An Uncomplicated Life Blog: When Bloggers Give Bad Advice

Friday, November 20, 2015

When Bloggers Give Bad Advice

Honesty moment: I'm terrified to write this post. I do not mean to offend any of my fellow bloggers, or upset them, or berate them in any way. But there's a current trend in blogging that bloggers are using to get higher traffic (no shame there, we all want higher traffic!) and more pins on Pinterest and it's to the detriment of blog READERS: Tips posts, how-to's, and advice columns. I'm reading so many of these that are genuinely bad, bad advice and I need to call attention to it.

Tips, how-to's and advice posts are EVERYWHERE, and bloggers have jumped on the trend to increase page views. But what if what they have to say is bad advice, outright wrong, or worse yet - illegal?

Before I jump in, I want to clarify that I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. I don't live some dream life where I have everything figured out. I think I've even written one or two tips posts myself, although honestly that's it because I despise them. I'm much more into story telling, and telling my own truth, and if you relate to that then lets hang out and talk and be friends! And if not, move on to another blog post, it's all good.

That said... Tips and "how-to" posts. Oh bloggers. Please stop. Please? We know people have PhD's in "google" now and head there first for information. You write these posts because it up's your search rank and people pin the heck out of "How to Improve Your Marriage in 8 Simple Steps." That increases your page views and makes you feel more successful, and perhaps even lands you a few more lucrative sponsored posts. But the reality is, you're not a therapist. You're not a counselor. You're not a Pastor/Priest/Rabbi/etc. and odds are very good that you're still in your 20's and trying to figure out the direction of your own life. Bottom line: You're in no position to write these kinds of posts.

I'm not talking about the tips posts on how to get the perfect holiday pout, or 6 new ways to have fun during girls night out, nor even "how to blog" posts where bloggers share how they've achieved results in something. Those posts are harmless, fun to read and can even boost your own blog with someone else's knowledge! I'm talking about the stuff that can really impact someone's life.

Like the breastfeeding post I read (I was interested in some tips as someone who is about to start breastfeeding again) that belittled formula and mom's who used it and could be summed up as one judgmental rant against moms who "bailed out" of breastfeeding, for whatever reason, and how *that blogger* deserved praise because she just stuck it out. Literally, her advice was "it's so hard but so worth it." Well, thanks for nothing but judging people, blogger. You really contributed to the tips for breastfeeding success club. I'm so much wiser because of your words. Cough *sarcasm* cough.

Or the post I read providing educational tips for youngsters that ended up being a sponsored post for a grammar/spellcheck company (no disclosures to tell that it was a sponsored post either, which you know is a huge no-no!) The bottom line of her advice? Just let the teachers handle education, then hire this company to proofread your child's college application essays and other important high school work. No. I'm not joking.

Those are easy to snicker at because they're clearly bad advice. But some of it isn't so easy to decipher.

There are countless posts on marriage advice, how to interact more/better/deeper with your spouse, what to expect in the first year of marriage, how to best move in together, how to handle the birth of your first child... And on and on. Some of these are just plain BAD posts with BAD tips, and some are fine but guess what? Because it worked for you and your marriage doesn't mean it should be branded as "10 ways to have a more meaningful marriage." If it worked for you, that's great, but that doesn't mean that will work for anyone else, or that you're the marriage expert, or that you're now in the position to help others find meaning in their marriage. All it means is that it worked for you. That's it. You're not an overnight marriage counselor, and while I'd love to read your post as a story on how YOU found meaning in YOUR marriage, it's irresponsible to come across as some sort of expert who's in the position to dole out advice to people who are desperately searching google for legitimate help.

There, I said it. Those posts are irresponsible to write and put out in the public sphere of the internet.

Before you get too bent out of shape, I'm certainly NOT saying that you can't share with your readers your struggles and what has worked for you! Those posts make you relateable and likable as a person. Let me use my own work to illustrate the difference I'm talking about. I wrote this post on how I get my toddler to bed every night by 7pm. It's written as a narrative but outlines what I do each night that results in zero bedtime struggles. The title is how I get my toddler to bed every night by 7pm, not "8 tips for a better sleeping toddler", nor "3 steps to have your toddler sleeping every night." I have no idea if what works for me will work for you. One child doesn't make me a sleep expert, nor will two, nor 10 (NOT having ten kids, just saying!) I simply shared my story, and if you find some helpful hints in it, I certainly hope they work for you too!



