Blogging Myths Debunked

Blogging Myths Debunked

Blogging Myths

There is a lot of really great advice out there when it comes to blogging but to be very honest there is also a lot of very horrendous blogging advice out there too. I have come across so many amazing blogs here on WordPress that don’t get the traffic and following they deserve. If you feel like you are doing everything right and have done some research and are following those rules but still seeing minimal to no growth it may be because the advice you found online was not exactly accurate.

One major issue I’ve noticed with looking for information online is that because of the SEO Gods, search engines will only push out advice posts that are SEO friendly rather than posts that are genuinely beneficial to the reader. Unfortunately, I can’t do much about this but I would recommend doing a lot of thorough research into blogging before making sudden changes to your blog because articles are not always accurate and even if they are remember that this advice was not tailor made for you. This advice is general advice and although it may have worked for them it may have worked along with other factors they may not be sharing about. So always think about your blog and whether or not the advice would make sense for your blog. Except mine of course, my advice posts are always on point. ALWAYS.

Anyway, I’ve been reading a lot of advice posts about blogging these days and have noticed that a number of them contain some information that may be potentially harmful to your blog. Some of them fail to mention certain things and I feel like they are leaving the advice halfway while others mention certain things about blogging that may not be true anymore since WordPress updates it’s algorithm quite often. Here are three blogging myths that you should not be listening to in 2021:

Myth #1: Use a large number of very specific tags

I have heard people go on and on about using specific tags instead of broader ones and every time someone says this I kind of want to smack them on the head- thankfully I’m a pacifist so I just eat my feelings instead.

Yes, using specific tags is always beneficial for SEO purposes but let’s be honest- when was the last time you searched something super specific like “that annoying lifestyle blogger that whines about stuff and is a history major.” Most people tend to search much broader things like “lifestyle blogger” or “lifestyle blog.” Therefore, if you use specific tags you will probably be on the first page of search engines if someone searches that specific thing but not a lot of people will be searching that specific thing so you are pretty much just cutting down your audience to a very small number of people that search weirdly specific stuff.

On the other hand, if you use broader tags you are more likely to get some number of views even if you don’t make it to the first page of Google. Another little secret I know about broader tags is that tags are not always just for search engines. Your WP Reader has a tags section and a search section and they generally put up posts that are recently posted rather than most SEO friendly/popular. You will see an instant increase in traffic from WP itself when using broader tags.

Therefore, my advice is this- don’t stick to using just specific tags. Use a number of both specific and general/broader tags together to get the best results.

Myth #2: Unethical methods of gaining backlinks work

I have read a number of bloggers talk about certain methods to easily get backlinks on other blogs. They don’t specifically say these methods are unethical but let’s be real- they absolutely are.

The first one is straight up just spamming people with links to your blog. By that I mean leaving comments telling people to visit your blog on other peoples posts. First of all, most bloggers generally delete those and furthermore some will go so far as to report your blog or block your blog. When it comes to spamming people’s comments section trust me when I say you’re doing a lot more harm than good.

Another method I have heard people talk about is leaving a genuine sounding comment like “wow this is really great advice thanks for sharing it” and than leaving a link to their blog below their comment. Every time someone does this I just get super irritated because I get excited about the comment and then I see the link and I’m like “oh they’re just spamming me.” This is such an incredibly shady thing to do and it’s not even worth it because most bloggers delete these comments or edit out the link. If someone wanted to visit your blog they would click the link on your name/profile so there is no excuse to leave links with your comments like that. Leaving genuine comments would probably get you way more followers and traffic than spamming people.

Another reason why you shouldn’t do this, apart from it being unethical and also super annoying, is that the more links you leave the more likely you are to be mistaken as a bot by WP. They may even shadow ban you or worse shut down your blog completely if you continuously leave spam comments.

So to sum it up- get genuine backlinks and don’t be shady about it because people aren’t stupid and they know what you’re doing.

Myth #3: Only write about trending topics

When I used to search advice on what topics were popular or what I should write about when I first started blogging I saw so many people talking about how you should cover trending topics to get more views. There’s nothing wrong with that but I saw some people insist that you should only stick to trending topics and not really write about other stuff which I found really ridiculous. I truly hope such horrible advice is no longer out there but you never know so I thought I would mention this anyway.

Yes, writing about trending topics may get you more views. However, in my opinion most blogs that succeed tend to write about things that are new or unique. A lot of blogs that are popular do tend to cover only trending topics but those are more like online websites and stuff. If you enjoy that kind of thing please absolutely go for it. However, if you want to blog about other things and feel pressured to change your niche to increase your audience take a minute to hear me out.

A lot of people succeed because they are writing about trending topics but a lot of people also succeed because they aren’t. People can find millions of sites that talk about what’s trending but there’s only one of you and you bring something unique to the table. Bring your own voice to your blog, write about what makes you happy, write about things you are passionate about and genuinely want to write about.

As most of you know my blog is a multi-niche blog which means I talk about a number of topics and from all the topics I write about I have found that my audience enjoys more than anything posts where I write about my opinion/thoughts or about topics I feel strongly about. WordPress is like a community and people want to “talk to their friends” and connect with other bloggers on a more personal level.

