10 blogging tips for absolute beginners |Keeping it Real

Friday, March 27, 2015

10 blogging tips for absolute beginners

There is a Chinese proverb that says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I find that this is true about most things in life, blogging included. If you are thinking about starting a blog or have recently entered the blogging world, then this post is for you.

I have been blogging for a little over a year now, so I'm by no means an expert. However, these past months have been filled with lots of new experiences, new on-line friends and when I look at my first posts I realize that I have learned a lot since then.


blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners


Other than reading other people's blogs along the years, I started from absolute zero, so I have been on a huge learning curve. Here is a list of the main lessons I have learned so far.
 
blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners

Write about something you like, something you do in your non-digital life. Don't create topics on themes you know little of or have no interest in just because you think they will generate traffic. 

If you are blogging with a long term perspective (which you should), you will either get stuck with nothing else to say after a while, or lose interest before your blog even takes off. And readers are not easily fooled: sooner or later they will realize your heart is not into it and, because their time is limited too, they will stop visiting.

Most people will tell you to use SEO tools and keywords. Read about this, as it is one of many resources you have available, and then decide what you want to do. To be honest, I write my posts as the text flows in my head, so I don't exactly check to see if I included the right amount of keywords, but that's just me. I'm blogging because I want to, because it brings me pleasure and makes my life a bit better.

 
blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners


Before you pick your blog design or start writing a post, stop for a few seconds and think about what you would like to see if you were a reader. Would you like to see a black background with white letters? How many columns do you need? What is the best way to organize your content on the layout your are working with? Putting yourself in the place of your readers will help you make these decisions.

This was something I found out for myself after I started blogging and if you compare my first posts with the more recent ones you will see the difference. Hum, better not. Those first posts are really bad and I just don't delete them because I need them as a reminder of what I should not do ever again.

Oh, and please run your posts through whatever spelling check tool you have available and re-read them to make sure the text is consistent and there are no typos. English is not my first language and I still don't like to see typos when I'm reading.


blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners
 
Think about what you want to write over the next few weeks/months, even if you don't write the actual posts. Use a blog planner (check Pinterest for free printables) if that works for you. I confess I have tried several over the past few months and have never sticked with one. I kind of write the posts in my head as I go about my daily tasks and then type them when I have a free moment to sit in front of the computer. Since free moments don't come that often, I write as much as I can and then schedule posts or leave them as a draft to publish in due course. As I'm writing this, I have two posts scheduled already, one for this week and one for Easter, so I don't have to worry about them until then.

If you're blogging about your crafts, you need to give yourself time to complete projects before you post about them, so planning is even more important.

Planning ahead will also help you be organized. Like anything else in life, blogs can get cluttered too. Use labels, create pages to catalog your posts, include a search box and anything else that may help readers find what they are looking for. A messy or too complicated to navigate blog will scare readers off.



blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners

A post with just text, especially if it is long, with just be too hard to read, so add pictures, diagrams, charts or even just separators, like in this post, whatever may help to keep readers interested and focused on the message you are trying to convey. 

I blog about crafts, so I try to take as many pictures as possible when I'm making something I want to post about. And I assume publicly not all my pictures are good quality, so this is the area where I want to improve the most in the future. Unfortunately, taking pictures does not come easily for me, but recognizing you have a problem is the first step towards solving it, right? Give me some time and I'll master picture taking too.


blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners

There are millions and millions of new blog posts every day, so writing about something and putting in online is no guarantee that anyone will read it any time soon.

Include and "about me" section in your blog. People want to interact with other people, not with machines, so they like to know who is on the other end. Include your photo if you have no problems with that (I do, so there are no photos of me or my family in the blog, only our house, what we do and the places we visit, but that is a personal choice).

Use social media. If you're already on Facebook, create a page for your blog. Use G+, Bloglovin, Stumbleupon (not so great, in my opinion), Pinterest (awesome) and whatever else there is (I'm not on Twitter or Instagram yet, but I'm sure I'll get to those some day too). Be consistent, using the same name/photo in each of your social media profiles. Include links to your social media in your blog, so people can follow you easily.

Follow as many blogs and groups as you can within your areas of interest. And because you're not the only one trying to increase the number of followers, it's polite to follow back those that follow you.

