Blogging 101

Note: Also see Blogging 102

Blogging 103

Blogging 104

Blogging 105

I have been blogging for a couple years and have learned a thing or two about blogging.  I am not going to try to re-invent the wheel here because so many bigger and better other bloggers have already said so much on this topic, but readers write to me frequently with blogging or starting-a-blog type questions, and I thought I’d share a few of my own thoughts.

This is in no way a comprehensive list and it touches on different aspects of blogging but here are a few thoughts.

Each and every point is my opinion only, of course.

1. Thou Shall Not Steal. Remember the Eighth Commandment?  Well, the same is true in blogging.  If you see it on another person’s blog, it’s theirs.  Don’t take it.

Whether it’s their recipe, their widgets, buttons, text, graphics, or anything at all on their blog, it’s theirs.  Don’t take it.

This includes their photos.  In the past I have done recipe posts where I highlight various bloggers recipes and use photos from their sites, but I will not publish those posts any more of those unless I first have their permission to use their images.  No one is perfect, we all make mistakes; but once we know better, we do better.

Ask a blogger, first, if it would be okay to use something from their site on your site (graphics, images, etc.) but be prepared for them to say no, or gently ignore your request.  And yes, I have asked others and this has happened to me.  This is their prerogative.

Also, don’t steal their “voice” or their vocabulary.  Use your own.

Be your own person in life.  And on your blog.

In life, almost everything can be taken by someone else.  Whether it’s your car you have parked in your driveway or your purse you left in your grocery cart and turned your back on for a second, someone can take your things.

The internet makes it very easy to take intellectual property and non-tangible things.  This doesn’t mean it’s right.

There may or may not be laws concerning this, but there are norms, customs, ethics, and a moral code that I hope is not dead.  In life, as in blogging, if it doesn’t feel right to you, it’s probably not.

2. Linking Back. To expand on point #1, if you see a recipe on someone’s site and you want to make, or you did make, don’t re-write the whole thing on your blog.  You simply link back to it on their site.

This can be a bit tricky if you adapted or modified their recipe.  I’ve noticed it’s becoming increasingly common on food blogs to say “Adapted From” when someone uses and reprints another’s recipe.

However, unless you really adapted it in a significant or meaningful way, I personally think that simply linking back is more appropriate rather than rewriting it and reposting it on your site.

The blogger or person who created and developed the recipe should get the credit, accolades, and traffic to their site.  Not you.

If you made bigger modifications, or you feel justified in reprinting it, then let common sense be your guide.

Copywrite infringement laws are a beast.  I wouldn’t want to find myself on the wrong side of them.

Want to grow your readership? (see numbers 3 & 4)

3. I’d suggest commenting on other people’s blogs.  It gets your name out there.  No one knows who you are unless they see your name, over and over, and what better way to do this than on others’ blogs.

Comment on a wide variety of blogs, too.  I read and comment on blogs on topics ranging from home decor to photography to yoga and fitness to food.  Even within food blogs there are baking blogs, vegan blogs, raw food blogs, wine blogs, you name it.

Let people know you and your blog are out there in whatever way you can and commenting is one tried and true method.

4. Be consistent in your blogging.  You don’t have to post 3 times per day or even daily, but if your readers come to expect a post approximately twice a week from you, but you disappear for two months, then post twice in 3 days, and then drop off the map again for a few months, your readership may forget about you.

Readers want some sort of consistency as well as frequency.

5. Expect to spend time at blogging.  Blog posts don’t write themselves, and all the other aspects of blogging from answering reader questions via email to replying to the questions you will receive in your own comments, or dialoguing back and forth with your readers within your comment field, it all takes time.  Be prepared to have it to give.

Questions/Resources:

1. Posts that have no doubt said it as well, or better, than me include:

Pioneer Woman’s Ten Important Things I’ve Learned About Blogging

Pioneer Woman’s Ten Important Things I’ve Learned About Food Photography

Tina’s entire Blogging Tab/Section

Deb of Smitten Kitchen’s FAQs on everything from copyright law to appliances to photography

Deb of Smitten Kitchen’s Approach to Food Photos as well as links to other sites that give food photography tips

(To my point #2: notice I didn’t list out people’s 10 things or top tips, I simply linked back)

My own post on Real Food Styling & Photography gives real examples of what to do, and not to, to make your food pictures look better.  I include a discussion on why you don’t absolutely need a DSLR but you do need to style your food.

There are so many “Blogging Tips” and “Want to Start a Blog” and “Lessons I’ve Learned About Blogging” type posts on the internet.  I could re-link over and over, but if you happen to know of any true gems, leave them in the comments.  In fact, Katie just did a post today on her experiences and her blogging tips.

2. Was this helpful or what have you learned about blogging that’s been instrumental and helpful for you and your blog?

If this was helpful, I can do many more posts like this.  I have so many tidbits I just don’t want to restate the obvious.  I already do have a Blogging 102 written so you get one more, at least.

However, we were all new once and even if you’re not new, it’s still interesting to read another blogger’s take on things, I find.

I also didn’t mince words today.  Sometimes just being direct is the best approach, and of course these are my thoughts and opinions only.

3. Any specific questions you’d like answered?

Ask and you shall receive.

And from my last post, thanks for the compliments about Skylar and it sounds like you all are some creative and imaginative folks.  Excellent!

I think people who read, and write, blogs are by nature creative, imaginative, intuitive, and we’re all cut from a similar cloth in that regard.

Who else could see “beauty” in chocolate picture…

No Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles

…after chocolate picture, right?