Conclusion And Your Thoughts

I have a lot more to say on this topic and a lot more myths to bust but I don’t want to make this post insanely long so I’ll end it here. I put in a few jokes so you guys don’t fall asleep halfway through but I have a weird sense of humour so you may just find them more annoying than funny- either way you’re awake and that’s all that matters. Let me know in the comments below if this information was helpful and if you would like me to debunk more myths in future posts. A lot of you have asked for more tips on engagement and I promise a second part of that post is coming soon too.

Have you ever fallen for any of these myths? What are some blogging myths you have come across? What type of myths have you fallen for when you started blogging? Do you think SEO is stupid and needs to change? How was your day? Let me know you thoughts in the comments below or simply stop by and say hi because I love chatting with you guys!


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How To Increase Your Engagement

How To Increase Your Engagement

Introduction

I get a lot of comments, DM’s, emails etc. asking me about how one can increase their following and traffic. I admit that having a larger following and audience can be quite beneficial depending on what you want from blogging, however, I’ve noticed that most people don’t understand how important engagement is compared to your following and traffic.

Back in the day, if you were trying to make money online through sponsored posts potential sponsors tended to focus on following and traffic, however, this is generally not the case anymore. I’m not going to pretend like following doesn’t matter at all because it does and it’s great if you can grow your blog. But, at the same time having a smaller blog has a lot of benefits too.

A lot of sponsors who are currently attempting to work with bloggers/influencers are realising that it’s incredibly easy and in some cases, depending on the platform, inexpensive to buy followers and views. For this reason, potential sponsors have begun to not only look at following and traffic but also at engagement rates.

Someone who has a smaller following is much more likely to have a very high engagement rate simply due to statistics. For smaller bloggers out there (5k and less followers) it’s important to maintain high engagement rates and when conversing with potential sponsors instead of mentioning your followers or views make sure you mention your impressive engagement rate.

At the end of the day, the only thing a sponsor would want is to get traffic to their page or to sell their product or services. If your engagement rate is incredibly low there is no point of them wasting money on working with you because they will likely not get much or perhaps even any new customers. If your engagement is high even if your following is lower they are likely still going to get some customers which would obviously be beneficial for them.

When I used to search on search engines about growing your following/traffic or about making money online I didn’t see much information come up about engagement. There was mention of it but it was rarely specifically talked about. However, I think more recently people are realising just how important engagement is and I do see more people talk about it. I thought I would talk about it too and hopefully you guys find this information helpful for you and are able to benefit from it.

For those of you who may not have the engagement that you are hoping for here are four ways through which you can organically increase your engagement:

Stop Posting And Ghosting

The first 24 hours after you post something on your blog are extremely vital. This is when it will get the most traction and you need to actively engage during this time to make sure that your followers/audience feels heard. Furthermore, this tells the algorithm that your post is very active which will consequently help your post get pushed out to tags/the top of the reader by the algorithm because it will assume it’s something people are interested in.

We don’t have the best attention spans especially these days and when it comes to the internet. People generally post a comment and then forget about it after a while. If you reply instantly or as soon as possible your post will still be fresh in their mind and you can have a nice conversation with the person through comments. Also, the person will feel like you care enough to engage with them and will come back every time you post to chat with you about the post.

This is something I’m still working on so I feel like a bit of a hypocrite telling people to engage when I occasionally reply to comments after like a week. But it’s all good- don’t pressure yourself too much and do the best you can. If you can engage in 24 hrs that’s great and if not engage whenever you can.

Engage

As I ALWAYS say and I am sure you are sick of hearing me say this- WordPress is a two way street. If you want people to engage in your posts, if you want to gain new followers and if you want to increase your traffic you need to engage with other blogs. If you don’t engage with others it’s quite likely that they won’t be interested in engaging with you and your blog.

Plus, there are thousands of blogs out there that probably don’t even know you exist. Try to engage on newer blogs or blogs with a smaller following because they are much more likely to engage back. Make sure these are blogs you actually enjoy though because no wants a super vague comment on their post which just shows you didn’t bother to read the post. Even if it isn’t a super long and specific comment make sure to leave something that shows you read the post and enjoyed it.

Lastly, try to engage with blogs that have similar posts as your blog because they will be more likely to follow your blog and engage with your posts as they are already interested in those topics. You will also enjoy their blog more because you are interested in similar things and therefore you can genuinely engage and leave comments.

Research

If you are looking to grow your blog and especially if at some point you are looking to make money online via blogging you need to do A LOT of research. You need to figure out keywords, SEO etc. so that your posts get more traffic which will lead to more engagement.

If, like me, your blog does not have a particular niche and you tend to write about a number of topics and are open to write about most things I would highly recommend looking into what is popular at the time and writing a post about it. It’s very likely that your followers have that topic in mind too and will probably have an opinion about it that they want to share. This will get you a lot more comments than posting about random things that has a very specific audience.

Using the correct keywords and making your posts more SEO friendly and will help you get more traffic from search engines. As your audience increases, so will your engagement because let’s be honest- this is the internet and literally everyone has an opinion about everything even if it’s none of their business.

