Blog Advice: Take It Or Leave It

In 21 more days this blog will no longer be an infant. My little corner of the dot com world will be turning one! Throughout this past year I've learned quite a lot so I figured it was my civic duty as a blogger to share some of my insight with you all. These are all things that I think will further your growth as a blogger. Feel free to agree, disagree, or call me crazy. I'd love to hear your own opinions and/or suggestions!

So without further adieu here's some of my own personal blogging advice...

1. Use the right comment form. If I have to enter my blog URL, my nickname, my email, and last week's grocery list in order to leave you a comment I won't even bother. Even if I had something really important to say. No one has time for that crap.

2. Provide your readers with the option to sponsor you, even if it's for free. Reason one: so that you can swap with them so that you can have your ad on their blog and gain more traffic. Reason two: so that you can give ad space away in other bloggers' giveaways. It's a free way to gain followers!

3. Visit other blogs. How simple is that right? If you don't like what they have to say then move on, it's a free country blogland. If you do like it then be sure to comment AND follow them. Following is the key here. We're all selfish beings...people are much more likely to follow back if you leave a comment and follow instead of just leaving a comment. This is the best way to see your GFC count go up because you're being honest and gaining new friends you actually want to read about all at the same time.

4. Plan and write "about me" posts often. You can keep them saved as drafts and post them on days that you just really have nothing else to say. Everyone likes getting to know their blog friends better and getting updates on who and what they're about.

5. Don't participate in a link-up every single day of the week. Nothing pains me more than seeing a wonderful blogger post five days a week for five different link ups. I sometimes fall into the trap of participating in too many as well. But we have to remember to write our own posts with our own ideas. Link ups are great. Just make sure you're still giving your readers a piece of you in between all of them.

6. Never ever ever comment on a blog post saying "New follower, now come follow me!" This is social suicide. It's basically a warning flag that says "Please steer clear of my blog because I'm extremely insincere and I'm only writing this comment to see my GFC number go up. Oh and P.S. I didn't even read your post". Don't be that person. We don't like that person. That person should step on a Lego.

7. Attempt to be funny. Make fun of yourself. Blog in the voice of your dog. Make up words. Use gifs. Hell tell a damn knock knock joke if you have to. We can't read seriousness all day every day. Give me a little something to get my abs working because we all know they don't see the gym...

8. Reply to comments. I'm not saying you need to give a "Thank you" to every single one but to those that are genuine or funny or heartfelt, yes. Those that ask questions, absolutely. Your readers take the time to write to you so take the time write back. It's how you develop blog relationships. And if you don't ever comment back your readers might end up becoming discouraged giving up on commenting altogether. And then you'll be a sad panda. Boo.

9. Keep your crap clean. Blogs are like houses. You want to open the door, look around and feel comfortable there. Clean, organized, and inviting wins the HGTV award here. If you have junk everywhere and your ads are smacking me in the face I'll want to slam that door shut just as fast as I opened it. Simplify your sidebar. Even if it's just for me...pretty please with a Pringle on top.

10. Network with bigger bloggers about your ideas. If you come up with a link up, giveaway, project, post, etc that you think is really great then send it to a blogger you respect who has a larger following. This way you can get their opinion on it and also see if maybe they'd like to co-host it with you. If they do then your great idea will get to be seen by that many more people.

And last but not least...

11. Get a husband, child, or dog as soon as you possibly can. Your follower count and number of page views will automatically skyrocket if you can somehow manage to acquire one or more of these three items. I have none of the above. So therefore you should probably discredit points 1 - 10 and just stick with #11.

P.S. I didn't include "Don't be a no-reply blogger" or "Turn off your god damn alien determining captchas" because those two are just givens. If you have either then stop reading right this very instance and go change it. Angels will sing to you when you do it. It's that life changing, I promise.

P.P.S. I would also like to point out that I haven't spent more than about $50 on this blog since I first started writing it back in Feb 2012. I bought items for my 100 followers giveaway as well as my breast cancer awareness giveaway and purchased social media buttons a la carte for my blog design. But that's it! I haven't shelled out a penny on advertising or anything else of that nature. As soon as this blog turns one I think I'll start but I wanted to prove to myself that I could get somewhere without pouring my hard earned money into it. Why am I telling you this? Because that means if you're a small blogger just starting out then you too can increase your numbers in other ways then having to spend money!