Guest post: 7 things I learned from other bloggers

Editor’s note: I’m incredibly grateful to my beautiful blogging friend Sarah for stepping in with this guest post today. If you didn’t catch my news, my Pop passed away on Thursday night. I was just going to skip my Saturday post as I’m helping with some of the funeral arrangements. Sarah texted me straight away and offered up a post. If you haven’t checked out her blog, then do it. Now. We’ll wait for you to come back. And, the trip she talks about below? It was when we first met. Good stuff and good people comes from blogging. It just does.

—————————————————————–

Hey Stylers, Sarah from A Beach Cottage here, contributing over at StylingYou on this lovely Saturday morning and sharing with you what I learnt on my first blogging event a few months ago.

I read a lot on blogging and when I went to a blogging related event just before Christmas last year (ahem I was so late to the meeting other bloggers party) I realised something, that I love the topic of blogging and what I realised on that blogging event is how powerful this new medium is … and it’s giving people who wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity big options and big opening of doors.

…but rather than books and the professional blogging sites, the most I have learnt is through meeting real people doing the blogging thing …girls (and boys) like me on a similar journey … girls blogging from a corner of their lounge room one minute, on the TV the next, girls with a few kiddos, a busy life and thousands of Facebook followers hanging on their every word, boys with huge Twitter followings and dads who blog and love it.

I have made some new friends in lieu of that event and the last couple of months I have picked up a few things from other girls doing the blogging thing that I am getting to know … we have chatted on the phone and emailed and really for me, it’s made blogging so much more, well, just good for me.

Here’s what I have learnt from some of the bloggers I went away to Kuala Lumpur to a blogging event with – these aren’t magic things that will bam make you suddenly be a huge successful blogger, more things to just think about and do for your blogging … things that I noticed along the way over the last few months.

beach cottage 7 things

1. Don’t give up

This is my numero uno … I have read hundreds of professional blogging sites that bang on about this message. They fluff it up with all sorts of things to confuse you, but the number one thing I have learnt for myself and from the other girls I went away with is that we all started with low stats, no followers but a big old head full of ideas but all turned up regularly and kept at it. Even the ones who are very different to me and their main aim is to make money from their blog as a serious business, they started with nothing and worked unpaid in the beginning

So just don’t give up, no matter what your goals are … to get 100 followers to make friends with you and be part of your life, to rock the blogosphere with your greatness, to make a tonne of money and become famous, you have to stick with it. And if you find it really hard, then maybe it’s time to sit back and look at why.

2. Be kind and stay positive

My eyes were opened hugely to this on my trip. Everyone was so kind and more importantly so encouraging and I think that goes a long long way in blogging.

Sometimes in the online world things can get a bit heated – the best thing I have learnt is to try and stay positive.

Blogging is sometimes competitive and can be bitchy, copycats and trolls are horrid and if you blog, there’s a good chance you will at some point experience some of that. My best tip for all of that is to just be positive about you and what you are doing. I noticed that with all these bloggers that I was away with … we had all had moments that weren’t so nice but being positive was the best way out of it.

The worst thing is that in blogging people feel they can “openly” criticise you and what you do and it’s mostly not in a constructive way and people will openly steal your ideas too … to be frank, it’s not very nice being on the end of either of these but both have happened to all the bloggers I have got to know and the best thing to do is forget it and remain positive about the thing that you love – your blog.

So stay positive, it will show on your blog, oh and keep those negatives to yourself – no-one, ever likes a whiny blogger.

3. Be yourself and don’t apologise for it

I was a little bit worried about this on the trip. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be professional or clever or good enough among all these A-lister bloggers. I said this to my hubby and he said what he always always says …to be myself and I’d be fine.

So I did that and it was ok but more importantly what I noticed was that everyone else was doing exactly the same. We were all from quite different blogging niches but in that we were all being ourselves in them. I noticed how each blogger’s unique personality and interests was what made them excellent at their blogging and attracted people to it. In actual fact there were no divas on that trip – all of those bloggers were actually just ‘doing’ themselves and what they loved.

