What I’ve Learned From Blogging (So Far)


This post was originally supposed to just be a list of all the things I’ve learned by blogging, but after looking it over I realized it could just as easily be considered as a guide for newbie bloggers. So if you’re new to blogging, this could be quite the helpful post for you.

And if you’re a blogging veteran (a bleteran!), you should still read this post, because I’m lonely.

1) Comments are the most important thing.

It’s nice getting lots of traffic, but that means nothing if none of them comment. Luckily I learned that right away, and after a few days I stopped spending every moment refreshing the stats page to see if I got a new viewer and focused on the more important things instead.

Comments are a lovely thing. When I get a like or a new subscriber, I think, “Well, that was nice of them,” but I don’t usually check their blogs out. Not to brag or anything (and by that I mean I definitely do want to brag), but I get a lot of those. It’s the comments, however, that make me figuratively jump with joy.

Well, at first it’s joy, but before I click on the notification thingy a whole bunch of conflicting thoughts run through my head. “What if it’s just a spam comment?” “What if it’s a comment saying, ‘This blog sucks, and so do you!’ or something else as cruel?” It’s only when I read the comment twice that I calm down, and when it turns out to be a friendly one, it honestly makes my day.

My advice to new bloggers is this: value comments above all else. And always respond to them, because then they’re more likely to come back.

2) The amount of responses each posts get will surprise you. 

Occasionally I write a post and actually think it has a chance of getting Freshly Pressed, or at the very least get a lot of comments. Then it gets a total of two spam comments and a pity like, and I can’t help but feel disappointed.

Then there’s posts that I put barely any effort into and don’t have any hopes for when I publish them. Those are the ones that usually end up at the top of my “Most commented posts” list. It’s really confusing. Luckily, the two types of posts tend to even themselves out.

3) Incredibly obvious self-promoters are incredibly obvious.

Some of them are sneaky and well disguised, but when they like your eight hundred word post twenty seconds after you published it, you know they’re only doing it in the hopes that you’ll check out their blog.

I’ve only done this twice; once when I saw a post titled, “I Hate Shameless Self Promoters,” just for irony’s sake, and the other one was an accident. Or so I tell people.

Then there’s other people who say things like, “Great post! Check out my blog at _________!” Ignore these people, and never click on the link. At least not until they learn to be more subtle.

4) Make sure to comment on other people’s blogs.

Not for self-promotion, but because you’re actually interested in what the blogger’s saying. Yes, commenting on other people’s sites does help your blog gain more traffic, but that should not be your goal. If you comment for that reason, either two things will happen. 1) He/she will know what you’re trying to do and ignore you, or 2) the conversation will lack depth or any thing memorable.

Plus, commenting is cool. The idea of having a deep conversation with a stranger living in a completely different part of the world as you is something I still can’t entirely get my head around.

5) Try not to write completely off-topic posts.

99% of my posts are always somewhat related to reading and writing, so when I make the mistake of posting about unrelated topics such as snowboarding, it never does well. (Actually, that post didn’t do so bad, but in general, they almost always do.)

6) Don’t let blogging take over your life. 

You should always dedicate time to your blog and post consistently (something I’ve shown trouble with in the past), but don’t spend too much of it. If it starts to interfere with school, your social life, your job, or other important parts of your life, you should tone it down a bit. We’ll understand.

Unless you’re doing NaBloWriMo. In that case, ignore this entire point.

7) No matter how much you proofread for typos, there will always be at least one left when you click ‘Publish.

It’s a sad fact of life.

***

Blogging has changed my life in so many positive ways, and I wish I could give something back to it somehow.

Perhaps I’ll get a dog and name him/her “Blogging,” then give him/her all the treats I can afford. Just because….

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32 Replies to “What I’ve Learned From Blogging (So Far)”

  1. I’m really glad that I followed your blog. Your posts are very interesting and I’m starting to read them. However being a beginner this guide has actually helped me lots! Safe to say… I love blogging. I will definitely be coming back to your blog to read more. Happy blogging.

  2. In light of your new readership and accolades for general smartypantsmanship, go back and edit those “yours.” #4 is true… and leads to fun, new bloggy friendships.

  3. Great post! Check out my blog at
    Haha, just kidding. I just got on here a few days ago and am seriously becoming a bit obsessed with blogging. Thanks for your posts. They are nice and down to earth unlike some of the other bloggers which just seem to write to impress you with their words. Lots of good advice here (: How long have you been blogging?

    1. I’ve started this blog in late December last year, so for about eleven months now. But I barely posted in April or during the summer, so let’s narrow that number down to seven. Seven months, and they’ve all been great. Thank you for the kind comments.

  4. Wow, this post is like a dream come true. I have been looking for these answers for a long long time. After running a blog for a year and barely getting any traffic- sad fact of life- I’ve decided to get the name out there. I do admit that I am guilty of a few of those “Not to dos” that you posted above. Especially the commenting on fashion blogs to get my name out. oops! 😀 But this leaves me in a difficult situation because I want to comment to show my support and genuine enthusiasm, but also to get more views. Hmmm, what should I do?

    And I completely identify with some of the things you mentioned. My most liked post was just a bunch of pictures taken with my phone. Why?! It confuses me how that can attract more attention than detailed shoots…

    Would you mind checking out my blog? I write primarily about fashion, traveling, and all those little things that inspire me- expect many videos- but do you feel like this is too much? The market is definitely larger for fashion, but I don’t want to be one of those ordinary teenage girls that blog about style when there are so many more important things to talk about, like virtual child abuse (check out my latest post for this! 😉 )

    Sorry for the essay, but you really inspired me to ask all these questions.

    Many thanks,
    Nora Nord
    www. itsavogueworld.com

  5. If you need topic ideas for your endeavor this month, I have one. starwars.com has released a listing of bounty hunters on which Bossk is ranked above Jango Fett. Repeat, Bossk>Jango Fett.

    1. NaBloPoMo is when bloggers post once a day for the entire month. Anyone could participate in it, providing they have a blog.

      And welcome to the blogosphere! (Yes, it does exist. I think.)

  6. Love this post and I can relate to all of those things. I too like the likes and love the comments.. Don’t have a lot of followers or views for that matter, and what confuses me more is that I will get followers but 0 views…. makes no sense what so ever. Oh well.
    Are you writing a novel?

  7. I’ll have u know I am reading your blog at school during The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (yes, I am a rule breaker, but not until I read your blog,) I am in love with this blog, I can’t stop reading!!!!!! Keep writing! (Please?)

  8. Thank you for this post. It was very helpful for me to learn more about blogging and gain the insights of fellow bloggers.

  9. Your blog is fascinating! I’ve been exploring it for a while now and I can easily say that I am entertained. So thank you for that.
    Thank you for the tips as well! They’re handy for new teenage bloggers like me.

  10. Hi Matt,

    You’re def right about comments…
    I spend a lot of time reading other blogs (sorry, I think this is my first comment on yours :)) -bad fellow blogger. I need to comment more. Hell I want comments too. (The only downside of being a newbie is feeling like I’m “talking”/writing to myself). I’m so use to being an internet recluse lol…need to step it up and interact more. “Met” a few great folks so far, even though most of you are half my age (when did I get “old”?). It’s okay though, old souls of all ages will always connect I suppose.

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