On Giving Blogging Advice (Part 1)

Giving Advice

If you decide to start a blog and go through with the publishing process, more than likely, you learned something new. You take all of those experience you’ve learned about blogging and you want to share that! You want to share what you like about other blogs versus what you don’t like. You want to help people by guiding them to the greener grass of betterthanthou blog land.

Most bloggers have best intentions when starting a blogging tips column. The truth is, there is a lot of thought process that needs to go in prior to starting a blogging tips column. There are quite a few things every blogger should consider while giving any type of advice from their blog. I’m putting together a few things to consider prior to or while giving advice from your blog—specifically about blogging itself.

You Are Liable

First and foremost, regardless of how trivial we would like to think our blogs are, someone is taking away an idea or thought from what you share. You could simply be sharing your OOTD. From this post alone, you’ve probably “endorsed” four to five different brands without thinking about it. From your outfit alone, a reader could gather that you like The Gap because there’s no other way you’d share a photo on your blog wearing Gap jeans. It’s totally illogical but you are liable for the things on your blog.

I make this example because you are liable for the advice you share on your blog. Whether you know it or not, your blogging advice could be linked in hundreds of places (forums, Facebook groups) and you’ll never know it. You are responsible for the things you share so be aware if the validity of your advice prior to sharing it.

Opinion VS. Facts

Prior to sharing advice, think about whether  this is your opinion on what best practices are on blogs versus the facts of best practices. While blogging isn’t new, it’s ever evolving. There really aren’t any rules on what makes a great blog minus having good content that applies to your target market. All of the factors that make a great food blog is not applicable to what makes a great fashion blog. It also doesn’t matter if you follow all of the “blogging rules” or not, whether one decides to read your blog depends on a person’s personal preference. You can have an amazing blog and people won’t read it because of what your name is. It’s just that simple.

Prior to writing blog advice, just respect that some things that you might prefer, may just be your opinion. It’s ok to share your opinions on what running a great blog is. It may be extremely helpful to like-minded people in your industry and you shouldn’t be discouraged to share.

Talk About Your Experiences

If you want to stand out on sharing advice of any kind, talk about your personal experiences and how the advice applies to you. I should write an entire blog post about the importance of backing up your blog’s database. From 2006-2008, I probably lost the entire contents of my blog once or twice from the lack of a proper database backup. I learned a lesson and sharing my experience might help others understand where I’m coming from.

could write a blog post on how to sell $1,000,000 worth of stationery, but I have never done that. Who would care about what I have to say on how to do something I’ve never done? Try starting with things you’ve done right and things you’ve done wrong because they can be most helpful.

Fact-Check

This is imperative because I’ve read a few blogging advice posts in the past month that have shared incorrect information. Once again, you are liable for what you say so just be 100% sure what you’re sharing is correct. Just because you prefer something doesn’t make it industry standard.  Take the time to research your topics prior to sharing them. You might be surprised if you learn something new.

This got pretty lengthy so I think I’ll break it up into a two-part series! I have some great topics that I’ll be sharing in the next post about taking criticism and the word expert so stay tuned!

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What are your thoughts on blogging advice? Do you take blogging advice from other bloggers? What are your criteria for actually following advice from other bloggers? I want to hear your thoughts because I feel like this topic is super important!

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Angelica Yarde
My name is Angel Yarde. I am a designer, front-end developer, and speaker. I am the editor and designer of Studio 404 whic was founded in December 2006. In January 2014, I launched Studio 404 Paper, a paper shop which includes type-focused greeting cards, note cards, and prints. I currently reside in Celebration, Florida where I co-own a branding strategy studio, Sevenality, with my husband.
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39 Comments

  1. This is a great post! I come across a lot of blogging “advice” that is very opinion-based and often, just repeating other bloggers. If things get repeated often enough, everyone sort of accepts them as correct. Not good. Very few people think through these things before firing off a quick How To post, but we all should.

