Top 10 Blogging Tips

Before I dive into today’s post, I just have to say what a ‘Blogging High’ I have been on over the past week. I can’t even believe I’m typing this but THE Apartment Therapy featured my Side Table Makeover on Friday. WOW. What a huge honor. I also have to thank all of the other amazing blogs for featuring my work over the past week, I feel like someone needs to pinch me right now! And as always, thanks to all of YOU for making my day with all of your encouraging comments.

I generally don’t write about blogging on my blog, but it’s always good to mix things up a bit, yeah? I’ve been blogging for a little over a year but it hasn’t been until the past few months that I have I really taken a plunge into the blogging world and found ‘my blogging style’.  It has been a really big learning experience and I thought I’d take a few minutes and share some of my Top 10 Blogging Tips with you. Take them as tips or take them as my opinions, I’ll leave that up to you. I am in NO WAY a blogging expert, I still feel like a very small fish in a big sea and I am learning new things on a daily basis.


Top 10 Blogging Tips From Design, Dining + Diapers


1. Content and Photography Are the Dynamic Duo of Your Blog.

They go together like chocolate and peanut butter. You’ve probably heard this from hundreds of other bloggers but I had to say it again because that’s how important it is. Photos will make or break a project. I’ve seen awesome, super creative projects go unnoticed due to poor photography and on the reverse I’ve seen really simple projects go viral because the blogger achieved the perfect shot.

I’m not saying go out and buy a super expensive DSLR Camera but I am encouraging you to learn to use your camera in manual mode, play with lighting, stage photos, and edit. I’ve really benefited from this post from Centsational Girl and this post from I Heart Naptime. In case you are wondering, I have a Canon Rebel and I edit all of my photos in Picasa and use PicMonkey for graphics :)

2. Networking is KEY.

Network, network, network. I can’t say this enough. I know we all get caught up with our own projects, taking photos, editing, writing posts, and it can be hard to find time to visit other blogs. But make time for it. Comment on your favorite blogs, interact on facebook, pin projects you like, email your favorite bloggers and introduce yourself and tell them why you enjoy their blog, guest post, etc. (But be genuine, don’t just comment to comment. This topic could be a whole other post in itself).

If I have to choose between writing a mediocre post for the next day or spending 1 hour browsing blogs and commenting, guess which one wins? By spending time commenting on other blogs it helps you get to know other bloggers better, you discover new ones and people are more likely to discover you. I’ve discovered some of my favorite blogs because they took the time of leave a comment on my post and vice versa. AND there is so much inspiration out there that by browsing other blogs you could be inspired to add 1K more projects to your list :)

3. Brand Your Blog.

Treat your blog not just as a place to share your projects but as your brand. What do you want your brand to feel like? How do you want to be perceived by other bloggers and companies? What do you want to be known for? Be professional and have respect for yourself and take pride in the content you are sharing on your blog.

For me, I THOUGHT I started out with a clear vision for my blog but so much has changed over the past 13 months. It took me a while to REALLY find my niche and I finally feel like I’m in a comfortable place (at least for today, that could change tomorrow).

4. Focus On What You Are Good At.

This ties directly into #3. You may begin to notice that your popular posts will slowly begin to define the direction of your blog and essentially your brand. Are people coming to your blog for your tips, your recipes, your sewing patterns, your knock-off projects or your posts about your personal life? If you don’t know which projects are your most popular, study your Google Analytics and look at the ‘content’ section. Take a look at your top 10-15 most popular posts from the past 3 months and see if there are any correlations. If there is a mix of everything in there than keep doing what you are doing, but you may be surprised what you find.

For me, I’m always surprised by which projects really take off. It’s like a gamble every time I push ‘publish’. And to be honest, some of my most popular posts are projects that I almost didn’t post because I thought they were ‘too simple’ or ‘not good enough’. So never underestimate something you KNOW, because someone else might find it helpful!

