Blogging Etiquette Part Deux

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. - Dolly Parton.


First, I just want to say that I am completely and utterly blown away by all the comments on my last post about Blogging Etiquette. It was so unexpected, I actually almost didn't write the post, never mind publish it. So to receive such an amazing response has actually taken me back quite a bit! I love that all the comments were honest feedback; such as reasons why they don't post negative reviews or like to place an image of themselves on their blog. It's great, really it is! The points I made were all more personal preferences and generally what draws me in to read a blog. Just reveal what you feel comfortable with! I found a lot of the blogs I enjoy reading more are ones that show the person as I'm just nosey like that in general! Just my personal opinion, other people might enjoy an air of mystery. I never used to put pictures of myself on my blog as I didn't feel comfortable compared to 'bigger bloggers' as I've not got that 'look' but as you write more and receive more feedback your confidence starts to develop with it. I definitely wasn't suggesting for a second that they were these are solid RULES of blogging, but it was advice written as if no one apart from myself was ever going to read it! So the fact you guys did... Well, I can't put into words the fuzzy little feeling in my tummy knowing that it's helped a few people out. I really love to give advice and feedback, I'm never going to claim to be a professional at it though (unless someone wants to give me a job being a pro at it!) so please don't put me down as any kind of guru or anything. I know I haven't even got that many followers in comparison to most either! 
Anyway, I just wanted to revisit the topic and tell you some other things that came to my mind after I published the last one. Once again, all my personal view and I'm definitely not saying these are things you HAVE to do, the way I see it there are various types of bloggers and I'm guessing this post is only applicable to about 2 in 10!

  • First things first (well, first things second, as it's the second post on the topic) BLOGGING IS NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST!!! It doesn't matter how many followers you have, it's your content that matters!!! A great layout, good quality images, subject matter of posts. If it's all there the followers will follow, give it time, it won't happen over night. I would say if you've gained 300 followers in the first 6 months you are doing a great job. If its more, you're a winner! But please stop concentrating on JUST the amount of followers you have - quality over quantity is a saying that suits followers as well as your actual blog! You want them to interact not just follow for the sakes of it. To give you a rough idea, even though I have owned my Blog since 2009, I only started to USE it  (as in post daily) in October 2011. It's taken until now, like literally after writing the last post like this, for me to feel like I'm even being noticed.
  • Spreading the word, not all about twitter but making sure you are writing about products people want to read about. If you look at your statistics you can find a good idea of how people are already finding your blog. My main referral site is Google from various searches. Then it goes; Twitter, Hello Cotton and Blog Lovin'. If I look at the main words people have searched for to find my blog the top ones are usually something new. Like when the Body Shop Beautifying Oil came out my blog post covering it very quickly went up to 2nd in my top 3 most popular posts. People want to know about new things and read some honest reviews before they buy it. If you look to the right hand side of my blog you can see my top 3 posts and fathom an idea. All 3 of theses generated their popularity from Google searches.
  • Speaking of the above, various people on Twitter who are notorious spammers of their blog have said to me in @'s that they don't use other social networks as they don't have time so have to copy and paste the same message to everyone ever on their Twitter. Really? Don't have time? If you have the time to do that love, you have plenty of time to sign up for other social networking accounts. Ergh.
  • Some people said they didn't have time to join site's such as Pinterest. I have to say if you haven't got time to Pinterest you musn't even have time to pee during the day. It is incredibly simple to sign up to and to share content, literally clicks. You can join the site by clicking sign in with Twitter and your profile is ready to go. Add the 'pin it' tab to your toolbar at the top of your browser and you literally click that, click the picture, and it's done. So incredibly simple and non time consuming. I rarely open up my Pinterest account and utilise it to it's actual potential, but the pictures I pin generate that little bit more coverage for my blog.
  • Gaining Comments: Turn off Word Verification, in the past few months comment word verification has become somewhat similar to deciphering elaborate codes for MI5... Turn it off. If you're worried about Spam comments then simply make your settings so you have to approve the comments before they are published. I find this much better anyway as I always read them before approval so filters out anything I don't think is appropriate. Also on your posts leave it a little bit open. Ask a question at the end, such as 'have you tried this product, what did you think?' or 'I didn't like this product can you recommend something else that would suit my needs?'. You get the general idea, right? Also reply to comments you have had too. Even if it's just a thank you it's nice.
  • Add your other social networking sites to the bottom of your posts. Not to the extend that a majority of the post is how to find you in other places but just 4 simple links will do (like at the end of mine for example) 
  • Posting your blog link on Twitter is FINE. Sometimes I just tweet my link with hashtags and leave it to people's intrigue to click it and other times I will comment on what is contained within the post. Asking for an RT is fine, but remember people hate to feel like they're being pressured into doing such things out of courtesy, create some form of conversation with them first at least. Or if you're having a give away featuring certain brands ask them for an RT. There's no harm in asking but a lot of annoyance and lack of respect for your opinion comes from mythering.
  • Make sure you have a contact e-mail address somewhere on your blog so companies or readers can contact you easily if they want to! I have mine in the side bar over there ---> and on my 'contact' page at the top. An e-mail address and Twitter handle is usually a sufficient amount of detail.
  • Layout is also important, a majority of readers (myself definitely one of them) are so shallow and fickle I won't even read your blog if the layout sucks, I'm talking images you can SEE and fonts you don't have to squint at! When it comes to layout's simple is best I feel. Too busy and you detract away from the actually blog (I'm talking thousands of side bar crap) and too few images is also a bit boring, you need to get the balance right. Also make sure the ratio of side bars/other crap isn't more than the post itself! You don't want a boarder of busy rubbish going on around your post so nobody notices the actual post! And no, I'm not saying my layout is perfect but I'm not a web designer so it's the best I can do, thanks.

