I’ve had several different people approaching me for blogging advice lately, and while I find it astonishing that anyone would consider me experienced enough to want my advice after just nine months of blogging, I’m always ready to help others in any way that I can. So I thought, why not create a post with all the helpful tips and advice that were given to me, or that I discovered myself, over the last year? The photo above is one from the night my friends and I went to a Blogger Party – I was invited along as a journalist and festival writer, but this turned out to be the night I decided to start writing a proper blog. I was so inspired by the other bloggers and the way that some had even made a career out of blogging, that I just knew it was something I wanted to do. Wherever you get your inspiration from, I hope these tips will help and guide you through the first nine months of blogging:
Make a plan – Before starting to write, before setting up your blog, have an idea in mind. Choose your topic – something that inspires you and that you know you will remain passionate about. Think about how often you plan to post, how much time you can dedicate to it and be honest with yourself, don’t be overambitious.
Write what you love – Still the most important advice I have ever been given and will give. Stick to what you love, whether it gets you readers or not. You start a blog because you are passionate and love to write – make sure it stays that way. At the end of the day, you write for you and not for your readers, and nobody likes a sell-out.
Be opinionated – Don’t be scared to voice your opinion and certainly don’t shy away from the truth. I can’t stand neutral bloggers and actually the posts I really enjoy are the ones bloggers are scared to post because they worry they have been too opinionated. These passionate posts are written in the heat of the moment – and you can tell!
Take a break – Always treat blogging like a hobby (unless if does turn into a career) by doing this you keep it fun and don’t put yourself under pressure. Don’t try to force blogging because it puts a total block on you. It is important when you are feeling uninspired to not be afraid to take a break from writing, your readers will always prefer that to reading rubbish.
Live a little – More for lifestyle and travel bloggers but does apply to everyone. Blogging is inspired by the world around us, by the things we do, the people we see and the things they say. 90% of my blogs are inspired by conversations I overhear or things that are said to me, if I wasn’t out and about, I would never get the inspiration! Stuck for an idea – head out and do something different.
Dream big – Don’t be afraid to have big ideas about blogging, without a vision, how would you ever progress? I idolise bloggers who have turned their hobby into a career – that is the dream but I don’t know how realistic it is for me. But without being inspired by a full-time blogger, I would have never started. Without having big ideas, I never would have gone self-hosted after just nine months.
Read everything – A lot of bloggers post “how-to” guides on all topics to do with blogging, SEO, building readership, approaching brands, ideas for posts, going self-hosted and all the rest. You may not be interested at first, but later on, it is worth reading as many posts as possibly because not only are they interesting and super helpful, but they are written for the average blogger instead of brain boxes who understand every aspect of computer programming.
Communicate – Get involved with other bloggers, join the community on twitter by using #lbloggers #bbloggers #fbloggers hashtags, search for others on wordpress or blogger and comment on posts, get discussions going, ask for help and promote your posts. It really doesn’t take long to build up a network of good blogger friends and this is truly one of my favourite parts of blogging.
Create a space – Finding your perfect blogging space can take a light hobby and turn it into a full blown passion. Having that perfect desk set-up, those fairy lights, the comfortable pillows or just the right soundtrack can really make the difference and I find really helps inspire my own writing. My blogging must-haves are comfy pillows, the windows thrown wide open, sun beaming in and a good album playing.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind – Once you have chosen a type of blog, don’t feel like you are stuck with it. Your blog is your creation and it is completely up to you what you write about. If you get bored of writing about beauty, you can branch out into food or fashion. Likewise I am a lifestyle blogger with a big love of travel and food posts.
Take responsibility – Remember when posting that you are placing something in the public domain. That means people can steal it, and people can hold you accountable for it. Too often I see people publishing things that could well come back to bite them in the you-know-what with future or current employers. You must also remember your audience – I saw a blogger posting positively about weight loss pills and saying they were the best way to lose weight fast – how responsible is that when there could be younger readers who make themselves ill by taking her advice?
These are just a few top tips I’ve come up with by talking to other bloggers, joining chats and through my own experiences. A lot of blogging is just pure trial and error and finding what works for you because it is such a personal thing. It is the loveliest thing when you have an established blog and you start getting people talking to you about your posts. When it is friends and family it is fun, but when it is strangers you start to feel like you have had an impact on someone’s life. If you have a passion for writing, I would take the opportunity to do just that in your own personal slice of the internet. You’ll never get that total freedom to write as you please in any other job!
If you have any top tips – please do share them below. Likewise, if there are any new bloggers out there – feel free to ask any questions!