Use link parties to spread the word about your posts, but read carefully the rules before linking up. Visit other links and leave comments. Everyone likes to feel supported. 



blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners

Other than social media, there are lots of resources and tools to help you design your blog, touch up your pictures, create interesting graphics, etc. Some are paid, but a lot of them have free (even if a bit more limited) versions. Check Google and Pinterest for free backgrounds, fonts, designs, photos. When using something not made by you, just make sure the authors intended it for free use and give them the appropriate credit.

When I started blogging I used no graphics in the blog, just pictures. Then I started using Powerpoint and over time I have familiarized myself with Canva, which I find much easier to work with than Picmonkey, at least in the free versions.


blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners

When in doubt, Google it.

I had zero HTML knowledge when I started, so I Googled everything, from how to add a widget to how to create a blog button. I still do.There are sites and other blogs that give you detailed explanations on how to do whatever you need, down to the point of having the appropriate HTML code for you to copy and letting you know the exact place where you should add the code for it to work.

Since the advent of Internet, not knowing about something is no longer an excuse. When you want to change or add something to your blog, just go online, ask all the questions you need and then sort though the answers until you have the tools to solve your problem.



blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners

Personally, I don't like when a blog I follow has no new posts after several weeks. Of course lots of things can happen, and it's difficult to keep up with everything (don't I know it!). But if you want a steady stream of readers, you need to give them something to read about.

My advice would be to try to post at least once a week, planning ahead and scheduling posts, to make sure you have at least some backup to keep the blog going when the rest of your life gets in the way. Once you get the gist of it, it will become easier and you will be able to post more often.


blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners

Nothing in life is static, and a blog is probably easier to change than a lot of other things. Do your research and use all the tools you have available to improve your blog over time.

If I could have creates a 100% perfect blog the first time it would have been great. Unfortunately, I started with just a basic Blogger layout and not much else. Then I learned to add links, create pages, add photos and widgets to the side bar. It took me almost forever to find out why I had overlapping content in some of the pages but I've solved it by now. My first media buttons were nice but recently I decided they were not matching the rest of the layout, so I now have new ones.

Am I finished? No. Not now and probably never. Like I said before, I want to improve the quality of the pictures I include in my posts. I also keep a list of the other changes and improvements I want to make in my blog and whenever I have a bit of time I sit down, do some research and get down to work.

blogging tips, blog tips, 10 blogging tips for beginners

Okay, maybe I should've put this in the beginning. However, if you've lasted almost to the end of this post, it is probably a good sign and you are not ready to give up on your blog any time soon.

The idea of having a blog lived in the back of my mind for years, but it took me a while to make the leap and now I'm totally committed to it. But it is not always easy.

There are days when sitting down to write is difficult, when words don't want to flow into your screen. There are those awesome posts you went to a lot of trouble for and then almost no-one reads or comments on. And then, suddenly, someone picks them up on Pinterest or somewhere else and they become almost viral. Any victory, even if small, is still a victory.

If blogging brings you pleasure, if it makes you happy, if it makes you feel like you are contributing to society in any way, stick with it. Hang in there. Good things will come your way.

Like Master Yoda said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”







Welcome to My Circus

Epic Mommy Adventures

Mummy Do It

76 comments:

  1. I am a fly by the seat of my pants sort of blogger at the moment and I'm driving myself nuts. I have five kids and there is always a crises with something. I really have to sit down and plan. Thanks for the reminder. Stopping by from the Friendship Friday Blog Party.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by! I almost go crazy with two kids, so I can't even imagine how you even have time for blogging with five...have a great weekend!

      Delete
  2. I've been blogging for years, but this is my first attempt at pro blogging. It's a whole new ball park and I'm basically just throwing myself into it. It's nice to hear from someone who admits that she kind of did the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not even close to pro, but I've always enjoyed doing things right and learning about the best ways to get there. I'll never be awesome at blogging, there is not enough free time in my life for that, but at least I feel I'm doing by best to improve. Thank you for stopping by and have a great weekend!

