7 Blogging Shortcuts You Should Never Ever Take

7 Blogging Shortcuts You Should Never Ever Take | eastandblog.com

1 | Buying followers on social media

This is one of the biggest shortcuts you can take in the blogosphere. Want 10,000 twitter followers? You could have that by this afternoon. But here’s why you shouldn’t: It’s pretty obvious and these aren’t the followers you want.

I’ve seen other bloggers do this, heck, even famous people do this. Unfortunately with bloggers, it’s even more obvious. It used to blow my mind occasionally – how did this relatively new blogger have 10,000 twitter followers? Is she really funny? Is everything she says re-tweetable? If that’s not the case, they probably bought followers.

You might even think it might give you some pull with companies for sponsored posts. Spoiler alert: they know that people can buy followers. These followers or fans aren’t usually real and therefore aren’t going to engage with you or your content – which is what you really want. It’s also what companies want. Plus, doesn’t buying followers just feel a little icky and dishonest?

2 | Letting your social media be auto-updated

If you’re a WordPress user (like me – here are 8 reasons I love WordPress) you can let WordPress do all the work for you in terms of updating social media. When I click “publish” on WordPress, my post updates are automatically published to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Truth time – this is pretty much all I do with Facebook. And it shows! My engagement on Facebook is the lowest of all of my social media.

If you are going to use auto-update (as I do), make sure you are adding real-time content as well. If it’s just impossible for you to be super engaged on all social media platforms (which is hard to do if you’re balancing a full-time job or kids or both), pick one or two and really focus on those. I love Instagram and Twitter and I are pretty hot and cold. So yes, use the auto-update tools. But don’t exclusively use them.

3 | Not proofreading your posts

While the average reader may not be turned off by the occasional spelling or grammatical error, brands will be. It’s the internet. You never know who might be looking at your site. If it’s someone who is considering working with you, you want to put your best foot forward. I re-read every post multiple times (I preview it and check out how it will actually look once it’s published) before I hit publish. It might be a personal blog, but that doesn’t mean my writing can’t be professional. That said, I do use a casual writing style which is not technically proper English, but is more how I actually speak. That you can get away with in blog world.

Because I’ve included this in this list, my mother will inevitably text me pointing out a spelling or grammatical error in this post. I promise.

4 | Doing an outfit post even though it isn’t your thing

For a long time as a blogger, I was under the assumption that everyone did outfit posts. I did them too! But they weren’t my thing and it showed. Just because you fall under the giant umbrella that is “lifestyle blogging” does not mean that you have to do outfit posts. In fact, it doesn’t mean that you have to do anything that everyone else is doing. So really this goes for any type of post that everyone else is doing – link ups, round ups, etc.

For those days that you’re having writers block, yes taking pictures of your cute outfit or participating in a link up might seem faster and easier. But if fashion blogging isn’t your passion, it will show. If the link up doesn’t fit in with your content, it will feel out of place. You’re better off to write about what you care about, what you are passionate about, or skip a day.

5 | All personal posts, all the time

It’s also really easy to ramble about your own life. If that’s what your blog is about, great! But if you search Bloglovin’s popular posts page, I think you’ll find that most of the posts that are highly sharable (and well-liked) are those that help the reader. If you want to grow your blog, you’ve got to mix in some shareable content.

Those types of posts are awesome to read but much harder to brainstorm and then write. So yeah, ramble about your life on occasion. I do. But try to bring something to the table too. Your readers will appreciate it (and probably share it more too)!

6 | Not including an image

I love words. Words are the reason I read your blog. But words aren’t always enough. Finding images you can use for free is easy! Here are 7 places to find free images to use for your blog or website. Find one that fits the mood of your post, download it, and add it. In fact, your image doesn’t even really have to have much to do with your subject matter. I guarantee adding an image will improve your click-through rate from Bloglovin’ and well, it looks a lot nicer. If you want to go one step further, adding words to the image using a tool like PicMonkey can make your post perfectly pinable.

7 | Including an image that isn’t yours

Now I know that you know that stealing someone’s content is stealing. I don’t even need to list that, because you aren’t a dummy. But one no-no I see constantly in the blog world is people using images that aren’t theirs. The easiest way to find an image is to google search and grab the best one. It’s fast and you can often find good quality images. It’s stealing. It’s stealing and then putting it out in public saying “look what I did!” It’s an easy shortcut but resist the temptation and check out some of the legal ways to find images above.

One notable exception to this rule is if you are sharing a photo of something that is for sale. I have no qualms about sharing a photo of something from Etsy if I’m including a link to that product. It’s free advertising for the seller and I can’t imagine that any Etsy business would dislike that. I’ve done it a few times, like my Etsy round-up posts for the Harry Potter fan or the Doctor Who lover, and both times I’ve received thank you’s from a couple of those businesses.

So those are the blogging shortcuts I try to avoid, but with blogging, you do what you want to do. That’s the joy of this thing. What blogging shortcuts do you refuse to take?

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  • I couldn’t agree more with this list! Blogger needs to help me out more with grammar … I mean four children in the house … I can only proof read so much! 🙂 Funny about your mom texting you.

  • Great post. These are all so true! I’ve never used the WordPress auto-update but I’m going to have to give it a try. I have bloglovin’ linked to my Twitter, but it would be so easy to have it auto-post to FB and G+ too.

  • Great list!

    I hate the social media auto-updates. I understand the importance and convenience, but most bloggers who do this are overdoing it. I don’t need to see 4 tweets about 1 post in an hour. I actually unfollowed someone this weekend because of this.

