How about a few suggestions for ways to support bloggers you love on this most romantic of days? It’s a slightly different way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but a really love-ly one all the same.
Something my readers often thank me for is what my blog essentially is all about: producing free content that I hope visitors will find useful, informative, inspiring and/or just plain entertaining. I’ve been writing blogging tips and photography tips posts for several years now because I’ve wanted other bloggers to avoid the mistakes I’ve made. I show what I’ve been wearing to hopefully give inspiration to those who are looking for outfit ideas.
These are all things I do because I love blogging and it’s now my career, and it’s wonderful to do something I love for a living.
I was thinking about the many ways in which my readers – whether they’re bloggers or not – help me and my blog to grow and flourish. Blogging is REALLY hard work (okay I know it’s not rocket science) but the hours can be very, very long and at any stage you’re expected to do something you’ve never done before, like accountancy, marketing, professional-level photography, PR, styling, editing, writing, keeping up with legal requirements… the list goes on and on. So all the small things readers do (often without even realising it!) really do make a huge difference to the success of a blog and the blogger’s enjoyment of running it.
I thought if I picked out all these helpful things it may encourage readers to do these easy-peasy things a little more to support their favourite blogs.
I’ve split the 11 ways into two sections – things that readers can do to help their favourite bloggers, and things that bloggers can do to support other bloggers:
Ways for non-bloggers to support bloggers they love
1. Engage, engage, engage (this is for readers AND bloggers)
Without comments a blog is essentially lifeless. I know that some bloggers purposely switch off comments (and considering the negativity I’ve received recently I can sort of see why they might do that), but to be honest the good vibes and sense of community you get from readers’ positive and constructive comments far outweigh the odd Moaning Minnie whose job it seems is to sh*t all over your day (and anyway there’s a particular way to deal with trolls that I can highly recommend, so that puts paid to them).
There is also debate over this next fact, but some say that comments help SEO (Search Engine Optimisation, i.e. how far up Google searches you’re placed), because each time a comment is left it updates the page, effectively meaning new content has been added. The more new content that is added to a site, the higher up Google searches it goes (because SEO has been boosted). And finally – if brands see that a blog gets a lot of engagement then they’re more likely to want to work with them because that blog is a living, breathing, evolving site… it has LIFE, in other words.
So comments do actually benefit bloggers as well as make their day, so if you’ve never left comments on your favourite blogs before please do start… your 20-30 seconds spent writing one is all the thanks they need for the many hours that go into creating free content in a blog post.
2. Click those links and ads
There are many reasons why bloggers leave links in their blog posts – primarily they’re there to help you. Sometimes they’re extra information that relates to what they’re talking about, sometimes they’re shopping (affiliate) links and sometimes they’re Google ads. Running a blog can be very costly and the majority of bloggers do not earn anything more than a little pocket money from affiliate links and ads. Clicking on them does not cost you anything but it can mean the blogger earns a little money to help keep their blog running.
3. Click other internal links when you visit
When you visit their blog to read their new post, try and see if you can click to read one or two other blog posts or pages. Most bloggers have a “You Might Like” section at the bottom of posts or a “Popular Posts” section in their sidebar. By reading other pages you can help their bounce rate (the percentage of visitors that leave without clicking on another page within the blog) which is a stat we want to keep low. However, do not click on links furiously, spending only a couple of seconds on each page as this could have a detrimental effect on their stats (making your actions look like a bot)… just one clicked link is enough!
4. Subscribe by email
By subscribing to their blog by email you always know what they’re posting and when – everyone has their preferred way of keeping up with their favourite blogs but many readers don’t know that this is even a thing. It means you’ll never miss a post, and even if their latest post isn’t for you can simply choose to skip it and read the next one when it drops in your Inbox. Look for “subscribe by email” or “free updates” to sign up to posts by email.
As a reader of blogs myself this is my preferred way of keeping up with my favourites and making sure that I support them by reading their posts and leaving a comment straight away. I treat my Inbox as my “To-Do” list, and I won’t delete a new post notification email until I’ve done that. I can’t do it every single time of course – sometimes I’m crazy busy and need to plough through the emails that are work-related as a priority, but I’ll do my utmost to read and comment as often as possible.
5. Leave Bloglovin likes and saves
If you use Bloglovin to follow your favourite blogs, like and save their posts. Bloglovin says it makes those posts more visible within the site so as you’re scrolling click on that heart… likewise click through to their blogs to read the post in its original form, even if the full post has been published on Bloglovin*. All click-throughs help a blogger’s stats.