5. Don’t Be Intimated.

I may seem super outgoing, but I actually get intimidated really easily. Thankfully blogging helps this insecurity of mine because there is a computer screen to hide behind (kidding, but not really) but in all honesty, there is no reason so be intimidated in the world of blogging. Don’t be scared of other ‘bigger’ bloggers and don’t be afraid of big brands either. I still feel like the same blogger that I was when I had ZERO followers. If you have a blogging question send an email to another blogger and ask for advice. Or if you feature someone’s work in a round-up, write them a note and let them know. In my experience, everyone has been SO helpful in this community and the more you put yourself out there the more people will notice you and get to know your blog.

6. Join Link Parties.

Quality versus quantity. Link parties are a fabulous way to get your projects out there, be featured and earn new followers. BUT link parties also take a lot of time, especially if you are linking up daily. In my opinion it is best to focus on the parties that bring you the most traffic. There are HUNDREDS of link parties out there and you could spend hours linking up to every single one of them or you could spend that time focusing on the parties that you enjoy the most and spend the rest of the time commenting on other blogs and writing super fabulous posts. Your call. You can view where I link up here.

At the end of each month I look through my Google Analytics (if you don’t have this set up, do it now, like right now) and see who my top referrers are. If you look to the right in my sidebar you’ll see my top referring blogs from last month and most of them host awesome parties (that I recommend).  My top referrers vary each month but it’s great to know where your traffic is coming from how many clicks you are actually getting from each link party you attend. It’s eye opening!

NOTE: I’m not saying don’t support other smaller blogs with link parties, I’m just encouraging you to prioritize your time and link up to the ones that best fit your content.

7. Timing is Everything.

One thing that has really helped me is discovering the best time to publish my posts. Your Google Analytics can actually tell you what times during the day your site has the most visitors. I know that my pageviews peak once in the morning and once in the evening so I schedule my posts around these times. I also schedule my posts to be delivered to email subscribers during this time. Try a few different times over the course of a few months and see which one works best for you.

8. Turn That Frown Upside Down.

It’s human nature to want to be accepted and liked by others but to be a blogger you have to have tough skin sometimes, after all you are putting yourself out there! It’s so easy to get caught up in the negative comments or people ‘unliking’ your facebook (it happens to me ALL the time). These things happen daily and if you let it get the best of you it will affect the rest of your blog. Stay positive, focus on the people that WANT to read your blog, make killer projects and interact with your readers. How many people actually enjoy hanging out with Negative Nancy? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Whenever I loose a facebook friend, I always tell myself not to take it personally and remember that there are so many reasons why someone could ‘unlike’ your page. They could have deleted their facebook account entirely, decided to not follow ANY blogs anymore (not just yours), or ‘liked’ your page as an entry to a giveaway and decided you aren’t really the right fit for them (and that is perfectly ok).

9. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others.

Trust me, this is WAY easier said than done. I’m totally guilty of it, but every time I start to compare my blog to X blogger or Y blogger I bring myself back to focus and have to remember that we are all different. We all blog for different reasons and we all spend different amounts of time blogging. I know that I will never be a full-time blogger so I can’t compare myself to someone who is able to put 40 hours+ into their blog.

I put as much time into my blog as I am able to with a toddler and no more. I work on projects during naptime which could be anywhere from 2-4 hours (minus the time that I spend doing laundry, cleaning etc.) and I blog after my family goes to bed, so from 9:30-11:30 pm and occasionally if I wake up before Miss E I get an hour in the morning. That’s all the time I have for blogging and I am ok with that because I get to spend the rest of my day as a mom. I’ve already discovered that I can’t do it all and have a full-time job from home (you can read about that here) so I’m always making a conscious effort not to fall into that trap again.

10. Blogging Should Be Fun.

Throughout this journey I have always told myself that I never want to feel like I HAVE to write a post. I always want to WANT to sit down on my computer and browse other blogs and write a post for you. If I ever say to myself, “I’m so tired,  I don’t want to write a post tonight”, I don’t. I take a break for the night and generally crawl into bed and call it a night. It’s good to turn your brain off and rejuvenate. I always want to ENJOY blogging and not turn it into a JOB (it’s just a bonus that I am actually able to make SOME money from it). And to be honest, most people aren’t going notice if you post 4 instead of 5 days a week :)

For the record, I could do a WAY better job in all of these areas and I’m still learning the ropes as I go.  But hopefully some of these tips help you. What are some of your best blogging tips?