    • “If things get repeated often enough, everyone sort of accepts them as correct.” This is so key. I think it’s just the responsibility of any content creator to at least have an experience with the things they’re sharing on their blog space.

  2. Great points!
    And hell yeah I take advice on blogging. There’s no way I’ll ever nail all different ways of blogging and all different ways of engaging with readers and all different ways of marketing through blogging and all different ways…
    So many things to learn from other bloggers, all the time.

  3. I certainly look at other blogs for blogging advice…this is one reason your Blogging 101 round-ups are so helpful 🙂 especially for new bloggers (like me). Really nicely written and great tips to keep in mind.

    • That’s awesome Mariah! I’m glad you’re learning so much and you can also learn what doesn’t work from you as well. Blogging is such a personal experience which is why I enjoy it so much.

  4. So many good points to keep in mind! The thing with giving out blogging advice is it’s just that — advice. Not facts. What works for someone, might not work for others. When I read advice I think it through and if I don’t agree with it, then I don’t follow it. Although the blogger giving out the advice should definitely make sure it’s known that the advice is just an opinion, I think readers have a responsibility to decide how to take such advice. And unfortunately too many people don’t do that. Great post — I can’t wait for part 2!

    • I think a lot of newbie bloggers sort of rely on the information they read so it’s hard to distinguish what should be applied versus what shouldn’t in such an open market. Blogging is so versatile and a lot of people just don’t understand that. It’s almost the same as following a design tutorial. Generally the outcome should be the same as provided but it is your responsibility to distinguish whether or not you need that for what you’re doing. If only people took responsibility for most things!

  5. I love this! I’m always trying to think of things that I know about that I can share with my readers, but if it’s not something I’mm 100% confident in writing about then I won’t put it out there. As a blogger, you have to find the balance between putting out good content that is helpful and beneficial to readers, but make sure that it’s worth their while and isn’t a bunch of crap!
    Can’t wait for #2!

  6. I definitely take blogging advice from other bloggers… but only if we have similar interests OR if I would aspire to be like them. The different niches within blogging make things a bit different. For instance, I’m a lifestyle + wellness blogger… so I wouldn’t go to a fashion or popculture blogger for advice. Successful bloggers in those areas work a bit differently.

  7. Great post! I think it’s definitely important to differentiate between fact and opinion since there are a lot of advice posts that turn out sounding like mandates. I do listen to other bloggers’ advice after thinking it through and deciding if it’s applicable to me or not.

    I find the most helpful and useful advice come bloggers’ own experiences. They’re the most fun to read through since they’re candid, as well.

    • I love reading posts about other’s experiences. I’m generally never going to experience the same things but it helps understand how someone came to the conclusion they have.

  8. These are great points.

    I think blogging advice is great but they need to be an expert or at least employed in the field they are giving advice about before I will take it. As a designer, I can give design tips because I’m using facts that I’ve actually learned in school, on the job, in just in working with clients. While I am freelance designer, I am new in freelance, so I wouldn’t start telling people how to freelance design just yet. I can give my advice based on the little experience that I do have, however I would have no business writing a book about it.

    Another thing I have is a disclaimer on my website. I give a lot of WordPress Tips or Share plugins that I like. One is based on facts, the other is based on my opinion.

    If someone takes my advice and installs one of these plugins I like on their website, I won’t be held responsible for their site crashing if it doesn’t work, because my disclaimer indicates that you take this advice at your own risk LOL.

    Anyway awesome post!

    • “I think blogging advice is great but they need to be an expert or at least employed in the field they are giving advice about before I will take it.” You and I have the same mantra! I’m going to chat about the word expert in my next half because it’s such a tricky word! I love what you’re saying about having a disclaimer. It’s so important because you don’t want to be liable for something someone does.

  9. Great post! I give a lot of advice, so have made sure I have disclaimers in place. I’m not responsible for what happens when people follow my advice and it goes badly, though I hope my advice helps people!

