Blogging Do’s and Don’ts

Being new in a community is scary. We get it. Especially if it’s a community like blogging where you have to put part yourself out there. But there are some faux pas that we’ve noticed some new bloggers participate in (that even we might have participated in when we first started out!) that we’ve decided to talk about! Here is our hopefully helpful guide of what to do and what not to do as a new blogger!

Since we’ve had over 2 years of experience as bloggers, at this point, we finally felt that we had enough advice to fill up a whole post! After reading so many of these kinds of posts ourselves, we’re going to be echoing a lot of the things that have already been discussed before, while also hopefully adding some new advice that you may not have already heard before!

To Do: 

The Aesthetics:

Find an aesthetic that works for you! There are so many templates that you can use, or if you’re artistically inclined, you can design all your graphics yourself. If you think that you want to commission a blog design, we’d advise to wait a few months before hiring someone like Kat or Tracy (who both do beautiful designs!) because then you’ll have a more clear idea of how you want your blog to look. Chances are, it won’t match the idea you had when you first started out.

We went from this:

To this:

To this:

To this!

The Posts:

The most important thing about your posts isn’t that you post regularly (although that will help with views) or that you have posts scheduled in advance (although this is helpful when life gets unexpectedly busy). What matters the most is that you have all your posts in one place that’s easy to find. If someone goes on your blog, and is led to the About You page, or a static home page, that may be fine. But they’re much more likely to click on your content if they can access it easily. Which either means making your blog posts your home page, or having a CLEARLY marked button or section marked as Blog Posts.

The Tags: 

Feel free not to tag people! I know that many times the tag rules tell you to tag a certain amount of people, but as we’ll discuss more in the “don’t” section, if you don’t have anyone to tag, it’s better to leave it open ended and tag anyone who wants to answer the questions, than to tag random people, or people you just tagged last week.

Interaction: 

Don’t be afraid to interact with people! If you like someone’s post, let them know by leaving a comment! Find something you enjoyed about the post and comment on it! Answer a question that the blogger raised in their post! Tell the blogger how you agree or disagree with their discussion point, perception of a book, etc!

Following:

Follow people whose content you enjoy! After all, that’s a key element of interaction. Just be sure that you are interested in the blog you’re following. After all, deciding to unfollow a month later because you have no matching interests is more painful than if you had never decided to follow in the first place. 

Not To Do:

The Aesthetics:

Design isn’t everyone’s forte, and that’s okay! So as a general rule, here are some things you should avoid in your blog design:

1. Bright or neon colors as a font or background color. While it may make your blog stand out, it will also make your blog incredibly difficult to look at, which will lead to less interaction. Stick to lighter (but not brighter) colors for a background, and darker colors for fonts.

2. Speaking of fonts, make sure that the size isn’t too small! Most people experience some form of eye strain, and so having the equivalent of size 12 font and up, makes it much easier for people to read big chunks of text. (But also, avoid large chunks of texts. Break it up somehow! Gifs are always welcome!)

The Posts:

Never copy someone’s post! Tags and memes are exceptions in some way, but when you read a really thought provoking discussion, if you’re going to follow up on what a blogger wrote, you need to credit them by linking their post in yours! And credit in general is important, and applies to tags and memes as well!

The Tags: 

We all know that tags can get to be a little stressful! When someone tags you, there starts to be this pressure to answer the questions and tag new people at the end. But here are some mistakes that we’ve seen people make that definitely need to be mentioned.

1. Don’t tag people that you’ve never interacted with! Whether or not you want to tag people that you don’t follow/who don’t follow you is up for debate, a good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t read 5 posts from a blog, and commented on at least two of those posts, you do not yet have a strong enough relationship to tag that blogger.

2. Make sure that you’re tagging ALL the people who write on the blog (unless, of course, you know for a fact one person doesn’t do tags). There have been COUNTLESS times when just one of us is tagged, usually by someone who is a new follower and/or has only read one of our posts (or at the very least only liked/commented on one post). It shows that you haven’t taken the time to actually look at our blog, and even if we BOTH end up answering the tag, we’re gonna remember your blog for all the wrong reasons.

Interaction: 

As fun as it is to interact with bloggers, we need to remember that people on social media are still people. That’s why it might be best not to be overly familiar and friendly with people who you don’t know. We’re not saying you shouldn’t be friendly! But maybe before DMing someone or jokingly tease, think, is this something an acquaintance would say or is it something a good friend would say?

