10 Popular Blogging Myths Debunked

Few people begin their blog with the intent to turn it into something serious, and even fewer start off thinking “I want to become a professional blogger!”  Yet for many, somewhere along the way, blogging goes from being a fun hobby to something more.  Something greater.  They start to have higher expectations.  They begin to think about the future and set aside time to determine where they want their blog to go – what do they want it to become?

When a blogger reaches this point they have to take a step back and evaluate their blog and what they have accomplished to date.  Are they already on the right path?  Are they producing high quality content?  Do they have dedicated followers?  Is their traffic increasing?   What about SEO?  HTML?  What changes do they have to make?

It can be completely overwhelming.

wordpress blog improvement  10 Popular Blogging Myths Debunked

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It doesn’t help that there are a ton of misconceptions out there about what does and doesn’t work in blogging.  A quick Google search on “Blogging Myths” reveals numerous posts that deal with SEO, backlinks, monetizing and more.  While most offer useful information, they don’t address some of the more basic blogging myths that I have encountered.

Before you get into the nitty-gritty of SEO and the like, let’s start with the basics!

MYTH #1: “I must post Every. Single. Day. or my readers will go POOF”

It happens to all of us: we start blogging in a bubble of sorts where our only concern is your truly when, all of a sudden, we realize we have a follower.  Two.  Ten.  One hundred.  There they are – coming back to see what we have to say.  On a regular basis!  Not just that… we have even more visitors that come to our blog every day!  They find us via search engines.  Social media.  Friends.  And they read what we have to say!  So what do we do?  We force ourselves to post every. single. day. because we just know that if we don’t they will disappear.

That was my mentality when I was first starting out, but you know what?  It’s completely wrong. Your readers won’t go anywhere if you miss a day.  Or 2.  Even 3!  I promise.

The bottom line is this: if you want to post every day because you actually have something to say, fine.  Do it.  I think that is great!  However, if you are forcing yourself to create content and publishing posts that aren’t up to par STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD.

wordpress blog improvement  10 Popular Blogging Myths Debunked

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People want to read what you have to say because they value your thoughts and opinions.  I promise you they will notice if your content seems lacking.  They will notice if it seems forced.  And they will notice if you seem to be posting simply for the sake of posting.   So don’t do it.

Figure out schedule that works for you and stick with it.  Use an online or print editorial calendar to organize yourself.  Your readers will not only stick around – they will keep growing!

Really. Try it.

MYTH #2: “Plain white backgrounds are BORING! I want colors! Psychedelic patterns! Crazyfunbrightstuff!”

How many times have you heard someone say that blogs designed with a plain white background are boring?  I have heard it a million times.  White = boring.  Light grey = boring.  Simple = boring!

Guess what?  Simple isn’t boring! 

The first thing a reader should notice about your blog isn’t your background, it is your header.  Personalize that so it fits your aesthetic… make it eye-popping.  Make it unforgettable.  Once your header hooks them, reel them in with your content – not with your background!

Beautifully Invisible is highly visual – it comes with the territory when you blog about fashion.  Instead of coming up with some fabulous textured background, I decided to let the imagery in my posts do the talking.  The result is it keeps things clean and professional-looking.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t personalize your background to suit you.  Pretty Shiny Sparkly has a great chevron background that makes her site pop. The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower has a textured background that works beautifully with her overall theme.  Both are simple, clean designs yet they are unique.  They add to the overall site design but both are secondary to the header and content!

Don’t get sucked into the idea that you must have a hot pink background and crazy psychedelic patterns all over your blog to make it stand out – sometimes clean is all you need.

MYTH #3: “I heard that community, not content, is actually KING!”

In my opinion this is absolutely 100% WRONG.

This idea seems to be popping up more and more frequently online as of late.  The story is that community, not content, is what drives a successful website.  While I agree wholeheartedly that community is important, I can guarantee you that you won’t have much of an online community unless people are reading your content!

wordpress blog improvement  10 Popular Blogging Myths Debunked

Image via XKCD

In some ways this myth is akin to the “what came first, the chicken or the egg” question.   What comes first: your followers and community OR your quality content?  I say content.

Your content is what draws people in.  Community is what keeps those that are most engaged coming back.

But if you have no content you have no voice.

If you have no voice, no one will be listening.