So be yourself and you will go far.

4. Flaunt it

I noticed one very common thing with all these bloggers. They all flaunted what they loved, whether that was home organisation, coastal style, traveling, dinosaurs or beauty products – all were blogging and celebrating the things they loved. Don’t be afraid to show a bit of what makes you special. Look at any of the Super Bloggers and you will see that in action left, right and centre. Pioneer Woman, cows and butter, yes it made her very famous … she was exploiting that special bit of her..

These bloggers walked the talk and mostly that came from their interests that had evolved into their blog. A mummy blogger who loves to give her view of the world? Flaunts it. Style blogger who adores fashion? Wears it. Parenting blogger who is all about making kiddos organisation better? Breathes it.

So show-off what you love and work it.

5. Be polite

I noticed these bloggers were all appreciative, polite and well-mannered on the trip (no-brainer right?) and since then I have quietly observed them being the same way on their blogs, interacting online and in the conversations I have had offline with them. Every single one of them is very busy, and working hard, some working big hours to make blogging pay the bills, some working big hours for nothing … but all have had the time it takes to say thank you and in their own way say “I appreciate what you have done for me” etc.

Try to be polite in blogging as you would in the real world and that goes for whether you are a blog reader or an up-and-coming blogger. The number of one liner emails I get from strangers who I have never met, along the lines of this:

Where’d you get that chair/paint/scarf from?

Pardon me?

OK, I am no super-star and no Diva Blogger but a “Hi”, preferably with my name, and some kinda of thanks is in my book, good manners.

I have learnt online that being polite and patient goes a long, long way and people I have worked with and come across behind the scenes in both designing this blog and in terms of the media etc regularly comment on it, which always amazes me and makes me wonder quite how other people behave!

I am no super-kind super-happy super-polite person, but in online communication, a please, a thank you and recognising and appreciating others’ time at the other end of computer line goes a long way. I mean even if you are sitting on a broomstick at the time, how long does it take to type the six letter word thanks?

6. Know your stuff and keep learning

I noticed one blogger in particular knew her niche inside out, and as I chatted to her I realised that I knew mine too. A couple of the bloggers there knew their topic backwards, forwards and around the corner and it showed. So do your homework. Subscribe to blogs you love and learn from what they do. Subscribe to blogs you don’t love and watch what they do. Keep learning.

I have been in the blogging world for three years now and it moves fast and you need to keep up with that by constantly learning, but more importantly learning what works for you.

7. Care

All these bloggers cared about blogging and their niche – not in a wishy washy way. Love your blog and your readers will too.

I noticed all these bloggers cared a LOT about their blogs … like really a lot. They cared about their readers, they cared about what they wrote, they cared that they might not turn up one day and let their readers down, they cared that they provided top content, they cared that they were good, there were careful that their blog was unique, they cared about what was coming up on their blogs, they cared about where their blogs are going.

Since then I have noticed this on every blog that I read, one in particular that is not written to attract followers, in fact she doesn’t even allow comments but she cares about her blog and it shows … and guess what, she has a huge amount of followers!

So that’s what I got from my very first adventure at a blogging event … not plug-ins and statistics and ways to get traffic, but that blogging successfully is actually more than that. That blogging needs you to work it in a real way – as you would anything that you want to grow – nurture it, promote it, give it a hand, water it and share it and it will show.

Thanks for having me Stylers.

Sarah

—————————————————————–

Sarah A Beach Cottage blogs over at abeachcottage.com broadcasting from the beaches of Sydney on all things coastal and cottage, she loves home decor, collecting vintage things and white paint.  She also dabbles in Real Girl Fashion and loves reading cookery books and blogging her favourite recipes.  Oh and she sometimes can be found on a broomstick when a busy life, looking after the house and running around and feeding three kiddos all gets a bit much.

 

—————————————————————–

Parenting blogger Nicole Avery, the amazing blogger behind Planning with Kids, was also on the above blogger trip with us. Well, guess what? Nic has just launched her ebook that gives all the tool and tricks you need as a blogger to build your blog but in a smart way. Click on the graphic below … you’ll be doing yourself AND your blog a super favour!

