10 Real-Talk Blog Tips Part II

on blogging

Two years ago I revealed some blogging truths in something called  10 Real-Talk Blog Tips.  There’s a lot we don’t talk about when it comes to the business of blogging because we want to make things look easy… you know, like all of us bloggers wake up with perfect cat-eye makeup and Bundt cakes that slide effortlessly out of the pan every single time.  Truth is, it’s messy and haphazard.  Some of us have editorial calendars and secret staff photographers.  Others of us just fly by the seat of our pants and super stress out when tax time comes around.  It’s a mixed bag.  

If you’re a new blogger, aspiring blogger, or frustrated blogger, allow me to offer you a different perspective:  it’s not all cat-eye, DIY, and stacked cookies (although sometimes it is, and that’s cool too).

(Another) 10 Real-Talk Blog Tips

One:  It’s easy, ooooh so easy, to feel like you can’t keep up with the blogging world.  Some bloggers offer up new content every few days.  Some bloggers post every single day.  Some bloggers have three kids, are learning a new language, and post multiple times a day.  It’s easy to feel like the Internet is screaming ahead of you.  I understand.  It’s overwhelming.  My advice:  go at your own pace!  You’re the boss of you.  Set a loose posting schedule that works for you, and try hard to reach those goals.  Push yourself, but be kind to yourself.  Both feel really good.

Two:  A new trend in food photography involves downloading loads of super cute fonts and creating awesome text treatments over pretty pictures of stacked  pancakes and glazed doughnuts.  It’s totally a thing.  It’s totally pretty.  Here’s the deal:  it’s ok if you don’t put text on your pictures.  

Someone had to say it.  

Just because it’s a trend doesn’t mean it’s right for your blog.  Every time I consider a trend, I think back to the time I got a short bobbed haircut because it was all the rage in junior high.  The result?  Frizzy triangle hair.  Trends can be a trap.  And yes… I am FOREVER talking about my various hair traumas.

Three:  There are all sorts of ways to rank and rate blogs.  Ignore Ignore Ignore!   Sites like Alexa will rank your blog in terms of traffic, link backs, and God knows what else.  Don’t pay any mind to Internet rankings.  Do what you do, and keep doing it better and better.  Be your own barometer.

on blogging

Four:  In the same way that Internet ranking sites are an easy way to compare blog standings, it’s also really easy to visually compare our blogs.  It’s the Everyone Looks So Cute and It’s Totally Annoying Syndrome.  I know this well.  It’s so easy to get sucked into the gorgeous work of our peers.  It’s also easy to let admiration turn into jealous-reading.  Comparison is a nasty beast.  Its partner Self Loating, is an absolutely useless animal.  Beat those back.  Remember:  No one is better at doing you, than YOU!  Sure… tons of people on the Internet are great bakers with rad food photography… but NO ONE can talk about curly bangs with the passion that I can.  Truth.

Five:  Build communities.  It’s like having a clique in high school, except it’s on the Internet and it’s full of nice and supportive girls.  I’ve found that reaching out to people on Twitter is actually important to the life of my site.  It allows me to connect with people in a faster and more personal way than simply replying to blog comments.  I can also tweet people that I admire.  I think that might be how I became friends with Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere… I may or may not have hounded her on Twitter.  Note:  I’m not suggesting you hound people.  I’m just saying…

In that same vein, Pinterest and Instagram are excellent ways to connect and gain inspiration.  Make friends with people of like minds and similar taste.  Pretty pictures always get the wheels moving.

Six:   Collaboration is the future!  Seek out people you admire, dream up a way to work together and reach out!  Maybe that means adding contributors to your blog.  Maybe that means starting a blog with a Twitter friend who is as obsessed with doughnuts as you are.  Maybe that means partnering on a seasonal post.  Dream it up and make it go!

Seven:  The the dialup tone we used to have to endure to log onto America Online?  Remember the constant floppy disk downloads and counting Internet minute usage?  Don’t even get me started on chatrooms… oh man.  The Internet is always changing.  We can’t expect it to stay the same, and we can’t expect to stay static on the Internet.    Right now Pinterest is on fire, but not so long ago, Twitter was the new hot thing?  With everything always changing around us, it’s important to stay current, but also important to make incorporate the newness in a way that feels authentic to our work.