Finally, you want to research your blog. I know it sounds a little odd but don’t knock it down till you try it (that’s what he said?). Google your own blog and see what posts come up first. Those are probably your most popular posts for visits from search engines. Next, try searching your blog in the search section of the Reader on WordPress and see what posts come up. The ones on top are probably your most popular ones on WordPress. Re-visit those blog posts and see what you did right, why people seem to visit them more often and try to model your future posts after them.

Remove/Delete Followers

This one sounds a little extreme and most people are unwilling to do this but trust me when I say that it’s a game changer. Unfortunately, WordPress is filled with spam account and they tend to randomly follow your blog and then ghost you. This decreases your overall engagement because it will look like you have a lot of followers but a number of them are not engaging with your posts. Or worse, it will look like you bought bot followers when in reality you have not.

Spam or bot followers are a serious issue especially for bigger blogs because we get followed by random bots like this all the time and it can be quite time consuming to go through your list of followers removing them one by one every day. However, doing this will make sure that your followers are real and that you have a high engagement rate because unlike bot followers real followers will engage with your posts.

It make feel like you are losing followers and it sounds crazy to remove followers but it will be super beneficial in the long run. Having a blog with a smaller following of organic and engaging followers is better than having a large blog with mostly bot followers. Real followers will actually engage, buy products/services if you ever start selling something or work with sponsors, support you both online and in real life and more.

Thoughts

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a blogging advice post but they take a while to write so I’ve been doing them less frequently especially since I’m working on a PDF with all my advice information on it so you guys can download that and have all the information in one place instead of searching through like a thousand posts.

I noticed that when it comes to engagement on blogs people don’t talk about it much. I found that odd since engagement is a big deal. When I first started making money on this blog I had significantly less followers but people still wanted to work with me because of my engagement rate. I think engagement can be super beneficial especially for smaller bloggers which is why I wanted to share this with you guys.

I have a lot more information about engagement so if you guys are interested in a part two of this post let me know in the comments below. What other areas of blogging would you like me to write advice posts about? What advice do you think would be beneficial to read about? Did you know how important engagement is before reading this post? How do you boost engagement on your posts? Let me know in the comments below because I love hearing your thoughts or simply stop by and say hi- I promise I don’t bite!


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5 Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Blog

5 Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Blog

Blogging Mistakes

Blogging is such a fun way to express yourself and interact with other like-minded people. A lot of people really enjoy a lot of aspects of blogging but the one thing most people I have interacted with enjoy is the social part of blogging. The WordPress community is a truly unique place on the internet because for the most part people are super friendly, enthusiastic, supportive and helpful. 

After blogging for a while a lot of bloggers (my phone just tried to autocorrect the word bloggers to voyagers?? 🤔) realise that growing your blog is actually pretty difficult but having a larger platform is great because you get to interact with even more people. There are a lot more benefits of having a larger platform too especially if you would like to blog professionally or make money on your blog at any point. 

I have a lot of posts you can check out about how to grow your blog but today I decided to do something a little different and write about things that will instantly slow down the growth of your blog or that may destroy your blog altogether. I’m not trying to tell you what to blog about because blogging is obviously a very personal thing and you should blog about whatever you feel that you want to blog about. However, if you want to grow your blog or increase your growth I would recommend avoiding these things:

Buying Followers, Likes And Comments

There are so many issues that come along with buying followers, likes and comments but since we don’t have forever I will keep it short and highlight some of the main issues that are associated with buying bot likes, follows and comments. 

The first issue is that everyone’s going to know. It’d often extremely obvious when people buy likes, comments and followers. Bot followers usually have no profile picture, no real posts etc. The comments are often really basic or generic like “nice post” or “great post” without any real reference to the post itself. The likes are often disproportionate compared to the comments and followers which is a big tell-tale for fake likes. If you ever want to make a profit from your posts you will likely be interested in sponsored posts however the first thing sponsors do is check how many of your followers are real which is extremely easy to do. Most people have some fake followers because bots just follow sites randomly sometimes (you’ll notice some bot followers in your following too) but if the largest majority of your following is fake obviously sponsors are not going to be interested in working with you because what’s the point? You won’t direct any traffic to them since none of your traffic is real. 

Another issue is again concerning making a profit from your blog because I’m assuming that if you’re buying followers it’s because you want to make money off your site. A lot of times people will sell services or products on their blog which is a great (maybe the best) way to make money online but if all your followers are fake who are you going to sell to? If you build a genuine following it may take longer but it’s worth so much more than a fake following. 

Buying followers, likes and comments can be pretty expensive. Especially buying followers, however, from stuff I’ve read these followers don’t last very long because WP has been cracking down on bot accounts (they’re not doing a good job with it but they’re trying) so your followers are going to decrease as time goes buy and you will have to continue buying followers every few weeks to maintain your following. Instead, spend some money advertising on other blogs or through Google or Bing. You’ll gain genuine followers for a much cheaper amount. 

The last and probably the most important reason is because if you’re buying all these things you’re probably missing the point of blogging. In my opinion at least, blogging is largely about putting your work out there and interacting with other bloggers and honestly it’s the best part of blogging. WordPress is really unique because unlike most platforms on the internet people are super supportive and kind here. People genuinely want to connect with one another and I feel like the majority of people actually use their platform how it was supposed to be used- to express oneself. If you ever want to buy followers just take some time to interact with people here instead. It will help you connect with others and grow your blog. 

