Welcome! Advice and tips for new bloggers.

Posted: July 1, 2017 in Miscellaneous
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s been some years since I began blogging, but I can still remember the joy and excitement of getting my first non-family follower. I wandered throughout the blogosphere, reading interesting blogs, drowning in information, finally settling on the bloggers I wanted to follow regularly. I see a number of new bloggers on my blog and always appreciate them stopping by, as I do all my readers. Here are a few hints for anyone just getting started.

Any of the rest of you veteran bloggers, feel free to leave other hints in your comments!

Feel free to share if you think this would be helpful (with a link to my blog and the post, of course.  🙂

1. Read lots of blogs and leave comments. Let your comments be about the blog post or the blog in general, not a canned “Great blog. Follow me.” Generally, if you are seen to be following a blog or dropping by regularly, the other blogger is likely to check out your blog and follow if they like or have time.

2. Don’t include a link to your blog in every/any comment. When someone comments, the blogger can always click on the name of your blog and that will take him/her to yours. I know how eager you are for followers, but you have to earn followers through what you post and through participation in the blogging world.

3. Don’t feel bad if everyone who visits your blog doesn’t follow you. There’s only so much time in the day and so many blogs that can be followed, really followed. Don’t take it personally. Everyone has different interests and we all struggle with online vs. real life time.

4. If you follow a blog, drop in sometimes. Comment occasionally and/or “like.” I have over 3,000 followers, but rarely hear from or see any of them once they’ve followed me. Don’t just follow to try to get followers. Think how you’d feel if someone followed you but never showed up on your blog.

5. A good way to get people to stop by your blog is to participate in challenges. WordPress has a number of them each week. Pay attention to what the challenge is. If it’s a photo challenge, your post should feature one of your photos, not a written article or a hundred photos. If it’s a writing challenge, don’t feature your photos. Most challenges also ask for a new post. You’re welcome to use material you’ve already put on your blog, but put it in a new post, don’t just link to an old one.

6. WordPress also has a number of helps for new bloggers, including classes. These can be a big help.

7. Never, ever use another blogger’s material without first asking him/her!! Besides infringing on copyright laws, it’s bad manners at best, theft at worst. If you’re given permission, be sure to always mention where you go the material and include a link back to the other blogger’s post or blog.  You can re-blog a post, but I still like to ask first.  Usually the other blogger is happy to agree.  After all, it’s a compliment!

8. Speaking of copyrights, also be very careful about what you use from other sources. If you quote from Wikipedia or from another source, be sure you give credit to your source and present it in a way that lets your reader know which material is borrowed. It’s not legal to take photos from other people’s blog or off the internet without permission or to take articles, blog posts, etc. Other bloggers and I have seen our photos for sale in other places and although the effort of trying to go after someone for theft is usually not worth the effort, make no mistake, it’s theft.

Most authors and publishers are fine with a quote or two from their book, but if you want to use much more, you need permission from the publisher. One place I see problems is in the re-posting of recipes. The few times I’ve shared a recipe that’s from a cookbook or online blog, I’ve contacted the author and asked for permission. One author said that one or two recipes was fine, but if it was more than that, the publisher wouldn’t allow it. Of course not. If all the recipes are free online, who would buy the book? And the author/recipe developer is also out. If you do share a recipe, be sure to include the name of the cookbook and author or a link to the website.

9. What do you enjoy doing? That’s what your blog should focus on. Make your blog your own and others will enjoy it. Unless you’re a model, don’t make your blog all about photos of you, no matter how beautiful/handsome you are. If you’re a writer, don’t worry about a lack of photos. If you’re a photographer, show us your “words” through your photos…or through your crafts/paintings/whatever. Make us care, enthrall us, entertain us, talk with us and we’ll become followers.

10. Most of all, treat others as you’d like to be treated and as the rules, written or unwritten, of blogging dictate.

Welcome and have fun!

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Comments
  1. Trev Jones says:

    Excellent advice. I can’t think of anything myself to add. Thank you.

  2. Great advice, it can be tough and disheartening to start with but keep going and most of all enjoy it, that’s my advice!

    • Spot on, Susan. Blogging because you enjoy it shines through and is more likely to attract others. Happy weekend! Just got back from the farmer’s market, so I have some great produce for the next few days.

      janet

  3. Great advice for new bloggers Janet! ☺

  4. That’s a pretty comprehensive advice list, Janet. It’s been a while since I first started and the thing that stands out most in memory is how long I continued before anyone at all began to even visit the blog, let alone comment. Now I get lots of visits, but still few comments and I’m still doing it just because I like it. You’re an inspiration for new bloggers!

