My brother has recently started blogging and I have been helping him get everything set up. While doing all of this I thought to myself how cool it would be to find out what advice seasoned bloggers would give their newbie selves. So I put the callout to my networks and got some absolute pearls of wisdom. This is everything I love about the Australian blogging community – they are so lovely and supportive!
So without further ado here are 33 amazing tips for new bloggers
As a new blogger, it’s easy to go crazy posting for a week or two, and then run out of post ideas, or energy, or both. Before you start, have a plan of blog posts to write for the first few weeks and spread them out. Allow space for impromptu posts. If you pace your posts and effort, you’ll be more likely to persevere once the initial blogging ‘high’ has worn off!
Tam from Around Here
If you have nothing original to say, then at least think of an original way to say it. Otherwise, you’ll be just another contributor to the web’s cesspit of regurgitated content.
James from James Bull Consulting
Engage with other bloggers! It is the best way to get readers and forge connections.
Kristen from Wanderlust
Never use a picture you didn’t take or are 100% positive is free for you to use; be super cautious of who you quote – ask permission or don’t write it! And remember that whatever you publish is truly forever. Be sure that whatever you publish will be ok 5 days, 5 months and 5 years down the track. Discussing your toddler’s small peepee is not unheard of in blogland, but you can bet he won’t thank you for that post if he ever runs for Prime Minister
Lisa from Simple Loving Thoughts
Imagine your grandma will read it and post accordingly. Write for yourself. If you write for others, it gets boring really quickly. It also encourages you to continue if you’re the only one reading it for a while! Ask for help and give it where you can!
Twinkle Little Starfish from Natural Aussie Families
When I started my blog I didn’t have a clue how to promote it, I got good feedback from my friends but only 30 or so people were actually reading. I plodded away, enjoying my writing but only posting once or twice a month. My sister encouraged me to join twitter.. I was highly resistant… I found it confusing and overwhelming (the sheer speed at which it operates!)… but through twitter I connected with hundreds of other bloggers, I started to gain my own following… I discovered regular blog hops… a community! Within months my page views jumped from hundreds to thousands and my confidence is growing too! Join twitter would be my number one tip for new bloggers.
Catherine from A Cup of Tea Blog
Add some grit. Even if it’s perfect, people like reading about an imperfect life. I would also add “Learn technique”. Whether it’s writing, photography or cooking, anchor yourself in one core skill.
Sandra from $120 Food Challenge
Find someone nice that you can ask for help!
David from Click WP
Just do it. Just write and publish. Don’t get caught up in having it perfect before publishing, especially in the early days when no-one will be “finding” it via a search engine. Develop your style as you blog and get confident with your writing style.
Nikki from Styling You
Just play with it. You can’t really break anything! And it’s the one way to feel comfortable. It doesn’t have to be perfect from Day 1 – it fact it will NEVER be perfect!
Nat from Mummy Smiles
Cliched, but “keep it real” comes to mind. Be mindful of your audience, but don’t compromise your opinions for them.
Kimberley from Melbourne Mum
Do what makes you happy. Blogging is meant to be fun. You are your own person, make your own rules.
Bianca from Big Words Blog
Damn, a lot of my number one tips have been said! My number 2 tip would be to include at least one photograph per post. The eye-candy draws people in!
Nicole from Bitten by the Travel Bug
I’d echo some of the other thoughts on just starting and practicing. That’d be my #1 but because that’s been said….
Be useful. Put yourself in the shoes of someone that you could see reading your blog and ask yourself what they’d find useful… and then write something that fits that.
Make the lives of those who read your blog a little better – by making them laugh, solving a problem, making them feel they are not alone, giving them information that they’re searching for or inspiring them – and you’ll go a long way to building a blog that people will come back to again and again.
[From ed:] I saw Darren mention his blogging mantra on twitter the other day and I thought it was worth a share here as it is pretty cool: “Inform, Inspire Interact – that’s my writing mantra”
Darren from Problogger
Write how you speak, make it a conversation.