MYTH #4: “I have to respond to all of the comments on my blog AND comment on everyone else’s blog or people will hate me.”

This one is a toughy.  In an ideal world, we would be able to respond to every single comment on our blogs and comment on the blogs we follow.  In fact, when most of us are starting out we usually try our best to do this because it is one of the best ways to grow our community and get to know other bloggers.

But there comes a point where we simply don’t have enough time.  The real world creeps in and we find ourselves having to prioritize.  Having to make sacrifices.  Commenting is usually one of the first things to be affected by this.

wordpress blog improvement  10 Popular Blogging Myths Debunked

Image via Larry Lewis Blog

Speaking for myself, I wish I had more time to devote to commenting, both here and on other blogs.  But I have had to cut back for the sake of time.   And my own sanity.  Reading other blogs is what is most important to me.  So I make the time to read.  I comment on other blogs when I am able.  I make a concerted effort to share posts by others.  I socialize and interact via social media.

I do little with comments on my own site. I read and appreciate every single one. I respond to direct questions I receive but, unless I happen to find a few extra hours in the day, I don’t stress out about responding.

I used to stress about it and I swear it was giving me an ulcer.  No one should stress about commenting. No one will hate you if you can’t respond as long as you make an effort to show them you still appreciate them.  Figure out a way to do that (social media! sharing!) and people will still support you.

MYTH #5: “I am an island.  My blog is just about me, ME and ME”

This one is directed to the bloggers out there with the “I blog only for me, I don’t care about my readers” mentality.  I have come across a few of these types in recent month, especially in response to my “10 Things About Your Blog That Drive me Crazy” post and I have one thing to say to them:

SHAME ON YOU.

If you aren’t serious about blogging this won’t apply to you, but if you are serious and if you want to grow your blog you have to stop being selfish.  As soon as you hit publish on your first post, you became a part of something called the blogosphere.  This is a community of bloggers.  It is a community of readers.  You are not an island and you do not blog in a silo.

If you are serious about blogging you have a responsibility to your readers to make the reading experience pleasant for them.  To make sharing easy.  To provide quality content.  To make them feel like your blog is a place they want to visit.  They don’t need to be talked TO or made to feel like they are irrelevant.   They should feel like they are a part of your blog.  A part of your community.  If they don’t you aren’t doing it right.

MYTH #6: “Blogging is EASY!”

Excuse me as I laugh hysterically.

Blogging is NOT easy if you are serious about it.  It takes hard work, dedication and TIME.  The stresses can be equivalent to that of a full time job but most of us don’t get paid for it.

We get burned out.  We get frustrated.  We feel like throwing in the towel and wonder WHY are we doing this to ourselves?

wordpress blog improvement  10 Popular Blogging Myths Debunked

Image via Colleen's Weekly Blog

And then we write something that resonates with our audience.

We get a comment that touches us.

We make a new friend or are presented with a new opportunity.

And we are reminded that it is all worth it.

But it takes hard work, dedication, time… and passion.

Without passion, a blog is just empty words.

MYTH #7: “No one reads long posts!”

Another tricky one because I don’t think this is entirely untrue, but it depends on what your readers are used to.

I am not  personal style blogger.  My posts tend to be editorial which means they tend to be lengthier than those found on most fashion blogs.  Does that hurt my blog?  Not significantly.  Have I lost a reader or two due to length?  Probably… but no more than someone might lose me due to typos or out-of-focus imagery.

Case in point:

I wasn’t able to post much new content the last 30 days because I was ill.  One would expect my blog readership to suffer dramatically because of that, yet this doesn’t appear to be the case at all.  My blog stats tell me that in the last 30 days over 20,000 unique visitors each spent an average of 3 and a half minutes reading my site with a bounce rate of 40%.  That means a large percentage of my visitors stayed because the content captured their attention and kept them here.

The length of my posts didn’t drive them away.  If anything, it probably drew a particular type of reader TO my blog.

The lesson here is if you have something to say don’t be afraid to say it!

MYTH #8: “Variety is the spice of life.”

Sometimes the last thing we need is too many options.

