Guest Post: How to Not be a Savage Blogger – “Follow Back” Alternatives for New Bloggers


It’s been some time since I had a guest blogger on Beautifully Invisible and I am delighted to feature Jamillah of made-to-travel today. What can I say about Jamillah? She is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Not only is she beautiful and stylish (definite pluses for a fashion blogger, no?), she is also very community-centric. She makes a concerted effort to engage with her readers, share the work of others, and contribute in whatever way she can. She doesn’t just sit back and blog about herself. Quite the contrary – she does whatever she can to help, educate, and engage others.

Her blog tagline is very telling: “look for joy… always.”  Well, if you are looking for joy, you are sure to find it at made-to-travel. The fashion blogosphere became a better place the day she joined it!

Now, I bring you… Jamillah.


The term “savage blogger” was first coined by Vahni of Grit and Glamour and refers to a numbers driven blogger who, obsessed with the amount of followers they have, lets interaction and community fall by the wayside.  Many new bloggers fall into the trap of this numbers game and develop the “Follow Back” mentality that we see so much of today.  Earlier this year, Ashe Mischief of Dramatis Personae wrote a post offering advice on how to deal with the “Follow My Blog!” messages and comments you probably receive.  This concept of the “savage blogger”, combined with the “Follow My Blog!” spam-craze, was the catalyst for this article.

Image via The Coolest Girl in the Whole Wide World

As a new blogger I feel it’s really easy to fall into the “follow me, I’ll follow back” culture.  Subscription numbers seem to be an easy way to gauge the success of your blog.  But I think it’s important to take a step back and assess how your followers are reflected via interaction and make every effort to not be a savage blogger.

Let’s start with a few simple questions:

  • Are your followers interactive?
  • Are they leaving meaningful comments?
  • Are they supporting you and are you supporting them?

If they are, AWESOME!  But if they’re not, here are some alternatives to the “Follow Back” method to grow your blog:

TWEET for goodness sake!

If you are not already on Twitter please get on twitter, right this instant. I have a tendency to comment stalk as a reader and I can stalk you better on twitter.

I was really not going to join Twitter at all, but after I was finally convinced I felt so ridiculous that I hadn’t been on it from jump street. Learn it!  Join it!  And be active on it! REALLY it’s a life changer.

Image via Flickr

Here are some tips to help you best use twitter:
  • Retweet tweets from your favorite blogs.
  • Tweet discounts and giveaways from blogs and sites.
  • Tweet things that you want to share and that could be helpful for others.
  • Tweet “thank you’s” for lovely comments.
  • Set some Twitter goals for yourself.
  • Check out this IFB post for pointers on how to meet those goals.

Add sharing buttons to your posts!

How can readers share your awesome blog if you have no sharing buttons?!  I often want to tweet posts only to find there are no sharing buttons and this bums me out!

Be active on IFB in a thoughtful way!

Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) is an amazing resource because there are tons of people active in the community that are just like you who want to know you and help you.  I really get so much out of the discussions that can be found throughout the site.  Join one! Start one!

Contribute to Blog Events and Memes!

Make an effort to find blogging events that you can contribute to.

One of my favorites is from Beautifully Invisible herself.  B has a great feature called “Link Love with a Twist” where you can submit posts from your favorite blogs. With each submission that makes the list both the submitter (that’s you) and their favorite blog and post are featured. What a wonderful way to show support for your favorite blogs! (Editor Note: Thanks, Jamillah!)

Some great fashion memes to consider include:
These are all great fashion memes you can participate in. (Editor note: make sure you establish your own voice and post unique content outside of these events. You don’t want all of your blog posts to be comprised of memes!)
Blogging events will allow you to discover and connect with other blogs; they help build traffic, interaction and community. Find one you like and join!

Be supportive and DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED!

I really love blogs. It’s why I started blogging and it’s easy for me to be excited to share and comment and I hope you are the same.

  • Be supportive!
  • Comment!
  • Share!
  • Email!
  • Tweet!
  • Retweet!

Do not get discouraged if those blogs haven’t left a comment on your site or responded. It doesn’t mean they haven’t checked you out and it doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate your support. It just means they didn’t comment and that’s NOT a big deal.

Image via Back in Skinny Jeans Blog

If you’ve been blogging for at least a couple of months you probably have noticed how hard it is to keep up with your already long blog roll, new blogs and all your comments.  This is the same for all bloggers.  Don’t be discouraged if fellow bloggers are not quickly responsive, just keep being supportive!

Most importantly: keep being yourself!!!

  • Good content is key. Have integrity in your content and stay true to who you are.  Having enthusiasm and loving your own posts shows.
  • Be patient. Stellar blogs are not grown over night. They are made with WORK and TIME.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: BE GENUINE! Being yourself in this blogosphere is what will really make people want to know you and ultimately read your blog.