    • Aww, thanks, Madison. Since two of my three family members blogged (and encouraged me to start), I had at least two followers for some time. 🙂 Many people visit and never comment and many people never show up at all…or I’d have 3,000+ comments a/o likes every day and we know that’s not happening. 🙂 But I love it and the friends I’ve made (put yourself on that list).

      Happy weekend and Fourth.

  5. Thank you for the well structured list of do’s and don’ts in the world of blogging. I have been writing a blog for several years and work hard to create something thought provoking and fun. I started a blog on recommendation of my daughter. She said to me once that I “always had something to say”. Not sure if that was complimentary! She is still reading my posts, so I guess I am doing “OK”. I am going to share this post with my husband, with your permission first, of course. In the future, I would like permission to share a link to your post with others contemplating starting a blog. 🙂

  6. Dan Antion says:

    Great advice, Janet. I would add “don’t load your blog up with ads and offers to follow by email that pop-up all over the place”. And, I would add, “make sure your blog looks good on a phone”

    Thanks again for helping the new and the older bloggers. We all learn from each other.

    • Thanks for adding that, Dan. WP ads can’t be controlled, unfortunately. And phones. Ahh, yes.

      • Dan Antion says:

        WP ads are fine. I’m seeing a lot of pop-ups from the bloggers, asking me to sign-up for their newsletter, add my name to their mailing list, follow them (even though I already do) and things that shift the page up and down. I do my best to ignore them on my laptop, but they take over my phone so I generally leave without reading 😦

  7. I’m bookmarking this page right now so I can refer noodles back here. Very well said, and quite thorough for a “few hints.” I would also add that you should really only blog because you absolutely 100% love it, not for money, freebies, fame, or glory. It would never last otherwise.

    • Completely agree, Hannah. Happy weekend and Fourth. I love seeing photos of all the wonderful food you’re eating and making. Can’t wait to get out there one day and share a meal.

      janet

  8. Joyce says:

    Good advice, good post, Janet. I would like to add a couple suggestions to yours, if I may. 🙂 One is being honest and sincere in replies and comments back to another blogger you post on or follow. And also be sensitive to that blogger or reader if they share a different viewpoint than yours, and never criticize or by judgmental if that blogger sees things differently than you do. One cannot make a friend that way, and I have made some real friends online being sensitive in how to best comment, share or reply.

  9. Norm 2.0 says:

    Seems like a pretty complete list to me Janet. I can’t think of anything else I’d add.

  10. Great advices, Janet. I couldn’t agree more. In writing, I think it’s important to be ourselves. I found that many people do blogging just to follow the trend. When it doesn’t come from heart, the blog itself would fade away along the way. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us..

  11. JT Twissel says:

    I always visit new followers but sometimes they’re really just beginning and their blogs have no content. So it’s hard to know what to say other than “thanks!”

  12. Su Leslie says:

    This is spot-on Janet; really good advice. The only thing I’d add is to ask newbies to put something — however small — on their “About” page, especially when their blog is really new and doesn’t have much other content. Like you, I get a steady stream of new followers and I do visit all their blogs to say “thanks”. I really appreciate it when they tell me something — anything — about themselves and/or why they’ve started blogging.

  13. SoyBend says:

    Good advice, Janet. I wish I would have had it when I first started my blog. I always appreciate your posts and the comments you make to me and others.

    My blog is very visual so I like to include pictures – even on writing challenges. To me, they are the backbone of my site. I sometimes write short posts on photography challenges and, occasionally, longer ones.

    “The picture alone, without the written word, leaves half the story untold.” James Lafferty

    • I understand what you’re saying. I’m thinking more about people who don’t include a photo for a photo challenge (or have 30), but just write, that sort of thing. I’m not the blog police, but I know there are other people who feel the same way, so I was just passing that on.

      I like the quote, although I think that a photo can tell a story without including words, just as words can bring a picture to mind, even though people’s pictures may vary.

      Thanks for adding your thoughts to the discussion. They’re much appreciated.

      • SoyBend says:

        Yes, there are definitely people that “misuse” the challenges.

        I like that quote too but I also enjoy putting up textless photos on Silent Sunday. So sometimes I don’t follow my own advice. 😉

      • I used to writing almost exclusively, then did more photography. I’d like to get a better balance, but for right now, I tend to do photos. “Misusing” the challenges isn’t a crime, but it’s frustrating to me and a number of others.

        Happy weekend!

