After blogging for 2 years I feel I have learned a little something that I can now pass on to anyone who is new to blogging or thinking of starting a blog. To be honest, I still feel like a newbie myself, but I’m happy to pass on what I’ve learned in the hope to help someone starting up, or to someone who’s been blogging casually but now wants to take things a little more seriously.
After being made redundant in October last year and choosing not to find a new job I have been blogging a lot more and working hard at building my brand. I try my hardest to publish a blog post every day, but I’m not strict on myself and don’t stress if I can’t. I do however make sure I post on social media daily, at least 2 or 3 times a day.
I’d like to add by no means am I a ‘professional blogger’. I genuinely feel like I’m in a little blogging bubble that no one can see! But I know there are some of you out there who read my blog and follow my life and progress and I’m extremely grateful for that.
So let’s start off with my top 5 blogging tips for new bloggers.
- Buy your own domain. Some bloggers may advise against this to begin with, but personally I feel you may as well start with your own domain so you can build up your DA (domain authority) etc from the beginning. Don’t worry about what DA is at this stage, just know it’s only something that counts if you have your own domain. If you can buy the .co.uk and .com domains. Personally I only have the .co.uk, but now I’ve launched my brand I’ll be buying the .com if it’s available. This prevents anyone taking your brand name (I keep saying brand because your blog name is your brand – it represents you and you never know where it might take you). A lot of PR’s only want to work with bloggers who have their own domains too so for me it makes sense to go for it from day one.
- Set up your social media profiles with the same name and same avatar (profile picture). You want your followers to find you easily so if you have the same avatar across all social media channels they will know it’s you. I strongly advise you work on all social media platforms from day one. I only began with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but I’m now building up my Pinterest account and playing catch up. Pinterest is amazing for bringing traffic to your blog (which I’ve learned recently) and I’ve missed out on a lot by not posting my blog posts on there from the beginning. There’s also some you may not have heard of like StumbleUpon and Alexa. I don’t use these but will be setting them up soon.
- Buy a planner. This is crucial. You need to plan. You need a checklist, and you need one place to make notes of blog post ideas, things to do, emails to reply to, photos to take, social media updates etc. I’v only recently started using a blogging journal and I absolutely love it and rely on it to keep me organised. If you don’t want to buy a planner, use your phone calendar or create a spreadsheet on your computer. I try to plan my week ahead for blog posts or I’ll end up with bloggers block. Trust me, after 2 years I still get stuck for ideas and find it quite easy to take a day off if I can’t think of anything to write about. You can really blog about anything. If you feel the urge to write about something then do it, or make a note to write about it later. Anything you feel passionate about will come across well on your blog. Honesty and passion is all you need.
- Find your niche. What sort of blogger do you want to be? I’m predominately a parenting blogger but I also like to blog about home, fashion, beauty and when I was getting married I blogged about my wedding plans. So pretty much general lifestyle. It’s good to have a focal point to your blog, so people know what to expect when they visit your site, but there’s nothing stopping you having other categories if you feel it’s something you want to write about. Just make sure you add to these categories as much as possible, maybe once a week, so they don’t become dormant (like my wedding category has!)
- Choose a blog name that will last. Over the years I’ve seen a number of bloggers change their blog name and start again. This can be a lot of hassle. If you haven’t yet chosen your name then think carefully about the longevity of the name. If you’re a parenting blogger do you want the word mummy, baby or bump in your name? Mummy is cutesy, and bumps and babies don’t stay as bumps and babies, so you’ll most likely end up wanting to update your name. Kids or children could work as this can represent all ages, but it also puts you in the parenting blog category and you will struggle to get out of it with a name that reflects ‘family’. Of course, this isn’t a problem if you know you’ll always be a parenting blogger. You can use your own name as it will always be your name, and you won’t get caught up in niches. I chose Lamb & Bear from the pet names I called my son. So for me it represents my family, but doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a parenting blogger to everyone else.
So those are my top 5 blogging tips for newbie bloggers. I can think of a few more which I’ll save for another post. I know how overwhelming it can be when you’re overloaded with advice and information.
I’ll soon be publishing a blog post about how I tripled my page views in 3 months and tips on how you can increase your traffic. Again, I’m not a pro but I have learned a few key things since blogging full time.
Let me know if you found this useful and if you would benefit from more posts like this.