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!
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
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.