Image via Rapunzel the Lion

These are just some tips that have helped me surround myself in a blogging community I really adore.

If you have more secrets please, please share below!!!


If you haven’t already done so, check out Jamillah’s blog here: made-to-travel
and follow her via Bloglovin’ here and twitter here.

{ 98 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • Alta March 28, 2013, 12:24 AM

    Can you direct me to a beginners tutorial on blogging? I’m talking about step by step instructions for a social network virgins. I’ve heard about twitter but have heard so much negative comments on
    the perils of Facebook and twitter that I am reticent to try either one. You wrote about providing share in both of these blogs. What is that and how do you do that? The whole world of blogging is a mystery to me! I do love YouTube and follow tutorials daily on that and that does hook me up with sites I have interesting. Is that similar to what you are calling blogging (in a video format)? I have just retired and now have the time to explore all the good things available on the internet.

    Thank you for this article and the 10 things that drive you crazy about bloggers. You have a wonderful sense of humor.

  • Paul January 11, 2013, 6:28 AM

    Excellent post., though I can understand and indeed share the lust for traffic – the situation not being helped by the belief that blogs do better on Google if they have a certain number of followers. One thing I would stress is that it’s good to comment on new blogs – but only if you have something to contribute to the topic, even if it’s only a compliment. It’s not good though to tag on your blog link – “great post please visit my blog on shoes for frogs at …”. That does look tacky, needy and spammy.

  • Vasilis November 9, 2012, 11:37 PM

    It is strange that you advertise twitter with such fervor! It sounds like a commercial! I am annoyed by all social media and the fact that so much on the web tends to be associated with them, to such a degree that non-joiners feel like social drop-outs!

  • Isis May 17, 2012, 12:27 AM

    Thanks for the wonderful tips. I just started blogging again, and I really appreciate the tips. I have no audience for my blog, just getting started and I have trouble driving traffic. I do appreciate these tips. Namaste.

  • owenhyde April 12, 2012, 6:43 AM

    Here is owen hyde, I’m very interested in guest posting at your sites/ blogs.
    I discovered you by your site. I have gone through your site, I was really impressed and wanted to get involved. i am having a unique content for ” Fashion store” to share as a guest post.I am mailing you my few ideas which you might be enjoyed.
    My title is ” Maurices is latest fashion and saving money”. This is the destination where they are selling fashionable, traditional wear for everybody at lowest prices with high discounts. They provide various coupons like Discount Coupons , Promo/Promotional Coupons with their codes
    I kindly request you to mail me, I can send you my guest post . let me know what you think, I hope all is well.
    With thanks and the best regards,
    Owen Hyde.

  • Norma Gomez March 23, 2012, 12:38 AM

    Thank you for all off your great tips, I’m gonna share them with my blogger friends

  • Jose March 20, 2012, 1:50 AM

    Good comment on never giving up. I think as long as you produce your own material and be yourself, sooner or later you will start getting readers.

    As always, Blessings,

    Jose Lasa

  • Susan Connor February 6, 2012, 4:08 AM

    I have enjoyed this post. Thank you. Dr Suess is a terrific cat. So to the point.

  • Dyana January 25, 2012, 9:08 AM

    Such a great post, esp for new bloggers like myself. thank you!

  • iKube January 25, 2012, 6:35 AM

    Some great suggestions – it’s amazing how few blogger actually realise the importance of interaction with other people in their community. Excellent post.

  • Udeep January 19, 2012, 8:07 PM

    Nice advice! I have just started blogging and i will keep these things in mind. Looking forward for your next post

  • IEDarla November 30, 2011, 6:36 PM

    Thanks for the awesome tips. I have been having a hard time navigating this site. But I am in it now…

  • Ian Clements November 30, 2011, 3:57 AM

    Thanks for attempting to help. However, I just don’t know what ‘“follow me, I’ll follow back” culture’ even means.

    My blogging is probably very different from most: I just report what I’m doing to extend my life, as a means of putting back onto the ‘net a little of the great help I’ve had over the 4 years I’ve been desperately searching for things to help me live longer.

    I just write as I am – so the authenticity thingy is easy. But to do any more would distract from my main purpose – living longer; I’m not that concerned about building up a following, etc (twitter just leaves me cold) so much as putting info out there so that others like myself will find it in the same way as I found others.

    What I would like is just a simple step-by-step guide to getting my blog into places cancer patients look for (yes, I know, Twitter may do it, but, as I’ve said, that’s not me).

  • Shannon Santamaria November 28, 2011, 8:33 PM

    Oh I’m a twit when it comes to the twitter thing. I’m great for a while, then not. Thanks for the nudge!

