Coffee Talk Humor

More No Bullshit Blogging Advice

13th March 2018

I am not a blogging expert, I usually don’t blog about blogging.  I get my blogging advice from people who are smarter at blogging than I am.

I just write personal essays/sarcastic listicles in a public forum and some people like them.  That’s groovy.  I thank you.

In the spirit of not being a bullshit artist, you guys know I’ve been blogging since 2010.

However.  That’s only 430 posts.

I’ve had 3 day jobs, married one person, and made another person.  My blog has been kind of in the background all that time.

I’ve tried blogging schedules, keywords, having a blogging focus.  Niches make me itchy.

I love when you guys tell me you look forward to my posts, that I tell it like it is, and make you laugh.

I love the people I’ve met, and those I’ve yet to meet.

Since the fam and I moved to the boonies, I started to look at blogging differently.  More than just something on the side, but maybe something I could earn actual money from.

I’ve had conversations with business coaches and found out that I’m y’know, not a business person.

What is your business?  pexels-photo-459458

I want to create a home on the web for people who don’t know where home is?

Who are you helping?

Um, me?


During this whole WTF am I doing thing, I applied for Google Adsense.

They don’t think my content is valuable.



WTF have I been doing for all this time?

Oh yeah, working.  Making people.  Connecting with other people.  Living and writing about it.  I probably should write more, but that’s a work in progress.

My point is, for all this time I haven’t felt like the right person to offer blogging advice.

And yet.  My most popular post of recent times is 10 Things I’ve Learned In 7 Years of  Blogging.

And because I’m old, here are my views on 8 years of blogging.

Real talk:  I wrote that because people were asking how I’d build up such a community of groovy readers.  But that’s because of groovy people who read me.

More real talk.  I was kinda being sarcastic.  Surprise, surprise.


Consider this post an upgrade to that post.  Because apparently content upgrades are a thing now.

Some More No Bullshit Blogging Advice:

If you are sharing someone’s link to a post or pin of a post, please click through and read the post.  Some bloggers do write for themselves, but why share something you haven’t read?

Make sure the profile you’re commenting with is connected to your blog.  When someone comments on my stuff I want to visit them.  It’s sad when I can’t.  Link up your profile to your blog using this groovy how-to from Hugh.

I know I said in the first post to answer all your comments.  I might revise that one.  If you don’t reply back, at least connect with everyone who reaches out to you.  

Comment on one of their posts, follow their FB page if you like their stuff.  Blogging relationships take time, and don’t have to be immediately reciprocated or like for like.

Facebook Groups are beautiful things, but chore threads are bullshit.  Don’t make people comment on all the things and follow all the people.  I do participate in comment threads, but I read the posts before I drop my own link.   Click here for a list of my favorite FB groups.

Don’t parrot the post back in the comments.  I don’t write to hear an echo, I share my stories to hear other people’s experience.  Talk about you.

Don’t pad out comments just to put more words in the box.  Short comments are more genuine, sometimes.

If you have a food blog, make sure that your food photos make people want to try your recipe.  No one wants to eat fugly food.

Put the title of the blog and your blog address somewhere on your pins.  People want to know what they’re pinning.  More on my Pinterest game is here.

Read your post aloud before you post it.  If it doesn’t sound like you, re-write it.  

If you have one person on your email list, write to that one person. (New newsletter coming out from me today.  Hi.)

And for less sarcastic blogging advice, read these people/blogs:

Suzie Speaks

Elena Peters

Helene In Between

Mostly Blogging



More non-BS blogging advice


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Also published on Medium.

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  • Reply johnrieber 13th March 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Great advice, told in your usual “entertainingly direct” style…

    • Reply Lorna 13th March 2018 at 2:14 pm

      And I appreciate your diplomatic comments.

      • Reply johnrieber 13th March 2018 at 2:36 pm

        Your points are well written, and your suggestions for making the blogging experience better for both the reader and the writer are terrific!

  • Reply Rebecca Moon Ruark 13th March 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Love your advice to “write to one person.” Helps to think this way even if you have a million followers. I follow the blog of a radio station personality, and he said the best advice for radio–or any communications, I would say–is to speak to just one person. Anything else sounds false.

    • Reply Lorna 13th March 2018 at 6:35 pm

      If he’s a radio guy, shouldn’t he have a podcast?

  • Reply Losing the Plot 13th March 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Either my hide has become spectacularly thick (possible) or I missed the sarcasm, that all sounded honest to goodness, straightforward useful advice.

    Eventually even Google (are you listening!!!! Google peeps) will wake up to the fact that not everybody wants to constantly read the same bally list of tips re hashed by yet another blogger.

