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I thought I’d write about something a little different to my normal blog topics. I’ve learnt a lot about blogging over the past few months and I wanted to share my top 10 tips to help other new bloggers.
The world of blogging is huge. It can be quite daunting, especially knowing what you should be doing before you publish your first post. I even found this post hard to write as there is so much to learn and understand, but you can make it as simple or as complex as you like.
Here are my top 10 tips to help you get started as a new blogger:
1. Don’t try and learn everything at once
Initially I did lots of reading about blogging. Although I learnt a lot, there was no specific focus and I like to have structure in my learning. I decided to do a blogging course which would give me a good overview of the world of blogging and what I should and shouldn’t be doing to get my blog started. I chose to do the Emma Drew online course Turn Your Dreams into Money. Emma has a lot of experience in blogging and she explains things in a plain English, methodical way. The course isn’t too detailed either so it’s not overwhelming or confusing. It gives a very good baseline of knowledge which is enough to get any new blogger up and running. The course is split in to different modules and it comes with a workbook that you can complete as you progress through the course. Now that I have a good overview of the key blogging topics, I am now focusing on learning something new each month, and I keep referring back to Emma’s course to get me started or to refresh myself on how things should be done.
2. Write at least 10 posts before you publish your blog
This was a huge mistake that I made – I didn’t have any posts ready except my first one. I have been on the back foot ever since, and this adds so much pressure. Having a good number of posts ready will give you some breathing space and give you more time to write better quality posts. You don’t have to stick to publishing all these posts first, but it will certainly help having these posts ready.
3. Research your niche
Again, I didn’t do this as much as I should have and I struggled in my first few weeks knowing what to write about. I had some ideas of what I wanted to write, but knowing what your niche is and what your audience wants to read about is vital for a successful blog. Spend some time doing some research and looking at other blogs similar to yours. Ultimately you should be aiming to write 80% on topic and 20% experimental and off-topic posts. This research will also really help you write some good pre-launch blog posts.
4. Be organised with your passwords
I had no idea how many passwords I would need for all my blog-related accounts – web host, WordPress, web page mailbox, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, the list goes on. Be as organised as you can with these, otherwise you will get really frustrated like I did and everything takes twice as long when you can’t remember your password
5. Capture all future blog ideas
Whether you use your phone, a paper notebook or other electronic device, make sure you capture your future blog posts ideas. No matter how small or underdeveloped an idea, just write anything down. I find that ideas pop into my head when I least expect them to, and if I don’t write them down I easily forget them. Having a thorough list of ideas will help you plan future posts and stay in control of your blog schedule.
6. Progression over perfection
I learnt this from Matt Cho from Macro Lean on Facebook, but Emma also talks about it in her online blogging course. I wanted everything to be 100% perfect before I launched my blog and published my first post. This was never going to be the case as I didn’t know what perfect was, and in hindsight it was just a form of procrastination. Everything I read said just go for it – publish your first post and take it from there. I was very reluctant to do this, but if I hadn’t, I’d probably still be hesitating now. What I focus on now is progression over perfection. My blog posts are never perfect, but the fact that I am posting them is me progressing with my blog.
7. Connect with fellow bloggers
I’ve been in touch with some fabulous fellow bloggers since I started, including some other disability/health bloggers (Milly’s Guide, Nicola J Ogston, Pain Pals, Wheelescapades) some personal development bloggers (Motivate Me Now), and others who have very little in common with own blog niche (Rachael Stray, Midlife Smarts, Suzie Speaks). I love reading all their blog posts, and it is great having a little blogging communtity out there to support each other, learn from, and chat to.
8. Do a little each day
This is linked to the above. If you do a little each day, then this will all help you build your blog and ultimately your blog traffic, views and stats. Sometimes I don’t want to spend lots of time on my blog, so I schedule a few old posts on Twitter, reply to comments, or do some research to help with my blog planning.
9. Focus on 2 or 3 social media platforms
It’s easy to think that setting up an account for every social media platform is the answer, but managing these all takes time. Instead, focus on the 2 or 3 that you prefer and focus on these. My main 3 are Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. These are working well for me in my early days of blogging and mean that I can attract and engage with different audiences without the burden of managing an account for every single social media platform out there.
10. Let your audience get to know you
Don’t be afraid of this. Blogging means that you often write some very personal stuff. Even I am often reluctant to press that publish button and share some of my most personal stories. I’ve written about crying at a treatment session (The day I cried at my needling appointment), my anxiety (A letter from the girl with anxiety to the tradesman who never showed up), and even how I struggle to socialise with my pain (Chronic pain and socialising: the things my friends and family don’t know). On the topic of blogging, I wrote why I had to take a break (Taking a break from my blog and how you can help me). I felt like I was a failure doing this but I came back even more productive, organised, and determined.
These are often the posts where I have received good feedback as people relate to my situation and praise me for speaking out about it.
Let me know what you think to my top 10 tips and whether you agree with them or have some different ones to share.
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