When it comes to blogging and content, having a clear and defined focus is key.  Are you a fashion blogger?  A mommy blogger?  A lifestyle blogger?  A foodie?  A techie?  Do you want to niche yourself even further and only cover the latest shoes?  Tom Ford?

wordpress blog improvement  10 Popular Blogging Myths Debunked

Image via Yay micro

Figure out your main focus and stick with it.  It doesn’t mean you can’t branch out on occasion (I cover fashion and blogging tips!), but knowing what your focus is not only helps dictate your content, it also helps you build a community around your blog.

In an ideal world, your readers will begin to associate you with certain topics. For example, when I hear “Gucci” I think Grit and Glamour.  When I hear “Self-Worth” I think By Anika.  When I hear “Audrey Hepburn” I think The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower.  And that type of association, my friends, is priceless.

MYTH #9: “Why would I want to move to wordpress.org?  Everyone knows Blogger is better! And it’s FREE!”

I had to do it.

Obviously, not everyone is going to agree with me here, but I love wordpress.orgLove. Love. Love

Truthfully, I started off on Blogger and thought it would be all I ever needed.  It was easy to use. Customizable.  Popular. And free.  So why would I ever want to switch to a self-hosted wordpress blog?  However, as soon as I started to get more serious about my blogging I started to see Blogger’s shortcomings.  I won’t go into detail here because I already covered my thoughts earlier on the site, but suffice to say it didn’t take long for me to realize wordpress.org is the best blogging platform out there.

I made the switch with only one regret – that I didn’t do it sooner.

If you aren’t already on wordpress.org I hope you’ll read this and consider a switch.  I’ll even walk you through the steps myself and share my favorite plugins with you!

MYTH #10: “The Thesis theme isn’t for me because ALL Thesis blogs looks the same!”

If you aren’t a wordpress.org blogger you can skip this one, but if you are, let’s discuss.

This is another common misconception and you know what?  To some extent it is true.  But it has nothing to do with Thesis – it has to do with how much customization a blogger takes on.

Thesis is my #1 recommendation for a wordpress theme.  There is nothing better or more powerful on the market today and it is worth every penny.  This is why so many bloggers use it, and this is why you see so many sites that are obviously powered by Thesis.

Now, let’s make something clear.  Just because someone uses Thesis that doesn’t mean the site has to LOOK like it uses Thesis.  The theme is fully customizable and let’s the user go-to-town on design as much as they want.  The fact of the matter is most people (like myself) choose not to do any major tweaking.

But if you want to make it unrecognizable, you can… so don’t let it’s popularity stop you from using the best theme out there.

Conclusion

I know not everyone will agree on all the points above and that is OK.  I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the subject at hand.  What are some blogging myths you have found to be untrue?  Are there any misconceptions you are battling right now?

Sound off in the comments below!

{ 53 comments… add one }

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    • Bissell Big Green April 16, 2012, 7:31 PM

      Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering problems with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

      Reply
    • full figured fashion April 13, 2012, 10:08 PM

      Spot on with this write-up, I really think this site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the info!
      full figured fashion latest blog post: Work Out Your Style Daily

      Reply
    • kevintamlyn November 25, 2011, 10:21 AM

      Hey thanks for putting this together. I know it would have taken you a while.

      Reply
    • Tia November 21, 2011, 2:23 PM

      I enjoyed reading this and normally I don’t read lengthy articles but yours was really insightful. Thank you for this!
      Tia latest blog post: While you were away

      Reply
    • Fabienne Jach November 14, 2011, 10:12 PM

      Oh, B, it’s like you read my mind and created a post just for me. Ironically, as you got over pneumonia I got it and was down for the count for what felt like an eternity. If I hadn’t asked myself a lot of these questions as I returned from Burning Man I probably would have had a complete meltdown. You’re so right, though. I don’t have the readership you do but it didn’t feel like I lost anyone while I was sick. I can’t substantiate that thought because I decided to take a break from checking my Klout score and Google Analytics, but it felts like I’m getting the level of engagement I strive for. A while back, my workload ramped up incredibly and I was driving myself nuts trying to do it all. I remembered that I wanted to touch readers in a positive way and be left with a good feeling about my contribution when all is said and done. That was not going to be the byproduct of stress, so all stressors be gone! I’m writing less often, better and well-thought out pieces. That feels good. By not blogging every day I actually do have time to read other blogs. And write novels in the comment section, apparently!