What I am tired of seeing:
Before you post a blog, why not consider what has been seen before. Yeah posts on the following are 'popular' but there's only so much I can take as a reader when I sign in and see 50 posts all on the same subject! Think about it, you're not going to stand out if your images/blog post title is the same as everyone elses on the page are you? Here's my list of things that literally bore the death out of me.
  • A week in Instagram. Seriously, how many more blog posts can possibly be made containing images of: Starbucks > food > cats > Starbucks > your feet > something whimsical > yourself posing > Starbucks > yourself posing > food > Starbucks. It's draining me seeing them. Every week. 40 times.
  • Beauty Box reviews: Yawn. Although these are a great way to get started when you are struggling to write content I think they become dated very quickly. What I started to do was not write about the box itself but write an individual review of the things inside. Anything that's particularly good or really bad. Rather than one post touching on all of them, which everyone has done.
  • Face of the Day, ok maybe not so boring but when your face pretty much looks the same every day and you use the same products each time then it's boring. Jazz it up a bit!
  • Studded shoes, American Apparel Disco Pants, Ombre Shorts, Tassled tops and those disgusting 'Lita' Shoes. No, just no.

What I would like to see more of:
So you know you need to go for something different, you need to find your edge and niche. It's a daunting idea really isn't it? Let's face it, nothing is original (or it is until you google it and find everyone else has done it too!) but here's a run down of a few people/things that inspire me sometimes. (name dropping alert)
  • Attitude is their latitude: Bloggers can often be mistaken for ignorant, self loving narcissists. I admit, I have and still think that of a few. And it wouldn't shock me in the slightest if people read my posts thinking that of me. It's human nature. But I don't think enough praise goes to the 'bigger' bloggers who actively engage with their followers and fans. Bloggers like Gem Fatale Temporary Secretary and Essie Button are great examples of popular bloggers who really take the time to interact with everyone. They must get thousands of tweets/e-mails a day but always reply and are ridiculously friendly in general.
  • Idea's I wish I'd thought of: Daisy at Pretty Green Tea writes a monthly post showcasing which blogs she has been reading that month. It's a great idea and she doesn't just choose popular blogs but also emerging ones from a range of topics. I really like this idea and will possibly start doing my own as I am constantly adding new blogs to my reading list. Even though more bloggers than Daisy do this it doesn't grow tiresome as each blogger will recommend different blogs I'm sure!
  • Ones to watch: As I just stated my reading list grows by the day my current favourite blogs (which don't have 1000's of followers yet are the following ones; Not Just Skin Deep, BDP World, Chipped and Chapped, Caught Up in Cake, frolics and fashion, Fashion Dotty beautys bad habit and Cityscape Bliss. I have no doubt these blogs will be endlessly successful. Have a read, take in their content and the range of layouts on show, they're all a bit different but I enjoy reading them all.

