[LET’S CHAT] You Don’t Need to Follow All the Blogging Advice

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I know what you’re thinking.

“But, Mikaela, you’re giving all this blogging advice this month! What are you talking about???” But, here’s the thing: all blogging advice does not work for everyone. I know that. In the (almost) six months I’ve been blogging, there’s been some helpful advice I’ve taken or should’ve taken sooner, and there’s been some advice that I just ignored. And I survived.

So, I wanted to talk a little about some of the advice that helped me in my blogging career, and some of the advice that I had different experiences with or just aren’t “me” things, because I love talking about my experiences just in case someone else is panicking about these things and doesn’t feel alone, I guess? But let’s get to it!

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1. You must comment back to create relationships.

I have never commented back. Like, ever. And even though I want to work on doing it more, I know that I probably won’t do it ALL the time. I know that, if I’m being honest with myself, commenting back just isn’t my thing. And I know there are some bloggers that consider commenting back as sacred, which is great for them, and will look down on bloggers who don’t do it all the time, and oh well! But, I feel like I’ve made a lot of close blogging friends and created great conversations in my own comments section without feeling like I’m obligated to go comment on someone else’s blog just because they comment on mine. I just prefer thinking that people comment on my blog because they WANT to, and not because they want to add me as a number in their own comments section, but that’s just me!

2. To get on all the social media accounts.

Before blogging, I was anti-social media. I had zero social media accounts. Zero. So, I was really worried when I saw so many bloggers say that to get your blog out there, you need to promote on social media accounts, and listing all the ones you could use. And it was just SO MANY. So, for the first couple of months of blogging, I had no social media. And I got over 150+ followers and pretty good stats and e-ARCs from Netgalley that I was dying for. So don’t feel like your lack of social media means that your blog will never thrive.

3. To ask for ARCs at the 6-month, 500 followers deadline.

I know when I wanted to request physical ARCs, I was SO NERVOUS. I read, like, probably hundreds of “How To” posts, and so many of them said that you should wait until you’ve been blogging for six months and have at least 500 followers. I ended up requesting for physical ARCs after three months, and probably a little over 200 followers. Though I ended up only getting e-ARCs of some of the physical ARCs I requested, I DID end up getting my first ever physical ARC from St. Martin’s Press, and that was He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly! So, don’t stress about it. Who knows what will happen?

4. Do memes to reach out as a newbie.

Lots of veteran bloggers usually recommend doing memes to reach out, and I tried to do that, but, unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it! And I was bored with checking out other people’s WWW Wednesdays. And I didn’t even really meet any fellow bloggers that way. So it’s perfectly fine to not want to join in on the meme hype if you’re a newbie blogger. I gave up on it after posting just a couple of them every week in favor of more original content, and, eventually, it increased my readership to what it is today, so it works out in the end!

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1. Make a blogging schedule.

I’m going to talk about this more in a separate post next month, but when I first started out, I didn’t have a blogging schedule. I just posted sporadically, at different times every day, and it was a terrible idea. I once posted three reviews three days in a row, and the third day I posted, my review only conjured up 5 views. 5 VIEWS. It wasn’t until March where I created a blogging schedule, and it wasn’t until mid-April that I created one that I really enjoyed, and I still keep up to till this day! Personally, it’s something that’s really worked well for me, especially as a planner and one who likes to get ahead.

2. Be consistent.

Again, was definitely not consistent when I started out. Oops. But I know that I really prefer posting things that people expect on the days that people expect them. And I know I’m more likely to follow and pay attention to a blog where I know how many posts I’m expecting from them each week or month. It’s always personal preference, because I know there are some people who are sporadic and that’s just who they are.

3. Write a lot of discussion posts.

Okay, not A LOT. But some. Or maybe even one a month. But discussion posts are not only my favorite posts to read and comment from other bloggers, but pretty much everyone can relate to them, and, it’s true, they do a wonder for your stats. I personally love writing them, and I love the discussions they produce, and I probably won’t stop.