      Just sending you tons of love! You’re brilliant & you’re an inspiration!
      xoxo,
      f

      Reply
    • Jun Aguelo November 9, 2011, 3:01 PM

      Well said, thank you for sharing thoughtful ideas in blogging. It helps a lot to a newbie like me.
      Jun Aguelo latest blog post: Create Multi Sub Object Material in 3D Max

      Reply
    • Johnson AJA October 30, 2011, 3:35 PM

      Your blog is well polished, and I enjoyed reading your blogging myths!

      Reply
    • cornflakegirl October 22, 2011, 7:28 AM

      Excellent post, I discovered it through Rachel Phipps’ blog.

      I’ve been blogging since March of this year and it’s only in the last month or so that I’ve realised that it’s not actually necessary for me to post every day. Now I normally do, but I no longer stress out if I miss a day here or there because I’m unsure what to write about. It’s definitely quality over quantity for me.
      cornflakegirl latest blog post: NEW: LA ROCHE-POSAY ROSALIAC AR INTENSE

      Reply
    • Nellene October 21, 2011, 12:20 PM

      Great content! I went from posting daily to 3 times a week and that’s when my following grew. Who knew? I only wish you would’ve given your thoughts on putting ads on your blog. Is it a myth to put them on immediately because if you ad them later people will leave you?
      Nellene latest blog post: Dinner in a Bag?

      Reply
    • Miss Viki October 20, 2011, 5:20 PM

      Good tips. I also think that content is much more important than posting every day, especially because loyal readers can subscribe to their favorite blogs/news sites via rss, facebook & co, and get notified when there is something new. So there is just no need to revisit every site every day any more.

      Reply
    • Eva October 20, 2011, 3:50 PM

      Great post, I’ve stumbled it.
      I often find myself in a dilemma whether I should post every day or not. If yes, I know my blog would change a lot (shorter posts). Yet there are not so few bloggers who do post every day, and readers are used to checking out their blogs every day.
      Also, two thumbs up for long posts!

      Reply
    • Dress Code: High Fashion October 20, 2011, 2:15 PM

      Congrats on being part of Links a la Mode!

      Best, Jenny

      http://www.dresscodehighfashion.com/

      Reply
    • sahra October 20, 2011, 1:57 PM

      LOVE this post! everything is so on point! I too am an avid lover of my wordpress, it’s so easy to navigate, publish, and track everything!

      XO Sahra
      EffortlessCool

      Reply
    • Courtney October 9, 2011, 11:34 PM

      I definitely agree that wordpress.org has a lot more to offer than blogger and I’m a little sad that I didn’t start out there–but I needed something easy and to be honest, I started the blog as an experiment. When people started reading, I was hooked. But you hit the nail on the head–even though people read and comment, we can’t stress ourselves out about responding to every single one. I think it’s so hard because we can in the beginning. And we want to reach out to new readers. And I love individuality so I really do love seeing other people’s blogs. But sometimes it’s just too hard and too time consuming. I’m dealing with this right now…
      Also, I’m so longwinded. Sometimes I just feel inspired to post all of the time, but stop myself, because like you said and I totally agree… content is everything. I really believe that. Most of us start out as readers only :) That one blog with amazing content always hooks us. Always.
      I know you said variety isn’t the spice of life… but I hope I don’t deter people because of my blog name! haha! I’ve always tried to juggle everything all the one time so I guess it still fits me to a T.
      Courtney latest blog post: sixth misfit

      Reply
    • Victoria Suzanne October 9, 2011, 5:06 PM

      I really liked this article, it got me thinking about my own blog. For a while I got sick of walking the tight-rope of ‘what do my readers want?’ and tried to make it more of an open journal in a ‘blogging-for-me’ style. While I did learn to stop sweating every little topic, I agree that blogging-for-me doesn’t feel like ‘serious blogging’. There needs to be a balance between ‘what readers want to read’ and ‘what I want to write about’, I think, to create the best content. I’m learning now how to interact better with my readers, so I really appreciate the tips on how not to be an island.

      I’d also like to know more about the Thesis theme. I’ve seen some of the best blogs I read use it, and I’m curious as I’m not 100% satisfied with the way I design mine now (Artisteer). The website for the package is good, but I wish there was a trial version or a video showing how it works.

      Reply
    • StarletStarlet October 8, 2011, 4:41 PM

      Your view on point #1 really relates to what I recently went through. Tremendously helpful. I don’t have the time in the world to post multiple times every day, like some blogs do. I cannot even post once a day. This put stress and pressure, I feel that I need to compete with these blogs. Blogging is supposed to be a creative fun outlet for me, and it was no longer that.

