doing it because they love it!
Hello my lovely! We haven’t chatted in awhile and we need to change that! Thank you so much for participating and your daughter is gorgeous just like her mama.
Now that is great blogging advice! I’ve only been blogging for three months now and I have decided to ignore every one of those. I write what I write and how I choose to write it and that’s fine for me. I do want to eventually make money from my blog, which is why I put ads up, but I’ve made some pretty good friends in the blogging world that told me to be prepared to keep working on it and not to expect to make money right away. Honestly, I think that if you are just starting out, common sense wise, you really can’t expect to make any money until you’ve established yourself and that takes times and a lot of work. I’m hopeful but realistic. This really is great advice! thanks for sharing
I am so glad you found it useful. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging and it sounds like you have the right mind set and common sense to persevere. The money will come eventually.
#MidLifeLuv I am linking to this post in my article I am publishing tomorrow.
Thank you as always Janice. You are very open with sharing great information that you have found for your readers and I am sure they appreciate it as much as I do.
I was just listening to a podcast from Darren Rowse of ProBlogger last night and he said many of these same things, particularly about just keep going and keep writing. He said too many people give up too soon – and his definition of too soon was before two or three years!
I think so too. Sometimes it takes 2 years just to find your niche, then you have to find the right audience. Everything worthwhile takes time.
I’ve been blogging weekly for just over 3 years and this year is the first year I am confident about blogging what I really am passionate about. This is the first year I’ve actually got to grips properly with social media so I’m having a ball recycling my old blogposts that are still relevant! I’m so glad I’ve persevered but then I’m an optimist ….
We are all so glad you stuck with it too Linda. I am so glad you are having fun now. That is what counts and it shows in your posts.
This is awesome, Elena, as always, read it again when I just popped over from your Linky Party #MidLifeLuv -ing my way through all the links! Hope this day treats you kindly! 🙂
Always a pleasure to see you here Donna, especially when I know you will stay behind to help me clean up. lol
Great advice, Elena. I spent too much time reading and signing up for every ‘must-do’ newsletter. Just when I thought I was all set, Google would go and change its algorithm. Now I write for myself, knowing that I have readers who appreciate what I write. Like you said, we must never forget why we started blogging!
I am so glad that you did Corinne and you are a great example of write for yourself and your audience will find you. May take a little longer but so be it.
Finally someone who said what I was thinking. What is great content anyway? lol
Great content is in the mind of the reader. That’s what makes it so subjective.
Wood Allen said, “80 percent of success is just showing up.” I think both he and you (when you said, “The best advice I can give is to just not give up.”) are right on target. #MidLifeLuv
I think a lot of people give up on their dreams too fast and expect perfection too soon in the process.
Thanks for all the great advice. I have been blogging ten years. I am still trying to figure out my niche.#MidLifeLuv
I hate that word niche as much as I hate being asked what I want to be when I grow up. I will let you know when I figure that out! Thank you so much for participating.
I love this! Sometimes the best written post gets the least traffic for whatever reason. Good writing doesn’t equal high traffic. Once people get that blogging becomes a whole lot easier.
As to the commenter who said only posts from the past few weeks count: WTF? I have a post on a house in a movie that garnered comments for five years.
At my professional blog we’re told that what separates good blog posts and bloggers is that people will constantly be discovering our first posts, and it’s true. Then they read the blog. If the subject is relevant to them.
Once Google finds you they do a lot of the work for you. And SEO, algorithims etc aren’t important in a post etc. A good post could be newsworthy and then relevant for the day—but if it’s incredibly well written and people like it could live on. Other posts live on because the subject is relevant to many people or they just enjoy it.
noo, i mean posts with blogging tips expire. Not regular posts. 🙂
People put too much emphasis on Google and SEO. The best, most heartfelt posts I have read, could never be classically “optimized”. We need to remember why blogs were created in the first place. To express ourselves and connect.
I’ve been blogging over a year. I’d like to say that it’s great to read all these posts on increasing twitter followers, increasing facebook reach, increasing pinterest followers and improving SEO but PLEASE CHECK THE DATES. A post written a year ago is no longer relevant!!! With the changes made daily to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest algorithms (a word I didn’t even want to learn), you need to be reading tips that were created in the last few weeks or don’t bother.
With that said, thanks to the b*tch who suggested I delete a bunch of my pins, cause ya, my Pinterest traffic has TANKED.
PS, I also hate the word linky.
My phone changes linky to kinky every time. Is that better?
This is so interesting to me. I wrote a somewhat successful blog a few years ago, when blogs were just starting to be the in thing, and we’re mostly people journaling or writing about recipes, mommy stuff, celebrity stuff. Now it seems every blog that does get a shit ton of Luke’s, retweet, pins, viral action, have all to do with “how to write a blog.” It’s like now the fun and focus of the community has more to do with teaching how to blog rather than actually writing a blog. That having been said, I’m the first one to gravitate towards these kinds of blogs. It’s like I need to know if I’m anywhere near the ball park.
I know what you mean Sandra. I love traditional blogs but I do read a lot of how to’s as well. It’s hard to look away! lol
It was a great post! Great content 😉 I’m still learning, but all of the advises that you explored here I had come across and though how the hell I would do that.
Too much pressure isn’t it? Just learn as you go. It usually all works out in time.
I loved all these points Elena – they are all things that I read and agonized over when I was starting. Now I just accept that blogging is a fun thing I like to do and I’ve met some terrific women along the way and that is more than enough for me 🙂
If it isn’t fun, what is the point? Right? I hate that newbies suffer so much. Just relax, write what’s in your heart and make connections. You have the right attitude Leanne.
Lol, great post Elena! You said it, what is great content, other than something a reader gravitates to and identifies with. Many bloggers start out not even knowing what they want to write about and eventually find their niche and/or their audience. Our own unique voice is key, it’s what makes us unique amongst the masses. There’s something for everyone in this blogosphere, but like everything else in life, it takes time to mingle and post to find the readers we connect with. 🙂
Exactly! I wish that everyone wasn’t in such a rush to find their place in the blogosphere. There is room for all.
Excellent post with bad timing, Elena! I’m working on one now. 🙂 I may link to yours (as well as a couple of others)!
Thank you Terri! Story of my life, bad timing! lol
Can you see me? Can you? Oh girl I’m giving you a standing O! Bravo! I never understood the good content.
I just read someone’s blog who was writing about a letter she wrote to her unborn child and one about different fitness activities to do with your kids. I seriously wanted to shove a fork in my eye.
Like what you said, good content is only good when people with the same likes and interests read it. Another thing I hate is when they tell you how much money they made this month? Why are you broadcasting this? That’s like me introducing myself saying, hi I’m Stacey and I make 40,000 a year. It’s no one’s business. Tell me how does that translate into good content.
This post you wrote….now that’s GREAT CONTENT!
Ahhhh! Thank you so much Stacey! I don’t read the income reports at all. Most of the things that they report as income I have chosen not to do so most of the time, that information is irrelevant to me.
I agree that it’s always a surprise which posts get the most views. I never know. So I guess I would said that advising bloggers to be consistent is bad advice. You have to experiment. And don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself.
Totally agree Jan. If I worried about embarrassing myself I would probably never write a single word!
This is a really good post! Encouraging. Still finding my way through the muck…
Muck…that’s a great way to describe it. lol Thank you Karen!