Why I Won’t Be Writing Any More Blogging Advice Posts

imageYesterday, during #SundayBlogShare, a single tweet got my attention. It was a simple statement without a link – I can’t find the actual tweet now but it went something like this:

A blog post that isn’t about writing a blog post.

In the last twelve months or so, I’ve seen a huge increase in this type of content. Indeed, Pinterest and Twitter in particular are littered with them. There are entire blogs who are devoted to the complicated and time-consuming art of blogging. It’s the one type of post that any blogger can do, and fits with any niche or theme.

I’ve done a number of posts myself that I refer to as ‘Blog Advice’ – hints, tips and guidelines on everything from increasing traffic, understanding the insignificance of how many times a WordPress post is liked, replying to comments, and using hashtags and group boards to build a following and community – and I have based these on my own experiences of what has worked for me. At the time, it always feels like these sorts of posts always get more traffic than any other – there’s usually an immediate and positive response that is accompanied by a number of social media shares and comments.

However, upon closer inspection, they aren’t as successful as they initially appear. Indeed, within my ten most successful posts of all time, there isn’t a single blog advice post – my most popular posts are ones where I have shared a personal story or thoughts on teaching (and quitting it), relationships, pets and emotional intelligence. There aren’t even any in the top fifteen. It isn’t that I have done any less promotion on them than any other post, but it seems clear that, while they may be useful at the time, my readers aren’t as inclined to share or revisit them – once they’ve read it, they have the information they may feel that they need and don’t return to it again. Or, potentially it could mean that they thought it was complete nonsense, and were too polite to say anything…

Here’s a few thoughts on advice posts and why they may actually be detrimental to your readership:

At what point do we deem a blog successful enough to take their word as absolute? I started writing advice posts after I had received about 40,000 views, and my knowledge then was minimal compared to what I know now. Indeed, I see many bloggers who have only just joined the community, and seasoned bloggers with an enormous following writing posts on hints and tips. Who is to say which one is more valid? Would you follow the opinions on a post that is beautifully written, or base it on the numbers – they don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand.

There’s no right or wrong way to blog (that’s one of the many reasons why I love it).

Advice posts can be seen as negative, ie. you’re failing if you aren’t doing a particular thing, and sometimes they make others feel intimidated or disheartened, even by the titles alone, and I’ve read a number of posts recently that tell me as such.

They have started to fall into the category of writing just for a blogging audience. However, a readership does not solely consist of bloggers – I know a number of family members, friends, former colleagues and members of the public that read my ramblings regularly, and advice posts could potentially alienate those who don’t have an interest in blogging.

Not all of these posts are truly authentic in the advice that is given – a blogger will tell you to reply to comments (which, admittedly is a great way to build a community) but won’t share the fact that they paid £50 to Facebook to advertise a post, or the fact that they follow blogs to encourage a follow back, only to unfollow later on. I tried the Facebook thing once – I paid £13 and received nine extra views… total waste of money.

Of course, some posts are incredibly useful (and I’ve found some level of success myself after reading them and following their instructions) but unless somebody says ‘here’s a button that you can press to make your post go viral’ there is nothing new to say that hasn’t already been said a thousand times before, in a thousand different ways. It’s even got to the point where enormously successful posts are being stolen and passed off as their own work by other bloggers (unfortunately I’ve witnessed this on several occasions recently), purely because many people have run out of ideas. Sad, but true.

So, for the time being at least, or unless I find a new and effective way to increase my stats that nobody has used before, I won’t be writing any new advice posts. There’s nothing else I can say without the risk of repeating myself. That doesn’t mean I won’t be sharing my older ones in the way I always have, or reading and sharing those of others, and I am going to revamp the ‘Blogging Advice’ section in my menu where I can keep all of my advice posts on one area, but I’m going to return to what I originally started the blog for all those years ago: to share my life, my thoughts and my personal experiences with a community that has been an invaluable source of support.

What about you guys? Do you find advice posts useful? Do you write your own advice posts?

