Monday, June 23, 2014

Blogging Tips for Beginners or Aspiring Bloggers

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles

When I first began blogging, it was for my personal use as a creative outlet and as a fun way for me to record and discuss my journey with being a mom.  My reasons for maintaining this blog are still the same but this blog and its content has also evolved. This year I have learned so much more when I decided to take this blog to the next level (working with affiliates, marketing my blog, doing PR work and making income from blogging, etc.).
Blog, aspiring bloggers

  Tips I Have Learned from Blogging

I wanted to share some of the things I have learned with those who are thinking about starting a blog or for anyone who can use a few extra tips about blogging especially if you are looking to grow your audience and/or to earn some money from blogging.  

These are some of the tips I wish I had read about before I began my blog:

 Basic Blogging Tips

1. Have your own custom domain especially if you are looking to build a business with your blog.  Even if you are not sure at first, it is better to start with your own in case you change your mind in the future.   

2.  Decide how you want to utilize your blog- is it for personal or professional/business use?   If it is for a business, branding is important and so you will want to make sure you have a blog name and images that represents your brand well.  

3.  Be picky and take time to consider choosing your blog's name.  Choose a name you will want to keep and will not want to change later down the road.  Be sure it is unique, represents what your blog or business is about, and research to be sure there is not another blog out there with the same name.  I wish I had thought about this more thoroughly because for awhile now, I have been considering re-naming my blog and for me, it is a big step to take since I have had the name for so long.

4.  Decide how much personal information you want to share before you begin writing and posting photos.  Think about how much of your private life, pictures of your children, yourself and families you want to share and maybe even ask your relatives and friends if they would be okay with you posting pictures of them on your blog. 

5.  Write an About Me/Contact page that is easy to find on your blog before you even publish your first post.  Be sure to include proper contact information, even just an email or create a separate email account for your blog, in case someone is interested in contacting you about blogging opportunities or have questions for you or your blog.  An About Me or Contact page is even more vital if your blog is for your business.  See my updated one  here.  Include your social media links, as well, to make it easier for people to connect with you and keep up with your brand or blog.  Connecting with you through various social media networks can mean more traffic and interaction with your blog.  I like to post photos from my new blog posts and write quick mini blog posts or teasers using my Instagram page.

6.  Practice writing posts before publishing or consider creating a separate practice blog that is private.  Use it to practice your writing, photo editing, layouts, formats for your content, colors, theme, etc.

7.  Create a blog button for people to be able to use before you even publish your first post.  I actually just created a blog button a week or two ago and wish I had done it much, much sooner.  They do come in handy when someone wants to share your blog or post your badge to link back to.  Post your button/badge on your sidebar for others to easily see.

8.  Decide how much time and how often you can update your blog.  It would be ideal to stick to a regular schedule for consistency for yourself and for your readers.  Use an editorial calendar to keep you on track and to brainstorm posts ideas. However, if you can not maintain a set schedule, think about at least updating your blog once or twice a month, then work toward a new post once a week. 

9.  Participate in blog hops/linky parties.  When you are ready for a wider readership, blog hops and linky parties help if you are participating in ones that are in your same niche.  Even if you are not seeking a larger readership and would just like to connect with other bloggers, these parties go a long way.  They are fun and you can learn a lot from other bloggers.  You can make friends, network and discover more posts and blogs you may enjoy.  Go to my Blog Hop/Linky Parties Page to see the ones I have joined participated in before and regularly join. You can even host and co-host your own parties. 

10.  Write good content and learn how to write for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) especially if you are blogging for your business or want your blog to be ranked higher through the search engines.  There are several free tips on the internet you can find to learn more about this and books to read, as well.

11.  Images are important for your blog, too, specifically if you are a fashion, photography, craft or food blogger or if you are blogging for your business.  No matter what type of blog you have, quality images that people will be visually drawn to are just as important as the written content you post.  Keep Pinterest, Google Plus and Facebook in mind when creating images.  Shareable images go a long way because people want to share content with images that pop and are visually appealing.  

For some tips on images in digital content, visit my article below:

12.  Blogging is a learning process - take it one step at a time.  I don't consider myself a seasoned blogger but I'm sure that even for those who are, there is probably more to learn.  You see what works and what doesn't or what can be improved the more you do it.  

13.  Above all, have fun!  I have enjoyed maintaining my blog, reading other blogs and interacting with fellow bloggers.  There is so much to learn from one another and great bloggers to meet!

Any other basic tips you would like to share that have worked for your blog? If you enjoyed this, don't forget to share this post!

This post was also shared at International Bloggers Association.

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