If there is anything else you want to know more about, you know where to find me!


Taryn is the owner/editor of Design, Dining and Diapers, a lifestyle blog that focuses on DIY home decor, design, seasonal crafts, easy recipes and just being a mom! She is all about making things for less by upcycling thrift store finds and using what’s on hand. Taryn lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband, 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son.

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  1. says

    I tried to comment a little bit ago, but my connection went out, so if it’s a duplicate, feel free to delete! I really love your tips, especially #4. You never know what will be popular. My most popular post is a recipe made from leftovers, and I blogged about it on a whim, never expecting it to be popular at all! I love your blog and your tips, and enjoy how real you are!

  2. says

    Thanks for posting this! I am quite new to the blogging world and have gotten really overwhelmed lately. I have read posts like this, but they have talked more about pageviews and followers, etc. They have made me feel even more overwhelmed and like I’m not doing enough. I’m so glad I read your post, too! I love your view on blogging and your relaxed nature about it. I have a toddler, too, (and one on the way!) and just don’t have time to commit my whole life to blogging. I appreciate that you focus more on quality than quantity and that you are more interested in making true connections with readers and other bloggers rather than just getting your “numbers” up. Thanks again for such a great post! I am bookmarking it so I can reread it again and again! :)


  3. says

    First of all congrats on Apartment Therapy! Great post Taryn! I have seen a big shift with bloggers the past 6 months or so… less about connecting and more about advertising. Which “bad” at all– just different. Also, before Pinterest I think there was more of a pull or desire to connect with other bloggers but Pinterest makes it more anonymous. Anyway, great tips xoxo

  4. says

    I’ve just hit my first year and actually feel in a rut. The biggest struggle for me as well is time. Kids, client work, and home responsibilities don’t allow for much time. I’m enjoying the journey and looking at ways to be smarter and grow…and make a few dollars along the way!

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, always helpful.

    Julie Montgomery
    Simply Savvy LLC

  5. Tori says

    Its funny that you just happen to write this and post it today Bc I was going to email you very soon and ask if you had any tips for me for starting a blog. I have been researching blogging for awhile now and am writing some blogs down ahead of time before I launch and wanted your opinion since I love your blog! Talk to you soon.

  6. says

    This is a great post! The tips are super helpful. Awesome idea listing your top referring sites on the side bar – I think I will be adding that to my blog. I’m still a Rookie, but I already struggle with some of the issues that you covered. Thanks for the info & tips … Pinning this for sure :)

  7. Chelsea Coulston says


    I feel like you wrote this post for me! I’m so interested in blogging and I’ve been doing my “research” lately so I was so glad to see this today. Thank you!!

  8. says

    Congrats on Apartment Therapy feature !This is a great post. Came here through FB. Totally agree with all your point. I’m a newbie and this post puts things in perspective. Particularly with %, 8, and 9 as newbie it so hard. Reading through the rest of your blog now.

  9. says

    That is so awesome that Apartment Therapy featured your work!! I feel accomplished when Craft Gawker features my projects. Baby steps right?
    You gave some great advice here! I took Holly Becker’s e-courses Blogging Your Way and it really helped me put things into perspective. Like you mentioned, it’s so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to other bloggers. That was a huge topic in the course. Sometimes we all just need to get out of our own way! I know I sure do :-)

  10. says

    I really loved reading this post. Great inspiration Taryn. It’s hard sometimes to feel like you make a difference in blogland, but doing it for yourself for the fun of it is the right way to think. I love to inspire others and that is what I set out to do when I started my blog. I have fun doing it, even if I can’t blog as often as I would like to. I really can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog. Oh and I have Pinned this. Have a great day. :)

  11. says

    This is such a great post and resource, Taryn!

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom based on your blogging experience. Great tips and very do-able for any blogger.

    I came across this on Pinterest but I knew exactly which table you were talking about because I saw it featured everywhere last week! Congratulations!

  12. says

    Congrats on Apartment Therapy! I always like reading these kinds of posts to see what others think. I agree with them all. I am working on #4! And trying to find the joy of blogging again!