      It is like a relieve knowing that everyday blogging is not a must. I now focus more on creating good content that I enjoy rather than fretting to write “whatever” post because I need something out there.

      Thank you~
      StarletStarlet latest blog post: Tomato / Tomahto Chic

      Reply
    • Jamillah October 8, 2011, 1:08 AM

      I love you. I can write a million things about this post but the one that set me off is the the blog is about Me me me!! I can not believe people thing that!!! I mean seriously if you are blogging hopefully you feel you have something to share; whether that is your personal style, your opinions, your life, fashion…I feel that you should share it because you feel it will benefit people or add to a dialogue. For real SHAME on those people who do not care!
      Jamillah latest blog post: National Disability Mentoring Day AND! FASHION!

      Reply
    • Kimberlee October 7, 2011, 4:33 PM

      Love #6! Blogging is so not easy. I definitely struggle with #4. I try to dedicate 2 hours or so before the weekend or on a weekend to comment back (like now). However, I can’t get to all the blogs I love so I either chat them up on Twitter or like the post. I try to show some love.
      Kimberlee latest blog post: FBFF: Jumping On The Fad Bandwagon

      Reply
    • Grace - stripes & sequins October 7, 2011, 2:34 PM

      Finally getting through my google reader to officially comment… I LOVED this post! Thank you, wonderful advice & tips!
      Grace – stripes & sequins latest blog post: Cobalt Crush.

      Reply
    • Kristin October 7, 2011, 8:46 AM

      I hope you’re feeling better! And this is amazing advice lady!
      Kristin latest blog post: Tweed Jackets: A Closet Staple

      Reply
    • Extremely Fashionable October 7, 2011, 8:20 AM

      So glad you posted this….esp. Myth number 1.
      Extremely Fashionable latest blog post: How to Produce the Canvas That Couture Deserves

      Reply
    • Sheryl October 7, 2011, 3:45 AM

      That’s totally right! Many blogger should read your post and change their mindset. Love this..
      Sheryl latest blog post: How To Get Rid of Cellulite On Back of Thighs

      Reply
    • Bella Q October 6, 2011, 11:49 PM

      Totally off the subject, but have I mentioned that I love you?

      What a nail on the head post. Again. Saying it and showing it. You were the first non-personal style blogger I chose to follow and read regularly. Too many blogs out there, so I chose to specialize in other bloggers who did outfit posts. You do not. Why I chose to add you to my blogroll anyways was this: CONTENT. There is nothing like what you write out there. No one says it like you say it So I made an exception over a year ago, and I come back. Whenever you post. I read.

      You show how its done, when its done right. Thanks for sharing.
      Bella Q latest blog post: outfit post: Plaid + Leopard, Western Style

      Reply
    • Deb @ Home life simplified October 6, 2011, 7:44 PM

      I have only been blogging for two months – and use thesis ; ) – and one of my big issues was that I do not write those sort and snappy 300-500 word posts. I am glad to read at least one person saying that people will not necessarily leave because of length. Most of the subjects I cover during the week are meatier and need length – I am making Friday – Sunday more fun and shorter.

      Myth # 1 is the one I am still figuring out – I think I at least need to stick with a routine or I tend to sit on my topics for ages.
      Deb @ Home life simplified latest blog post: Attitude of Gratitude Check-In {Week One}

      Reply
    • Bree @ The Blog Stylist October 6, 2011, 7:40 PM

      Nice work, B! And TOTALLY agree with you re: point 1. Write a post when you have something worthwhile saying, not every day (or at a regular schedule) just for the sake of writing something.
      Bree @ The Blog Stylist latest blog post: The ULTIMATE resource for bloggers

      Reply
    • Fajr | Stylish Thought October 6, 2011, 4:57 PM

      Loved this post, and I couldn’t agree more with your points. I’m not a fan of Thesis, not because all the blogs look alike, but more for personal preference and just working in the WordPress space I know Thesis is not the end all be all to WP Themes!

