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
“but then realised that it made no sense whatsoever to do so.”
That sound my posts all the time, I do write a lot, my wife says I type so much to give my mouth a rest as I do talk a lot. Going back to blogging tips, I think my tip is just write, I think if you have to stop and think about it you loose the connection between the different sides of your brain and your finger tips. Unless you are writing offensive tripe then its the connection between your arse hole and your fingers. Just write and enjoy. 🙂
haha! The connection between the arsehole and fingers is an important one!!
it was also important in the Final Frontier with Captain Kirk…….They both got rid of (k)Cling Ons
oh dear… 😉
Yes I know, its been a hard week 🙂
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned.
What a thoughtful post which will help everyone new to the blogging world. Some real words of wisdom included here.
Thank you very much!
Really good tips Suzie! I’m sorry tor Kitties have been sick…hope they are getting better!
You’re welcome. Tell them hello fur me and paws up to you fur being such a loving kat mom!
Thank you SO MUCH for writing both this and your first blog about tips for blogging! I am going to make use of some of your points. I am very new to this but am HOOKED!!!! I love this outlet for expression and the community that I am building through my blog and the ones that I am following. I look forward to reading through your other posts!
Thank you very much for your lovely comment – I really appreciate it! And thanks for reblogging!
Reblogged this on 2mommiesof3 and commented:
IF you are new to blogging or thinking of giving it a try this post is a MUST to read!! Thanks suzie81 for such a great entry!!
These are all awesome tips! One question I have is, how do you make time for blogging when you’re super busy? I’m in university and about to start a practicum. What can I do to make more time for it?
Hi there! My blogging patterns vary at the minute, but If I have an idea I jot it down on my phone at some point during the day and then try and write it up just after dinner in the evening. I’m a teacher so I have marking sometimes on the laptop, so I write before I start my marking…
“…made no sense whatsoever to do so.”, a great tip in itself; ‘Keep it conversational’. Another gem I found in your tips: have fun.
Thanks ever so. Now I just need to write something.
Hey Suzie – nice post! IMHO the most important tip you have offered is the last. Number 14. “Enjoy Yourself”. This is true not only in blogging but in life. Keep writing.
Absolutely! Thank you!
I’m so impressed by your blog and only recently learned how new you are to this avocation. You participate as an outstanding citizen – I’m impressed with what you write and how well you follow up the posts. I’m also very new to blogging but don’t yet Twitter or Tumblr. Have a lot to learn and you’re a great model. Thanks.
What a lovely thing to say – thank you very much!
Some good tips. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Well said, Suzie!
Thank you my lovely!
A lot of great tips there. I don’t have a theme so I could relate to the first tip
Thank you – I’m really pleased you found it useful!
Thank you for taking the time to share what you’ve learned! I’m new to blogging but I’m already hooked–and your tips have given me lots to think about. Thanks again!
you’re very welcome! Thanks so much for your comment!
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Reblogged this on Musings From A Bookmammal.
Great tips, Suzie! I have failed #2 miserably with a week sabbatical, but will endeavour to follow that and the others as I move forward. Made for an interesting read and although I already knew you were a real blogging pro, here is more evidence towards it! Thanks! 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing these amazing tips! I have been blogging since quite a long time ago but I didn’t produce a lot of writings. These are my major problems with blogging:
1. Lack of ideas: I started to follow Daily Prompt challenges but it doesn’t make any differences.
2. Time management: College and everything.
Do you have any advise?
I have found time management to be an issue because life has been quite hectic as of late. However, I manage to blog via my phone in the evenings, often when i am having a relaxing bath. When it comes to ideas I simply write whatever is on my mind and the time and don’t worry whether anyone finds it interesting or not…
Is it OK if someone else chimes in?
Don’t worry about length – a paragraph or two is just fine.
As you finish writing for one day, jot down an idea for the next, a little thought to explore.
Read what you wrote the day before and see if it encourages you to write more or in a different vein.
Find a passage in the book you’re reading and pick out the 10 – 15 most interesting words. Use them to write “found poetry.” Now you’re not just reading, you’re writing.
Look at a photograph and respond with words.
Carry a small journal with you and write while waiting for lunch, for the bus, for the lecture to start – write about the people around you. Imagine their lives, or write what you observe of their behavior.
Grab your shopping list – write it into a silly verse.
Look at your laundry, your room, your car – imagine the world from one of those points of view and write what they experience.
Write about what made you angry today or what made you cry yesterday.
Allow yourself to feel deeply – that’s where good writing begins.
Hope this helps, Deny, and I hope, Suzie, that you don’t mind that I popped in my two cents’ worth.
Be well, both of you,
Great advice!!! Thanks!
Thanks for the wonderful advise, Shari! I’ve just published a new post 🙂
That was amazing advice, as a extremely new blogger I been worried about what I should write about. But this reply has really inspired me.
Check out Sharon’s blog – it’s great!
I have just today set up my blog finally. I really appreciate all of your advice, it is very useful to me as I begin doing this. Thanks!
Thank you so much!
Hey, I’m so glad I found you (through community pool) 😉
I find these tips absolutely fantastic…I just started blogging, two weeks ago actually and I find every one of these tips helpful…Thank you so much!
Lots of love and hugs ! 🙂
Thanks so much – i’m really pleased you found it useful!
Wow, wonderful list! I found this post very informative as I am about two months in for my first-ever blog. I can relate to what you call “WordPress Therapy” and I have to agree that sharing your personal experiences with other bloggers on here has extended my social network immensely. =)
I have to admit that I do write LOL! in my posts often because I love to smile! hehe. Thanks again for this helpful list!
Thank you very much! It’s certainly therapeutic to have such lovely feedback too!