  • Shia November 28, 2011, 5:32 PM

    Thanks for this. I think I needed a wake up call. I’ve been completely obsessed lately with the amount of followers and comments I receive. My blog is about 3 years old and for awhile I think only my mom, my aunt and my best friend were reading it but I wrote EVERYDAY like millions were reading. Lately my blog has blossomed and I now have about 100 followers and receive comments daily. It was like an addiction once I had it … I had to have more.

    I am going to take your advice and stick with being myself and supporting others and just see where it takes me. The numbers don’t matter…the posts do!

    Thanks again!

  • Felicia Stevenson November 9, 2011, 2:05 AM

    LOL! Great Post! I especially like the comment about being able to stalk better through twitter. I can attest that commenting on other blogs helps to attract traffic, I get at least 20 referrals a week from one comment on the “10 things that drive me crazy about your blog” post!

    Plus, I’ve met some amazing like-minded people who have offered more support than my real “entourage” LOL

  • Average Teen November 5, 2011, 7:04 PM

    I like this post because its so true 😀
    Sometimes i get discouraged because I get no feedback but why should I? If i just keep posting eventually people will find me.
    Im trying to improve my content all the time and enjoy when people post feedback because it means that not only do they care but they care enough to tell me. (thats why i left a comment, because i know it makes me feel good to receive one)
    I don’t know about twitter though… I don’t think it would benefit me in the specific situation I’m in.

  • Time Lord October 26, 2011, 8:27 AM

    Really liked this post! I’m a newbie at blogging, so really enjoying all the tips and advice.
    Also, I completely agree that it’s very important to stay true to yourself and always remember why you started blogging in the first place, since your work will then be in it’s purest and best form! 🙂

  • kalika Agnihotri October 23, 2011, 3:29 AM

    I am so glad you shared this information. I just started blogging and was all confused about how to go on and felt the same about twitter where I am new too. Instead of enjoying writing I was feeling lost in a world full of confusion.This blog is a life-saver. I hope I can try to apply this information and enjoy my blogging life. Thanks a lot.

  • Faheem October 13, 2011, 7:36 PM

    Thanks for the great points of wisdom for a new blogger like me. I think I was totally going wrong initially when I started blogging. My only focus was on Follow Back. But with passage of time I realized the importance of connecting with others while taking interest in there blogs as well and get more centric.

  • Michelle Lapier October 6, 2011, 11:59 PM

    Hi Beautifully Invisible,

    Thank you so much for this post. I just started my blog page yesterday I’ve not yet posted any blogs as I am in still searching for my voice. From this blog I am assured that quantity of followers should not drive my ideas and posts, but instead my love for sharing as well as belief in what I have to say.

    Thank you.

  • Linda October 3, 2011, 12:07 PM

    I loved your post. Following someone is by choice! I follow someone when have twisted my mind in a knot from their intriging article post. It may have answered a valuable question only for me. I also get plenty of follow me junkies. I pleasantly ask them to follow me first in order to earn my follow. Most of the time they just go away.

  • Timothy Bowen October 2, 2011, 8:31 PM

    Great tips. I did get sucked into the follow back craze at first, but have found some great blogs that I actually enjoy reading, and have found those are the bloggers who read my blog the most.

  • cecille October 2, 2011, 6:45 AM

    Dear ma’am,
    Thank you so much for the very insightful blog i just read read. I have a physical defect and fashion has always been a gargantuan dilemma. Without your post, I wouldn’t have had the chance to learn of such a wonderful, helpful and fun site like Beautifully Invisible. I guess I still have a gazillion things to learn; and am glad I took the time to browse some today. Take care.


  • Shannon October 1, 2011, 7:12 AM

    Thanks for this post, really interesting. I suppose that one thing over learned over the months (not years!) that I’ve been blogging is that it really helps to have a clarity of purpose. Mine was a bit unclear at the start. In fact, it wasn’t that it was unclear but that it changed over time. Originally my blog was set up as a bit of a travel journal for family and friends in my home country, while I live in France. Yes, “la vie francaise” – not the most original blog title!

    Now it is also a bit of commentary on culture, a bit of a travelogue, a bit of critical analysis. Thus, I’ve had to change a little the way that I write. For example, at first when the audience was simply family and friends, I was happy to identify the people that I write about (with their permission, of course!). Now I am a little more reticent.

    Anyway, my challenges are mostly coming from a design and layout perspective – I have no HTML skills and fear that my blog looks a little naff, particularly the background. I’ve been trying to fiddle with it a little to remove the background and replace it with a band across the top with the same photo, but to no avail.

    If you have the time to critique my blog and provide any tips, I’d be greatly appreciative. If not, I understand completely, and thanks for this article.

