5 tips for newbie bloggers

5 tips for newbie bloggers

Blogging is a relatively new skill to add to my CV. Six weeks ago I decided that I wanted to get back to writing for me. Starting a blog and doing research on what the hell I was going to write about was interesting to say the least, because there’s a load of conflicting advice out there. So, here are five quick tips if you’re thinking about it!

There’s never going to be a perfect time – so just do it

You might feel unsure. You may well be scared. Nothing will ever be as hard as you build it up in your head to be. If you’re thinking about blogging then you probably have so many ideas for posts. Yes, you might have seen similar posts before. But this is your take on it. You are different to every other person on the planet, and you have your own special voice. Don’t hide your light under a bushel!

Seriously I sat on this blog for months, maybe half a year before going ahead with it. For so many reasons I’d built up in my head I thought no one would want to read what I had to say. I’d sit at the computer and just look at other people’s writing thinking how brilliant they were. Telling myself that I could never write anything like that.

Well you can. Your biggest obstacle in starting is not starting. And the longer you leave it, and look at the screen – the less likely you are to crack on! There is never going to be a perfect evening to start. Perfection is an illusion, and procrastination is such a waste!

How do I start my own blog?

Don’t overthink!

Do your homework!

It’s always good to read up and see how others do it. I found inspiration firstly on YouTube, with a blogger called Meg O on the go:

I found the video searching for ideas on how to start a blog, and I think this video actually just made me do it a few days afterwards!

I also quizzed a good friend of mine Beth Owen who runs Life as Mum on what life as a blogger was like. I think I’ve probably driven her to distraction with all my questions to be fair! One of the most important tips she gave me was write about what you enjoy. That’s certainly something I’d pass on to anyone reading this post. But I’ll mention more about it in another section!

My little bullet journal has been invaluable for taking notes and getting organised. Bloggers all love stationary right? The first thing I did was buy myself a new pen and a bullet journal so I could organise myself for the next few weeks. I also bought a WordPress for dummies book to remind myself how to drive my platform of choice!

Choose your name wisely

Choosing a name for your blog isn’t always easy. You’re essentially branding here, and the wrong name can get you in all sorts of trouble. You don’t want to confuse your reader either. This blog is about all sorts but mostly about my life, so it’s named for its author! I bought the domain name from Go Daddy. I think I also bought the .co.uk and the .cym versions because they were really cheap for the year, and it’s my name, and I want to use it!

Think about what your niche will be. If it’s travel, parenting, beauty or an online journal. which contains everything The name needs to be memorable and snappy. Or your own name. My name is my brand because I am a freelancer. It made sense to name the blog after myself!

Once you’ve sorted the name you can then decide which platform you want to use. This is a WordPress blog, but hosted on Lifetime Host. Only because WordPress hosing is quite expensive and constricting. You can choose from loads of blogging platforms including Blogger and Squarespace. Whatever you feel more comfortable with.

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Get blogging good content

You may think that writing content is the easy bit! It really is. At first. Write about what you enjoy, what makes you happy, and make sure your posts are of nice interesting length. On average mine are 1500 words. Some people might be put off reading long posts, but according to Google, it makes you look more plausible, which will help you later on.

Remember your photos too. Every little thing can be a photo shoot when you blog. To be fair my camera comes with me most places, but take lots of photos. You can use the best ones in your posts. I don’t have one of these all singing all dancing cameras yet but I have an iPhone 8 plus which is just awesome. I fancy a Canon EOS 1300D but that will come in time (hopefully!).

For the first few months remember to link to other websites. Show evidence. Get registered on amazon affiliates and Google adsense. You might not earn a lot, but they’re there to use. Also download a MOZ bar. It tells you what your Domain Authority (DA) is. This will all be gobbledegook at the moment but I will write another post about it when I understand it better myself!

Try and post frequently and in the evenings depending on where in the world you are so you can hone your readership! Blogging success didn’t come overnight. Be honest, be resilient and patient and keep plugging!

Get social

Choose your social networks. I only have Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at the moment. Concentrate on building your audience and your readership. I have over 3000 following on twitter. Talk to them. Yes invest time in people because people you have a relationship with you will come back and read you. Build your relationships, and show solidarity with people who are doing the same thing. You won’t entice anyone to read you if you’re sullenly silent.

Spread that positivity over your social networks. Be the cheerleader! There are some awesome people out there for you to follow, go and have a look see what they’re doing! We’re all in it together and writing brings people together in remarkable ways! It also inspires you. I started this blog because I found myself uninspired. At the moment I’m the most inspired I’ve been in five years!

Join some good linkies! I found a few one run on Twitter by Bexa from Hello Bexa, and one on Facebook #KCACOLS (keep calm and carry on linking Sunday) run by Franca from a Moment with Franca.

Read other people’s blogs. Get your ideas, and enjoy supporting other bloggers. Genuine support makes friends.

 

Thanks for reading my rantings

 

Shan