Blogging opinions from a Marketing/Communications/PR Perspective

So, I’ve been working in the Marketing/Communications/PR realm for a decade. I’ve held numerous positions with numerous companies which delved into the world’s of digital marketing, print marketing and television marketing.

When I speak these thoughts, please know they are my own personal opinions so please take them with a grain of salt. If you disagree with them, don’t take my word as the only, and please do what is right for your blog.

Your ‘ABOUT ME’ page is the most important page on your blog. If you don’t have one, you need to make one. And if you do have one, you need to make sure that it’s a page that will simultaneously tell the readers about you and your niche/niches, whilst enticing readers to come back.

The ‘About Me’ page should be the second item on any and every menu. This is because when people who don’t know you come to your page and read something they like, the next page they’re going to look for is to find out more about you and see if you’re someone they could see themselves following. If your ‘About Me’ page is hard to find, then you’re missing the opportunity to tell potential readers who you are.

Stop asking what’s in it for you and start asking what you can give. I saw someone on twitter the other day complaining that they commented on four blogs and no one came back to comment on their blog so they weren’t going to comment on anyone’s blog anymore.

Firstly, I can appreciate the hustle of just starting out. I can. And I am sure they are a very nice person. But when you say stuff like that you sound like a bit of a whiner, and also, verrrrrrrrrrry entitled. Please don’t just expect that if you comment on someone’s blog they’re going to come and leave a comment on your blog. They could, they might, but they’re not required to.

What if they don’t like what you write about? Or share about? Should they be required to comment on your blog solely because you commented on theirs? And if they are required to comment on your blog, solely because you commented on theirs, are they really going to leave that great of a comment?

If you want to bring something to the blogging community, then bring something to the blogging community. But stop asking ‘what’s in it for me?’ What’s in it for you? An opportunity to share your thoughts, an opportunity to connect and communicate, an opportunity to share and to hear other perspectives. But it’s worth noting you’re not entitled to any of those things. And you likely won’t get them if you’re going to complain and whine about it.

Layout of your blog matters. It always matters. If you’re just blogging for you, as an online journal and you don’t care who sees your blog, or if anyone ever does, then your layout only matters to you. But, if you’re blogging to find a community, grow an audience, hopefully become an established place for people to come and hear/see your thoughts, then your blog layout really needs to be clean, simple and easy to use. While you might like that neon green look, or the eight giant photos at the top of the page that need to get scrolled through to get to your actual content, most people likely won’t. And if you want their attention you need to make your blog layout appeal to them.

Think of it like the age old lesson they teach in real estate: a home with white walls is a whole lot easier to sell than a home with neon colours on the walls. This is because when people walk into a home with neon walls, they have a hard time seeing past the colours and cannot possibly picture themselves living there. A few people may walk into a home with a neon green kitchen and think ‘Yeah, I love that I want to live here’. Probably 90% of people can walking to a home with a white kitchen and think ‘Yeah, I love that and want to live here’.

It’s a simple fact of life, neutral colours appeal to more people. Neutral colours appeal to even those who loved the neon. So if you’re looking to grow an audience and want people to find your blog and fall in love, make sure that your layout is one that is neutral, one that can appeal to the most eyes that see it.

If you’d like to see what I speak in action – view the website of Nike, Nordstrom and even the WordPress homepage. All of these websites have something in common – they’re neutral to allow the content to speak for itself.

People focus far too much on getting readers to “click here for more” when they should be focusing on spreading their posts as far and wide as possible. I see a lot of people complain about how people just don’t click their ‘read more’ buttons. Well, I mean… I don’t really blame them. Unless you’re an established blogger, or my best friend, I’m likely not going to kick your ‘read more’ button either.

Without an established, guaranteed audience to read your content each day, the only thing you’re doing is making it harder for people to access your content. The more clicks required to actually view a single post of yours, the more potential audience members you’re going to lose in the process because they just can’t be bothered with clicking further.

Imagine someone clicks on a post and really likes what they’re reading. They then have to click back to your homepage to click another post to be able to read that. I’ve seen some layouts where you have to click on a photo to get the ‘read more’ button to click on that to actually read the text. In a world where there are 75 million blogs on wordpress alone, you’re really making it easy for people to just completely move on from your blog and forget it ever existed.

And hey, if you think ‘If they’re not going to click to read more then I don’t want them on my blog’, that’s fine, I respect that opinion. If that’s how you truly feel, though, then stop complaining about a lack of audience. Because if you really want to grow your audience, you need to make it easy for them to view your content.