  • lasi October 1, 2011, 2:34 AM

    Another great post, thank you

  • Jacqueline September 29, 2011, 10:39 AM

    I am so new to “technology” that I’m even going to have to admit that I don’t know what twitter IS!! I know it’s a place where people leave little comments but thats it. I just got a smart phone and darned it it’s not smarter than me. The suggestions are very helpful. I startd a blog last year just to show off some of the treasures I like to make but decided this year to get more serious about it after some friends said it was fun and that you can make friends through it. I saw some blogs with auto-play music and absolutely loved how they set the atmosphere for the theme the person had going, or like they used the music to promote their personality. I have to say I worked like the dickens to figure out how to add it to mine just last night. I read that it drives people crazy. That’s so sad. I think it’s the coolest thing when I go yo a site and music magically starts playing! I love the sharing ideas and your helpful comments. So much to learn. It’s a bit overwhelming but the challenge should be worth it. Thanks for the information.

  • The Beauty Lady September 26, 2011, 1:41 PM

    Excellent Post, Jamillah.
    I agree with your thoughts on Twitter. I am a Twitter junkie, not only for the easy way to share my blog posts, but also to meet and learn from like-minded Tweeple. Great resource that everyone should take advantage of.
    I love your thoughts on followers, as well. I choose to add blogs to my blog roll only if they will benefit my readers. It has nothing to do with follow back.

    Great work. I look forward to reading more from you in the future!

  • Jun Aguelo September 24, 2011, 8:43 AM

    I am a novice, I never knew that’s happening. Thanks for guiding…

  • Zero September 24, 2011, 3:45 AM

    thanks this post really helped a lot I’m happy to say I only made one mistake you listed above lol

  • MARLEY SIMONE September 23, 2011, 6:20 PM

    Absolutely insightful! This article has helped me to refocus as a new blog! Certainly I have followers on my blogs, but they are not quite as engaging as I would hope for. Time to rethink what I am doing wrong and what I need to be doing differently!

  • Anusha September 12, 2011, 1:34 PM

    Very useful tips, THANK YOU! 🙂

  • Amanda Gordon July 26, 2011, 1:30 AM

    I think using twitter and retweeting the favorite blogs is a great idea. The folks following on twitter obviously like what they see. And if the blog is a decent and based on what is being tweeted, it will attract the right kind of crowd.

  • Scooter July 4, 2011, 3:36 PM

    I’ve been wondering what’s a good metric to judge overall performance? Subscribers and Twitter followers are fun and all but is that truly indicative of your relative success within the market you are trying to reach out to?

    I’m still on the fence for Klout, I see there’s a Klout score here, just heard about it recently, like the idea but still not sure how accurate it is.

    Anyhow, having a fan base that actually cares about what your blog has to say as opposed to just likes you on paper is where it’s at. I think you hit that on the nose.

  • Kyla July 4, 2011, 12:16 AM

    Wow! I just wanted to thank this post for its incredible design! I’ve had so much traffic to my blog from the link at the bottom and think that is just a fabulous idea! Can you tell me how to add that to my own blog?

    Thanks again!

  • prettypinkponies July 3, 2011, 6:34 PM


    Whoops! Thanks for the pointers!



  • trashmaster46 July 2, 2011, 5:36 PM

    Thanks for the good reminders. As a new blogger, I’m all sorts of interested in how other people structure their blogs, but I need to remember that I am looking to them for guidance, not to copy them. I’m all about evolving along the way and trying different styles and shapes, but it still comes back to reflecting who I am. My blog might look a little goofy, it might not speak to everyone out there, but I am who I am and I gotta say what I gotta say, and hopefully I’ll find the other folks who find value in what I write.

  • Anupam July 2, 2011, 4:38 PM

    You have deliberated keeping Fashion as the center of discussion. Though, being far off from fashion and its debate, i found your suggestions useful for any blogger in general.
    Thank you for your work!

  • noku msibi June 30, 2011, 4:18 AM

    great advice. thanks!

  • Julie June 27, 2011, 8:58 PM

    Thank you for the advice…as a new blogger, I am always interested in other people’s blogs to see what we may improve upon. Fashion Icon, I am not….

  • Amber June 27, 2011, 7:48 PM

    Excellent post. Easy to read due to a great writing flow. I also love your pics. My brand new book blog isn’t anywhere near the realm of fashion (fashion and me would be a pretty good laugh) but I have noticed the same trends you are speaking of… only maybe ten fold. It seems every contest I see has a follow me component. I would love to break out of that and snag those people that love reading but aren’t in the blogosphere themselves.

  • Kyla June 27, 2011, 3:24 PM

    Wow! I’m not into fashion, myself, but I am a new blogger and this post was recommended on another post I viewed for help learning how to advertise well without seeming pushy. I have read before, in The Weblog Handbook, that most people don’t like hearing the Follow me and I’ll follow you comments. Had no idea it was this bad, though.