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loved it! especially #1, about not having a theme. lots of guys have been telling me to work on a specific audience. but because i have lots of interests, it becomes difficult for me to stick to one. thanks for the inspiration to press on.
Thank you very much! Very much appreciated – i’m really glad that you found it useful!
Hey suzie..your tips are Jus wat i needed at the moment.
Am very very new to bloggin n you’ve given me gr8 confidence to kick start.
Thank you very much! So pleased they were useful!
Thank You for these great tips. I am really NEW to blogging and have been struggling with what to write about-now i know that is whatever i feel is interesting to ME-will continue to follow you. Dave
Your welcome= i am new too=maybe we can help each other/ Dave
Hi! I found this post through the Community Pool, and wanted to let you know that I your advice has helped me feel less overwhelmed. A lot of what I’ve read about getting started with blogging is technical: buy domains, layout and theme, &c. This content-focused list was a breath of fresh air. Especially item #1 on your list. I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to be able to pick one topic!
Anyway, I’m just starting out with my first blog, but I’m be keeping this post in my favorites for future reference.
Thank you very much!!
Reblogged this on Lost In Expressions and commented:
Great advice for blogging! You are rock’n it suzie81 😉
I enjoyed reading this. It is all commonsense advise. Thanks
Thank you very much!
How do you work your schedule around your blogging? How much time a dy do you dedicate? How Lon. Does it take you to write a post? Do you do outside research or does it kinda falls in your lap so to speak.
The length of time depends on what I’m writing about. Sometimes it can take several hours and I have to do a little research, others it takes 15 mins because I’m writing about my day. I work my blog around my schedule instead of the other way around – I tend to write at weekends and evenings via my iPhone. Unfortunately, if I have too much work to do my blog just doesn’t happen…
Does that help?
Yes, I’m trying to learn to work from my phone, but I feel like I make too many mistakes. I think my greatest challenge for consistency is that I simply don’t always have the time to do all the things I would like to do with the blog and then I simply don’t do it. I love writing, but I guess I have a hard time with the Publish Button 😉 thanks
I work for a living so I think I’ve also grown to find motivation in the deadline and with blogging the deadline is harder to see. It exists, some things loose their flavor when you let them sit for too long.
Again, thank you very much.
I understand what you mean – I’m a teacher so I always have to work to deadlines. Don’t think of blogging like that – you’re not on a deadline for anything…
Thank you so much for the blogging tips! A lot of these are common sense (or should be at least) but I found this blog useful as a refresher of sorts 🙂
Reblogged this on Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction.
I just started … thanks for the wonderful tips … it’s a daunting world, and I’m a tad worried my blog will be in the ‘dross’ category, rather than the ‘witty, enjoyable, highly anticipated’ category … but there’s naught for it but to try, right! 🙂
Thanks! I’m so pleased you found it useful!
I found your blog on Blogging tips very helpful. Thanks. I am sure I can learn a lot from you, Suzie.
I hope people will look forward to reading my posts as I look forward to reading yours.
Thank you very much! Lovely thing to say!
Very useful tips indeed. Thank you.
I definitely agree with proofreading and reblogging. 🙂
I have a problem with proof reading, I am not the best when it comes to the English language and usually catch typos and grammar errors once I published them. Ugh.
I think your english is great – I wish I was as talented at being able to write in a second language!!
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So, so helpful! I working on setting up a blog and feel a little lost in what to express. I design and make jewelry, so I mainly did it to have a less expensive way to show my work rather than paying for a website, but I want to make it interesting. I have a lot to share that doesn’t relate to my jewelry, things that would definitely be therapeutic to get out, but that I don’t necessarily want my family to find, since a lot of it is about issues with them! I’m not sure how to convey it all and avoid eye-rolling. Any tips?
Hi! Thanks for your comment!
1. Don’t tell them about your blog.
2. Write exactly what you want to write.
3. Don’t include names.
4. Don’t worry about eye rolling – it’s your blog and you can do what you like with it.
5. Post pictures of your jewellery.
Hope this is useful??
Nice tips! 🙂
Thank you very much!
Reblogged this on suzie81's Blog and commented:
Another reblog I’m afraid – hope you find this useful…
Thanks for your tips. I feel weak in some points you mentioned in it. For example, the quality of writing. I’m not anglo-speaking, but I understand that this is the language of blogging. I do what I can and try to improve. I can only excuse me.In any case I defend myself with photography, which is a language we all understand.
all great advice ) beth
Thanks a lot for the tips. I will have a challenge sticking to a main theme (Language Teaching and learning in this case) I thought when I first started writing few weeks ago. Then I noticed that I had to write about my interests (e.g. Literature) as well. Now I am happy that I did and I was glad to see that was #1 tip you gave 🙂
This post is wonderful! I actually assumed that you had been doing this for years, not months! Your ideas are great, your posts very well done and always keep me interested. I am so glad I found your blog!
Can you explain pingbacks and trackbacks to me? I look forward to reading something from you daily! Learning so much from you
Thank you very much! Pingbacks and trackbacks are when you link another post to yours…
Thank you! I appreciate your help.
Suzie, i just wanna say thank you for these tips.I have barely started my own blog, and for personal reasons so to find a way to vent with my life. I felt though that I had to find a theme and stick with it.but after reading this and reading some of your other pages I feel that I don’t have to just limit myself to a theme, instead I’ll be blogging on a variety of my interests, and on my own ideas, thoughts etc. Thank you, and I look forward to reading more of your posts.
You’re very welcome! Glad you found it useful!
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Thank you for this Suzie. I am a newbie as of today- and I find this very helpful. I like your writing style. I’ll be reading more of your posts!
Very useful hints and tips. Thanks! Now I just need to remember them… 🙂
Thank you – pleased you found it useful!