Social media is not mandatory, but you will find more success with blogging if you have social media accounts for your blog. Social media is a beast that, if you use properly can benefit you immensely. I’m talking bringing hundreds, if not thousands, of organic hits to your website just with the sharing of a link to twitter, facebook and pinterest.

For reference, I have had a Pinterest Account for maybe 2 or 3 weeks at this point and the only posts I’ve actually posted to Pinterest are my travel posts. I have more than 3,100 hits to my Pinterest Account and more than a tousand referrers from those hits to my blog. You can say that 33 percent turning into actual hits isn’t that big, but I’d still say that 1,000 organic hits from Pinterest is more hits than I had before.

You do not have to have social media accounts. Not in any way, shape or form. But, if you make them, and you use them properly, they can drive organic traffic to your blog that you haven’t previously had. So I would strongly encourage you consider it.

If you don’t like what someone has to say, don’t leave them nasty comments. It’s a fact of life, you’re not going to agree with what everyone says on their blog. If that’s the case, find a new blog. You don’t need to leave them nasty comments calling them names or telling them they’re an idiot. You can simply just move on.

If you have any questions about anything I’ve said, feel free to ask.

If you’d like to read more of my posts about blog marketing, click here>

48 thoughts on “Blogging opinions from a Marketing/Communications/PR Perspective

      1. My dear, I would do it for free. If it’s your site though, I’d want to be able to have a chat with you, in real time (not email chains). If it’s a blog, I want to help all bloggers succeed with whatever they please. And if it’s another type of site, you can just let me know what type of site so I can prepare myself!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I agree with the points you made. The “About” section is important, and every blog should have one. If not, there should at least be some way to contact them such as email. Some blogs lack both, so I wonder what methods these bloggers are using.

    As for social media, I haven’t used it in a while. I have the social media accounts but I’m not actively on them (too time consuming for me). So I just stick to WP. Organic growth is slow for me, but at least it’s steady. I’m happy that Pinterest has generated followers for you. I tried Pinterest but didn’t have much luck with that platform.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Living in Hawaii didn’t appeal to Nick too much but I am still trying to convince him to take a vacation there at least. At this time, there’s a good chance we’ll be staying in Calgary for a while.

        That does sound interesting. I am curious to know what the Pinterest code is! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve got to figure out how to get back on social media. It’s been five years. It feels like wading back into a pond you know is infected with bacteria. You’re 100% correct on the About page. As a former journalist, when I needed a quote or a source, they were the only pages I looked at, no matter if it was a business, charity or personal site. And it may just be my personal taste, although I’ve heard a lot of other journalists say it too, but I always feel much better sending a real email than filling out a form that ends up God knows where.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. People talk about social media like it’s soooo time consuming. But the truth is, if you use it properly, it doesn’t take that long. It’s more about effective and quality use, not about frequent use. People think they have to be on it all day, and really, that’s so not the case !

      And yes, you’re right – ‘About Me’ or ‘About Us’ style pages are so integral to journalists, companies, bloggers, etc… And it’s always nice when they give out an email address and don’t just have a “contact us here”. Sometimes you just need that email address for your contact folder. Sometimes you don’t want to go to an info@ account. Sometimes you just want to know you’re reaching a real person.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love posts like these. It’s so easy to get lost in the day-to-day management of blogging and to stay motivated, and lately I’ve been kinda losing sight of the big picture and posts like this kinda bring me back to appreciate the big picture, if that makes sense.

    I do have a Facebook page to promote my writings, but it seems ineffective. Besides Pinterest, are there any other ones you recommend? To be honest I’d love to see a post dedicated to the social media aspects of self-promotion and blogging, but can’t force you to write one!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have one. It’s presently in my drafts folder. A lot of these posts sit in my drafts folder for a long time because, as much as I ramble in the posts I publish, they’re sooooo much longer in the drafts folder. It takes me a long time to cut them down and cut out all of the rambling nonsense I like to add.