    I’m not even 6 months into this adventure, and already I am bored to tears by the same old same old, I don’t even open most of them anymore – unless something really sticks out about it. So hello Google – if you want to advertise to me you are going to have to start looking at Bloggers like Lorna here – who engages my interest, who will talk to me like I’m more than a stat on her blog.

    I’m no expert – but if even I can tell that things are changing, Google, do try and keep up!

    • Reply Lorna 13th March 2018 at 2:32 pm

      I should mention that’s not a sponsered comment. 😉

      • Reply Losing the Plot 13th March 2018 at 2:33 pm

        Didn’t think it was, but I thought if I said GOOGLE! often enough they might actually read it and take note.

        Probably not, like – but they should.

        • Reply Lorna 13th March 2018 at 2:35 pm

          No, I meant you weren’t paid to big me up. Haha.

          • Losing the Plot 13th March 2018 at 2:49 pm

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nope – all my own thoughts!

  • Reply achildof 13th March 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Love your post and humour as always. The link to add the wordpress button super helpful as I had no idea that was possible and have been frustrated wanting to get to someone’s blog and unable to. Thank you !!

  • Reply josypheen 13th March 2018 at 3:06 pm

    I totally agree about the fugly food! I only want to read/ attempt to make things that look like they might be tasty!!

    • Reply Lorna 17th March 2018 at 4:20 pm

      Yes, fugly food is why I discontined my Watch My Bloke Bake series.

  • Reply Suzanne [globalhousesitterX2] 13th March 2018 at 3:23 pm

    So, the big question is, have you made your first million yet? 🙂 Agreed that better quality photos are a must and having the right amount of visuals and words to balance it all up. Now that is a challenge for many! There you have it, my sixpence worth of advice!

    • Reply Lorna 13th March 2018 at 3:34 pm

      Didn’t make a c(p)ent until a few months ago. I read somewhere that it’s one photo for every 500 words, unless it’s a collge/gallery/photo-dump.

      • Reply Suzanne [globalhousesitterX2] 13th March 2018 at 4:12 pm

        Thanks for the information regarding photos to words. Interesting. Keep writing as I am sure you will be on your way to earning!

        • Reply Lorna 13th March 2018 at 4:27 pm

          I don’t blog for the money. I have been paid to write in the past as part of my actual work, but it’s not the kind writing that’s my favourite.

  • Reply Bryntin 13th March 2018 at 4:10 pm

    I did join Facebook group, tried hard to follow the rules, read and engaged with some lovely people – including you of course Lorna – to begin with. Too much rule following for me in the end though and too few properly engaged people to make it all feel reciprocal.
    But I suppose anarchists like me will always find it difficult to stay in groups. 😉

  • Reply Nicole 13th March 2018 at 4:24 pm

    “A home for people who don’t know where home is” is a big deal for those of us who don’t know where home is. Just sayin’, Google.

    I’ve always thought that people who are trying to help themselves are more helpful than people who are trying to help someone else. Because it’s one thing to come up with stuff you think will be helpful and another to say “Look, this worked for me — give it a try.” Or maybe this is my own bias, that I’m far more inclined to listen to someone down in the quicksand with me than someone up on the bank going “gee, that looks hard. Have you tried not flailing quite so much?”

    Anyway, you do you. Even if you’re just telling cute Isla stories, I’ll keep reading. Not all blogs have to solve a problem.

  • Reply Natalie Ducey 13th March 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Awesome advice, Lorna! I just hopped over to your Pinterest blog post. Great stuff there too.
    Beautiful graphics for your pins. I’m now following you. Cheers! 🙂

    • Reply Lorna 13th March 2018 at 4:41 pm

      Graphics and pinterest help is from Suzie at SuzieSpeaks.

  • Reply Emily DeVoto 13th March 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Ooh ooh, I’m one of those who doesn’t know where home is! I may not start a blog about it, but let’s tawk. Currently stuck in Boston in a blizzard that will probably wipe out our flight to the UK tomorrow.

    • Reply Lorna 13th March 2018 at 5:31 pm

      I’m looking forward to our Inverness time. Please get back safe. xox

  • Reply Judy E Martin 13th March 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Straight to the point, honest advice, Lorna! 🙂

  • Reply fancypaperblog 13th March 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Good advice lady!!

  • Reply heleneinbetween 14th March 2018 at 12:59 am

    Really fantastic advice! And thanks so much for including me on your list!

