Five Lessons I’ve Learned from Five Years of Blogging

When you first start blogging, everything’s a mystery.  At least for me it was.  When I wrote my very first blog post on my very first blog, I had no idea the massive amount of work and learning that lied ahead of me.  Fast forward five years, and I’d like to think I’ve picked up a few things here and there.

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Pictures Pictures Pictures

We all know that blogging is about the writing, and of course that’s important.  But if there’s only one thing I’ve learned in the last five years, it’s that you need to have a photo in every post.  People’s attention is drawn to visuals, and blocks of text with no interruption can be pretty intimidating.  That said, the photos need to be relevant.  Nothing drives me more nuts than reading a post about blogging with a random picture of the author smiling at the camera.

If you’re not really into photography, there are some great websites with free stock photos that you can do whatever you want with.  I use Unsplash when I don’t have my own photos for a post.

No-Reply Commenter 

There have been plenty of great posts written about this already, so I won’t add to it except to say that I had when I get a really awesome comment, and I want to have a conversation with the blogger but when I do, I get a little message back saying my message couldn’t be sent.  It’s so disappointing, and I’m sure I missed out on plenty of awesome friendships by being a no-reply commenter myself at one time.

About Me

It took my until about my third blog to figure this out, but if someone’s reading your lifestyle blog, they want to know more about you.  When I check out a new blog, after reading the most recent post, the first thing I do is look for an about me page so I can learn more about the person who’s “talking” to me.

Social Media

This one took me seriously years to figure out.  Now that I am using it though, I can tell how important it is.  Every day, Twitter is the second biggest reference to my site (Bloglovin’ being the first), with Facebook and Pinterest close behind. Blogging is all about engaging with your readers, and social media is the best way to do that outside of daily posts.

Basic Design

I’m the last person to preach HTML and design because trust me, I don’t know any of it.  What I can do though is make a blog button, working social media buttons, put Passionfruit ads on my site, and Google basic HTML that I need to make my blog work the way I want it to.

One basic example that I can’t tell you how much I’ve used is linking a button on your blog (ex. social media buttons).

<a href=”LINK TO YOUR SITE HERE” target=”_blank”><img src=”PHOTOBUCKET DIRECT LINK TO PHOTO HERE”/></a>

Those couple lines of HTML can make a huge difference on your blog, and I think it’s something that not a whole lot of people tell you unless you pay for a blog design.


So what about you?  What are some blogging tips you wish you’d known when you started blogging? Let me know on Twitter at #whatbloggingtaughtme

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06844244923301263555 Jessica Orlowicz

    Couldn’t agree more, especially about this pictures. It’s the first thing I say to my girlfriends who start blogs – ‘take good pictures and make them LARGE in the post’.

    http://www.jessicarachelorlo.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09691013839639497089 Kasi

    These are great tips, thanks so much for sharing them :)

  • http://thewinestain.com/ thewinestain.com

    I have started like a million blogs. It’s hard to find your voice! These are some great tips I’m going to consider in making this new blog my last blog. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13117430097721021760 Kelly George

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13117430097721021760 Kelly George

    Accidentally deleted that. . .sorry. I said something along the lines of not knowing how important networking with other bloggers was. All of the people who commented on posts ended up being bloggers. Crazy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04526288851432270960 Marielle Green

    I’m with you on the social media. I joined Twitter solely because of blogging. Half of my traffic is from social media referrals. It’s crazy and I love/hate it. Practically every tweet I see is some kind of self-promotion or another link.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11342501606667667183 Jasmin Charlotte

    This is really helpful – thanks so much for sharing! :)

    Jasmin Charlotte

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06811198201056348245 steph5

    I agree with you! Those 5 tips are very important for blogging. I’m pushing myself to become a better photographer for my posts. I think that’s important and something that your readers take in consideration.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15595930653715104709 Randell Scism

    Thank you so much for this post! Very helpful. It is completely overwhelming coming into this “blogging world.” I have no idea where to even start!