I will let you in to a little secret:
So how do you know who to contact without coming across rude or desperate? Well here's a few programs you can join and places to e-mail. I know there are thousands more but these are the ones I see flying around most commonly. I will point out I haven't contacted all of them as I do not think they fit my blog! And I feel that you shouldn't contact them unless you feel it necessary. PLEASE read about them in detail then decide if they fit your blog or not. And I do hope other bloggers aren't going to be angry at me sharing the 'secrets'! Seriously someone needs to compile a proper list of contacts for us!
  • Oasap Fashion Hunter - a blogging partnership for Fashion Bloggers. Create an account and place their ad on your website. They credit you with $40 to spend on their site if your blog meets their expectations and you can spend the $40 on their site on anything you wish. You must create a blog post featuring the item and if it generates traffic to their site you will be credited again the following month.
  • Hair Trade - Hair Trade run a similar concept to the above partnership but with hair care, if you absolutely love writing this one is for you as they have different types of memberships from silver to gold. Drop them an e-mail if you think your blog is suitable.
  • Sigma Beauty - Sigma run an affiliate program which I assume is similar to the above. I haven't yet signed up or experienced how the partnership works. I'm currently debating whether or not I want or need to review make up brushes. This is a point I need to stress. Do NOT just contact everyone and anyone just to get free stuff. You're wasting their time and your time. If you're emailing someone for make up brushes but you blog about just food and recipes for example. Just don't bother, please!
  • If you go on Facebook you can join pages such as Beauty Box Swaps and Bbloggers and communicate with people in their. You all have a comment interest so why not share your link?
  • Other contacts - These are just a few, there are countless PR agencies out there for varying clients, Best British Bloggers Immediate PR Monty PR Modus PR Beauty Seen iFabbo Have a look at their client list but I will stress please do not contact them unless you think you are a good fit for their clients!!
  • And as mentioned in the previous post, don't be shy to contact companies you have a genuine interest in. A lot of companies will have a 'press' contact on their website so that's usually the person you need to drop an e-mail to. I know there are so many more partnerships than what I have mentioned but these 3 seem to be the most popular ones for emerging bloggers whereas a lot of partnerships will work with you based on your statistics and as a new blogger they may not be that high yet.
  • Other names that are blogger friendly (this list may grow, these are just for starters): Batiste,  Montagne Jeunesse,  Percy and Reed, Rekorderlig,Wilkinsons, Benefit, Matalan, Republic,Concoctions, PURE Facecare and Liz Earle. When I say blogger friendly I don't mean they send you free stuff but they will work with you and let you know of events and opportunities so don't go counting your chickens just yet. And note; I have contacted a few of these I am interested in and not had a response. It's ok though, I can deal with it, as not every blog is to every brands tastes, remember that!
Ultimately it's trial and error. Find out what works on your blog, for you. Keep a watch on your popular posts and statistics and if something is a success then play on it (don't milk it though) and perhaps post more on the same subject or a follow up review. The word 'blog' is a short term for 'web log'. You are logging your thoughts nobody elses! In conclusion, like the result of many #bbloggers chats - Your blog is YOUR blog. It's to put on display your individuality; your own internet persona. The content is preliminarily for YOU and if other's read it, well, that's just GREAT! If you want to ask me anything directly (the comments got a bit much on the last one for me to respond to everyone!) then please feel free to e-mail me: helloterrilowe@gmail.com or send me a tweet! I really don't mind.  I remember when I first started blogging I asked That's So Yesterday on Twitter for feedback on my blog and she said my pictures could be bigger; I made them bigger and am endlessly grateful for the honest and useful feedback! Don't be scared to ask what others think and take constructive criticism on the chin!

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34 Comments:

  1. Another toppo post. I think I identify with this one a lot more, and found myself agreeing with all your points. Can I say: I have word verification turned off, don't approve comments, and I get spam comments through email.. and Blogger is kind enough to realise they are spam comments and deletes them. Clever huh?

    I've found that the past few months I've been writing my blog just for me - and admittedly I've received fewer comments and page views. HOWEVER, I now enjoy it a lot more, and don't feel as pressured to churn out posts about events, fashion shows, etc etc. And that's the main thing - enjoying it! Right? RIGHT???
    X

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    1. The last post was definitely a rush job on my part and I remember giving up half way through thinking no one would read it anyway haha, so I'm glad you identify with this one more as it was a bit more effort! I rarely get spam comments any more, I used to get a lot more. But you're right, there's not really a need for either most of the time.
      Well, that's what it's all about isn't it! Enjoyment and like I said if other people read it, that's great!

