The Best Blogging Advice I Ever Received








It’s hard to believe that it has been 7 months already since I started Canadian Dad. Truthfully, had this domain name not been available, I probably wouldn’t have started it at all. I’m glad it was!

There’s been tremendous up’s and down’s so far and I’ve learned a lot about the world of blogging. Everyone has different opinions on what is acceptable and what is not, some with stronger opinions than others but that comes with the territory. I agree that there are things I see that are off putting but I also understand that as long as you are not breaking the law, it’s your space to do as you see fit with it.

With all the “rules” that float around the blogosphere, there is one piece of advice I have received from two different people now, that has stuck with me. I was lucky enough to latch myself on to an amazing group of Canadian bloggers, where I had the chance to meet Shannon Mischuk of Shasher’s Life fame. I was a little lost about the whole blogging thing, especially with the unwritten rules, when Shannon summed up all I needed to know in two words.

Be Kind

It couldn’t be that easy, could it? What about the content? The review/giveaway debates? The Drama! There had to be more to it than that! People don’t want kindness, they want shock and awe! I’ve found over the past few months that there is a market for all types of personalities in the blogging world and have been working hard to try and carve my niche. I have also been using the advice Shannon gave me as the bar for all my interactions.

Flash Forward to a couple weeks ago and I had the opportunity to go spend a day with Ford Canada. More importantly, I got a chance to meet some of the most influential bloggers in Ottawa. Included in that group was Shannon McKarney, who wears many hats but who I associate with her home blog of Zchamu Dot Com.

Not that I had any preconceived notions of how the other bloggers would treat me but I just assumed as the newbie and only male, that I would have a hard time forcing myself into conversations. These were people who had been around the scene for awhile and most likely didn’t have time to coach a rookie. Well, I could not have been more wrong! Not only were they welcoming but they were very willing to dole out advice from their years of blogging. Shannon said something to me towards the end of the evening that I had previously heard somewhere else.

“The best advice I can give you, is to Be Kind.”

There it was again! I don’t know about you but when two influential people say the exact same thing, I listen. Not that I wasn’t already trying to be my jovial self in my interactions with people but it was definitely reaffirming to hear it from the people I looked up to.

It can be an intimidating experience to put yourself out there to be judged by your peers but I’ve found that the advice I received from the two Shannon’s has been invaluable in connecting with other bloggers and also with brands. Now that I’ve been on the scene for a bit, I’m really noticing that this one trait is actually more valuable than having perfect numbers and endless followers. It sounds fun to be able to sit at the top of the mountain but not if you have to sit there alone and disliked.

All that said, I’d like to thank not only Shannon & Shannon (Not an official Law Firm) for the great advice, but I’d like to thank everyone in the blogging community for being so welcoming and open to sharing their wisdom with me. It has been an amazing experience so far and I’ve only just begun!

I’ve now come to my chance to Pay It Forward in a way. I don’t know if anyone really reads my blog but if you are reading this right now and you are looking for some guidance, the best advice I can offer you is also the best advice I have ever received…

Be Kind.


55 replies
  1. daniel
    daniel says:

    Most people say “stay in school” or “don’t do drugs” which are good. Best advice I could ever give is to wear a condom. If in doubt, wear two.

    Oh, you are probably thinking about blogging advice. I’ll stick with it.

    In all seriousness, honesty and kindness seem to be the best pieces of advice about blogging.

  2. Nolie
    Nolie says:

    I got to agree with their advice 100%

    Oh and another piece since there is advice EVERYWHERE and an opinion on EVERYTHING. Listen to it then forget all about it and do what works for you.

  3. Gerry
    Gerry says:

    You are hearing different things because many aspects of blogging are not “one size fits all”. Your personality, writing style, and subject matter all play a role into what’s going to work best for you.

    And it’s possible that “being scathing” instead of kind would work for some people.

    All I can say is keep on writing. You gain more confidence each time you post as well as discover what works for you.

    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Great point Gerry! I do follow all types of bloggers and even like reading some of the scathing ones. The catch to those ones is that I would most likely not reach out to one of them to have a conversation, for fear of being ridiculed.

  4. Stpehen
    Stpehen says:

    Being kind will take you far in the world. Bitter & mean may get short term comments, but kindness builds a following.

    That said, here’s one more bit of advice that has served me well: ‘Don’t be dumb.’ It’s okay not to be smart, but being dumb—being ignorant of facts and too lazy to care—is terrible. So far, you’re good.

  5. Brandy @insanemamacita
    Brandy @insanemamacita says:

    Once again Chris, great post and awesome advice!

    I truly believe that you should “do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” Meaning, be kind to others and they will be kind to you.

    Keep smiling!

  6. Cheryl (@loucheryl)
    Cheryl (@loucheryl) says:

    Great advice! I’m still thinking about starting my own blog. I will be attending the SCCTO conference this year and I will decide after then what to do. 🙂

  7. Multi-Testing Mommy
    Multi-Testing Mommy says:

    That is best advice anyone could ever give, 110%! I try to go with the “treat others the way you want to be treated yourself” mindset – that obviously includes “be kind”! Thank you for writing this post! Inspirational!

  8. Christine (@chancesmommy)
    Christine (@chancesmommy) says:

    Fabulous post, Chris…and, oh so true! Love this post! 🙂

    P.S. I’ve met your doggpleganger! My friend (actually, my friend’s husband) looks exactly like you and is from Ottawa (but now lives on Manitoulin Island). Funny thing is he talks exactly like you (I was shocked when I saw your interview on TV the other day…it was uncanny)!

  9. Brandi
    Brandi says:

    That’s the perfect advice! It really can be as simple as that, Be Kind. No matter what goes on, stay true to yourself and your blog and be kind to others. Kindness goes a long ways 🙂

  10. Brian Stephens
    Brian Stephens says:

    Great advice. I’m with you. When you hear the same advice from multiple sources, touted as “the best advice”, then run with it. Something tells me you already had that figured out (subconsciously at least), but it’s always nice to know you are on the right track.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    • Chris
      Chris says:

      It’s true, I had an idea that this was the way to success but as you mentioned, it’s nice to hear it from the people you respect most. Thanks for reading and for all the comments, they are my favourite!

  11. Danielle (aka Mother of a Deal)
    Danielle (aka Mother of a Deal) says:

    Just read this after seeing the link from Mommy’s Weird and am so glad she did link to it, it’s a great piece! So happy to have been at this year’s Blissdom and had the chance to meet so many amazing and kind bloggers (moms and dads!).

  12. Roshan
    Roshan says:

    Hi Chris! I think that you (as well as the bloggers you latched onto, and that I happen to see quite often on Twitter) are living out that advice quite well. Sure, there are some people who find a niche being cynical or scathing. While that can be entertaining, I think kindness has more “stickiness” to it and that’s how you build a solid network. So, thanks for being kind and tolerating random messages from this new blogger 🙂

  13. Delta
    Delta says:

    I love that advice. I’ve been amazed by this new community I’ve just become part of and I love it – kindness is everywhere.

  14. Hannah Alper
    Hannah Alper says:

    That is the best blogging advice ever! That can definantly help everyone with blogs. Like Shannon said Be Kind and you do thart every single day with your kids, your wife and people who read your blog!

    You are awesome!

  15. Betty S
    Betty S says:

    I am trying to understand the world of blogging. I enjoyed this piece. It is good advise for all of life. I am just new to the site, but have enjoyed it very much so far.


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