I’ve been writing this blog tips series for over a year now (gulp!) and I’ve covered a lot of topics in that time. I still get quite a lot of general requests for “tips”, though, so today I thought I’d try to condense some of my best blogging advice.

These are the things I’ve personally found to be most important when it comes to growing a blog and making a living from blogging. Apologies in advance if some of these are a little repetitive to those of you who’ve read the whole series (and, of course, it goes without saying that these are just the things that have worked for ME: I’m not trying to write the blogging law or anything, here!), but if you’re a new reader, here are my best “tips”…

My best blog tips and advice for new and established bloggersBe helpful

Possibly the best piece of advice I can give you is to write posts that help people in some way. That could mean simply providing outfit inspiration, or writing an in-depth tutorial, but the point is that while people enjoy reading random life updates and that kind of thing (and I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t write those too…), the posts that they tend to share, click on and come back to are the ones that offer THEM something, rather than simply being all about YOU.

Be personal

With that said, I don’t recommend just turning yourself into some kind of impersonal advice-bot or pseudo expert, either. Most people respond best to advice/inspiration from people they can relate to in some way, and the personal touch goes a long way towards building reader loyalty. You don’t have to spill your guts onto the keyboard (that would be super-messy, quite apart from anything else), and it’s important to know where to draw the line, but if you can inject a bit of your personality into your posts, so much the better.

Analyze your stats

It’s fashionable for bloggers to say it’s “not all about the numbers”, but analyzing your stats is one of the best ways to work out what you’re doing right, and how to do it better. By looking at the posts that have been most successful for your blog, you’ll be able to analyze what your readers respond best to, and what isn’t working so well: and why wouldn’t you want to know that?

Take good photos

This probably sounds rich coming from me: I’ve said before that photography isn’t my strong point, and it’s a constant battle between me and the daylight right now, but the fact is, images are more important than ever now – especially if you blog about a very visual kind of topic, like fashion or beauty, say. You don’t have to spend a huge amount of money to take decent images for your blog (actually, I think good lighting is the most important thing, which is why it’s such a struggle for those of us who don’t get a whole lot of it), but strong, clear images will help draw people into your posts – and again, anything you can do to encourage more people to read what you write has to be a good thing.

Pick the social network that’s most successful for you, and concentrate on that

These days there are so many social networks out there that it’s really easy to get overwhelmed: to feel like you HAVE to be on every single one of them, and following each and every one of the tips you read about “how to make the most of X network”. I’m sure there are some people who are really good at being across all forms of social media, at all times (if you know who those people are, they’re the ones you should be taking tips from, seriously!), but for myself, I’ve found the thing that works best for me is to focus most on the networks that have the biggest pay-off for me (or which are simply the most fun, because it can’t be all business, all the time…), and not stress too much about the rest.

Right now, Pinterest is the network that sends most traffic to my blog, so I concentrate on it, and use WordPress plugins to automate most of the rest of them. I pop into Twitter every now and then, and I do love Instagram, but Facebook, for instance, just doesn’t appeal to me, and I hate the fact that it only shows my content to a tiny percentage of the people who follow me, so I don’t waste too much time on it: that time is better spent on something else – for now, at least.

my best tips for bloggers

Write about something you’re passionate about

This one seems too obvious to even mention, but I know quite a few bloggers who’ve started blogs on topics they think will be popular, rather than the ones they’re really passionate about, and it NEVER works. Blogging takes a huge amount of commitment: people who don’t blog always assume that it’s probably just a few minutes per day at most, but the reality is very different, and when you find yourself having to come up with fresh content, day after day, month after month, year after year, you’re going to get burnt out, fast.

The only way to avoid that is to pick a topic you’re going to WANT to write about day after day – and I’d also say here that it’s a good idea to build in some flexibility, too. Just because you love purple handbags NOW, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll STILL love purple handbags in five year’s time (or even 5 MONTHS time…), OR that you’ll be able to find enough to say about them to be able to keep generating new content about them. So pick a blog name that will allow you to grow and adapt (ILovePurpleHandbags.com would be a mistake, for instance…), and don’t be too rigid about sticking to the same subject forever.

Don’t compare yourself to other people, or try to do what they do

Be honest: how many people write gift guides because they genuinely feel they have something to share on that topic, and how many do it purely because they see everyone else doing it, and feel like they should be doing it too? (Or, alternatively, because they’re thinking, “I bet this will get tons of hits!”) I’m sure there are plenty of people in the former category, but I also know there are quite a few in the latter category too, and I know because I’ve been there myself.