4. Get on Twitter.

I resisted getting on Twitter forever because as someone who’s not on Twitter, just letting you know, it’s viewed as a cesspool (other people’s words, not mine!). BUT, I went ahead and did it. Still not my favorite social media, but it’s a very nice platform for sharing things and getting things out there for other bloggers!

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And those are just some of my experiences with blogging advice!

But, really, you don’t need to! Even with my advice you don’t need to listen to it and do EXACTLY what it says, unless you feel like it’ll work for you. It’s YOUR blog, therefore you can do whatever you want with it, whether other people like it or don’t – which is totally awesome.

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Just another quick reminder that we are in Phase 2 of the Big Blogger, Little Blogger Project, where we dedicate an entire post on our own blog to the Little Blogger we’ve been supporting! If you don’t know what I’m talking about or aren’t very clear about it, the link to the instructions is here! Whenever you publish it, just link it back to one of my posts so I can see it and take note of it! I’m hoping to post the masterpost sometime in July, so hopefully you can get them done in time!

Let's Chat

How do you feel about blogging advice? What are some pieces of blogging advice that you followed or didn’t follow?

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51 thoughts on “[LET’S CHAT] You Don’t Need to Follow All the Blogging Advice

  1. This was a great. I feel the same way about commenting back. I comment on someone’s post because I genuinely read their post and want to add to the conversation. I hope that when people comment on my blog it’s for similar reasons!

    I recently created a Twitter account and I am still trying to figure it out!

    I have been loving this advice posts. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, exactly! I’ve attempted to force comments on people’s posts before, and it wasn’t good, so I don’t think it’d be good to force it anywhere else!

      Yeah, same, I’ve been on Twitter for months, and I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing still! πŸ˜‚

      Aw, thank you! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree not all social media works. Twitter and Instagram is best. Facebook, it’s not working for me. I haven’t done any book tags or memes yet. It’s been 2 months I started blogging and I’m still struggling with in blogging and reading balance. It will take little more time for me to schedule everything properly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’ve heard Facebook is meh for promotion, so I didn’t even bother with it! Haha, don’t worry; I still have no idea how to balance reading and blogging! πŸ˜‚ Making a blogging schedule definitely does take time! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with this– there are no strict rules to book blogging!! I especially like your point about social media. I only have a bookish presence on Instagram and Twitter because those are the ones I like the best. I don’t really like Facebook even for my own personal use, so I’ve never thought about starting a book blog account.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are definitely no strict rules to book blogging! Yeah, I don’t have a social media presence everywhere – there are some people who are great at balancing 382882 social platforms, and I’m not one of them! πŸ˜‚ Yeah, I’ve never had Facebook before, and I’d didn’t want to start, so I decided it just wasn’t my thing! Thank you! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m with you on memes. I just don’t have the time or energy to fill out every meme questionnaire that I get tagged in! That’s some precious time I could otherwise spend reading, writing a review or reading some friends blog posts. I used to feel a lot of guilt over it, but then I realized that the memes really aren’t that important. They’re just another way of networking with other bloggers, which I was doing anyway via conversations throughout the community.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s definitely true! It can create a sense of community, but you can do that in other ways! And I felt the same way! Doing WWW Wednesdays was boring and started feeling like a chore, so I got rid of it and made space for something else to fill in my schedule, and that’s been working for me! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Blogging advice can help, but in the end you just have to do what you like. I don’t have a lot of social media accounts and don’t participate in all the memes. When someone comments on my blog, I do often check out theirs and if I like their content I will comment back. This however shouldn’t feel like an obligation. And I do love discussion posts and having some kind of schedule is nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s definitely true! If it makes someone happy to follow the advice of all blog posts they enjoy, then they can, but if they don’t like it, they don’t have to conform! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Totally agree we’re all different so we don’t have to follow all the same advice. I love doing the memes and want to try a discussion post sometime and I like the idea of doing a it once a month rather than weekly. Just have to come up with something interesting to discuss! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I used to do monthly discussion posts, but after seeing how much I loved writing them and the reception I got, I started doing them more often! I’ll be having a tutorial on how to write discussions coming this Sunday, so that might help you! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it’s important to comment on other blogs in general, but, yeah, you don’t need to comment back just because someone commented on your blog. Though I will check out the blogs of people who, say, comment on literally everything I post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I definitely comment on other blogs, but commenting back is something I suck at! That’s also true! I’m more likely to check out the blog of someone who has commented on a lot of my posts over someone who decides to comment with one sentence! πŸ˜„