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  2. I'm a relatively new blogger myself and I think it's great someone is actually talking about how to get better! I have one question? When you contact people, or are asked to contact a company or something like that, what do you say? I get in such a tizzy trying to figure out what to write?

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  3. I agree with you about those 4 things that should be less frequent - I don't give a damn if someone wants to take a photo of their feet with bad effects! GAH x

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  4. what a brilliant post, thank you for writing all that! Very helpful :) i don't normally read a whole post word for word but i love your writing style :) x

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  5. Some really good advice here! Especially agree with the Instagram thing - if people want to see what you're posting on Instagram, THEY'LL FOLLOW YOU ON INSTAGRAM!!!!

    xo

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  6. I was kinda sad when I first got to the part saying if you have 300 readers in 6 months your doing great..then I thought why be sad you may only have 129 readers in 6 months but you have 100s of readers a day who you interact with and adore:) Love these posts hun..still trying to find what I love writing about the most (my edge)
    Sara xx

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  7. great advice, thanks for taking the time to write it all! :) x

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  8. I really enjoy reading your posts! Genuinely because you are so honest and down to earth. I've read this and the last post on blogging etiquette, and I've learnt a lot.

    I'm fairly new to blogging, and I just feel at the moment that I want my blog to be noticed. But I don't want to annoy anybody by doing so. I have gained a few followers by commenting on blogs which I am interested in and leaving my blog link at the bottom.

    By the way I think its great that you've found more confidence in yourself and your blog and that you now feel you can post more things including photo's of yourself. I must admit, this is going to be one thing I will struggle with too!

    Thanks so much for the tips Terri!

    Laura x

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  9. this is such brilliant advice - especially all the PR tips and tricks which I would've loved to have known when I first started out!

    xoxo

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  10. Thank you for the headsup Ms Lowe! And also, I love this post. I love it!

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  11. I loved reading this post! I've only just started blogging, and sometimes feel a bit lost and like I don't really "fit in", so to speak. Your advice really helped, thank you for sharing it with us :) xxx

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  12. I loved the tips. They are so obvious but I wouldn't think of them myself. Thanks for sharing I'm now off to read the first part! :)

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  13. you know what, all i have to say is AMEN TO ALL THAT!! it's come at such a good time i think, and people need to realise that we don't all come under the 'we blog because we want free shit'.. some of us just blog for fun. i don't care if i had 1 follower (and even if it was myself!) my followers are an added bonus, but i blog for myself. and people need to realise that!
    great post terri.. and thanks for the shoutout.. super sweet of you, really truly is :) x

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  14. i love this, i actually laughed at the thing you said about the word catcha, haha sooo true, and i love your list of different pr companies, you are right there needs to be a list somewhere, hopefully one day it will happen
    thankyou for this advice, soo helpful!
    Penelope's Beauty Obsessions

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  15. I agree with you about seeing the same posts all the time, the worst for me was all the Bioderma reviews, how much can you really say about makeup remover? I've been blogging for almost a year and I think I'm still finding my feet tbh.

    x

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  16. I am so glad I came across this, I am new and I thought Spamming' was the way! obv not! prob just p***ing people off! woops! I will investigate some of the above links (never even heard of HelloCotton until tonight, Well I better get started.. and pin interest!) honest opinions would be great on my blog if you have time? http://getthrifty.blogspot.co.uk/

    Great post! off to read the rest of your blog xx

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  17. Hey! I found your blog because someone tweeted this post, I agree with you on a lot of things and you reminded me of a couple things I need to work on as well. Looking forward to reading your future posts!