  14. happyface313 says:

    🙂 Hi Janet,
    very true! One of the biggest problems I encounter is the time for reading other blogs…
    I very much enjoyed the weekly photo challenges by WordPress when they were on Fridays – it was a fun way to start the weekend. But Wednesdays isn’t really my cup of tea – wrong timing in my opinion.
    Have a very HAPPY weekend 🙂

    • I have the same problem with reading other blogs and I’m not even taking on new ones because it’s so hard to keep up with the ones I have, especially those that post more than once a day. As for the photo challenge, I liked it better on Friday, too, and know a few others who feel the same way. 🙂 But what’s blogger to do?

      My weekend’s going well and I hope yours is, too.

      • happyface313 says:

        🙂 Hi Janet,
        I wrote to the WordPress people and told them that I preferred the Friday photo challenge, but they didn’t respond. Sadly.
        Yes, my weekend is going fine, too.
        Have a nice Sunday 🙂

  15. tagnoue says:

    Very excellent advice! Thank you.

  16. Joanne Sisco says:

    A thoughtful list and #10 really points out that – as in most things – it’s basically good manners and common sense that should prevail.

    The one thing I would add to the list is to make a point of responding to any comments they do get. It always takes me aback when a blogger – especially a new blogger – fails to respond to comments ( and I’m not talking about missing a few here and there).
    Not only is responding the best way to engage people and promote future interaction, but personally I think the conversation is the best part of blogging.

    • Common sense? Would you provide a definition? 🙂 Just kidding.

      Great point about responding to comments and yes, conversation is the best part, along with meeting in person when possible. Thanks for contributing to the discussion, Joanne.

      janet

  17. Short and to the point, Janet. This list has some great advice for both starting and growing a blog.
    Ω

  18. A great post, Janet. I have to agree with number 1 especially. Don’t just “like” someone’s post. I respond and visit everyone who comments on my posts. And I comment as often as possible. But if someone “likes” my post, I might visit and “like” them in return. But rarely will I then comment or follow.

  19. theethnichic says:

    Thanx for this one! Really liked it a lot 🙂

  20. PcTrikz.com says:

    Nice Post! keep up the good work 👍

  21. marianallen says:

    Joanne took the only addition I thought of: Reply to comments, which you always do so beautifully. But that gave me another one: If you’re going to comment on a specific point on someone else’s blog, you might at least scan previous comments to see if your point has already been addressed. The other commenters are fellow internet citizens, too, and it’s utterly unimpressive to shove them aside as if you (new blogger) are the only one with a voice that counts.

    • Yes, replying to comments is good, too. I have to admit that although I comment on almost every post I view, I don’t always read all the comments. It just takes too much time, especially when there are 15-50+ comments and responses. I don’t mind if there are repeat comments, as I know time is precious to all of you as well. But if I have time, I do read them, and sometimes that’s as much fun as the post!

      Thanks for chiming in on this, Marian.

      janet

  22. Hi! I’m a new blogger so I’ve been reading a tonne of these and this one was very original. Thank you ☺

  23. Sharon Dear says:

    I am a newbie. Thanks for the advice.

  24. Good advice! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  25. avainlife says:

    Thank you for these tips. I’m in my first month of blogging and I’m learning and finding my footing in this new world. I’m enjoying the creative process and love reading other blogs…even those not in my blog niche.

  26. I started blogging a few days ago and was so eager to gain followers and likes. This advise has helped me out loads, thanks.

  27. Incredibly helpful! Thank you

  28. Mandrigal says:

    Thanks for the advice. I just started blogging a few days ago and this really helps. I’ll be sure to reference your advice so I can use some of this advice in the future. Thank you !

    • My pleasure entirely! I hoped it would be helpful when I was putting the post together and I’ve heard from a number of new bloggers that it was, so I’m very happy. Feel free to share it with anyone if you like, with a link back to my post, of course. 🙂 Best of luck with your blog.

      janet

  29. Thanks sustainabilitea for your advise,,,😊

  30. andneverstopsatall says:

    Thank you for posting! I am particularly excited to look for the challenges and classes you talk about.

  31. Hey, I’m a new blogger so I always appreciate tips like this. Also especially since some are related to copyright infringement which can be tricky.

    • Copyright infringement has always been a problem, but the internet makes it so much easier. I hope you found something in the post that helped you. Thanks for the visit and comment and all the best with your blog and your post grad life. 🙂

      janet

  32. I will keep this in mind, Thank you for writing this!

  33. It’s a great advice. I read the blog and found that, this blog contains information which every new blogger needs… Thank you for the ideas and experience you shared with us.