—————————————————————–
Last but not least … if you’ve blogged about blogging or social media this week, feel free to link up below. Make sure where it asks for NAME, that you include the heading of your blog post so we’re excited to know what you’ve written about!



( Collection closed )
Link tool by Inlinkz

Stay in touch

For a daily email update, click HERE. Or hit the subscribe button below for weekly news in your inbox.
  • Cheryl from BusinessChic

    Hi Nikki,

    So sorry to hear about your Pop passing away, my thoughts with you and your family.

    And what a lovely post from Sarah to remind us of the positivity in the blogging community, wonderful stuff. X

  • http://www.getinthehotspot.com/ Annabel, Get In The Hot Spot

    Hi Nikki,

    Very sorry to read about your pop passing on:( How would we manage without good blogging friends like Sarah….

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Very grateful!

  • http://www.liveloveshare.com.au/ Photography Melbourne

    Great post! Exactly what we guys needs right now. It takes for a person to know even if they have challenges, we really have to acknowledge that life is indeed beautiful. Sharing this ideas inspires young bloggers in the new generation.

  • Maxabella

    Sorry to hear about your Pop, Nikki. I hope the funeral brought many good memories and all is well.

    Loved Sarah’s post. All so very true. x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Maxabella … it was a wonderful celebration of his life – funny and inspirational. x

  • http://www.ladythinking.com/ Jackwafabwa @ Lady Thinking

    I’ve come back three times already to read this post and I’m sure I’ll be back again, and again.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      I know … so much for us to remember all the time!

  • Susan Lord

    Those are great lessons. Over the years, I have found that a good 


    parenting blog can be a great resource with a ton useful tips that only come with experience. One of my favorites is Young Urban Moms. I get great tips, advice, stories, and ideas from moms that are really easy to relate to and really funny. I would definitely recommend them.

  • http://www.yTravelBlog.com/ yTravelBlog

    So sorry to hear about your pop Nikki!

    Great post Sarah. I had a disappointing experience this week with some blogging nastiness, so it was so great to be reminded from this post of the good things. My experience has been full of kindness, positive and encouraging people the majority of the time that I have been blogging. Sometimes the mean stuff comes but you gotta not worry about that and focus on what you are doing and how you can be the best person you can be.
    I think its all about being confident, passionate and nice.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Oh, Caz, that’s awful but I truly believe that confident, passionate and nice wins out in the end. Thanks for your kind thoughts x

  • http://twitter.com/lynneknowlton Lynne Knowlton

    Hi Sarah
    Thanks for linking me to Nikki’s blog from yours. I can’t wait to explore more.

     Nikki…I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your POP. It sure tugged at my heart strings.

    As always, I ADORE your blogging advice. I have learned so much from you over the past year Sarah, and I am ever so grateful. I loved all the advice that you gave, and it keeps me going…keeps me blogging…keeps me thinking that this will all lead somewhere spectacular. In the meantime, I sure am having some awesome fun blogging…and it is the blogging community and readers that really help me shine and just stick with it.  Thanks for cheering bloggers on…
    Big hugs to both of you,
    Lynne xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Lynne … Sarah is an inspiration!

  • rahest

    Sarah, you’re such a clever chicky. I need to hire you as my motivator/mentor!

    Nikki, so sorry to hear about your pop. It’s never easy to say goodbye x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      She is, isn’t she? Thanks for your lovely words x

  • Christine walker

    Hi,Niki,i love your blogs,you have opened a whole new world for me.I’ve been following you since youv’e started and i have enjoyed the journey.Thank’s Christine.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Oh, that’s lovely to hear Christine x

  • http://twitter.com/JillBrown20 Jill Brown

    Thanks for the upbeat post, Sarah. I’m struggling to get started with Instagram tonight . . . and Twitter is down on my phone and I can’t work out how to fix it . . . needed a little cheer to cope with the frustrations of social media madness! Thanks for the lift. 