      Myth 4 is certainly something I struggle with. Knowing my limits and that I’m not a horrible blogger if I can’t comment is key. I think we have to realize that we live in a world of content producers and sometimes creating content trumps interacting. Though we can’t let interacting totally fall by the wayside :)
      Fajr | Stylish Thought latest blog post: Women Who Werk: Jonene Taddei

      Reply
    • Christina October 6, 2011, 3:26 PM

      Hello!
      I am new in blogging so whenever I see a post concerning tips on how to build a better blog be sure that I read it to the end. Like I did with this one and found it very interesting. Thank you for the information. Expecting your next post.
      Christina latest blog post: Wednesday’s beautiful blog!

      Reply
    • MJ October 6, 2011, 11:39 AM

      Girl I absolutely loved these! Where was this post when I started blogging two years ago?? I definitely learned some of these the hard way, especially the one about posting everyday. My mantra is quality over quantity any day!
      MJ latest blog post: Fierce OOTD: Blue Blazin…

      Reply
    • ataultest002 October 6, 2011, 7:46 AM

      excellent , excellent and excellent.
      ataultest002 latest blog post: Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple, Passes Away at 56

      Reply
    • Sabine October 6, 2011, 7:39 AM

      What a great in-depth article (which I found through Pearl who’s also a great communicator). I agree with most of the points (simple layout, content, etc.). Some things I’ll have to think about (wordpress, how much sharing options do I need to offer?). One point that really got me is that Yes, it is very difficult to stay relaxed with your blog – you put so much effort, work and passion into it – it’s like one’s baby.

      Reply
    • Jeni October 6, 2011, 5:20 AM

      I made the mistake in thinking white backgrounds are boring, but I think most people are used to them, so when viewers come to my site they are slightly freaked out by my dark background (which is making me want to get a new theme).

      I tend to be wordy, so I worry I write more than people want to read. I’m working on doing bigger headlines and bulletpoints to make it easier for people to skip around.

      One thing I did right was starting out with a self-hosted blog, but it does seem like Blogger blogs get more traffic from the Blogger community, which might help out a new blog (I’m not totally sure of this).
      Jeni latest blog post: Robinul For Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating)

      Reply
    • fuyume October 6, 2011, 3:09 AM

      Great post B :) Particularly agree about thesis :) My own theme looks nothing like thesis because i’ve customised it alot and with custom css its fairly easy! Soo many great points in this post!

      Reply
    • Nikki @ Styling You October 6, 2011, 2:03 AM

      When you read a post that sounds like the thoughts going on in your head, it gets me excited! Thanks so much – I’ll share this my Australian blogging counterparts. The Blogosphere is exploding here at the moment and there’s a lot of “urgency” in people setting up blogs and expecting the world to change without doing most of the things you mention above.
      Nikki @ Styling You latest blog post: I wish every weekend could include a spa visit

      Reply
    • Heather Fonseca October 6, 2011, 1:56 AM

      Great post as usual! I love reading your blog because your content is so good! Will be tweeting this one, anyway…
      I totally agree with everything you’ve written, except maybe the part about Thesis. I had heard all about it and decided to purchase, and then ran away screaming and in tears. There’s customization, and then there’s I-think-I-need-to-hire-someone-to-do-this-because-I-cant. Thankfully I got a refund. Now I use woo themes. It’s far from perfect, but until I can hire someone to configure thesis to my needs it will have to do.
      Heather Fonseca latest blog post: Some new fashion illustrations

      Reply
    • Casee Marie October 6, 2011, 12:35 AM

      I love this post!! And thank you so much for the shout-outs!

      I completely agree with everything you said. I know that both Wordpress.org and Thesis are a tough area because everyone has mixed opinions on them, but for me and my blog I couldn’t be happier to be using both. I can’t really say that they’re for everyone, because maybe not everyone wants to put money into their blog and I think that’s understandable. But for anyone willing/wanting to take that step, I really don’t think there’s a better way to go.

      I was so guilty of #1 and #4 for the first six months or so of my blogging. I thought that’s just how it worked: you left comments on other blogs in order to get comments on your own. But then I found myself struggling through content that didn’t interest me and spending ages working out a decent comment, only to have that blogger come to my blog and write “Great post!” or “Love it!” and nothing else. It still frustrates me that I can’t comment on every post from every blog that I love and follow, but I currently have 143 unread posts in my Bloglovin’ from just these last few days, and there’s no way I’ll be able to comment on every one. It’s a vicious cycle.