Spam Comments

Literally everyone I have talked to on WP hates spam comments and in my opinion these kind of comments are one of the worst parts of WP. I don’t mean spam comments like the obviously spam ones that try to sell you viagra or something (although if you’re the person who keeps leaving spam comments trying to sell me viagra please stop 😂). I mean the comments that say nothing about your post but tells you to visit their blog. Here are some examples:

Why would anyone follow your blog when you can’t take a few minutes to read theirs? Most people would automatically check out your blog if you left a genuine comment on their blog. However, when you leave comments like this people are just going to get irritated and probably block you or at least avoid your blog. 

Not Using Features Correctly

WP offers a lot of really great features but a lot of people don’t do a lot or any research on how to use them to their advantage. Features like tags, categories, featured images etc are there for a reason and can be vital in growing your blog. Using these features incorrectly can actually slow down your blogs growth.

For example, if you use more than 15 tags your posts will be taken off the tags section in the Reader and this will decrease your traffic and consequently your following. Using incorrect hashtags can also do the same. Using really specific tags is great for SEO but not so much for the WP community. I mean when was the last time you searched something on WP that was super specific like “post about how to grow your blog and use the tags feature on WP.” Most people will search something like “how to grow your blog” or even shorter like “grow WordPress.” Using specific tags is fine but don’t forget to add some broader tags too like “food” if you’re writing about food. 

Clickbait

Clickbait is okay to an extent if you do it once in a while and your title does relate to your post to an extent but if you constantly use clickbait-y titles that have nothing to do with your post people are probably going to get irritated and end up not following you or unfollowing you. What you want is loyal readers and followers because that’s what will help you grow long term. 

Spreading Hate

Most people have heard this at least a few times in their life- if you don’t have anything nice to say than don’t say anything at all. I think most people are fine receiving feedback because it helps you improve your writing or your posts and it helps you understand your readers better. However, if you are going to use your platform to leave hateful comments that attack the blogger you are not going to be very popular on WP because like I said we’re like a family here. If you’re going to leave feedback make sure you’re not attacking someone and leave it in a positive manner.

If you’re just going to leave a hateful comment think about the fact that there are thousands of other blogs out there. No one is forcing you to follow a blog you don’t like or read posts you don’t want to. If you hate something that much just read other blogs you agree with or connect with more. Don’t waste your energy ruining someone else’s day. You don’t personally know this person, you don’t know what they are currently going through and frankly it’s their blog and they can do whatever they want on their own blog.  

Thoughts

What are some blogging mistakes you wish you had known about sooner? Have you missed my blogging advice posts? Do you think I should do more blogging advice posts- I feel like I haven’t done any in forever? Did you find this post helpful? What is some blogging advice you wish someone had given you?


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5 Things bloggers wish they could say — Growing With Spawn

With over 500 million blogs on the web to date, it seems as though everyone and their dog has a blog. There are just so many sites to peruse through that very little thought is actually given to what goes… 15 more words

5 Things bloggers wish they could say — Growing With Spawn

This was so funny and relatable I had to share it with you guys!!

How To Instantly Get More Traffic

How To Get More Traffic

The most frequently asked questions I get are “How can I increase my following” and “How can I increase my traffic”. Although both are a process and take a while there are some ways to also instantly give your following and traffic an instant boost.
For today’s post I decided to focus on how to increase your traffic because I have already written multiple posts about how to increase your following. The methods I have listed below will not only increase your traffic instantly but will also increase your traffic in the long run.
Having a large audience or a a lot of traffic on your posts is very beneficial for bloggers especially if you are looking to earn money through your blog. Here are some ways through which you can gain more traffic on your blog if followed correctly:

Social Media

I am not a huge fan of social media if I am being completely honest and I have even written a post about why I prefer to use WordPress rather than social media platforms. However, I will admit that social media is a fantastic way to increase your traffic and especially if you are looking to diversify your traffic and get views from people outside of WordPress.
I used to avoid social media before but over the last few months I have been a bit more active and have seen very satisfying results. Surprisingly, I got the best results from Pinterest where it seems extremely easy to get views if you post regularly and link your posts.
Social media is also a really good way to remind fellow bloggers when a new post is up. You can post on your story or feed every time you post something on your blog and this will help refer readers back to your blog. From my research I have seen that most people agree that Facebook and Pinterest are the best social media platforms for referring people to your blog however if use correctly other platforms like Instagram and Twitter can also be quite useful.
However, the downside of using social media to market your blog is that it can get quite time consuming.
For my full post about how you can use social media to grow your blog click here.

