2.7.12

The 10 Blogging Commandments.

Hello lovelies! I'm constantly asked for my ultimate blogging tips and advice for fellow bloggers, or people hoping to start a blog in the future. I've decided to compile a list of commandments for everyone, my top ten rules and pieces of advice. Please feel free to leave your own commandments in the comments below, tips from fellow bloggers and readers alike are beneficial to you, and to me! It's quite a lengthy post, so grab your cup of tea and enjoy..

  1. Thou shalt write about what interests YOU! There's no point starting a blog, or a blog post with the intention of trying to please everyone and receive a gazillion hits instantly. If you write about what interests you personally, other like-minded people will latch on and enjoy your posts - which is a fantastic thing! If people don't like your style, they can swiftly click X and move on! Nobody likes to read a copy-cat blog, full of banal reviews and topics. Keep things personal to you, your personality and interests will shine through, and will help build up your unique blogging identity.
  2. Thou shalt not spam fellow bloggers. There's nothing more annoying than new bloggers spamming you with links to their blog daily, asking for a 'follow for follow' - fact! I've blogged for almost three years now, and never gained any success by spamming links to everyone. It just irritates people, and will more than likely be ignored. Send someone a simple tweet or message, politely worded and ask them if they'd be interested in checking your new blog out. Ask that blogger for some advice/ constructive criticism, it will look more inviting than just a random blog link. If you don't receive a reply, move on and maybe try once more in a few weeks. You won't get anywhere by spamming someone every minute with links! 
  3. Thou shalt be patient. Success comes with time, nobody's blog becomes a hit overnight (except for a very, very, very lucky few). Don't expect 100 followers in your first week, or expect to be sent out samples and event invites after you've just started your blog. Readers and PR companies alike need to get to know a blogger first, and get to know the blogger's style and interests before the hits and invites come rolling in. I started my blog in 2009, and only last year in 2011 did I start receiving PR samples and event invites! Blogging is not only about samples and invites, that defeats the whole purpose of a blog. It becomes evident to a reader or a PR company, if your blog is just solely there to receive those things. 
  4. Thou shalt have a legible and neat blog layout. There's nothing worse than trying to read a blog post, when the font is extremely small or messy. The same goes for a blog with a busy background and gadgets scattered all over the place. It not only distracts from the content, it also looks unprofessional and can easily put off readers from going to your blog. Start your blog off with a simple layout, and as the weeks go on customise it to suit your own personality. Keep the font basic, and the background basic-enough. Ask your readers if they like your blog's look, and welcome any constructive criticism or advice with open arms. Your readers are the most important source of feedback and information! Also, always use a spelling aid if you find that spelling/ grammar isn't your forté. The odd typo is normal, but if your writing is continuously bad and misspelt, it gives off a very unprofessional and rushed look to your blog overall. Stick to the same writing style also, nobody wants to read a review on a product through unnecessary Shakespearean text. Use an online thesaurus to help you along the way with writing, some people have the knack naturally and some need to learn it as the years go on (like me). I'm better at creating visual content, than I am writing. I've improved my writing over the years, and I'm still learning as the days go on!
  5. Thou shalt make friends, and not enemies with fellow bloggers. I've had only a handful of arguments with fellow bloggers, with most of them being fellow Irish bloggers unfortunately. I'm usually not one to keep my mouth shut if I disagree with someone about what they've said or done, but I've learnt over the years to keep things sweet. It sends out negative vibes to everyone, if people can see two bloggers bitching at each other, back and forth. Instead of retaliating to argumentative bloggers, or reading something I dislike, I just simply unfollow them. Keep things mature, it's best for all. I've witnessed far too many harsh remarks directed and me and fellow bloggers, and have then received messages from people saying they've stopped reading that person's blog as they dislike their attitude. Remember, what goes on the internet - stays on the internet! There's no point burning bridges with people over something petty and insignificant. Making friends with fellow bloggers is the best way to get your blog noticed, I think. The majority of bloggers I follow, I've discovered through them talking to me regularly through my social media sites. Twitter is such a fantastic way to make friends in the blogging world, each week beauty bloggers have discussions on a certain topic, and use the hashtag 'bbloggers' to discuss certain topics between each other. I usually don't join in, as I find the majority of the conversations are just blog links and not actual discussions. I know a ton of my fellow bloggers love it though, and find it useful. (Fashion bloggers also hold discussions every week I believe, using the hashtag 'fbloggers'.)
