I was going to call this post ‘Empire Strikes Back‘ as it is the sequel to something that I wrote a while ago (Blogging Tips), but then realised that it made no sense whatsoever to do so.
I’ve recently been getting lots of writers who are new to blogging that are asking for tips and advice. I’ve only been doing this myself for about five months and therefore hope that you don’t feel patronised by this, but rather than writing the same thing repeatedly I thought I would add to my previous list and create a complete post that may assist others when starting out. Please note: this is not a definitive way to blog – these are just tried and tested ideas that have proven to be successful for me. As always, I’d love your comments, feedback and feel free to reblog if you feel it is at all useful to you.
1. Contrary to other’s opinions on blogging, it isn’t necessary to have a theme ie. you don’t have to focus on fashion, or food, or films. Write about what you’re genuinely interested in and don’t concern yourself with the possibility that some readers may not share similar interests. Your passion and enthusiasm for a subject will always be evident in your writing style.
2. Write as frequently as possible – the more you write, the more opportunities the blogging community will have to see your musings. I try to visit my blog daily, although this has been every few days as of late due to work, moving house and sick pets. It takes lots of time to build it up and at weekends I can easily spend HOURS writing. However, remember that quality is always better than quantity.
3. Make sure that what you write is presented in a way that will entice others in. Punchy titles, interesting pictures and well-written paragraphs will not only spark initial interest, it will encourage people to follow you. While i’m on this subject, make sure that you do your best to credit any images and text that you have used that isn’t your own – I’ve seen quite a few examples where bloggers have enraged a photographer by using their pictures without permission.
4. This may sound a little snobbish, but make sure that what you post is well – constructed and well – written. Proof read things before you post them. It doesn’t have to be the ‘Queen’s English’ or of Ph.D quality, but don’t write as though you would text or answer your own jokes with ‘lol’ mid sentence. I instantly switch off after the first few sentences if they are poorly written.
5. Follow various challenges. I participate in the Daily Posts ‘Daily Prompts,’ every ‘Weekly Photo Challenge,’ and post examples of my writing on the weekly ‘Community Pool.’ It is a fantastic group to follow – they have wonderful writing and photography suggestions with over 50,000 members that are participating in the same challenges and I’ve found it a great place to read fellow bloggers ideas. I also like to particpate in ‘A Word A Week Challenge‘ hosted by Sue and Susie Lindau’s Travel Theme.
6. Take the time to visit other people’s blogs. Don’t go through every blog you find and ‘like’ something without reading it. If you genuinely are interested by what somebody has written, comment and let them know that you enjoyed it. Follow them if you feel that their blog is entertaining. Get to know them a little.
7. Share the work of others. Reblogging a post that you thought was well – written takes thirty seconds, but it provides the opportunity for others to view blogs that they may not necessarily see. I have a ‘Sunday Share’ where I highlight blogs that I enjoy reading and I host a monthly ‘blog party’ which allows people to share their favourite posts from their blog. This has also increased the traffic I’ve had both to my blog and others.
8. Don’t become obsessed with your stats. This may seem a case of ‘pot calling kettle’ as I check my stats daily, but you’ll find over time that they become less important. If you lose followers don’t allow yourself to be disheartened – I’ve lost quite a few, but I’ve gained several thousand and these are the people that matter.
9. Appreciate the people who take the time to comment and leave advice on your blog. While I haven’t been brilliant this over the last few days, I usually try to thank every person that has commented as it means a lot to me – they’ve made me laugh, cry (tears of joy I must add) and made feel much better about myself. I’ve been lucky to have met some wonderful people on here and now often receive e-mails and Twitter updates from some of them which is always lovely.
10. Use other social networking sites to promote your blog. I have opened a seperate Twitter and Tumblr account and although it is still in its early stages I have gradually started to include my posts and increase my following.
11. Invite Guest Bloggers to write a post for you. It’s a brilliant opportunity to allow talented writers to share their stories with others. I’ve done this many times and I still have quite a few lined up for the next few weeks…
12. Like any internet venture, protect yourself. Don’t put your personal information or photographs on your blog and don’t allow people to have access to your email address, your personal facebook and twitter or give out your home address unless you feel absolutely comfortable with it.
13. Be honest in your writing. Don’t be scared about telling your readers how you feel about something. I initially started my blog in an attempt to get rid of lots of issues that have been plaguing me for a long time and while I felt a little uncomfortable at first about sharing my true feelings and experiences, the feedback and support that I received was incredible. I call it my ‘WordPress Therapy’ and it has indeed been a truly therapuetic journey.
14. Most importantly, enjoy yourself! WordPress is a wonderful community that allows bloggers from all over the world to be able to meet, support, share, laugh and cry together.
Hope you find this useful! Happy Blogging! You can find me on Twitter @suzie81blog and Tumblr suzie81blog