  13. Christine says

    Love this list! I am guilty of “unliking” facebook pages. But its not because I truly unlike them, it is because I am taking things off my personal page and liking them on my Angel Stitch page. I like to keep these things separate, it helps my sanity :-)
    Also, it would help other bloggers if they don’t link the same project to every linky party for two weeks. There are some parties that I visit and I have already seen all of the projects!! I like to mix it up myself, I link Monday’s post to Monday’s parties, etc.
    And, not comparing yourself to other blogs is a fantastic reminder. I am all too guilty of it myself. Why does this person have this many followers when I only have this many? Maybe I would have more visits if my page looked just like yours. Blah, blah. I have to remember to shut this down when it happens……

  14. Kim (The Money Pit) says

    Congrats on the Apartment Therapy feature Taryn! That is so exciting..

    Those are great tips too. I know I have struggled recently with feeling like such a little fish in a big pond, but I have to realize that it takes ALL types of fish to make an ecosystem! :D

  15. says

    Great post! I couldn’t agree more with what you said. Even though I’ve had my blog for two years I didn’t start blogging regularly until a year ago and have learned a lot since then. My favorite part about blogging is the community feel, I really enjoy making blog friends. Because even though i haven’t met them, they understand what blogging is like. I can’t remember if I found you via instagram or your site first, but I’m glad I did. Your post are always so inspiring! Congrats on the Apartment Therapy feature!

  16. says

    Hi Taryn. I have been blogging just over a year too and recently found you and started following. I totally appreciate you sharing your blogging tips and although I have read many of them before, I always need a reminder :). I love the part about not worrying about posting if you don’t feel like it. Tonight is my birthday and I think I am going to take the night off and there will be no post tomorrow.

  17. says

    Fabulous post Taryn! I totally agree with everything your wrote. I am usually first drawn to a blog/project by the photography and then start to look at the content. I just have a point and shoot camera and am still working on the photography aspect! Love your beautiful blog – congrats on the Apartment Therapy feature!

  18. says

    Taryn thanks for the blogging tips. They are very helpful to someone like me who is trying to get their blog out there. Slowly but surely it is coming along. I’ve been working on the photos of my projects and when I look back on older posts, I just want to redo those pictures!! Trying to keep the blog me and figure out my “brand”. All good things to think about.

  19. says

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post! I’ve only been blogging since May and although everyone has been so sweet and positive I do still feel a little bit like a blogging imposter sometimes (like everyone else’s blogs are so amazing and I’m only “playing” at being a blogger!). Your post has been really helpful, and I’ve learnt some good tips.

  20. says

    So, I just clicked on the link to see what parties you link up to and the link leads to a recipe for red velvet cake. :) I skimmed the post, just in case, and didn’t see anything about link parties. Is there somewhere else we can find a list of where you link up?

  21. says

    Congratulations on the feature…that is completely awesome!!!! Thank you so much for your insight into blogging!!! I read through all of them and found myself shaking my head in agreement to all of them. I especially love that you said if you are tired or not feeling it that you take the night off!!! Such a good reminder:-)

  22. says

    Thanks for the tips. I’m just getting back into my blog. It’s got a long way to go, but I’m enjoying sharing my projects and finding other great blogs out there!

  23. says

    Taryn – thank you so much for this post. I am VERY new to blogging (just started about 4 weeks ago) but have been following your blog for some time now and absolutely love it. You are so inspiring and I love all of your projects. I have a really long way to go in my blogging journey but your encouragement and words of wisdom are really appreciated. Thanks!

  24. says

    Love this top 10 list! SO true not to compare yourself to others… I think it might be second nature but we must as a society stopping comparing ourselves to others! I also agree–content is king!

  25. says

    Thanks for the great tips! I admit I get sad sometimes that I have almost no followers but I have TONS of traffic on my blog (thanks to two of my projects on Pinterest!) Oh well I just do it for fun so it’s totally okay! I just came across your blog and I saw some posts I need to go check out!