*Bloggers: check whether Bloglovin is publishing your posts in full – it’s a way you might be squandering blog traffic so check!
6. Follow, like and comment on their social media accounts
This is SUCH an important one – social media is really, really hard to get seen on these days. Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest all use algorithms to determine what posts to show, when and to whom (we’d all like them to be chronological again but that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon). Liking and commenting on their social media posts makes them more visible, so if you can please don’t read and scroll by without a little love sent their way.
7. Support their sponsored content
Something that can sometimes be a bone of contention between (just a few) readers and bloggers is the fact that the latter sometimes work with brands on sponsored content. I’ve written before about why not all sponsored posts are bad – it’s usually pretty easy to tell when a blogger has “sold their soul” and written about car insurance or added in a link about online gaming when they have a fashion blog, for example… it’s done just for the money. In these cases, you can simply choose to opt out and not read or comment on those posts.
However, when a blogger has written about a subject, product or brand that’s completely relevant to their blog niche and is still providing useful, informative, inspiring and/or entertaining content – please support it! By looking favourably upon and engaging with sponsored posts (as long as they’re genuine and OF COURSE disclosed properly), then like point 1 above, it really, really helps the blogger. You leaving a comment to say how much you liked the post means the brand will be impressed and hopefully consider working with the blogger again.
Ways for bloggers to support bloggers
8. Suggest bloggers you love to PRs and brands
If you pass on a campaign that wasn’t right for you, suggest a couple of bloggers to the PR or brand that you think would be more suitable. The PR will be grateful because you may have saved them time looking for other bloggers, and the blogger will be super happy for having been recommended. Just because YOU’RE not doing the job doesn’t mean another blogger you know shouldn’t! I’ve matched several bloggers with campaigns this way – it’s always satisfying to see another blogger do well in something you put their name forward for. And even if they’re not right this time, you’ve brought them to the attention of that PR who may contact them for another project in the future.
9. Share their posts
Sharing/retweeting social media posts, or sharing blog posts on social media – is a fantastic way to spread love and support your faves. Tweet links to their blog posts: tag them in, include the link (of course) and if you can, add a photo from the post to make it more visible. Or, share their blog posts on your Facebook page or share the Facebook content they’ve already posted. Instagram stories is the perfect platform to make a quick video or still about a blog post you love. All that good karma will certainly make its way back to you in the long run… there’s no need for bloggers to be horribly competitive.
10. Keep them informed when they’ve been featured (this is for bloggers AND readers)
This is something that I really appreciate others doing for me: being told that I’ve been featured somewhere that I may not have seen myself. If you’ve seen them featured somewhere – on another blog or website – let them know. Bloggers don’t always get told by the publisher or blogger that they’ve been featured (plus bloggers need to check that they’ve been properly credited and that copyright hasn’t been breached).
My photo was used on a profile on a dating website a few years ago (yes, really!) and thanks to the person that told me I was able to get the photo taken down and the account was suspended. So always let bloggers know whether their photos have been used (for good OR for evil).
11. Be a caring, sharing blogger
Offering to help people when they’re struggling (e.g. when they’ve tweeted about having trouble with something or shared a problem on their blog) is a wonderful thing to do. I’ve talked about all sorts of subjects (from taking time off from blogging when I had serious financial problems, to my final medical diagnosis for a painful leg), and every time I’ve had a flood of offers of help. Just knowing that someone is there for you makes all the difference.
The other ways you can help is by being generous with the information you share. Transparency within the blogging community is vital for us to grow and improve, and withholding information like our stats, rates and contacts does nothing to help the blogosphere as a whole. Now I don’t mean that we have to publish all our information for everyone to see at any time, but too many bloggers are afraid to ask other bloggers for help or information. So if a blogger asks you, share your rates and stats with them so they can assess what fees to charge brands – too many bloggers are seriously undercharging and don’t know their own worth. Or send a template of your invoice that they could adapt for themselves if they’ve never sent one before, or a link to some information they’re desperately trying to find.
Being more open makes the blogging community a better place for everyone.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS FOR WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR FAVOURITE BLOGGERS? YOU KNOW WHAT I’M GOING TO ASK OF YOU… PLEASE LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS IN A COMMENT BELOW! 😉
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