Another example: This post on how I struggled with breastfeeding and incorporated formula, which resulted in everyone in the house getting more sleep and generally being happier. The title is happy baby, happy mama: my formula for happiness. Not, "How to get more sleep with an infant" nor " 5 tricks to get your baby to sleep through the night." Again, I don't know if it will work for you, I'm certainly no baby sleep expert! Not only that, it's actually illegal to recommend topping a breast fed baby's feeding off with formula so that they sleep longer. Yes, there are actual laws that govern advice columns (because so much of it on the web isn't from a legitimate source!) If you're throwing tips/advice out there for kids, mental health, adult health or even fitness, you'd better be aware of them. Which again, is why it's better to simply share YOUR story and what worked for you and leave the actual advice giving to the professionals.

Look bloggers, I get it. We all want more sponsorships and we want clicks and page views. You want it and I want it. But I'd really encourage you to think about the implications of your tips posts before you hit publish next time. You don't know who's reading your post, and odds are really good you're not actually an expert (and may even be giving bad or illegal advice!) in education, or marriage, or breastfeeding or a host of other topics. I'd love to see us leave the advice to the professionals and focus more on sharing our stories. Because at the end of the day, that's all we have. Our stories. Bloggers are simply people with stories to share, not experts with advice to give.



68 comments:

  1. I 100% agree, if you say THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT and you don't have a JD, MD, or PHD after your name I'll probably give you the side eye. Using stories to help people is good, as long as you keep the cardinal rule of communication, good ol I STATEMENTS! Props to posting this lady, well done!

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  2. I agree with this, I never have considered doing much of a how-to post because honestly I don't have that much confidence in one thing to to be able to tell people this is how to! Mine is more like, this is where I screwed up so learn from my mistakes posts ha! Great read for this newbie blogger!
    Linds @ Not A Mom

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  3. You really so have a point here... and I will admit that I am guilty of the "how to" instead of "how I." I never thought too much into it until just now after reading your post, because you really do have a valid point, Paige!

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention, because I want to become a better blogger and am definitely going to be more conscious of this.

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  4. I think you bring up a valid point with the How To, versus How I posts....How I makes more sense and if people relate, then cool and if not, then they don't need to take anything from it. But How To sounds more informative like they know what they are talking about.

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  5. You have so many valid points! It's refreshing to see such honesty!

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  6. I'M SO WITH YOU! I actually wrote a post the other day about "How to get yourself motivated for the gym" but then I altered it because everyone is motivated differently. It is now titled "How I Keep Motivated to Workout" because that's what works for me! Maybe it'll work for you too! I was actually chuckling with my boyfriend (and no offense to anyone who reads this) about a blogger who was in her very early twenties, married after six months, and six months into her marriage, she was giving marriage advice. I'm glad it works for some, but I can never listen to that advice because that's just not going to happen (and obviously didn't happen) for me.

    I couldn't have written a better post! Thanks, Paige! Have a good friday.

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  7. What irritates me is a post aimed at giving you tips and there are no concrete tips in there - no actual how to's you can't claim it's a how to if you don't give any pointers! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  8. Thank you. Thank you again. This is so true. I have stopped reading more blogs because they became less real and more stats related and I just lost interest. I want to know what you tried, but I don't need you to teach me lol. Kudos to your honesty!

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  9. PREACH GIRL! This is so accurate. I also feel like a lot of these '6 ways to do XYZ' or '10 tips for XYZ' are just fluff content to fill the calendars. I would rather post 2 well crafted posts that 5 posts with 3 of them being garbage like that! Love your honesty.

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  10. You already know I agree 100% with this.
    I like to write tip/how-to posts on things like how to put on false lashes... but when I see a blogger sharing their tips/how tos for something else?? Nah. I'm good. I genuinely don't think that there is going to be anything positive put on the table in those posts, so I don't read them. What's sad is that I know the bloggers writing them have value and probably have great life experience in some regards, but not enough for them to tell me how I should do x, y, or z.

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  12. Nothing makes me rage more than when I see these on Pinterest and I click on them and it's the same BS regurgitated over and over. "Make sure you comment" "Make sure your posts have pictures" ummmmmmmm I think I already have those covered. The marriage ones kill me as well. Everyone has a different marriage. You can't say things like "make sure you take a half out of your day to just talk about your feelings", that may work for you but have you met my husband? I have your toddler sleeping one saved under my bookmarks for the one day ;-) Sleep training gives so many parents angst let me tell you! Another great post Paige!