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  18. Great post hun, i'm always interested in reading posts from other bloggers that have more experience than me, covering unwritten rules etc. I completely agree with every single point you made in 'What I'm tired of seeing' they get repetitive & dull!
    I like your point about layout too. I'm never quite happy with mine but don't know how to make it better. I've always loved your layout and your cool banners etc
    I wish I could find more time to post every day though, I struggle to post about 3 a week at the moment and don't get me started on SEO!!! So much stuff I haven't got a clue on.
    Keep up the great work & posts to help fellow bloggers out :) x

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  19. I've really been enjoying reading your blogging etiquette posts and have found your advice and tips to be very helpful! Thanks for taking the time to write and share them :) x

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  20. I've loved both posts! They've been really helpful and such an interesting read. What are your favourite blogs/posts from people you follow?
    xx

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  21. Your point about all the blogs (ok, not all) doing instagram posts every week had me screaming 'AAHH! Yes! Someone gets it!' in my head! I love to read blogs on my phone when I get fivr minutes to myself and it seems I can't do that on a Sunday as the majority of my blog list posts instagram pictures - and I already follow them on instagram! Annoys me to no end.
    Eilidh xo

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  22. Really enjoyed reading this post and the one before, it's great, honest advice! I really need to work on the design/layout of my blog I think, but I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to stuff like this. Did you create your own header etc? If you have any tips on this would really appreciate it :-) x

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  23. Again, another really useful post. I have been more active on Pinterest since your last post, pinning pictures from my blog and pinning things that interest me. I have also been working at improving my layout! Thank you very much for these posts - they are really useful! x

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  24. really enjoyed this post & the last one. i couldn't agree more with the 'things you're tired of seeing'. one of the many reasons i unsubscribed from glossy box was because i got so fed up of the millions of posts you see every month about the same old crap. the best advice i've followed whilst blogging is that you should blog about things you would want to read about. if other people like it then thats just a nice bonus xx

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  25. This post is fantastic, so much I agree with. How on earth do people 'not have the time' for Pinterest, and interesting tweets yet have the time to copy and paste 'visit my blog! I have a giveaway!' a billion times. I signed up to IFB and within minutes I was inundated with 'Welcome' posts, which were basically LOOK AT MY BLOG posts disguised as a friendly hello...

    I also agree with you on Beauty Box posts, I've done some but if there are already loads on my feed I don't bother, and they're often very similar. I'll read one or two, but if you don't get in early with the posts, people have read it all before! I also prefer doing in-depth reviews of one or two products from the box that I've really liked after using them and actually getting a feel for the product, rather than just a LOOK WHAT I GOT! I am, however, guilty of the odd Instagram post - but more once a month than once a week.

    I'm really apprehensive about contacting companies, as I don't have that many followers! I do tweet the brands I've featured though, and they often RT (especially smaller brands), which sends traffic - my busiest day views-wise was when I did a review of the new Company magazine style, and they RT'ed.

    On a slightly unrelated note, I want your hair!
    x

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  26. This is another great post, thanks so much for this, it's really useful to me as a new blogger, but probably help out some old timers too.

    I get really nervous about contacting brands, don't think I'm quite ready for that, but I don't mind tweeting my I've mentioned a brand in my blog :)

    Will be following all these tips from now on!

    allaboutthegirlblog.blogspot.com xx

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  27. Thank you I honestly found this blog post useful. I thought at one point I wasn't the cool one watever that means lol, as I don't own litas and all the above, but it's fine I'm not always like everybody else which is dandy. I keep doing me :) also can I say love your blog and keep up the good work xx

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  28. Well done smart bum! Everyone should read this & have 5 minutes of silence thinking what they doin wrong & what they doin right. World would be a better place. And Im not even being sarcastic! I think I may even tweet it. x

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  29. just brilliant! Actually so good that i had to go and read part 1 too. All so well said :)

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  30. Great post! Lots of food for thought... I'll deffo be applying some of your hint 'n tips to my blog. Thanks for sharing, David x

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  31. good read! and I agree about Estee (essiebutton) shes gotten rather popular but still interacts with her subbies and followers, love her!

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  32. Hi :)
    after reading some of your posts i have signed up to both bloglovin and hello cotton. really cheeky i know but i love how you have the follow me on...links at the bottom of each of your posts. i have been trying in vain to do something similar but i cannot for the life of me work out how to do it. any chance you could let me know what i need to do? x

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Thanks for the comment!

About Hello Terri Lowe


A UK Lifestyle, Food, Beauty and Music Blog, based in Staffordshire, you can also expect to see reviews of places around the country. Often spotted Manchester or Birmingham at the weekends, you can expect to see a little bit of everything from festivals to food and everything in-between. When not blogging, you can find me having a nice sit down with my cats, Stevie and Kitty, or enjoying a fine cup of coffee. Don't forget to take a look at my 'about' page if you're interested in collaborating on any exciting opportunities!


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