Eight:  Let’s make a deal to one another.  Let’s always get better.  Let’s learn new camera  tricks.  Let’s try recipes that might sound tricky.  Let’s always post content that we’re supremely proud of.

on blogging

Nine:    It can’t all be about cookies and doughnuts.  Getting out off the computer and out of the kitchen is essential to creating a full blog.  It doesn’t have to be about an extravagant trip, sometimes just bike ride and sunset is all you need to recharge and find inspiration.  Live a good life.  It makes for a good blog.

Ten:  No one wants to be completely alone on their blog.  That’s what our diaries are for.  Super secrets.  Support is a big part of the blogging community.  Reading other people’s work.  Admiring photography.  Repin.  Retweet.  Like. Comment.  High-five.  It’s all a part of the support game.  So… Let’s support each other.

Here’s a thing we should do.  If you’d like, you should leave a comment on this post with a link to your blog (if you’re into that sort of thing) in the body of the comment.  Then take a few minutes to click around to other links you find in the comment section.  You might find some new favorite blog people.  Let’s do!

xo joy

686 thoughts on “10 Real-Talk Blog Tips Part II

  1. I don’t know if you’ll read this comment in the hundreds you’ve already had on this post, but I just pretend you will:)

    Thank you. Thank you so much for this post, it came at exactly the right moment. I’ve been blogging for about 1,5 years now and although I truly love it (meeting new people, the creativity, working and creating…it really changed my life), I sometimes doubt if it’s all worth it. If I’ve been working for hours on a post, picture and editing and I get zero comments, that’s hard. I also believe that it’s more difficult to truly get involved in this community for me as a non-US resident, living in that “far away” Europe. Although I remind myself I’m not positing for the likes from others, but from my own passion. And I know silent readers do appreciate it as well. But there is nothing like an e-mail from Australia from someone who tells me her whole family now often makes one of my recipes. It’s those messages that reassure me to keep going with doing what I love.

    And it’s this post that I needed as a reminder. Thank you, Joy! I’m gonna follow you on Twitter NOW!

  2. Thanks for the inspiration Joy! Somehow from across the country you can know exactly what a girl needs to read to start off her work day Friday right. Thanks for blogging and thanks for the advice!

  3. Great tutorial! What i’m dying to know is who has staff photographers on their site?
    If anyone cares to check out http://www.beanilla.com/blog I am taking up your offer on sharing our site.
    A bit of advice to all the bloggers out there, do what you love and do it well, promote your self and take risks. You never know when your dream opportunity may come along!

  4. =) Way to practice what you preach, Joy. High five-ing by asking us to share our blogs. NICE!

    biobabbler.blogspot.com is me–I’m a major nature fan, former Park Ranger, currently a conservation biologist/writer & editor, so my photo-heavy blog is pretty much a peek into that whole biology thing, with a bias toward wildlife and rockin’ clouds. But I also like teeny, tiny bugs, wacky mushrooms I can’t quite ID, wind storms, anything that reminds me of how amazing this planet truly is.

    Happily, I live in the boonies (near Yosemite), so I get to see lots of cool stuff on my property (bobcat yesterday, & last summer chased a mountain lion away from my chickens while wielding a swiffer), + share whatever I ogle when I travel or do fieldwork. I also occasionally blog about my veggie garden, if the ground squirrels haven’t eaten it. =)

  5. You are a true inspiration as a blogger Joy! Your willingness to be open about your life gave me enough strength to do the same at my blog.


    Where I write about my life adventures, especially about overcoming bullying and coming to love oneself with all our flaws. Also about the awesomeness of getting to work at a zoo.

  6. I love this idea, even though I’m sure it’s going to RUIN my productivity for today… too many amazing blogs and not enough time!
    I totally agree that life is about more than cookies, which is one of the reasons I have yet to find a good posting schedule. Between work, planning a wedding from 5000 miles away, and promoting my first book, my poor baking blog (http://linzersinlondon.blogspot.com) has been neglected far too often. But you’ve inspired me to bump it back up the priorities list, so thank you for that!
    Maybe I’ll even go write a post right now… after I check out at least 15 new blogs from your comments section, that is.

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