Our Five Ring Circus: Blogging 101: The Things I Won't Do

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Blogging 101: The Things I Won't Do

I started blogging nearly 8 years ago and it has been quite a journey!

At first, my blog was just a journal of my life with my two young children. It changed gradually over the years and eventually became what it is today.

Blogging has changed so much since I first started in 2008.  Back then, it was mainly just for recording memories and socializing with other bloggers. Now, it's a major business full of advertising and Pinterest-worthy content.  Blogging really is a lifestyle these days!

Although my blog changed a lot over the years, there are simply some things I just won't do!

I actually hesitated to post this because I didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings.  But the truth is, there are some things that I won't do because they don't feel right, but they work well for other bloggers. It really is just a matter of opinion and I'm a firm believer in to each their own!

Yes, my blog is more business-like these days. But I refuse to let go of the basics: sharing my family and forming connections with other bloggers!


The Things I Won't Do As A Blogger

1. I won't stop writing about my family!  I work hard to maintain a good balance of personal posts with sponsored posts. I believe that once a blog loses its personal touch, it becomes cold and unwelcoming. And, well, what's the fun in that?

2. I won't take every sponsored opportunity that comes my way. In a typical week, I take on one collaboration and turn one down. Sometimes more. It was difficult at first, but I learned to say that the content is not a good fit for my family. There is absolutely no point in writing about something that I can't genuinely discuss!

3. I won't hire a photographer to follow me around and I won't schedule frequent lifestyle shoots with a photographer for blog content.  Do you want to know who my photographer is when I have to get in the picture?  Lexie! My 9 year old actually has quite a good eye!

4. I won't obsess over stats. I know people that check them daily and post their stats on a weekly basis.  Blogging IS a numbers game, but I only provide my analytics when I'm asked and I just give a quick overview of my social media channels on my Contact page. I don't feel like anybody else needs to read how many page views I have each day!

5. I won't share how many people followed me and how many people unfollowed me each week on social media. That's pointless information to share with my followers!

6. I won't let ads take over my blog. I don't find it visually appealing when I visit a blog and immediately see an ad banner right under the blog title, all over the sidebar, and in between posts.  It's just too much clutter and impersonal. Plus, I recently heard some nightmare stories about how some of those ad companies aren't paying bloggers!

7. I won't join Retweet Groups.  Biggest Twitter Pet Peeve Ever.  They just clog up my feed and I lose interest in what the person has to say.

8. I won't use the words cohesive, aesthetic or organic (for describing something other than food).  I believe those words are completely overused in the blog word and half the time, I'm not even sure the blogger knows what the words actually mean!

9. Speaking of cohesive and aesthetic, my Instagram feed will NEVER be either of those things.  All the experts say it should be, but guess what? My Instagram feed is every bit as chaotic and colorful as my life with 4 kids. It's a good representation of ME and it's doing just fine!

10. I won't pay to boost a Facebook post. Sorry. NOT happening.  Facebook is my least favorite social media platform for blogging. I've earned every follower I have without paying a single cent.

11. I won't post my blog income online.  It's one thing to suggest which media companies pay the most, but I believe it's tacky to share monthly income with my readers.

12. I won't join a post share group to share blog posts on Twitter. I DO share blog posts on Twitter.  I just share posts that I genuinely enjoyed reading instead of posts that I have to share in order to have my content shared.  I also have a 5 share/RT maximum at a time.  I believe any more comes across as spam tweeting. Plus, when you are required to share so much content each day, your own content easily gets hidden within your feed and people tend to ignore it.

13. I won't become a content only blog.  Although Pinterest does drive traffic to your blog, every post is NOT Pin-Worthy!

14. I won't do large roundup-style posts.  Although I do share links here and there, it's a select few.  I get overwhelmed when I see titles like "The 50 Best Crockpot Recipes Ever"  and open up the post to just see a list of links. I want to see pictures, too!  Plus, I hate following links to another blog, then trying to backtrack to the original post.  It's too time-consuming.  I'm a big fan of narrowing it down. More than 10 links is overwhelming!

