12 Tips From my First Year of Blogging

It has been almost a full year of blogging life. There goes time. Flying.

Blogging has enriched my life. I have found my outlet to write. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and I love that I now have a little community of people who are like-minded in their passions.

It has been fun and has kept my creative juices flowing. If you are thinking of starting a blog for whatever reason, I strongly suggest trying it out. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Just do it! Take the plunge!

I have learned a lot in this past year of writing and picked up some useful tricks in this short time that I would love to share. I hope you enjoy!

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1. Write about what you would like to read

If you are thinking of starting a blog then you could begin by writing what you yourself would like to read. Travel, fashion, lifestyle, crafts. Whatever sparks interest in you is what you should be writing. How else are you going to stay motivated to keep writing and posting?

2. Experiment with different blogging styles

I have tried a few different things during this past year. I had a travel series The Chatting Compass that I really loved and was well received by readers. I also tried a few different challenges, the challenges were a great way to connect with other bloggers and have a bit of fun in the process.

Taking part in blogging challenges or creating your own is a great way to experiment and grow a community when beginning a blog.

3. Use quality images

This is a skill I have been getting increasingly better at. Make sure you have quality images. Take your own photos, using your camera or phone and include an image in your post always. If you don’t have personal photo taking skills, find free stock images online on sites like Splitshire Unsplash, and feedstocks.


Once you have found an image that matches your blog post then try out pic monkey, be funky, or canva. Edit your photos to create an eye-catching image for your blog. It is a little foreign at first if you are not used to this kind of thing, but before long you will be creating all kinds of images. Keeping your blog visually appealing!

4. Be honest, be you

Just be you, use your voice. Don’t try to be anyone other than yourself. Write how you speak or think. This is important because it adds to your blogs authenticity, your readers can then get to know who is behind the words bit by bit. Really this is what blogging is all about.

I love reading posts about peoples opinions on random topics, it’s so authentic and gives you a view of the writer. If people like you they will keep coming back to read more. Be funny, or serious, or sarcastic, whatever your style, don’t be afraid to let it shine.

5. Utilize social media

Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are great ways to share your blog with the world. Like-minded bloggers are out there and they are also using these outlets. If you are looking to connect then these are the spaces that you will find those connections.

Pinterest is great for travel, crafts, fashion, food. Twitter is great for everything and if you feel ready or dedicated enough you could branch out and start a Facebook page for your blog. It’s great marketing and it is nice to connect on a more personal level with your readers and fellow bloggers.

6. Stay consistent

Does everyone struggle with this?  I disappeared from the blogging world for around 3 months and during that time my blogging community pretty well disappeared, along with my motivation to post and read other blogs.

In my opinion staying consistent doesn’t mean posting at the exact same time every week or day, but by making blogging a part of your regular life in some way.

When you wake up in the morning check your comments and reply, post at least once a week or once every two weeks. Whatever you decide. Just make sure you stay consistent with yourself. If you don’t… you may end up losing the drive to continue on.

7. Share your personal stories

Although I have not shared many, the posts that I love the most and the ones that get the best responses are  the ones that are more personal. Because of that, this is something I will be doing more of in the year to follow.

Nothing makes me feel better than reading a blog and thinking “I went through that”, or “I know how they feel”. There is no better connection than that. So when you are ready to start sharing bit by bit a little about yourself and your personal experiences.

8. Comment, read, reply

Reading other blogs, commenting and replying to comments made on your blog is key. It is nice to see the same names pop up in your comments from people that read your blog regularly. It is important to keep up with those people. Also finding blogs that you are interested in and commenting on them is a great way to keep the communication lines open.

9. Quality not Quantity

There was a little while when I was trying to post as much content as possible. I was blogging almost daily. I was getting lots of views, comments and follows. However, I burnt myself out. Thus the 3-month long disappearance.

When looking back on those posts, I don’t feel that great about them, I don’t overly like what I wrote, and I felt that I had posted them for the wrong reasons. I had to get back to the roots of why I started my blog… for me.

Now I focus on quality, what that means for me is I take my time writing a post and I write what I really, really want to. Proofreading and editing are not rushed through, and the finished product is usually a post I enjoy reading and feel proud of.

10. Try out different themes

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I have changed my blog theme, header images and menus at least 6 times since blogging. I think I have found a look that I am finally happy with. I think that being able to experiment with different looks is important as you get more content.

What made sense and felt good 6 months ago may not feel the same now. Don’t feel like you have to stick to the same visuals, try out a bunch and see what feels good to you.