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  8. I’ve used blogging advice as a guideline, but in the end, I do things that way I want to do them. I received my first physical arc before I was even a blogger so the whole 6-month, 500 followers thing isn’t a must by any means! I can appreciate publishers might want to send books out to people more “professional” and known in the industry, but it’s not always the case.

    I didn’t have Twitter or IG for a while, and tbh, I barely even use Twitter, other than to post my blogs and thank publishers for arcs! I like to use IG though, just because I appreciate photography πŸ™‚

    Great post as always, Mikaela!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s true! I’ve seen blogs that are super small still get Netgalley ARCs that I’m not even accepted for, so it’s really all up in the air! I wish publishers would just tell us what THEY accept in terms of stats and followers specifically, but they’d rather keep us in the dark! πŸ˜‚

      Yeah, I feel like I mainly use my Twitter to promote my blog posts and announce things! I appreciate photography as well; I loved looking at everyone’s pictures on there!

      Thank you! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I was the same last month! I hadn’t a schedule planned and it was a messed but now I try to brainstorm ideas to post here and basically try to write post earlier and it had helped me so much!
    Still not the best on social media, tho… πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yeah, I was definitely a hot mess without a schedule! I know that some people can go without blogging schedules, BUT THAT IS NOT ME. πŸ˜‚ I don’t feel like I’m good at social media either, so we’re in this together! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey it’s great to know what advise actually helped you! We like to hope that people comment on our posts because they genuinely want to – like we do!
    We’re still in this phase where we are inconsistent with our posts (we don’t want to be πŸ˜…) but hopefully we can find a solution to that and soon πŸ˜‰

    Love your Let’s Chat Posts πŸ‘ŒπŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, exactly! I’d just rather have two comments on a post than fifty just because people expect me to comment back in return! And you will! It took me a couple of months to get there, but it’s fine if you don’t! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We like to comment back on all (kinda?) comments on our posts, because yes we get loads but someone took their time (we hope) to share their thoughts with us and we’ve been brought up not to be rude… How can we when there only seems to be awesome people around!!πŸ€“πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

        But when we comment on other peoples posts it always because we have something to say! Usually just Fangirling…πŸ˜…

        Aww thanks!! ❀ We needed that – ‘cuz we’re just so all over the place πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Love this post, Mikaela! I try to comment back, but because I feel like since people are supporting ME by commenting, I want to show support back. But I don’t do it on EVERY comment from people who don’t follow me — that would be horribly exhausting! XD And I’ve participated in no memes whatsoever (yet) or had any social media, and I’d say I’m pretty successful! πŸ˜› And THANK YOU for that ARC thing!!! I’ve been wanting to get physical ARCs, but I saw all that stuff about six months of blogging, 400/500 followers and was like O.o. Though I’m already at 500 and soon to be at six months, haha! I’m really nervous about reaching out for ARCs, though, since 1) never done it, and 2) I don’t post many reviews on my blog, just Goodreads, which may not be preferred by publishers.

    Blogging schedules are SOOOO helpful! I don’t know where I’d be without one. XD And *cries* I don’t have Twitter! I know it’s super helpful for promoting your blog (though not NECESSARY), but my parents are a little… overprotective. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It would be exhausting! I feel like I just can’t find the time, and I also suck at keeping up with blogs I do follow, so trying to comment back on ones I don’t would just be a lot more work!

