I’ve been blogging weekly on here for a while now. I’ve covered many, many aspects of digital marketing: How to track analytics, tips on running Facebook campaigns, how to rank on Google – many different aspects.
But something I haven’t done is create a post for the true blogging beginners – the people who have never blogged before.
If you fit this bill, I firstly want to reassure you – you’re not the only person who hasn’t. Each week we get new clients who haven’t blogged before and they sometimes think this is the end of the world – it’s not…it’s the beginning!
I have been extremely fortunate to work in social media and digital marketing, and with this, I’ve gained some great knowledge of the digital marketing world. I’m going to keep this post simple, as I don’t want to overwhelm you, so here are my 10 top tips for new bloggers. I hope to be able to pass along some of the wisdom that I have learned along the way…
Write shareable content.
Let’s get the first and most common question out of the way – “will people even read my posts?”
The answer is simple really – if you are concerned about people reading your blogs, the best way to get your content out there is to write about topics that others can relate to.
Writing about your personal day and what you had for lunch is all well and good, but is it going to get you tonnes of subscribers to your blog? Doubtful.
Keep your topics fresh and relatable to your target audience. If you’re a fitness business owner or fitness professional, then discuss tips that you use for your clients, or talk about your services and how they benefit your clients.
Make your posts shareable. It’s the biggest success when blogging; having somebody share your posts means somebody is promoting your work and your business. But for people to do this, your content has to be quality and valuable.
Launch with a handful of quality posts in the queue
This is something I try to tell all new-bloggers. There is nothing worse than seeing a blog page with literally ONE blog post published. I mean, it could be a great blog post but really?! One post!
The first impression this gives is the most obvious one – you’re a novice at blogging. This will instantly give the readers a different persona of you. For people to actually read your blogs and take your advice on board, you need to look, well, established.
Beginning a blog can be exciting – I get that. But be patient before you launch. Try to write at least 10 posts before you send your blog live. Not only will it give you a little posting cushion, but if you can write 10-20 posts and feel like you’re just barely scratching the surface of your topic, it’s a good indication you’ll be able to sustain the writing pace long term.
Also, it’s good to have some solid content available when visitors find you. It’s extremely hard to convince readers to return to your blog if they only find a ‘This is my first post!’ post.
Focus on your blog and one or two social media platforms and do them well
There are lots of emerging and established social media networks out there right now. It can be quite easy to get caught up on them all but this is something I would recommend avoiding.
I say this from past mistakes. I once fell into the trap of believing that having your business on as many social networks as possible was the way forward – but it’s not.
Start with one or two social networks and do them well. Learn the ins and outs of them and do not move onto the next platform until you have done so.
Do a few things well to start and then add more platforms as your understanding of social media grows.
Be clear about your blogging goals
Maybe I should move this point up a few places, as it should be one of the first aspects you cover before blogging.
Right now, blogging is the ‘in’ thing – the new black. And as a newbie blogger it can get very exciting. But don’t lose focus on what you’re actually blogging for.
Ask yourself why you’re actually blogging? Is it for fun? For money? Whatever the reason, make sure you’re clear about your goals and that you stick to them.
It can be oh so easy to start making your way down the blogging path only to end up somewhere else.
Images are just as important as your writing.
There’s nothing worse then clicking on an article or a blog that sounds interesting, only to find the images within are dull, boring or totally off topic.
Every day I look for new bloggers and fresh topics and, believe me, I have quickly left a particular post or blog altogether when the imagery doesn’t fit.
Sounds harsh, I know, but it’s just how it is. If you’re using bad images on your blog it will affect your visits and engagement.
Now before you start fleecing Google Images of exciting images – wait. It goes against copyright laws to just Google a topic and swipe a photo you think could work for an article you wrote when you don’t have permission to use it from the original photographer or creator.
Try investing in a decent quality camera and share your own imagery. This is great if you run a fitness gym or yoga class etc.
Another alternative is getting a membership on iStock or Shutterstock – a reputable stock imagery website. These can be a bit pricey but are definitely worth it if you’re serious about blogging.
But remember – stay away from stealing photos from Google Imagery – it could come back to bite you…hard!
Learn to do blog maintenance and tech savvy
This tip is for when you’re beginning to settle into blogging. After a while you will realise that as much as you love to blog, you also need to know how to fix minor or even major issues on your blog, as well as maintenance.
This is definitely an important aspect unless you have funds set aside to get a web developer to cover this side of things.
Before you begin to panic, breathe – some of the maintenance will be minor and really just requires a bit of patience and common sense. The others may be a bit more ‘techy’ and intricate.
Research as you blog, watch tutorials, read eBooks and stay ahead. Sometimes it may just be as simple as a theme update. When I began blogging there were many times my head frazzled from little nicks here and there. But you learn as you go on.
Always reply to comments
Have you ever left a comment on a blog before? If so, how did it feel when the author replied? It feels quite good, right?
Well, this is how you build relationships and build a loyal audience. In this digital day and age there are many ways to begin new relationships with potential leads, but like I said at the beginning of this article – I’m not going to overwhelm you. Focusing on blog comment replies is a great way to begin this and start creating relationships with your readers.
I would always recommend writing your comments in a personal voice – if you’re looking to cultivate a relationship with your readers, a personal feel will make a huge difference.
Don’t be a jerk if somebody disagrees
A couple of weeks ago, I came across a blog article that was very strongly written. Due to this, there were quite a number of comments both agreeing and disagreeing. I noticed the author would reply to the comments disagreeing with him in a very harsh tone and, even though I wasn’t involved in the comments, it gave a very distasteful impression.
Always treat those who comment on your blog with respect, no matter if they agree or disagree. Any debate is healthy on blogs but remember – this is a business and potential clients can and will read your replies.
Shake things up every once in a while
According to research, a 600-word blog post is the ‘ideal’ length. This obviously varies and shouldn’t be a figure that you stick to. This is just a guide.
To keep readers coming to your blog you need to keep it fresh. Don’t just churn out 600-word articles every week. It will get boring and readers will gradually fly away to find more exciting bloggers.
Maybe add some video blog posts into the mix. Keep your wording varied from long and short articles. Stir up emotions, give tips, ask questions – keep it all fresh and readers will keep coming back for more!
Lastly, if you’re planning to take up blogging then you must plan to invest some serious time into this. The World Wide Web is like a digital jungle; it’s big it’s noisy and a constant fight for survival.
You must dedicate time and lots of it. No successful blogger became successful overnight. It really does take time and patience.
Look, if you’re looking for a short-term ‘get rich quick’ scheme then blogging is definitely the wrong path. But if you seek building a strong ever-growing business then stick with it. It will pay off, eventually.
Like all aspects of digital marketing, there are limitless amounts of guides and tips that will help make you a more confident blogger. The above are just 10 that I believe will set you on the right track – just like they did for me when I began.
As you go on blogging you will learn many new things along the way, from writing techniques to tech maintenance. And as time goes on and your blog grows, so will your business.
If you have any tips you would like to share or have any questions on blogging, simply share a comment below and I will be happy to help!