Venus Trapped in Mars

22 June 2013

9 things no one tells you when you start a blog



















Here is a little back story about yours truly. I am technically on my third blog. I started Venus Trapped in Mars in 2010. I was anonymous, and in turn, didn't offer up much of my personality. I went in with the intention of only blogging about sports tutorials. It became a chore, no one was reading and I gave up. I then did a blog called Like, Um, Anyways. That was followed by a two post blog about Pinterest that I quickly realized was dumb. Then in February I came back to Venus Trapped in Mars. 

Although I love Sports, and that is technically my niche, I don't ever want to pigeon hole myself into one topic again. Great writers write what they know and write about things they love. Themes are good, personality and variation are better. 


Blogging isn't like Facebook. On Facebook it is few and far between for me to ever leave a comment on someone's status. In blogland, you read it, you comment. Plain and simple. 

Don't make your post too wordy or too long. I think a good rule of thumb is to have one picture for every 2-3 paragraphs of words. Even if it is a graphic of words, like that lots and lots and lots of words graphic above, it breaks up the post and helps your eyes. 

Here are some bloggers who do a great job of using pictures to support content:







 If you hit the blogger jackpot and Helene or Taylor or Whitney give you a shout out on their blog, then you may not need to spend as much money. Until that happens, get ready to spend some money if you want to grow quickly. When considering sponsoring a blog, keep in mind that group giveaways will cost extra if you would like to participate. I personally don't do button swaps, I don't think simply being on someone's sidebar is really enough to gain a good chunk of readers. 







This isn't the YOU show. I wish it was, I really do (I don't). But i'm just going to be blunt here....


{Insert grumpy cat face here} 
I'm going to leave the rest of this to Nadine's tutorial here.



If your blog background is anything other than white, I vote changing it to white. Go ahead, I'll wait. 









If you want to make money, get to a point where you can sell adspace to other bloggers and businesses. Until then, don't use google adsense. 
1. No one is clicking it. 
2. It makes your site look terrible
3. You have NO CONTROL over the content it shows. 

Typos will happen, poor grammar is forever. If you can't figure out your, you're, their, there, they're, too and to.... we can't be friends. I'm sorry. Hugs and kisses though. 


117 comments :

  1. Thanks for the tips! It's great to see some tips that aren't everywhere already - when most people write a "tips for blogging" post, it ends up being the same thing that's everywhere else. Not the case with yours!

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    1. Great advice, I've undertaken this blogging endeavor and it's a lot more involved than I originally thought it would be!

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  2. Great post!!!! Made me think... Do I do that? (I totally just wrote that in Steve Urkel's voice.. lol )

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  3. Love this post. I'm a new blogger and this is very helpful. Changing my background to white right now. Thanks!

    -Sarah

    ps - I read it so I'm commenting. :)

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  4. Haha I love that grammar pic. I may screw up on comma placement now and then, but when it comes to there, their, and they're and to and too I am a stickler. those are not that hard!!
    Newest follower on bloglovin', gfc, twitter, and insta. Follow back! And also join my Weekly Bloghop on Douchebaggery!!
    LYLAS!XOXO!BFF!!

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  5. Yay Sarah, I'm glad you wrote it. I'm sure I'm not an annoying commentator whenever I get someone from hop! So cheers :D

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  6. This post should be in the Holy Book of blogging. Just sayin'. :)

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  7. I love this. End of story. hahaha.

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  8. Hooray! Awesome post. I have a degree in English, so if I ever have an over site call me out on that sh*t!

    Follow me on Instagram.
    Follow me on blogger.
    Follow me to cheap drinks.

    Kidding!

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  9. I just started using Pinterest to promote my blog. I never use Instagram to promote it. Great tips!

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  10. Great tips! I completely agree on the white background. I just cringe when I see something else! Also, the comments point is so true! I think you hit the tips out of the ballpark!

    Cheers,
    Julia
    It's Always Ruetten

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  11. Another great post from Venus! Seriously, ALL of those things are true, and we often have to learn them the hard way as bloggers.

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  12. Loved this post and it made totally crack-up, especially the grammar portion!! And thanks for the tips on Google Adsense, I've been wondering if I should try it out and it looks like you've given me my answer. Now I just have to figure out how to add ad's (I'm technologically challenged, fo sheezy) in my sidebar and wrap the whole guest-posting thing around my head. Thanks for the tips, love!

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  13. Much needed - thanks so much! Us little bloggers need all the help we can get. Great tutorial!

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  14. Great tips, per usual! Love the ditty about having a white background. Colored backgrounds make my eyes hurt!!!