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  13. *half an hour. Sorry clearly coffee hasn't kicked in yet ;-)

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  14. So very much agreed on this! I haven't come across the posts you mentioned, but am appalled (but sadly also unsurprised) that it exists. I saw one on diabetes earlier this year and was disturbed that it was so, so far off the mark. If all goes well, I'll be a physician in ~6 months and I STILL don't plan to give any advice over the internet.

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  15. I'm with you on this! Usually a good chunk of the "ways" or "things" aren't relatable to ME as the reader of those. That said, I always know going in that the points shared are subjective, as is any content written on a person's blog. I never think of them as an expert whether they legitimately are or not, because even with points from "experts," it might not be applicable to me.

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  16. I so agree about the difference between between how to and how I! You can write more or less the same post but the wording is so key. It drives me nuts if I click something like "how to double your Pinterest followers in one month!" and then you read a post about someone that had 20 Pinterest followers and is now up to 40. No, that's not helpful or relevant to me at all, and it's also misleading. And so many marriage ones I just laugh at. I'm no expert by any means, married for 4 years, but the one thing I do know is there is always more to learn about marriage and relationships. So when you start acting like an expert after 6 months it's just ridiculous.

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  17. HA!
    Awesome. I completely agree.

    I'm not a huge fan of advice posts. I read a really good post with a similar theme the other day that was essentially: don't let anyone whose been blogging for 4 months advise you on social media strategy.

    If I write things in a how to/advice format, I generally make it anecdotal and more of a list. my thoughts on my experiences instead of full on "these are the steps you need for happiness". While some of the "advice" posts offer great insight, I try to take them with a grain of salt.

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  18. I could not agree with you more! A blogger friend of mine directed me to this post because we were just talking about this in the last few days.

    I recently did a post on "10 DAILY TASKS THAT WILL HELP YOU DELIGHT IN YOUR HOME!!!". I struggled because I don't want to come across as the big "know it all" and reading blog posts like that leave me with the impression that there is no other way.

    Great post!

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  19. I love this post!! I cannot get over how many How To posts I see these days from people who are not educated enough to give that kind of advice. As a mom it makes me nervous for those young impressionable teenagers that might be reading some of these things! I don't mind the here is my story and my top ten tips that worked for me. It's the vague I know best, trust me I have a kid so I know everything posts that I hate.

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  20. Yes! I think people get caught up in the SEO game a lot with this. Tips posts get traffic, like you said, and people want traffic, and if the SEO says to use xyz title they will use it. No matter if it's a good idea or not. I NEVER read the marriage posts because hell no I'm not taking marriage advice from some blogger! And I really hope people are smart enough not to take those posts as holy grail, although I know there are naive people out there. I've written a few tips posts but I try to remember to share that it's my opinion and what has worked for me. I think that's important for sure. Great post lady!

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  21. I think you make some valid points here, for sure. I think it is okay to title posts with "how to" when presenting a concrete and Tangible topic, like a DIY or Recipe. But, (and this may be me) I don't get really think that all bloggers post titles like that to come off as a know-it-all or to intentionally harm someone. If I know a blogger and they title something about "how to improve a marriage" I want to read it because I know they are referencing their marriage and am interested in what works for them. I guess I just take titles with a grain of salt; if it's clear it's a personal story post, I will continue to read it and if it's bad advice, I'll X out. At the end of the day, all bloggers are just trying to figure out what works for them and find their way in the blog world and I would much rather give them the benefit of the doubt then judge their work on a title. Xo, Chelsie @ Life with Rosie

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    1. I agree. I am guilty of using "how to" and "tips for.." Posts. To be honest though, I didn't even know this got me better seo rankings. I stink at all the driving people to my blog stuff :).

      I do agree that giving medical advise should be a no-no, but I have given advise on working out or running. I'm not an expert, but I do it all the time and hope my experience can help someone else. A "how to" post can be an easy read.

      In the days before the Internet and blogging, this is what women did all the time...told each other what worked for them and gave each other advice. It's up to us, the readers, to be intelligent enough to decide if it's for us or not. Anyone with a brain knows not to trust everything you read online.

      I get that it can be annoying to see really ignorant posts, I totally do. But I don't think most bloggers do this. And I'm more apt to read something that I think will help me rather than someone's personal story. The story is interesting, but I'm busy and need some ideas not a life story all the time.

      Great points though, to be careful not to present yourself as an expert or licensed something or other :)

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    2. Oh no Chelsie, you're a no-reply blogger and I'm afraid you've missed the point of what I'm trying to say!