    But thanks for the stellar advise! I’ve just joined tweet because of you, and maybe that will make my blog more accessible. I don’t understand a lot of how this whole blog thing works, so thanks so much for educating me. I’ll learn. Slowly, but surely, I will learn (Please, let me learn XD).

    But great blog post! I loved reading it, and will be sure and check out some of the extra links. Have a great day! And thanks again for all your help!

    P.S. Please check out my blog…LOL, just kidding. Couldn’t resist. 😛

  • Jamillah June 28, 2011, 1:38 PM

    yaaaaaaaay!!!! twitter is the best! tweet thoughtfully and add value to your community, it will be much appreciated.

  • Anika June 23, 2011, 7:00 AM

    I absolutely love this post! Thank you B for bringing us the talents of the wonderful Jamillah. I am so grateful you are both friends of mine! I am going to recommend this read to every new blogger! I used the post as a checklist for my own actions as a blogger, and I feel that we are on the same page. Yes, let`s belive in our selves, let`s not give up, and let`s SUPPORT each other! I love you guys. xx Anika

  • Allie June 22, 2011, 3:31 PM

    What a great post! I am now following you on Twitter Jamillah! 🙂

    The “get big quick” bloggers are exhausting, and make a bad name for all of us fashion bloggers. I love posts like these that don’t just complain, but offer really helpful suggestions on how to grow community and improve traffic without being a spammer. Great post!

  • kristy June 22, 2011, 3:16 PM

    this is an amazing post!!!! so glad that more people are talking about this. the followback craze is getting worse than ever. =( i can’t even keep up with all the messages i get on IFB anymore asking me to follow them. some of them aren’t even offering to follow back anymore. it’s getting weird and makes me queezy. i’ve actually started to avoid checking my IFB inbox when it gets too out of hand. i hope this gets seen by the people who need to. i’m going to go tweet about it!

  • Aquí June 21, 2011, 3:46 PM

    this is such a wonderful post by Jamillah! She is one of THE nicest people I know and I’ve never actually met her in person! I love these pointer! I can definitely relate to the “follow me” issue, it really bums me out. If you genuinely enjoy the content of my blog, follow. If I enjoy yours, I’ll do the same. But for the love of god, stop asking me to follow you! The worst is when someone you already follow asks you to follow. Clearly they’re just in it for the numbers. Congrats on links a la mode!

  • Kathy Grin June 19, 2011, 11:36 PM

    I am actually a new blogger. So this site is perfect for me and to other newbies. How I wish I can master this kind of activities.

  • Debbie Baker Burns June 19, 2011, 10:38 PM

    Jamillah, I love this post! I have enjoyed this blogging community so much. I’ve met some wonderful bloggers that I would be happy to meet IRL. I agree with your patient remark. I keep finding new blogs to follow and I try to get around to all of them but it does take a lot of time. I appreciate all the support I’ve received from fellow bloggers. I love the Dr. Suess quote but I don’t remember where its from. Debbie

  • Jamillah June 20, 2011, 9:17 AM

    Hi Debbie- Yes if only people knew how much time when into blogging…sigh. The Dr. Seuss quote is from “Happy Birthday To You!”

  • A June 18, 2011, 1:37 PM

    Thank you for an amazing post! It can be so hard to think what to do to develop your blog when everyone else is messaging asking for a followback. I confess… I don’t have twitter, BUT I’m considering it, and tend to do the rest of your tips. However, what’s your opinion on putting someone on your blogroll if they agree to put you on on theirs – same principle?

  • Jamillah June 20, 2011, 9:31 AM

    Join it!!! Please join twitter!! You will not regret it I promise!

    In regards to blogrolls, I think you should make the blogroll what you want it to be. I actually don’t have one yet b/c I don’t like how sets up blogrolls, but when my blogroll goes up it will be filled with blogs I really love which will probably include some dear friends b/c I think their blogs are stellar alongside bloggers I haven’t “met” since I do subscribe and read a lot of blogs that are not super interactive with their readers and other bloggers. I believe your blogroll should really reflect what you read.

  • The fashion turd June 18, 2011, 3:34 AM

    I hope people take note of your good tips,. The follow back culture makes me want to vomit. Why can’t people be bold in their choice to follow people out of pure admiration rather than having to gain a follower back. It really sucks and belittles all of the hard work most of us pit in to our writing. If you like me then follow me, but getting a follow back should not be a pre requisite!! If so you have clearly missed the point of blogging.

  • Metsy June 18, 2011, 12:33 AM

    Such a great post, esp for new bloggers like myself. Great job! I need to bookmark this one.

  • Midnight Cowgirl June 17, 2011, 7:58 PM

    Wonderful post! I love your advice about contributing to blog events and memes.