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  15. You rule. End of story. Us little bloggers need tips, I love the GRAMMAR portion, oh lord does that shit annoy me. It's called proofreading.

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  16. Grammar. Enough said. I love this, so well written and hilarious.

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  17. This isn't my first blog either. I used to write a blog from my dog's perspective. Talk about a writing oneself into a corner. I can't believe I just admitted that. Great post!

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  18. Oh gosh, I LOVE this post! Definitely a lot of great tips, especially with the social media etiquette!

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  19. Perfect day for this post... I started my blog YESTERDAY! :)

    Amanda @ Cats, Cuddling, and Carrot Cake

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  20. This are actually really really great tips. More in depth than other lists that I have read! Great post. xx

    Amanda
    www.rhymeandribbons.com

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  21. What does sending money through PayPal as a gift do? I think I'm so behind!

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  22. I like the tip about "you read it, you comment". I never really looked at it that way before. There are so many posts I read fully each day and don't take the time to let the blogger know -- thanks for the advice!

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  23. Follow me and I will follow you back <---- actual comment someone left me once. NO.

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  24. This actually made me LOL not a silent exhalation of breath from my nostrils but an actual genuine giggle, thanks for the tips!!

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  25. Yes, yes, and YES! It's one thing with grammar, but it's a completely different story when people are fucking up simple spelling. Did anyone pass the 3rd grade?

    Follow me anywhere! That means full permission for stalking, yo

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  26. Great tips - thanks for sharing your blogging wisdom! And I agree about commenting. I don't do it all the time, but try to when I have time and so appreciate when people leave comments on my posts. And I'm also confused about the money as a gift thing on PayPal. Still very new to blog land so maybe I'm just clueless!

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  27. So helpful! I try to break up my posts with images but I definitely don't do a good enough job! And thank goodness you brought up the sponsors because I was trying to figure out if it is better to do a button swap or buy ad space! Great tutorial!

    xox

    Jordan

    http://thattallgirlinheels.com

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  28. That was the perfect post to answer some of the things I've been pondering lately. Thanks!

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  29. This. All day long. I'm promoting this post on all my social outlets. You hit it outta the park girl!

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  30. Thanks for the tips, i always love reading your blog! :)
    I can't wait for you to re-do my blog!!! I need some MONEy$$$$$
    Hope you are having a great weekend!

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  31. I love this!! I hate comments where people just say "Follow me and I'll follow you!" SO annoying. And bad grammar too, especially as an English major. Also I really love the social media etiquette, definitely a good idea!

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  32. Thanks for the hilarious tips! This is such an awesome (and helpful) post!

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  33. Thank you for the tips! I didn't realize it was bad "bloggicate" to read and not comment! I just felt silly commenting when I have nothing to add!

    I have a very hard time getting followers because I refuse to get a Twitter or Instagram because I know I won't use them. Pinterest is great but it's hard to get followers so I do comment a lot and join link-ups which have helped a little but it's a slow start!

    Lauren
    Exploring My Style

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  34. Thanks for the tips! You answered some questions I didn't even know I had!

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  35. Excellent post!! And told in such an entertaining way! Definitely sharing!

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  36. These tips are great, ESPECIALLY with regards from social media!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  37. Ok. Two things I learned. One - I read and now am commenting. That is one area I need to better focus on. Two I also pigeon holed myself into a corner with starting out specific in one niche. When that fell apart I didn't know what to blog about since most of my readers were in the same niche and wanted that topic. I felt like they didn't want to read where I was going and that paralyzed me for a bit. Good advice all around!

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  38. Oh god , loving them ALLLLL . When I look for sponsor , I always keep an eye for giveaway . But honestly accepting , I am bad at social media!

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  39. Incorrect grammar drives me bat shit crazy. I can understand typos when typing to quick but actual misspellings irk me too. Recongnise? Seriously people?

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  40. Love ALL of the tips! Especially 'the white space'! Nothing bugs me more than a crazy background + buttons + graphics. . . it's just too much for my eyes

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  41. Very helpful advice not only for those who are just starting out but to a lot of us veterans who continue to disregard courtesy rules. ;) Definitely sharing this along.

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  42. Have I told you recently that you are a genius? Hope you're having a Sunday Funday.

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  43. Bahaha! I am LOVING this post. You did an awesome job on your graphics too;)

    P.S. I love your blog would love a follow back on.....Just kidding! I hope people read this and follow your advice.

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  44. Awesome content and graphics! Great job :)

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  45. Love this post! I'm completely with you on the grammar thing, I hate that!

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  46. This post is awesome! Thanks for your advice, it totally made me think!

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  47. I have been trying to change mine to completely white for a while without losing all my other stuff. So hard! haha!