White Chocolate Blondies with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

 

Give me your thoughts and questions!

Other Posts in this Series:

Blogging 102

   

122 Responses to “Blogging 101”

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    51
    Misha — May 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I love, love to cook! Whenever I post recipes on my site, I always attribute it back to where I got it…I take my own photos and give my own reviews….I’m hoping that I haven’t crossed any lines by posting a complete recipe on my blog that isn’t mine.

    P.S I found your blog a while back and have really grown to like it. We are not vegetarians at all but enjoy good vegetarian/vegan recipes now and then. Thank you for sharing them!!

    Reply

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    Lisa is Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!) — May 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Excellent and informative post. And who could ever get tired of looking at chocolate??

    Reply

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    kelly marie christiansen — May 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I finally put a blog out today …your post pushed me over the edge :) thanks!

    Reply

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    Sara (The Veggie Eco-Life) — May 28, 2011 at 4:42 am

    I think this post is very useful!! Thanks for this.
    I’m kinda in doubt with one thing: I did a recent post where I’ve put together some great recipes I found in blogland. Offcourse I link to the blog where I found the recipe but I didn’t tell the authors. Do you think I should do that or not?

    PS : Please help me choose from the cooking books listed on The Veggie Eco-Life

    Reply

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    Susan — May 28, 2011 at 7:59 am

    “Be your own person in life. And on your blog”

    Amen!! For a long time, I thought my blog had to fit a certain mold. Until I realized, I fit no molds in real life, so why bother try to on a personal blog?? Now I just do what I want, when I want it. Actually not “when,” because I’m a strong believer in that consistency point too :)

    Reply

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    Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) — May 29, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Thank you Averie for thanking Gina Fitnessista for not reprinting the protein muffin recipe. Her version is sufficiently different to mine that she could really just print her own recipe for it, but she continues to link link liink and it’s so sweet of her.- I tried to thank you just now on her blog, but it wont load- but I am thanking you here. I have had more traffic b/c of her generosity in the last month than in 2 yrs- thank you for bringing out into the open! :-)

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — May 29th, 2011 at 9:55 am

      I am glad you saw that comment I left for Gina, Deb.

      She has always been one of the lone bastions of proper crediting and I have always applauded her for that.

      And yes, I am sure she’s been great for the ole stats :)

      I just sent you an email. Hope you’re having a great Mem Day Weekend!

      Reply

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    Emma — June 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Averie,

    Just wanted to thank you for the Blogging 101/102 posts. I stumbled across your work while searching for recipe “reprint” etiquette. I found what I needed and enjoyed looking at some of your work. Thanks again!

    Love & Light,
    Emma Jackson

    Reply

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — June 1st, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      glad you found them…and thanks for lmk they were helpful (and that apparently google searches are finding them too..ha!)

      :)

      Reply

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    Andrea — January 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Hi, Averie ~ Just wanted to say I’ve read thru these tips and find them very useful! Thanks so much for pulling them together for the rest of us out here! :-) Happy New Year!

    Reply

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    Asuma — February 8, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Hi Averie! Thanks for these great blogging tips ;) This is pretty random, but I actually adore your name :P

    Reply

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    Patty@ www.thepattymelt.com — February 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Your blog is incredibly informative and creative!! THANK YOU for putting out excellent advice :)

    Reply

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    Leah — May 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I’m a novice blogger and really appreciate you posting this- very helpful and informative! After reading through all of your tips, I think I’m definitely going to switch from Blogger to WordPress (and maybe become self-hosted? One can only dream…). Thanks so much Averie! :)

    Reply

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    Liz Maradyn — July 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I love your site, your photo’s are so pretty, and mouth watering! I’ve been doing some reading about blogging, and I found your information sound, basic, and informative. Thanks, Liz :)

    Reply

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    The Meaning of Me — July 18, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Thanks for this great post. Your information is honest and helpful. Looking forward to reading the rest of your Blogging 101, etc. posts! :)

    Reply

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    linda — May 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Hey i’ve been following your blog for a while now and love you’re recipes! i just recently started my own blog and found all you’re tips very helpful, thanks and am excited to see what else blog about! ;)

    Reply

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    Margaret Anne — November 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Wow! What a great compilation of tips. I’ve been food bogging for about 7 months now and these helpful tips are…well…very helpful. You are truly amazing and inspiring. Also very funny. I’m glad I’ve found a new blog to love!

    Margaret Anne

    Reply

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    Miss Twinky — December 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    That is a very, very helpful post!! Thank you!!! I just started my Food Blog and soaking everything up like a sponge…. I’m from Germany and write in german language. Thank you for sharing your “wisdom” !!! ;-)

    Reply

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    Shaina — January 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Thank you, Averie! You have become my go-to-girl for blogging links and advice… I have been wanting to start a blog for a while and these blogging 101′s have exactly the information I need to how to begin! Thank you, Thank you!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 23rd, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Wonderful, Shaina! Glad to hear that!

      Reply

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    Angela Tsaroumis — February 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks goodness I found you.
    I love the look of your Chocolate Chip & Chunk Cookies…I’ll be making these in the next couple of days.

    Reply

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    Mira L — March 20, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful and useful information! I recently started a food blog and your tips and advice are helping m a lot. I check your blog often and enjoy it! Your recipes and pictures are wonderful!

    Reply

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    Nour @ GreenShushi — July 13, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks for these tips! I’m trying to absorb as many blogging tips as I can right now as I build up my blog readership and content.

    Reply

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