As a blogger you can forget that sometimes the outside world doesn’t fully understand our little community and also that they might not know how to support us as their loved ones. I’ve had a few eye-opening conversations with my friends and family where they’ve thought that I’d be annoyed if they commented on my posts or that they just haven’t realised that it would mean the world to me if they did… so I thought it was about time we told them how they can support us. My Mum actually suggested that I write this post! (I would like to point out that I am very grateful for the support I receive and do tell them so… I just couldn’t write this post without a hint of sarcasm sneakily creeping in).
Hello bloggers’ family and friends! Here is a guide to supporting your lovely bloggers…
Blogging; an introduction
To fully understand how best to support us, I thought I should do a mini introduction to the blogging world. Like many, I set up my blog because I enjoy writing, taking pictures of my dinner and having a descriptive record of my adventures. When you put in the time to promote your blog on social media, you then begin to build a community with fellow bloggers and brands who may offer you exclusive event invitations, writer fees for sponsored posts or free goodies in exchange for a review, depending on what you blog about. Not all bloggers write for this reason, some just like to have a little spot on the internet. Personally for me, if I can get paid to travel or eat somewhere for free then why the hell not?
So, how can you support us?
1. Face to face (and sometimes behind our backs)
One thing I’ve realised since I started blogging is that most people have no clue what’s really involved and how many hours you have to put in. To give you an idea, I only post twice a week as I work full time, but I commit at least three evenings a week to writing my posts, pre-planning social media and keeping up to date with other people’s blogs… plus going to events and sharing it all online. It’s pretty full on. So my friends and family have come to understand that sometimes I forget to text back and that if they want to see me at the weekend, they have to book me in two month’s in advance. I apologise for it but I made the choice to blog so they kind of have to accept it! (Thanks guys – Mum I’ll text you back once I’ve finished tweeting about this post).
My boyfriend Allyn also knows not to interrupt me when I’m in the writing flow and calms me down at least once a week when I freak out about deadlines or not having time for Pinterest, #bloggersboyfriendproblems. So yeah, just bare in mind that we aren’t ignoring you, we really do want to come to Grandpa Joe’s 73rd birthday and we will just have so much more to catch up on next time we see each other!
We also know that you can’t beat a bit of word of mouth promotion. So next time you catch up with your hairdresser, you might get chatting about how much you love Nutella and slyly mention how your cousin has a great Nutella cheesecake recipe on her blog = one more viewer = thank you!
2. Out and about
If you’re a close friend or family member, chances are that you’ll see us in action. Bloggers are known for taking pictures of everything. And yes that includes pretty much every meal that’s put in front of us. So please bare with us whilst we snap away and make you wait that second longer before you can tuck in/jump on the hotel bed/admire the waterfall… I know you just want to ram those ribs in your face but we promise to be quick! There’s nothing worse than being told to hurry up and then realising your pictures are blurry because you rushed around. And remember that you’ll probably treasure those pictures too.
Talking of pictures, sometimes we like to be in them so that our blog posts aren’t just constant pictures of poached eggs. So we might ask you to pick up our scary looking SLR cameras and snap us posing with a glass of champers. I promise they aren’t as intimidating as they look and the quickest way to get the job done is imagine you’re taking a picture for a magazine campaign. We pose, you frame us nicely, then we bump up the contrast in Photoshop.
On a rare occasion we might even ask you to be in the picture… we don’t want to look like loners! Plus you’re really important to us and a big part of our lives so we want to introduce you to our readers (they’re super nice and not judge-y at all – they might even compliment you in the comments). We’re actually pretty good at taking pictures so I promise that you’ll be in the best lighting and I might even edit out that little spot on your chin for you. MUCH LOVE.
3. Good old fashioned reading
I can honestly say that the thing that makes me smile the most (which doesn’t give me a notification) is when someone comes up to me and tells me how much they loved reading one of my posts. Knowing that someone is actually sitting there reading my words AND enjoying it is why bloggers do what they do. I don’t expect you to read every single one of my posts (although I would love it if you did) but making the time to read them makes the biggest amount of difference… so then tell us!
4. Become an official fan
SUBSCRIBE. I don’t think people realise that we still need subscribers. It’s like going to a library and reading a book without officially borrowing it – acceptable but we’d prefer it if you just committed. There are two very easy and simple ways to subscribe to our blogs. Email – most blogs will have a box in their sidebar where you can put your email, easy. Just make sure to accept the subscription when you get the confirmation email. Bloglovin – If you’re actually a reader of many blogs, then sign up for Bloglovin! This really useful site collects all your blog posts in one place which you can like, share and save for later. Again most bloggers are on board so will have a link on their blogs for their Bloglovin page.
Now, we’re going to start getting technical. When it comes to commenting (on our blogs and social media), it can be a tricky one and might depend on the individual blogger so maybe check with them first. BUT I will take responsibility for any family fall outs and say GO FOR IT.
So what to write? If you’d read the post then just tell us what you loved about it! If its a Top Ten list, recipe or guide, tell us why you think others will want to read it. For technical Google-related reasons, the longer the comment the better.
Slightly sarcastic examples may include:
‘Wow that Big Mac! I will definitely have to try it next time I go to the home of Ronald McDonald. What excellent pictures you took. I remember when I was younger and first tried a Double Cheeseburger, I can still taste it now!’
‘This is the best advice on dealing with PMS hormones I have ever read.’