  26. says

    Thank you so much for this! I just set up Google Analytics. I must say that I’m not what I’d consider a “successful blogger”, but I see the potential and am eager to really make a go of it. I’ll check out your linky list too as I have only recently discovered what link parties are and what they can do to boost traffic.

  27. says

    Thanks so much for posting this. All great tips. I am a new blogger, only having been doing it for a month. I am working towards getting the balance you speak of in your post. I homeschool my two kids, and while they are pretty self-sufficient most of the time, they still want my undivided attention. As their mom, I want to be there for them. Anyway, thanks again for posting. I’d love for you to visit Posed Perfection sometime. Have a great week!

  28. Britni says

    Thank you for this! Sometimes I feel like I don’t post enough and have a hard time reminding myself that it’s MY blog and I can post whenever I want! I guess I’m still finding my “groove” and it makes me feel better to hear that it took you a while to find yours. Phew! Thanks so much for sharing this. I’d invite you to my party but it definitely wouldn’t be high in the referral department yet ;) Wait, I mean… I would love to have you come share this at my party! I hope to see you there :) {See, I learned from your post! It just took me a minute!}

  29. says

    Thanks so much for the tips! I got out of blogging when my little girl was born, and am trying to come back into it. It’s great to remind myself of so many of these things that kept generating traffic, comments, and more importantly, that made me love my blog! I love your blog (and the title!)!


  30. says

    Thanks so much for posting this. I’m just getting my blog started and these are really great tips I needed. Found you on the 36thavenue link party btw :)

  31. says

    This is such an incredibly helpful post. I started my blog last November and have learned so much! But there is always something new to learn right around the corner. These are wonderful tips! I am now following you…pinterest, twitter, google+ and linky! I would love for you to stop over for a visit~Angie

  32. says

    I’m so excited to read this post! I just discovered you after searching for a gluten-free link party (I landed on your Gluten-Free S’mores Cupcakes – yummo!) and I love these tips. Each one is so true! For someone who works full time, but is obsessed with blogging, it’s hard to find the time to not only post on my site, but also browse other bloggers posts, commenting on each one. I need to be better about that, because I know how happy it makes me when I get comments from other bloggers. It’s all about giving that love back and showing the bloggers that you follow how much you enjoy reading their sites.

    Thanks again for the tips. Have a happy weekend :)

  33. says

    Thank you for posting this! I need these reminders. I think that Google Analytics is an amazing resource for bloggers to learn about their blog and their blogging. Not only referrals and visit times, but organic search terms and most viewed pages. Thanks again for sharing, found you through 52Mantels link party. xoxo

  34. says

    Good post. I agree with all of it! I’m pretty new to it all, but I learn so much from other bloggers. Sometimes I think I should just ignore others’ blogs and focus on my own, but networking has helped me so much. I learn from the posts of others who have been doing this much longer or more intensely than me.

    Thanks for sharing!


  35. says

    What a great post! I love all the tips that you have. I especially like your tip about checking to see the best time to schedule posts on Google Analysts. Each one is so true! For someone who works full time, but is obsessed with blogging, it’s hard to find the time to not only post on my site, but also browse other bloggers posts, commenting on each one.

  36. says

    This is the best, most helpful “Top 10 Blog Tips” list I’ve seen {and I’ve read quite a few}! Such great ideas; I know one I need to implement that I haven’t been doing already is to figure out the best times of day to post based on visitor traffic…so smart! Thanks so much for sharing all of these great insights about what you’ve learned along the way! If you have a minute and are inclined to link up to one more party, I’d love for you to share this at One Artsy Mama this week. :)

    Have a great weekend!

  37. Gale says

    Thanks so much for posting this. I too am a newbie in the blogging world and your tips give me a lot to think about!

  38. says

    Congratulations on the feature!

    I think your tips are great and I am going to share them on the SNAP FB page tomorrow morning. Thanks for sharing on Show & Tell!

    xoxo, Tauni

  39. says

    Congrats on the feature, Taryn, that’s huge! These are great tips and I so agree with how it’s surprising what people love and what isn’t as popular, it’s so hard to tell. Thanks for the good reminders on not comparing and to keep networking, those things are so important.