  34. Thank you as a new blogger I found this interesting and helpful.

  35. Thank you for writing these they are really helpful for begnners.

  36. ponderellathinkingoutloud says:

    Perfect advice, thank you! Can you point me in the direction of where I would find the WordPress challenges as I’d like to have a look and maybe give some a go. ☺

  37. Thank you for this great advice. I’m new to blogging & this is the best post I’ve come across so far.

  38. ronnny2 says:

    Good advice to bloggers. They should not just follow, but try to engage those people they are following by reading, liking, commenting or even asking questions.

  39. Eliza says:

    Thanks so much for your advice. I’m thinking of writing excerpts when I re-blog, with a link to the full article. Will be sure to ask before I do that.

    • Eliza, I think it’s always good to ask before re-blogging, even though a re-blog is a compliment of sorts. I’ve seen blogs, however, that are only re-blogs of other people’s posts and I don’t really think that’s right. Glad you liked my post and thanks for taking time to comment as well.

      janet

  40. This has been of tremendous help as I’m still a touch nervous about writing my own first blog. With your sound advice and insightful direction, I feel a step closer to pressing that ‘publish’ button…

    • I’m glad you feel it’s a help. Start with something simple and that you know, maybe why you’re going to blog. Here’s my first blog post in January 2010:

      “OK, my family, you asked for it. I’m joining the world of blogging in 2012. I hope you enjoy it.”

      🙂

      janet

  41. taylorbateson says:

    I loved the tips and advise you gave! Especially on copywriting, it is something so many people forget or don’t think matters but being an English major I know how bad the backlash can be! Thank you for the tip (: I can’t wait to read more

  42. thealtamale says:

    Great advice, I’m a new blogger so this post was very helpful 🙂 I’d love it if you checked out my blog! Congratulations on so many followers! 🙂

  43. byancaellul says:

    I’m fairly new to blogging and I’ve read a lot of “tips for new bloggers” but this gave information on followers and engaging in the blogging community which I haven’t read much on before. Very helpful. Thanks 🙂 !!

  44. Thank you for sharing! I am new and am wondering how I can find these word press challenges? I found the A to Z challenge, but it looks like I am a few months behind on that one. Also, thanks for the tips on etiquette. It’s so helpful to know how to be curtious to others in the blogging world.

  45. dianalouise says:

    Thanks for the tips 😮 I just started blogging on wordpress and so far its has been great! 😉

  46. Crystal Shea says:

    “Great read, follow me” that made me laugh..this was very helpful, I have been blogging for a few months, I start and stop and then get back to it. So I decided to take a leap of faith and get really involved in my blog. Thanks for tips!

    • My pleasure, Crystal, and thanks for leaving a comment. I hope you enjoy getting into your blog. I’ve loved doing mine and hope to do so for some time, even though I’m taking a vacation hiatus right now. All the best and have fun.

      janet

  47. britinbeira says:

    Thanks for the advice! I am new to this blogging world and really appreciated the help.

  48. You had me at party says:

    Thank you for the tips, really helpful.

  49. abiviajera says:

    Hello, thanks.. I think I am doing great haha even I only have 4 post but for 4 weeks.. I guess is good.. And it’s definitely my reflection

  50. This was so helpful! I just published my first blog post yesterday 💜

  51. Thank you for this advice 😊 ,
    Have a beautiful weekend..

  52. Thank you so much! I’m starting a blog and this has helped a lot.

  53. inshalnaveed says:

    I agree that bloggong needs patience and it can be disheartening at the start but forgetting it, keep moving forward and enjoying reading and writing is the best way.

  54. This is all very excellent advice! I didn’t know WordPress offered challengers or classes. I’ll have to look into some of those 🙂

    • There are also challenges offered by individuals, Hannah, so lots of choices. The thing I found was that if I participated in too many challenges, I never had time for my own ideas and posts. 🙂 But I have my favorites, including Thursday Doors and WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

      janet

  55. tamsinsview says:

    Really good tips!! I’ve recently started a blog and this helped lotsss so thank you x

  56. This is great advice, thank you. I just got started with my blog and first post. It felt so good to take this step.

  57. free57182 says:

    thank you for the advise,it help me a lot.

  58. Great advice, going to make sure I try and stick to these tips 🙂

  59. Great advice. As a brand new blogger, this list is helpful. I didn’t know that WordPress offers classes, I will check them out. Thank you. Jen

  60. Silvia Mar says:

    I was so stressed out and thinking of thousands stuff at the same time and when I read your post it “sounds”so confident and calm. It seems you really have a great experience in writing. Thank you for having the time to share this helpful information. Good luck.