  • Madeline Quaint June 16, 2011, 6:40 PM

    What a brilliant piece of writing! You give great advice for new bloggers.
    I’m a novice as well, and although I don’t have many followers, I do interact with all of them – and I do enjoy it. That’s much more important for me than having 10 times as many Google Friends who don’t even read my posts. Connecting is the soul of blogging.

    I have a sinking feeling though that the “follow me” type bloggers are uncapable of reading any text as long as this is post, but let’s live in hope. 🙂

  • LoudPen June 14, 2011, 7:31 PM

    Awesome post! Definitely something that new bloggers should read asap! I’ve been getting a lot of those follow me and I’ll follow back messages lately and they’re getting super annoying. At first I didn’t mind but recently they’ve become obtrusive and pointless. Gaining a following takes time and usually it happens organically and when you least expect it. I never thought I’d be a fashion blogger (I started in hip-hop/music blogging) but I am now and I love it. But, I blog about fashion b/c I love it and really it helped me explore my passion (fashion) and that led to me starting my new business, The Network. I love all the things I’ve learned blogging and all the people I’ve met. That’s what makes blogging fun & memorable. Not the numbers. Do it for the love and not the money and numbers!

  • Carly June 13, 2011, 9:09 AM

    Great post! My baby blog is a little over a year old…and I have dedicated so much time, energy and love into it….I don’t have tons of followers BUT the ones I do have are SO genuine and THEY were the inspiration for me to start my own personal shopping and styling business. NEVER in a million years did I think my blog would have been a platform for me to start my own thing. it is truly an amazing vehicle.
    I check out EVERY blog that comments on mine…I can tell within a moment if their comment was authentic- typically the BLOG is just as fake as the comment is, in those circumstances. IT drives me NUTSO when they say, You look so beautiful here, when you are featuring someone else or a editorial shot…like really? You didn’t even read a sentence of what I wrote to see that isn’t me?? Oh well- like every facet of life..there are people who are obsessed with success and being “popular”- I think it would be amazing to have an oober successful blog…but I know it takes time, focus and TONS of hard work to get there- there is no short cut.
    THanks for the post….have a great week.

  • Anne June 12, 2011, 9:56 PM

    I LOVE Jamillah!! Awesome Post Girl. Such great advice. LOVE her!!Lover HeR BLOG!!

  • mary jo June 10, 2011, 4:19 PM

    Such a great post with so many good and true points–thank you! As I come up on 6 years of blogging, I’ve been reflecting a lot. I think the one other thing I would add to this is to decide early on what kind of blog you want to be. Some of the bloggers that started at the same went on to become monster bloggers with millions of followers. I made a choice early on to go a different way since I run a business, it just wasn’t practical. I’ve made so many great friends it’s been worth sticking with it, and I’d do it again, but ultimately for me it’s about finding and connecting with people I enjoy and not worrying so much about numbers.

    xo Mary Jo

  • Mamie Saunders June 10, 2011, 2:55 AM

    I totally agree with it! It is all about being yourself. Have time blogging and also spend time interacting with others. A helpful post to everyone.

  • Casee Marie June 9, 2011, 10:14 PM

    Two of my favorite bloggers teaming up, I love this! And you, both of you.

    Absolutely wonderful post, J. There are so many great tips here. When I first started blogging I thought every “follow back” or “great post” comment was genuine. (Of course, some of the “great post” ones were, but when someone commented “LOOOOVE IT” on a post where it totally didn’t fit I came to understand the “stock comment” and the sort of blogger who leaves it.) It’s easy to fall into the trap of those false followers because when you first start out you don’t really know what to expect. I thought it was just typical that in order to get comments I had to leave comments, and so it would just be a back-and-forth, commenting-for-comments situation with other bloggers and it felt so completely empty to me. Eventually I decided to put a stop to it myself and even though I kept getting those “great pics” comments, I moved my focus to more beneficial and lasting blogger relationships.

    Another tip I realized was helpful was to read blogs that I truly, truly enjoy, especially blogs of the same genre, such as fashion. B is the perfect example of that; when my blog was in one of its most crucial growing stages I wanted to focus on written content and B was (and is!) my biggest inspiration. Through interacting with her blog and the other readers I found myself really immersed in a fantastic community – and not for the benefit of my own blog. It amazes me that people continue to visit and support me, and I’m incredibly flattered that the bloggers I admire and interact with also consider my content interesting, but it’s become about so much more than just my little blog, too. It’s become about real relationships and our shared passion for fashion. Thinking back to the commenting-for-comments days, I don’t think I ever imagined this sort of community actually existed. I’m so glad I found it!

  • Jamillah June 14, 2011, 2:10 PM

    Love YOU Casee! I think that’s a great point. There is no reason to read a blog that you don’t really enjoy. Time is precious!

    I also never imagined what a beautiful community laid behind all the blogs I read and admire. I am constantly blown away.

