13 blogging do’s and don’ts

I often get emails from new bloggers and vendors that I work with asking questions about blogging and I love it! Blogging is clearly a passion of mine and now that Burnett’s Boards is over a year old, and I’ve learned plenty of lessons the hard way – I’d love to share some do’s and don’ts that I wish I’d known when I got started… or even three months ago.

Before I get to the 13 blogging tips I’d like to thank Alexandra Elise Photography for sending this amazingly creative shoot that combines cute clothes, gorgeous glass jewelry, and sweet treats. More information on this shoot can be found at the bottom of this post.

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1. Pick a great blog name and URL. Even if you don’t think that your blog is going to go anywhere, be widely read, and you just want to do it for fun – you never know. I made this mistake and now that it’s a known name I’m stuck with it. When I tell people here in Hawaii the name of my blog they think it’s about surfboards. (more on that here)

2. Perfection is an unachievable goal in blogging, especially if you’re publishing daily so don’t fret about it. Spelling mistakes occur, and it’s ok. We’re all human. Just do your best. Full disclosure: a couple of weeks ago I found an old post of mine that had the word ‘titties’ instead of ‘titles.’

3. There are snobby and cliquish bloggers who won’t give you the time of day. Ignore them and use it as fuel to work harder. It makes it all the sweeter when they drop that first comment or actually reply to a tweet.

4. Don’t become one of them.

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5. A Blogging Haiku: 

No picture boring

Stick figure image ok

More shares a good thing.

6. Don’t make site or plugin updates late at night. If something goes wrong, which it will, you’ll be up all night trying to fix it.

7. Invest in a strong framework like Genesis or Thesis if you are just getting started or considering a redesign. As you grow you’ll be thankful for the good foundation (and no, those are not affiliate links).

8. Be careful who you accept advertising money from. In the beginning it might seem like a lot and totally awesome that someone wants to pay you, but think about what that advertiser is saying and if it matches your own goals/morals/outlook on life. I get weight loss advertising offers on a weekly basis and I turn them all down. In my eyes, it is a negative part of the bridal industry and I don’t want to be associated with it. Plus I like eating.

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9. Don’t pin from tumblr. I have learned this the hard way because I used to have a tumblr and now when I see pictures from my features floating around on Pinterest with a link to a tumblr post that has no photographer credit, it breaks my heart.

10. Credit and credit well. 

11. Don’t use ‘our’ or ‘we’ if it’s just you running your blog. It looks silly because your readers know better.

12. Let your blog and your interests grow and expand to reflect your personal passions. Anything written with love and genuine enthusiasm is more interesting than you writing an article ‘just because that’s what my blog is about.’

13. A guy named Will Smith will want to guest post on your blog. Don’t let him.

***

From Alexandra Elise Photography – “I cannot remember how this interest got started, but for a few years now Tina (my boyfriend’s mother) has loved glass. She finds the perfect glass to order, then separates it by kind and cuts into amazing pieces and designs these pendants to fire in her kiln in her basement.

You don’t always know what the piece will look like after firing – it’s like magic. I think it’s so amazing. Tina has made hundred and hundreds of pieces. She gives some as gifts, wears the others, and with the duds, she creates stepping-stones for the path to her pool.

I had this idea of combining Tina’s pieces with sweets. Her glass looks so decadent, so why not pair them with cake, macarons, and ice cream? One sweet treat!”

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.

Comments

  1. Top tips, thank you. I love your blog, find your boards (not the surfing ones) really inspiring, follow you on Pinterest (do I sound like a stalker?!), find Twitter too demanding and a bit cliquey (I am a blogger/wedding bouquet and accessories maker/brocanter trader-not enough hours in the day),note the Tumblr point (thanks) and apart from the actor who is Will Smith? (I do get a lot of emails offering to guest post totally irrelevant articles tho) and although I get great feedback and lots of views/hits have not had the time to progress it to actually generating any money from the blog side ~ if you fancy posting an article on how to get that bit started that would be very helpful!

    • Will Smith – as far as I can tell – is either a spam robot or a guy with too much time on his hands. He sends me (and a few others I know) articles (loaded with spam links), but the thing that makes Will different is that he doesn’t ask to be a guest poster – he simply says ‘let me know once you have published this.’ At first it was amusing (the audacity!), then it was annoying, and now it’s not as much of a problem because I’ve trained my inbox to hate him.

      I’m so glad that you love the blog! I will definitely think about writing a post about getting started in advertising. I must say though – I don’t think that the business side of this blogging thing is my strong suit. I’m too picky. It’s a personal flaw 😉

      • Ha, ha, ha, cool move on the Willbot :On the advertising side, I’m picky too and would hate to offend if someone approached me and their stuff doesn’t fit with mine, By the way, I also have a penchant for soft, furry, cuddly things and particularly enjoy your Crazy Cat Lady pins. Looking forward to future blogs and more of your insights 😀

  2. Thanks so much for posting these tidbits– it makes me super pumped that so far I’m going down the right track! (And it makes me giggle that you managed to throw in a kitty somehow. 😉 )

  3. Fabulous post, Sarah! Your tips are always spot on, and I love the dashes of humor. I haven’t encountered Will Smith yet, and I’m thankful for that, although there are plenty more just like him. I actually have a WTF folder dedicated to all the shady and/or ridiculous messages that I’ve received over the past year. Where do these people/bots come from???

    Anyway, I really love this little shoot. It was such a great idea to pair those jewel-toned glass pieces with macarons and ice cream cones. Such decadent whimsy! Plus, there’s a cat, so my heart is won. 🙂

  4. This is wonderful, Sara! One of the things I most admire about you is that you always tell it like it is, and you’re so open about all that you’ve learned along the way. I have learned so much from you over the past year, and this post is yet another gem. Thanks for all you do to inspire and inform!