      I absolutely don't think bloggers are intentionally giving bad advice to their readers! Not at all. I think they're trying their best, but as I stated in my post, they're titling their posts that way for better SEO and because the way to "make it" as a full time blogger is to "be the expert in something", regardless whether or not they *actually* are. I also said that beauty tips, DIYs, date night lists, and even blogging how-to's are harmless and FUN to read! I don't take issue with those at all - keep on blogging those fun ideas and tips! I take issue with the posts titled "10 Ways to Have A Happier Marriage" (and the like) because when you google it, it will pop up higher on a search rank. And people who are googling marriage counseling will see it. And perhaps they'll take that advice thinking that the blogger IS a marriage expert. After all, if we can't even tell that some posts are sponsored, how are we to determine who the "real" experts are?

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  22. This is a huge peeve of mine. It infuriates me when I click to read an advice post and it's just .... garbage and not helpful. Make it stop.

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  23. Great points! I love how you say it with humor. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves and well, maybe we even learn something in the process. You're absolutely right, sharing our stories does not make us global experts. Good stuff here.

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  24. I completely agree with you. Unless you are a professional in the field or have tried and true facts to back up the advice you're giving out, I recommend against it. I see what you're saying and agree with how you word your titles and posts.

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  25. Proud of you for writing about something controversial!! hahah we were totally working on the same wave length today. As an English teacher, I value research and using substantial sources and primary sources to write about a topic. Unfortunately as you mentioned, many writer do not do that; they take their truths as fact and as a blanket statement for whatever topic. My daughter is 10 months old now, but when I was a new mom and looking at breastfeeding articles, I came across a lot of what you mentioned. In my post partum hormonal "bliss," many of these "helpful articles" left me feeling horrible and confused! Great perspective and tactful take on this important topic.

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  26. I agree - especially the part where there is no indication right away that it is a sponsored post! I understand having a catchy title, but I've had the same thing happen where I've gone to read something and then it's all about an app for parents to use so they can parent less when the title made me assume it was a new method of parenting, with no sponsored disclaimer anywhere.

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  27. This post was not what I thought it was going to be when I clicked through... It made me nervous because I like sharing my advise with people... But I seriously draw the line at giving advise that may affect anything seriously. I mostly stick with simple stuff like blogging tips I've picked up. I can't imagine trying to tell someone how to make their marriage work or whatever-I don't think anyone really can read those and agree with them because everyone is different and every relationship can only be lived by living it. It's kind of weird.

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  28. Love love love this post. I'm totally with you on this. And I think it's important for bloggers to clarify that most of us are NOT "experts" (as in, we don't have a degree in winning at life) and that we're often just sharing the things that work best for us!

    GREAT post!

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  29. UGH THANK GOD SOMEONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS! It's true that I've written a few blogging tips type posts, but only ever when readers requested something specific and nothing more. I don't profess to be an expert in SEO or any of that crap and it really irks me when people do it just as, like you said, to up their search rank. It's BS because those posts should be there to help people - not just a self-serving kind of thing. Also, not disclosing sponsored content? That's just messed up. I really have to wonder why these people are bloggers (except the obv allure of making a quick buck). thanks for talking about this!


    stop by and chat with me ♥ http://storybookapothecary.com/

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  30. agree with you 100%! don't be nervous - this needed to be said :)
    elle
    Southern Elle Style

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  31. This needed to be said. WELL DONE.

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  32. So, I somewhat agree with you. I agree with the idea that people who aren't experts in a topic shouldn't claim to be experts when offering advice. That's totally true. But I don't see how choosing to use "How To" in the title of my post as opposed to "How I" is misleading. Anyone who actually bothers to read a post of mine will know that I explain that any tip I share is one that personally worked for me, and might work for others as well. Do I want to have good SEO and have people find my blog? Absolutely. But I don't intentionally title my blog posts the way I do because I think it will make people think I'm an expert in the topic. Just as I'm sure you use SEO on your blog, there's nothing wrong with optimizing a post so people are able to find it. I do a lot of how-to posts and share a lot of tips. I haven't claimed to be an expert on a single one of those topics, and that's pretty clear in my posts. It seems absurd to tell bloggers to stop doing how-to and tip posts, because many bloggers have genuinely awesome tips to share. I have gotten a lot of my tips about blogging and other things from those posts, as I'm sure you have as well.

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  33. Amen!! & the choir said AMEN!!! I'm so tired of what purport to be helpful posts that are really nothing at all. So frustrating. I want some weight behind the post. Give me something I can use please!