      I’ll give you to quick (likely won’t be so quick) pieces of advice:
      1. Hashtags and buzzwords, on any social media platform will help you greatly. It looks like you’re presently just ‘auto-posting’ to facebook whenever you post to your blog? Go back in, edit those posts. Include a message on the post, include hashtags about what the post is about. People still search hashtags on facebook!
      2. Join Blogging Groups. They’re all over facebook, they’re all over twitter, they’re all over pinterest. Just search ‘Bloggers’ or even ‘Bloggers – Your Location’, and I’m sure you’ll find some. Blogging groups, when you’re just starting the hustle, allow you free promotion among other bloggers. And bloggers help bloggers out. Earn that promotion wherever you can!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Very useful Vee. I have an Instagram account for my blog but so far that’s all. I guess at some point I should have a go at setting up some others. I already have personal accounts and business accounts for several social media platforms so I’ve been putting it off a little because it’s another thing to keep up to date.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know what you mean. I run the social media accounts for Knight’s company. And just those accounts and my blog accounts take a decent chunk of time. If you’re strategic with it though, it pays off. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Goodness, I’ve had a blog on various platforms for 15 years and I have never had an “About Me” page nor have I ever looked at anyone elses LOL As for the “read more” aspect – I hate that and so many WP themes are set up for it. I will only click ‘read more’ for friends, else I just don’t bother. I realize blogging is a business for so many, for me, it’s always been just a toy. The one thing I do wish everyone had on their blogs is a ‘Like” button. I recently tripped over a photography blog which absolutely captured my fancy but no “Like” button. I was able to send an email to tell them how much I admired their work but I can’t be doing that every day – not that I mind but I’m sure it would annoy them. (Does anyone need more emails?) I suspect your advice will be very useful for folks who are professional bloggers or who aspire to be so,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve noticed there are a lot of photographers who use wordpress as a means to share their photos with their clients that dont want the wordpress community. It’s just a free, or extremely cheap, platform for them to upload their photos with no maximum photo storage allowance. I’m not sure what the photographer you found took photos of by I find tons of wedding and lifestyle and portrait photographers on here all the time who dont have like buttons because they dont care about wordpress they just care about having a link to send clients!


    1. I’m not trying to imply that suggestions like this are for everyone. And by no means do you have to listen to anything I say in these types of posts. Some people want this kind of stuff though, ya know what I mean?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. About pages are soooooo necessary. And to think that they are one and done is blogging suicide. It’s a good habit to get into to revisit your About page and tweak when it becomes out of date or even just to freshen it up.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ‘About Me’ pages are like the perfect opportunity for people to say ‘Hi, I am ——- and this is why you should follow me!’. And too many people skip over the opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your posts about blogging and marketing are the most helpful and thorough that I’ve seen. Thank you for sharing the knowledge!

    I’ve been thinking about setting up a Pinterest page just to see what happens. (I doubt I’ll get the interactions you will, because looking at travel pics is way more fun than looking at book pics, but you never know!) Any pro tips?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Also, I admit that I am guilty of the “read more” thing… but honestly, I do it because I think it makes my homepage look cleaner. I do wonder what it makes my posts look like in the WP reader…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. When people can view your entire post in the WordPress reader, they can like and leave comments from the WordPress Reader alone! If they have to click to read more to go to your page to click to read a post, you’re deterring some of your potential audience members right there just because of the fact that… people don’t want to have to find your posts, they just want posts that are right in front of them!

        A lot of people use arguments like ‘Shane Dawson does ‘Click here for more’ all the time!’ To that my response is, Shane Dawson has several million followers! If you’re just starting out or aren’t yet established, making your content as easy to find as possible is going to help you the most with potential growth.

        Sorry I ramble so much.


      2. Huh. Good to know. I do try to have the most important stuff above the “read more” line. Maybe I should follow myself, just so I can see what things look like.

        And… even if I am alienating some potential readers, I’m probably not going to change this particular thing for book reviews (for other posts, I may have to rethink my strategy). Not because I think I’m sooooo awesome, but more because I like the aesthetic of the blog much better this way.

        Also, thanks for you offer for help with Pinterest! I will definitely hit you up once I decide to gird my loins and go for it.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I like the Read More set-up on a landing page, with a brief bit from each post. I can scroll thru to see which ones I want to read without have to plow through all of the text. I see it as a Table of Contents.


    1. It definitely does look like a bit of a table of contents for funnelling through what one might or might not want to read. I guess it’s all dependent on what your preferences are!


  9. Hi V. Having returned from NZ I’m catching up with posts I missed while I was away and came across this one from about 10 days ago. I just wanted to say that when you have your phone interview for that job tomorrow (or is it today now?) you should remember how good you are and bring it out clearly to the person(s) interviewing you. This post – and several others in broadly similar subject areas – demonstrates how clever, knowledgeable and skilful you are. A lot of what you write about on your blog discusses the challenges you face, and it’s good to get those things out in the open. But never, never forget how good you really are in your chosen profession. Go get that job, girl.


  10. I definitely wouldn’t have thought that having an ‘About Me’ page would be so important in the blogging sphere but it certainly makes sense that people would want some kind of credibility behind the opinions or information you’re presenting.
    I’m currently a PR student and we were told to always include an about me page but the gravity and importance of having one wasn’t specified. It’s nice to see feedback on what an industry professional thinks is important.


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