      Delete
  3. These excellent tips are great for any blogger... things you continually need to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty - we hope to see you again next week. :)

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent tips! I've had my blog for a few years but I am no expert at blogging. I jumped in without really doing much research I started out just trying to promote my jewelry business. Then I started making tutorial of things that I make and really found out I enjoyed blogging about it. About 6 months ago I decided to really take my blog seriously and have started making changes, and posting more often. I'm not a great writer, and I'm a shy person so it's hard, plus I have a fulltime job so it's a struggle finding time. I am trying to get a few weeks ahead on my post so that will help make it a little easier for getting around and doing everything else a blogger needs to do. Linky parties, blog commenting, social media etc. I am also working on a routine that will hopefully make things a little easier.
    Now for the photos that is a real struggle for me too. I know great photos are a must, it's just that photogrsphy does not interest me. I've never been good at it. Heck I can't even watch home videos of my girls that I took when they were little. I get sea sick from all the movement. I did buy me a lighting kit and a couple backdrops, and read up on using my iPhone camera (I seem to take better pictures with my phone). I have a couple great apps for editing, and adding words. Plus I can upload straight to my blog and my Zibbet shop. For now that will just have to work. Later I plan to take a photography class. Thanks for sharing your great tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Linda. I've looked into your blog and I think your photos look great thought. Thank you for the tips on using the iPhone. I'm planning to get one soon, so I'll have to try it for photography to see how it goes.

      Delete
  5. These are great tips! I am new as well. I think I will look into the blog planner! Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by. Look for blog planners on Pinterest, there are great ones to choose from there!

      Delete
  6. This is such a great post that every blogger should read. :)

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for writing this. Even though I started my blog a while ago, I'm still a newbie, It wasn't until recently that i ventured out to have "stragers" look at my creations. Now I am feeling more confident but really my intent of blogging is just for pleasure. I'm still trying to figure out how to do some things.. like how to add a link ups button to my post. ( LOL) I'm getting much better at all the mechanics of blogging but my favorite part is reading other blogs too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mary. Though I'm also getting better at this, I'm still by no means an expert. But like I said in the post, when I want to add something to the blog, I Google it around and I always find great tutorials...

      Delete
  8. Excellent tips. You sure have learned heaps in your blogging life. I just blog for fun and therapy. No rules. No direction. when it ceases to be fun and starts to be a chore, I will stop. Thanks for your post.

    #BigTopBlogParty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by Suzi, have a wonderful Easter!

      Delete
  9. Great tips... I am not a brand new blogger, but wanted to see what you had to say to see what I still need to learn.... need to work on that social media more! :) Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess we never stop learning anyway. I still have a lot to learn about blogging too!

      Delete
  10. You made me tear up. Why, because it all becomes so overwhelming at times. Then I read another blogging tips post (yours is good) and I melt down again. I know I am new at this but it has been a roller coaster. Thanks for the tips I learned yet another thing or two about blogging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all have good and bad days. Sometimes I sit in front of the computer and can't even put two words together...just move one day at a time and remember you are supposed to be blogging because you enjoy it. You should have fun, not stress about it. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful Easter!

      Delete
  11. This is good for all of us. I've been blogging for almost two years, and still have so many questions about blogging! Thanks for linking up with this wonderfully informative post at Together on Tuesdays :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lisa! Have a wonderful Easter!

      Delete
  12. Hi Teresa,

    Great tips and a great post too! I also am a self taught blogger and started a little of a year ago. Google was and still is my best friend! Not just with blogging either as I'm always saying to my husband I don't know I'll Google it! lol

    So happy you were able to join in on ALL the fun this week at the #BigTopBlogParty! Thanks for linking up and we hope to see you at our next party too!

    Wishing you a fabulous week and a very Happy Easter! ;-)

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great tips! I'm pretty new to blogging (5 months) and I enjoyed your post! I've found that I really love blogging and though it can be challenging because I have so much to learn, I'm going to keep plugging away. I'm growing every day, both in personal knowledge and traffic so that's progress :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by and the best of luck for you and your blog!

      Delete
  14. Great tips. I am still trying to get into the swing of blogging. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Trish, have a wonderful Easter!

      Delete
  15. Hard to argue with any of these tips I've been at it for about nine months now and what I knew then compared to now is like night and day. #BigTopBlogParty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a huge learning curve, isn't it? The best of luck for your blogging experience and have a great Easter!