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  34. I'm not sure if I've titled posts like this or not, to be honest. However, I always just tell what works or has worked for me, and I certainly don't claim to be an expert in anything. At all. I really hope people aren't reading blogs instead of getting help or counseling, but I'm sure some are.

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  35. :( I love how tos and tip posts!!

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  36. I completely agree that sometimes tips and how to posts don't offer the best advice! They can be a little overdone, but I really love when someone actually puts one together with meaningful information!
    www.amemoryofus.com

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  37. I think you've raised some great points. I see a lot of them and I tend to ignore most of them unless I'm really interested in what a particular blogger has to say. I wrote one "How to" about how to thank your followers and I made sure to highlight that I'm no expert and that I was simple sharing my opinion. Sadly, most people bypass that part.

    -M
    www.violetroots.com

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  38. I 100% agree with this post! I am all for reading people's OPINIONS but not when they are saying it like it is the end-all, be-all truth. I'm a beauty blogger and always try to say this is what works for ME and on MY skin and MY hair. Everyone is different and it's the same when it comes to marital advice or parenting.

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  39. I must say that I agree with this and have found myself not writing advice posts because I am certainly no expert and I have no right to declare myself above anyone else.

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  40. This didn't ruffle my feathers at all! I agree 100% Opinions and personal experience is completely different than being an expert on a subject and being qualified to give advice on it.

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  41. I really enjoy this point! I think it's important to remember that people are not experts, and their blog posts can be misleading or dangerous-i recently read one for marriage that included just having sex even if you didn't want to that night...uh. no. I think when it's opinion posts like that especially we need to stop doing that.

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  42. I love this! I read SO many "do this, this way" posts and I can't handle it. Every situation is different. I definitely have my fair share of "what works for me" in terms of make up tips and such but I don't ever say "Do this!"

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  43. I agree there's a lot of bad information on the Internet. That's part of why I started my blog. I am a Registered Dietitian and I am tired of "nutritionists" giving bad advice that people value simply because they are good at marketing themselves and what they say/sell. So I would argue that "Bloggers are simply people with stories to share, not experts with advice to give" is not necessarily true for all of us.

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  44. I have done my fair share of how to posts and the like in topics that I genuinely do feel qualified to write. I agree with you on some points of this though. I think it really just depends on the person. I have definitely seen some of those posts that have no brainer tips like "drink more water" to stay healthy...like duh.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

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  45. This is a bold post! and a very good one! There is so much I agree on with this topic! How did SEO get us here!? lol I'm trying my hardest everyday not to sell out for ranks and cash. Either way this post is a great reminder of how to alter what we think is a good idea. Bloggers have to step back and think of how we as influencers are somewhat responsible for inspiring other to listen to us because our viewers are beginning to trust us by previous posts, or even if ONE post made them feel like you were their sister/brother from another mother! Bloggers are Leaders... and leaders have to lead their following in a way that will help them for more than the short run, but for the long run. All it takes is a little step back to view how our words may have been presented to those in need of our advise.

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  46. nice blog, methods of delivery and illustrations are also cool, thanks. jenis-jenis batuk dan penyebabnya

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  47. nice blog, methods of delivery and illustrations are also cool, thanks. jenis-jenis batuk dan penyebabnya

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  48. nice blog, methods of delivery and illustrations are also cool, thanks. jenis-jenis batuk dan penyebabnya

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  49. This is making me think back to my posts lol. I haven't done any blogging advice posts, but I'm sure I'm guilty of overdoing it with SEO and trying to think of catchy titles from time to time. It's definitely something to keep in mind going forward.

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  50. This is a really great point. So many bloggers do seem to portray themselves as experts on these types of topics, and oftentimes these "advice" posts come off as judgey and offensive to others. When I read blogs, I'm looking to read about another person's experiences and even struggles in life. I find that more interesting.

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  51. Great post! It makes so much more sense to make your posts relate-able rather than "You should do this to accomplish this".

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  52. Hallelujah! You put into words what's been on my mind for awhile now!! I agree with you!

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  53. I think it's great you shared your opinion on this. I think with the internet you have to take things with a grain of salt because it's like wiki anyone with a computer can put their opinion or what worked for them out there.
    It's sad that while most people recognize this and look for something like a degree or proof that the person is credible but a lot of people don't.
    Bloggers aren't going to stop trying to up their numbers with these tactics I guess it's just the job of writers who want to really help people or give useful advice to share their credentials or admit, "'I'm not an expert but this worked for me or this is how I handled xyz"

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  54. Agreed. I love reading what has worked for some, but have always been weary of those general "how to...in....steps" articles. Sharing a personal experience that has worked for you is great, but acting like you're an expert is misrepresentation and fraud.