      Yeah, I’m going to be at the 6 month mark in a few days and I already have 500 followers, so yeah, I guess??? πŸ˜‚ I wonder if I’d have a better chance at getting physical ARCs now, but since I’ve pretty much gotten everything I wanted at Bookcon and I REALLY don’t need more books, I’ll just wait until winter of 2017/2018 to start e-mailing again. πŸ˜„

      I’d like to think it wouldn’t matter! I review on my blog, but don’t crosspost anywhere, and publishers have never seemed to care! I think it depends on your audience on both platforms – if you have ten friends on Goodreads, it’d be more appealing to have your reviews on your blog, and vice versa. So, I think it depends, but I’d still go for it!

      SAME! I’m going to have a post about it next month though. I think that’s fine! I gained 300 followers before Twitter, so it doesn’t matter!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m a pretty new blogger and I have SO much trouble with the consistency + planning ahead advice…it’s just something I’ve never really done with anything in my life. Also I have a lot of trouble with doubting myself, so if I try to write a post ahead of time I usually get stuck, decide it’s stupid, and never come back to it…I kind of have to do everything in one burst to get it out, which is hard to make time to do. I’ve also considered making a schedule but schedules have scared me all my life. So I suppose I still am on my journey of figuring out what works for me.

    Advice I do follow is: commenting back, because I think it’s nice to let people know I noticed them, especially since my blog is so small right now.
    I also post a lot on Twitter and occasionally on Facebook. I do really like these two forms of social media because they work on my laptop (my phone hates me so I’ve never done well with Instagram and Snapchat). I’d even like to do YouTube, but that’s a bit harder because it involves videoediting. Sometimes I think work better talking than writing, which makes me wonder if I’m getting into the right profession. XD

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel that! I have never planned ahead in anything, but when it comes to blogging, it’s just natural! I think it’s because I love it so much, that I get excited about everything to do with it, but I know it’s not for everyone! And I do the same thing! I either write and edit an entire post in one sitting, or I don’t. I can’t do half-and-half. I think it bothers me leaving things unfinished??? πŸ˜‚

      Yeah, that’s definitely good advice for a newbie! I feel like I commented way more as a newbie than I do now, which I hate. 😝 Haha, I would totally do YouTube if I wasn’t so socially anxious and awkward! Props to you if you ever get into it! πŸ˜„

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  13. This was so insightful! I definitely think the thing that’s helped me most are things you mentioned that helped you as well, like posting more consistently and writing more discussion. As far as commenting…I don’t have a hard and fast rule. If someone new comments on my blog, I definitely click over and check them out, but if I don’t feel drawn to comment on one of their posts, then I don’t – and I don’t think that makes me (or you or anyone else) a bad blogger. The reality is that responding to comments itself takes a lot of time, and then commenting back just becomes…well, it’s a lot. I think everyone’s different with this, and that’s okay too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s awesome! I feel like commenting is different for everyone – but then I see some bloggers say that if someone doesn’t comment back on their blog, they’ll stop checking it out, and that makes me overly anxious that people hate me because I can’t find time to check out some commenter’s blogs! 😬 Like, sometimes I fail to check out the blogs I actually follow – but that just might mean I’m sucky at networking! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, it’s not just you! I’ve always thought it was petty as well! My top priority for following and commenting on a blog is because I love the blog and not because I’m getting something in return – if they do, that’s great, and if not, it’s not that big of a deal to me nowadays.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Yessss, I love this so much!! I remember as a newbie blogger I was so caught up in listening to bloggers who’d been around for awhile that I was trying to do way too much. I was still a college student but ended up spending way too much time trying to make sure I was promoting on enough social media accounts, commenting back on tons of blogs, posting frequently and regularly, etc. that it was just too much and I wasn’t really enjoying myself. It’s so, so important for bloggers to realize that while giving (and taking) advice can be super helpful, what works for one blogger (or even several bloggers) isn’t going to work for everyone and there’s nothing wrong with picking and choosing which pieces of advice to try out! Great post, Mikaela!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I feel that! I used to promote my posts on Pinterest and Instagram because other bloggers said it worked, but Pinterest bored me and Instagram was SO MUCH WORK with about zero payoff! So I decided to quit on both of them a couple months ago, and I’ve still been going strong and I have more time to do stuff I want to do! It definitely is! As a newbie, I wanted to inhale all the advice, and some worked out for me and some didn’t, which was perfectly fine! πŸ˜„ Thank you! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This was such an accurate post and it summed up exactly how I feel!