  40. says

    Thanks for the tips! I need all the reminders I can get about not comparing myself to others and just working at my own pace, what works for my life.

  41. says

    Thanks for posting this! It’s good to read advice like this every once in awhile to make sure we’re on track! I have this linked to my blogging tips and advice post as well today, for inspiration!

  42. says

    Thank you very much for the good tips. These are things I have been slowly learning here and there. I always keep going back to, “I do this because I love it!”

    Thanks again!


  43. says

    I feel a little relieved after reading these tips, ive just started with my facebook page Ditsy Decor and im stumbling through and learning as I go. Not sure how I found you but will be liking as I leave :)

  44. says

    I am new to the blogging world and just learning the ropes. I am loving it but there is so much to learn. This is a very helpful post- one of the best top 10 tips I have seen. Thanks so much. I love your blog and the layout of it.

  45. says

    Thank you for posting this. I have been blogging for a couple of years now and have kind of fallen into a bit of a funk. I have begun to compare my blogs to others and have begun to blog trying to get followers rather than the reason I tarted the blog- for myself and to share God’s blessings. Your tips were very helpful and help reignite my fire! Thanks again!

  46. Lisa says

    Thank you so much for the great info. I found you by way of Pinterest and your tips about blogging have helped put me at ease. I honestly had NO idea really what this world of blogging is all about until I started reading yours and a couple of others…I just simply want to start a blog about my journey with Lyme’s disease because word is getting out about my story and more and more people are asking questions…so instead of rewriting it over and over I thought a blog would be better to direct them to…so the info is there. But I will be honest I had NO idea how big the blogging world was….but again your article about blogging has helped me as I start to put one foot in front of the other to get started! I know there are several different blogging options to go with, but it seems WordPress…gets a lot of kudos. Do you have a suggestion for a simple girl like me…just wanting to tell my story and try to be an inspiration to those who need it while battling with the same.? Thanks in advance!!

  47. Julie Fagundes says

    THANK YOU so much for this post! I have been blogging (again) for about a month. I LOVE it…love sharing my furniture makeovers…junk/vintage finds, recipes, my Etsy shop and our life on our dairy.

    It can be overwhelming…and I appreciate your clarity, tips and advice. Thank you!


  48. says

    Taryn ~ I found your blog via 36th Ave and really enjoyed reading “How to create a project gallery” tutorial. I’ve been blogging on Blogger for about 8 months now and jus switched to WordPress and I’m just learning how to navigate it so your post was great!
    I love the way your blog looks and see I have a lot of work to do on mine!

  49. says

    Hi Taryn,
    This post was so informative to a somewhat new blogger like me. I have found several tips to be really helpful. I happen to find you from Pinterest but I will be sure to keep a closer eye on your blog posts. BTW congrats on the apartment therapy post! I’d love you to check out any tips you could give would be greatly appreciated!

  50. Alondra says

    Love it, the advice that is I’ve been browsing around everywhere to try and get my blog going.


  51. says

    I think your last point is the most important to me! Whenever I feel like I *have* to blog and feel my mind resisting I finish up the post that I’m on and then take a mental break from blogging. I blog for fun, not to provide me with an income and not to achieve some sort of goal and that’s something that’s easy to forget when you’re surrounded by competitive people willing to spend 50x the amount of time as you do on their blogs!

  52. Cindy says

    Thank you for the tips. I am about to embark on a journey into the blogging world, and your tips have inspired me, and helped me to remember to be, and believe in myself!

  53. says


    thanks for posting this. I am a baby blogger and I do get intimidated. I work full time, so sometimes I don’t have time to edit my photos and I think that “kills” my projects.. although my friends and family ( only subscribers ) disagree :-) Tanks for all these tips. They are very realistic.


  54. says

    Hey Taryn!

    Thanks heaps for this!! I’ve just started my Blog ‘FromRenae’ and these tips made everything clear!
    Thank you again and good luck with your blogging :D

  55. says

    These are great tips! I especially like #10 saying blogging should be fun! As I’ve been getting back into blogging the last couple weeks, I forget that and get a big anxious. Where’s the fun in that?! Thanks for reminding me to take a breather when I need it.


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