    I do think it’s up to the readers to determine what advice to take–obviously it’s the blogger’s opinion; there’s very little in life that is actually factual. But maybe that’s just my opinion. 😉

    • Kimberly also chatted about her disclaimer which is so important! You also have plenty of proof with your advice which is why I love your posts. 🙂

  10. This is so great! There are so many blogs out there giving blog advice and it is important for readers to remember that its just that-advice. I definitely agree with your point about talking about your experiences. This is probably the best way (for me, at least) for readers to learn something. I like that you bring up the fact that some bloggers share (either accidentally or not) inaccurate information, and how important it is to check your facts. I really loved this post, in case you can’t tell 😀

    • I think more bloggers are open to sharing their experiences because it humanizes the point they’re trying to make. 🙂 I do think checking your facts is important and I’m glad you agree.

  11. Great post! So on point. As a brand new blogger, this is something that has been on my mind a lot lately and you really hit the nail on the head. There are so many things I have learned through the blogging process that I want to share with others–my goal being to help them out too! But, I want to make sure I strike a balance between good, factual content and my advice based on my personal experiences.

    Thanks again for the great post! I truly enjoy your blog. 🙂

    • Kaitlyn, definitely draw from your experiences. It helps the readers understand the things you’ve learned applied to you because of your experience. It also helps just to get an understanding of some of the best practices found on larger sites in your niche. 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words!

  12. These are some great points Angel! I actually started a series on my blog today about starting your own blog, and it is based off my experience. I had a lot of friends and relatives ask me how I did it so that sprung the idea to start a series. I’m no expert but I’ve definitely learned a lot and I wanted to share that . I definitely don’t plan on sharing any advice that I have no experience in like monetizing your blog because I’ve never done that before. To each his/her own. I feel like you should be able to share what you choose on your blog and it’s up to the discretion of the reader on how they want to take that advice, if at all. Great post though lady!

    • I do believe every blogger is entitled to share freely as they should! They should also be aware of the audience they have and just the liabilities that come with publishing on the web. Unfortunately, it’s place where people are prone to take things a bit too seriously which is ridiculous but it happens. Your post was great and I hope many others find it helpful.

  13. I love to read about blogging or design tips. I used to try to give some, but it seems everyone is an expert these days so I felt it was kind of mundane at this point. I love this post 🙂

  14. LOVE this post. I see so many people stating opinions as facts and leading others astray. Even though they don’t mean any harm, they are doing ALOT of it. People who are just starting out take these things to heart when they see several people are saying the same thing. Unbeknownst to them those people are sometimes in the same circles or repeating what they’ve heard from one “expert” who has stated opinion as fact. It’s sad to see newbies getting frustrated or spinning their wheels because someone else posted “advice” carelessly. Thanks for this, can’t wait to see part two.

    • I do agree Raven. I think it’s just best to do the best you can to be liable for what you share than sort of blaming others. It is only advice and you should apply it with knowing it won’t always be helpful but sometimes not everyone has that mindset when looking to other bloggers for advice.

  15. I enjoy reading blogging advice. I only take advice from blogs that I enjoy reading and have a decent bit of followers. I also take all advice with “a grain of salt”. If it is something I think will also work with me I’ll try to implement it, if it doesn’t produce results – I trash it.

  16. I never thought of blogging advice that way. AcK! Now I’m wondering if I haven’t been guilty myself! I am definitely taking this to heart with my next post. Couldn’t agree with you more.

  17. Great post. I’ve only recently decided to start an awkws advice column on my blog. I still feel a bit like an impostor about it, because what works for me might not work for others, and what works for me now may not even work for me in a few months.

    But you’re right, it’s about personal experience and not selling your word for gospel. Perhaps the advice of people like me is valid exactly because I failed so much. I may not know what works, but I certainly know what doesn’t.

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