    I don’t do the whole commenting back thing and I don’t expect it from others because it just feels unnatural! I comment on someone’s post when I’ve enjoyed reading and have something to say about it!

    And I used to do TTT and Top 5 Wednesday every week but after a while it felt draining to write them and to go through my reader and see 30 posts all about the same topic and find the motivation to comment! So I only ever do memes every once in a while now!

    And I really need to get on the discussion post train but I’m simply to lazy to write them πŸ˜‚

    Anyway, sorry for rambling so much but yeah I really enjoyed this post! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, exactly! I just hate the idea of people only commenting on my blog not because they like it, but because they’re eager to have me comment on theirs. It just doesn’t seem like your building relationships that way.

      Yeah, same! This past week was pretty quiet on Tuesday, which was so weird, but I remember a couple weeks back where the topic was “Most Anticipated Books for the Second Half of 2017” and I pretty much ignored all of them because a lot of them had the same books over and over again. 😝 My Reader was packed!

      Haha, that’s fine! I just love writing them, so they’re easier to churn out for me, but that might not be the same for others!

      Aw, no problem; thank you for the kind words! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I loved this post! Honestly, I’ve felt pretty guilty about not commenting back/following back? But now I feel better because YOU DO IT TOO.

    I also agree with you about memes. I feel like they might be good if you don’t have anything to post, but they are usually filler content and regarded as such. discussions are definitely more helpful (of course, I’m biased XD)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And, yeah, same! I followed back a couple of times, but I ended up not liking their blog and unfollowing soon enough. No reason to follow a blog if you don’t really like it!

      Yeah, definitely! Some are pretty good, but some are super boring, and are basically just filler! Haha, I’m biased for discussions as well! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  17. When I first started blogging, I tried to follow ALL the advice. Which.. is exhausting, and not a good idea. Now, I just kind of do… whatever haha. OH and your #3 of things you don’t follow? Oh my goodness. I agonized for literally YEARS before I requested ARCs. I still don’t know how to get them from most publishers, tbh. The meme thing actually DID help me to find other bloggers, but I think it was because I was so painfully shy that it forced me out of my bubble. (Oh, and I feel you with social media. It is draining, and often in the worst ways.)

    I think that it is SO personal- so I like that you did this post, because it really shows that what works for some people absolutely doesn’t work for others, and you have to do what works best for you as an individual. Fabulous post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s definitely super exhausting! I remember I forced myself to do WWW Wednesday when I started out, and it wasn’t fun, and I was pretty bored doing it, so I was like, “Why should I keep doing it?” ME NEITHER. I’m curious if I’d do better now that I’m about to reach 6 months and I have 500 followers, but I don’t even know. I can’t tell if people get ARCs because of their social media presence or because their blog is popular. IT’S A MYSTERY TO ME.

      Thank you so much, Shannon! ❀

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  18. This is a really well written post, Mikaela (thanks for sharing).

    I’d LOVE to write more discussion posts, it’s just that I don’t sit down and take the time to write them (for me, they’re something I want to give more time/attention to).

    Commenting back on my own blog is something I’ve always strive to do and I hear what you’re saying about memes (“I just prefer thinking that people comment on my blog because they WANT to, and not because they want to add me as a number in their own comments section, but that’s just me!”). That said, I’ve had fun with Top Ten Tuesday and have “met” lots of new bloggers with fabulous blogs (like Shannon) through such memes.

    For me, replying to comments (on my blog) is kind of like my small way of expressing appreciation to everyone who takes the time to read my little corner of the web. I also completely agree that not the same thing works for every blogger, and that’s totally fine. πŸ™‚

    I am 100% a believer in this: “Be consistent” πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you so much.

      Haha, yeah, discussion posts are so easy for me to write, personally! I know they might be harder for others, though! πŸ˜„

      No, commenting back is when you go to that person’s blog and comment on one of their posts! I do reply to comments on my blog, but that’s just not what commenting back is. πŸ˜‚

      Like

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