10 do's and don'ts of blogging and other free blog tips

I started this blog 3 years ago this month. I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going. I learned a lot along the way so here are a few simple blogging tips that I have picked up through trial and error.

1.) Have comments sent to your email. This makes it super easy to respond to your readers comments and questions. Responding to readers is so important. They take the time to read, subscribe and comment so keep those lines of communication open. To do this, go to "settings" "mobile and email" and enter your email address in the box for comment notification email.

2.) Turn off your captcha. If you love comments, turn that darn thing off. It's easy to get rid of spam comments by deleting them as they come in. You won't get hundreds a day or even per month so make it easy for readers to leave some comment love.

3.) Promote your blog posts on your social networks such as facebook, twitter and pinterest. This is a great way to bring traffic and to update those that don't have Google accounts or RSS feed. I read a ton of blogs and sometimes I miss posts in my feed readers so when I see your updates elsewhere, I'm always thankful that I didn't miss out.

4.)Make friends with other bloggers. I have several blogging friends that I don't know what I would do without. Bounce ideas off each other, collaborate on posts, help each other in blog design or anything you can do to support one another.

5.) Post big photos. Not too high resolution or they'll take time to load but post nice big pics so we can see all of the details!

6.) Declutter the side bar from time to time. Avoid too many pointless gadgets and pictures and please ditch that music player all together! Music can be shared on blogs in a post, with a button that a reader can click if they choose to listen to it. A human brain cannot read and listen to music at the same time and still give equal attention to both.

7.) Have a way to contact you If a company wants to sponsor or have you review a product, if a reader wants to say hi or has a question- make sure you have an email address that's easy to find.

8.) Have all of your social networks and other sites match your blog name. Twitter, facebook, pinterest, etsy, etc should all match your blog so your readers can easily connect with you elsewhere.

9.) Comment on other blogs. Show the love and support for other bloggers by leaving comments. It's good for your traffic, good for the community and it brightens someone else's day!

10.) Have a clean blog design. Use colors and fonts that are easy on the eyes


1.) Feed into negative comments or let them get to you. I don't know why people feel the need to act like jerks to total stranger but sometimes they do it. Just delete that crap or move on...or both! I've had plenty of negative comments on here and I'm sure I'll get more. Some of them are just constructive criticism so think about those ones and see what you can improve on. Others aren't worth a second glance.

2.) Obsess over your statistics. Sure, do keep an eye on them to see what people like and get ideas on how to improve your blog but spend that valuable time wisely.

3.) Post without a photo We love pretty pictures! They grab a readers attention and make the blog a stimulating read. Always post at least one visual item to go with your text.

4.) Cry when you lose a follower It happens to all of us. Don't take it personal when your number drops. Some people lose interest in the subject matter, they are too busy for blogs, etc. It rarely has anything to do with the blog author, I promise!

5.) Blog about your job or personal details There's a fine line between being personable and sharing too much information. My rule of thumb is: if I wouldnt mind my little brother, grandmother, boss and mother in law reading it, then I can post it.

6.) Be afraid to reach out to other bloggers Most bloggers that I have met either in person or online are very friendly! Drop them a line and say hello some time

7.) Waste too much time with affiliate programs. Affiliate link posts take an eternity to write and rarely yield a lot of profit. If you want to monetize your blog, try selling your own ad space or getting a few legitimate paid posts that your readers would enjoy.

8.)Post your links in a spammy way. It's totally acceptable to link to your blog in a comment but make sure that the comment is relevant, substantial and genuine. Instead of using www.myblog.blogspot.com try this code in your comment
This will appear as your blog name only, with a clickable link.

9.)Spend your life on the computer. Spend a few minutes each morning (or evening) with your social networking. Use sites like Hootsuite to set up tweets and facebook updates to post automatically. When you're not on the computer, you can spend time with family, being creative and thinking about your next great post.

10.) Blog if you're not loving it. Some days, we all get in a mood and we just aren't feeling it anymore. A successful blog is extremely rewarding but only if you're still having fun! If you get in a blogging funk, reassess your blog goals. Think about why you started your blog, what you really want out of it and maybe give it a re-design. It's always okay to take a blog break!

Learn everything I know about blogging and DIY blog design with my ecourse Bloggerific: A Guide to a Beautiful, Successful Blog