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  48. This is such helpful advice! And you're completely right; I had no idea about some of these things. Thanks :)

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  49. I agree-white just looks so much classier. The simpler, the better in my opinion! I'm really happy to have found your blog off of Erin's group giveaway, and I can't wait to follow future adventures!
    xo, Hima
    P.S. I just started a blog and joined the cool kids club. I'd love for you to swing by and leave me a comment with some feedback! Thank you so much.
    Hima Hearts

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  50. These are awesome! Love these Saturday sessions, I have learned so much already!

    20somethingbusinesswoman.com

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  52. I've been blogging for over 10 years (Xanga, anyone?), but seriously - I'm awful at it. I just went straight to my blog admin and changed the chevron background to white. Thanks, Venus! :)
    www.pearlsandpolitics.com

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  53. These are some excellent tips! Great post!

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  54. your i mean you i mean you are ... wait you're hilarious... as usual. Love reading you're, shit, i mean your tutorials. Good post!

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  55. Absolutely love this advice!!

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  56. "Typos will happen, poor grammar is forever." Amen sister. Everyone slips up sometimes and uses the wrong "there/their/they're" or "who's/whose" buuut when you've also got run-on sentences, no punctuation or capitalization...makes me sad :(

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  57. Damn, you're just so good.
    Like, I can't. I just can't.

    and I'm really glad you say the gram doesn't bring shit because I've got real life people on that shit that I can't be pimping out my blog to, if ya catch my drift.

    I really like you and this post. As per usual.
    It's getting a little obsessive.

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  58. I love this! Thanks for all the tips - you can never get enough blogging tips in my opinion. I really like your theory on blog sponsors. I am fairly new to the blogging world and am a little unsure as to which blogs to sponsor - there are so many! But you make it simple.
    High Views.
    High # of followers.
    Guest posting.
    Keep.it.simple.stupid. :) THANKS!

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  59. Seriously, I've gotta know, how much time do you spend on these graphics? Like, I love them, and I always want ot make pin worthy graphics, but instead I just go and right click copy img url from the photos I've uploaded to my personal FB but I am a lazy piece of crap and can barely make mytself blog 4 times a week, much less make it look rockstar-esq like you. Maybe my computer is just too slow. Waiting for photoshop alone to open is torture enough. Just had to ramble and say that I really respect the effort you put into making the blog world pretty. I almost feel bad when people put good content out there but there blog is just too ugly to even read it. You have conquered both aspects, which is rare and deserves a huge roudn of applause.

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  60. just don't ever stop posting about sports, because then this tomboy might not follow your blog anymore ;)

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  61. Great post, tips are great. I'm going to have to tweak mine a little now. But with graphics, it's a time consuming pain in the butt to make them, interesting links and pictures already take up too much of my time. I just keep telling myself it'll get easier the longer I blog. Thanks for sharing.

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  62. this is hilarious! I love this post so much ahhaha.
    Olive & Ivy

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  63. Fantastic! You rocked this- and I am taking notes. Thank you.

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  64. hey, great tips!! random question, when paying with paypal, why send as a gift vs "for goods or services" ??

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  65. Another great post! Speaking of, I want you to do a guest post over at my place. I will email you.

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  66. Thanks for the info! I am a new blogger! :)

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  67. Haha, the grammar graphic is hilarious.

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  68. Every single thing about your blog is unique and beautiful from your design to your post format. You are super funny and you might just be my new blog crush! :)

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  69. You read, you comment - thank you. Many people don't get this.

    I'd take it a step further and add that if you receive a comment that merits a reply, you reply.

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  70. Hey! I'm just using this to test and check if I fixed no-reply? :) thanks!

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  71. Testing again...YOU ARE THE BEST EVER! Thank you for being patient!!

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  72. awwww thanks for the shout out about my blog posts!! warms my heart!

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  73. Oh how I love this post! It really helps me as a baby blogger! THANK YOU!!

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  74. Oh the things I have yet to learn, there is just so much!!! Funny that you said " you have to spend money to make money" because,my dear, my hubby says it at least once a week and it drives me crazy. I do want to grow but it is a lot harder then I expected. One big thing that gets me is commenting. If I read, I comment...ALWAYS. I can see people are reading my blog yet NO ONE comments (insert angry face). In time I will grow and I promise to be patient in the mean time. Thanks for the tips ;).

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  75. Thanks for the tips. They are super helpful!

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  76. Thanks for sharing your view on blogging beginner mistakes.
    Changed my background back to white, immediately.

    Blog-hug Nina Joy

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  77. I read this, so I'm definitely commenting...and turning my background to white. right. now.
    Thanks for the insight!

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  78. Thanks for the info. Many of these tips were new to me so very useful.