I spent literally YEARS thinking, “Oh, right, its Awards Season: I better do some red carpet roundups, because all the other fashion bloggers do red carpet roundups, so that must be something fashion bloggers are supposed to do!” Now, the thing is, I’m not even remotely interested in red carpet fashion: in fact, I find it really boring, to be completely honest. Nevertheless, I sat there and I dutifully cranked out tons of posts about the Oscars, and the Emmys, and whatever other dull awards ceremony everyone was obsessed with, and while that content did OK, it didn’t do great, because the honest truth is that I didn’t do nearly as good a job of it as the people who were genuinely interested in that subject, and who actually WANTED to write about it. My time would’ve been better spent writing content I WAS interested in, and targetting the people who, like me, didn’t really care who wore what to where.

That’s all well and good, of course, but you’re probably wondering why I decided to start a fashion blog if I wan’t interested in one of the most important aspects of the fashion world? The fact is, though, there’s more than one way to be interested in “fashion” and there’s way more than one way to write about it. I love clothes, and I love seeing what REAL people wear in their day to day life, and I worked out that it would be better for me to focus on that, rather than trying to compete with all of the other fashion blogs out there, by doing all the same things they do.

I’ve said it before, but blogging is not a competitive sport, and if you try to make it one, you probably won’t end up winning the competition you’ve created for yourself, because there will ALWAYS be someone out there doing it better. So, you know, you do you.  And on THAT note, I think I need some more coffee…

18 Comments
  1. Thank you for these tips. Your blogging tips always makes me feel so encouraged.
    I must say that this “rule” that to get readers you have to position yourself as some kind of an expert really is one of my blogging pet peeves. (The other being that you have to be a creative coach and sell tips to everyone newer to this than you are. As if just being a blogger isn’t enough anymore.)
    About social media then. For me I find that Twitter works the best. Pinterest don’t work at all though and I don’t know how to change that right now./Ida

    1. I’m not saying any of these are “rules” – as I said in the post, they’re just the things that have worked best for me. I also don’t advocate positioning yourself as an expert if you’re not one: I’ve personally found that posts that aren’t just about me, and which are helpful to other people, get a better response than others, but I don’t claim to be an expert about anything, and as I said, these are tips, not “rules” 🙂

      1. No you don’t and I’m glad for it. But I’ve read them as rules in so many other playes. But I made my own rules after that and now your blogging advices are among the very few adices I’m reading. 😊

  2. I’m just starting out and posts like this are extremely helpful to me. I especially like your point about blogging about what you’re passionate about. My blog doesn’t really have a niche because I’m interested in all kinds of different things and I want to write about all of them – but I’m definitely careful that I’m always writing about what genuinely interests me.

    When you talk about analysing stats, do you have a post specifically about that that you could point me towards? I don’t really know what I’m doing in that respect.

  3. Nice set of tips, it’s hard sometimes not to follow the popular crowd, be that on social media or with post ideas but like you said it’s better to focus on what YOU enjoy.

    Bex x

    Ps love your photography 🙂

  4. I completely agree with you about focussing your energy on social media networks that pay off and you actually enjoy. I hate Twitter and I just don’t use it enough but I’m ok with that – and it’s ridiculously stunted growth. I love Instagram and enjoy taking photos for it and it shows in the huge growth I get vs Twitter! It’s impossible to be on all social media all the time…

    Also agree that my tips posts can be popular but I’ve also written some that really aren’t… It can be hit and miss, for sure! I always feel like a fraud writing them, so maybe in some it shows more than others 😉

  5. Great tips- being helpful is definitely a good one. That is something I know I can work out- I have seen the most success when I post about goals and gratitude, because I think people like the positivity and can maybe relate- so I think I have noticed that it doesn’t necessarily have to be one of those posts like “5 ways to do this” or “10 best way to do that”- but as long as people can relate to something you write about and like you said, are passionate about, I think that will work.

  6. Great advice. These tips all seem so simple and logical, but seeing them all in one place–in my face, so to speak–is good for me. And affirming. Thank you!

  7. Great advice all thanks 🙂 The last tip is especially good, as a blogger of just over a year comparison is the thief of everything. Also the be helpful tip is one I need to take on board, but I feel least confident using my “You should do this” type voice on my blog.. I think being a non-niche blog I get carried away with the ramblings. 🙂

  8. As always, your tips and reflections about what have worked for you are very helpful for relatively new bloggers. I need to get my head around Pinterest as I’m sure it would be a good avenue for me and my website but, for some reason, I am really struggling with it. Thanks, Lorraine x

  9. Very useful post! I like the design of your blog. Its easy to find the articles I am interested in. Did you make the design on your own or you used a developer ?
    Thank you

  10. This post is so true, so on point and really uplifting for a “newbie” blogger. Thank you for sharing your experiences! I truly believe in what you said at the end: blogging is not a competition but so many bloggers make it one and that’s kind of sad. We should be inspiring each other like you inspire me.

    love
    Margot

    http://www.aheartyhome.com

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