I have been blogging for almost a year now. In that time I have learnt a huge amount that I didn’t even know was necessary to run a successful blog. I thought I would just write about my parenting life, and that would be it. How wrong I was!

People start blogs for many different reasons. I started blogging as an outlet, a way of getting all the thoughts that were swirling in my head out there, and as a SAHM I needed something that was my own, that wasn’t about my services to my family, I needed something that was mine.

I didn’t realise it at the time but I entered into a whole other world – that of Mom Blogs. I knew there were mom blogs, but at the time I  had no idea how many there were. I also had NO idea how competitive, welcoming, diverse and passionate an industry it was. I didn’t even know that it was even something that you could make money from. So to say I’ve learnt a lot is an understatement.

Besides that, there is also all the technical stuff you need to learn. I’m still not very good at that, but I’m still learning. I don’t think anyone ever knows it all.

Getting back to one of the best things about blogging though, is the actual blogging community. It’s one where most of us are open-minded, non-judgmental and supportive of each other. Within that community, there are a few things that define what makes us ‘good’ bloggers, and by ‘good’ I mean a blogger who other bloggers respect and want to connect with in the spirit of  the community to which you want to belong.

Here they are:

  • Be real! Don’t buy followers – this makes us literally roll our eyes and click that “UnFollow” button!
  • Pay your dues – those legitimate bloggers with +10k followers and 1000s of page-views a day – they worked their way up. Just like in a corporate environment. The have been going for years. They did NOT buy their followers! They did not cut corners. They are professionals.
  • Be humble and honest. If you are in it to make money, be honest about that, but don’t assume you’re owed anything. You need to understand that compared to the ‘big fish’ bloggers out there, you are relatively unknown and that makes you a risk. Whilst PR companies will be prepared to give you a chance, they need a little more credibility from you. Straight out asking for free stuff because you have a blog is not going to instill any faith in you. It’s simply not enough.
  • Don’t flip-flop – stay true to your blog. Know what it is you stand for. Don’t change your opinion, or values for the sake of free stuff – your followers and fellow bloggers will see it and lose all respect for you. This will result in another UnFollow!
  • Follow Back. This is a great way to establish a community of like-minded online friends, and let’s be honest, it’s also a great way to get more followers and get your content out there. BUT! Please check who it is first? Take the time to check out the new follower. If you’re a mommy blogger, and you have lots of followers who are single men from a foreign land with 10k followers, and they’re now following your little mama blog, I don’t think he’s really interested in your content and probably doesn’t even have any content for you to follow. Check first! These are the type of followers you don’t want, and they can cause more harm and stress than their numbers are worth – it’s as bad for your blog as buying followers and damages your credibility. Take the time to check.
  • Share – if you read something you like share it! Share it on Twitter, StumbledUpon or  Facebook, basically wherever you share your content, share other posts you like and rate. Sharing, commenting and likes are the currency of blogging so to be a ‘good blogger’ you need to engage with fellow bloggers and share their stuff as well as your own! Sharing is caring.

This applies to all blogging communities, not just mom blogs. It is applicable to whatever you niche might be: travel, technology, lifestyle, beauty.

So, with this in mind, let’s all try to be ‘good bloggers’.

One Messy Mama
Bridie By The Sea
Real Mum Reviews
My Random Musings