  • Greattttt post, I was definitely nodding my head to all of these. I still think it’s amazing people buy followers?!?!?

  • This is awesome! I don’t have wordpress and always wanted to know what others people’s opinions were in regards to auto updating social media. Now how do you feel about scheduled social media posts?

  • These are great tips! I cannot stand when people buy their followers. It tarnishes the people who actually work hard to build a readership.

  • Great post. I preview and proofread my posts over and over but enevidably as soon as I hit publish I find another mistake I have to go back and fix. If I don’t notice it, my dad will and he will let me know (without fail). My pet peeve (like the person above) is when bloggers post on Twitter 10+ times a day about the same post. A few times throughout the day is fine but every hour a new post with the same link? I don’t see the point.

  • This is a great post! Thanks for the tips and reminders. That link for places to find free images is invaluable!

  • Thank you thank you thank you. Every single blogger (especially those in the beginning stages) need to read this. Great post!

  • The buying followers thing has always rubbed me the wrong way and made me not want to read somebody’s blog. I understand giveaways where it entices the reader in and hopefully to stay, but flat out buying followers is so not genuine. I thought we all started to blog to share our ideals and create community and discussion. It’s not always about the money and sponsored posts.

  • Oh my goodness, I proofread each post at least 3 times but my Mom will always find a mistake and email it to me! haha

  • Thanks so much for writing this. I’ve been blogging off and on for years and am finally getting serious about my goals. I laughed out loud when I saw the “Doing an outfit post…” Because I’ve definitely thought about that and had friend who’ve told me to do that even though my style isn’t something I WANT to write about. Great advice!

  • I am very turned off by poor grammar and spelling in a blog post. It tells me that the writer isn’t concerned with creating quality content, and I probably won’t visit that blog again.

  • I don’t get why some people don’t proof read I do it all the time but still at times I make mistakes and don’t notice and have to say it is annoying when I re-read a post a few days after I posted it and notice some mistakes I want to go and change them but have to take a breath and let it be. Have to say some great advice here

  • Wow this is actually really useful for me. Thanks for the great advice! x

    http://www.cottoncarmen.com

  • bahahaha! #4. Tried that for a summer. Failed miserably. I word to the wise – when you spend at least 65% of your day staring at the stain on your shirt you didn’t realize was even there until 2 hours into the workday, and can’t for the life of you stop thinking about how your coworkers walks around in 4inch heels all day, you are not cut out for #ootd posts. 😉

  • Fallon Graham

    Nice post. I think you have a typo though. You write “I love Instagram and Twitter and I are pretty hot and cold.”

  • I agree with all of these. I do proof-read multiples times to but once in a while mistakes do get through…and my mom texts me always! But I’d rather know than not. I am so glad you brought that up about outfit posts! So not my thing but once in a while I need to remind myself of that when it feels like that’s what’s trending in the blogosphere!

  • I agree about not sharing all personal posts all the time. I’ve unfollowed blogs because all they ever share are weekend plans or what’s going on in their lives. I mean, that’s great and all but unless you’re sharing tips about the place you visited, a recipe that you cooked, where I can buy the outfit you wore, a life lesson you learned I just don’t really care. I love getting to know the blogger but that can’t be every single post.

  • haha this part is SO true for me! > ” Because I’ve included this in this list, my mother will inevitably text me pointing out a spelling or grammatical error in this post. I promise. “

  • loved this post!!! the buying the followers one gets me sometimes! while i’ve been guilty of participating in giveaways for exposure I see some bloggers that do it all the time and have thousands of followers but little engagement with them on their sites!

  • Thank you for this post. I’ve never really understood the whole buying followers thing, I mean these aren’t people who are interested in whatever you have to say, so there isn’t even a tiny connection there & isn’t that what we all want? Just to know that we’re not alone in our experiences? I’ve been blogging for just over a year now and use my wee blog as a way of keeping a record of the work we’re doing in our home. Having been married for many years and being kinda packrats 🙂 we’ve collected too much stuff, so we’re trying to find ways to create order, downsize and organize our home. I post hoping that whatever organizing & storage ideas we find & use will be useful to anyone else going through the same process. I so agree about proof reading too. I’m such a grammar nut, in these days of txt speak (ick! the horror!) it’s even more important to respect the beauty of the English language. Thank you for this post Nadine, I’m off to pin and G+ I hope you’re having a fabulous week, sending hugs from a very windy, chilly Scotland xx

  • I just came across this article after finding it on Pinterest and what an insightful article it was. Though I don’t understand what you refer to when you mention ‘buying followers’ do they actually pay for them or is this a blog jargon I have yet to learn? Whatever it means it does sound like a recipe for failure.

    I really liked how this article had deep and quality information as oppose to some I read which gloss over topics and dont offer much depth.

    Thank you!

  • Poppy & Mop

    Great advice Nadine, thanks for tips. We will definitely be taking them on board as launch our new blog next week.

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  • Agree agree agree! Luckily I did a lot of research so I am working really hard to grow my blog!

  • Pingback: Friday Five #6 » Annesmiles()

  • Great points. I’m all for original content, but I’ll occasionally throw in a stock image or two for certain posts. And you’re right, just as others might be turned off to errors on your website, so will brands. Your blog represents who you are and what you’re about. Always make it look and feel as awesome as you 😉

  • That’s really useful post! I’ve heard about buying followers but I don’t like it neither because for me it’s cheating and although you have so many followers, none of them can’t help you with anything.

    Have a beautiful day xx
    http://www.inbluebox.com

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