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Oh, so frustrating when things don’t work as they should. Glad Sarah’s post was a cheer up!

  • Deb_BrightandPrecious

    Thank you Sarah for an encouraging post. Be Yourself and Don’t Apologise For It struck a chord with me. Needed reminding. Thanks. x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      I think we all need that as a daily affirmation!

  • Jansinclair

    Very helpful post Sarah, great encouragement and good advice. Lovely of you to step in and support Nikki too.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Love this blogging world for just that support, Jan. x

  • http://www.zigazag.com/ Johanna

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your father, Nikki. Keep your chin up as much as you can x
    Thanks Sarah for some great tips and warm inspiration. Not giving up is such important advice, and continuous learning and improvement is a must.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Johanna. And you’re so right, there is always something to learn!

  • LISA Mckenzie

    Thank you Sarah for that interesting post on blogging,i love blogs ,have even thoughti might want one ,but i think i’m on of those people just meant to read other peoples.
    I follow you on Instagram and you have a lovely house ,very jealous ,I live in the outer west of Sydney at the foot of the mountains ,so the beach is a bit far away ,but i love your daily pics of the beach and the different images you post .
    I Agree Sarah, about being kind or polite ,my mother taught me that old adage, if you can’t  say something nice ,say nothing at all,that is my motto in life and it works very well,there is enough bad in the world without me adding to it.Once again Thankyou .

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      I love that you come here to read every day and follow a beach life via Sarah’s instagram!

  • http://twitter.com/planningqueen Nicole Avery

    Firstly so sorry to hear about your Pop Nikki.  Take care of you and your family at this time of loss. xx

    Sarah, I really loved this post as it just oozed warmth, thoughtfulness and experience.  It has been an absolute delight to meet you in person.

    Thanks also for giving my e-book a shout out!

    Nic

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Nic … and so excited about your e-book. Can’t wait to get stuck in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=675405950 Rachel Wernicke

    Nikki, I am so sorry to hear about your pop. xxx

    Thank you Sarah, I love this post. Some really great tips. Rachel x

    • http://www.abeachcottage.com/ abeachcottage

      Glad you liked it Rachel x

  • http://www.hairromance.com Christina @ Hair Romance

    Great post Sarah. Thinking of you this weekend Nikki x

    • http://www.abeachcottage.com/ abeachcottage

      Thanks Christina x

  • http://www.lipglossmumma.com.au/ Lipgloss Mumma

    Great post Sarah, thanks fro sharing and yes manners seem to have gotten lost somewhere between the real world and the online world I think sometimes. 

    • http://www.abeachcottage.com/ abeachcottage

      Yes, some of the things I get in my inbox surprise me but mostly it’s all good :-)

  • domesblissityblog

    Great advice from Sarah Nikki. Very sorry to hear about your Pop. My sincerest sympathies to you and your family.

    Anne xx

  • Kerryn Woods

    That’s odd – what happened to my avatar? Stupid Google. Bah!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Have you uploaded an avatar to Disqus?

      • http://www.fitbodyfifty.com/ Kek

        It comes up on other blogs that use Disqus, so I assume so, Nikki. These comment systems confuse me… LOL 
        This time I’ve logged in via OpenID – at least I get a link with this one.

  • Kerryn Woods

    Great tips, Sarah – I especially love #5. Sometimes I think the world has forgotten about good manners… 

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Good manners go a long way – not just in blogging!

    • http://www.abeachcottage.com/ abeachcottage

      thanks Kerryn and yes #5 is a good one! 

  • http://www.se7en.org.za/ Se7en

    Oh so sorry about your Pop… sending love from across the ocean.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks x

  • http://profiles.google.com/craftymummy2 Crafty Mummy

    PS I added my post to the linky but it doesn’t seem to be showing up – just a heads up!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      It’s there!

  • http://profiles.google.com/craftymummy2 Crafty Mummy

    I’m going to my first ever blogging conference  later in the year and now I’m even more excited! Can’t wait to meet some more bloggers as keen as I am about blogging…

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      You’ll love it Crafty Mummy – the buzz lasts for weeks!