Follow me on any of my social media pages: you can find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks

198 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Be Writing Any More Blogging Advice Posts

  1. Loved you post, and I really do enjoy your advice posts. Still most of the time the advice posts I read are the same as the next always telling me that I need a niche to have traffic. Well I defy that rule of blogging and my traffic has been growing since I started. With a niche I’d get frustrated and I would have probably grown in the towel a few weeks into the blogging adventure…

  2. I’ve only had my blog for two years and the advice I’ve posted was always connected to what I’ve discovered works for me. But lately I’ve been thinking that my readers might want to see some fun, so I’ve been sharing the research I’ve done for my book (self defense class at the moment LOL). And I know I’m going to be putting up a cat pictures post very soon. What are we here for if not to have fun, right? Since I don’t know what works to get major hits to a site, I might as well play. 🙂

  3. I am appalled that other bloggers would actually stoop so low as to plagiarize someone else’s post and the get all the credit!! What is this world coming to!?! This saddens me very much. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.

    I totally respect your decision, truly I do, and like you said, if you can’t bring something new to the table, what’s the point in repeating yourself, eh? However, I just want you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed your blogging tips before, and they never intimidated or disheartened me in any way. Just so you know.:)

  4. As a ‘new’ blogger, I have found some ‘advice’ posts useful but I agree that the blogs that inspire me the most are those which share personal experiences and inspiring pictures. There is only so much advice you can read before it takes all your time and takes you away from actually writing posts. For yourself – do what makes you happy! x

  5. I’ve never put much stock in blogging advice posts, except yours of course. If you do what someone else thinks is good blogging then you’re not really blogging. Your blog is your personal website and should be what you envision. If all blogs followed each other’s advice we’d have a blog universe of similar and boring blogs.

  6. Suzie! I enjoy your blog the most when it’s just you. I’m a magazine so it’s a bit different. You do give great advice. However, as you stated I’m coming to your site to read you. On Sunday’s, I’m reading for pleasure not blog advice. Adore you.

  7. I did not read the 137 comments above so forgive if I am repetitious. I doze off after the first 6 usually. I would tag this under humour and irony as it is a blogging advice post advising people not to write blogging advice posts! ha ha! Anyway, as to your question, I generally don’t read blog advice posts as I never do what they suggest anyway. I just plod along like I always do. Of course I never get anywhere, but I was never going anywhere in the first place!

  8. I don’t write advice posts – I suppose as I round out three years on my current blog I might feel I have enough experience to do so, but I don’t really want to blog on “How to” – as you say, enough other folk are doing that.

    I’ve liked your advice posts, but have enjoyed and remembered other posts more – so I think that goes to your point. That said, I always appreciate finding blogs with actual, constructive tips to share. Social media changes pretty frequently, and thus so do certain aspects/opportunities with blogging.

  9. Such a brilliant post. It got me a thinkin’ lol Around Christmas I downloaded a free book with a tonne of ‘ideal’ blog titles with a formula guaranteed to get you a viral post. Of course there was the ten ways to do this and ten ways to do that etc….There’s so much of this floating around >>> you should do this and you shouldn’t blog like that etc…. Actually the times I’ve followed the pack have been the times when I have been left feeling quite empty. My most satisfying ones have been when I’ve just thought to heck with it, I’m doing my own thing kinda like my book writing. Have a fantastic and productive week Suzie and thanks again 🙂

  10. This could be said of writing too. But see, even though I have sickening sleezey titles, they aren’t tips in the same sense. I started writing them because I was sharing lessons, actual REAL like lessons, I personally had learnt during my journey. So I feel like they are ok and valid, even though the web is saturated with writing posts too. sigh.

  11. Well, I’d never thought I’d be disagreeing with what you have to say Suzie but, on this occasion, it seems I do.

    I remember coming across the first blogging advice post soon after I started blogging. For me, it was like finding a piece of treasure. I learned so much from it and I was so very thankful to the blogger for sharing the tips and ideas. After about a year, I then started to write my own blogging advice posts because I wanted to share what I had learned and what was working for me. The response I got was (and still is) overwhelming and if you look at my Top 10 most viewed posts, 8 of the posts are all blogging advice posts. They get so much reaction and I get lots of people thanking me for passing on the tips and advice. There isn’t a day that goes by without many of those posts getting views or shared by reblogging or on social media.