      Delete
  16. Great tips here! Shared on Pinterest. Glad I found you on Together on Tuesdays!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the tips. I appreciate you sharing advice and encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Donna, have a wonderful Easter!

      Delete
  18. Stopping by from Turn It Up Tuesday. Great tips for the new and not so new blogger. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for the tips I am pretty new to blogging. Any advise helps

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just take it one step at a time and never be shy about asking what you don't know. Wishing you the best of luck for your blog!

      Delete
  20. Wow, "not knowing how to do something is no longer an excuse". Zing! Got me right between the eyes! I've used that excuse several times. Guess I need to become better friends with Google!
    Here from #HomeMattersParty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The web has all the answers you need, you just have to sort out the ones that are more relevant to you sometimes. Good luck!

      Delete
  21. These Blogging tips and tricks for beginners are really effective for improving blogging business and all are practically effective also.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great advice Tesera! Wish I had known a few of these when I started but Its never too late - I'm technically still a newbie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So am I, Mary. We are always learning. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  23. Stopping by from Way Back Wednesday! Thanks for sharing these tips!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Also stopping by from Way Back Wednesday! These are great tips for every blogger to keep in mind :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. These are all such great tips!! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

    ReplyDelete
  26. My favorite takeaway is do research. I am petrified I am going to mess up my site by making simple changes, like adding a wiget. You gave me a little bit more confidence that I can do it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all go by trial and error (at least I do!), but you can do it! Good luck!

      Delete
  27. These are really helpful tips for bloggers and newbies! I'm pinning.
    Thanks for sharing these blogging tips at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great post . . . even for the not-so-new blogger! Wee never really stop learning! Thanks for sharing!

    JoyfulSavings recently posted: The day I stopped buying Fabric Refresher & Dryer Sheets!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Been blogging a year and a half, and sometimes I still feel like I know next to nothing. Great tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the same with me. Blogging, and doing it right, takes a lot of time I rarely have...Anyway, good luck with your blog and thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  30. Enjoyed the article and the tips. There is so much to learn in the blog world, but I agree, that if you do it because you love it, and you stick with it - good things will come. Thanks for being a part of Brag About It this week!
    ~Laurie

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think you wrote this article for me! I'm in month #5 of blogging and your tips and advice are so true. I started my blog on a whim (even though I had toyed with the idea for a while but was afraid to hit the Go button) and have already been through so many iterations it feels! You've done a great job if you've only been at this for a year! Visiting from The Pretty Pintastic party.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're doing a great job too! Good luck!

      Delete
  32. Great tips! I don't plan as much as I should. I would like to have enough material to schedule posts but I don't yet :) I also prefer Canva to PicMonkey....for some reason, Canva makes more since to me. Thank you for posting these great tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by Renee! It's been a while, but I really still prefer Canva! It's so easy to work with, and if you take your time, you can create some amazing designs!

      Delete
  33. These are really great starter tips. I will have been running this specific blog for roughly a yr this July. I use Canva, Grammerly....basically anything quality that's free. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love Canva, but I hadn't heard of the other one! Like I said, always learning! Good luck with your blog!

      Delete
  34. Definitely agree with planning posts out. Doing 1-2 a week is a lot more reasonable than trying to post all the ideas all at once, and then nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, though I often need to remind myself of that...

      Delete
  35. I'm a new blogger and can relate to so many of these points. I'm trying to plan, keep a schedule etc but it is a challenge especially when trying to balance work, kids, life etc but like your last tip states - I won't give up! #LetsGetRealSocial

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nicole, and god luck with your blog!

      Delete
  36. Lots of great blogging tips! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Great tips for all bloggers really! I think "Being Real" is my favorite point. Blog to blog and write for your audience, don't write the way you think you're expected to write. Thanks for sharing this on the #SundayBlogHop :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great tips and encouragement for new and not so new bloggers. It's only when you start blogging that you realise how much there is to it - and we have to keep learning. This was one of our most clicked posts at the Blog Fair this week. Hope to see you there again this week.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Fabulous tips for new bloggers, especially to google things, it's funny how much info we can find at our finger tips! Thanks for sharing and hope to see you back at #HomeMattersParty

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you so much.It's great blogs.I know it will share the amazing informative.
    Hadoop Training | Tableau Training | Informatica Training

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...