  6. Thou shalt set up various social networking sites and interact with readers. The three main social networking sites that I believe are key for any blogger are; your blogging site (obviously), a Facebook page and Twitter. They're the easiest to navigate, they're the most popular and they're fantastic for interacting with bloggers and readers alike. Setting up a few social networking sites, lets you build up an even bigger online presence. I currently run a Twitter, Tumblr, two Facebook pages, a Youtube channel and a Lookbook. It may be a tad overwhelming for some at first to run a few sites, but it becomes easier with time. 
  7. Thou shalt be honest at all times. This one applies to beauty bloggers especially! There's nothing worse than reading a blog review, where the blogger has just changed a few words here and there from the information provided on the product's packaging/ press release. Honesty is key when it comes to blogging! Blogger's views and opinions are almost more valued than magazine's these days, due to a blogger being "a real person". Bloggers who aren't afraid to say they dislike a product, regardless of whether or not they've been sent it out to review, are always the ones that receive the greatest feedback, respect and hits. PR companies send products out for you to review and test out, you're their guinea-pigs! No companies want to read the same reviews over and over again, your feedback and criticism are valued to them. 'Products I regret buying' posts are a fantastic way to show readers that there are products that you've been unhappy with. Bloggers may feel more comfortable writing those posts, instead of writing one singular post ranting about one product. 
  8. Thou shalt take your own photos, that are of good quality and are clear. There's nothing worse than reading a blog post showcasing an outfit or a product, and not even being able to see it clearly in the photos provided. I'm not saying everyone needs a huge professional camera, with 20 light boxes and a studio - just clear and simple photos, taken in daylight are best. The camera I use is a simple pink digital camera that I've had for four years, I would like to invest in something a little more fancy in the future though. It's always best to include your own photos too as much as you can - it takes away from a blog if every single photo is one you've just nabbed off of Google or a press release. Readers like to see swatches and photos of you, it makes things more personal! Also, never ever ever steal a fellow blogger's photo for something. ALWAYS ask permission first, and make sure to link the source of the photo back to the person's blog post. Nobody likes a blogging thief. Don't over-edit photos either, especially if you swatch products - take a photo of the swatch in daylight, for a true to life example of the product.
  9. Thou shalt never put pressure on thyself, and make blogging a chore. If you ever feel stressed or under extreme pressure for reviewing something or just simply writing a post up - take a step back, turn off your computer and breathe. If you put pressure on yourself to blog, the fun is taken out of it and it becomes a chore. Over the three years that I've blogged, I've taken at least four breaks. Never feel the need to blog X amount of times during the week, blog whenever it suits you. I know some bloggers may feel pressure from PR companies to review products in speedy time, but if you simply email them and explain to them you're feeling a tad bombarded with blogging, they'll understand. Your readers support you, and want what's best for you. Your blog will suffer, if you suffer. I like to post at least 4-5 times a week, maybe less sometimes. I run this blog in conjunction with my Youtube channel, so posting seven days a week would become extremely stressful for me. Blog whenever you feel like it. If you ever have those sudden bursts of blogging fever, write out a few posts and queue them for during the week. 
  10. Thou shalt keep things sweet. The whole world is watching you if you blog, everyone and anyone can access your blog (unless you put on privacy settings, of course). That means friends, family, companies, future employers etc can see what you post online. If a potential employer sees you arguing and bitching on Twitter with people for example, it will automatically put them off you. They can simply search your name on Google, and everything you've ever written pops up! Most employers look people up online nowadays, especially if you've stated in your CV that you have a blog. Blogging is a fantastic way to show employers who you are, your interests and your talents. Think of it as your online CV! Think positive thoughts, and encourage fellow bloggers and yourself to do so too. We all have our off days, but instead of ranting online about it, turn off your computer and watch a movie instead. You'll be glad of it the day after.
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60 comments

  1. Great post! I think so many people forget this is the internet, what is said will be around forever! Even if they delete it - someone will have saved it..! I'm like you too in the sense that if I'm offended my something a blogger (or anyone infact) says on twitter, I'll just unfollow. I think one of the most important things are images too - I've come across so many blogs with brilliant writing, but you can't even tell what's in the photos! It's such as shame as it puts me off following, I feel mean but it's true! As you say, you don't need the worlds best camera, it's just where and how the photo is taken.