      Okay, last thing I want to talk about is #7. I thought that for so long! To some degree I still do; unfortunately, it’s sometimes easy to tell – via stats and such – when someone comments on an entry but clearly wasn’t on the site long enough to actually read the whole thing. But that’s okay. People have told me that they’re likely to skip past long posts, whether because they don’t have the time or maybe even the patience, but they’re always driven to read mine when I publish them. That’s probably one of the best compliments I’ve gotten. I was telling Anika when we were chatting in NYC that reading isn’t massively popular in American society because it takes time and focus and everyone wants that instant gratification, so to undertake a text-centric publication is, in many ways, like swimming against the current. But there’s an audience of people out there just like us, who are looking for blogs with interestingly-written content that they can dive into, and when you find that audience it’s bliss.

      P.S. A little design cheat: my background is an X – literally. I typed “X” into Photoshop and that was it.

      Reply
    • Heidi October 5, 2011, 11:36 PM

      Great post! I think if that you post articles that make you, “you” it will shine and people will see it. The rest will come easy! :)
      Heidi latest blog post: Polyvore Outfit of the Week- Zoe Deschanel Look For Less

      Reply
    • Jessica Wise October 5, 2011, 11:34 PM

      I am new to blogging, really new to blogging, and, although I am not a fashion blogger, and, admittedly have rather limited access to fashion (Top Model and Ugly Betty being my formative texts), I have routinely bounced back to your blog for advice on blogging. I was compelled to share just how, well, overwhelmed I felt by this post. Maybe it’s the hyperlinks (which stretch the immensity of the blogosphere out before me). Maybe it’s the eye-opening hyperlinks and commentary about blogger vs. wordpress, either way, WOW! Thanks (said in a grateful but timid voice) for all of your know-how.

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    • kristy October 5, 2011, 11:12 PM

      this post makes me so happy. it’s very well written and you make so many amazing points.

      the thing about comments… oh my god, i wish i had read that 6 months ago when i started going crazy trying to comment as much as i used to. it was literally affecting my health and my ability to post quality content. but i was so worried people would get mad at me. unfortunately, some did. but it wasn’t so bad once i came around to it.

      and i also love your point about content first. i have noticed quite a few people relying more on community and trying to guilt readers into coming to their blogs. it’s very unnerving.

      great post! =)

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    • Courtney October 5, 2011, 10:33 PM

      On commenting back to every comment–I do do this because I started off on LiveJournal 10 years ago and built a great community of friends who I had honest discussions with. They weren’t followers or readers or an audience. They were my honest to goodness friends. And that’s how I see comments. Friends popping in to say hello. And that’s why I respond to .every.single.one (within 3 days, of course!).

      I don’t expect other bloggers to do the same. I get a lot of joy out of commenting back to people, which is why I stick with it.
      Courtney latest blog post: My Pants Phobia

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    • Courtney October 5, 2011, 10:37 PM

      Also, on Thesis. That’s partially my reason and I hope you don’t hold it against me for our past twitter conversations on thoughts on Thesis. I also think the cost is prohibitive for people on a budget, which is another reason why I can’t even consider it as an option.
      Courtney latest blog post: My Pants Phobia

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    • GRIT & GLAMOUR October 5, 2011, 10:09 PM

      AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWESOME, B!

      Love this post. So many truths, so much wisdom. Totally sharing now!

      And thanks for the shout, babe!
      GRIT & GLAMOUR latest blog post: Interrupting Life for a Brief Blog Post (and Elie Tahari)

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    • FASHION TALES October 5, 2011, 9:59 PM

      This is another helpful post about commenting, because lately I’ve been so swamped with work & new projects that I cannot replying back to “all” comments. Some days I can’t blog and do not! Whoever says that blogging is easy definitely isn’t blogging, (or perhaps they have an army of people doing it for them, lol) Yes, it’s entirely hard work! Though my focus has not changed much, I think I’ve learned to share more of my artistic creativity within my blog these past months, and still learning.
      A bravo post, and all very interesting to me B, as now I want to take a day off or two and just switch to Wordpress! However, my questions would likely be in like paragraph format, lol! :)
      FASHION TALES latest blog post: Conquering The Animal

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    • Fashnlvr October 5, 2011, 7:00 PM