    • Reply Lorna 14th March 2018 at 8:06 am

      Hi Helene, thanks for the comment. I read your posts and watch your videos all the way through, so I figured a mention was in order. I’m also an American not living in America, so there’s that, too!

  • Reply The Avid Reader 14th March 2018 at 7:20 am

    Thank you for posting this great advice. I have struggled quite a bit with my blog, as I always worry that I’m doing something wrong. However, maybe your advice will help me find my own style. I enjoy reading your blog posts, because they are always written in your own unique voice.

  • Reply Hugh's Views and News 14th March 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks so much for leaving a link to my post about adding your Blog details to your Gravatar. Looking forward to meeting you at The Bloggers Bash in May.

  • Reply urbannight 14th March 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Some people just know how to write ‘slice of life’ articles/posts/blogs or whatever you want to call an entry. You make everyday life sound engaging and interesting. The last 6 years, my life got really dull and I just can’t seem to find the gumption to write or the interest in anything about which to write. I’m still trying to work on my HP Lovecraft meets The Yellow Wallpaper story. But I’ve been stuck for a few years. So my slice of life would be the same every day. Work. Boring. Read book. Good or bad. Played on the computer while watching t.v. Meh.

  • Reply Gabi Coatsworth 14th March 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks for all of this, including the Pinterest stuff. I notice you repeat some of your blog pins on there, which never occurred to me to do. One thing I try to do (not that I always manage it myself) is keep it short. I don’t think people actually read more than about 500-600 words. With that in mind, I try to remember to let them know how long it’s going to take to read, right upfront. It seems I read faster than the average follower, however, so I need to make allowances for that. 🙂 Carry on! It’s all great…

    • Reply Lorna 14th March 2018 at 5:18 pm

      I know of some themes that add the reading time at the top of the post. And Medium adds it to all posts. 1,200 – 2,000 words is also ‘acceptable’, but I like short ones, too. The story of the post dictates length for me, not any outside guidelines, ha! When it’s done, it’s done.

      Sometimes I add the same pin to multiple group boards, and the re-pin shows up double.

  • Reply Anonymous 16th March 2018 at 10:40 am


  • Reply ellenbest24 16th March 2018 at 10:52 am

    I love posting stories and music and poetry. Sometimes I post pieces of me, though I am an expert of disguise. I am a writer first and blogger second so straight facts suit me … they get remembered, that must be a good thing for me. The comments I get are my wages though it is a good job I have a good filter on spam as viagra seem to think I am lacking so keep sending links. And un asked for or required religeous advice is another. But my goto tip would be close each post with a question then the reader may hang around long enough to answer. I keep posts short, bite sized so they don’t feel like a chore. But tell me I need technical stuff and I am gone, I think we need to remember how far we have come and not sweat the small stuff. You are probably aware I love your witt and your blog.

    • Reply Lorna 16th March 2018 at 11:03 am

      Questions are good. When I post questions at the end, it’s because I’m intersted in people’s thoughts, not to hear my thoughts repeated. I’ve missed your posts. Hope you’re OK. x

      • Reply ellenbest24 16th March 2018 at 1:38 pm

        I hope to be back properly soon ?

  • Reply hotmessmemoir 16th March 2018 at 11:08 am

    All excellent advice and I’m going to pin this to my blogging tips on Pinterest! I’ve had about 3 people approach me on how they are going to start a blog. One even said, “it will be my summer project”. Blogging isn’t something you just do as a “project”. It’s my lifeline. It’s my therapy. You have to love it and not treat it as a “project”.

    • Reply Lorna 16th March 2018 at 11:14 am

      Thank you, Angela. My favorite is: I’ve been blogging for two weeks, why isn’t it showing me the money?

      • Reply hotmessmemoir 16th March 2018 at 7:27 pm

        Please tell me you have not been asked that?

        • Reply Lorna 16th March 2018 at 7:33 pm

          No, but I’ve noticed it around…

      • Reply fancypaperblog 17th March 2018 at 5:18 pm

        This one amazes me. Your first blog post is like whispering in a tornado. If you want quick money, there are surely other ways!!

        • Reply Lorna 17th March 2018 at 5:23 pm

          When I see people asking in groups and things, I’m legit sitting at my laptop shouting ‘7 YEARS, BITCHES!’

  • Reply M.L. Keller 16th March 2018 at 4:25 pm

    This was really fun. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Ritu 17th March 2018 at 4:41 pm

    I’m like you… not a business person so my blog is for me but for my followers too… if you get my drift!
    Your advice all makes lots of sense!

  • Reply rachaelstray 17th March 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Only 430 posts that’s incredible! I try to comment on posts I’ve enjoyed some posts are easier to comment on than others depending on how much faff is involved with leaving an actual comment. If people take the time to comment on my posts I do my best to reply.