    • http://www.abeachcottage.com/ abeachcottage

      It is great to just connect with people who get blogging, enjoy! 

  • http://www.livingbytheshore.com/ Susan @ Afford Your Passions

    Hi, Nikki – first time visit to your blog :)

    Sarah – good post! I’ve been blogging for close to 8 years, but was in a very small niche community (cross stitching), so not a lot of followers etc. Have been looking to build my blog, but not having a great deal of success (so far); was trying to expand what I would blog about; want to learn more about photography, and take pretty pictures :)

    Anyway, the thing that got me thinking (aside from “don’t give up”) was about copycats… I don’t know that there’s anything to blog about that someone isn’t already doing (to use your example – Pioneer Woman blogs about family, recipes, photography), and there are a million home decorating blogs out there. How do you distinguish copycats from someone who likes the same things, and isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery? I’m not talking about stealing someone’s images or text (unless that is what you are talking about with copycats). Thoughts on remaining unique or avoiding copycatting, when everyone else is covering what you like?

    I appreciate the feedback as always! Thanks, Nikki for allowing me this long comment!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Hi Susan
      I think that yes there are a limited number of niches out there. But – it’s YOUR spin on that niche that sets you apart. That’s the key. For me that’s been a continuous work in progress and I know my blog will continue to evolve with me. 

      With regards to copycats, yes there are blogs out there blogging on similar subjects but a copycat will actually take your exact “spin” or idea you have in place on your blog and make them their own, for example say you start a series and it has a theme. If you see someone in your niche start one that’s pretty much a straight copy, then that’s not on. And that blogger will not actually sustain it as they are not being THEMSELVES. They’re being someone else.

      Hope that helps!

      • http://www.livingbytheshore.com/ Susan @ Afford Your Passions

        Thanks, Nikki – that helps! 

    • http://www.abeachcottage.com/ abeachcottage

      Hey Susan 

      Oh there is plenty of room for everyone in blogland, no matter what your niche. 

      However, copycats do exactly what Nikki says and will lift themes & ideas from other bloggers, rather than having their own unique content…for example if you blog recipes you might start a theme for them with a unique tagline you made up and then a blogger in the same niche as you, (for example in my case that would be another coastal home blogger in Nikki’s case another fashion & style blogger, in your case cross-stitching) and will use exactly the same tagline/theme/recipe name or something very similar…and pretty much directly copy the original blogger…that is copycat blogging…blogging in the same niche about similar things and your ideas is very different! 

      Hope that is of some use….

  • le_third

    thanks Sarah – this was a great set of learnings t pass on :) Nikki I hope the family are holding up – my thoughts are with you – le xox

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks xx

    • http://www.abeachcottage.com/ abeachcottage

      you are welcome, glad it was of interest x

  • Kelly Exeter

    Oh Nikki – I am sorry about your Pop. Hugs to you lovely.

    And big thanks to Sarah for her post today – loved it :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Kelly – and yes, a great post for us all!

    • http://www.abeachcottage.com/ abeachcottage

      thanks Kelly x

  • http://hotlyspiced.com/ Hotly Spiced

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandfather.  Sarah has done a wonderful post in your absence – a lot for every blogger to think about there xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      There certainly is, thanks Hotly Spiced!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713273835 Sharon Johnson

    Hi Sarah, 

    Wings come early for some strong folk 
    For in life I’m sure he was a great man
    Our blessings to nikki and family
    May the strength of all the styling you family
    Be a source of enrichment today and always

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Sharon x

    • http://www.abeachcottage.com/ abeachcottage

      thanks you Sharon.

  • http://funandvjs.blogspot.com/ Brismod

    Sorry to hear about Nikki’s pop. Such a sad time for her… Good post Sarah. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind or polite and it’s nice to hear that is the norm among fellow bloggers. Xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Sarah x

    • http://www.abeachcottage.com/ abeachcottage

      Yes, certainly nice to be such good company!