      You are so right about blogging not being easy. There are so many days I get discouraged and feel like I should just “give it up.” But then someone leaves a nice comment or I get a new follower and it keeps me going. This is a really great post. I haven’t decided to go to wordpress yet as blogger is still working for me. I do agree with the simple background. When I first started out my background was kinda crazy, but as I read blogging tips and simply visited other blogs, it stood out to me that the most successful and well-respected blogs kept it clean. When I did my re-design I took that to heart and cleaned mine up. In no time at all I saw an increase in followers. Suddenly, I was being taken seriously! So glad I changed.
      Thanks for writing out all these great tips. You always have such great information.
      Fashnlvr latest blog post: Monday Mashup: Fall Festival and Fashion

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    • JF October 5, 2011, 6:48 PM

      Thank you for this post. I am thinking of starting a blog as I have a few opinions that I would like to discuss, and your blog has given me some ideas on how to start.

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    • Jacque October 5, 2011, 6:48 PM

      I can’t decide if this makes me want to throw in the towel completely or keep working at becoming a great blogger. I never thought blogging would be easy, but I also didn’t realize it would be quite this hard! I can barely grasp Blogger, so Wordpress scares the crap out of me. I don’t have a defined focus. My intent was just to write because I miss writing and see what happens from there. Some days it seems completely overwhelming and I want to give up. Some days I read the many blogs I now follow and feel completely inferior and again want to give up. And some days someone tells me they loved my blog, it made them laugh, or that they realized how much we have in common, and then I feel ready to write again.
      Jacque latest blog post: Easy Mark

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    • Kirstin Marie October 5, 2011, 6:42 PM

      This is such a helpful post. I’ve almost been blogging for a year, and yet these tips are still eye-opening. You are too funny about the blogger vs wordpress debate. xo
      Kirstin Marie latest blog post: A little leopard

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    • Veronica of Best of Palm Beach Consignment October 5, 2011, 6:40 PM

      Ok why I had not found your blog sooner, who knows. Thank you for this post, love how you addressed basically all the issues we face starting out. My blog will be 6 months old this month and I can truly say I have thought, done or mentioned every myth you included. Blogging is not easy at all, but as you described the hard work does pay off in ways I had never imagined, such as new friends and fulfillment. I started with wordpress.org and I could not imagine blogging any other way and I will be getting the thesis theme very soon. I have a plain white background that I love because just like you I want my images in my posts to pop. Thank you for the calendar suggestion, I tots need to get up on it pronto. I could go on and on. Thanks again!

      xx
      Veronica of Best of Palm Beach Consignment latest blog post: Fashion Hunters Series Premiere

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    • Alexis of NorthOnHarper October 5, 2011, 5:47 PM

      This is all amazing and true. B—- really excellent post. And so on the money….

      THANK YOU for reminding me of some of these things!
      Alexis of NorthOnHarper latest blog post: Seashells and Chanel

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    • A Brit Greek October 5, 2011, 5:13 PM

      Another brilliant post from you B… It’s funny that you should write this, as I’ve also been re-evaluating my blog recently… The commenting on back on everyone else’s blog is a tricky one. I feel guilty if I haven’t replied back or commented back, responded back on someone else’s blog… etc but it is time consuming and right now I don’t have the pleasure of being at a computer/laptop all day.
      x.o.x.o
      A Brit Greek latest blog post: Contrast Tuxedo’s: Mad for Monochrome

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    • blahblahbecky.co.uk October 5, 2011, 4:31 PM

      Another amazing post – this is why people stick around for 3 and a half minutes!! (:

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    • Pearl Westwood October 5, 2011, 3:59 PM

      great points, I was a true Blogger lover until we got all that downtime so I switch to WP and I like it, not sure if I love it but there are good and bad things about both platforms. One thing I will say is your guide was indispensable in smoothing out the few problems I had with the move, so thank you!!!

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    • Arash Mazinani October 5, 2011, 3:44 PM

      Interesting post B. Particularly about the comments as this is something that I’ve been, well not worrying, but thinking about a lot recently. I’ve noticed as I’ve had less time to go out and comment on other blogs the less comments I’ve actually been receiving. I found when I had more time to go through and comment on different blogs the more comment’s I’d receive.

      Reply
    • Tiffany October 5, 2011, 3:36 PM

      Love wordpress too

      XOXO,

      http://outfitidentifier.com/

      Reply