    I completly agree with you when you say that what works for one blogger may not for work for another, but the blogging tips posts I have written and published have bought lots of traffic and vistors to my blog and they continue to do so. It’s even been suggested I publish a book about blogging, but for the time being I have other publishing plans.

    It’s good to disagree and it’s very intresting to have read the reasons why you’ve taken the dicision not to write and publish more blogging advice posts. However, your other posts are always brillaintly written and alwasy very intresting to read and I always look forwrad to reading them.

    • Ooh I’m intruiged about your plans Hugh! I agree with you, and love your blogging posts, but I’m going to stop writing them for the time being because I haven’t anything new to say…

      • Fair enough. I’ve always gone along the lines of writing what you enjoy writing about. When we do that I think we excel ourselves and it often comes over in the post.
        I think our two blogs are very similar in that we write about this, that and everything else. In fact, whatever takes our fancy. For me, they tend to be my favourite kind of blogs.

  12. I have mixed feelings about blogging advice posts. I must admit I always read them and do my best to follow the advice, then find I don’t have enough time to do them justice, and I start falling behind with reading others’ blogs in order to try and push mine forward!
    I am inclined to read blogging advice and tips from the bloggers that I respect and whose word I trust. Funnily enough, it is not just from their statistics I base my judgement but the type of other posts that they write. I love the personal stories and the little insights that you share with us Suzie and the fact that you engage with everyone. That for me, is what makes you more authentic 🙂

    • Thanks so much Judy! I think that advice posts are great for the purpose that they serve, but after reading a few there isn’t much left that anyone else can say. I prefer the personal blogs where I can gain an insight into the writer…

  13. Hum, well this is funny because I followed and then came back to your site because I was impressed with your blog about twitter hashtags. I thought dang that lady knows her stuff. I have a lot to learn about social media to get people to read my blog. I like you’re stuff. I appreciated your advice. I do think too many sites write about increasing traffic and how to blog.

    • Thank you so much, and I’m so pleased that you liked the Twitter post – it took me a week to get that together haha! I’ve had to learn a lot about social media as I’ve gone along, and I regret that I didn’t start it sooner!

  14. I’m still confused about all the hype/crap/bullshit that I’ve encountered in the blogosphere since I’ve started blogging TBH. People stealing off people, bloggers complaining that comments to their blog aren’t relevant enough, bloggers having tantys in blog groups and leaving etc.

    I’ve written about 4 posts on my experience with a narcissistic dad. I find it helpful – kind of like an online diary. I put it online because it was little snippets of things posted by others that saved my life, so I hope one day a snippet I write might help someone else in a similar boat.

    Find it, don’t find it, read it, don’t read it, comment, don’t comment. I don’t care. I’m not going to promote it. Or join little groups. Or abide by anyone else’s rules. Or follow their advice.

    Blogging is an awesome way to express who you are and say what you want. If that attracts a following well that’s nice. If not, at least your posts are making the internet that bit more diverse and interesting 🙂

    • Please forgive my late response – I’m still trying to catch up. The more time I spend in the blogging world, the more I see the politics and snarking that goes on, which is a shame. I think you have the perfect philosophy for it though! I’m sorry you had to experience that too – I can relate…

  15. Yet another gem from your pen (ummm… keyboard?). I will say that I have always enjoyed your tips and advice posts. In no way have they made me feel intimidated or disheartened. On the contrary I enjoyed the insight of someone who is obviously a far more successful blogger than I am and used those as opportunities to learn how I could improve.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us all and I do understand your need to not repeat yourself 🙂 Here’s wishing you continued success in your blogging journey!

  16. Amen. Reading posts about blogging have become to redundant and ineffectively a waste of time. I don’t blog for my numbers. I hope the people who follow me follow me for my content. I know that will not always be the case -but for some numbers are what counts. It doesn’t offend me, but I’m not in this for the same reason. When I follow someone it is because I found an interest in their content and I stop following if that interest no longer exist.

  17. For a newbie blogger, I realised last night that I was losing sight of why I started my blog. It was to show family and friends what we have been up to. Plus for me to learn the art of writing and now I love the interaction with other bloggers. THEN I got concerned about numbers and reading over the top articles about how to increase my traffic, as it is definitely not about that. Here’s to enjoying writing and reading stories.

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