‘You’re giving me travel envy! I’ll definitely save this post next time I’m in the Sahara Desert’
You get the jist.
What not to write… We really do love knowing how proud you are of us but do remember this is our official business page so save the cutesy stuff for our private Facebook account, or better yet, our birthday cards. Remember that fans and brands will be able to see this and might judge us on our comments. In the same way, don’t take the piss/be mean to us… we love the bants in real life but telling us that our recipe looks gross is probably not going to help us work with Mary Berry.
Examples (My Mum hasn’t actually written any of these… yet):
‘YOU ARE INCREDIBLE. You must get your creativity from me, love Mummy’
‘Haha you are such a poser in your pictures!’
‘Why would I want to eat bacon and maple syrup… ew’ (Ps. BECAUSE ITS BLOODY DELICIOUS)
‘I think you meant ‘their’ ’ – feel free to tell us about a mistake with a private message but please don’t publicise our one off grammatical errors!
4. The big and slightly scary world of social media
I’m just going to jump right in with social media. All bloggers will have links to their social media EVERYWHERE but just go to their main blog page and you’ll see all the cute little icons.
Most of my friends and family follow me on Facebook rather than any other platform. Like most bloggers I have a personal business page where I post all my new blog posts and the occasional cute dog video. However Facebook is a little sneaky bitch sometimes and because they want people to pay for adverts, they often will put posts from your business page at the bottom of peoples’ news feeds which means that they can be missed. This drives us bloggers mad I tell you.
To support us on Facebook the best thing you can do is share a post. Simply clicking share now is brilliant as it will then give us immediate exposure to your friends. You can also choose to write something above our post which might appeal to your friends a little better as it will come personally from you.
Commenting is also great as it will boost our posts up the Facebook news feed and give us exposure to some of your friends.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing either of the above, then just click that thumbs up and like away. The more likes a post gets, the more likely it will appear on other people’s news feeds which as we know means more exposure. It’s not much commitment… so just like our posts yeah?
My favourite social media by far is Twitter. This is where I have grown my following the most and is the platform I use to connect with brands and bloggers. I can schedule to tweet my new blog posts and can easily upload pictures without having to edit them. If you follow your blogger on Twitter, there are a few ways to support them:
Retweeting and quoting a tweet. This is pretty much the same as sharing on Facebook. You are simply sharing our tweet with your followers which means that it will appear in their feed. Excellent. To quote a tweet means that you are sharing our tweet but adding something else to it, for example, ‘ Check out this incredible post on top 10 toppings for your slice of toast!’
Liking. Exactly the same as Facebook. Like away my friends.
Instagram is another platform that can increase your following massively as its excellent for beautiful pictures and brand engagement. I’m going to attempt to explain hashtags in one sentence. A hashtag groups together images, so if I wanted to see a picture of Heinz’s finest, I’d search #bakedbeans and see some very beautiful photos of beans. You’re definitely going to search that hashtag now aren’t you? More hashtags = more groups = more views. Bosh.
With Instagram you get to like away by clicking pretty little red hearts, isn’t that fun? You can also comment on our pics which helps us to move up the news feed and be a ‘top post’ in a certain hashtag.
If you have a Pinterest account then simply follow us and pin our pins. Simple. If you don’t… where have you been? How do you decorate your house or bake an avocado brownie or plan your wedding without your boyfriend knowing?! (He knows).
All the other crap
There are other social medias out there – Snapchat (the reason people have big eyes and yellow flowers in their hair), Google+ (I don’t even get it) but don’t worry about them. Most of us don’t.
5. Give us 30p through affiliate links and adverts
Pretty much all bloggers will have affiliate links or adverts on their blog. Adverts are more obvious, they are normally small boxes in the blog sidebar. Affiliate links are slightly more discreet and will be links within a blog post. For example, your friend Lucy has written about how much she loves her new plastic elephant statue from Etsy, bets are that the link she’s provided is an affiliate. What this means is every time anyone clicks the link and then buys the product, Lucy gets about 30p. Of course its not a huge money making scheme but bloggers with a lot of readers can make a fair amount. So next time you are thinking of ordering a saucy novel from Amazon or a flight to Benidorm with Thomas Cook, make sure to check if your lovely blogger is affiliated with them.
6. Share our super fantastic giveaways
Bloggers LOVE hosting giveaways and our readers love them just as much. They get free stuff and we get to increase our following or subscribers by asking them to retweet us, like our Facebook page etc. I received so much support on Facebook with my first giveaway and it really helped to spread the word. So do a little share, get your girls to enter and help your blogger make someone’s day.
7. Enjoy it with us
We couldn’t expect all this support without giving something back. I know, I know, you love me unconditionally, you don’t want anything… but every once in a while I’ll treat those around me to a cheeky blogger perk. My Dad loved his night out at Warner Brothers and his DVD packed goodie bag even more. So stick with us, the more success we get the more freebies we can give you for Christmas (only joking, kind of).
That’s pretty much it… if you manage to do a couple of the things above, I can guarantee your blogger will notice and will DEFINITELY appreciate it. At the end of the day, we rely on the support of our friends and family in everyday life so when it comes to blogging, think of it like your 9 year old niece’s bake sale – show the love and you’ll get it back. You never know, they might take you out for a cheeky Nandos in return.
So you’re all gonna like, comment and share this post right? LOVE YOU, THANKS.