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  79. Catching up on the Saturday Sessions that I have missed. Thanks for reminding me how to not have an annoying blog!

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  80. I'm always looking for more advice, especially FRESH advice! Great post. Thanks!

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  81. yayayayayayyyyyyy for new blogger advice! very much appreciated!!

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  82. Love this! It's definitely helpful to read something like this when you first start a blog.

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  83. Sweeet. Starting a lil thing up today! New year, new blog.

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  84. Trying to start a blog (trying being the key word here; think 5 years in the making) and your hints are really helpful! I also enjoyed your other posts about blogging and found them all insightful. Also, I really appreciate your frankness; I loved the grammar image (the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit) this, too, is one of my pettest of peeves.

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  85. Taking your tip right away and commenting! Thank you for all the great insights to blogging for beginners. Truly helpful for people (ME, ME, ME) that are trying to get all the information they can while starting a blog.
    And the grammar section? Love it. People using the wrong forms of their, they're, and there is beyond annoying.

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  86. Thanks for these tips! I am just starting out a joint blog with a friend and I really enjoyed reading this!

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  87. Great tips..how many posts do you aim for in a week?

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  88. Oh yeah - great tips - and not the usual ones either! I'm not sure I'll ever be able to have a coloured background again after getting used to clean bright white.

    The grammar one reminds me of the guest post submissions I get with major typos - do they seriously think I would publish their stuff!??

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  89. Good tips - thanks for sharing!

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  90. ALL THESE THINGS.

    So helpful! I really need to be better about commenting. I read blogs sporadically during the day, and really should save the ones I want to comment on :)

    xo The Curly Casualista

    Enter my giveaway!

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  91. These are great tips for new bloggers! I just had to comment because, "In blogland, you read it, you comment. Plain and simple."

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  92. Such a stupid late reply. Thanks for mentioning my blog on your list!!

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  93. Thank you so much for all the great tips!!

    Angie Young
    http://thelittlereadingcabin.blogspot.com

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  94. Great Tips! From now on,Starting today, I will comment on every blog post I read.

    Shanie
    www.alittlericher.com

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  95. Super helpful tips! Starting my 3rd blog and struggling to find inspiration. I love writing... I just don't think I'm quite interesting enough for people to read it!

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  96. Love it! I've in in the works of launching my blog for awhile and these tips are so helpful and fresh. Thanks for posting!

    www.lovestephora.com

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  97. Blunt & to the point...I love it! These are the kind of honest tips you never see anywhere. Thanks for sharing them, I really need these. Blogging, I've discovered, is so much harder than it looks, a challenge but like any challenge, it's one we all aim to overcome. Thanks again for the tips.

    http://lilhm.blogspot.co.uk

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  99. Great post! I think I would add that with the spending money tip as well as the tip about what social media sites to use and how much, those are helpful but maybe not for everyone. I agree that social media is a great tool for exposure but I feel like if you're just getting started, you probably don't want to worry too much about it. As long as you're putting yourself out there in one way or another, that's all that matters. I also wouldn't want to dive into the whole sponsors game quite yet since I am just beginning.
    Otherwise, I think these were some good pointers!

    lemonholiday.blogspot.com

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  100. Thank you so much for your advice, it is greatly appreciated!
    Joysofmyjourneys.com

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  101. This is really great advice! I'm definitely going to be baring this in mind in future posts.
    I agree so much about the grammar thing, my spelling isn't the best (thank goodness for spell check) but "where, were" and "they're, their, there" is a pet peeve!
    <3 Fran - www.frannymac.com xx

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  102. love this post! need to work on my blog after i read this oops :D
    annii <3

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  103. Great advice!!! The struggle is real, and you have some great insight! EVERYBODY has been saying to get adsense. It is like THE number one piece of advice for new bloggers. Did you ever use it? What were your first steps for getting ads without it? Super curious about your take on it.

    Thanks!! xo

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  104. Just found your blog and I love it to death. Your posts are so genuine and funny, I could literally (yea that's the correct use of literally) read them all day. These are also actually unique tips and really helpful! I gotta go up my blogging game.

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  105. I really enjoyed reading this. I will be back later for more. ;)

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  106. Great post! definitely agree with the white background, I think it makes a blog feel more peaceful, and overall just a tad more stylish. I just stumbled upon your blog on pinterest and love the great advice you give out! thankyou!

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  107. So I read your whole post and I guess I have to comment now ;)
    But seriously, your blogging etiquette piece was perfection!
    Please write a part 2.

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  108. Thanks. This is awesome. I bought the URL for my blog on Friday and I have no idea where I'm going from there. This is quite daunting!

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