Blogging Tips - Bad Advice
Not all advice is good advice. That doesn't mean you shouldn't listen to it, but you definitely should take it with a pinch of salt.
I've read SO much blogging advice and countless blogging tips posts, but I don't always do what they tell you to do (ooooh). What works for someone and someone else's blog may not work for yours. And also outright copying someone's blog is never going to end well either. So rather than repeat the same advice over and over again (it's been done to death a little, just do a quick search on blogging tips on Pinterest and you'll see what I mean) I thought I'd do the opposite, and tell you some of the worst advice I've either been given or read elsewhere.
The Worst Blogging Advice
Write good content and the readers will come
This was maybe true years ago when blogs were just starting out and there wasn't much competition, but nowadays this couldn't be further from the truth, especially for new bloggers.
When you're an established blogger and your DA score is reasonable, blog posts may rank higher in search engines and you can gain readers through organic search traffic, but it's hard/near-on impossible for a new blogger to reach the first few pages of search results.
Like with any business, to gain 'customers' (readers) you will need to promote and raise awareness. This can be through offline methods (business cards, telling friends and family) but the most common and effective way will be through social media.
Good content is obviously important if you want people to stick around, but there's so much more to a successful blog. You need to get your name out there – don't be afraid to self promote!
You need a niche
This is a bit of a tough one as some blogs DO need a niche. But if you're not sure what your niche should be, you probably don't need one. Readers do like some variety, so don't be afraid to cover a few topics. Just write about what you love, and
the readers will come self promote and you'll be on your way to a successful blog.
Be active on every social media platform
Unless blogging is your full time job, good luck. You can't possibly be active on every social media platform and do a good job of it when you have other commitments, such as studying or working. Don't even try. Pick a few social media platforms (start with 1-2) you think will be most beneficial for your blog and that you enjoy using, work hard and focus on those. For example, I use Twitter and Pinterest all the time, but also use Tumblr and Instagram and Bloglovin'. Trying to be consistently active on Facebook, Google+, Reddit, Snapchat, Periscope, Youtube and whatever else is just not doable while I work full-time.
Don't start a blog for the sole purpose of making money
OK so it's probably not the best reason, but I actually think it's OK to start a blog with a purpose of making money. It's a very valid job nowadays.
I didn't start my blog for this reason as I didn't even know how much money could be made from it and at the moment I don't have any plans to monetise my blog but personally I don't think starting a blog as a way of making a money should be looked down upon.
I can relate to why people would think this and get annoyed; I see some blogs that are just sponsored post after sample review after sponsored post after blog event and there's no 'original' content. If you want to write a blog to earn money, you need to make sure you still write for readers and not for brands.
You should be blogging everyday
No. Just no. I mean yes some bloggers do and that's what works well for them, but nowadays it's definitely quality over quantity. Don't rush and publish sloppy blog posts just so you have one up everyday, it won't do you any favours.
Obviously if you have the time and the ideas to post everyday, go go go, but if you don't have loads of time on your hands, just publish what you're capable of. While it's good to have a schedule (whether this is everyday biweekly, fortnightly etc), you aren't going to lose all of your readers overnight if you miss a post. Don't panic!
Write blog posts everyone will love
Spoiler: You can't please everyone. Don't even bother trying. Write posts for YOUR audience. Don't know who that is? Have a look at Google Analytics and figure it out. Still don't know? Write for yourself and what you would want to read (this is what I do haha). If you want to read it, someone else will too. By trying to please every single person ever, you won't really be pleasing anyone (...so profound). Target your posts a bit and you'll build up a loyal audience and find a firm place in the blogging world.
The best time to post on X is Y
There might be a slightly statistically 'better' time to post on certain social media platforms, but really this is becoming less and less important, especially with new algorithms which arrange feeds in order of relevance to you instead of chronologically. Also, posting at 4am GMT time may not reach most people in the UK but it may reach people somewhere else in the world, opening your blog to a geographically-wider audience.
Personally I think the key to a successful blog is knowing what works and what doesn't, what advice is valuable to you and which you should take with a pinch of salt.