Congratulations, you want to start your first blog, this is a great first step in your blogging journey. So, where to next? It can be difficult to know what to do know, what platform to post on, or even what to write about. Before you start anything, you need to think about a few of these essential things first. Before you get tapping away at the keyboard there are some things you need to address and think about to give your blogs some direction. This will give style to your blog and get you thinking about what kind of content you will produce.
Not thinking about these factors often lead to blogs being disorganised and random, making it difficult for readers to navigate. So, make sure you read up on some of these ideas, do your research, and then get writing! Blogging can be a fulfilling and rewarding pastime, or even a source of income for you as well. Whatever your motivations for blogging, it’s time to start your your blogging journey now. Here’s my advice to for beginner bloggers:
Do it for Yourself
Whatever your motivation might be for blogging, it’s good to be interested in the subject and kind of content you will be producing. If you are, you are much more likely to want to write, and be passionate about producing content as well. This means that writing after your day job, or getting up in the morning will be so much easier, as you will be enthusiastic to jump out of bed and get writing. This will give life and vigor to your writing, and you will probably explore much more interesting topics in depth as well. Being passionate can go a long way, and already your writing will stand out from other blogs, that write about topics they are less interested in.
If you are doing it for yourself first and foremost, and enjoy writing, your blog will have so much more life, and will explore topics in an authentic way. Not to mention being able to think like your audience will give you an insight into the kind of audience your blog will attract.
Understand your Audience
Before you get typing, think about what kind of audience you want to attract, and who will be reading your posts. Will is be new moms? Or people with liberal political views? Or perhaps it will be the LGBT community? Whoever you are planning on writing for, it’s good to know who they are. If this matches your own interested too, then great, you can get into the mindset of your audience. What interests do they have and what kind of things matter to them? Asking questions like this means you can start thinking about the direction of your blog.
Use your Audience
Once you’ve established an audience base, you can then go on to ask them about what they want. Writing for your audience is great way to gather ideas, and to know about what subjects and topics will work really well on your blog. Posting on twitter or other social media and gauging a reaction can be a great way to know whether your audience will like something or not. Testing the waters in this way means you create content that is successful, and don’t waste your time with something that your audience won’t be interested in.
Where you Write is Important
If you are going to be writing for long periods of time, it’s good to have a space where you can do this. Assigning a space in your house, or creating a study or office to write in, will be beneficial to your blogging. This will help you get in the mindset of writing, and is a great thing to do when you have to write from home. Having somewhere peaceful, quiet, or somewhere you can play music if that’s your thing, is a good way to be productive. Having a comfortable desk and chair is also important as you will be sitting there for long periods. Once you have a great space to write, and you make it your own, producing great content won’t be a problem. Having a space where you can be productive, is a fantastic first step to being a blogger. If your blogging takes off, this will become your new office.
Alternatively, if you don’t have the space, there are always coffee shops. Finding somewhere close to you, or even a few you can rotate round, is a great idea. You will probably need somewhere with a plug socket if you are going to be here for long periods. Again, somewhere that has comfy seating is ideal, so you can type away for hours at a time. Larger coffee shops are usually best, as they can have the space for people to set up camp with their laptops. Checking with the staff to see if they mind you working there, can also be a great idea.
In an ideal world people would recognise your great content and immediately follow you on twitter, and find out more about your blog, but this isn’t always the case. Plugging your twitter handle, and telling people to sign up, is usually the best method. If you are not actively promoting yourself, and inciting your audience to action, then you should be. You can’t expect your audience to come to you, you have to make it as easy as possible for them to find you online. Advertise your social media, get people to sign up, and encourage them to click on other links on your block. You have to promote yourself in order to make it, and encourage people to take action.
Consider the Platform
What kind of platform are you going to launch your blog on? There are lots of sites to create smaller blog on. Or you could be bold and create your own site from scratch. There are lot of benefits to building your own website, but be warned that while having an independent blog that stands on its own feet at the beginning sounds very appealling, it can be a big undertaking to create a totally new website using such sites for a newbie just starting out. There are loads of different places to write online, so think about what would be beneficial to you.
People love consistency, and if you aren’t consistent, then people will lose interest. While you might not have the time to things regularly, if you set aside some time in the week to create content, then you will probably attract regular readers. If people know to expect your posts they will know when they can read them, and look forward to them. While it can be extra time and effort being regular is the best way to build a loyal following.
Let your personality shine through
People choose to follow blog because of the person behind them. It is difficult to relate or get on board with a faceless page that has no personality attached to it. Let your personality shine through, whether this is through the design, content, or ideally through everything. Let people know who you are, what your about, and what your interested in. Your audience wants to relate to you, and feel like they know you, so let them. Writing as a human being will make your blog a lot more real than many other blogs that are out there. Why not include a picture of yourself too? Just like the people who read your blogs, you are human being just like them.
Everybody likes gifts, and this can be great incentive to many of your followers. Whatever kind of blog you run, there are loads of things you can give away to your followers. Making it relevant to your blog is also great as well. If you blog about gardening, then give away garden appliances, or some seeds. The buzz you can create around the giveaway can be great for your blog too. This is a great way to relate to your readers, and show them that you care. Being loyal to your audience, what they want, is a great ethos to have for blogging.
Invest in it
Blogging means you will probably in it for the long haul. If you are expecting overnight success, then you should reconsider the reasons you are blogging. It can take a long time for your blog to gain follower, but that doesn’t mean the content isn’t good. Investing time in it, and not giving up when the going gets tough, is the best way to help your blog along. Just think, by the time your blog does receive recognition and readers, they will have plenty of amazing content to look over, which will keep them interested and reading.
Blogging is a really fun and fulfilling way to express yourself online, and can even become your living as well. When you write about things you are interested in, and let your personality shine through, your blog becomes really relatable to your readers. Letting them know you are a real person just like them, is where your blog becomes relevant. Don’t forget to write for yourself too, and keep up your own interests and topics on it too.
Are you just getting started out on blogging? What do you think about this advice for beginner bloggers? Or perhaps you are an established blogger who wants to share to tips. Do leave a comment either way!
*This is a collaborative post