Marketing And SEO

Both marketing and SEO are absolutely vital if you are looking to increase your traffic- especially if you are trying to make blogging your full time job or career.
Marketing your blog is a great way to increase traffic from both WordPress as well as outside sources. It may feel a little awkward at first because you sort of have to be your biggest fan and just talk about how great your site is. You need to remind people about your site, the topics you cover as well as how they can access your blog if they are not part of the WordPress community.
For more details on how to market your blog click here.
Social media is a great way to market your blog. Other great ways to market your blog are to do collaboration posts. When you collaborate with other bloggers you get your blog out their to their audience and vice versa. It’s a win-win for both of you. Another really great way to market your blog is to do guest posts for larger blogs. This means that you will get your blog out to a much larger audience and to a specific audience that is already interested in blogs/the topic you are covering. It’s one of the fastest ways to increase your traffic/audience long term as many of them will come over and follow your blog as well.
SEO is a great way to increase traffic from outside of WordPress and in particular from Search Engines. This can help potential readers, subscribers and even potential sponsors find you blog easily and quickly. You don’t need to be a pro at technology or SEO to make your blog SEO friendly. I have a two part post which you can check out which will give you tips on how you can easily make your blog more SEO friendly. Check out Part 1 and Part 2. 

Be Active

Being active is one of the most important parts of blogging if you want to grow your blog. I mention this one a lot but only because it is extremely important. There are two ways through which you can stay active on WordPress.
First, you need to be active on your own blog. Posts at scheduled times instead of randomly. A lot of people want to support your blog but they will find it very difficult to do so if they don’t know when you’re going to post next or if you’re even going to post again. I mean this in the nicest way possible- there are literally thousands of blogs out there and most people are not going to stick around and check your blog every day hoping you post something.
For more on how to schedule your post for the optimum number of traffic and following click here. 
The second way to be active is to be active on other blogs. As I mentioned above there are thousands of blogs out there and you need to make sure yours get noticed. The best way to get other bloggers to come over to your blog is to make sure you also visit theirs and leave a like or comment. However, please do not spam them with “follow my blog/check out my blog” comments because this will achieve the opposite of what you are attempting to do. Most bloggers I know either delete such comments or block the blog.

Free Features

WordPress offers so many amazing features even if you are on the free plan. Even though you will get more features and things with the upgraded plans like plugins there are still some features you can take advantage of if you don’t want to upgrade yet.
One of the most useful features that your blog has is your tags section. Tags allow readers to find your posts when they search for certain topics. For example, if I have used the correct tags for this post then this post will come up when some searches “how to get more traffic” on their WordPress reader.
Tags also allow search engines to find your posts as well as to figure out what your keywords/niche for the post is. This means that your post will show up when people search for certain topics. It is of course very difficult to get to the top search pages but it’s not impossible if you use the correct tags and make your posts SEO friendly.
If you don’t think tags are important let me share a little personal story with you guys. You know I normally use tags and all that but a few months back before the pandemic when I still had in-school classes I got super busy and forgot to add any tags to one of my posts. I realised in about half an hour and instantly added the tags but the damage was done to an extent. I got significantly less views, likes and comments even though this post was in a category that is the most popular on my blog.
You can check out my post on how to use tags properly by clicking here.
Other features include things like media. Posts that have images, gifs etc are much more fun to read and will keep your audiences attention. Take advantage of the free images and gifs that WordPress offers and use these for your posts.

Interact

Interacting with fellow bloggers is also an essential part of blogging. Again by interact I do not mean spam their comments section. I can not emphasize enough how incredibly annoying this is. There are multiple other ways you can interact with other bloggers.
You can interact with bloggers on your own blog posts when they leave comments. I think your comments section is one of the most important parts of your blog. When you interact positively with other bloggers on your comments section they feel as though their opinion is valued and that you care about what they have to say- which you should! This will make sure that they become loyal readers and loyal followers rather than dormant readers/followers that visit your posts once in a blue moon.
You should also try to make your blog posts more interactive. Try to do some fun activities once in a while, some tags that they can be a part of, take a survey to see what they have to say or simply ask them how they are doing. I have noticed that a lot of people on WordPress really enjoy socialising with one another and one of the best parts of WordPress is how social everyone is. So embrace this and socialise as much as possible with your readers and subscribers.
Another way to interact is on their posts. This is probably the fastest way to grow your traffic and following in my opinion and the best part is you can actually make a connection with people and end up becoming friends which has happened to me with quite a few bloggers and I am so grateful for that! Leave a like or comment on their post. Make sure the comment is relevant and also open ended so you can have a little conversation in their comments section. This is super fun but can be time consuming sometimes.
You can also interact with bloggers on other online platforms. I think social media is great for connecting with other bloggers. It’s also a great way to support one another apart from supporting each other on WordPress. Having someone share your blog on their social media pages can really help increase your traffic. You can also join online groups for bloggers. Some people create groups for bloggers where people share tips, posts etc. Sharing your posts on such groups can help you increase your traffic too.
However, this again can be time consuming and from my experience sometimes these groups turn into people just sharing their posts non-stop without actually looking at other peoples posts. It can also be a bit annoying to keep receiving messages from the group.

Be Genuine

No matter what you do, do it in a genuine manner. Write genuine posts that you actually have an interest. Do not force yourself to write a post just because the topic is popular. Write about things you care about and your audience will appreciate that your writing is authentic and genuine.
Also, be genuine when you interact with other bloggers. Don’t leave cliche “great post” comments. Comment something about the post or about what the post discusses. You can also ask them a question or tell them what you found interesting about the post.