11. Utilize sidebars and widgets

Add follow buttons, social media links, and links to your favorite blogs. Add whatever you feel like displaying, this gives your readers more to do and check out when visiting. Just don’t overuse.

Too many widgets and links add bulk and clutter to your site which will ultimately take away from your site, making it more difficult for viewers to navigate. Try to keep widgets and add on’s down to 3 -5. Check out my sidebar on the right side of the screen for an idea of what I mean.

12. Be clear about your purpose

I think it is important for your readers to have a clear idea what they are getting from your blog. If you are writing about certain topics or themes make sure it is easy for the reader to find out that information. Have it as part of your name or on the top of your site near the name. Easy to view and understand.


72 COMMENTS

  1. பரிதி சரவணன் . | 7th Jul 16

    thanks for this info. will help new bloggers like me!

  2. Charlie Emma Noir | 7th Jul 16

    Wow this is so helpfull! I just started blogging and I feel like this post is really going to help me out! Thank you so much for sharing this! Would you mind checking out my channel and giving me a follow back? thank you so much!
    Love, Charlie <3

  3. stephrichmond | 7th Jul 16

    Thanks for the tips, help is always welcome.

  4. Smiling Notes | 7th Jul 16

    These are some awesome tips… Blogging is indeed great experience and I agree with you 100%

    • StephJ | 7th Jul 16

      It’s been great! Thanks 😊

  5. rfdumais | 7th Jul 16

    Fantastic tips! Congratulations on your blogging anniversary!

    Ena
    https://prettyplusandproud.wordpress.com/

  6. lorigreer | 8th Jul 16

    Very helpful tips. You write well. I feel as though we are sitting across from each other chatting. Thanks for this great post!

    • StephJ | 8th Jul 16

      Thank you so much! I am happy you enjoyed it 🙂

  7. the happiest pixel | 8th Jul 16

    Great tips, my happy pixel!! Thanks for sharing! (I started my blog almost one year ago too, in September)

    • StephJ | 8th Jul 16

      Yay us! You should write a similar post! I would love to read it 😊

  8. Grandtrines | 8th Jul 16

    Reblogged this on Still Another Writer's Blog.

  9. Kathryn Gossow | 11th Jul 16

    Great advice, especially to write what you would want to read and to have fun. I am still finding my feet but I think my biggest learning has been the importance of the title and the first paragraph to (try and) hook people in the first place.

    • StephJ | 11th Jul 16

      I struggle with my entry a lot of times. Trying to find the right sentences to lead into the meat of your post is important. I will deff try and work on that more in the coming year 🙂

      • Kathryn Gossow | 11th Jul 16

        It is a challenge isn’t it! I end up discarding a lot of ideas because I can’t get a first paragraph in my head.

  10. sheetalbravon | 11th Jul 16

    Those are really helpful tips …. Quality over quantity and then again don’t disappear from the scene …adding to my mantra and I have to start experimenting with the images . More power to you !

  11. Hannah Kubiak | 12th Jul 16

    I’m especially a fan of 7. There’s magic in storytelling. Always will be.

    • StephJ | 12th Jul 16

      There really is! Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  12. byincawithlove | 12th Jul 16

    Great Post!! Very helpful tips!! keep posting!! Xoxo Ines

    • StephJ | 12th Jul 16

      Thank you so much! I will keep the posts coming 🙂

  13. 5amt3n | 12th Jul 16

    I totally enjoyed reading this. I love that you have added links. I am very new to blogging and am slowly learning the ropes. What you have written is so encouraging for me. Thank you.

    • StephJ | 13th Jul 16

      Awesome! I hope some of my tips help you on your blogging adventure 🙂 Happy writing!

  14. unibookworm | 14th Jul 16

    Awesome to hear the first year beginnings of your blog! 😉 It will continue to grow beyond anything you imagined. Which is amazing to see!

    • StephJ | 14th Jul 16

      Thank you for the supportive words 🙂

  15. unibookworm | 14th Jul 16

    *right before your very eyes 😉 First year is like figuring out what your blog is about and all the technical jazz. Second year and going beyond the beginnings and meeting fellow other bloggers and reblogging (so quirky Word Press!). And 3rd is when you found your niche and watch your blog readership soar 😉 and join awesome blogging challenges.

