Tips for new bloggers
Focused tips on getting started in blogging.
So you want to be a blogger? Congratulations! It's fun and crazy and frustrating and rewarding and a journey I would not have missed for the world.
When I first began blogging, I looked through numerous online sources and searched through books for information. I wanted to find tips for new bloggers that I could use in my new life as an online writer. Unfortunately, the advice was either so scattered as to be useless – or one source contradicted another.
I have been working as a writer and a blogger now for well over ten years now. And through my experience, I have compiled my own list of tips for new bloggers. These are guidelines to get the beginner from that first word to a reasonably solid blog structure. But there is a word of caution that goes along with this, too.
Blogging – and the rules of blogging – are constantly changing. The basics will get you started. But after that, you must actively research and apply the newest trends and standards to your creation. There will never be a point where learning about blogging will stop, but that’s one of the best things about this venture. The changes and developments keep the field interesting.
Here are some tips to help you get started on your own blogging journey.
Step one: Read!!
As a writer and more specifically, as a blogger, I have two passions: reading and writing.
Many people aren’t aware of how important reading is to the writer’s craft. As a writer, reading across a variety of genres is essential in helping writers gain perspective. The more breath of knowledge a writer has, the easier it is to create engaging content. This is especially true for bloggers who need to create fresh content over and over.
Start your journey into blogging by reading as much as you can about your topic, whether it's gardening in Alaska or welcoming a new baby.
Step Two: Writing
Blogging is not much different than other kinds of writing, although the tone is typically a bit more casual and conversational than when one is writing for magazines or newspapers. The blog style of writing leans more towards the blogger’s own views about a topic, their research and discovery, or their experience with a certain life event.
But as with other writing, creating meaningful blogging content still demands thorough research. Of course, the final content might presented in an entertaining tone. But under the humor, it must be accurate and follow the basic rules of grammar and accuracy.
Tips for New Bloggers
Your first goal is to make your blog content appealing. That might sound obvious, but too many bloggers forget why they started blogging in the first place – and their writing shows that!
Keep your writing fresh. Provide useful information. Incorporate images using a dependable camera, video, podcasts and interactive elements to engage readers. If humor is appropriate to your blog, allow readers to see your lighter side. (Hint…this applies to traditionally serious topics like business management, legal issues or engineering, too. A little light-heartedness goes a long way in an otherwise dry subject.)
Make it fun. Make it interesting.
Commit to a blog schedule. Once you attract readers to your blog, they will start to look forward to your posts. How unfortunate it would be for them to happen upon it one day and you haven't made a post in months! Even if your blogging schedule is once a week, blog once a week no matter what happens.
Use a planner or a calendar for blogging to map out a workable system to make your blog posts. If your schedule won't allow you to post frequently, you can write a number of posts in one sitting and schedule them to automatically post to your blog at a pre-set date.
Interact with your audience. Answer their questions, respond to their blog post comments and ask them questions as well. What would they like to see more of? What do they need to know more about? How do they feel about the size of the posts that are on your blog? Are they short enough for your readers to read through them or are they skimming the posts and clicking away? These are questions you want to know because you need to understand your target audience.
Also, make time to visit the blogs of people who
comment, and if appropriate, comment on their posts as well. That kind of
engagement will help build a community of followers rather than occasional
For some bloggers like me, one of the best things about blogging is telling others about your work.
It’s not bragging about what you’ve created. It’s marketing.
Market your blog everywhere you can. Do it with business cards, signature lines, social media and relevant links. Stay active on social networking sites and interact with readers and prospects. Remember, no one will know about your wonderful blog unless you tell them, so share your posts, upcoming features, contests and other wonderful offerings with followers.
No matter what the topic, writing a blog should be fun. Take the time to define and understand your niche, and then jump in. Of course you will make mistakes. But it’s also a certainty that with the right commitment, you will begin to create something that is unique – something that says “I” wrote this. And then, at that moment, you will have earned the title “Blogger.”