Thoughts

What are some of the ways through which you get more traffic? Have you used any of the tips I mentioned above to gain traffic and if so has it worked? Do you know how to use all your features properly? Do you market your blog? What is the best way you have found to increase your traffic? Do you use social media to help gain traffic on your blog/to market you blog?

Related Posts

How To Get More Followers
How To Get More Traffic
How To Make Money Blogging


For similar posts click here.
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Advice For New Bloggers #2

Advice For New Blogger Continued

A while ago I wrote a post with advice for new bloggers and that post was strictly to help them stay careful, safe and to better understand blogging. You can read that post by clicking here. 
I think when it comes to blogging there are some things you can only pick up on once you have been blogging for a while and since I have been picking up on some stuff over the years I like sharing it with everyone- especially newer bloggers.
A lot of times people seem to have this notion that doing stuff on the internet is easier than traditional work or that it’s a way to get rich quick. Although this is the case for very few people, the majority of people take a lot longer and have to work incredibly hard to grow their platform and actually do this full time.
Today, I decided to share some do’s and don’t’s for new bloggers because as I mentioned there are some things that you do not really pick up until you have been blogging for a while. These are some things that will help you grow your blog, increase your following and traffic and also in general just make your whole blogging experience better- at least I hope it will!

Do’s

Be Active

I think if you pick up one thing from this post let it be this- be active as much as you possibly can. Let me explain it a little better. There are two ways you can and in my opinion should be active on WordPress if you are trying to grow your blog.
The first way you need to be active is on your own blog. Make sure you are posting on a regular and scheduled basis. By regular and scheduled I don’t mean you have to post everyday although daily posting does have it’s benefits. What I mean is post as often as you can- maybe everyday, maybe every other day, maybe once a week or even once a month- just make sure you post it at the same time every day/week/month.
A lot of your followers probably follow multiple people and let’s be honest if you post at random times they are likely not going to see all your posts and most people will not go out of their way to see if you have posted something new recently. Therefore, posting at the same time or at least having some kind of schedule for each post makes a huge difference- it does not get you random followers/readers but rather loyal followers/readers. To find out how to schedule your post for maximum followers and traffic click here. 
The next way to stay active is to be active on other blogs. I say this on almost every blogging advice post I make but blogging is a two way street and WordPress is a community that thrives on the support of one another. If you do not support other blogs you can not expect them to support you in the long run. I’m not saying comment on every single post ever created but notice who comments on your blog posts regularly and comment on theirs as well. Like the posts of other people. Most importantly, like and comment on posts that don’t already follow you as well- try to visit at least 5-20 new blogs a day depending on how much time you have.

Be Nice

I sort of can’t believe I need to specifically mention this but to be honest I have gotten so much hate this year that I just wanted to talk about this a little. Just to put it in a short and simple way- if you don’t have anything nice to say than don’t say anything. There are thousands of blogs out there so if you come across one that you don’t like/agree with than simply don’t like the post, don’t follow the blog and if you are so offended by the content block them.
Leaving hate effects people a lot more than some people realise and just going by my personal experience I just want to say you never know what is going on with the person in real life, how they are feeling, whether they suffer from certain mental health problems etc and your comment may truly effect them and their well being.
There is nothing wrong with leaving feedback- just remember to do it in a positive way without personally attacking the person. I would also recommend not doing it in the comments section as this can feel like an attack- instead reach out personally via email or social media. And please remember to be kind to one another.

Research Research RESEARCH

One thing I have picked up as a history major is to always do your research because research is the only way to truly learn.There is so much work that goes into creating a blog and so much more work that goes into actually running it.
One of the things I regret most when it comes to blogging is not doing enough research early on because now I have to keep going back and changing things which is extremely time consuming and frustrating. I also did not take advantage of the features that WordPress offers and I so wish I had.
But don’t be like me- do your research, figure out how to use everything, how to make your posts SEO friendly etc and most importantly make sure you have a plan for what you want your blog to become in two years time so that you’re not just putting out random posts for the sake of it but rather are working towards a goal. If you are just blogging to put out random posts than definitely go for it but if you want your blog to have a direction you may want to think ahead.

Make The Most Of Everything

Seriously, make the most of EVERYTHING. WordPress offers so many amazing features even on the free plan and you should definitely take advantage of everything it offers. This is where the research part comes in again- know exactly what you are being offered so that you can take advantage of it and use it to grow your blog. If you use your features correctly your blog will grow so much faster.
Another things I would recommend making the most of is the WP community. We are so lucky to have a much more positive, interactive and genuine community compared to a lot of platforms and don’t let that go to waste. Interact with others, get to know fellow bloggers, talk to new people and make the most of your blogging experience.

Take Your Time

Blogging is not a race or a make money quick scheme. I know it sounds a little corny but when it comes to blogging it’s more about the journey than the final destination. It takes time to grow your blog, to get to where you want to be when it comes to your followers and traffic count. It’s a lot of hard work and it takes a lot of patience, dedication, planning and enthusiasm however at least in my opinion it is so worth the hard work.
I think a lot of people kind of think when they start out that they are going to grow immediately without having to put too much work into it. That they will instantly get at least a few hundred views and followers. I myself am guilty of believing my blog would grow faster than it did. But I quickly learnt that it does not work like that. You need to put out quality content, be active and work really hard.