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  55. Honestly, I don't give out maternal advice because I don't know what the heck I'm doing. Let's be honest. I'm afraid that if I find something that works and I talk about it that then it won't work anymore. So the articles you are talking about drive me bonkers. I think some people are extremely knowledgeable but if you are constantly telling me how to do this and how to do that or tell I need to something this way or that way, I stop following along. This post is spot on.

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  56. I totally love the points you make in this! I strive so hard to make my "advice" posts be a lot based on my marriage or my parenting or my... whatever, not what I think everyone will be. I also make sure to point people to real experts. Let me tell you, I don't want someone to read a blog post of mine instead of seeing a marriage counselor. That would just be plain dumb!

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  57. I love this approach. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

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  58. Absolutely, absolutely agree with this. And this is why I pretty much never write serious tips or advice posts. I mean, I'm 24 years old. How could I be the expert on anything, anything at all? I have occasionally written totally over-the-top goofy spoof advice posts (i.e. "How to Become Pinterest Famous" and the whole post was about using mason jars in the weirdest possible ways). I will talk about what I've learned, "What helps MY Cross-Cultural Marriage"), but I don't see myself as someone who ought to be using a blog to teach. I teach preschoolers everyday, but they don't read blogs. :P
    "Irresponsible", the word you used, is a great word to describe the click-bait headlines that are all too popular these days. People need to own when they are talking about their own story and be open about the fact that no one's story is exactly the same.

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  59. As a brand new blogger, this is just what I needed to help shape my posts into what I want them to be! My Pinterest has been flooded with How-To posts and after I read them, I find them irrelevant. Thanks for a great post!

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  60. preach girl. i try really hard with the way i word things, i can't stand when i click on a post from pinterest and there aren't actually any tips, or it's just like an anecdotal story with nothing helpful. the marriage one drives me bonkers because everyone has a different marriage, and basically it can all come down to communication which is obviously important. but date nights are important to some people, they are not important to KC and I (yet. babies will probably change that). so obviously i'm not going to implement date nights just because someone says OMG DATE NIGHTS WILL SAVE YOU FROM DIVORCE. you know?
    anyway. great post girl! this is why i love your blog, your posts are always honest and what you know, not what you think people want to hear.

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  61. OMG I love this post - I found it as I was searching for an image on google! Totally agree with this post - there are so many posts out there. If ever I write a list post I like to put the word 'I' in there as it really is only something that I can say that I have done and hope it will help someone further along the line. Once again great post :)

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  62. THIS is some great advice. No, really. I love how you showed how to post what works for you without unwittingly putting yourself up to be more of an expert. I love "This worked for me" stories and love when they don't make the assumption that this will work for everyone.

    That said I will have to check my blog and see if I'm guilty of this. I think the only "10 Tips" type one I've done was a tongue and cheek "Tips on How to Drive in Snow for Texans" (which, though I'm no drivers ed teacher I did at least learn to drive where it snowed regularly, and it was done in humor--so I think people can tell this is not intended as expert safety advice, though I did do research to make sure I wasn't giving out anything that wasn't actually suggested by real experts).

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  63. I couldn't agree more. In "blogger training" they say to use You, and Your a lot...you want to entice the reader in with your header. I write a frugal lifestyle blog (basically how to live below the poverty line). I've wanted to write about my 3 yr old marriage and how it's evolved and changed, but I was always told to ENTICE the reader in with how THEY can be helped...

    I appreciate you shedding light on this habit. :D

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  64. I completely get what you're saying. I try to think of posts and write them completely from my perspective. I never try to come off as if I'm an expert or as if my word is somehow perfect. But I also prefer reading posts written that way. Like your post about how you get your little one to bed by 7pm, it's written from your perspective and while it has tips that worked for you, and could potentially work for others, it's not really a "do this and this will happen for sure" post. Even the posts about blogging, the ones I like the best are the ones that are written in the style of "this is what worked for me and I hope it can help you too" because they have their personal experience(s) with the topic and it makes it feel less like a list and more like a conversation.

    I appreciate your post, because it's basically my thoughts in print on your blog :)
    -Kaitlynn

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  66. You have a valid point here. A lot of my posts are "how to" posts, but I usually write them more for myself than anyone else. They are a way to inspire and hold myself accountable. I should rethink the titles of my posts by saying "How I," not "How To."

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