With the blogosphere in a frenzy about the fact that Instagram is taking over the areas which blogging once ruled, and bloggers quitting their blogs en masse, I thought it’d be helpful if I shared a few tips to enable you to help the bloggers that you love to keep on going.
As promised in this post, where I mused over the temptation to quit blogging altogether, here are some ways that you can support your favourite bloggers!
Let them know you enjoy it!
Comment, email, reply! We won’t know that you enjoyed it unless you tell us.
Blog posts used to be inundated with comments back when I started blogging in 2014, but nowadays, even the bigger names only get a handful of commenters at the bottom of their posts. And, yes, some of us might be genuinely terrible at replying to comments promptly, but rest assured that all bloggers read their comments and do appreciate them.
It’s really touching to see that someone’s not only taken the time to read your post, but also that they’ve taken a little bit more time to reach out to you, and made a heartfelt response. It makes it much more worthwhile to see that and reminds us that we’re not just shouting into the ether where nobody’s listening to us.
If you don’t have an account to reply with, or don’t want to comment publicly, you could send your favourite blogger an email instead. (Most bloggers have a ‘Contact’ page, and their email addresses are often easily available on Twitter and in their Instagram bios too.)
Or, just reply under a tweet. Reply under a Facebook post. Reply under an Instagram comment where they’ve mentioned their new post. Let them know that you’ve read it and that you enjoyed it! It really does make our hard work seem a lot more worthwhile! (That’s why we do it, after all!)
Don’t judge them for supporting themselves.
Don’t be averse to clicking on affiliate links, and please understand that some medium and large bloggers use sponsored posts or ads to support themselves; not to be greedy or to trick their audience (on the whole), but to actually keep making the content that you enjoy reading so much! (Blogging is far more expensive, and more time-consuming than you’d ever imagine if you’ve never done it before!)
So, if a blogger has a shop page, for instance, browse it and if anything catches your eye, click on it. You don’t even have to buy it, but by clicking on it, you’ll earn your favourite blogger a few pennies. It all mounts up, plus it supports them so that they can keep creating content for you, and it doesn’t have to even cost you anything.
Running a blog is expensive: There’s costly hosting to think of, domain names, and other expenses like WHOIS privacy (to stop our personal details from entering the public domain when we buy a domain name) plus other things like photo props. It all mounts up, and if a blogger is using affiliate links, they’re doing it, yes to make a bit of money back, but also to share products that they genuinely love with their audience – products that they think they’ll love too.
And, if you’re still feeling cynical, yes some bloggers do tend to overdo it a bit, but most of us keep it to a bare minimum. So please don’t go out of your way to avoid clicking on affiliate links. They don’t cost you anything, and they’ll help your favourite blogger out, a few pennies at a time.
It’s worth noting that bloggers in the UK are accountable to the Advertising Standards Authority and should have a disclaimer or disclosure policy page where they state how they make money out of their blog and outline their policies regarding affiliate links, ads, and sponsorships. The aim is to be as open, honest, and transparent as possible. Whatever critics have to say, the aim of the vast majority of bloggers isn’t to be dishonest, pull the wool over readers’ eyes or scam anyone.
Follow them on social media & sign up to their mailing list.
This isn’t the cheeky plug you might think it is… Sadly, we live in a world where statistics really matter, and the blogosphere is no different. We’re taken more seriously if we have more followers (and, yes, I do feel icky just typing that.) And, no, it shouldn’t all be about the numbers, but you can’t grow your blog these days without growing your social media accounts too. For instance, about half of the views to this blog come from social media, so it’s important for us to attract an audience across all those platforms who genuinely like reading our ramblings.
On the plus side, you get all of the newest posts delivered directly to your Twitter timeline and Facebook newsfeed too! You can watch what they’re doing via their Instagram Stories. There might be behind-the-scenes stuff on there, and you may well even be notified when a new post is up. So, following your favourite bloggers is a mutually-beneficial thing too!
If they have a mailing list as well, pop your email address in the box and sign up! You’ll probably get behind-the-scenes bits and bobs, exclusive content that’s unique to the newsletter, early updates on all new things concerning the blog you love, and potentially freebies and tips too! What’s not to love?
(I didn’t really need to tell you all this, did I? I’m pretty sure you knew it already.)
Spread the word!
So you love that blog? Well, tell people you love it! If you have a friend who’s also an avid blog reader, let them know about this great new one that you’ve discovered.
It’s also massively helpful to us all if you like and/or share posts on your social media accounts. It enables posts to reach a wider audience, obviously, which a.) encourages bloggers to keep at it and b.) allows new people to discover a blog that they might really love and wouldn’t have otherwise found.
So, retweet their new posts, share them to your Facebook profile, give them a shoutout on your Instagram Stories. Just let the world know that there’s a blog out there that everyone else needs to be reading as well!
Let them know if someone’s impersonating them.
Unfortunately, even in this day and age, people still steal content. They steal Instagram photos. They steal blog photos. They steal entire blog posts and try and take the credit for them.
If you see something, say one of your favourite blogger’s Instagram photos doing the rounds on Pinterest because somebody’s stolen it, drop that blogger an email or DM with the link to the offending photo and let them know what’s happening.
They can then file a Copyright Infringement notice (which you can’t do for them) to get it removed from that particular platform so they can ensure they’re getting the proper credit for their hard work!
It’s happened to me on Instagram a couple of times before (there’ll actually be a post up soon about how you can deal with it if it happens to you) and it’s so stressful and disheartening when it occurs. To think that someone’s happy to steal something that you’ve spent time working on, all to try and take the credit when they’ve no right, is a horrible experience. So, if you spot content theft, please notify the blogger concerned so that they can get the offending content taken down as soon as possible.
What are your thoughts?
Liked this post? You might also enjoy: Diary: The Temptation To Quit Blogging, Being More Present: Why I’m Getting Sick of Creating ‘Content’, or even Killing Off Blogs, Bots & The Algorithm: Some Issues I Have With Instagram.