Don’t’s

Leave Spam Comments

The reason I mentioned this first is because it seems like over the last few months there has been a large rise in the amount of spam comments that bloggers are leaving. I don’t know if it is just my blog but I do not remember getting these many spam like comments on my posts before.
There are a number of spam comments. Firstly, there the obvious spam that is not from another blogger but just left by random people on the internet. Immediately delete these and do not click on the links they leave as some of them are viruses.
The next kind of spam is something that annoys me the most. The blogger will leave a comment while completely ignoring your post and will pretty much advertise their blog on your comments section. Unfortunately, I can’t find one of the screenshots I had taken but this person pretty much ignored my post and commented something along the lines of “Hi, I have a blog about blah blah blah please go check it out” and left a link to their blog.
Another things people will do is leave a very generic “Nice post. Go check out my blog.”, “Great post. Go follow, like and comment on my blog.” or something very similar to those two. The last thing I wanted to mention is probably the most shady spam comment. They basically leave a comment and sign their name (which there is nothing wrong with- the next part is the problem) and in this name they leave a do-follow or no-follow link. People basically use your posts to get free backlinks when if done in an ethical way they would be paying you between $5-$100.
My point is, don’t leave spam comments. One, because people are not stupid and know exactly what you’re doing- they may be polite to you but they know. Two, it’s just a mean thing to do because everyone I know puts a lot of work into their posts and to completely disregard their posts and instead try to get backlinks for your blog is just an awful thing to do. Three, it’s annoying and people will block you which means you will probably be losing more traffic and followers than you are getting. Four, leaving a genuine comment goes a long way. Instead of wasting time with spam comments why not just leave a genuine comment because most people are likely to respond and go over to your blog if they enjoyed talking to you.

Bully People

Unfortunately, there are bullies everywhere and although I would argue that the majority of the people on WordPress are friendly and lovely people in general there are still some that are not. I remember reading a post a while ago where someone actually told the blogger that they were “selfish” for not supporting someones blog that supported their blog.
Yes, WordPress is a two way street but that does not mean that people have to support other people no matter what. Most of us have lives outside of WP and have things to do other than blogging and it’s just not possible to read every single post of every single person who likes and comments on your blog.
The lesson here is that don’t emotionally blackmail people or bully people into supporting your blog. If they want to support it they will and if they don’t want to they have every right not to. Also don’t support other people hoping for something in return- support others because you genuinely like their content.

Stop Being Passionate

It’s hard to come up with new ideas for posts all the time and writers block is quite common. A lot of people feel exhausted after a few weeks of regular blogging because like I said it can be very hard work. If you feel like you are running out of ideas for blogging than take a break. Don’t force it. Write when you are truly passionate and write about what you love because it honestly makes a huge difference and your readers will be able to tell the difference.

Give Up!

I wanted to end this post by saying DON’T GIVE UP! It takes time so be passionate and keep working hard. I know at times you will feel like what’s the point maybe I should just stop blogging but don’t. It’s so important to stay passionate because over time your blog will grow and eventually you will reach your goals!

Thoughts

I want to apologise for the longer post- I actually got rid of a bunch of stuff while editing but it still ended up being a bit longer than usual but I just had a lot to say and I didn’t want to write a two part post of Do’s and Don’t’s separately.
What is one piece of advice you would give to new bloggers? Have you ever received spam comments and if you have how do you deal with them? Have you noticed an increase in spam like comments? Are you a new blogger or an older blogger? What is one thing you would recommend that bloggers never do? Have you ever received hate comments and if so how did you deal with them?

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Advice For New Bloggers

Advice For New Bloggers

A few weeks ago a new blogger reached out to me and shared her story with me about the problems she faced as a new blogger. She suggested that since I write advice posts for bloggers all the time that I should write one for new bloggers so that they can avoid what she went through. I thought this was a really good idea because when I started out with blogging there was a lot of things that I wish someone had told me.
Unlike most of my advice posts, this one is not specifically aimed at growing your blog, gaining followers, or increasing your traffic. Instead, I thought I would write some general advice for new bloggers or people who are thinking about starting a blog. As someone who has been blogging for quite a few years now I have been lucky enough to pick up on quite a few things and I have also been through a lot of things with my blog which made me wish someone had given me a warning about certain things.
Blogging can be difficult especially if you are not super into technology or with the internet. It can also sometimes be a bit dangerous so I have put in some tips that will help you to blog in a safer manner because let’s be honest there are some not so nice people out there hoping to scam unsuspecting people. Although this post if for newer bloggers I think most of the tips I have mentioned are things that all bloggers should keep in mind whether they are newer or older bloggers.
Here are the five tips that I think you should always keep in mind especially when you are starting a blog:

Be Careful


The first thing I want to say is BE CAREFUL. Even though the WordPress community is really lovely in general you still need to be very careful especially when you start out because there will be people out there who will try to take advantage of you or perhaps don’t have your best interest at heart.
For example, one of the things I have seen recently is the rise of MLM’s and in case you are not familiar with what an MLM is- it’s multi-level marketing or rather something that is scarily close to a pyramid scheme. Recruiters often target vulnerable people such as people who are not familiar with the internet or that particular platform so as a newbie you will probably get at least a few messages and emails from these huns. I had no idea about this when I first started out but I am glad I did not fall for it because I was contacted by multiple MLM huns. For more on MLM’s and why they should be avoided click here. 
Another example is that if someone ever tries to sell you something please make sure they are legitimate people and are selling you legitimate products or services because like I said there are a lot of scammers out there. Also be careful of people asking you for personal information, your credit card number, your debit card number, where you live, your address, your phone number or pretty much anything like that. I know this is something most people are aware of but there are some people who are quite trusting and if you are like that please lookout for these.

