If you're thinking of starting a blog or perhaps have you've just got going I thought today I'd share some tips that I've learnt over the past few years. It should be a really exciting process but I know it can also be quite overwhelming so I hope that you can take something from this post to set your blog up for success from day one!
1. EVERYONE WAS ONCE A BEGINNER
Even your favourite super blogger was once a beginner who didn’t know how to do it or have any readers!
Take your time and have confidence in yourself. No one else can write a blog like yours as they are not you. You have a unique perspective and even though it’s daunting I promise you will be able learn all the other stuff over time.
Just allow yourself to be a beginner, enjoy the process and keep taking baby steps to learn something more each day.
2. READ LOTS OF OTHER BLOGS
The best place to learn is from the blogs you love. Read as many different types of blogs as you can, follow those bloggers on social media and take notes on what it is you like about them.
Notice the little details like the types of images they use, when they post and how they explain things. Make a list of the ideas you’d like to think about for your blog.
When I'm trying to think of a new series or feature to run on one of my blogs I still find it really useful to take inspiration for blogs in totally different industries!
3. FIND YOUR NICHE
Do you know what you want to write about? What you’re passionate about? Whether it’s parenting, baking, sewing or yoga up a tree (if that is even a thing?!) having a clear focus and a unique perspective will help your blog stand out from the masses.
Dig deep to identify the sub-topics and themes that you want to focus on writing about that you think your readers will love.
The key really is to identify WHO your blog is for. By trying to write for everyone you'll struggle to appeal to anyone! It's far better for people to think - "ah this blog is perfect for me" because it's more specific than it to miss the mark with any group as it's trying to be too broad.
4. SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Try to identify why it is you want to blog. Would you still do it, even if you don’t earn a penny from it and hardly anyone reads it?
I have to be honest with you… I know it’s easy to get excited about making money or becoming famous through your blog but please don’t bet on this happening.
Who knows, if you are committed and work really hard you may just become the next Zoella but have another reason for doing it, just in case ;-)
Blogging is a great way of connecting with like-minded people, promoting your business, being creative, sharing your passion and it’s incredibly good fun.
Figuring this out before you start will help you focus and make decisions as you put it together!
5. DO YOUR RESEARCH
As well as other blogs you can get lots of inspiration from magazines, websites and books. They all have to find ways of standing out from the crowd and consistently create good content too.
I'd also recommend asking your family and friends lots of questions and join Facebook groups on your chosen topic to determine what will make your blog worth reading for your target readers? You really want to understand what challenges they face that you could help them with, what grabs their attention and what advice they'd like but can't find.
6. BLOGGING ISN'T A COMPETITION
Just as people don’t only watch one television program they also don’t just read one blog. Once people discover blogs it’s likely they’ll follow lots of them and will always be looking for good new ones to indulge in.
I get that it’s tempting to compare your blog to others but every blogger is unique and they may have been working hard for years to get to their current position. Concentrate on paving your own path, being you and remember:
7. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
From experience I can assure you that building relationships with your readers and peers is one of the key things you can do to make your blog a success.
Rather than just pushing content out to your readers, think about how you can build a community and create blog posts that really resonate with your audience. If you add value in this way they’ll be much more likely to promote your blog for you!
Also, be friendly, supportive and collaborative with other bloggers in your niche and you’ll be surprised at the lovely, inspiring friends you can make in the blogging world. Plus it makes the whole experience far more enjoyable!
8. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
There are no quick, magic secrets in blogging. It’s wonderfully fulfilling, creative and challenging but I’m afraid it takes lots of practice, hard work, time and energy to be good at it, like most things in life!
Have a go at writing a blog post or two on a Word document to start practicing your writing style before you start your blog. Communicating online, without expression, tone, or your loveliest smile isn’t easy (certainly not for me anyway) however if I can get better at it, so can you!
The more you write the better you’ll get at conveying your personality. Think of it like learning to drive, keep taking the car out and eventually you won’t be thinking about it so much as it becomes a natural thing to do.
9. LEARN AS YOU GO
There are plenty of components to ‘blogging’ to keep you interested, challenged and out of mischief for years to come, that’s one of the best things about it!
Aside from the writing and actual blogging there’s also photography, social media, PR, networking, design, planning and branding. Don’t worry about becoming a master in all of these, instead focus on developing the skills you really enjoy and have fun learning the others over time.
10. EMBRACE SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media really is one of the best ways of getting your blog out there so think about which platforms your target readers use the most then start building your profile there. Don't worry about having to be on all of them, it's better to do one really well than be inconsistent across several platforms!
If you need any help in using social media to find your ideal readers and drive traffic to your blog click here for lots more advice!
Have these tips been useful for you? I'd love to hear about your blog ideas and plans in the comments below...