We all make mistakes with our blogs. Especially when we're first starting, there is such a huge learning curve- how can you make sure you know what's working? Especially as you first embark on blogging (or if you're already a seasoned pro) to help you feel more comfortable with your blog.
Today, I have a blogger who's newer to help tackle some of the first hurdles you encounter when you first start a blog.
Here are 10 tips for new bloggers, along with some you should avoid.
1. Know that it’s going to take time to grow. Figuring out what works best for you and your blog is a process that takes time.
AVOID: expecting lots of growth right away - I have been so discouraged over this, but you must just do the best you can and find what works best for you. You will start seeing growth, it just might not be fifty new followers each day until a while.
2. It is very important to invest in your blog. I know a lot of people are very hesitant about investing in their blog, and I can understand that, but it’s still important. We all spend money on our other hobbies, like a sport or reading. It doesn’t matter how much you spend but just that you are investing in it a little bit to make it even better. Want to invest in your blog in 2016? Check out The Blog Detox, to help you organize you blog and achieve your social media goals.
AVOID: not investing in it at all - to gain more readers, you’ll want to make your blog more professional. There are things you can do that are cheap, like buying a custom domain name or paying extra for more photo effects on PicMonkey. (Check out: Using PicMonkey For Your Blog). You could also go even farther and purchase a blog template or design. It’s not that it’s totally impossible to be successful without putting no money into your blog, but it will be a lot harder.
3. Blogging is time consuming, so make sure you plan ahead. Blogging can often times be like a part time job. Actually, it is for a lot of people, and a lot of people actually have a full time job blogging. Blogging can be very time consuming, so it’s important that you learn to plan ahead and schedule things. I schedule all of my blog posts on the weekends including the posts for social media that week ahead of time. That works best for me, and you have to find out what works best for you.
AVOID: working too hard - I know I said blogging can be like a job, but everyone needs breaks in their jobs, or we’re going to go insane. We’ll, like, smash our computer screens or blow up our blogs or eat far too many bags of chips. None of those things are good (as much as I do like chips), so let’s take a break. Let’s live life. When you’re a new blogger, it’s easy to spend your entire life on your blog. I know chips are good, but you want to still be around to work on your blog LATER, so do yourself a favor and take a break. I promise, it will only benefit you.
4. Using social media to grow your blog is VERY important. This is the world we live in now, and social media is important in today’s world. There are a lot of ways you can use it to help you, and there are many great resources out there to help you. This is one of those things that you have to find what works best for YOU.
AVOID: waiting to begin using social media - it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you’re doing yet. It’s a learning experience, but let me tell you: it is important to use social media NOW. It might feel weird at first, because you might have only a few followers, but it’s okay. Start growing NOW. Start learning NOW. By doing this, you’re establishing your online presence and are going to help yourself later. Check out: Why You NEED a Facebook Page for your Blog.
5. Socializing and reaching out to other bloggers plays a vital role in growing your blog. First, when you comment on a blogger’s post or respond to them on Twitter, you’re getting your name out there. It’s also great to support other bloggers, right?! After all, you want them to do that for you. We’re all a community, and we’re all here to help each other out. It’s fine to comment more to get your name out there, but that shouldn’t be the main reason you reach out. You want to be genuine. Check out: The Art of Commenting.
AVOID: emailing other bloggers right away about collaborating without an idea - it’s awesome to reach out and share a post idea with a blogger, that’s how you get to know that blogger and get some opportunities. Make sure you have an idea or sense of direction or purpose when you reach out to them. Read: How to Collaborate With Bloggers.
6. You don't have to sponsor others. Sponsoring is a great way to gain influence and get noticed, but it's okay to not start it immediately. You don’t need to feel like it’s something you HAVE to do. There are alternatives. Being social with other bloggers is a big thing you can do to help your blog and so is swapping buttons with another blogger. Check out: Does Sponsorship work?
AVOID: rushing into decisions - when I started blogging, I was a mess. I never thought anything through. I’d see a blog design I like and immediately begin designing. I’d see something I thought I needed and my mind was set. Make sure you’re thinking things through. Just because one blogger said you needed to do something doesn’t mean you need to go and do that. Think it through. Read more opinions on it. Ask yourself if that is necessary.
7. A good blog design is important. Obviously not everyone is going to LOVE the color pink (like I have plastered all over my blog), and that’s fine. What I mean by a good blog design is that it reflects YOU and is organized, clean, and easy to read. That is what really matters.
AVOID: putting off branding - determine your style as early as possible and stick to it. If you ever go back and decide you change your mind, it’s not going to be very fun trying to catch everything up to your current style. Try to find a style and stick to it. Check out: 10 Things Every Successful Blog Needs.
8. Choosing a blogging platform is your blog’s house, and obviously that’s important. Switching platforms is not fun - I’ve done it. If you ever decide to switch, do it right away. I switched a couple months into blogging, and I thought that was long enough. The earlier you do it, the better. Research your platform, test things out, and decide which one will be best for you and then don’t wait. Read: Why I Chose Squarespace.
AVOID: going in with no knowledge of your platform - I feel like this is a pretty common thing new bloggers do. They just pick a platform to have one, and I get that when you start blogging, that’s what you want. But in the long run, you’re going to save yourself a lot of time and work if you decide which one is best for you right away.
9. When you first start, don’t try to do it all. I learned this the hard way. You don’t need to do link ups, giveaways, or your best posts in the first week of blogging. Get to know your readers.
AVOID: running out of content ideas. Here are 101 Blog Post Ideas.
10. Blogging is worth all of the effort. All of the learning blogging requires, all of the stress it can sometimes cause, I really do believe that it is worth it. Blogging can teach you a lot of life skills - like time management and collaborating with others. It is a great way to relieve stress and express your creativity. You have the chance to inspire people. Blogging is truly an amazing thing, and I’m glad I get to be a part of it.
There are no avoids for this one, just avoid putting it off if you feel like it’s your calling. You don’t have to have it all figured out, none of us really do. Sometimes that’s the beauty of it.
What are your blogging tips for newbies?