Do Your Research


Before you start a blog do as much research as you possibly can. I know that there is this weird general belief that blogging or anything like that which people do online is easier than other more traditional work but that is honestly so far from the truth. With blogging there are so many little things that you need to know. Even just figuring out how WordPress works, how to make most of the features and how to even use the features takes a few weeks to a few months to figure out.
I admit it is very rewarding once you figure everything out but to be honest blogging is still difficult. You need to put so much work into it, you need to post regularly, stay active on both your blog and other blogs, reply to comments every day and so much more. Before you start a blog just know what you are getting into. You will most likely not have instant success, in fact, it may even take months before your blog starts to grow at a steady pace.
Another thing you need to research is your blog itself. What I mean by this is that do your research about your own blog. For example, if you have a particular name in mind Google that name and see what comes up to make sure that there are no sites already using that name or a similar name. Sometimes your blogs name may be very close to another sites name and it may direct unwanted traffic to your blog such as if the other site is an adult site. You should also check for the name on all social media platforms as you may want to start a page for your blog with the same name but that may already exist on certain platforms.

Have A 5 Year Plan


Before you start your blog think about where you want to be in five years. I wish someone had told me this before I started my blog because I really was not thinking ahead and now I’m kind of stuck here kicking myself for not doing certain things when I first started out. For example, look into SEO as early as possible because it is almost impossible to make your site SEO friendly after you have been blogging for a long time. Trust me, it’s a lot of work and your future self will thank you for looking into SEO early on.
Look into what topics you want to write about and look at what the top pages that show up on search engines when you search that topic are doing. Of course do not copy their work but make sure to look at how they layout their articles, what topics they write on, what key words they are using and more. You can learn a lot from your “competition” and it can really help make your blog more successful and grow faster from the start.

Ask For Help


Do not be afraid to ask for help. As I have mentioned throughout this article and as I mention all the time on my other posts as well- blogging is difficult. It is definitely a whole process even setting up your blog to begin with and do not even get me started on writing your first blog post which can honestly be a nightmare for most people who are not exactly amazing at all things technology.
When you first start out with blogging, Google really becomes your best friend because you will definitely be Googling everything every ten seconds in order to figure out how to do pretty much anything and everything. Don’t worry it does get easier over time once you get used to how WordPress works. But at the beginning it is difficult.
Now the problem with Googling everything is that sometimes Google won’t have the specific stuff you are looking for and even if it does have articles on exactly what you are looking for it may not show them thanks to the who SEO thing which unfortunately means that the stuff that is SEO friendly is at the front of Google and everything else, no matter how good and helpful it is, gets pushed to the back.
Therefore don’t be afraid to reach out to the WordPress helpers who are there to help you out in such situations and are usually extremely helpful. I would also recommend reading up on my blogging advice section as it does have a lot of tips and tricks that new bloggers may find helpful. If you have friends or family who blog on the same platform as you are currently blogging on or perhaps are just tech savvy reach out to them and ask them for help. I would also recommend reaching out to bloggers that have been blogging for longer than you have as they likely have figured most things out and I doubt anyone would say no if you ask them for help.

Be Patient


The last piece of advice that I want to leave you with is be patient. Unless you are extremely lucky or just really good at blogging success does not happen overnight. I know that a lot of times when you start writing online you expect to have traffic and followers the minute your first blog post goes up- I knew I kind of did- but it does not really work like that. It takes a lot of time and hard work to get to that point so if you are not instantly successful don’t freak out. There is nothing wrong with you or your writing. It just takes a while to build a loyal following and get loyal readers and once you do all the hard work will have been worth it.
If you are someone who is looking for instant success blogging on WordPress may not be for you. I’m not saying there is absolutely no way you will instantly get a huge following and traffic I’m just saying it’s very unlikely you will blow up overnight even if you are doing everything by the book.
Take your time to learn how WordPress works, what works for you and your blog, how to use all the features to get to your optimum amount of traffic and following etc. Every blog is unique and it will take a while to get the hang of what works for your blog and where you want your blog to head in the future.

Thoughts

Are you a newer blogger or an older blogger? If you could give new bloggers advice what would it be? Did you find this post helpful? Has anyone ever tried to scam you via your blog or social media pages? What is one thing you wish you had known before you started blogging? Let me know in the comments below because you know I always enjoy talking to your guys. If you don’t want to answer the questions just stop by and say hi!

Related Posts

How To Get More Followers
How To Get More Traffic
How To Make Money Blogging


For similar posts click here.
If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment!
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Email me on (guest posts welcome!): insomniacwithanaccent@gmail.com