10 Do's & Don'ts for New Bloggers

14 September 2016

10 Do's & Don'ts for New Bloggers

Having been a blogger for two and a half years, I've seen bloggers come and go. It's often hard when you're new to the game to know the right things to do, I know I didn't have a clue when I first started. Keeping up appearances is one of the most important things as a blogger. People taking offence because you don't yet understand how to do something in the right way can be tough, and reputation is also very important.

Putting a few basic things into practice, like going about social media in a professional manner and following copyright rules, is paramount before you even think of starting to work with brands. I've put together a list of do's and don'ts which is in simple terms, how to avoid pissing people off. I'm obviously not Zoella, so these aren't the be all or end all, take them with a pinch of salt! 

1) Do...
Promote your posts on Social Media

So you've built up a bit of a following on Twitter. Let them know that you've posted! I miss out on even some of my close blogging friends' posts because they don't promote effectively on social media. Send a shoutout when you first upload a post, but it doesn't stop there. Scheduling tweets is a great way to gain traffic, and spacing around 10 tweets out over the day doesn't over-do it. I wrote this post on how to use Twitter effectively as a blogger. It's a bit of an oldie, so don't judge, but there are some good tips on how to format promo posts.

2) Don't...

This goes for a lot of things. Vary up your scheduled tweets so they're not just 10 "NEW POST: Current Makeup Routine". You can change up the picture, wording, and I like to rotate between sharing my last couple of blog posts throughout the day. Also make sure that you are genuinely interacting, so your feed isn't just promo posts.

3) Do...
Cross Promote

Have a Bloglovin'/Facebook/Instagram that isn't feeling the love? Tell your followers about it on other platforms. Chances are, they might not know you have this account, or may just need a subtle reminder that they're not following you. Again, as with blog post promos, these need to be few and far between to avoid looking spammy, but every now and again, it's a great way to build up multiple platforms.

4) Don't...

Please, please don't beg. This may seem a bit hypocritical given my last point, but hear me out... There is a big difference between saying "Hey! Are you following my Instagram/YouTube/Facebook?" on your own feed than commenting a link to your own blog or video on someone else's or promo post. It's cheeky and I delete straight away. It's the social media way of doing the dreaded "Great post! Check out my Blog/Bloglovin'/Giveaway and follow me on every single social media channel under the sun" comment. If you didn't get the memo, that's also not the way to go. If you're going to leave a comment on a blog post, be genuine about it rather than just using it as a way of getting your links out there.

5) Do...
Be Original! 

If I've followed you, chances are, it's for your unique voice. So I don't want to see you morph into Zoella 2.0. because you think that's what will get you in the limelight. It's okay to take inspiration, but whether you're taking ideas from someones photography, blog post titles or layout, do it in your own way. There's nothing more vom-worthy than being a carbon copy of someone else. In relation to this point, please be aware of copyright legislation regarding using other people's images, and most importantly, don't copy other people's content, as you will get found out and it won't be pretty.

6) Don't...
Be Desperate 

It's fine to ask for advice. That's cool, we all do it. There are dedicated Facebook groups made for this purpose. Just maybe don't tweet a ton of more popular bloggers asking how they got followers/subs/to work with a certain brand". These people have worked hard, likely for many years to get where they are, and there is no definitive answer.

7) Do...
Hone your niche as soon as you can

It's hard as a new blogger to know what to blog about. The idea for my blog started out as I dabbled in the idea of applying for fashion journalism. Two and a half years later, and it's like "hey, where those OOTD's at?". It took me about a year and a half to decide on a niche (beauty with a scented twist), and after a DA-shattering blog name and domain change, it's given me so much focus. It's a lot easier to attract a brand's attention when you have a clear aim for your blog. Previously, I didn't contact brands because I didn't know which brands would benefit my blog (and partially because I was a scardey cat), but now I know where to look for potential collaborations.

8) Don't...
Think you're entitled

I think some newer bloggers forget that before every event invitation and brand collaboration came a whole lot of hard work. I didn't get approached by brands until after a year of blogging. Even then, it took another six months before it really became a regular thing and I started to think "yeah, I'm good enough to work with brands!". It's generally a good rule of thumb to wait until brands start contacting you, rather than emailing 5 minutes after making your blog saying "Hey, give me free stuff, I have a blog now" (Does anyone do this? I HOPE no-one does this!). There is no definitive number of followers/page views or length of time you need to have blogged for. It varies between the blogger, depending on the quality and consistency of your work. Don't get mardy that your fave brand won't gift something to you, or you miss out on an invite to that cool event, when you don't even post that often. You have to earn your right to things at first!

9) Do...
Be Consistent

This ties in with my above point. The mainstay for proving yourself to brands is consistency, and that can involve a number of things. You need to maintain a consistent level of quality over all your posts. You can't spend 5 mins on you content usually, then do one amazing post and expect brands to come calling. Consistency also relates to your blog schedule. Not everyone has the right circumstances to blog every single day. It's fine if you can only commit to once a week. Brands need to be confident that if they work with you, you're not going to post 20 times one month and drop off the radar the next and not post about the item they've sent you, but if they know to expect a post once a week on a Friday, that's still fine. 

10) Don't...
Use Clickbait

One last thing...Clickbait is annoying. Fun and catchy titles are great for attracting attention, just make sure they actually describe the post, yeah?

I hope my tips have been helpful! 
What's the best piece of blogger advice you've been given?

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