There are many of us bloggers who consider ourselves to be professionals.
We look at our blogs as our careers, we look at them as if they were a physical business, and we get a lot of questions about what we do.
We get asked “What exactly does it mean to be a blogger?” to which we can either take the easy route, saying that we are basically a writer or we can take the difficult route and try our best to explain it all. We get asked “Do you make money?” which always perplexes me because you don’t ask the attendant at the gas station or the doctor at the hospital if they make money. Yes, since we consider our blogs a career of course we make money.
If for some reason my blog isn’t making money, I’m doing everything I can to work towards it. And the most common question of all:
“How can I do what you do?”
There is something about this question that makes me sigh a little. I want nothing more than to see another successful blogger rise to the top of the ranks, making a life for themselves by doing something they love. My problem is finding the correct answer. Telling someone how to be a blogger cannot be done in a five-minute conversation.
Because I couldn’t find the words to explain it all in enough detail to answer all of your questions, I asked some of the most professional bloggers I know what their biggest tip would be to a new blogger.
They delivered. Big time.
Top Newbie Blogger Tips
One thing that needs to be said before I share the tips: blogging requires an extremely entrepreneurial spirit. Bloggers need to be on their toes at all times, researching anything and everything related to blogging and a willingness to teach and learn independently. TL;DR, it takes time and effort.
Just start writing
My number one tip is to just start writing. It can seem overwhelming at first to start a blog. Whether you’re struggling with what topic to write about or how you want your posts to look or anything else – just writing ANYTHING gives you something to play around with. Now you can see if you like the topic or the formatting or how that new plugin you just downloaded works. You can always edit later
Jen Jamar, LifeWithLevi.com
Starting a blog is exactly that. Jen hit the nail on the head. It starts off overwhelming, and if you let it, will remain overwhelming. Once you’ve overcome that initial stress of planning and publishing a blog for the public, new stresses find their way into the picture.
A big reason a lot of people want to be a blogger is to supplement or build their income. Once this decision has been made, being a blogger is no longer a hobby. Like myself, blogging is a major source of income for many and the stress is real but manageable. Plus, nothing feels better than sitting back and looking at the work you’ve just published.
Study other bloggers
My #1 tip is an oxymoron. Look at what is going on around you in the blogosphere- what type of photos and layouts do well, how often blogs you see yourself being like are posting in social media, how their online behaviors are…but don’t get so worried or consumed with it that you are not yourself. Its fantastic to learn and to find goals, but in the end if you try to force your content into what is successful for someone else, you will get sick of writing and fail. Basically dont be a recipe blogger because that is what “sells”. Sell what YOU do.
It is super important to always be looking around you. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but in reality it is the greatest form of marketing.
You never want to directly copy what other bloggers are doing, but watching a professional blogger’s workflow, scheduling habits, and time used for promotion and social media are imperative.
It is important to start looking at your blog as something marketable. Looking around at comparable bloggers, and seeing what marketing tactics work well for them is a smart strategy.
You don’t have to pick a specific niche
Don’t force yourself into a niche. Having a specific topic helps, but the lack of one won’t sink you. If you naturally start falling into a niche as your blog grows – go with it. If it doesn’t happen, you’ll still be ok.
Your blog should be a combination of things you’re passionate about. Kenda is right, it doesn’t have to be one tiny specific niche. Putting yourself into a small niche will only make your job as a blogger harder. Pick a few different things that you are passionate and knowledgeable about and it will shine through your words.
Putting yourself into a small niche will only make your job as a blogger harder. Pick a few different things that you are passionate and knowledgeable about and it will shine through your words.
Passion is powerful when infused into the written word.
Let your voice be heard
Write in your own “voice.” My favorite blogs are the ones where the writer’s personality shines through. I think that readers respond to authenticity and love it when they feel like they can relate.
Personality is everything as a blogger.
You want to give your readers a taste of something they don’t get anywhere else. That something else is YOU. Make sure you are letting everyone see the real you. Are you funny? Extremely sarcastic? A bit reserved? It’s exactly what we’re reading your blog for. Your opinions and point of view from the angle only you can provide.
That something else is YOU. Make sure you are letting everyone see the real you. Are you funny? Extremely sarcastic? A bit reserved? It’s exactly what we’re reading your blog for. Your opinions and point of view from the angle only you can provide.
Make sure you are letting everyone see the real you. Are you funny? Extremely sarcastic? A bit reserved? It’s exactly what we’re reading your blog for. Your opinions and point of view from the angle only you can provide.
Blogging communities are the way to go
Join a supportive blogger community. It’s the very best way to learn as you go.
Blogger communities are a must. You need one if for nothing else but the support they provide.
Personally I suggest the MomDot community, where I’ve been a member for almost 6 years. That’s how you know blogging communities are so important. I am the most anti-social, hermit, loner of them all. I still absolutely love the community and have learned so much there over the years.
Things to focus on
Write what you know. Write what you love. Write about what makes you happy. You don’t have to be just like any other blogger–just be like you.
Filling your blog with content related to things you are deeply invested in will be extremely obvious.
There is a certain spunk or sparkle of the eye when bloggers write about something they really care about. It is that blatantly obvious. Because of this you need to safeguard your blog topics.
Once a new blogger starts making money and receiving review products, it becomes difficult to say “no” to opportunities that aren’t truly related to your favorite writing topics. Especially when they bring in money. This is an easy cycle to get caught up in. Be careful.
Think about your interests
Write about what interests you, not just what you “think” you should be writing about.
This is somewhat related to the above. It is easy to “think” you should be writing about something specific.
Is everyone blogging about a recent scandal on a press trip? You might be thinking to yourself: “I bet I could get some good traffic if I write about this scandal, too!” but take a moment to think about whether or not that topic will interest your readers. You might end up changing your mind before you hit that publish button.
Cover all of your bases
I would say for a completely new blogger–maybe even before you start–look around at other blogs, all the themes and niches that are out there, and start a Pinterest board. Look at what you like and what attracts you. Write about everything that inspires you, and take lots of pictures (of everything; you never know what you might need or be inspired by!) Reach out and network with people that interest you. Finding your “tribe” will help you find an audience and even a niche. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; between all the communities, groups and networks I belong to–I have found that someone is always willing to answer even the simplest ones.
Ann, Ann About Town
I want to stress this point. Firmly.
As a new blogger, it is more important than you know to make sure you have a firm grasp of the world you’re entering.
As these things (like social media, themes for your blog, niches) will slowly become second nature to you. Your workflow will slowly become more stable, and as long as you keep yourself prepared and organized you’ll continue to grow.
Take is slow
I would say to not worry to much about it. Most blogs do not last 6 months and many people get overwhelmed with everything there is too learn. Just start writing and if you still like it in a few months then you can fall down the rabbit hole that is blogging 🙂
Katrina, TOTS: Family
Don’t expect to be a hit overnight. I have been blogging for 5 years (6 in September 2015, crazy!!) and there are still many moments when I have to stop, pick apart my task management system, and start over by taking everything in slowly and fixing it.
Just like with any business, there will be growing pains. Take a deep breath and work through them.
It’s what bloggers do!
All of these tips should be helpful for the newbie blogger.
Something extremely important that I would like to add: If you find the right blogging community, blogging is the most rewarding career a person can have. With the right community you can avoid cattiness, learn and improve your knowledge base of your craft, and become a successful blogger with a lot of hard work and dedication.
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