  16. radhikasreflection | 22nd Jul 16

    I started blogging 3 months back…. Great tips for beginners 👍👍. Thanks

  17. thegirlwithareddress | 22nd Jul 16

    Amazing tips .. I guess that I’ve found what will certainly help me keep on blogging since it’s the very beginning of this experience to me … Thank you ! 🙂

    • StephJ | 22nd Jul 16

      Awesome! Yes keep it up 🙂

  18. Mr. Hakim Taliaferro | 23rd Jul 16

    Reblogged this on Alpha Talk and commented:
    Great tips on blogging from a great writer! Check it out! #greatread

  19. Mr. Hakim Taliaferro | 23rd Jul 16

    I love this! I have been consciously trying to adhere to at least ten out of twelve of the tips. Thank you for sharing your insight!

    • StephJ | 25th Jul 16

      Oh thank you! I hope you found it helpful 🙂

  20. Make it Ultra Blogger Award – ScaleSimple | 27th Jul 16

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  21. Run Wright | 28th Jul 16

    Great lessons. I agree wholeheartedly. Write what you like to read

    • StephJ | 28th Jul 16

      Thanks! It’s a good rule of thumb 🙂

  22. Deepak Singh | 29th Jul 16

    Interesting! I enjoyed the tips.

  23. Kaitlyn | 4th Aug 16

    Love these tips! So true and will definitely be keeping these in mind!:)

    • StephJ | 4th Aug 16

      I am glad you enjoyed 🙂

  24. thenordicredhead | 10th Aug 16

    Thank you for the suggestions as I begin my blogging adventure!

    • StephJ | 10th Aug 16

      Awesome! I hope they are of help 🙂

  25. Kohava Howard~Emerging Vibrant Woman | 12th Aug 16

    Thank you, This a great list 🙂

    • StephJ | 12th Aug 16

      Glad you enjoyed it 😊

  26. ellecoco | 12th Aug 16

    Some sound advice here, I love it! 🙂 Need to get into a better routine with all of this.

    • StephJ | 12th Aug 16

      Thank you, I hope you found it helpful!

  27. GirlMasked | 15th Aug 16

    Great post, I really enjoyed reading it! The tips are really useful, I’ll definitely bear them in mind! 🙂

    • StephJ | 15th Aug 16

      I hope they are useful! Thanks for reading 🙂

  28. From Rad To Dad | 15th Aug 16

    As a new blogger, two months in, Thank you for sharing what you learned!

    • StephJ | 15th Aug 16

      Awesome! I hope it helps a little bit, it’s a fun learning process!

  29. justmakingcentscom | 17th Aug 16

    Really helpful tips! I’m 2.5 weeks in and fear the burnout. But writing what I like and ensuring quality over quantity (at the expense of time) is something I’ll remember.

    • StephJ | 17th Aug 16

      Sometimes it’s good to take a break sometimes also to get the creative flow going!

  30. Simran | 20th Aug 16

    This was really helpful. I am going to follow all of your advice and hopefully I’ll get better….

    • StephJ | 22nd Aug 16

      Awesome! I hope the tips are of use to you 🙂

  31. kiaraopdebeeck | 23rd Aug 16

    Very helpful tips! Thanks 🙂

    • StephJ | 23rd Aug 16

      Awesome! You’re very welcome!

  32. K E Garland | 24th Aug 16

    Congrats! Totally agree with all of these. In fact, I just suggested that a new blogger add widgets to her site.

    • StephJ | 24th Aug 16

      Thank you! Yes Widget can be of huge benefit and also keeps viewers engaged while visiting your site <3 them

  33. finewritingsite.com | 24th Sep 16

    Thanks for stopping by and liking my post!! I’ve discovered pic monkey, but thanks to your blog I’ve just discovered a few more image sites! Awesome.

    • StephJ | 24th Sep 16

      Awesome! I am happy you enjoyed the post 🙂

  34. mrsmurfinscountrylife | 8th Dec 16

    Great tips and very encouraging. Thanks. Plus I love your theme, I ‘test drove’ it a while ago and may go to it after Christmas/blogmas

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  36. Elizabeth | 20th Jan 17

    Thank you for the tips. I’m still trying to learn about blogging and you’ve given me a lot of excellent information here.I think with my disability and responsibilities (which I’ve let slide lately) I may rethink posting every day!

    • StephJ | 20th Jan 17

      I found posting everyday overwhelming, but if you can manage it and enjoy it then go for it! Sometimes its nice to put more into less.

      • Elizabeth | 21st Jan 17

        I think I’m realizing that everyday may be too much. It’s not my age but my disability that makes it hard. I get overwhelmed by pain. I really need to think about it. But whatever I decide I loved your post and it was so helpful!

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