  • Reply Parul Thakur 17th March 2018 at 4:47 pm

    And you say you don’t dole out blogging advice? This post has got one of the most relevant blogging advice I have read in a long time. Niche is not a word for me too and though I give a lot of time to blogging, it sure comes third after life and the full time job I have. I believe that if it wasn’t the community, I would have no reader base.
    I have read your posts many times and I have always enjoyed your writing! Happy to know you!

  • Reply thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany 17th March 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Good stuff Lorna, good stuff.

  • Reply Channon Gray 17th March 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Good, practical and straight to the point advice – this one made me smile!

  • Reply fattymccupcakes 17th March 2018 at 11:07 pm

    I completely agree with the one about responding to your comments!! THIS! It’s SO important to show your readers you appreciate their readership. Nothing makes me more annoyed than someone who appears to be too good for their readers because they can’t take the time to respond to comments!

    • Reply Lorna 18th March 2018 at 9:22 am

      That one got an update, though. I appreciate all my comments, even if you disagree with me. But if the conversation isn’t going anywhere I read the person’s blog and find another post to comment on.

  • Reply Kimberly Mae LoSavio 2nd April 2018 at 9:47 pm

    OMG I loved the original just as much as this one LOLz I love sassy and snarky and I so wish that more people wrote with such authenticity. So many don’t because they are listening to others. You have also inspired me for yet another blog post of my own that will sit in the draft until I hit publish LOLz hahahahaha Yeah … I do that, too! Thanks for the giggles and sharing your insight! And it’s nice to find a blogger who is sassy and snarky like myself! <3

    • Reply Lorna 3rd April 2018 at 11:44 am

      Thank you, and thank you for the FB share. I always like meeting kindred spirits/snarky souls. I look forward to reading that blog post! <3

  • Reply Midlife Smarts 11th April 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Yep – liking this. Straight to the point and some great tips. Ta much

  • Reply Jana 11th April 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Keep applying to Google; lately it seems like “bloggers” have had to apply a few times before they will approve. Like a passive-aggressive defense against spammers/scrapers. I can’t imagine they wouldn’t approve you on a second round.

  • Reply Vox 15th April 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I’m not gonna lie; sometimes I DO pad my comments (especially if I don’t have much to say or much time to comment). ? And you are SOOO right about ugly food pictures! I’m glad someone had the balls to say it (sorry to say it wasn’t me). No one is enticed by grey food photos…? Thanks for having a fresh voice and for not being afraid to tell the truth.

    • Reply Lorna 18th April 2018 at 5:54 pm

      The truth is more fun!

  • Reply Melissa ❤️?? 3rd May 2018 at 2:07 pm

    “Niches make me itchy.” I couldn’t have said it better myself! You’re a poet. I hear you on all of this and I’m so happy I picked up much of it although I’m a newbie not a veteran like you. The sharing what you haven’t read grinds my gears. Especially when I know the sharer is only doing so in the spirit of self-promotion (their self not mine).

  • Reply Jennifer 4th May 2018 at 2:54 am

    I love the word fugly. I don’t want to eat fugly food either!

  • Reply rachaelstray 6th June 2018 at 9:59 am

    Love this straight-talking advice. I need to up my pin game massively!

  • Reply Carol Cassara (@ccassara) 9th July 2018 at 3:10 pm

    one of my pet peeves is one or two word comments. Years ago I heard Google counted those kind of comments against you.

  • Reply Musings, Rants & Scribbles 9th July 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I’ve never tried Google Adsense. I’d probably get the same answer!

  • Reply Ellen @ If It Brings You Joy 10th July 2018 at 2:33 am

    Some sound advice! I’m just glad I’m not a food blogger because my pics would probably be fugly. Food pics are hard! Anyway, you’re a hoot and I enjoy your blog. ?

  • Reply observationsinretail 11th July 2018 at 2:39 am

    Love the advice here, and I greatly appreciate the snark!

  • Reply thevegasbelle 14th July 2018 at 6:02 pm

    OMG…this is amazing!! I love your honesty. Thanks for just being you!

  • Reply Jo Smith 20th July 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Agreed, don’t say anything in the comments if you don’t have anything to really say. It’s also a bit annoying when I click on someone’s name to check out their blog, but it’s some other blog that they had before but deleted.

    • Reply Lorna 20th July 2018 at 3:25 pm

      I’ve noticed that if I click and the blog doesn’t exist anymore, it could be a spambot account that’s been pulled.

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