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  2. This is brilliant! I definitely agree with no. 4, there's nothing worse than trying to read a blog with a hideous/impossible font! xx

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  3. this is simply BRILLIANT!
    and the second point you made should be brought up more by every blogger out there! i get so many 'follow for follow' comments on my blog and it is the most annoying thing in the world! why? well, first of all i would much prefer to hear what other people think of my post or blog, and second of all if someone likes my blog then they're more than welcome to follow it, and as you said it is much better if someone would kindly ask to check their blog out, i myself would be more likely to check a new blog out if I would only be asked and not kind of forced to do so. i think it's much better to just leave a signature with maybe your name or blog's name with a link under it.
    you should really write more posts like this!
    <3

    FASHION PHILOSOPHY
    www.fashionphilosophy.net

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  4. Love the post ! When I see two bloggers arguing (mainly on Twitter.) it definitely turns me off them & I think twice about continuing to follow them. Another annoying thing is something you can't prevent from happening, Which is people using your ideas e.g. if a blogger did a tutorial fruit-alike make-up & another blogger then decided to do a tutorial on fruit like make-up too. I suppose we can't prevent these things from happening though.

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  5. such a brilliant post! really good read :) xx

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  6. great post but the picture is absolutely top notch muhahaha!

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  7. Great post, there are so many do's and don't in the world of blogging but I think you've made it short and sweet :) Thanks,
    Rachelle x
    http://inspiredbytheretired.blogspot.co.uk/

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  8. Great post, I really enjoyed reading it. Everything you said is 100% true. Personally I find it very hard to get nice photos. My camera is so bad, but again it is something I'm trying to improve. Thank you one more time for this post Leanne :)xx

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  9. Fab post, each point is so well made! I agree so much with not spamming bloggers all the time, I hate when people comment 'great post, follow me and I'll follow back?', as it just makes it obvious that they're only commenting to gain a follower! I think patience is key, and making sure you enjoy blogging :) xx

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  10. Thanks Leanne, this really helped me as i just started a blog :)x

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  11. Leanne you're amazing! Thank you so much for sharing, great tips!

    Emma x
    http://beautyandrags.blogspot.co.uk/

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  12. Thanks Leanne! Really good tips! I love the 10 commandments format!

    Aishling

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  13. Really liked this post, it's useful having a successful blogger like yourself helping us amateurs along the way! :)

    Gabby, Tread Softly x

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  14. I really enjoyed reading this post, I don't put blogging on my CV as I still feel like a newbie, but I think the main message is to just blog for yourself and no-one else :) I think you can always tell when someone's not being 'real' on their blog! x

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  15. Great post, thanks for the advice,
    Love Coco x x x
    stylethroughthelookingglass.blogspot.com

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  16. Love the post I'm just starting with the blogging world and this was a great read :) x

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  17. Some great tips here! Constantly trying to improve mine, i'll keep these things in mind!

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  18. This is brilliant for new bloggers - especially the part about not spamming other bloggers. Generally, if someone comments on my blog I'll check theirs out anyway when I have some time, but 'follow me, I'll follow you!' puts me off considerably. x

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  19. I love your blog and these tips! I've only just started up my blog and have a handful of followers, but its lovely just knowing that they like what I post. I found your blog through your bun tutorial on youtube and I love it! x

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  20. Thanks for these tips! I've only recently started up my blog, but been a reader of yours and watching your video's for a considerable amount of time! I have to say you and a handful of other youtube/blog guru's really inspired me to start it up! So thank you! :)xx

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  21. Amazing tips! My blog is more or less just starting up and I'll always remember these tips to keep me on the right track. I recently featured this post in a post of mine, if you'd like to see it then here's the link:http://thestateofdreaming.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/love-of-day-blog-post-2.html
    Hope you get the chance! :)
    xox

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  22. Thanks Leanne. A breath of fresh air! I am new to the world of blogging and it is a big world out there. I am always looking for help and tips and it is refreshing to have a fellow blogger offer their advice. Thank you so much! I will definitely be taking note of these xx

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  24. Wow, this is crazy! I was literally going to write to you and ask you for tips on how to get your blog 'out there', I just started a beauty blog and I'd love to have interested followers! Great advice Leanne, thanks a million! x

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  25. Absolutely wonderful. I agree with every word.