Following:

Don’t repeatedly follow and unfollow people hoping for a follow back! Like we mentioned above follow people who you want to follow. Follow them because you like their content/personality because at the end of the day, the people you follow don’t owe you a follow back. Also, people notice when you follow and unfollow, so that sometimes makes it a little bit awkward. 

We also think it’s important to realize that while followers and views are nice, you should be blogging because you enjoy the blogging itself, and not just because you like the numbers. The fact of the matter is that no matter what, there will always be a post that doesn’t do as well as you’d like it to, and there will come a time when you won’t reach the follower milestone that you’re aiming for, and if you’re only blogging because of those things, that’ll de-incentivize you. But! If you view blogging as something you’re doing for yourself it will give you a more positive experience overall.

Hopefully this post was helpful to you in some way or another! We tried to be as comprehensive as possible, but if you think we missed any tips leave your suggestions down below! And if you’ve made a similar post, feel free to leave a link to that as well as a resource for newer bloggers!

What piece of advice do you think is most important for new bloggers? What do you wish you had known before you started blogging? Have you written a similar post with guidance for new bloggers?

33 thoughts on “Blogging Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Love this!! I’ve been blogging for a while now and I would’ve loved loved loved this post as a new blogger 🙂 my advice to new bloggers is to be authentic and consistent, even if that means only posting every other week! I post every Tuesday after trying to post more each week and I’ve found that it really works for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I really hope that new bloggers gain some useful tips from this post! I know that posts like this were super helpful to me when I started blogging!

      I really like your advice, and to add to it, I would say find a schedule that works for you! It took Chana and I a while to figure out what works best for us, but now we post 1 to 3 times weekly. To us consistently posting every week is more important than the days that we post! But I can see how having a set day that you post on can work for others!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. love this post!! as a still-new blogger, I adored your guys’ advice ❤ I've recently been having trouble being consistent with posts & still have a long way to go with aesthetics, but this post has given me a lot to work on & think about 😌

    something I had trouble with in my first month of blogging was following — I was so desperate to attract people to my blog lol and I followed like literally every single person who stumbled onto my blog and it made my reader very chaotic and bleh to the point where I started getting anxious about getting onto WordPress. in the end, I had to make the decision of unfollowing people for my own mental health, which was definitely much more of an uncomfortable thing to do then never following someone in the first place!

    I'm so glad you both mentioned that because I just think it's so natural for a new blogger to want to attract as many people as possible and not scream into the void, but it can be double-edged sword and it's important to remember that it can backfire!

    amazing post, like always ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First off Sara, I love your aesthetic!! It is literally so pretty, but changing your aesthetic as you blog will 10000% happen, and that’s ok! Yesss, honestly I think Malka and I were the same when we first started! I also used to be very strict with blog hopping and I always felt terrible when I couldn’t comment and read as many blogs as possible. But I eventually realized that as fun as blogging is it’s not the absolute priority, so now when I’m busier with other things (mostly school, lol) I put post consistency and blog hopping on the back burner since I know that it’s something that I can always come back to!

      Being a new blogger is *so hard* especially in the book community when it feels like there are literally hundreds of book blogs, but being sure to remember that blogging is supposed to be enjoyable and not stressful helps make all the difference 💕

      Like

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad that you found this post helpful! I was hoping that someone would find out advice useful, so I’m glad that you did!