  5. Miss Stepford says:

    This post came at the perfect moment for me. I read your blog daily and am a huge fan of your unique take on wedding mood boards. As someone similarly obsessed with wedding style, I’ve been slowly working away at developing my own wedding inspiration blog. Now that the fun part of the site design is done and handed over to my web designer sister to turn into an actual working web site, I’m looking into the nitty gritty of running it.

  6. I love this post more than my luggage! 🙂

  7. So totally adore that you posted this.

    My fave take-aways:
    – Haters gonna hate! Dont be one of them
    – Those weightloss ads = ugh! Just say nnnnnnooooo!
    – Will Smith… lolz…. !?!

    Thanks for the post Sara! xox

  8. Your blogging haiku made me snort-laugh!

  9. Such a great way to let us a bit deeper into your world….I love it!

  10. I cannot believe you are just a year old! Some great advice here, and lovin’ that haiku! And yes, don’t let Will Smith get bloggy wit’ it! 😉

    #6 foreverrrrrr! I’ve been caught in the late night site crash sweats more than once.

    The only other thing I might add is that sometimes being really really busy or not so good at keeping up can be misconstrued as cliquey. Sometimes! (Am I too optimistic? Haha)

    • I totally see your point! And it’s probably a legit excuse for a lot of people. But… I think everyone is busy – somehow – in their own way. Be it with life, kids, blogging, the industry, etc. We should all stop glorifying it and being busy is never an excuse for being rude.

  11. Great tips! Must remember the one about rude bloggers …. they always get under my skin, for some reason. And I’m laughing my head off about Will Smith. Who is that guy?!? Stop emailing me!

  12. Thank you so much for the tips! I just started a blog and this post really helped me a lot ♥ Stay awesome! -Majorie

  13. Amazing list! I have been guilty of #6… especially in the beginning, I had ‘fatal errors’ flashing across the screen after I had the not-so-brilliant idea that I could read html code. and no, you can’t google “Help, I killed my blog” — I tried.

    I haven’t encountered Will Smith… he seems like a charmer haha but I did have a guy that demanded a discount…and by ‘discount’ he meant FREE! What’s with these advertisers??

    • OMG the dreaded fatal error… I did that to my mother’s site (late at night of course) just a few weeks ago. Turns out the theme wasn’t compatable with WordPress 3.6 – had to redo the entire site!! :-/

  14. #1 so much. Biggest regret!

  15. what a great post, Sara! So spot on…and good ol’ Will Smith. That part made me chuckle:)

  16. Hey, I’ve heard of this Will Smith that you speak of! Avoiding him like the plague! 🙂 Great tips, Sara!

  17. Haha just burst out laughing at the end there. Great finish to a fabulous and honest post!

  18. Great post. I relate to so much of it! So glad I’m not alone in 🙂

  19. Great post! My blog is about the same age as yours and I’m learning new things everyday. I have encountered Will Smith…..ugh!!

  20. Oh my goodness! What a great post. I am loving #3 and know you could never be accused of being #4. You have mastered being approachable over the Internet which I love!

  21. This post is priceless, Sara! Love your honesty and appreciate your willingness to share some of your knowledge wealth. You’re a smart but kind girl!

  22. This post is amazing! I couldn’t agree more with your points. I’ve learned the third point the hard way and am still learning it. I think the last one is my favorite!

  23. I agree with everyone…this a wonderful post! And I agree with Kelly that it’s incredible that your polished and stylish blog is just a year old. So happy to be following along and, as a fellow blogger, learning too!

  24. Loved this post so much and so glad that I found it. As a new blogger, I’m always looking for guidance and this was a wonderful source that was both funny and helpful. (Also, love that you’re in Hawaii, my SO’s family is here in Honolulu too and we might need any Hawaii-specific wedding inspiration you might have!! 😉 )

  25. so much good stuff in this post Sara. Although I’ve been guilty of using “we” sometimes 🙂 I think it still feels weird to me to speak from a personal place of “I” even though I’ve been doing it for years. The “we” just comes out when I’m on auto-pilot sometimes. but they are all so on point and great advice for newer bloggers! And I love a good haiku.

  26. Love this post! Such heartfelt and solid advice. Thank you! The glass + sweets photos are pretty awesome too.

  27. Such a great post, Sara! Helpful, funny and spot on. Love that you mentioned good old Will Smith too!

  28. Thank you Sara. I’m Tina and I’m a new wedding blogger (4 months old) from Asia Pacific region. It’s been tough to get exposure and shares but I am working hard to see it grow. I’d love to hear what you have to say about how to get loyal readers! You’ve been a one of a kind inspiration in my everyday blogging battles and challenges. Continue with honest advice and I sure hope to be able to cross paths with you in the future!

    • Thanks for such a sweet comment Tina! That’s a really great idea for a blog post and I’ll definitely work on one for the future. For now though – my advice would be to just hang in there. It takes time but you’ve got to keep plugging away. It wasn’t until I had been blogging for about 9 months that I felt that I had readers (other than my mother!).

  29. I’m all about #8!

  30. #1 is my biggest regret, too! And I definitely have to work on #3 and #4. Great Post! 🙂

  31. I love these! Even though I’ve been blogging for a year, I still feel like I learn something new each day! and I’m wishing I had I had chosen a better blog name too. But for now, it is what it is!

  32. Thank you so much for these! I’m only a few posts in on my blog, and these were so helpful : )