15. I won't fill up my blog with stock photography.  Almost every picture on my blog, including flatlays and Pinterest graphics, was taken by me.  It's a great way to get creative with photography and improve my skills!

16. I won't create automated Twitter messages to go to each new follower.  They're just not my thing.

17. I won't add pop up follow windows on my blog. Nothing annoys me more when I'm trying read a blog than a window popping up right in the middle of the post.  The ONLY time it isn't annoying is if it pops up after I post a blog comment.

18. I won't do a Friday Follow unless I actually follow the person on Instagram.  I understand social media is all about promotion, but I can't authentically promote a person I don't know.

19. I won't do follow for follow. I like to pick and choose the people I want to follow!

20. I won't stop interacting with other bloggers. It's so important to read content on other blogs and comment on the posts.  That's how connections are formed and that's the fun in blogging! How many blogs do you know that are popular, but have little to no comments? That's a sure sign that the blogger is just in it for the money.  I believe that engagement on your blog is so much more important than page views!

The most important thing I've learned about blogging over the years is to never say never!  Who knows? Maybe one day I will do some of those things. But for now, they aren't a good fit for me! 

I want to hear from you! What's on your list of things you won't do as a blogger?



  1. So many of these don't apply to me, but so many do. I love that you pick and choose who you interact with. And that you will keep your IG just how it is. I feel the same way. IG is how I share pictures and I like my pictures the way they are. So they aren't always in the same lighting, etc, but that's just life. :)

  2. I don't blog myself but my pet peeve as a READER is those ones that give you two sentences and then say "Click Here to continue reading" Ugh!! If you want me to read it, don't make it a pain in the neck for me to do so, lol. I hardly ever read those ones, because it irritates me enough that I lose interest in the post. There are some blogs I used to read daily that I rarely even check anymore because they changed to that format. :(
    I don't mind the occasional sponsored post as long as it isn't too often and doesn't sound fake.


  3. I can relate to so many of these. Though I have boosted posts on FB a couple times for sponsored posts, besides that I try to take it easy.


  4. I agree with so many of these points! My blog is first and foremost for ME! It's a scrapbook of my life and my favorite things. I want to post what I want to when I want to. I am enjoying growing it, though, and I love posting stats every now and then (mostly for me to look back on to see how far I've come), but I don't think I could ever bring myself to post any kind of income report, even though I do like looking at other bloggers' reports.

    I've only been blogging just over a year, and I feel like it can be very stressful if you try to "keep up with the Joneses" like so many bloggers do these days.

    Also, there is not much more that irks me that the whole follow for follow game on Instagram. I only want to follow people who I want to follow. I'm not going to follow you back just because you followed me. And what REALLY irks me is when the bigger bloggers follow you to get your attention, and then you follow them back because you actually like their feed, and then they unfollow you. That's just dirty. And when they do that, I unfollow them right back. Lol.

    Anyhoo, I love your blog and I love that you stay true to you... in this day in time YOU are the one being original because a lot of bloggers have started doing what they think they need to do to make money. Making money from my blog would be nice, but I'm not going to compromise my content for it!

  5. YES!!!! I loved this post I think I am on board with just about every single one of these especially the cohesive aesthetic oganic one. I seriously LOL'ed. The first time I turned down a paid post I almost cried it was SO hard. But your right on the content and sometimes the timing just doesn't work out.

    Great post friend. So glad you wrote it.

  6. Ahh! This was so refreshing to read! Thanks for being honest!

  7. I think my nevers are pretty much all the same as yours. It's refreshing for me to hear someone else is not doing the whole running around doing retweet groups and a whole lot of the other stuff. I just don't have the time or want to make the time for some of those things. Sometimes I worry that maybe I'm not being as successful as I could be because I don't play the game like a lot of others but it's comforting to know that not everyone is and that there are successful people who don't. I just have to do what works for me. Thanks for making me feel a little better :)

  8. LOVE this and one reason why I will ALWAYS read your blog! I hate going to a blog I used to love to read and now it's all advertising or sponsored post. Its just not personal. I feel though the blogging world has slowed down a lot since we first started!


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