  • Ambuji June 9, 2011, 9:58 PM

    Loved your post and adore Jamillah!! She posts the most thoughtful and intelligent comments. I agree that the numbers game can get out of hand. It ruins the joy of blogging or tweeting. The ultimate goal should be to share whatever you find interesting with your readers so that you are making somewhat of a contribution to their lives. Posting your own stuff day after day get quite robotic!!

  • Laura S June 9, 2011, 8:20 PM

    This is great, I completely agree with it! I think interaction and support between bloggers is very important, and really makes or breaks how a blog is perceived and how the blogger perceives his/her experience blogging!
    Great post! 🙂 (& I LOVE GWEN STEFANI SO THANKS FOR THAT PIC! haha…)
    – Laura S

  • kirsty June 9, 2011, 7:35 AM

    great post – im so book marking this post x

  • vanessa June 8, 2011, 9:18 PM

    This was such a helpful post for everyone. Sometimes even after blogging awhile I need to remember to not get discouraged. I also just love Jamillah, and her blog.

  • Jamillah June 9, 2011, 10:07 AM

    Yeah, I told Jenmarie from SHE below I nearly gave up bloggging b/c I felt really discouraged by the “follow back” business and being stung by that ilk. I was really confused as a new blogger if I’m suppose to do those things b/c that’s not very me. But meeting more genuine people in the blogsphere and reminding myself why I started a blog in the first place really helped me get over that hump. Your blog is so great, Vanessa if you ever need encouragement in those grayer moments you just let me know! Love you and your blog right back!

  • Elle June 8, 2011, 5:34 PM

    Love this post by Jamillah! Dr. Seuss is one of my favorites, and she is dead on on being true to yourself.

  • Alexis of NorthOnHarper June 8, 2011, 4:43 PM

    I am so impressed with this advice…. I really feel like you’ve hit the nail on the head!

  • Amy (Australasia Dreaming) June 8, 2011, 3:42 PM

    Amen to this.

  • Katy Rose June 8, 2011, 3:02 PM

    Love this guest post! I completely agree that it is all about being yourself. Sometimes it’s easy to think we aren’t interacting enough. And blogging can get lost in the need to be more social. To me it is all about balance. Spend time blogging and then spend time interacting with others. It doesn’t have to be a one or other deal. I like to set aside time to do the commenting and blog visiting. It helps set parameters and keep me on task, otherwise it will be three hours later and you missed dinner and your chance to blog. Thanks too for listing FBFF as one of the memes to join. – Katy

  • Jamillah June 9, 2011, 10:00 AM

    That is a GREAT tip. Learning how to divvy your time is really difficult. I constantly struggle w/ it because I get so sucked in and then poof 2 hours are gone. So I have to learn to do this much better. And of course FBFF is there!!

  • Insomnia June 8, 2011, 3:01 PM

    I so feel this subject! It’s an endless frustration. Thank u for this wonderful post!

  • Mode Plus June 8, 2011, 1:34 PM

    I was just having a discussion referring to the term ‘savage blogger’. It all boils down to balance. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a bigger audience, more followers or traffic. It is how you approach this. Great tips and how-to’s.

  • No Guilt Fashion June 8, 2011, 1:13 PM

    This is a great post! Very good information. I’m taking baby steps back to blogging, and Twitter is one of my first steps.

  • Jamillah June 9, 2011, 9:58 AM

    That is a GREAT first step! A tip I lon twitter: USE LISTS!!!-I’m really process oriented and I honestly felt really overwhelmed by twitter before I started making lists. Now that everything is organized and listed appropriately it is a snap to use.

  • FASHION TALES June 8, 2011, 12:39 PM

    This is such an amazing post, I love it all from intro to ending!!! It’s good to see topics like these addressed in such an encouraging way. Blogger support is crucial & these are wonderful bloggers who make more than an impression for the community! Thank you & love to you all! xxoo

  • Heidi/The Closet Coach June 8, 2011, 12:34 PM

    A hearty second to the point about successful blogs requiring work and time. I’ve had my style blog for over 2 years now. At first, I only was able to put in enough effort to generate 1 or 2 posts a week, plus some promotion on Twitter. I had a tiny bit of traffic, but not much, and it was growing very slowly.

    Once I finally got to a place where I was blogging more regularly, I moved on to commenting on and reading other blogs much more frequently, and that has made all the difference. You’ve got to be a follower to earn a follower.

  • Bella Q June 8, 2011, 12:26 PM

    What a thoughtfull and kindly written post. The fact that you offer up real alternative actions to the “follow me” strategy is powerful.

  • Jamillah June 9, 2011, 9:54 AM

    I hope so, Bella :).

  • Nádia June 8, 2011, 11:42 AM

    I find this very thoughtful and useful honestly!