Kirsty from 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle
The best advice I could give is to connect with other bloggers (and readers) in whatever ways he can: social media, by commenting on other blogs, responding to comments on his blog, attending conferences and even joining an affordable (but valuable) membership group. They’re all ways that he can learn as he goes along, and at the same time avoid the feeling of isolation that I’m sure many bloggers experience.
Brigid from The Inspired Notebook
Treat your blog like you are standing at the front counter of your ‘shop’ and chatting with the customers. What would you talk to your people about? What would you help them with? What stories would you tell about what you do/offer/make/sell? Write about that. =)
Karen from build a little biz
Have a few blog post ready to go if you are starting a new site.
Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids
Aim to keep posts to 500 words or less (give or take) and have catchy title and a first paragraph that hooks the reader in.
Linda from Create your own Success
I think that as much as you want to just vomit it all out on to a page, write it, save it in drafts and then go back and edit before publishing. It’s easy to waffle.
Sarah from That Space in Between
Proof reading is dull but important. No one will take you seriously with typos or silly mistakes in your text!
Tonya from The Crafty Mummy
There are so many abandoned blogs and sites out there, where people have lost interest and given up. Or posted three times in a week, then nothing for two months. I’d go with consistency as my #1 tip. Something along the lines of: Even if you feel like giving up, keep going and post regularly. It often takes a while to see the kind of readership you’d like, but consistency is key.
Just start. You only get good at blogging by doing it. Do it regularly and do it with love.
Christina from The Hungry Australian
Record yourself talking and then write that down. This is your voice. If you practice enough, you will become more confident with writing your voice.
Dorothy from Singular Insanity
So many great tips – the biggest one which i am sure has been said, but was driven home to me last week doing the SWOT analysis – people read your blog because of you. So don’t follow some formula, or rules, or what you think you ‘should’ do. Be yourself, do what feels right, and natural for you.. and be persistent, they will come
Lyndal from Welcome to the Family
Be yourself and always write from your heart. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, play with it and grow every day.
Renee from The Bra Queen
Something I learnt from the super smart Nicole Avery, think about why you are blogging and what your goals of blogging are …that way you don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to what others are doing
Martine from The Modern Parent
Avoid comparison with other bloggers. You are unique so don’t try to recreate another blog, no matter how much you love it. This often means switching off from absorbing other people’s content when you are writing/creating your own. There is no competition when we are ourselves because simply put, no one else can be YOU!
Belinda from Web Chameleon
A practical one – work out what your tags/categories will be from the start – this will save a world of pain later!
Lee from Mummy Issues
My absolute number one tip would be to pick a niche that you absolutely love and know a lot about. You will soon burn out if you don’t, because blogging takes a lot of commitment and time. You may as well enjoy it while doing it! When you do something you love, consistency and quality of posts and connecting with other bloggers in your niche comes automatically, which are the other requirements of a successful blog. Oh and another really important one: think long and hard about your domain. Brainstorm for hours or weeks if necessary. You need to get something that is short, catchy and clear and that you are really happy with. (Believe me I speak from experience that it’s a total pain to change it after you’ve had your blog for several months…)
Sylvia from 40+ Style
My tip is to set yourself a challenge! When I first started my blog I set myself a challenge to write every single day for three months. I did it and I tell you what, it really helps your writing skills and overcoming fears and perfectionism. Of course you have to stick to your challenge but it’s well worth the effort.
Jedha from Paleo Weight Loss Coach
Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% is good enough (except spell check/proof read – I think this is really important to get right), just get it published and move on to the next post or you can be stuck for days trying to finesse it.
Kylah from Zest E-biz
Write about what you know best in your voice, because you cannot be anyone but you and people are interested in your stories, not copies of anyone else’s.
The final word
I was involved in a GREAT conversation on twitter recently that started when Michaela from Five Frogs Blog mentioned that she never knew what posts were going to hit the mark and which weren’t. There was a resounding chorus that this was pretty normal, a conversation ensued and at the end, Michaela summarised the conversation as below. I think this is a pretty great place to finish up!