    Katie
    Lady Million

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  26. Great post! I am trying all of it asap (:

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  27. This is excellent! I'm new to blogging so these were all really helpful. I've not seen any bitching between bloggers so far but I'm hoping to avoid that completely! Please take a look at my blog- any advice would be much appreciated, although I'm still trying to understand how blogger works!
    http://prettywithapunch.blogspot.co.uk

    Claire xx

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  28. Amazing post!
    I think that this post will help a lot of bloggers! xo

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  29. Thanks for that amazing post Leanne. I'm hoping to start up a blog soon so this will really come in handy. I saw you in Grafton street on Saturday too btw! :)

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  30. Thanks for sharing! Your tips will help me with my new blog. X

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  31. Great tips Leanne, really helpful :)

    Emily x

    http://emilyx0.blogspot.ie/

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  32. Great advice for new and old bloggers alike

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  33. Great post full of fab advice. Love the format of it too!

    Charlotte xxxxx

    http://wouldntitbenice23.blogspot.co.uk/

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  34. Brilliant post, I'll be keeping all of this advice in mind :) Thank you

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  35. Great advice :) Got really inspires to make a blog again haha :)

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  36. Needed this ... Thank you immensely!

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  37. Thanks for the tips, they really help! :)
    xo Kristina

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  38. Thank you so much for this post! I have only just started my beauty blog out today and I know these tips will go far! X

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  39. This is such a great post! A fab read.
    xx

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  40. love this post! so v true! xxx

    http://www.unnakednails.com/

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  41. such a great post; the tips are helpful for blogging, but some are great for other things in life too :-) x

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  42. Thanks for this post! I've been toying with the idea of beginning to blog and this was very helpful as I am bashful about the blogging world!

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  43. this is a really helpful post thank you
    xoxo

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  44. Loved this! So easy to read and very insightful. It inspired me to start my own blog, so thanks Leanne! :)

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  45. Hello Thunder&Threads,

    You don't know how much this post has helped me!
    Lately, Iv been joining blogging networking sites, and Iv been completely overwhelmed about the need to get your blog "out there".These sites slowly brainwashed me about increasing views, hits,clicks and etc.Personally, I don't care about those things I just want to inform, and help my readers in every way possible. I was slowly loosing myself. I even found myself "spam linking" everywhere. It's not a good look, and I'm so much better than that. I lost sight of the importance of my blog, but today I reminded myself in the first place on why I love to blog. I totally agree with your statements 100%. I should take your tips and run with them.

    Thank-you so much! <3
    -Bria

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  46. I'm so happy that you posted a link to this on Twitter today! I'm so inspired to keep moving forward w/ my blog, you truly are a big inspiration to me. Thanks Leanne :)

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  47. Great post! Thanks for tweeting this! I have recently started a beauty blog which Im really enjoying so far! I would love to start a YouTube channel but i'd have to buy a camcorder. I have practised talking to the webcam, i think it must some naturally to some people more than others!

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  48. This has been so helpful! I've just started up a blog again and this has helped me so much :) xxx

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  49. Hey :) I just finished reading this post & i love it, agree on everything you wrote :) this will help me so much with my blog :) thanks xxx

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  50. I just came across this by chance, great advice for a new blogger- thanks for taking the time to share!

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  51. Awesome stuff! I'd also add Pinterest as a good social media platform. :)

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  52. Hey Leanne,
    I had a question on what you considered "spamming" other bloggers. I have heard different opinions on whether it is spamming if you leave links to your blogs after relevant comments (of course, "great post" could be considered relevant) or if it is only "spamming" if you literally ask the blogger to look at your blog. I would love your opinion.

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  53. Thank you for this it was a really great read. Good advice, especially for some of us who are new to blogging.

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  54. I love how you mention "thou shall not spam fellow bloggers" and then read the comments... the amount of people in the comments linking their blogs! LOL!!

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