      I think that tags can be really tricky, which is why we went into such great detail about what to do and what not to do when it comes to tags! I think the 5 posts and 2 comments suggestion is a good one because it ensures that you get to know the bloggers and their style, while they also get a chance to know you. And once you’ve built that relationship, it’s a lot easier to tag someone because you know them, and they should recognize you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yess, I really love when the font stands out sometimes, especially when there are big blocks of words that make it difficult to focus.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I was honestly *so confused* by tags when I first started blogging! Like what was the etiquette, what exactly were tags?? But after some time we finally got the hang of it 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you both for this helpful guide! I found the tag suggestion especially handy, I’m definitely going to tag according to that from now on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad that you found this post helpful! I’m so glad that you found the tag suggestion helpful! I think that tags are one of the most difficult things to navigate as a blogger (new or old) so we tried to spend some time discussing them! In general though, tags are about strengthening connections and making friends, which is why I think it’s important that you’ve already interacted with the person you’re tagging!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great tips!
    I feel like I see the tagging faux pas quite a lot. I’ve been tagged in a lot of things by people I’ve never interacted with, and I always just end up feeling confused! I don’t often do tags, but when I do I usually just leave it open ended so no one feels pressured to do them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      Yes! This post may or may not have been inspired by these faux pas happening to us in record number last week. First of all, there are two of us, and the post you tagged has both of our names on the bottom, so it’s just rude to tag one of us. But also, you’ve never liked or commented on any of our posts! We don’t know who you are, and you obviously don’t know who we are, so why do you feel comfortable tagging us! Sorry for the rant, this has just been bothering me for a while!

      And Chana and I very rarely tag people at the end of tags. If we don’t have the time to thoughtfully and carefully choose who to tag, we just don’t tag anyone! I think it’s a much better method than just tagging random bloggers!

      Like

  5. Ooh I love this post, especially the tips about tagging. I’ve always felt quite stressed about tagging people, also because I’m often nervous they won’t find the tag interesting, but this makes me feel a lot more comfortable leaving it open-ended.

    I definitely agree with your point about making your posts easy to access too, I used to have my homepage be my ‘About Me’ page but I ended up changing it to my blog feed as that seemed more interesting! Of course, having an ‘About Me’ page or brief bio on the sidebar is still super important, and I guess that would be the tip I’d suggest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to hattttee doing tags mostly because of the tagging people! Like would they be annoyed? What if they already did the tag? But now that we tend to leave tags open-ended when we can’t immediately think of anyone to tag, it makes it so much easier!

      We also had a static home page at the beginning, although it was mostly because we had absolutely nooo idea how to use WordPress 😂 Yes! A sidebar about me is so useful, and it has been something that Malka and I have been meaning to add for a while now since I always find it so helpful on other blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love posts like this because I wish I had read posts like this when I first started blogging! But even now, it’s always good to have a reminder because blogging etiquette ette changes with time and sometimes people don’t realise something they’re doing is now a bit of a faux pas. I am definitely the blogger where tags go to die. I love being tagged in a book tag because they’re always fun today and a great post to do when you’re stuck in a bit of a creative rut but I hate tagging others. I know people don’t have to do the tag if they don’t want to but I always feel like I’m imposing on them, I am definitely someone who just finishes with ‘I tag anyone who wants to do this too’ which feels like a cop out but is always preferred.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haahahhaah “blogger where tags go to die” 😂 That’s definitely a good description of us too. Tagging others can be so stressful sometimes, and it honestly used to take me forever to think of who to tag. Doing the I tag anyone who wants to do it is way easier, and I feel like it gives the opportunity to bloggers you wouldn’t have thought of tagging to actually do the tag.

      Like

  7. This is a great post! It’s so hard when you’re new because you don’t want to overstep, but then you also don’t want to like, NOT take chances! I think this is a great guide! (I always erred on the side of caution, probably too much, which is funny because I would never be mad or whatever if someone reached out to me!)

    I think also being true to yourself and having fun is most important. If you take it too seriously, it becomes more of a chore than anything else (learned THAT the hard way hah) and it’s not worth doing if it isn’t fun. AND, no one will ever get to know you if you’re not being your authentic self!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s definitely hard to navigate a lot of the unspoken blogging rules when you first start out, which is why I think posts like this can be so helpful! I think that people are either overly friendly, and assume you’re best friends before they ever interact with you on your blog, or they are scared to interact in any way! I think it takes time until you reach a comfort level where you start building relationships more naturally!

      Oh, definitely! I think that’s something that I didn’t really have to worry about when I first started out since I had a blogging buddy from the beginning. It’s hard not to be natural and have a great time when you’re doing something with a friend just because it sounds like something fun to try out! And this year, when we decided to take a more relaxed approach to blogging, has been our most successful, in a whole number of ways! I never want blogging to feel like a chore!

      And that’s a really good point! I think that might be why some messages make me confused when people comment or reach out. A lot of new bloggers tend to reach for generic comments and such, which makes it hard to get to know them. Interactive comments are important because they allow me to get to know you authentically!

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