    • Silvia, I’m so happy my post could help you relax. Blogging should be fun, so just take your time and enjoy it. I use both a notebook and a file on my laptop for ideas for posts, great quotes, etc. If you do that, pretty soon you’ll have all sorts of ideas and resources that you can use when you don’t really know what to do or when you want to participate in a challenge. I also have thousands of photos from which to get ideas or to use in challenges.

      I look forward to seeing you around.

      janet

  61. Hello jenet! I’ve just started a blog with my best friend and we both control it! Its Amazing to see you helping people out and I’ve really need this personally Thank You! -Moongirl13

    • Good morning, Moongirl 13. Doing a blog with someone else could be interesting. 🙂 I’m not sure I’ve seen one done by two people before, but it does give each of you a break sometimes as well as a voice. Have a great time and thanks for dropping by!

      janet

  62. Thank you so much!! This post was truly helpful as I’m a rookie at this blogging thing. I liked how you listed all the points and made each point crystal clear.

    • I hope you read the comments, too, as some other veteran bloggers had some additional ideas. It makes me happy to hear that this helped you. You won’t be a rookie for long and enjoy the ride.

      janet

  63. bibiaj says:

    I love this. Will definitely visit this site more often
    http://Www.glamitupchic.wordpress.com

  64. Thanks so much for the tips! I’m new to blogging and was feeling a little discouraged/clueless but I’m definitely going to try these tips!

  65. Thanks for the advice! Definitely take this on board from now on.

  66. Hey thanks a lot for this advice. I just started today and this is really going to help me alot

  67. tyyspoetry says:

    Hey, thanks for the advice. It was insightful. I’m very new to blogging so I a trying to learn my way.

  68. This has been really useful to me as I’ve been stressed about blogging properly recently! Trying to get back into it so thank for the useful tips!

  69. btorj says:

    Thankyou for the tips! #newblogger 😊

  70. I found this to be very helpful, thank you. I’m glad I came across this post.

  71. Assurance Aigbodion says:

    Thanks so much for the advice. I’m sure it would help me out. Thanks again.

  72. divasusie says:

    Thank you for your advice. I think that it will help me to read other blogs and make comments giving me the experience of communication with the blogger community.

  73. Thank you. Thank you. 😊

  74. happyhousewife101 says:

    Thank you so much for the great advice. I am new to blogging so any and all advice is much appreciated. 🙂

  75. TechFlax says:

    Excellent advice
    If we have passion to write something then we should give our time.

  76. These are some very good tips for us folks just starting to blog. I did not know WordPress has classes. Good to know. Thanks.

  77. Wow… I got what I wanted. I have just started writing blogs and Your tips will definitely help me. Thank You Very Much

  78. FaishahBlog says:

    Thanks for a great advice..

  79. PKreation says:

    Thanks for the tips, I’ll follow them to grow my blog.

  80. I just started blogging and I’ll always keep your advice in mind. Thank you!

  81. Great blog some really helpful advice x

  82. qasimit1478 says:

    Thanks. It really helps me a lot.

  83. kittykins says:

    Wow… I am just starting with this blogging thing… Hope this blig would help me… Thank you so much 🙂

  84. yogi.megs says:

    Hi! I just started and have no clue what to do. This helped me alot thank you so much for taking your time and sharing this!

  85. Thank you for the advice! I still have a long way to go.

    • You have to start somewhere and work your way along as you learn. I had no idea what I was doing when I started and no followers except my family. It’s been fun (for the most part.) 🙂 Good luck and just enjoy.

      janet

  86. nic29king says:

    I’m really new to blogging and so am still nervously finding my way around but I have found this post really helpful- so thank you 😊

  87. lorraineanne says:

    this was super helpful thank you so much

  88. lorraineanne says:

    hi thank you so much for this post!!

  89. Considering I’ve recently joined WordPress, I appreciate this advice. Thanks a ton 👏

  90. Thank you for the awesome tips!!! I want to keep motivated 💕 visit mine if you have time https://gwendolyntravels.com/

  91. Thanks for the advice! I am a new blogger and feel like I’ve entered into a whole new community of open minded passionate people. It is so cool to see people share their uninhibited truths with each other!!

  92. mistimaan says:

    Thanks for the information…..it will help me.

    I want to ask another question……can I ???

  93. KING says:

    Thank you for guidelines . I have just started blogging . Please go through it once and follow if you like .
    https://nidaantheperfectsolution.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/the-girl-in-library/

    • I do take a look at the new blogs of people who commented on this post, but this is what I talked about in the post. The best way to get people to come to your blog is to comment on their blog posts without asking them to visit. Let them find their own way. 🙂 Most people will take a look if they know you’re looking at their posts and commenting. All the best with your blog.

      janet

  94. beckapen says:

    For once some real advice!

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