    I truly hate the “follow you, follow me” thingy… it annoys so much! I only follow a blog if I genuinely like it! not for getting followers!

  • birdie June 8, 2011, 11:05 AM

    This is a great guide for engaging in the community. And part of what I love about this community is that it is.

    My tip – sometimes fashion blogging may seem like a tight knit circle of people who all blog/tweet/talk together. But it’s not – all you have to do is add value. Thoughts, links, laughs – those are all value. That’s the easiest way to break the ice, and break into that circle. Once you make that conversation and connection, it’s a very inviting and easygoing community.


  • Jamillah June 9, 2011, 1:22 AM

    TOOOOOTALLY! I wish I had thought of this to add!! I have totally felt my reservations in tweeting people, I completely did dm’s all the time b/c I really didn’t feel like I could be part of the conversation, but you’re absolutely right once you make a connection there is a flippin world of supportive beautiful lovely people on the other side who want to know you. It’s so great.

  • Jenmarie June 8, 2011, 11:01 AM

    Great post! When I first started blogging I followed anyone who followed me and gave in to those pleas (btw that first Tumblr image is priceless!) Oh, and thank you for the reminder of adding sharing buttons! I had them up on SHE and when I updated the layout a bit a few weeks ago it erased the code. I’ve been trying to figure out where to put it but I’ve been slacking!

  • Jamillah June 9, 2011, 1:11 AM

    Yay!!! Sharing buttons at SHE..whooo hooo! I know what you mean by giving into those pleas…I DID TOO!! I at first thought it was awesome, someone is introducing themselves…but then I realized oh boy I’m getting spammed! But I kept writing back b/c it’s just not like me to leave things unanswered or be rude and I was really stung by so many of those bloggers. I would check out their blog and write back what I thought, what I liked, ect and radio silence! I actually nearly gave up blogging because those experiences really colored my perception of bloggers. But from real life people encouragement at first (bf mostly) and then from genuine bloggers and reminding myself that I want to do this(!) I was able to push those bad experiences aside. Hugs to you Jenmarie!

  • tymbre June 8, 2011, 10:43 AM

    Well Done, again Jamillah! You are on the roll girl, this is such a great post. And I believe folks are getting the picture; I haven’t gotten many “follow me and I’ll follow you” messages.


  • Courtney June 8, 2011, 9:40 AM

    This should be a must read for all bloggers, new and old!

  • Ashe @ Dramatis Personae June 8, 2011, 8:37 AM

    Such a great post, again and again!

    And that Followback Girl graphic is HYSTERICAL.

  • Jamillah June 9, 2011, 12:55 AM

    Thank you Ashe! You are the best most awesome generous lady ever. I really took this task on b/c of your encouragement.

  • GRIT & GLAMOUR June 8, 2011, 8:35 AM

    Wow, wow, wow, my ladies! This is SUPER-FREAKIN’-FANTASTIC!!! Such great advice, and let me tell you, at a great time because I’ve been sensing some savage bloggers in our midst.

    Thanks for the mention, of course. I know y’all are submitting to LALM for next week!


  • Jamillah June 9, 2011, 1:00 AM

    Your “Wows” make me go AHHH! Means so much to me :), and of course! Savage blogger was a real stroke of brilliance! Such an apt term for the epidemic.

  • Nikki @ Styling You June 8, 2011, 8:33 AM

    This is an AMAZING post. I hate the I’ll follow you if you follow me thing. I never ask it of anyone. I want to actually engage with other bloggers – on their blogs and on Twitter – and I’m more likely to do that if you are writing something that interests me. Simple really. The rest is organic. It’s not a numbers’ game. It’s a words (and images) game. Play nicely and enjoy!

  • Sheena June 8, 2011, 7:37 AM

    As a new blogger myself, I can say…very true and powerful advice here! Thank you!

  • Jamillah June 9, 2011, 12:50 AM

    That makes me really really happy. Blogging is hard and it is daunting to try to figure how you fit in and really the best thing I think to do in blogging, in life, in work is being your best self and have good intentions. I’m really glad you found this helpful.

  • SACRAMENTO June 8, 2011, 7:36 AM

    Fantastic post all round.
    Thank you!!!

  • Fashnlvr June 8, 2011, 6:38 AM

    Great tips from Jamillah! I love her > she is sweet, genuine and very supportive of others! The images used to get the point across here are perfect! It is easy when you’re a brand new blogger to get caught up in the follow game but don’t do it! Those types of comments are a huge turnoff!

  • Jamillah June 9, 2011, 12:53 AM

    So sweet, Yvonne- You have been so kind and hugely helpful to me. I take better pictures because of you FOR SURE! Geeze, when I started outfit posts I cut off my face b/c I was so lost in how to do things, but you helped me tremendously. Love you, friend.